Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.
You know the saying, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” Well if nothing changes, we stay the same. We don’t grow. We don’t evolve. We don’t get better. And that’s not going to work—not for you, and not for the world. We need positive change. We need new ideas. We need progress. Read these quotes on innovation to inspire your next big idea and contribute to yourself and the greater good.
“Falling in love is easy. Falling in love with the same person repeatedly is extraordinary.”
— Crystal Woods
“Love is simple. You fall and that’s it. You’ll work the other stuff out. You just gotta let yourself fall and have faith that someone will be there to catch you.”
— Chelsea M Cameron
“When you fall in love with someone you give them your heart. When you find out they love you too, you get it back, times two.”
“In life you have to take the pace that love goes. You don’t force it. You just don’t force love, you don’t force falling in love – you just become. I don’t know how to say that in English, but you just feel it.”
— Juan Pablo Galavis
“I think that one of the things that you do learn is that falling in love and being in love with someone is a rarity. That you don’t fall in love as many times as you think you’re going to. And when you do, it’s really special, it’s really important.”
— Julianne Moore
“She wasn’t exactly sure when it happened. Or even when it started. All she knew for sure was that right here and now, she was falling hard and she could only pray that he was feeling the same way.”
— Nicholas Sparks
“First best is falling in love. Second best is being in love. Least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.”
— Maya Angelou
“Never love anybody who treats you like you’re ordinary.”
— Oscar Wilde>
“We do not fall in love with the package of the person, we fall in love with the inside of a person.”
“I’m a human being and I fall in love and sometimes I don’t have control of every situation.”
“Fall in love with someone who deserves your heart, not someone who plays with it.”
“We never get enough of falling in love and believing in love.”
— Shemar Moore
“You know you’re falling in love when the feeling of falling actually feels like you’re floating.”
— Rashida Rowe
“Maybe it’s just hiding somewhere. Or gone on a trip to come home. But falling in love is always a pretty crazy thing. It might appear out of the blue and just grab you. Who knows, maybe even tomorrow.”
— Harukin Murakami
‘When I saw you I fell in love and you smiled because you knew.”
— Arrigo Boito
“You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.”
— Albert Einstein
“I am naïve when it comes to love, you know what I mean? I do believe in falling in love at first sight and things like that.”
— Sonam Kapoor
“The first time you fall in love, it changes your life forever and no matter how hard you try, the feeling never goes away.”
— Nicholas Sparks
“Falling in love with you was never my intention but it became my addiction.”
— Abhishek Tiwari
“Don’t find love, let love find you. That’s why it’s called falling in love because you don’t force yourself to fall, you just fall.”
“Love does not appear with any warning signs. You fall into it as if pushed from a high diving board. No time to think about what’s happening. It’s inevitable. An event you can’t control. A crazy, heart-stopping roller coaster ride that just has to take it’s course.”
— Jackie Collins
“I have completely fallen for you. Everything you do, everything you say, everything you are. You’re my first thought in the morning, you’re my last thought before I fall asleep and you’re almost every thought in between.”
“If I know what love is, it is because of you.”
— Hermann Hesse
“No one ever fell in love gracefully.”
— Connie Broadway
“They told me that to make her fall in love I had to make her laugh. But every time she laughs, I’m the one who falls in love.”
“This thing about you that you think is your flaw – it’s the reason I’m falling in love with you.”
— Colleen Hoover
“Love consists of this: two solitudes that meet, protect and greet each other.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke
“I know I am in love with you because my reality is finally better than my dreams.”
— Dr Seuss
“Falling in love is like getting hit by a truck and yet not being mortally wounded. Just sick to your stomach, high one minute, low the next. Starving hungry but unable to eat. Hot, cold, forever horny, full of hope and enthusiasm with momentary depression that wipes you out.”
— Jackie Collins
“A relationship is a relationship that has to be earned. And I love relationships. I think there fantastic, there wonderful. I think there great, I think there is nothing in the world more beautiful than falling in love. But falling in love for the right reasons, falling in love for the right purpose, falling in love.
You’re really ready for this speech or presentation, aren’t you?
