Words of Wisdom…Quotes that Lead in New Directions

True to the name of our business – New Directions – we look for the maps, ideas, and ways of seeing and working together that can enable us to create a thriving future distinct from the harmful ways of the past. The following is a compilation of quotes, insights, and good questions gathered along the way in 2013:

The Change Before Us

“To navigate life today, we definitely need new maps. Our old ones confuse us unendingly. These new maps are waiting for us.” – Meg Wheatley

“The distance between possible and impossible is shrinking – it all comes down to what we can imagine.” – Muhammad Yunus

“The greatest of stresses comes from believing deeply in one set of values and finding you are trapped into living by another set.” – Rachel Naomi Remen

“Clarity and coherence are priceless in our times of increasing breakdown and overwhelm.” – GreatTransitionStories.org, which indexes “narratives that are universally understandable and highly useful for navigating through these unprecedented times.”

What is dying to be born?

Leadership and Our Role

Don’t stay where you are tolerated…go where you are celebrated.

“I refuse to be part of this reality manufactured for me by other people.” – Ron Finley, guerilla gardener in South Central LA

“Don’t worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?” – Rumi

Forest sun

“The leadership task is to postpone problem solving and stay focused on possibility until it is spoken with resonance and passion.” – Peter Block

“Emergence is the manifestation of the truly new that has never existed before, where new connections are made that create a new whole. It requires a degree of chaos, where the structuring comes not from manmade attempts at control, but from holding a strong energetic container for the necessary chaos, while staying with the guiding question and the intent that the emergence is invited to serve.” – Ria Baeck and Helen Titchen Beeth


“I would never trade a question for an answer…answers as I see it, are useful to have around, but kind of boring too…I mean, they don’t seem to participate in the ever transforming dance of the whole universe, as we are. Sticking with them means you lost out on most of the fun.”
– From Mused, A Day at the Park, a must-read story about questions and answers

The first people had questions, and they were free. The second people had answers, and they became enslaved. –Ancient Earth Wisdom

“Questions are fateful. They determine destinations. They are the chamber through which destiny calls.” – Godwin Hiatshwayo

“Questions lead you to others whose lives are propelled by the same questions…finding a “spark of instructive fire.” – Gregg Levoy

What is the most important conversation that we are not having?

How We Come Together for Good

“There’s not a snowball’s chance in hell we can deal with the changes ahead with 17th century command and control organizations.” -Dee Hock

“We need innovation not only in physical technologies but also in social architectures.” – Marjorie Kelly

“The power to change these days is remarkably well distributed, leaving plenty of room for serendipity and revitalization.” – Bill McKibben

“Human interaction is the key force in overcoming resistance and speeding change.” – Atul Gawande

“Comprehension is mapping your story onto mine.” – Roger Shank

“Perhaps change is less about fixing a broken world and more about uncovering hidden wholeness in all events, organizations, and people.” – Rachel Naomi Remen

“We can’t have a just society that applies the principle of accountability to the powerless and the principle of forgiveness to the powerful.” – Chris Hayes

“The beauty of peer-to-peer exchanges is that sometimes the most important ideas come to us when we let other people riff on top of our ideas” – Steven Johnson

“The future must enter you long before it happens. Just wait for the birth, for the hour of new clarity.” – Rilke


“May we find new ways of working together as relatives
so this world we love
can give way to one even more beautiful.”

– Melissa Nelson

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