Enlightening Quotes to Carry You Through the Down Times

I was just asked to give a speech to a few hundred people in Illinois next month and was thinking about how to start off the speech – should I open with a story or a quote or just jump right into it? I decided to start off with one of my favorite inspirational and motivational quotes.

The quote I chose to use for the speech got me thinking about how important it is to have words of wisdom available to get us through the rough times. Working for a non- profit organization can be very rewarding when we see the results and the impact of our work; however, it can sometimes take months or even years to see this impact. It is during the down times that enlightening words of wisdom can help us to keep pushing on.

I hope some of the inspirational words of wisdom and quotes I’ve provided in this week’s Rich Tips will help you to keep pushing on – and, heck, you might even be able to incorporate some of them into your next speech.

  1. “Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the job of giving.” – Hank Rosso
    Hank passed away a few years ago. He was a teacher and mentor to thousands of people in the non-profit field.
  2. “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” – Winston Churchill
    This is so true! When we look back on life, we remember and feel better about what we gave moreso than what we got.
  3. “Alice came to the fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked. ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire cat. ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered. ‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘It doesn’t matter.'” – from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
    It is important to have a general idea of where we are going in order to know which road to take.
  4. “Donors don’t give to institutions. They invest in ideas and people in whom they believe.” – G.T. Smith
    This is one of the first fundraising principles I learned: people give to people NOT to buildings or programs.
  5. “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” – Albert Schweitzer
    This is one of the bases of the Servant Leadership concept. It serves us to serve others.
  6. “A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.” – Lawrence Lovasik
    Spreading kindness always generates more kindness.
  7. “Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” – Gladys Browyn Stern
    Remember to verbally thank people – especially when they aren’t expecting it.
  8. “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” – Japanese proverb
    We clearly need to have both a vision and the ability to act on the vision to create change.
  9. “First we form habits, then they form us.” – Rob Gilbert
    When we try to change a habit it seems new and unusual but after a while it becomes second nature. You just have to work at it!
  10. “Move toward your fears, hire your weakness.”- Richard Male
    This is my first principle of leadership. Move toward that which you are afraid of otherwise it will eventually consume you; also, always hire people who have better skills than you do at what you’re hiring them to do.

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