Inspirational Sayings

jkuster.jpg About the presenter: Judy Kuster, M.S. in speech-language pathology and M.S. in counseling, is an associate professor in Communication Disorders at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is well-published in Internet resources and has presented at state, national and international conferences. She is the webmaster for Net Connections for Communication Disorders and Sciences and the Stuttering Home Page as well as the coordinator of this online conference. She holds Specialty Recognition in Stuttering and is a member of the Division #4 Fluency and Fluency Disorders. She is a member of the National Stuttering Association, the International Fluency Association and the International Stuttering Association.

Inspirational Sayings

by Judy Kuster and many, many others
from around the world

Although short "inspirational" sayings can be seen as trite or trying to offer simplistic, quick and easy advice, they can also carry important messages for adults and children that connect with them. Woody Starkweather shared. "I think these little sayings can play a powerful role in recovery from stuttering; they let the stutterer keep a simple idea in mind while going about the rest of life's business." (personal correspondence).

The inspiration for this paper came from an email sent to me by a friend who stutters, which obviously relates to risk taking -- something that we talk about in therapy.


I then posted a message to some discussion forums I subscribe to on the Internet, asking people to share inspirational sayings that they really liked. This "paper" consists of a collection of several sayings that were shared as "significant sayings" by people who stutter. Some are appropriate for anyone, including children. Others will have more meaning to adults and teens. Several are posted in various colored fonts. Making these is very easy to do with any word program. Perhaps those reading this paper will produce some for themselves from the inspirational sayings below.

A friend from England wrote, "My favorite ones mostly come from John 'Scatman' Larkin because I was a teen at the time. Here's a selection [of what he shared with me] that I dug out from old emails, phone calls and his lyrics that really cheered me up at the time (and still do -- almost a decade later)."

bullet.gifConfronting your stuttering will open the door to confronting every other obstacle in your life.


bullet.gifFollow the path of honesty and an open heart, and wonderful things will happen. You can be sure of that.

bullet.gifTake charge of your life's direction -- it's the bravest thing a human being can do.


bullet.gifTake it easy, you can slow down the pace . . . nobody ever won the human race.

A speech-language pathologist shared a bit of personal history about the next saying. She wrote, "I heard it the first and only time from a client of mine, a 63 year-old man who had suffered a brainstem stroke. He was very bright, observant, knowing, creative, and wise. Apparently, he thought I was much too fearful of life (I was.). He made that comment to me personally (slowly, laboriously typing it on a computer keyboard). He may even have created it for me. I have never heard it before or since. The saying helped open me to the richness of chaos." (personal correspondence)


bullet.gifDo things FOR yourself, but not BY yourself.

bullet.gifYou can't be brave unless you're scared.

bullet.gifThe world is like a mirror: frown at it and it frowns at you; smile at it and it smiles too.

bullet.gifThe past is history. The future is a mystery. Now is a gift. That's why it's called The Present. (Loretta LaRoche)


bullet.gifDon't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes.

bullet.gifThe brook would lose its song if we removed the rocks.

bullet.gifThe man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. (William Faulkner)

bullet.gifWith Each New Day Comes An Opportunity For A New Beginning

bullet.gifWhen it is dark enough, you can see the stars. (Charles Austin Beard)


bullet.gifTruth is a globe and a man sees only that part of it upon which, for him the light shines..

bullet.gifWe are all in the same boat, in a stormy sea, and we owe each other a terribly loyalty. (G.K. Chesterton)


bullet.gifSuccess usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. (Henry David Thoreau)

bullet.gifObstacles are those frightful things you see when you take you eyes off your goal. Henry Ford

bullet.gifA pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist see the opportunity in every difficult. (Winston Churchill)

bullet.gifI find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. (Thomas Jefferson)


bullet.gifEvery time you meet a situation, though you think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it, you find that forever after you are freer than you were before. (Eleanor Roosevelt).

bullet.gifWe are, each of us, an angel with only one wing; we can only fly by embracing each other. (Luciano de Crescenzo)

bullet.gifTake it easy. Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. (From "Take It Easy" by The Eagles).


bullet.gifIf I hide myself wherever I go, am I ever really there?

bullet.gifConsistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

bullet.gifLive all you can; it's a mistake not to. It doesn't much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. . . The right time is now yours. The right time is any time that one is still so lucky as to have. (Henry James)


bullet.gifChange is like the wind. Fight it and it will sting you. Harness it and you can fly.

bullet.gifThere is nothing of which we are more ashamed than of not being ourselves, and there is nothing which brings us greater joy and happiness than to think, to feel or to say what is ours." (Erich Fromm)

bullet.gifIf you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it's OK. But you've got to shoot for something. A lot of people don't even shoot. (Robert Townsend)


bullet.gifNo one can make you feel inferior without your consent. (Eleanor Roosevelt)

bullet.gifWhat lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters, compared to what lies within us.

bullet.gifCourage is the power to let go of the familiar.


bullet.gifDo what you can, with what you have, where you are. (Theodore Roosevelt)

bullet.gifOne man with courage makes a majority. (Andrew Jackson)

bullet.gifSecurity is mostly a superstition. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. (Helen Keller)


bullet.gifLife is what happens to you when you are making other plans... ( John Lennon)

bullet.gifThere may be many explanations, however there is only one description.

bullet.gifThe key to a better future is you.


bullet.gifCourage is fear that has said its prayers.

bullet.gifCourage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear. (Ambrose Redmoon)

bullet.gifCourage is about the management of fear, not the absence of fear. (Rudy Giuliani)


bullet.gifWe are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. (Oscar Wilde)

bullet.gifTo thine own self be true. (Shakespeare)


bullet.gifGod, grant me the courage to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. (This is known as the "Serenity Prayer." Read the Serenity Prayer in your own native language -- from, with permission)

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Additional Non-English examples

bullet.gifA Dutch saying -- "Je moet roejen met de riemen die je heb," which is literally "You have to row with the oars you have," something like "you have to play the cards you are dealt."

bullet.gifA German saying -- "Wie der Ochs vor'm Berg," which is literally "Like the ox in front of the mountain," something like "He's standing still and not doing anything."

bullet.gifA German saying -- "Das haengt mir zum Hals raus!" which is literally "That hangs out of my throat!" something like "I've had enough of that!"

bullet.gifA Spanish saying -- "Caras vemos, corazones no sabemos" with is literally "Faces we see, hearts we don't know" something like, "You can't judge a book by the cover."

bullet.gifA Spanish saying -- "Con estos bueyes hay que arar," which is literally "With these burros one must plough" something like "You have to 'make do' with what you have."

bullet.gifA Spanish saying -- "Si mi tia tuviera ruedas, ser´┐Ża una bicicleta" which is literally "If my aunt had wheels she would be a bicycle" something like "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."

bullet.gifMandarin Chinese saying -- Bu Ru Hu Xue, Yan De Hu Ze which is literally "How can (we) retrieve the baby tiger without going into the tiger's nest?" something like Great Rewards usually require a great degree of risk

bullet.gifMandarin Chinese saying -- Ton Zhou Gon Ji which is literally "Work together on the same Boat" - Used to describe a situation where team members really help each other out in a difficult situation.

bullet.gifJapanese saying -- Chiri mo Tsumoreba Yama to Naru Little things add up; "Mountains are made from grains of sand." Small efforts, when accumulated, bring great success

bullet.gifJapanese saying -- Korogaru Ishi ni Koke Musazu Perseverance pays off; patience is a virtue.

Some Resources Used for Non-English Sayings