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10 Quotes that Sparked Habit Changes

Photo by Tammy Strobel

A few weeks ago, I wandered into Books & Sustenance in Murphys, CA. It’s a sweet little bookstore, and I enjoyed chatting with the staff. While I was browsing the shelves, Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss caught my eye. I read a few sections, put it back on the shelf, and wandered around Murphys before I bought the book. I’m happy I decided to purchase the book because I love supporting local bookstores, and I’ve learned a lot from the people that Ferriss profiled in the book.

When I read a book, I take notes and record quotes in my journal. Today, I thought it would be fun to share ten quotes from Tools of Titans along with the micro-actions I’m incorporating into my daily life.

10 Quotes & Micro-actions:

Quote #1: “If you’re over 40 and don’t smoke, there’s about a 70 to 80% chance you’ll die from one of four diseases: heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, or neurodegenerative disease.” —Dr. Peter Attia

Micro-action: I’ve made a lot of progress on the health front over the last year (for example I go to CrossFit 4–5 times a week, and I’m eating cleaner). However, as I approach 40, my aim is to become stronger and leaner. I’m also avoiding processed sugar and highly refined carbohydrates because some studies suggest that they drive the growth of cancers.

Quote #2: “. . . don’t hold yourself back. I think this is a trait of a female more than a male. We have a tendency sometimes to sit on our talents and potential because we don’t want to offend anyone or be singled out.” —Gabby Reece

Micro-action: Reece’s quote reminded me to keep going and experiment with personal and professional projects (even if they fail). The idea of not holding myself back is something that I want to incorporate into my daily writing practice.

Quote #3:. “Stop drinking now. Stop drinking right now and patent all your ideas . . . and exercise compassion every day.” —Laird Hamilton

Micro-action: I’m no longer drinking alcohol, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made for my physical and mental health. That’s not to say I’ll never have a glass of wine again, but drinking a glass of wine—or two—every night isn’t a habit I want to bring back into my life. Also, Hamilton’s words reminded me to pursue my ideas and to practice kindness and compassion each day. We’re all fighting internal battles, so I try to give people the benefit of the doubt if they are rude, cranky, etc.

Quote #4: “Those of us who are lucky enough to live in a world where we have enough and we have a roof and we have food — we find ourselves caught in this cycle of keeping track of the wrong things. Keeping track of how many times we’ve been rejected. Keeping track of how many times it didn’t work. Keeping track of all the times someone has broken our heart or double-crossed us or let us down. Of course, we can keep track of those things, but why? Why keep track of them? Are they making us better?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to keep track of the other stuff? To keep track of all the times it worked? All the times we took a risk? All the times we were able to brighten someone else’s day? When we start doing that, we can redefine ourselves as people who are able to make an impact on the world. It took me a bunch of cycles to figure out that the narrative was up to me.” —Seth Godin

Micro-action: I have a tendency to focus on negative experiences, which is why my gratitude practice is a big part of my morning routine. After reading Godin’s words, I decided to order The Five Minute Journal. The journal arrived on Sunday, and I’ve already noticed a difference in my mood. I’ll share a review of the journal on the blog soon.

Quote #5: “If you spend your time focusing on the things that are wrong, and that’s what you express and project to people you know, you don’t become a source of growth for people. That draws more destructiveness.” —Tracy Dinunzio

Micro-action: Complaining less goes hand in hand with my gratitude practice. My aim is to complain less this year and be grateful for all the good in my life (hence the new gratitude journal).

Quote #6: “When you’re thinking of how to make your business bigger, it’s tempting to try to think all the big thoughts, the world-changing, massive action plans. But please know that it’s often the tiny details that really thrill someone enough to make them tell all their friends about you.” —Derek Sivers

Micro-action: When new readers subscribe to my blog via email, they receive an automated welcome message from me. Sivers inspired me to develop a better welcome message (one that includes more humor). It’s still a work in progress.

Quote #7: “Sit in any posture that allows you to be alert and relaxed at the same time, whatever that means to you. You may keep your eyes open or closed. Repeat the cycle once per minute: bring to mind someone for whom you can very easily feel loving-kindness. Wish for him or her to be happy. The joy of loving-kindness may arise, and if that happens, bring full attention to the joy until it fades away. For the rest of the minute, just rest the mind. When the next minute cycle begins, start the cycle again, for a total of three minutes. You can do this for however minutes you choose … The timing is not important; The only thing that is important is attending to the joy of loving-kindness, that is all.” —Chade-Meng

Micro-action: Meng’s loving-kindness exercise is beautiful, and I’ve started to do this daily. However, I haven’t been doing this exercise in a seated position. I prefer doing the exercise when I wash the dishes. It makes the dishwashing process way more fun!

Quote #8: “What if [you] just can’t come up with 10 ideas? Here’s the magic trick: If you can’t come up with 10 ideas, come up with 20 ideas … You are putting too much pressure on yourself. Perfectionism is the ENEMY of the idea muscle … It’s your brain trying to protect you from harm, from coming up with an idea that is embarrassing and stupid and could cause you to suffer pain. The way you shut [this] off is by forcing [the brain] to come up with bad ideas.” —James Altucher 

Micro-action: Altucher recommends writing down ten ideas each morning in a small notebook (or on the computer). I added this exercise to my daily journaling routine, and so far it’s helped me generate new creative ideas for my book proposal and blog.

Quote #9: “Not long ago, Noah gained 40 pounds of muscle in 6 months. One motivational trick he used was loading his Instagram feed with images and videos that killed his excuses. I now do the same. Too old? Too bulky? To busy? There is someone who can call you on your BS.” —Tim Ferriss

Micro-action: This quote references Tim’s interview with Noah Kagan (Kagan is an entrepreneur). I decided to add this idea to my motivational toolbox. If I’m going to grow, learn, and build strength, I have to surround myself with positive people online and in real life.

Quote #10: “Send someone a thank-you note tomorrow.” —Seth Godin

Micro-action: Recently, I haven’t made time to write letters, and I want to write more thank you notes. More letter writing is in my future. I can’t wait to send my pen pals postcards from The Netherlands!

What about you?

What inspiring quotes do you refer to each day? Or is there a quote or book that’s sparked a habit change? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

With gratitude,
Tammy

In other news:

1. During July, going on adventures will be part of my daily routine. Also, I’ll be documenting my adventures with my camera. I invite you to join me.

2. The digital version of Everyday Adventures: Tiny Quests to Spark Your Creative Life is on sale for $1.99 until the end of July! Grab your copy here.

3 comments… add one
  • Annie July 11, 2017, 12:52 pm

    This quote from Anne Lamott has inspired me to meditate everyday, even if it’s only for five minutes.
    “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.”

  • Ula July 11, 2017, 3:49 pm

    Tammy, thank you for your quotes list 🙂 #2 is very important for women, taught to be “too” kind and polite.
    I just finished reading Marie’s Kondo first book. When I wanted to read it for the first time, it seemed “not for me”. Recently I gave the second chance to this book and now I read it with so much understanding. It was just the right time in my life for this book.
    I’m a minimalist for years and what was interesting and useful thought for me were words about the past and attitude to sentimental items. Marie Kondo wrote that things and events from the past aren’t so important. Important is the person who we are today, shaped by those events.

  • Cynthia July 16, 2017, 7:01 am

    Thanks for these great quotes, Tammy! My favourite quote, because it reminds me to keep my sense of humour no matter how crappy my day may be, is:

    “Silly is you in a natural state, and serious is something you have to do until you can get silly again.” – Mike Myers

    I hope you have a silly day! 🙂

    Cynthia

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