FOCUS: Inspiration

DISCIPLINES: Disciplines: Personal Mastery, Mental Models, Systems Thinking, Team Learning, Shared Vision

What you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you say.


For years I have collected quotes that touch me, inspire me, speak to me. They feel like friends. I not only love them; I need them.

In recent years I’ve studied the brain and now understand why I need to reread these snippets of inspiration. The neural circuits holding them get stronger with repetition. They make deeper and deeper neural circuit paths, which means I’m likelier to remember them. I reread them to be reminded, reinspired, and because I know that what I focus on grows.

In this Fresh Views I’m going to share a few of my favorites. If you send me one or two of your favorite quotes, I’ll add them to my list and send you the whole thing!

If an idea does not appear bizarre, there is no hope for it.
—Niels Bohr

At the darkest moment comes the light.
—Joseph Campbell

Outside of a dog, a man’s best friend is a book.
Inside of a dog, it is very dark.
—Groucho Marx

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
—Pablo Picasso

The only way to permanently fix a problem is to change something about yourself.
—Thomas Leonard

What is the full truth about those I am blaming?
—Arbinger Institute

People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.
—John Wanamaker

I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that, then I realized I was somebody.
—Lily Tomlin

The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops – at all.
—Emily Dickinson


1. What inspires you?
2. What is growing in your life because you focus on it?
3. What quotes motivate, touch or delight you?


  • No telegathering this month because we’re traveling to two different grandchildrens’ high school graduations! But the invitation stands: send me your favorite inspiring, short quotes. I’ll add it/them to my list and send you back the whole collection.
  • Each year I attend the Systems Thinking in Action Conference, this year with the theme Now More than Ever: Critical Skills for Courageous Organizations, November 2-4 in Seattle, Washington. This is by far the best conference I’ve ever attended. I come home energized, stimulated, inspired, and full of practical tools for seeing the world and my work more systemically. With the global interdependence of people and economies becoming clearer by the day, a systems thinking approach becomes more and more important and helpful. If you’d like to attend this conference as part of a Fresh Views Group, we can qualify for a discount on the registration. E-mail me if you’re interested! Check it out at

Sharon Eakes | 720 Maple Lane | Sewickley, PA 15143

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