You have great content—and you know it cold. Your listeners will absolutely benefit from the information you’ll be giving them; in fact, you think it will change their lives for the better. So the last thing you want to do is weaken your message by using language you could just as easily do without.
In the spirit of combining your great message with effective delivery, here are 25 words or phrases you should avoid like the plague (gee, I guess I should have included clichés). Anyway, here they are, each with a brief explanation for their inclusion in this list:
1. “I” or “me”. The presentation is not about you, period. Self-consciousness and anxiety aside, it’s about the audience. Replace every “I” or “me” with “you,” “we,” or “us.” Keep the focus on your listeners rather than you.
2.”A little bit.” This phrase waters down your content. “I’d like to talk a little bit about . . .” pales next to, “Let’s discuss the industry trends we need to consider.”
3.”Just.” Similar to #2. Compare these two options: a) “I just want to say that I think we face some problems”; and b) “Listen! — Our backs are to the wall regarding these profit margins.”
4. “So . . .” Often uttered as the first word out of a speaker’s mouth. (Now you’re thinking back to your last presentation, aren’t you?) But “so” is a continuation of a previous thought. And at the start of your presentation, nothing has come before.
5. “Talk about.” Used repetitively in a monotonous way: “First, I’ll talk about what our competition is doing. Then I’ll talk about why we have to think differently. Then, I’ll talk about our new initiatives.” Then, I’m sure you will all shoot yourselves!
6. “My topic is . . .” To engage listeners immediately, you have to launch your presentation strongly. (See my article on “12 Foolproof Ways to Open a Speech.”) An opening that blandly announces your topic will fail in this respect. What’s engaging about telling people something they already know?
7. “I’ve been asked to speak about.” A variation of #6, and usually an attempt by the speaker to seem important.
8. “Sorry if” or “Sorry for.” Uh-oh. The speaker is apologizing for his or her presentation? “Sorry for this lengthy explanation. I couldn’t figure out a way to say it simply.” Okay, I invented that last sentence—but isn’t that what it sounds like?
9.”Excuse the eye chart.” (Variation: “I know this slide is really busy.”) Boy, haven’t you heard that one before? Here, the speaker actually is apologizing for making a PowerPoint slide incomprehensible. If a presenter can’t speak to everything on a slide in the time he or she shows it, the slide doesn’t work. It needs to be boiled down or broken up into more than one slide, or the speaker needs to tell the audience the full data are in the handout.
10. “I’d like to start out with a story.” A story is one of the flat-out most effective ways to open a speech or presentation. Its effect is considerably weakened, however, if you announce that you’re about to tell a story. I call it “introducing the Introduction.”
11. “There’s a funny joke . . .” Well, there may be. But you’re setting yourself up for failure if it isn’t funny. Zero-sum game and all that. Believe me, if you simply start with the joke, it’ll have much more punch. Even better: use humor rather than a joke. It won’t contain a punch-line, and it’s much easier to relate to your actual topic.
12. “Excuse me if I seem nervous.” Although some people think saying this will get an audience on your side, I think announcing your nerves is a bad idea. Most nervousness isn’t visible. Let the audience make the decision as to whether you look nervous. If they don’t notice it, why give the game away?
13. “I’m not good at public speaking.” Then go away.
14. “I’m not a speaker.” Yes, you are. Aren’t you giving a presentation? Besides, you don’t need to be a speaker unless you’re on the speaking circuit. Just share what you have to say with us. We’ll probably love it.
15. “I’ve never done this before.” You guessed it: this is instant death to your credibility. Again, do a good job and we’ll L-O-V-E you!
16. “Here are our key differentiators.” A fine phrase except for the salient words. This language is so overused that your “key differentiators” in your industry probably aren’t any such thing.
17. “I’ve divided them here into three buckets.” Unless you work on a farm or are planning to kick said bucket as part of the entertainment value of your talk, I would avoid the “buckets” cliché.
18. “Bear with me.” (Not “bare with me,” which would actually be interesting.) Typically said when the speaker is experiencing technical difficulties. We all do, of course. Why not have a back-up plan for keeping your audience interested if the technology doesn’t cooperate? I tell my clients—and I really mean it—that they should be prepared to give their talk if they leave their laptop with their slides in the cab on the way in from the airport.
