Jun 102014

My friend over at Cheesemonkey Wonders posted a list of Growth Mindset Quotes on her blog, and it made me realize that I do something similar.  Every single day of the year, I put a different quote on my board. They all deal with academics, success, fighting to learn or achieve, or something similar.

I started doing this three years ago, and I did it for myself at first. I just thought I would inject a little thoughtfulness and philosophy into my math class and started collecting quotes to do so. That document is now 26 pages long with nothing but quotes I have saved.

One day, I was lazy or in a hurry and did not put up a new quote. One of my learners actually came back out of my room, stood in front of me and said, “That quote is the same as yesterday’s. You need to fix that.”  At that point I realized my learners were reading them, and did actually care about the quotes I was putting up.

Since then, my learners have told me they enjoy them, they find them inspirational, and one learner actually told me she saw my quotes on facebook because another learner liked it, photographed it and posted it.

Little things matter. Sometimes, they matter more than big things.  With that in mind, here are some of my favorite quotes from my 26 pages.  I will put it below the fold, because this may be a little long.

The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny. – Albert Ellis

The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score. – Bill Copeland

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult. – Seneca

Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people. – Eleanor Roosevelt

The sky has never been the limit. We are our own limits. It’s then about breaking our personal limits and outgrowing ourselves to live our best lives. – Milton Berle

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. – Life’s Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive. – Albert Einstein

We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about. – Albert Einstein

Mankind is not a circle with a single center but an ellipse with two focal points of which facts are one and ideas the other. – Victor Hugo

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it. – Pablo Picasso

Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work. – Bette Davis

If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all. – John Cage

Always do the easy part first. What you think at first is the easy part often turns out to be the hard part. Once the easy part is done, you can concentrate all your efforts on the hard part. – Al Schapira

Always do the hard part first. If the hard part is impossible, why waste time on the easy part? Once the hard part is done, you’re home free. – Al Schapira

Studying problems is like learning words when mastering a foreign language. The more words you add to your vocabulary the more comfortable you feel speaking the language. – Jan van der Steen

There are not seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. – Walt Streightiff

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. – Aristotle

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult. – Seneca

If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough. – Vince Lombardi

I learned much from my teachers, more from by books, and most from my mistakes. -anonymous

All things are difficult before they are easy. -Thomas Fuller

Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently. – Henry Ford

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? – unknown

Acknowledge that you learn just as much, if not more, from your failures as you do from your successes. – Jeffrey Benjamin

The best way to predict your future is to create it. – Abraham Lincoln

There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self. – Aldous Huxley

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. – Vince Lombardi


Whew. That is a lot of quotes. That is only part of the huge list I have written on the board this year.  I guess I was doing more growth mindset things than I thought I was.


  One Response to “Growth Mindset Quotes”

  1. Thanks so much for posting these! I started a notebook with quotes of the day thirteen years ago which went missing at the end of last year. 🙁 I was debating whether to start again, but this gave me just the incentive and starting point that needed!

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