10 Inspiring Hump Day Quotes


I don’t know how your week is going, but I am feeling some pressure while being out of town. When my stress goes up, quotes tend to recenter and refocus me. I love when wisdom is powerfully dispelled in smallish chunks that I can remember and ruminate on. Here are some quotes that spoke to my soul tonight!

  1. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~Maya Angelou
  2. Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence. ~Vince Lombardi
  3. Do or do not. There is no try. ~Yoda
  4. I’ve missed more than 9000 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. ~Michael Jordan
  5. Change your thoughts and you change your world. ~Norman Vincent Peale
  6. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. ~ Dalai Lama
  7. I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. ~Rosa Parks
  8. If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else. ~Booker T. Washington
  9. “Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” ~Judy Garland
  10.  Ask and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. ~Jesus

Seven Habits Great Leaders Share


I have had the opportunity to work with and interact with some incredible leaders over the years. The more you hang out with a particular group of people, the more you begin to see patterns and similarities in key areas. The following are some key areas of commonality I have encountered among some great leaders that are worth considering and embracing:

1.  Great Leaders Balance Their Energy:

Too many people spend too much energy simply being busy. There is a big difference between working busy and working smart. When you are constantly saying that you are “too busy” you are right! Great leaders work smart, delegate well and balance their input and output. If you are constantly running on adrenaline, you are depleting your cognitive abilities to react and respond well. Just like the damage a car would experience if it ran at 10k RPMs constantly, eventually the human body will “burn up” and “melt down.” We hear people say, “I hit the wall,” or “I burnt out,”or “I crashed.” Those are all very visual analogies describing what happens when leaders don’t manage their energies. Great leaders make sure that they are building margin into their lives by rest, exercise, meditation, study, and even scheduling people loads that are doable. When a leader has energy they lead from a place of health and centeredness instead of chaos and reaction.

“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.” ~Brian Tracy 

2.  Great Leaders Focus on Their Strengths:

Most of the great leaders I have encountered focused on leading from their strengths and not trying to conquer and reform their weaknesses. This is not to say that they were unaware, ignorant or indifferent to their weaknesses. They continued to grow and improve, but by concentrating more on what they were good at propelled them much farther than they would have gone if they were more concerned about improving their areas of weakness. Most of the great leaders surrounded themselves with people who were strong where they were weak and empowered them in those areas. This way everyone including the organization as a whole experienced growth and forward movement. This requires a good sense of self-awareness and an ability to put the ego aside and acknowledge your weaknesses and allow for others to excel where you are not as well gifted.

“The great mystery isn’t that people do things badly but that they occasionally do a few things well. The only thing that is universal is incompetence. Strength is always specific! Nobody ever commented, for example, that the great violinist Jascha Heifetz probably couldn’t play the trumpet very well.” ~ Peter Drucker

3. Great Leaders Limit Negative Thinking:

This is so important. I have never met a great leader who has a negative attitude or outlook. Negativity breeds pessimism, defeatism, and can destroy a marriage, team or organization. Great leaders exhibit an ability to see beyond the obstacles, through the valleys, and above the dirt of the ground floor. They have a 30 thousand foot view of things and choose to limit negative thoughts. This does not mean that they are in denial, no, rather they choose to believe in something bigger than themselves and tenaciously cling onto faith and hope in their vision. The person who thinks it can’t be done and the person who thinks it can be done are both right. We establish our outcomes by the way we frame our thought processes. Think small and receive small. Think big and receive big. Great leaders make positive thinking and positive interactions a daily necessity.

“Positive thinking will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.” ~Zig Ziglar 

4. Great Leaders Focus On Something Bigger Than Themselves:

Truly great leaders live for something bigger than themselves. Something grander than money. Something beyond self gratification. They long to see people helped, communities healed, injustice dealt with and the marginalized empowered. These leaders have a sense of “God” and calling in their lives. They know that their own life is not an accident and that they have a divine purpose to fulfill before they breathe their last breath. This drives them to accomplish great things aided by the divine power that God infuses them with. If your greatest dream is to win the powerball your vision is too small. Powerball thinkers never accomplish anything because they think change is connected to money. Money follows vision…vision never follows money.

Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” ~ Goethe

5. Great Leaders Empower Others:

Leadership is not about tasks, it is about empowering others.  The great leaders experience exponential growth because they do not limit themselves to what they alone can do, instead they empower others and this creates a tidal-wave of compounding returns. Equipping, delegation, time investment, and relational care are the tools to empower the people around us. When leaders micro-manage and keep their fingers intertwined in key areas they are choosing to limit growth and success. Empowering the right people is perhaps the fastest road to success.

“Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.” ~Sam Walton 

6. Great Leaders Hang Out With Great Leaders:

Are you always helping someone who is needy? Are you constantly the only one in your circle who is giving advice, consolation and help? If you have surrounded yourself with friends who are less successful than you then you will cease to grow as a better leader. We need to be investing in those who are not yet at our level, but we also must have relationships that are pouring into and improving us as well. Great leaders tend to hang out with other leaders who are as successful or more successful for the most part.

