≡ Menu

Jane Pauley Quotes

Jane Pauley

Jane Pauley quotes: great life advice from the A-list anchor.

“Sometimes it takes the better part of a lifetime to find out what your passion is, but in my observation, if you do, it might be the best part of your life.”

“There might be false starts and do-overs.  You are entitled to experiment before you find your calling.”

“Don’t wait until you know the destination before beginning the journey.  To try something that you fail at is, in my experience, proving that you had the guts to try.  If you don’t have something that you’ve failed at, maybe it means you weren’t trying that hard.  The brain doesn’t learn from success, it learns from failure.”

“The most likely moment for something incredible to happen to me was the moment I was most certain nothing ever would.”

“I define success as when I say ‘yes’ when I am given an opportunity.  ‘No’ doesn’t get you anywhere.  Say yes as often as you can.  Say yes more.  Say yes to more new things.”

“I had opportunities, good chances.  I said yes.  I said yes when I should have said, ‘Are you kidding?  Me?’  I said yes.  My life didn’t happen because I went out and conquered the world.  My life happened because I said yes.”

“Everything you want most in the world is just beyond the range of your comfort zone.”

“Think less and do more.  We learn from trial and error.  You can take a step forward before you settle on that final destination.”

“You cannot look at a sleeping cat and feel tense.”

“Embrace your many passions.  People think they only have one true self but the reality is we have multiple selves.  If it’s in you, it wants air time.  And sooner or later, it bubbles up.  What’s different now is that my generation, by virtue of living longer and healthier lives, more of us will live long enough to have opportunities for those multiple selves to bubble up and get air time.”

“I’m not driven by killer ambition.  I’m not a workaholic.  I’m a good team player.  I don’t have to be captain, but I do want to play on a winning team.”

“I spent an awful lot of my life underestimating myself and, as a result, not exceeding my own expectations.”

“My daytime show The Jane Pauley Show is my favorite thing on my resume, because it was a failure, and it was a brave thing.  It took courage to try it.  And I think a resume with no failure on it suggests someone wasn’t trying hard enough.  So I’m proud of that failure.  My book isn’t about success stories.  It’s about people who try.”

“My parents had an experience of life that is as opposite to mine as you can imagine.”

“When I grew up, there were common patterns to people’s lives.  Now everybody is just making it up as they go along.”

“I’m very sensitive about being held up as some sort of example.  I don’t consider myself any sort of role model at all.  I have great advantages over many other working women, and my schedule allows me more time with my kids than many working women have.”

“I think my children know that mother’s priority is to be with them first.  But I don’t think it has to be an either/or situation.  Work is very important to me, and it wouldn’t be in the best interest of my children for me to stay home seven days a week.”

“Kids learn more from example than from anything you say; I’m convinced they learn very early not to hear anything you say, but to watch what you do.”

“I’ve come to recognize what I call my ‘inside interests.’  Telling stories.  And helping people tell their stories is a sort of interpersonal gardening.  My work at NBC News was to report the news, but in hindsight, I often tried to look for some insight to share that might spark a moment of recognition in a viewer.”

“I love working with an audience.  I love working with actual people who, you know, if they’re moved, you see it.  If you say something they’re stunned by, you see their jaws drop.  If they’re amused, they laugh.  That kind of reinforcement, I totally adore.”

“So many people have that yearning for something and they don’t know what it is.  My latest book, Your Life Calling: Reimagining the Rest of Your Life, I hear myself talk about this topic with a quality that can only be described as passion.  Apparently I have discovered I have a passion for storytelling in this context with a message that the later decades of mid-life can be aspirational.”

“I see myself as life-sized, certainly not a supersized personality, and apparently after 30 years of television, that’s what the audience thinks of me as well.  I know this because for the first time in my career, I’ve just seen market research, and the thing I am known for is being authentic.”

“Many people come to reinvention when life changes around them, but people come in all different stripes.  I’m oriented to change.”

“Your 40s are a major trough.  About the age of 50, feelings of satisfaction begin to rebound and keep rising into your 50s, 60s and 70s, with health being a major factor.”

“We’re going to live longer than our parents’ generation, and there comes a point when you ask yourself, ‘What am I going do?’  You can only play so much golf.”

“The courage to try something new makes me proud.”

“The years after 50 can be a time of great productivity, meaningful work, pleasure, creativity, and innovation.  It’s a huge opportunity.”

“Over the years, I’ve become an expert at reification (which is to make an abstract idea concrete).  You get an idea, you develop it, you do it.”

“Volunteer earlier, and the transitional time of your life might be easier.  Inspiration, epiphany, serendipity can’t be called up at will.  Rather than wait for an epiphany, find a cause you care about, find out who’s already doing the best work in that area, then think about what you have to contribute.”

“We can all learn from the example of Betty Ford who inspired the fight against breast cancer when people were still too afraid to even talk about it.  We wear pink ribbons and race for cure.  Hope saves lives.  It changes attitudes.”

“We are the best educated generation in the history of the world and we arrived in a labor market in a time of prosperity—those of us who didn’t get drafted and go to Vietnam.  We are America’s biggest natural asset.  Think of the impact we can have, if in the next decade, the boomers are inspired to do more and reimagine their lives.  There won’t be reinvention books in the future; it’s simply going to be a way of life.”

“I’ve always been profoundly ambivalent about fame.  I think it just eats the reality out of you and it can be intoxicating because I like some of it.  I do like some of the perks.  Who wouldn’t like that?”

“Nobody calls me silly.  That is not a word that applies to me.”

“My guess is that people look at me and project their own values—importance of family, ego is healthy but not the biggest thing.  I don’t know.  I can’t explain my popularity.”

“I envy people with dreams and passions, but I don’t think that way.  I still don’t have a ‘bliss’ to follow.  For people like me (I suspect that’s most people) holding out for a ‘dream’ or a ‘passion’ is paralyzing.  I just like having work I enjoy that feels meaningful.  That’s hard enough, but it’s enough.”

“I would not take for granted that my personal life—because I knew better than anybody—that it was just a life.  It was surprisingly an ordinary life.”

Related: Hoda Kotb quotes.

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.