Some of you asked. Here’s the answer:

“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now.”
Viktor Frankl

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
Steve Jobs

“Being a professional is doing the things you love to do — even on the days you don’t feel like doing it.”
Julius Erving

31 Responses to “The 3 quotations I keep on my office wall”

  1. Wells Baum says:

    I like how you write them on stickies as opposed to official printouts.

    The best part is that eventually they fall, crinkle, and you have to rewrite them. Always a good reminder (the hand to the pen to the mind) instead of rote memorization.

  2. Mike Brice says:

    These are three great reminders. Thanks for sharing. I have two that I refer to often.

    One – “Embrace the limitations,” for times when I think that I need something more to accomplish my goal. It reminds me that I can often use what I may see as a disadvantage in my favor.

    The second is the Teddy Roosevelt quote,”Do What You Can, With What You Have, Where You Are,” which also reminds me that I need to make the best of the present day and not use my circumstance as an excuse for not achieving.


  3. Joe Ferraro says:

    “Nothing great in life has ever been accomplished without enthusiasm.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “Do something every day that scares you.”–Eleanor Roosevelt

    “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”–Henry Ford

  4. Kevin Kruse says:

    Great that they’re hand written. I have a whole collection of quotes I keep in the back of my Moleskin. When I need to get a new Moleskin it forces me to rewrite all the quotes.

  5. Dale Yuzuki says:

    Many thanks for sharing this! Memorable, useful and worthy of posting it where one can see it often and pause.

    We certainly have nothing to lose.

  6. Drew Kugler says:

    “Someday we’ll look back on this and it’ll all seem funny.” — Bruce Springsteen

  7. Great tools for staying in the moment, Dan. Hope to see you soon.

  8. Alan says:

    interesting combination of 3 quotes to live by

  9. Nanette says:

    Powerful quotations have been such beacons of light in my life. Different ones appear to me at different times and reflect my focus and energy of that cycle. Thank you for sharing your answers to a thought provoking question — what is hanging on my wall?
    What I found is that the answer is stale and outdated. Shame on me!
    So, as soon as I update mine, I will share this exercise with my students and clients.
    Now the question is, what quotes do I want to have on my wall today?
    Thanks for the inspiration.
    Wishing you well–

  10. Robin says:

    “If you don’t do it, it won’t get done.”

    “If you’re afraid of making a mistake, you won’t make anything.”

    And my favorite poem on leadership:


    Leaders are called to stand
    In that lonely place
    Between the no longer and the not yet
    And intentionally make decisions
    That will bind, forge, move,
    And create history.

    We are not called to be popular,
    We are not called to be safe,
    We are not called to follow.
    We are the ones called to take risks,
    We are the ones called to change attitudes,
    To risk displeasure,
    We are the ones called to gamble our lives
    For a better world.

    House of Delegates Address 1970
    Mary Lou Anderson

  11. Jeremy says:

    I read Man’s Search For Meaning at your recommendation. The Frankl quote is an excellent one line summary of what that book taught me.

  12. Dr. Rae says:

    Thank you Dan for sharing the 3 quotations you keep on your office wall. Here are mine…

    > A breakthrough comes when your expectancies are put into action!

    > Being in the present moment while being busy helps you stay centered, focused, and grounded!

    > Confidence, and creative inspiration in all activities happen in the present moment!

  13. lisa says:

    Hello Dan –
    When I saw you speak in NYC you said – something like “free public education is great if you can afford the $800,000 home.” I think everyone should remember that/////

  14. “El ‘no’ ya lo tenes.”

    — Pedro Belli Chamorro

    Which means: “The ‘no’ you already have.”

    From my wife’s Nicaraguan grandfather. Brilliant. Just seeing it has often gotten me to double-down … and find the “yes.”

  15. Annemiek says:

    Thanks for sharing! It’s good to know what keeps people on their track when working.
    I’ve have two stickies on my computer screen. Not really quotes, but just reminders. One says that I’m going to make mistakes today, the other one says I’m a power woman. A very impressive power woman said that to me once and I have keep reminding me of it in the chaos I tend to create.

  16. John Waite says:

    Brilliant quotes – may have to go up on my wall along with: “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure – which is: Try to please everybody.”
    ~Herbert Bayard Swope

  17. Tillie says:

    I like that you hang them on your wall, I use email throughout my day so often that I like to add them to my signature:

    “….And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.” ~Steve Jobs

    Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment. – Rita Mae Brown

    People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel. ~Anonymous

  18. lou says:

    I like these:
    “Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must be first overcome.”
    – Samuel Johnson
    “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking” – George S. Patton

  19. Sarah Linden says:

    Happy to see the Steve Jobs quote. Funny, though–when I say this to friends or colleagues, I usually get “that’s morbid” in response. At least Steve (and you) get me. 🙂

  20. Kim says:

    One of the stickies on my wall has this quote:

    “Make decisions for fundamental reasons.”

    which came from one of your books (though I can’t remember which. . .)

  21. Boris Yurkevich says:


  22. Tammy Redmon says:

    Great quotes – I would expect no less. One of my favorites on my wall cannot be attributed “consistency is better than rare moments of greatness.”

  23. Dave H says:

    Great quotes, especially the Steve Jobs one – it’s now on a post-it on my wall too, under one I already had (on a post-it too!):

    “Lost time is never found again.” – Benjamin Franklin

  24. Kent says:

    The last one – Being professional is doing even a very small task professionally.

  25. Hugh Ballou says:

    Quotes from great thought leaders are a constant source of inspiration. Their clear thinking and precise articulation of ideas take us mentally and emotionally wher we need to go. Posting the quotes is great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Two I always have in my office

    – You may delay, but time will not
    – Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action

  27. It’s wonderful of you to share those inspirational words with us. I don’t put any on post its because mine tends to get unstuck and lost. I have a small notebook where I write quotes which inspire me or make me think. For me I find these words from Audrey Hepburn very inspirational:

    “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

    It keeps me motivated.

  28. Stephen Lord says:

    I use the Announcement banner in our Change Control system to post a new quote every day – these are going straight in! Also I think your grass might need cutting 😉

  29. And my very favourite:

    When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.


  30. HK says:

    Love it. Great quotes.

  31. Since our daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia, this is the one that we’ve had up on the wall:

    “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb