TBG's Words to Live By

April 18, 2018 | Susan Iovenitti

It seems like everywhere I go these days, I see an inspirational saying at every turn—on a billboard, a passerby’s t-shirt, or a travel mug. The TBG offices are no exception, as our team has its fair share of inspirational quotes on notebooks, wall posters and tchotchkes that can be seen around the office on any given day.

Our favorite quotes come from famous athletes, authors, cultural icons and celebrities, historical or religious figures (or even from a family member). They may be short, long, funny or serious. They may make us laugh, provide us with perspective or give us that extra push we need to get over the finish line.

Inspirational quotes guide the TBG team through our work and personal lives. A strong inspirational saying, whether in the form if a quote, mantra, idiom or proverb, serves as the words that we can live by, and we’ve included some of our favorites below.

woman in hot air balloon

“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

- MARY OLIVER

Hillary, Digital Architect & UX Strategist

This line and the rest of Mary Oliver's poem "The Summer Day" reminds me life is short and beautiful and as long as we keep moving, planning, improving, dreaming, and experiencing, we'll be making the most of our time here.

perspective looking down on man on earth

“Look down on yourself from outer space.”

- JORDAN BRAUNER

Jordan B, Front-end Developer

When I’m stressed about something I like to imagine observing myself from a bird’s eye view. Then “zooming out” until I see more and more of the earth until finally I’m picturing the entire planet. I find it puts things into perspective while also reminding me that I’m a pretty big nerd.

woman standing upside down in swamp

“Do or do not. There is no try.”

- YODA

Jordan L, Account Manager

I approach project management like honing in on skills to become a Jedi....you can always be better, do better, and are faced with challanges you think you can't overcome daily. Whenever I get nervous about failing, I channel my inner Yoda and all seems right with the world.

man standing on a ship

“When you can’t change the direction of the wind—adjust your sails.”

- H. JACKSON BROWN, JR.

Eugene, Developer

When life gives me lemons, I remind myself to focus on all the positives in my life, instead of the negatives. I adjust my attitude about something to improve the situation.

woman with post its in front of a mountain and rainbow landscape

“It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.”

- HENRY DAVID THOREAU

Chelsea, Sr. Digital Strategist & UX Architect

I have the good fortune of working with organizations to define new digital strategies and experiences. I’m often reminded of Henry David Thoreau's words early in projects when sifting through data, whiteboarding rough concepts, and imagining all the possibilities. In my role, it's an absolute must to look at the familiar and see the potential.

woman laying down in therapy with Rorschach painting as the background

“Too much thinking leads to paralysis by analysis.”

- ROBERT HERJAVEC

Kelly, Digital Strategist & UX Architect

We're always encouraged to think about things differently and from every angle when creating, but sometimes that spirals into overthinking that can ruin a perfectly good idea. I've started to learn to catch myself when I'm over-analyzing something. Sometimes you just need to take a step back, and just go with it!

woman stepping from stone to stone

“Make a choice, then make the next one. Don't let fear of the future determine what you do now.”

- MARK MACRI

Audra, Account Manager

My dad said some version of this to me when I was in high school and it always stuck with me. I was always worried about how my decisions now would affect my long term future. We can only plan so far ahead, so he had me focus on making my next choice to the best of my abilities; once there, then make the next choice and so on.

woman launching toy boat on water

“Tra il dire e il fare, c'è di mezzo il mare.”

- ITALIAN PROVERB

Julia, Creative Director

Between saying and doing, there is the sea. I take this to mean more than just the fact of the distance between them—what happens in that divide? So much of what we do is creating the push to transform the theory into reality, machining the best boat that unified, creative minds can muster to get there. A good crew knows that the process itself will shape what happens on the other side. Getting to "il fare" is its own journey, and the quality of that journey matters.

man in a board game

“Enjoy the little things in life because one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things.”

- KURT VONNEGUT

Eric W, Associate Creative Director

Sharing a laugh with colleagues, playing board games with my family, watching my dog frolic in the snow. It's so easy to lose sight of the little things, but they are all around us. I try to remind myself frequently to never take these things for granted.

woman as lotus flower

“No mud, no lotus.”

- THICH NHAT HANH

Ami, Manager of Marketing & New Business

Whenever I'm having a hard time with a project or a task, I remember this proverb: no mud, no lotus. It reminds me that we can't achieve something beautiful, innovative and transformational without something that is ugly (the mud) but more importantly, without a rich foundation that is the basis of an awe-inspiring creation. We must acknowledge our hard work (and our suffering, according to Thich Nhat Hanh) and push through those difficulties to yield happiness, creation, and advancement.

woman holding candle and her reflection

“There are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

- EDITH WHARTON

Susan, Director of Digital Strategy & User Experience

One of the aspects that I love about my job is getting to work closely with others to come up with new ideas and ways of looking at complicated problems or situations. Edith Wharton's words help me to remember that I bring positive energy and ideas to situations and those that I'm working with. It also reminds me that I can take ideas and solutions that others have and help to shine additional insight or influence on them to help them succeed or see their own ideas and solutions come to fruition.

man as "I" in "it is what it is"

“It is what it is.”

- REX GROSSMAN

Joe H, Account Manager

This is one of those sayings that a lot of people think is redundant or stating the obvious...and they aren't wrong. But that's just it—the truth is actually often times very obvious. Thinking on what could be or what would have happened isn't wrong either, but dwelling on them can be. For me, this is a simple way of spelling out the reality of a situation, accepting it for what it is, and then moving forward however best I can. Plus, you can drop it in any conversation ever, and it makes sense! So remember, when a tough situation comes up, it is what it is, but now you know and you can face it with courage. (Sidebar: I'm a Chicago Bears fan, and when embattled Super Bowl QB Rex Grossman said the phrase in an interview when talking about his job security, I was excited. So even though he didn't pen the phrase, attributing it to him isn't wrong either!)

About the Author

photo of Susan
Susan Iovenitti

I'm TBG's Director of Digital Strategy & User Experience. When I'm not at work, you'll find me in yoga class, attending a concert, or dining at a new restaurant in Baltimore.

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