I don’t know about you, but I love a good quote.

I use ’em all the time, whether to start a blog post or to help articulate a point in conversation (trying to sound sophisticated and all edu-ma-cated).

But you know what’s even better than an over-used, often wrongly-attributed quote from a misunderstood historical figure?

The real and inspiring things that real and inspiring people around the world are saying, right now.

Who inspires the inspirers? Real people, that’s who. And I’d like to introduce you to a few of my friends who help me when I’m feeling uninspired.

recent wisdom from 12 friends

“…writing books is all-fucking-consuming if you want to do it right. And, I want to be consumed for the rest of my life. In flames. But not like Joan of Arc. Just me. Feeling hot and devotional. With a great sound track.” — Danielle LaPorte, White Hot Truth

“Today, I’m grateful for these reminders that I have no idea what’s going on in the worlds of most of the people I interact with every day, yet I can practice empathy for others and adjust how I react in any given situation.” — Brandon Sutton, BrandonSutton.com

“The universe rewards backbone. IT PAYS OFF to stick up for yourself, to say the hard truth, and to make the hard choices about where to spend your time and attention. It pays off in sanity. Ease. Lightness. Sense of self. Confidence. Clarity. And cajones. You are no good to anyone if you run yourself ragged trying to please everyone.” — Jenny Blake, Life After College

“Many of us our held prisoner by our past and the worst part is we don’t even realize it. We the let the past define us and our future actions and thoughts end being based on past events. We hold on to our past as if it’s something that we can change. But, the past has already happened. It’s done and over with, so the best thing we can do is take a lesson from it and move on.” — Srinivas Rao, The Skool of Life

I’m experiencing those familiar effects of overwhelm. I have daily urges to throw up my hands, hibernate and ignore my massive actions plans. Here’s the thing.  I’m learning how to just be with my overwhelm. To recognize it, be gentle with it, and not blame myself for letting it “get to this point again.” — Molly Mahar, Stratejoy

“Because of you, we now have $13,000 to put towards our Girls Education Program in Sierra Leone this year. In July, our team in Sierra Leone will be purchasing 100 school uniforms, dresses, hats, socks, shoes and backpacks. Plus hundreds of exercises books, text books, pens, pencils and stationary. Our Scholarship Girls will have their school fees paid in full, so they are guaranteed a place at school for the next year.” — Chantelle Baxter, One Girl

“No matter how out-of-control your day is, no matter how stressful your job or life becomes, the act of being present can become an oasis. It can change your life, and it’s incredibly simple.” — Leo Babauta, zen habits

“Lasting happiness is rooted in helping others.” — Amber Rae, revolution.is

“You probably have something amazing in your head waiting for you to do it. But something so small it’s laughable is stopping you from doing it. Not because it’s impossible to solve (it’s actually probably pretty easy to work around), but because you’re scared to do the work.” — Joel Runyon, Blog of Impossible Things

“The secret to life is that there is no secret. The secret is when you’re told that you have a 10% survival rate, and you choose to love and to smile at everyone around you instead of succumbing to fear. … The secret is when everyone around you is telling you that you cannot make it happen, and it’s just not going to happen for you, and you dare to dream big.” — Bernardo Mendez, YourGreatLifeTV

“There’s a lot of emphasis on trying to accelerate the path to success by spending a ton of time studying the methods of those have succeeded… But, what it doesn’t take into account is the fact that the thing that led them to be able to do what they do is that they, themselves, messed up, over and over and over, and it was that repeated intimate relationship with the mistakes that led to a deep enough understanding of ‘why’ it needed to be done differently that led to their success.” — Jonathan Fields, JonathanFields.com

“This is your life dammit! And it is going to be a WILD, INSANE, CRAZY, ride! If it is anything different, if it isn’t 99% a wild ride, if you aren’t looking at your life as this amazing adventure then you aren’t really living!!!” — Lauren Rains, The Mad To Live

Who do you look to for inspiration every week?

Share some names with us in the comments below. :)

Rock steady.

Photo credit: courtesy @heyamberrae