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.” ~Ronald Reagan

7. Great Leaders Work Hard:

For a great leader there is no such thing as luck, only hard work positioned and employed at the right times and with consistency and perseverance. These leaders know that things don’t just drop from the sky, even though it might seem that way to those who look at their lives. Rolled up sleeves and worn out knees are the trademark of great leaders. They are not afraid to work and never look for the easiest route. Instead, they work hard to ensure no corners were cut, and integrity has the final word on what they are accomplishing. While great leaders work hard, remember that since they balance their energy and work smart, it appears that they have available time to enjoy life, and guess what? They do!

“Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.” ~Vince Lombardi 

He Who Laughs…

Laughter can lift the crushed soul and help dissipate the darkness of sadness. Laughter is a powerful prayer, because it defies the thought that pain and sadness always win. Some of my deepest laughs have found birth in the dark night of the soul, which was both a surprise and a blessing. But for too long, Christianity has been the “laugh-less” religion. Jesus has been seen as a “serious,” deity with furrowed brows etching caverns of displeasure across His face. Or perhaps He has been viewed as a “humorless,” deity that tut-tuts the lighter side of life and has no time for levity. Look at all the early paintings and images of Christ and He does not look like He is enjoying life. Unfortunately, this has seeped into the DNA of a movement and needs to come to light in order to unleash the joy that Jesus died for. But in truth, the converse is reality…Jesus was full of life, love, levity and laughter.

Can you imagine the creative agency that fashioned the earth and imagined the platypus never cracked a smile?

Can you imagine that Jesus’ cultural tattoo of “a friend of sinners and a glutton” could have been earned by someone who did not engage in the fun of the people he was branded with?

Can you sense the hilarity behind the translation when Jesus said, “Hey before you judge other people, consider their sin as a sliver you are trying to remove while at the same time admitting the sin in your own life is like a log in your eye!”

It has been stated many times that Jesus’ humor gets lost in translation, and this is true. The Hebraisms and the out right funny sayings of Jesus lose their edge when we translate from Aramaic, Greek and Hebrew to English. I am thankful for translators that unearth His linguistically sharp humor, and allow Jesus to show some of His hilarity.

In Genesis, when Abraham and Sarah find out that they are going to have a baby in their advanced years, Sarah laughs…and then the baby is named Isaac which means “he laughs.”

Have you ever noticed that when you smile, you have a bio-chemical reaction that changes the way you feel? Try it right now, no one is looking…take a full, deep breath and smile from your liver to the creases in your eyes.

We need to laugh more…

We need to smile from our soul…

We need to breathe in the pleasure, beauty and grace of God while we exhale anything that robs us of the joy and freedom Christ offers.

Here are some great quotes I have on laughing, or laughter…read them, smile and find something to laugh at, you’ll live longer and find more beauty in the midst of a biting reality.


“Laughter is America’s most important export.”  ~ Walt Disney Company

“If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.”  ~Robert Frost

“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.”  ~Maya Angelou

“The earth laughs in flowers.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”  ~ Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

“The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.”  ~ Mark Twain

“If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man.”  ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Laughter is carbonated holiness.”  ~ Anne Lamott

“A strange thing happened to me in my dream. I was rapt into the Seventh Heaven. There sat all the gods assembled. As a special dispensation I was granted the favor to have one wish. “Do you wish for youth,” said Mercury, “or for beauty, or power, or a long life; or do you wish for the most beautiful woman, or any other of the many fine things we have in our treasure trove? Choose, but only one thing!” For a moment I was at a loss. Then I addressed the gods in this wise: “Most honorable contemporaries, I choose one thing — that I may always have the laughs on my side.” Not one god made answer, but all began to laugh. From this I concluded that my wish had been granted and thought that the gods knew how to express themselves with good taste: for it would surely have been inappropriate to answer gravely: your wish has been granted.”  ~Søren Kierkegaard

“As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul.”  ~ Jewish Proverb

“He that is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” ~ Proverbs 15:15

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.”  ~ Victor Hugo

“Laughter is the foundation of reconciliation.” ~ St. Francis de Sales

“Laughter connects you with people. It’s almost impossible to maintain any kind of distance or any sense of social hierarchy when you’re just howling with laughter. Laughter is a force for democracy.” ~ John Cleese

“On average, an infant laughs nearly two hundred times a day; an adult, only twelve. Maybe they are laughing so much because they are looking at us. To be able to preserve joyousness of heart and yet to be concerned in thought: in this way we can determine good fortune and misfortune on earth, and bring to perfection everything on earth.” ~ I Ching

“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs over experience. That laughter is the only cure for grief. And I believe that love is stronger than death.”  ~Robert Fulghum

“Laughter is an instant vacation.”  ~Milton Berle

“Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.”  ~Bob Newhart


Laughter has health benefits too, for example: (from help-guide)

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Laughter dissolves distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
  • Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.
  • Humor shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Authors Melinda Smith M.A and Jeanne Segal Ph.D note the following tips to help bring more laughter to your daily life:

  • Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. Pioneers in “laugh therapy,” find it’s possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event. The same holds for smiling. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling.
  • Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the good things in your life will distance you from negative thoughts that are a barrier to humor and laughter. When you’re in a state of sadness, you have further to travel to get to humor and laughter.
  • When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”
  • Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.
  • Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”

So, laugh until your belly hurts and then just a little bit more!

