The Story in Quotes

By Dr. Julie Elledge, PhD, LMFT, PCC, NBC-HWC, BCC

The most common request Kwame Scruggs and I receive when we present Mentor Agility’s The Alchemy Method, are the quotes that effortlessly roll out of Kwame like a snowball gains momentum downhill. Kwame has a natural ability for remembering quotes and an instinct to use them at just the right moment to create emotional impact.

Quotes imbue meaning quickly and efficiently.  They are a form of storytelling that uncovers a valuable truth succinctly. A well-spun sentence from a trusted source may even challenge outdated thinking without provoking defenses. Mark Farnsworth, dean of the University of Texas school of Law and author of Fransworth’s Classical English Rhetoric believes people have an appetite for well-expressed wisdom. The supporting evidence are the quotes that stand the test of time. 

The melodic nature of enduring quotes transport meaning in ways the brain can more easily consume. Quotes survive because they offer some keen insight put into memorable wording. The auditory appeal influences our judgment of the merits of an idea when the wording is stated in a convincing and pleasing manner attractive to the mind. When imagery comes through the words, the imagination knows just what to do. 

A kind of hand to pull us out of our darkest moments, quotes proffer hope and guidance. Leaders and their words motivate us on a primal level because we want to be inspired. When we already believe someone to be accomplished, wise, and hold exceptional knowledge, we accept their truth and trust their words. A quote is a handy way to bring their wisdom into our everyday lives.

When it comes to the trap of our limited thinking, the wisdom packaged into a well-constructed message with strong imagery appeals to our aspirational nature. Quotes bring our heroes closer and provide the powerful agents of change we are in need of to transform our thinking, especially when they’re passed on for generations. We are not alone in the human struggle and others have come before us. Quotes stimulate a recognition of something special in ourselves. Sometimes, it is just what we need to spark motivation to act upon what we want to change. 

Sometimes, a helping hand to unpack powerful quotes together gets to the Shadow Stories positively or negatively feeding the attitudes and beliefs lying quietly under our perception. Other times, quotes alone speak the truth that wakes up our sleeping motivation.

These are some of my favorite quotes that often work their way effortlessly into our presentations together. Thank you Kwame for bringing these treasures to life.

“One never rises so high as when one does not know where one is going.”
Oliver Cromwell

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”
Joseph Campbell

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”       


“When you follow your bliss, doors will open where you never imagine there were any doors.”

Joseph Campbell

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

“Be careful when you cast out your demons that you don’t throw away the best of yourself.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrow, it empties today of strength.”

Corrie Ten Boom

“The irony of giving someone your word is that you really want to keep it.” 

Kwame Scruggs

“You alone can do it, but you can’t do it alone.”

Jung Intensive Summer Program, New York

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