When I was at school, I used to collect inspirational quotes. I had a little book I used to write them down in. Unfortunately I once lent them to a friend and never got them back. This doesn’t mean that I have forgotten them. So many of them had a lasting impression on me and have stayed with me ever since.

The only problem is that I can’t remember who I am quoting, and I cannot remember the quote exactly. But I remember the gist of it, and that is the important bit!

The quote that takes me back furthest, is:

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” I embraced it and believed that my life is better, because of my hardships. I, like the next person, have had some difficult situations to deal with in my life, but if I could have it all over again, I would do it the same again – mistakes and all. Because I believe I am better, nicer and richer (not materially speaking) as a result of those experiences.

The rest are in no particular order:
Reaching for the stars, keeps you on your toes.” I have always reached for the stars – even if some of the stars that weren’t that high up …!

An elastic band is only effective when it is stretched.” I have always been a firm believer that if we want to develop as an individual, we constantly need to push our own boundaries. Get out of that comfort zone if you want to see yourself grow.

“It’s actions not intentions that count. You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard boiled egg!” How many times do people think that it’s enough to just have the right intentions and attitudes. Especially when it comes to charity – everyone thinks charities are there for a reason, they agree with what they’re trying to achieve, but they aren’t actually doing anything charitable themselves. I am a firm believer that all of us have an obligation to help those less privileged, in whichever way possible. It doesn’t always mean giving money. You can give time, support, love … the list goes on and on.

He who can laugh at himself will never cease to be amused.” Learning to laugh at yourself is a skill – and not always easy! But in my case does provide me with more laughs and smiles I would otherwise have had.

If you want something done, give it to the busiest person.” I am an incredibly busy person, but I also get a lot done. And yes, that is partly because I don’t have children, but even if I benchmark myself against others without children, I still get a lot done! Do I have a secret? Well, I have a formula – I don’t think it is a secret: I make lists, I organise and I don’t watch much television!

The number of people who have said to me: “I don’t know where you get time to bake, knit, write a blog, make jewellery, play the piano, go for walks, cook from scratch, plan, paint, entertain, hold parties, stay in contact with friends, make jam, write, read …. etc”. And no, I don’t have enough time either, but at least I use the time I have well. I don’t waste a lot of time.

Then I believe it is called the Serenity Prayer: “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”, which has helped me enormously at work. Working in environments that are constantly changing and in a state of flux, it is easy to fall into the ‘we need to change everything’ trap, but I have learned that you can expend a huge amount of energy unless you target your activities effectively and efficiently. I am still not good at this! I continue to learn daily.

Then recently I read a quote from Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet, which is my new mantra: “You have to be decisive. Even a wrong decision from which you can move on is better than no decision at all.” How many times don’t we know what to do, and then we do nothing at all? I think I am fairly decisive, but I guess this quote and reinforced its worth to me.

I hope that perhaps one of the above quotes can have some meaning to someone who has read my blog today. As I said at the start – they have certainly shaped my life thus far.