I love quotes, and while I thought I’d shoot for ten, telling you why I like these makes this post pretty long. So I’ll just gather my favorite quotes here, fixed number be damned….

1. You can do anything, as long as you are prepared to deal with the consequences- Paul Newman

I need to remember this one- I can do anything, but I just have to be prepared to deal with the consequences, both good and bad. (And surprisingly enough, sometimes the good consequences are more frightening than the bad.)

2.  In relationship terms, I’m reaching out to shake your hand and you’re trying to put your tongue in my mouth. Chris Brogan Chris hits the nail on the head with this one- too many times we try to make subtle, friendly overtures to someone, and they respond with a move that’s simply way too much, and seriously off-putting.  Always good advice to go slowly, and respond in kind- it’s simply good manners, if nothing else.

3. It’s not enough for new systems to just be connected to their audience; the dialogue between systems and their users needs to be genuine above all else. Our new connections need to be authentic. Matt Mason, from The Pirate’s Dilemma

Having decided to be fearless, I contacted and invited Matt Mason to come speak at Podcamp NYC after reading and loving his great book, The Pirate’s Dilemma. It turned out to be a fantastic experience for everyone involved, including the newest pirate on the block, Chris Brogan. This quote in particular is important, because as we grow new media, we have to remember to keep our conversations and our new communities “real”- we can’t fake sincerity- we have to really care. And that can be tough sometimes, especially because caring is easier one to one and it’s harder to scale infinitely.

4. Saying one thing and doing another fails, because you’ll get caught. Seth Godin, from Meatball Sundae

My mom always said I was a crappy liar and “left a trail a blind man could follow.” So early on as an adult, I’ve adopted the WYSIWYG principal- what you see is what you get. It makes like a whole lot easier to live, you don’t have to keep track of any versions of the truth- you just have to be straight-forward with people all the time, no exceptions (except for birthday and holiday surprises, I guess). And you don’t have to look very far to find plenty of careers, particularly those of politcians, that have been ruined by failing to understand this one simple thing.

5. In that moment, I drew a line separating what was acceptable in my life and what was not- a clean line between what needed to be fixed, expelled, and “treated”. But what happens to a person who is split in two by that invisible line? How do you bring the two back together? Jonathan Mooney from The Short Bus

Jonathan Mooney wrote a great book called The Short Bus- A Journey Beyond Normal, that I think is important for anyone who has a learning disability, or has someone in their family who has a disability. The line between normal and different, between damaged and fixable can be really blurry. One of the worst things for any kid with a difference is that lack of “normalcy” in their life, and I think that’s always something we all should remember.

6.  We’re Social media orphans.  James & John Hoffman.  As a bit of a joke after a Canadian Podcast Buffet episode, I recorded a Public Service Announcement with my kids where they declared themselves social media orphans when I ditched them at Grandma’s to go to Podcasters Across Borders.  In reality, the kids have started to take an interest in all that I do, and they now think of many of my social media friends and their friends, too, especially after the last Podcamp Philly.  So this quote makes the list for personal reasons, and to remind me that family is important, as is making sure both my online and offline world remain overlapping.

and one old one, but a good one:

We can’t all do great things, but we can do small things with great love- Mother Theresa

This quote always reminds me that doing the things we care about, being present and doing them with passion is often more important than the splash or noise.  Ironically, it’s the additive of all the small things, all together, that turn a pathway into a journey, and make each little thing part of a more significant whole.  So this reminds me to pay attention to the small things- they count, too.

What are your favorite quotes?  Why?  Do they inspire you?  Do you keep them in your office or somewhere where you can see them often?