Azer Koçulu
March 1st, 2018

Inspirational Quotes

Working on a long-term goal that takes months of work is hard. It requires harmony of both body and brain until we achieve it. Even if We are young and talented, we could struggle finishing projects if our brain craves for short term rewards. I had times with good focus on my big goals, and also had times when I jumped from idea to idea, ended up not getting anything done.

James Baldwin explains this very clearly;

Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.

— James Baldwin

Endurance, it is the part most people struggle. How do we keep our brain motivated and focused on a long term goal until the end ? Personally, I provide myself some spiritual support to stay focused. Collecting the quotes that I found inspirational in my notebook, checking them when I need helps. Hoping it'll be helpful for others, I'll share some of those quotes that I came across and found inspiring.

Jalaladdin Rumi

These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them.

— Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

This quote about pain explains how exactly life and nature works. Imagine a baby in mom's womb, their only communication channel is pain. If we measure the time between pains, we see mathematical patterns that is some sort of morse alphabet: if the time between two contractions are 15 minutes, the baby will born that day. If it's 5 minutes, the baby will born in a few hours, and when it's 2 hours, it's almost there.

Start a huge, foolish project, like Noah…it makes absolutely no difference what people think of you.

— Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

This quote is one of my favorite. I get three bold messages from this quote;

Run from what's comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.

— Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī

Especially in the modern professional life we can easily imprison ourselves into a never ending game which makes us chase comfort, status and safety. Fear is often the hidden motivation behind such short term rewarding games...

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Antoine de Saint-Exupery is the author Little Prince, he was also a aviator. If you haven't read, I highly encourage you to read his life. He is also the author of following quote;

Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This is an advise that I carry in my heart every day. From writing to project management, it can be applied to anything in life.

Haruki Murakami

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.

— Haruki Murakami

I love this quote because it gives very important lessons in only 4 words:

Once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.

— Haruki Murakami

The storm in this quote is obviously a metaphor and we can relate some life events with this quote. Have you ever got beaten by real storm though?

Last year I and my wife hiked to Mount Toubkal, the second highest summit in Africa and got caught by bad weather in the middle. Imagine a kind of powerful wind that knocks over 70kg humans, and when you get up little stones flying hit your face.

After returning from the summit to the basecamp, we couldn't setup our tent as the wind speed was also too high in the basecamp. The same day we walked 12 hours with 20kg weighing backpacks to find a place where we can safely sleep. We were also really hungry, so didn't think twice when we saw a squirrel eating leftover canned food.

This 2 days experience with heavy storm in Toubkal got me into deep thoughts in following weeks. It was a big lesson about what nature is, how it communicates with us, how we survive and how the act of survival shapes our life after the storm.

Franz Kafka

What is love? After all, it is quite simple. Love is everything which enhances, widens, and enriches our life. In its heights and in its depths. Love has as few problems as a motor-car. The only problems are the driver, the passengers, and the road.

— Franz Kafka

Love is a form of power that comes from our hearts. I used to think about girls when someone talks about love, but now I think about art, books, nature, work, family, sports, basically the whole life. And this aspect makes me understand what Franz Kafka exactly means; if we teach our heart true love, we dream, we find power to make dreams happen, we live a happy life which we give more than we take.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe obviously lived an exceptional life for that time. Today though, anyone can listen music, find good poems and see beautiful photos from all over the world. I'm not sure about speaking a few reasonable words though, that's still hard.

A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe