You can learn wisdom from many sources, whether it is from your grandmother, mentor, writer, flawed novel character, or a teenager in a romantic comedy. If you can relate to their situation or problem, and their words and actions can give you the power to deal with your inner saboteur. Here, we collected 25 quotes that will inspire you to do impossible things and increase productivity.
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
– Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring
The adventures of hobbits made a childhood or adolescence for many people. It is an inspiring and heartwarming work, in which the heroes and villains are clear, and it is easy to anticipate the good. Thus, the message of the good is voiced by a wise and powerful journey guide, Gandalf, who knows what he says.
It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.
– Jimmy Dugan, A League of Their Own
This quote comes from an empowering and inspiring film, yet surprisingly it is voiced by the least likable character, Tom Hanks’ Jimmy Dugan, the coach. In sports films, you can see how challenging it is to win and how hard one must work. In this case, there is even more at stake, as this sports competition is also a political statement.
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.
– The choir, Les Miserables
There are many things in this 2012 film that will make you cry, such as Fantine’s song, Gavroche’s death, or Russell Crowe’s acting. However, despite the misery of almost every character’s fate, there is a solid statement of optimism each of them brings to the screen. Heartbreakingly, in the middle of the film, this quote only supports the tragic element of the story, while at the end it manifests a hope for the better.
There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.
– Bram Stoker, Dracula
This life-asserting phrase happens to come from quite a gloomy novel. However, the message is applicable to our perception of life and our place in it. Simply put, there is good and bad in every person, and everyone personally decides what he or she brings to the world. Most importantly, you do not have to look for it, because you already have it. It looks like another good affirmation to boost productivity through optimism.
And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.
– John Steinbeck, East of Eden
This author is also known to depict the bleak reality in the way that it is. However, his characters radiate stone-solid stoicism when facing challenges and misery. So, the message here is humility and self-acceptance will bring you inner peace, which will change the world around you for the better. Rejecting perfectionism is also one of the best productivity tips for work.
No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.
– Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
This is a quote from an author who knows what depression and isolation is. Thus, she also knows the value of joy. The point of this quote is if you try to adjust your personality to an artificial image, you will face frustration and pain. Enjoy yourself the way you are. Your life is not a photobank and it is not supposed to be either.
With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who could not be happy?
– Oscar Wilde, De Profundis
These mundane things are available to everyone but the author of this quote. He wrote it in an intimate letter from prison, so he had a chance to realize their value. Look around and celebrate what you have. Your productivity improvement will come soon.
Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. It leads to each other. We become ourselves.
– Patti Smith, Just Kids
Another thought on the importance of being true to yourself. In her autobiographical book, Patti Smith, a punk legend, describes how much time you can waste trying to be somebody else. It’s impossible to become something extraordinary if you are not being yourself.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
– Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
Although it is the same message you get from sportswear commercials, it is relevant and strong. You cannot succeed in the first attempt, and you never will be victorious if you stop. It is alright to fail. Just learn from your mistakes, and you can easily achieve high productivity.
Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life.
– Henry James, The Ambassadors
It is a mistake not to live up to your dreams or not to embrace your potential. Nobody will judge you for that, but you will eventually feel that something is not sitting right. Do the things you enjoy, and you will already be a success.
The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
– Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Sometimes it is good to be a little of a perfectionist. Though it can help you do great things, it can also make you not to do anything at all. Try not to be too hard on yourself, and you will see how good you can do taking baby steps and not over judging yourself.
Most people are nice when you finally see them.
– Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Nothing seems to work when you are threatened by people. In fact, nobody cares. If you look closer, you will see that people are nicer than they appear, but you need to be willing to see this. When you realize the world isn’t that hostile of a place, you will feel free to perfect whatever you want.
– Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Just don’t. No ways to increase or improve productivity will work as long as you panic. If Douglas Adams’ characters can go through an intergalactic journey, you can easily go through the day, the following week, the exam, or a traffic jam.
If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.
– Lemony Snicket, The Ersatz Elevator
There is never a perfect moment to start, as there are always some unfavorable circumstances that can hold you back. You decide whether to find excuses or seek opportunities.
If you’re making mistakes it means you’re out there doing something.
– Neil Gaiman, Make Good Art
You cannot perfect anything if you are not doing anything. Mistakes are a natural part of development, and you will certainly make a bunch of them. And this is alright. Although making mistakes is not the best part of success, it is its inseparable condition.
If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.
– John Green, Paper Towns
The first thing in doing what you want is deciding what you want to do. If you can imagine yourself doing it, you can move to step two and start. Do not take daydreaming as idling—take it as strategic planning.
Everything is possible. The impossible just takes longer.
– Dan Brown, Digital Fortress
This quote from this best-selling writer can be for another great sportswear commercial tagline, and he makes a good point in it. If something seems impossible to you, just remember that you couldn’t even use a spoon once, so you have already made it quite far. You can learn a language or any skill you aim at obtaining, and it will certainly take time. But it is not impossible.
So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible.
– Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth
This is another point about learning and doing seemingly impossible things. When you start something, look at the achievable checkpoints, so the final goal will not be that dreadful. We do make a lot of limits for ourselves, and the first step you can make is double-checking whether your limits are not imaginary.
You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.
– Cormac McCarthy, No Country For Old Men
This is a suggestion from an author who writes butcher novels about atrocities and the apocalypse. Thus, this idea is quite positively charged. Just remember that everything could be way worse, even when you are having a bad day. This is not an idea to focus on but one just to keep in mind.
We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.
– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
This is another valuable idea from the author who determined the tastes of an entire generation of young minds. Binge-watching Netflix is indeed easier than working out, studying, or even answering the phone. But, is it really the right choice?
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.
– Marthe Troly-Curtin, Phrynette Married
Me-time is as important for your productivity and mental health as actual proactivity. As long as you enjoy staring outside the window, watching a movie with your friends, or taking a long meditative walk, you do not waste your time. However, if it is an escape from reality, you may need to figure things out.
Great men are not born great, they grow great.
– Mario Puzo, The Godfather
You can believe the mafia boss knows what he is talking about. Outstanding qualities are not inborn. They are mastered. If you have a passion for something, you should work on it. Eventually, you will find yourself way better than you used to be.
I know what I have to do now. I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?
– Chuck Noland, Cast Away
The ability to find optimism in the worst situation is nearly a superpower. In this film, another Tom Hanks character is on his own on a desert island, and his only friend is a ball. Nonetheless, he keeps it together, which eventually gets him saved.
We are who we choose to be.
– Green Goblin, Spider-Man
And this is an idea from a comic villain. However, he also makes a good point. Productivity can be improved by generating a positive self-image. After all, he does make impressive gear, even though he uses it against one of the most charismatic superheroes, which leaves him no chance.
Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want.
– Patrick Verona, 10 Things I Hate About You
This idea from a romantic comedy makes huge sense. If you are determined to achieve something, you already deserve it, whatever people say. Just make sure to beat your inner saboteur, and follow your dream.