1. Instantly Transform your Mood
Quotes have the power to change our mental state very quickly. Just like books or movies, quotes can generate strong emotions, inspire, motivate or make us laugh – with the notable difference that we don’t need to invest hours of our time to experience the desired effect.
It’s very easy to incorporate the reading of quotes in your life if you have your own collection handy. If it is organized in categories, you can have an instant dose of humor or inspiration whenever you like. If you know quotes that have a particularly powerful effect on you, you can also put them in a highly visible place to have your quick fix many times a day.
“I pick my favorite quotations and store them in my mind as ready armor, offensive or defensive, amid the struggle of this turbulent existence.” –Robert Burns.
2. Get to Know New Authors
You may already be a quote junkie, but let’s face it: quotes don’t replace good books. ‘Quotes is reading for lazy people’, I once heard. But being exposed to quotes from different or unknown authors can spark your curiosity and make you go read their works. For example, I used to think Einstein was only a genius of physics. It was only after knowing some of his quotes that I had the interest to read his great essays on subjects such as religion, the meaning of life and many others.
“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” –Albert Einstein.
3. Distill Insights and Communicate Them Effectively
Quotes have the highest wisdom density you can get in a single sentence. Although quotes may seem, in hindsight, obvious observations about reality, the truth is that it requires a lot of insight to be able to to grab those reality bites in such accessible format.
It is very rewarding to find a simple and concise quote that expresses one idea that you already had, but didn’t know how to express it quite well. Moreover, you can use the quote as a shortcut for explaining your own established views to others. Having that easily communicable expression of an idea can be a springboard to start new discussions that wouldn’t happen otherwise.
“In life you need either inspiration or desperation.” – Tony Robbins
4. Be Known and Know Other People Better
People say you can know someone by the books one reads, or by the friends one has. I would say that a quicker way to know people is by taking a look at the quotes they collect.
Just as it happens with someone’s personal music library, if you read just a few quotes from someone’s quote collection, you can already tell a lot about that person. I bet that if you check some quotes from my own collection in this blog’s sidebar, you can quickly infer what kind of person I am, without having to spend much time having a conversation with me (lucky you!).
There are social websites built around quote collections, where you can, based on your own favorite quotes, get to know like-minded people and get recommendations of new quotes. A good example is the Quotiki website.
“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
5. Get a Different Perspective
Even more interesting that stumbling upon a quote that expresses something you already know, is to find one that expresses something totally unexpected or contrary to what you know.
An essay, for example, usually builds a point of view step-by-step. If the ideas in that article go against your own point of view, the natural response is to resist them. And since reading an article is a somewhat long activity, your brain has plenty of time to build its internal mental wall. But with a single quote, it’s completely different: you take your brain off-guard. That is great, because it allows your mind to generate brand new thoughts you wouldn’t have otherwise.
“I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me.” – Dudley Field Malone