Attitude: how high will you soar?

On many occasions I have asked people what they believe is the most important factor in moving towards success, reaching goals, and accomplishments.  I have received many answers like, “luck…money…training…knowing the right people…and even God.” Those are all great answers, but in my experience there is one thing that is commonly found in the men and women who achieve much and that is the state of their “attitude.”

Thomas Jefferson noted:

“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.”

I agree with Jefferson. A persons attitude greatly affects his beliefs, choices, and the way he/she see themselves and the world. I have often said, “Give me a person with a positive attitude and a strong purpose and passion and I can give them the tools to do anything…but if you give me a person who has all the education and tools but lacks passion, purpose and a positive attitude, there is not much I can do.”

Bad attitudes sink teams…Good attitudes encourage teams…
Bad attitudes destroy hope…Good attitudes believe in something bigger…
Bad attitudes never see the potential…Good attitudes see the invisible…
Bad attitudes major in sarcasm…Good attitudes major in faith…
Bad attitudes keep people stuck…Good attitudes free people from limitations…

One of the problems facing us today is how our culture honors, elevates and seems to worship sarcasm and the negative. Most of the sitcoms and young adult shows center around curmudgeonly characters who view all things from a negative lens…merely watch the plethora of reality Tv options and you will experience a steady diet of self centered negativity. This is the primary programming language infusing the current and next generation, and that is worrisome.

If you struggle with the “gift” of sarcasm, or a negative filter…there are some things you can begin doing to reclaim the way you think.

1. Infuse your mind with the positive: This is so critical. Most of the data that people fill their minds with is negative. The news, TV shows, etc. Choosing to fill our minds and souls with good stuff is crucial. Read inspiring stories, faith stories, positive and spiritual quotes. Choose to watch media that is positive and limit the negative media assaults. Pray, meditate, ruminate, read sacred Scripture and books that elevate your soul. In short, become aware of the data that you are feeding your mind and soul with. You will become like the data you fuel yourself with.

2. Choose to be positive: This is where self-awareness is necessary. Most people are not very self aware of their emotions, attitudes or thoughts. Slowing down enough by practicing some regular times of solitude and silence will greatly help you become more self aware. As you become self aware, you will find that you have the option to make a choice about what you are thinking. When I find my mind in a negative or pessimistic state, I always stop and ask God to help me release those thoughts to Him as well as reinfuse my thoughts with positive ones that flow from who He is. In my mind and heart I say, “I choose to think positive God-thoughts.” This helps me identify the negative thought patterns and acknowledge that I don’t want them in my mind.

3. Practice Gratitude daily: This is so powerful! If you don’t have a cheap spiral notebook go out and get one today! It will be the best .79 cents you have ever spent. Once you have it, find a spot in your day to stop and simply write even one thing that you are grateful for. Even the fact that you have a notebook and a pen and are able to write is something to be thankful for!  The more you invest in looking for the things to be grateful for and writing them down, the more you will experience a growing sense of thankfulness for life.

4. Limit the time you spend with negative people: This one is a bit harder because some of the negative people in your life are probably family and friends. If that is the case for you, note how much time you spend with those who are negative, and then invest more time to be around people who have a positive attitude and will expand your soul. The adage that you become like the people you hang out with is true. So pay attention to the thoughts, beliefs and things people say. As you become aware of the attitudes of the people around you, the better you will be able to make decisions about the time you spend with them.

5.  Choose to smile: This might seem trivial but it really isn’t. Right now, right where you are at, stop….take a deep breath in and out and then plant a big ol’ smile on your face! Come on just do it…can you feel how it begins to change how you feel and see things…it is really hard to be mad, angry, bitter or negative when you are sporting a big smile. Throughout your day as you practice self-awareness, make the choice to smile big…it will flood your soul with better feelings and thoughts which will help with your attitude.

Here are some great quotes on attitude to start reprogramming your thought life with!

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.  ~Maya Angelou

When you pray for anyone you tend to modify your personal attitude toward him.  ~Norman Vincent Peale

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.  ~Viktor E. Frankl

We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.  ~Charles R. Swindoll

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.  ~Zig Ziglar

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.  ~Khalil Gibran

Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.  ~William James

Certain thoughts are prayers. There are moments when, whatever be the attitude of the body, the soul is on its knees.  ~Victor Hugo

The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  ~Charles R. Swindoll

Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.  ~Voltaire

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly.  You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.  ~Roald Dahl

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.  ~Jon Kabat-Zinn

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Philippians 2:5