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Mid-Year Motivation

Favorite quotes and mantras

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Jill Klaff, Morton Adels, Nanci Fine, Kelly Hess, Dawn Fine, Allison Adels

LIFELONG INSPIRATION Dr. Morton Adels, who passed away several years ago, lives on in his daughters’ hearts and in the many inspiring sentiments he gave them. The sisters made a book of their dad's favorite quotes, including, "There is no way to happiness … happiness is the way." Here, the Adels sisters gather around their dad: (top, from left) Jill Adels Klaff, Nanci Adels Fine, Kelly Adels Hess; (bottom, from left) Dawn Adels Fine, Dr. Adels and Allison Adels.

Sometimes we all need a little motivation (like during the last stretch of the school year, aka “May Madness”). Here, Buzz neighbors share their favorite inspirational sayings. Onward!

“Relationships aren’t made in the microwave.”

Sandy Sales, who has three grown children, heard this quote while watching The Bachelor. “One of the dads was telling his daughter that he couldn’t give the bachelor his blessing to marry his daughter. The dad explained to his daughter that he had only met the boyfriend a couple of hours ago, and she had only met him six weeks ago. So he said, ‘Relationships aren’t made in the microwave.’ I love that! I wish I would have heard it years ago when my girls were younger.”

“If you’re feeling down, go out and do something nice for someone. It’ll cheer you right up!”

“I was thinking about motivational phrases,” says Samantha Sullivan, “and I immediately thought of my great-grandmother, Marie Catherine Lemee, who everyone in the family called Momee. She was a wise little French lady from Natchitoches, Louisiana, and though she died before I was born, her words of wisdom filtered down to us through my mother and grandmother. I repeat them to my daughter regularly.” She also said, “Don’t worry about what others think. They’re not thinking about you anyway because they’re too busy thinking about themselves!” and “A year from now, none of this will matter.”

“Ask for the sale!”

Mother of three and proprietor of Cottage288, a clothing boutique in her home, Anita Gaylor describes herself as “an inherent salesgirl and positive thinker.” She says, “When my kids really want something, like a hard-to-get class, a special internship, a dream job, and they’ve done everything they think they can do, they will sit back and wait for others to control the situation. I tell them to, ‘Ask for the sale!’ Ask that professor, potential boss, whoever, for what you want. Explain what you bring to the table and why you should get what you are asking for.”

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Keith Rassin, an adjunct professor in the entrepreneurship program at the University of Houston and co-founder of the water-conservation company eConserve, uses this Mark Twain quote as encouragement for his students. Another Mark Twain quote he likes: “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the one who can’t.”

“Ouisie, Ouisie, Ouisie.” 

When he gets a little stressed out, William Halverson, who is an eighth grader at Memorial Middle School, says his dog’s name over and over as a way to de-stress.

“How do you eat an elephant?”

“When taking on a big task or project, I like this question,” says Michelle Glickman, an antiques trader and mother of two teenaged boys. “The answer is, ‘One bite at a time.’ I have used this so many times with my children, friends and colleagues. It gives them a laugh at the mental image, and it also says to take things bit by bit and not get overwhelmed with the enormity of it all.”

“Ad astra per aspera.”

“I lived the first 12 years of my life in a little farm town in Southeast Kansas,” says Lana Rigsby, owner of the marketing and design firm Rigsby Hull and mother of two teenagers. “To this day, I recite the motto on the Kansas state flag to my kids when times are tough. To greatness through effort, or literally translated, ‘To the stars through sweat!’” Another one I use all the time is a Zen bit that says, “Begin with the end in mind.”

“Never sit if you can dance.” 

Jo Giese used this favorite quote from her mother, Babe, as the title for a book about her.

“Do the right thing, and the right thing will happen.”

Jill Klaff, one of five sisters, made a book of quotes that remind the sisters of their father. “It is Dad’s quotes to live by, and we quote them every day to pass on to our kids!”

“Different families, different rules.”

When faced with teenager questions like, “Everyone has a cell phone except me,” or “Everyone gets to go to ACL except me,” Peggy Haney, director of advancement at Episcopal High School, reminds her children that there isn’t one set of rules for every child … or every parent.

“If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you are right.”

Diana Brackman, a mother of three grown children and grandmother of two, reminds her family that they can do whatever they put their minds to.

“Please don’t let me yell at anyone today, please don’t let me yell at anyone today…”

Infectious disease specialist and mother of two Barbara Trautner stays focused by trying to keep her cool.

Editor’s note: To share your favorite inspirational mottos, email [email protected] or comment under this story at

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