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You must do the things you think you cannot do



by Giulietta "Julie" Nardone

I’m an inspirational quote junkie.

And from the tweets on Twitter, I’m not alone.

Many of us seem to be searching for ways out of our ruts, the ones we’ve been conditioned to hunker down inside. So, we send each other quotes said by folks who came before us, folks who, perhaps, found a way out of their own ruts.

Here are a few of my favorite rut ejectors.

Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. "

~ Cadet Maxim

Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever.”

~ Philip Andrew Adams

You must do the things you think you cannot do.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I especially love the Eleanor Roosevelt quote because it saved my life.

No jest.

Someone left her quote by accident (or on purpose?) on a subway car. It tumbled onto my lap, so I tucked it in my purse and brought it to work where I taped it on the hideous beige wall next to my desk. Prior to that quote confrontation, I’d never thought about quotes. I didn’t know someone else’s words could speak to me. That’s how shut off from inspiration I felt.

I’d been slowly dying in my work rut, rotting from the inside out, with seemingly no way out.

It wasn’t a lack of what’s commonly called education. I’d gone to grad school. It wasn’t a lack of good colleagues. They were fun. It wasn’t a lack of a good location. In the beautiful city of Boston.

It was a lack of freedom, an inability to call my own life shots, a feeling that I had to obey my boss’s stupid orders or I’d lose this job I hated. How ironic was that?

The Eleanor Roosevelt quote attracted more quotes. Pretty soon they covered most of the wall. I listened to what they had to say, which enabled me to listen to what other folks had to say, which eventually allowed me to listen to what I had to say.

I wanted out.

I developed a loose, semi-plan and made the leap. Within one year, I had a much better paying job with flexible hours and the best boss I ever had. Other than taking a few classes, I didn’t even go back to school to get this job. I decided to be something and just became it.

Who knew?

That decision snowballed into many other decisions. I saw for the first time that my rut had a ladder out of it.

All it required from me was the courage to climb out one rung at a time.

By the time you get out of school, you’ll probably be blinded to the fact that every rut comes with a ladder. Otherwise, how would you have gotten down there? We’re taught to obediently climb down and stay down, held there by nothing but the fears and insecurities drummed into us.

I’m here to encourage you to look around until you see that ladder.

See it?

Why not test out the rungs? They’re stronger than you think.

Giulietta “Julie” Nardone is an inspirational rebel, graphic designer, essayist and karaoke singer. Please visit her blog at

Go on with your bad, beautiful self

The hardest to learn was the least complicated