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20 Inspirational Quotes of All Time that Can Change Your Life

20 Inspirational Quotes of All Time that Can Change Your Life

Like many other people, I love motivational and inspirational quotes. They remind me of the important attitudes to develop and maintain for day to day life.

Many famous people throughout history like past presidents like Abraham Lincoln, champion athletes like Michael Jordan, business leaders like Steve Jobs, scientists like Albert Einstein, world leaders like Winston Churchill, entertainers like Will Smith and development experts like Steven Covey have given us countless motivational quotes.

However, I have also come across equally inspiring and logical wisdom from people who were not as famous. Here are twenty such inspirational quotes that can change your life immediately if you adopt them for what they suggest.

“A soul without a high aim is like a ship without a rudder.” – Eileen Caddy

a-soul-without-a-high-aim-is

    “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” ~ David Brinkley

    a-successful-man-is-one-who-can

      “Age is no guarantee of maturity.” – Lawana Blackwell

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      age-is-no-guarantee-of-maturity

        “Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.” ~ Anonymous

        confidence-like-art-never-comes-from-having

          “Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.” ~ Anthony J. D’Angelo

          develop-a-passion-for-learning-if-you

            “Don’t count every hour in the day. Make every hour in the day count!” ~ Mark Amend

            dont-count-every-hour-in-the-day

              “Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.” ~ Don Wilder

              excuses-are-the-nails-used-to-build

                “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. It is delay, not defeat. “It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street”. ~ Denis Waitley

                failure-should-be-our-teacher-not-our

                  “Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it.”  – Horace Mann

                  habit-is-a-cable-we-weave-a

                    “I learned that good judgment comes from experience and that experience grows out of mistakes.” – Omar Bradley

                    i-learned-that-good-judgment-comes-from

                      “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” ~ Alan K. Simpson

                      if-you-have-integrity-nothing-else-matters

                        “It’s not your circumstances that shape you, it’s how you react to your circumstances.” ~ Anne Ortlund

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                        its-not-your-circumstances-that-shape-you

                          “No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched.” – George Jean Nathan

                          no-man-can-think-clearly-when-his

                            “Nobody stands taller than those willing to stand corrected.” – William Safire

                            nobody-stands-taller-than-those-willing-to-1

                              “Someday is not a day of the week.” ~ Denise Brennan-Nelson

                              someday-is-not-a-day-of-the

                                “There are no short cuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

                                there-are-no-short-cuts-to-any

                                  “Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene.” ~ Arthur Christopher Benson

                                  very-often-a-change-of-self-is

                                    “We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

                                    we-choose-our-joys-and-sorrows-long

                                      “You can’t expect people to look eye to eye with you if you are looking down on them.” – Anonymous

                                      you-cant-expect-people-to-look-eye-1

                                        And here is a final contribution from yours truly inspired from my own 20 years of martial arts competition career.

                                        “Our biggest competition is never the others. Instead, it is always ourselves. It doesn’t matter if we end up with first or last place. If we do our best to do better than before, then we’ve won.” ~ Clint Cora

                                        I hope you enjoy these inspirational quotes and feel free to comment on any of them below.

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                                        Published on May 18, 2021

                                        How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

                                        How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

                                        We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

                                        The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

                                        Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

                                        Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

                                        Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

                                        There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

                                        Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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                                        Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

                                        We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

                                        Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

                                        A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

                                        The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

                                        Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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                                        Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

                                        Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

                                        Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

                                        While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

                                        Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

                                        These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

                                        Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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                                        Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

                                        Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

                                        Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

                                        Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

                                        Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

                                        Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

                                        As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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                                        This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

                                        Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

                                        Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

                                        These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

                                        Actions Speak Louder Than Words

                                        Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

                                        Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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                                        Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

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                                        Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

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