My mother was an English teacher for many years. After her death, my father gave me a small notebook that belonged to my mother. Inside the notebook were several typed pages of poems, short stories, and quotes. In addition to typed content several quotations were pasted, most likely clipped from newspapers and magazines. I was delighted to be given this treasure of information.
For several years I have also been collecting quotes and stories in a journal. In his book, Thinking For A Change, John Maxwell discusses the importance of collecting stories, quotes, anecdotes, and anything you find interesting in order to share with others. Another collector of quotes and anecdotes was Dale Carnegie, of How to Win Friends & Influence People fame. Carnegie included tidbits from his collection as he wrote.
If you use a journal or book to write down quotes, it is helpful to create an index of key words with page numbers so you can easily locate the quote later. You could also keep notes in a spreadsheet such as Excel or Keynote, in which case it would be helpful to create a column of key words. Alternatively you could keep quotes in document files, such as Word or Pages, with a different file for each broad category of quotes.
There are many opportunities to include quotes in your daily writing (e-mails) and speaking (conversations or presentations). Quotes are an effective way to begin or end a presentation.
Occasionally, when I hear someone say something that is quotable, I will attribute it to that person only to find out later that it was a paraphrase of some other quote. While knowing the original quote may be helpful, the essence of the quote can be just as effective.
One of my coworkers often said, “A dwarf on giant’s shoulders can see the farther of the two” (Andrew P). This particular quote has origins back to the Greeks. I found a similar version by Robert Burton, written in 1621: “A dwarf standing on the shoulders of a giant may see farther than the giant himself.”
Another colleague is fond of saying, “If you can leave one thing to your children let it be enthusiasm” (Rick E). The original quote is “When a man dies, if he can pass enthusiasm along to his children, he has left them an estate of incalculable value” (Thomas Edison).
Some of my favorite recent quotes are below.
“This is like trying to get socks on an octopus” (TV: Rep. Anne Eshoo, D-CA).
“You have no formal authority but a great personality” (Speaker: Heather W).
“Nothing tends more to promote health of body and of soul than does a spirit of gratitude and praise” (Book: Ellen White, Ministry of Healing, p. 251).
“There is never any harm in asking an honest question” (fortune cookie).
“There are no secret notes that the concert pianist has that the five year-old doesn’t have. The secret is in the order and manner in which the notes are played” (Book: Alan Fine, You Already Know How To Be Great).
“You are never not communicating” (Speaker: Steve G).
“The most two wonderful things in the world are a woman’s smile and the motion of might waters” (Historical: Leonardo da Vinci).