Quotes. They’re all over Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter these days. It’s a never ending stream of wisdom and inspiration scrolling by on my feeds. And yes, I’ve been known to share my fair share of quotables too.
But recently I noticed that I’ve become slightly annoyed by all the quotes I see on social media. It’s quote-overload for sure, but is this really something to be annoyed by?
Probably not. So I had to ask myself why I was annoyed anyway…
Well I figured it out. It’s not the quotes and images that I’m annoyed with, nor the sheer volume of them. What’s bothering me is that the people who are posting the quotes aren’t providing any context to what the message means to their life and/or belief system.
It’s a phenomenon that I’m calling “Broadcast Inspiration”. Meaning people are publishing these quotes without context, that may or may not mean anything to them personally. Heck, the person sharing the quote may not even give two damns about the message, they’re just looking for the instant gratification of social likes, comments and shares.
So while I appreciate the effort people are making to inspire and motivate, I think the message could be even stronger if the person took a few minutes to include their thoughts and feelings about the words of inspiration that they’re sharing.
So with that in mind, I’d like to take my own advice and share with you why this quote from Napoleon Hill is my favorite quote of all time and how it has impacted my life.
“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”
There was a time in my life where I was lost. I didn’t really know who I was, where I was going, or what I would ever make of myself.
Already not feeling good about the person I was, I would use the Internet to secretly check in on my long-lost friends from high school and college (this is pre-Facebook mind you) to discover what they were up to fifteen years or so after we lost contact.
What I would find wouldn’t make me feel any better.
My old friends had become doctors, nurses, business executives, social workers, teachers and scientists. It was safe to say, that they were indeed doing great things with their life.
When I looked at their lives compared to mine, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for myself. The pang of regret was strong. All the poor choices I made in my life haunted me. At that moment, I would have given anything to go back in time and be a better student. A better friend. A better person, just so I could have what they had.
I carried that weight with me for a long time.
And then one day, I stumbled across this quote from Napoleon Hill, “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”
Those words spoke to me, and in that moment I had an epiphany. Dwelling on the past wasn’t going to change anything. Consuming the poison of regret wasn’t going to make me a better person. And the reality was that it wasn’t healthy to compare my life to those of my old school pals. I could either continue to wallow in self doubt and self pity, or I could simply try to live my life the best I could, one day at a time.
Even if I wasn’t destined for great things, I would do the small things in a great way.
I won’t lie to you and suggest that from that minute forward, everything was rainbows and puppy dog kisses, because it wasn’t. But the message was strong enough to be a reminder if my mind ever started to veer towards that dark path.
It’s probably not by accident that after I got comfortable with who I was, and adjusted my view on the world that good things started to happen in my life.
I met the woman who would eventually become my wife and amazing mother to our children. After leaving my loaner ways behind, I made new friends that introduced me to the car business which ultimately gave me the opportunity to grow as a professional.
I’m a drastically different person today than I was only ten years ago. The 2006 version of Jason Stum wasn’t much to look at. Today I’m a proud husband and father. I’m proud of my professional achievements. I’m comfortable with who I am, and I know the small things I do each day can indeed have a great impact.
It would be overly simplistic to say that one quote changed my life. But I do believe it’s fair to say that Napoleon Hill’s words made me realize that I could achieve greatness through my actions, no matter how small they might seem from the outside looking in.
I think MarketPunch is an example of something small that is done in (I hope) a great way. I didn’t set out to launch a platform to become a business or marketing guru like a Michael Hyatt or Gary Vaynerchuk with huge followings (although both have inspired me greatly).
I simply want my blog and podcast to be a valued resource for those who touch any aspect of a car dealership’s digital marketing efforts. I want to give you creative #automarketing insights that you can use today.
Sorry about the long post here, but I think I accomplished my mission of adding context (albeit overly-wordy context) to my favorite quote of all time.
What’s your favorite quote? What does it mean to you? Share it with me in the comments section below!