Quotes are great to help us solidify a concept. Google has helped us find quotes for everything. I even liberally use movie quotes to make my point. I like quotes because they make me feel I am not alone in my thinking.
I have often tried to explain my thinking only to have my counterpart validate my point with a quote he knows. On one hand, I could feel inferior because it took me several paragraphs of conversation to make my point, while he banters back with a short phrase to concisely reiterate my thought. On the other, it could make me feel superior to have had the same thought as a great thinker did before me.
The point here is to have thoughts. Thoughts are prerequisites for things. Everything was a thought before it was a thing. When I bought my first flip-phone cell phone, I said a thank you to Gene Roddenberry. He didn’t make the flip-phone, but I firmly believe the idea to even make phones that flip came from Capt. Kirk’s Communicator that he always flipped shut when he said, "Kirk, out," on Roddenberry’s Star Trek back in the day. Even Einstein said imagination was more important than knowledge.
Still, sometimes quotes can be a crutch. No matter how good a quote is, it is still someone else’s thought. If we use quotes to help us think, we elevate our thinking. But if we use quotes INSTEAD of thinking, we are cheating ourselves. Quotes are catalysts. Quotes were not intended to be the "be all and end all" of a thought or topic.
Think of your favorite quote. Why is it your favorite quote? Can you restate it differently? Can you defend it? Can you expand on it? Can you defend an opposing point of view?
I really like the well-known quote by Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” It’s a great quote. It gives us pause. It makes us think. It challenges us. It changes responsibility from others to ourselves. The world would be a better place if each and every one of us lived it. But does it go far enough? Can it be improved?
Of course, EVERY quote can be improved. Life is not static- it is dynamic. We are not the same as we were the first time we read the quote. We are not the same as we were the last time we quoted it.
We evolve, we improve.
I’m no Gandhi, but I think I can take a quote, think on it, and improve it. I think you can, too. I challenge you to take your favorite quote, think on it, and then improve it. Even if it doesn’t “catch on,” you will be a better person for having taken on the exercise in thought.
“Be the change you want to see in the world,” doesn’t go deep enough for me. First off, it doesn’t address HOW to be the change you want to see. So, if I make a minor change to arguably one of the greatest quotes in modern history, I think it improves it.
“Be the change you want to see in yourself.” Why would anyone say that? If you follow Gandhi's train of thought, you know what change you want to see in the world. Taking his advice, you try to make that change in you. But HOW do you make that change? Some people can’t even change their daily schedule, much less be the change they wish to see in the world. I have spent years studying change, and I have come to the conclusion that it is simple, but not always easy.
To make the change in you, you must BE the change in you. It is about energy and frequency, so all we have to do is match the energy and frequency to that of the change we desire. If you make that change real in your thought, then you will make it real in the world, then the world changes, too.
So, "Be the change you want to see in you."
If you are ready to make a change, and you want some help, please email me or check out my free case study at the top and the bottom of this page.