Most people have at least one favorite quotation from a famous or not-so-famous person. Some people collect them like baseball cards, figurines or classic cars. You can find hundreds of websites featuring quotations, thousands of sites with a favorite quotes page, and many collections in any bookstore you walk into. All of this proves that quotations are popular. What may be less evident to you is exactly how you can use them to improve you life and your results.
Below is a list of eleven ways you can do just that!
Use when journaling. My Grandmother kept a diary, and so does my mother. Fewer people call them diaries now, and more call them journals. It really doesn't matter what you call them. If you spend time writing each day, you can use a quotation to relate to your activities for the day, record what you have been thinking about, or to help you with your writing in general.
Share at work. You can use quotations whether you are the boss or anyone on the team. Post a new quote on your door, on the bulletin board in the coffee room, or send out in an email. If you pick quotes that are relevant to the work of the group and are positive in nature, you won't believe what an impact they can have ? and how much people will miss them if you don't keep posting new ones!
Share with clients. Use quotations as a way of keeping in touch with clients. When you read a great quotation that you think a client would enjoy, send it off to them with a quick note. This is both thoughtful and thought provoking (and keeps you in the mind of the client too).
Share with yourself. When you find a particularly powerful quotation with specific meaning to you, put it where you can see it! Put a copy on your mirror, on the side of your computer monitor, on your refrigerator or anywhere else you will see it and read it often. Instead of turning on the radio, think about a quotation you've recently read and how it applies to you.
Use in your email. I know I mentioned email in the last tip, but here I am talking about putting a quotation in your signature line. Most all email programs allow you to create a standard message at the bottom of every email that includes your name, contact information and anything else you would like to include. Consider using a quotation that is thought provoking, funny, or that expresses a personal belief or value. This way without any extra effort you can be giving others the opportunity to think about your quotation, and differentiating yourself from the crowd at the same time.
Use in speeches and presentations. Many people give speeches, talks, training, or presentations of some kind. Using a wise quotation from someone else can add credibility to your message, help you persuade others (after all that is what Ben Franklin or Winston Churchill or Gandhi said, not you!), and show that you are well prepared. Beyond these benefits, the right quotation can help you build your talk more effectively, by giving you a focus to build from.
Use in writing. We've talked about journals, which are for ourselves. But many people write for others to read. Whether an article in the church newsletter, a letter to the editor, or your Great American novel, quotations can help you get your point across more clearly and beautifully. Quotations can also be helpful with "writers block," giving you great spurs to help you get your ideas flowing.
Use when you meditate. Perhaps you meditate, pray or spend quiet time reflecting on your day. If you do, you may read something as a part of that activity. Quotations can be used as a seed for your thoughts or "mental conversation" during this time. Other people would like to be more proactive in building this habit. Quotations can be even more valuable to the "newcomer" as it helps give them mental food for their reflection.
Commit them to memory. You can use quotations as a way to exercise your brain! Pick a quotation you love and commit it to memory. Then, you will be able to use it whenever you want ? for yourself or while in conversation with others.
Use as an attitude adjustment. Having powerful, positive, proactive thoughts around can be a great way to adjust your attitude at anytime!
So, the next time you read a great quotation, do more than just think it is it very good -- decide to use one of the ten ideas above to help the wisdom of the quotation benefit you and those around you.
Kevin is Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (http://KevinEikenberry.com), a learning consulting company that helps Clients reach their potential through a variety of training, consulting and speaking services. Kevin publishes Powerquotes Plus (http://PowerquotesPlus.net), a daily ezine which includes inspiring quotations, questions to ponder and actions to consider designed to help you start your day in a more positive and proactive way.