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Happy Thursday, dear readers,

One of the best pieces of advice I ever heard came from Oprah Winfrey. Oprah inspires a peculiarly strong reaction in people–either they love her or they hate her. I haven’t watched her show in years, but I still found her words inspiring, and so true. Even if you dislike her, I think wisdom can be gleaned from her advice. After all, she’s obviously doing something (okay, many things) right.

She said (loosely paraphrased)

“Discipline does not result from doing something you want to do. Discipline comes from forcing yourself to do something when you don’t want to.”

It’s simple advice, but that quote has dragged me to many a kickboxing class in the middle of winter. As much as I love kickboxing, it’s so much easier to go home and sit on the couch, especially when I’m feeling ill or stressed out.

As much as I love writing, it’s much easier to read a book. Or watch a movie. Or do something fun with The Boy or my friends.

I am striving to improve my life, and change is never easy. My goals can seem overwhelming, and occasionally I want to give up. But then I think of Oprah’s take on discipline, and sometimes–not always, but sometimes–it’s enough to get me to the gym, or to that computer one more time.

And the best part about following Oprah’s advice? If you’re very lucky, eventually you don’t have to force yourself anymore. It doesn’t take as much discipline to run that mile or finish that chapter. You do it because you want to.

That’s the best result.

What is your favorite motivational quote or piece of advice? Let’s make this an inspirational Thursday!

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12 Comments

  1. Jill Ellis-Worthington

    Writing books must take so much more discipline than writing newspaper and magazine stories. We always have a deadline, usually short. The ‘discipline’ comes from the love of the check – if you don’t submit the story, it seems that they just won’t pay you! Wild, I know!

    But whatever kind of writing one pursues, the lure of procrastination is strong. For instance, I have a story due tomorrow and yet I’m reading your blog and commenting!

    Thanks for the Oprah paraphrase – I’m posting it on the wall.

    Here’s one that’s already on the wall of my office, given to me by a previous coworker:

    Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

    Love it!

    Jill Ellis-Worthington

    Reply
  2. Madeline Mora-Summonte

    One of my favorite quotes re discipline is from Stephen King – “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.”

    I put this one on my Monday’s blog post: “You haven’t failed until you stop trying.” (Don’t know who said it, but I love it.)

    Reply
  3. Story Teller

    @ Jill – I write a lot of journalism articles, too, and you’re right; deadlines really help keep one focused. I still procrastinate, though. The part of journalism I hate the most is the cold calls. I love your quote. Thanks for contributing!

    @ Madeline – that’s a great one. King says so many quotable things, doesn’t he? I also love your Monday quote. Both very true. Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  4. Elspeth Cross

    I have several favourite inspirational quotes. Right now my #1 is:

    Fall down seven times, get up eight.

    Reply
  5. Elspeth Cross

    Jill, I got this from a co-worker (who knows I’m a writer):

    Imagination is more important than knowledge.

    Reply
  6. Elspeth Cross

    Same friend got this one for herself:

    Leap and the net will appear.

    Reply
  7. Lisa

    For me it’s “Life is too short”. I spent way too many years in an unhappy marriage, and now when I look back I wonder why I would put myself through that…Now I’m more of a “Leap before you look” kind of person, hoping beyond hope that the net will appear (Thanks @Elspeth!) and having a lot more faith in myself and the world around me!

    Reply
  8. Story Teller

    @ Elspeth – thanks for your comments! Those are some good additions.

    @ Lisa – man, do I know where you’re coming from. I haven’t been married, but I’ve certainly spent too much of my life in unhappy relationships. Glad you’ve found your way out and into the light. Thanks for being here.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous

    If life gives you lemons, make Lemonade. Then find someone whose life has given them Gin and have a party.

    Reply
  10. Story Teller

    Clever, Anonymous. I like it! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  11. laura best

    Good quote from Oprah and oh so true. Sorry. I don’t have any inspirational quotes to share right off the top of my head. You’re right when you say that change is never easy.

    Happy Thanksgiving weekend, Holli.

    Reply
  12. Story Teller

    Same to you, Laura. No need for an inspirational quote from you – you are always inspirational and positive! A very happy Thanksgiving to you, too. I wrote the post early, so there will be something here on Monday. The very best to you and yours.

    Reply

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