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Words To Live By

Why a good quote is like drinking from the fountain of wisdom…

By Jumol Royes

I admit it. I love quotes. I’d even go so far as to say I’m a quoteaholic. Scroll through my Facebook feed and you’ll find one for pretty much every occasion. When I stumble across a good quotation, I can’t help but share it and make it my own.

So what makes a good quote? More than just a compilation of words, it’s the perfect balance between wit and wisdom. It connects with you and resonates deep within you. A good quote is memorable and meaningful, and often conveys a timeless message. Some make you laugh while others might make you shed a tear, but a good quote will also impart an important lesson.

Here are a few of my favourite words to live by, from people whose wisdom knows no bounds.

“Forgiveness doesn’t just sit there like a pretty boy in a bar. Forgiveness is the old fat guy you have to haul up the hill.” – Cheryl Strayed, New York Times best-selling author
We all know forgiveness doesn’t come easy—whether we’re forgiving someone else or, better yet, ourselves. Forgiveness is a deliberate choice and a process that takes time to unfold. When pondering forgiveness, don’t think one-night stand. Think long-term relationship.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Dr. Maya Angelou, activist, author, and one of the most influential voices of our time
We can’t know what we don’t know, and I think it’s fair to say that most of us go through life trying to do the best we can in each moment. The thing is, once we gain knowledge and understanding, we have a duty to put it into practice and pay it forward. When you lead by example, your best is sure to follow.

“Beauty fades, dumb is forever.” – Judge Judy Sheindlin, everyone’s favourite TV judge
Good looks attract attention, but good looks alone won’t keep it. In today’s selfie-obsessed world, we can get so caught up in external appearances that we forget there’s more to a person than meets the eye. Sure, we all like a little eye candy—and there’s nothing wrong with that—but given the choice, I’ll take style and substance any day.

“The problem today isn’t just that hate is speaking so loudly; it’s that love is speaking too softly.” – Marianne Williamson, internationally acclaimed spiritual teacher, author and lecturer
There’s always room in the choir of people tearing each other down and ripping each other apart, but it takes courage to join the chorus of people standing for what is good, what is right and what is just. Don’t be silent. Let your voice be heard. Love wins when it’s spoken.

“Who you are matters. And how you show up matters, every moment of every day, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. You matter.” – Iyanla Vanzant, inspirational speaker, spiritual teacher, author, life coach and TV personality
If you have not yet seen Iyanla Vanzant’s Aha! Moment (…at The Home Depot), you’re missing out on something special. Here’s the link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGHH1x9BUxw. It’ll make you laugh and cry, but her message is one we all need to hear. You matter. I matter. We all matter.

In those moments when we’re at a loss for words, we sometimes find that the words we need have already been spoken by someone wiser than we are. When words fail you, someone else’s words might be just what you need to hear. And, yes, you can quote me on that.


JUMOL ROYES is a Toronto-based PR and communications strategist with a keen interest in personal development and transformation. Follow him on Twitter at @Jumol.

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