Working life can hold challenges of all shapes and sizes. Difficult colleagues, tricky projects, that quest for elusive motivation on Friday afternoon… sometimes, we just need the right words of wisdom to see the way forward. Luckily, a wealth of smart humans have said some genuinely thought-provoking and inspirational things, and thanks to the internet, we have these pearls of wisdom easily at hand when we need them!
Here are a few helpful quotes to read and absorb, whatever challenges the day might be throwing at you.
Staying Motivated When Working from Home
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown many of us into the reality of remote working, and while some of us love it, others struggle to stay focused and motivated within their four walls. Perhaps the messy house is distracting, the kids are playing up, or you just miss those random conversations with your co-workers. Here are some quotes to encourage you along when you’re WFH.
1. "If you want to improve your focus now, you should choose the places where you work or study. Avoid places that have a lot of tempting distractions."
2. "If working remotely is such a great idea, why isn't everyone doing it? I think it's because we've been bred on the idea that work happens from 9 to 5, in offices and cubicles. It's no wonder that most who are employed inside that model haven't considered other options or resist the idea that it could be any different. But it can."
3. "Work-life balance is not just a buzzy, self-help term that real business people laugh at. You need it."
4. "Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. "
5. "I find that I’m much more creative when I’ve actually taken care of myself. "
Getting Through the Mid-Afternoon Slump
You’ve woken up in the morning feeling fresh and fully intending to give 100 per cent all day. Then, after lunch, your energy levels take a dive, and you find yourself struggling to stay awake at your desk.
The good news is that this is perfectly normal and is actually a sign that your internal body clock is working properly. However, while in the olden days, we might have taken the nap our body is asking for, most of us now work a nine-to-five plus and have no choice but to power on through.
So grab a healthy, protein-rich snack, take a breath of fresh air, and enjoy these energising quotes.
6. "Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better."
Martin Luther King, Jr
7. "Always do your best. What you plant now will harvest later. "
8. "You can never quit. Winners never quit, and quitters never win. "
9. "It always seems impossible until it’s done."
10. "Motivation will almost always beat mere talent."
Norman Ralph Augustine
Having a Bad Day at The Office
Some days are just plain awful, and often the things that make them that way are out of your control. If there’s something wrong that you can fix, then do so. But if it’s just one of those days and you have to get through it as best you can, have a read of these wise words that will help to put your bad day into perspective.
11. "If something is wrong, fix it now. But train yourself not to worry; worry fixes nothing. "
12. "You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it's important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages."
13. "What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain."
14. "The Pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails."
15. "There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist or accept the responsibility for changing them."
Dealing With a Difficult Person
Almost every office has that person. Perhaps they’re overly critical or downright rude, or maybe they’re so sensitive that you have to handle them with kid gloves. Then again, it could be that you just have conflicting personality traits and find it hard to see eye-to-eye.
When conflict arises, take a step back, count to ten, and be the bigger person. Help yourself along this challenging path to the moral high ground with these handy and calming words of wisdom.
16. "I don’t have to attend every argument I’m invited to."
17. "Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster. Your life will never be the same again."
18. "By trying to be everything to everybody, you could soon find yourself being a nobody."
19. "In the end, the aggressors always destroy themselves, making way for others who know how to cooperate and get along. Life is much less a competitive struggle for survival than a triumph of cooperation and creativity."
20. "Peace is not the absence of conflict; it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means."
Prepping For a Job Interview
You’ve applied for that dream job, and they want to see you for an interview. Exciting news, but nerve-wracking too. JobNow has some great practical tips on how to prepare for the interview and ace it. And for some additional motivation and confidence-boosting, here are some inspirational quotes to see you on your way.
21. "One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation."
22. "I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time."
23. "Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do."
Dr Benjamin Spock
24. "A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory. "
25. "There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."
Redundancy is one of the toughest pills to swallow. It happens to many people throughout the course of their career, and often more than once. While it can be a kick in the teeth to be out of a job, it can also push you out of your comfort zone and lead to unexpected new opportunities. It’s all about how you choose to respond to the unexpected situation you find yourself in.
Once you’ve processed the news, you can take the time to reassess your goals and aspirations and what path you might like to take next. Here are some inspirational words to beat the redundancy blues.
26. "I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life."
27. "When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."
28. "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
29. "I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
30. "The best thing that can happen to anybody is to be sacked or made redundant because often that’s when you think, I don’t want to become one of the living dead. I haven’t got anything to lose; now I can start to follow my own dreams.”
You Can’t Stop Procrastinating
Ever have one of those days where you just can’t seem to get started? There are big, important things that need doing, and you know it, but you’re checking Facebook, making your third coffee, and engaging your colleagues in random chats. Anything to avoid getting down to the hard work!
While procrastination has always been around, the internet and the constant availability of endless distractions has led to a downright procrastination epidemic. This is not a positive development: studies show that people who procrastinate regularly have higher stress levels and lower levels of wellbeing.
Putting off what needs to be done is a dangerous game, as those important things can quickly build up into something even more challenging. Here are some wise words to help you get down to business.
31. "You can’t have a million-dollar dream with a minimum wage worth ethic."
32. "Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there."
33. "A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn't feel like it."
34. "Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
35. "Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him."
Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
Taking On a Big New Project
You’ve agreed to take on a new and exciting project at work. It’s a great opportunity, and you’re looking forward to it, but you’re also nervous because it’s bigger and more complex than anything you’ve worked on before.
You’re speaking to the right people to learn more about what you have to do, and you’re doing your research thoroughly, but you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed to be working on something so consequential. Don’t worry, you got this! Here’s why.
36. "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."
37. "You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take."
38. "Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those doing it."
39. "Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."
40. "The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure."
Sven Goran Eriksson