A friend of mine was studying for a licensing exam. She had completed all of her schooling, and when she passed the exam she would be able to begin her career.

During the couple of months when she was studying and dealing with its attendant stress, someone shared with her the following quotes, which helped her feel better about what would happen if she didn’t pass the exam and had to take it again. These are great quotes, especially when read together:

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.

– Henry Ford

Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.

– Richard Branson

The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.

– Vince Lombardi

Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.

– Wilma Rudolph

When my friend shared her concerns about the test with another friend, that other friend replied, “If you don’t pass, can you retake it?” After my friend said she could, the other friend said, “Don’t stress about things you can fix/change.” That was powerful, and helpful to my friend.

During that same month, I was at a business conference and one of the speakers shared this quote, “You cannot control adversity, you can only control your response to it.”

After my friend found out she had passed the test, I said to her, “I want you to think about the stress you felt. I want you to remember it. How it felt. I’m not telling you it was wrong to feel that way. What I am telling you is the next time you feel that way, remember this experience, and how it all worked out.”

She appreciated that bit of inspiration, which reminded me of a couple of additional quotes: “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” and “This, too, shall pass,” the latter being one I thought about recently when a friend of mine had a very challenging week at work he couldn’t wait to get through.

He told me he kept telling himself Saturday would be here soon. I told him I often say to myself, “However hard this week is, a week from now will be here,” meaning that day will come, as all days do, and it will be behind me. He wrote to me later that week, “Things went well this week! What a relief. It’s 2PM…heading into “town” for a celebratory pint!”

What are some quotes you find inspiring? Please join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,