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John Ortberg Quotes

John Ortberg

John Ortberg quotes: sharp sayings from the evangelical author.

“The greatest moment of your life is now. Not because it’s pleasant or happy or easy, but because this moment is the only moment you’ve got. Every past moment is irretrievably gone. It’s never coming back. If you live there, you lose your life. And the future is always out there somewhere. You can spend an eternity waiting for tomorrow, or worrying about tomorrow. If you live there, you likewise will lose your life.”

“Your mission starts where you are, not where you think you should be. Sometimes we’re tempted to think that our current position or job or situation is a barrier to our mission, but, in fact, it is where it starts.”

“If you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat.”

“You have a ‘turn’ every time you have an opportunity to choose. But most of us only see a tiny fraction of the choices we have.”

“Our beliefs are not just estimates of probabilities. They are also the instruments that guide our actions.”

“Sometimes the opportunity doesn’t involve going to a new place; it means finding a new and previously unrecognized opportunity in the old place.”

“Don’t wait for passion to lead you somewhere you’re not. Start by bringing passion to the place where you are.”

“Passion for our work is not usually a subterranean volcano waiting to erupt. It is a muscle that gets strengthened a little each day as we show up—as we do what is expected of us, and then some.”

“The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort.”

“The possibility of transformation is the essence of hope.”

“If you have a positive attitude, you are likely to live a decade longer than people with a negative attitude.”

Disciplined people can do the right thing at the right time in the right way for the right reason.”

“The harder you strike it, the deeper it goes.”

“Growth is the ability to handle larger and more interesting problems.”

“Significance is about who we are before it is about what we do.”

“Over time, grit is what separates fruitful lives from aimlessness.”

“People with the strongest and healthiest sense of calling are not obsessed with their calling. They are preoccupied with the caller.”

“Somebody said that if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

“Greatness is never achieved through indecision.”

“Failure isn’t falling down; failure is refusing to try.”

“Failure is not an event, but rather a judgment about an event. Failure is not something that happens to us or a label we attach to things. It is a way we think about outcomes.”

“Failure does not shape you; the way you respond to failure shapes you.”

“Habits eat good intentions for breakfast.”

“Our only hope is not for more willpower; it is for a new set of habits.”

“Good habits are enormously freeing—we accomplish good things almost on autopilot.”

“Willpower is trying very hard not to do something you want to do very much.”

“One of the great illusions of our time is that hurrying will buy us more time.”

“You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”

“I don’t have a problem with delegation. I love to delegate. I am either lazy enough, or busy enough, or trusting enough, or congenial enough, that the notion of leaving tasks in someone else’s lap doesn’t just sound wise to me, it sounds attractive.”

“Training is essential for almost any significant endeavor in life.”

“If we want to follow someone, we can’t go faster than the one who is leading.”

“Leadership is the art of disappointing people at a rate they can stand.”

“Some leaders are not intimidated by opposition; they actually thrive on it. It wakes them up. It energizes them. It calls them to battle. It causes them to mobilize their thoughts and energy.”

“Scratch the surface of any cynic, and you will find a wounded idealist underneath. Because of previous pain or disappointment, cynics make their conclusions about life before the questions have even been asked. This means that beyond just seeing what is wrong with the world, cynics lack the courage to do something about it. The dynamic beneath cynicism is a fear of accepting responsibility.”

“Skeptics would rather, even at their own expense, appear to be right than take the risk of trusting.”

“True joy, as it turns out, comes only to those who have devoted their lives to something greater than personal happiness. This is most visible in extraordinary lives, in saints and martyrs. But it is no less true for ordinary people like us.”

Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation.”

“Here’s the deal: the more you think you’re entitled to, the less you will be grateful for. The bigger the sense of entitlement, the smaller the sense of gratitude.”

“To become grateful, I must learn that I can handle disappointment and delayed gratification with grace and perseverance. This is why practices such as fasting and simplicity are such powerful tools for transformation. The experience of frustration and disappointment is irreplaceable in the development of a grateful heart.”

“Gratitude is what we radiate when we experience grace, and the soul was made to run on grace.”

“Sometimes we do not realize how much we have to be grateful for until it is threatened.”

“Acceptance is an act of the heart. To accept someone is to affirm to them that you think it’s a very good thing they are alive.”

“If you can’t do great things, Mother Teresa used to say, do little things with great love. If you can’t do them with great love, do them with a little love. If you can’t do them with a little love, do them anyway. Love grows when people serve.”

“If I have the courage to acknowledge my limits and embrace them, I can experience enormous freedom. If I lack this courage, I will be imprisoned by them.”

“Learning something new is a fabulous way to be refreshed. When work can grind you down, something about learning a new activity thrills the soul. It reminds you that the world is bigger than your desk and your to-do list.”

“People who are servants—humbly, honestly, and joyfully—keep getting revealed as the biggest winners. People who recognize and embrace their smallness keep getting bigger and bigger. It’s the oddest scoring system.”

“Never worry alone. When anxiety grabs my mind, it is self-perpetuating. Worrisome thoughts reproduce faster than rabbits, so one of the most powerful ways to stop the spiral of worry is simply to disclose my worry to a friend. The simple act of reassurance from another human being becomes a tool of the spirit to cast out fear—because peace and fear are both contagious.”

“Joyful people make us come alive.”

“Amusement is appealing because we don’t have to think; it spares us the fear and anxiety that might otherwise prey on our thoughts.”

“The most important task of your life is not what you do, but who you become. Who you become while you’re waiting is as important as what you’re waiting for.”

“What repeatedly enters your mind and occupies your mind, eventually shapes your mind, and will ultimately express itself in what you do and who you become.”

“To have my mind racing and my heart beating fast over glorious possibilities is very close to the summit of life experience for me.”

“Everybody wears an unseen sign that reads: ‘Inspire me. Remind me that my life matters; call me to be my best self; appeal to whatever in me is most noble and honorable. Don’t let me go down the path of least resistance. Challenge me to make my life about something more than the acquisition of money or success.'”

“What matters is not the accomplishments you achieve; what matters is the person you become.”

“The greatest moment of your life is now. Make your life about something bigger than your life.”

“Arrange your days so that you experience total contentment, joy and confidence in your everyday life.”

Cory Johnson: your momma’s neighbor’s side chick’s last Uber Eats delivery guy’s third-favorite blogger. Here’s how he makes millions of dollars blogging without being bothered.