19. “The next slide shows . . .” Transitions are vital elements of your speech or presentation. They help audience members negotiate the logic of your argument. You need to think about how to organically link your previous talking point with the one you’re about to introduce. Don’t appear to discover yourself what the next topic is when the slide pops onto the screen.
20. “Moving right along . . .” Truly the worst example of throwing one’s hands up in the air because you don’t know how to transition to your next point.
21. “Obstacles!” Or “Projects,” or any single word or phrase that blurts out what you’re about to discuss next. Find that organic transition, per Item #19 above.
22. “I think I’ve bored you enough.” Oh, let’s hope you haven’t bored your audience at all. And if you have, do you have to twist the knife this way?
23. “I didn’t have enough time . . .” Whether what you say after these words is “. . . to prepare,” “. . . to figure out what your needs were,” or “. . . to do the necessary research,” you shouldn’t be clueing your audience in to this startling reality.
24. “I’m running out of time, so I’ll go through this quickly.” It’s probably not a good idea to announce to everyone your lack of time management skills in this presentation, wouldn’t you say?
25. “That’s all I have.” “And so I didn’t give any thought to considering carefully how to end a speech vividly and memorably. So I’ll just jump off this cliff, and take you all with me!”
Do you have any death-dealing words or phrases to add to my list?
Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Me too! When someone pays me a compliment, it’s always so unexpected that it puts a bounce in my step. And although I am no Dr. Drew, I know that when we’re nice to others, they’re usually nice back. When we pay a compliment to someone, we feel better about ourselves by making another person feel better about him- or herself! And when we accept a compliment gracefully, it works the same way. Here are some tips on both giving and receiving compliments.
How to Give a Compliment
Giving a compliment is much easier than receiving one. A good rule is to simply tell another person whenever something complimentary about that person pops into your head. But there are also compliments that express something you’ve always thought about a person but have never put into words for some reason. (Sometimes we think the other person just knows how we feel or what we think, but of course putting it into words is the important thing.)
• The first rule about giving a compliment is that whatever you say should be honest and sincere.
• A woman-to-woman compliment is much simpler than when a woman compliments a man or vice versa. Most women are thrilled with a compliment from another woman, even if it’s someone they don’t know. Women who know each other, of course, can be more personal than if both are strangers. But when a woman compliments a man, it can be perceived as flirting. If a woman doesn’t want this to happen, she should take care to be impersonal, as in “That’s a beautiful shirt,” rather than “That shirt makes you look so handsome!” The situation is even trickier when a man compliments a woman. In our litigious society, I know more than a few men who worry about saying a woman looks attractive for fear of being accused of sexual harassment. So in this case, the words should be thoughtfully chosen. Even “Nice blouse!” can be taken to refer to what’s under the blouse instead of the blouse itself. In fact, it may be better for men not to compliment women at all unless they are close friends, and even then to make it clear that the remark is not a sexual advance. This is especially true when the man is more powerful than the woman, as in the case of an executive and his administrative assistant.
• How you give a compliment is almost as important as what you say. Eye contact is key when giving a compliment. Without eye contact, you might as well pay the compliment via Facebook. It’s all about face-to-face contact. Looking the other person in the eyes will speak volumes about your sincerity.
Receiving a Compliment
Receiving a compliment is difficult for many. Often our first reaction is to try and deflect attention by demurring or putting ourselves down. But this is not a graceful response, as it can make the compliment-giver feel unappreciated or even dismissed.
• You need only two words: thank you, with a smile, of course. But you could also follow it up with a small phrase such as, How nice of you, or What a nice thing to say. That in turn will make the compliment-giver pleased.
• As when giving a compliment, make sure you look the compliment-giver in the eyes when you thank him or her. No blushing or turning aside; eye contact means your thank-you is genuine.
One of my favorite quotes, from Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love, addresses the issue of how to appreciate ourselves and others: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous. Actually, who are you not to be? . . . We are all meant to shine, as children do. . . . And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Appreciating ourselves enough to accept compliments gracefully is the other side of appreciating others enough to compliment them. Give someone a sincere compliment today, and the next time you are complimented, accept it with grace and pleasure.
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov