Words shape our thoughts…and then our reality.
In the next ten minutes, let’s use words to shape our creativity too.
Famous quotes hide powerful ideas. We have captured these wisdom of the ages in print and now with digital tools. Just check the number of websites that give us a daily fix of sayings and quotations. New ones keep sprouting up. Usually, we just give these little bytes of horse sense a second glance and a few more seconds of insight before it gets drowned in the noise of the day. Why not use their briefness to our advantage?
Here are five simple ways you can use the sayings of the wise and famous for your self-development, productivity, and of course – self-expression.
Brainstorming alone or in a group needs ignition. A spark to unclog the wheels. The right quote can rouse lateral thinking from its slumber. One of my favorite sites for a variety of quotations is Goodreads. If that fails, there is always Google Search.
Let’s say you are stuck with a decision-making problem. The right quote can not only motivate, but also help you break down a complex problem to its simple core.
Let’s say you have a customer complaint problem. A search through Goodreads reveals this quote among others –
“Thank your customer for complaining and mean it. Most will never bother to complain. They’ll just walk away.”
– Marilyn Suttle
This can spur a brainstorming session on creative ways one can thank customers for offering feedback.
An idea: Recognize the genuine feedback with a small complimentary gift or a most valued customer certificate.
There’s a lot of benefit in thinking like Elon Musk and his “First Principles” method. It breaks down every complex problem to its fundamental truths and reasons up from there. I highly recommend trying that exercise and using quotations to distil to the basics of any problem.
Use As Writing Prompts
Writing prompts are an antidote for the dreaded writer’s block. Cure them with a nice quote on your favorite subject. Go hunting with Google Search or any other online quotation resource.
Maybe, you are stuck for ideas on writing an article on the new-fangled field of “growth hacking”. From the Pinterest screenshot above, you can take a quotable quote and turn it into a nice article idea. How about – 5 Tools Every Entrepreneur Must Use To Really Understand The Customer.
I leave further research to you.
Which tools do you have in your productivity toolbox? An anti-distraction device maybe?
Using quotations for motivation is old-hat. Bring some focus to the job by tailoring the quote to the job. Idling over a project – find a quote that inspires you to find meaning in the work. You can quickly create a computer wallpaper and let it be in your face as a constant reminder. Alternatively, you could just post it on Facebook to set up your positivity for the day. The mere hunt for just the right quote could help to put your mind in the groove.
Want your children to help you out with household chores? Find a quote that mixes funny with a push and use it as an “in-house advertising” for the everyday housework.
When You Have Nothing To Say, Or…
C’mon, we all do it when we really have nothing to say on Facebook or Twitter. Do it too much and it is guaranteed to annoy your social circle. Do it in the right doses and it could be a slug for an inspiring thought in someone’s day. Facebook Likes and Twitter re-tweets will tell you about the fallout.
We also use quotes to convince and convert others on social media. If you have an online business (or any business), you can increase your Facebook engagement to viral levels with the right mix of photos and quotes.
Go to one of its entertaining uses – Disney uses images and quotes from its movies quite well for Facebook promotion. Forbes uses quotes to make the pause worthwhile before it redirects you to a page on its site.
Famous Quotations & Fun Tools
Digital tools are having fun with quotes. Add your own creativity. Here’s a sampling of a few…
- Recite This – create visual messages with typographic templates and share them across the Web.
- Minimalist Posters – you have to buy them, but the beauty in minimalism is so appealingly obvious. We talked about these inspiring quotation posters.
- Adleese – a browser add-on that replaces advertising banners with identical in size web widgets of your preference. One of the widgets uses famous quotations.
- Quotes Cover – create quick social media images, timeline covers, eCards with the right quote, image, and typography.
- Forismatic – inspire yourself daily with this handy Mac application. Read an early Forismatic review.
Calling For Your Creative Ideas
These are not all the creative uses…or the creative uses you can come up with on your own. For more inspiration, head to a place like Etsy or Pinterest and see the ingenious uses simple quotations are being put to.
You can just as easily use quotations in slide presentations (but use them sparingly), or in writing to drive home a point. But those are the mundane uses. Maybe, you are a tattoo artist who uses artful quotes, or a teacher who inspires a classroom of students with abstract teaching using famous quotes? Give us some ideas on how you can use quotations in your daily work.