Quote for a positive outlook ?

Submitted by Scott on Sun, 29/09/2019 - 21:15

In the life I had,before  the haunting spectre of leukaemia began to drift around my being,  I loved the world of work I was engaged in. 

My professional qualification was as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) which meant teaching folk not only to drive, but also a variety of additional topics which my initial training and skill set development  had allowed me access to. 

One of my favourite teaching arenas was in the classroom based driver diversion course delivery. Namely delivering Speed Awareness courses for motorists who had made an incorrect call on their speed choices when passing a camera. 

It was early on during this work that I first came across the use of motivational quotes to inspire a positive reaction. 

Imagine, you have just recieved a letter from your local constabulary, informing you that in order to avoid three penalty points on your driving licence, you can instead pay just under a hundred pounds and give up four hours of your time to attend a course. 

The twenty five souls who turned up on the course initially were generally angry and frustrated to say the least. 

They would be looking to lash out , usually verbally but very occasionally physically at the first person they saw who represented the authorities.. Namely me ! 

We therefore used a specific strategy, as trainers, to get as many people on side before the session as possible. 

Just engaging with delegates in the waiting room used to go a long way to get the negativity out of the way.. The other thing we always had on the big A -Board in the classroom alongside our names was a motivational quote . 

We had to be careful to pick one that would let people realise they were entering a positive environment and not going in to be told off ! 

When you have so many to choose from to convey a message you have got to pick them carefully. 

Many famous people are great for sound bite quotes .. Winston Churchill, Barack Obama and many other politicians.. Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu all featured regularly on the boards. 

It made logical sense for me to use quotes when I entered the hospital environment following my diagnosis in 2016. 

I have a good friend who used to send me a quote a day to motivate and inspire me during my time as a guest of the local health trust. 

It was around that time , during that summer 2016 stay that I came across the inspirational person who has shaped my life during the subsequent years. 

The controversial figure that is Lance Armstrong. The cyclist and cancer survivor, who motivated me to get out of my hospital bed and onto a bike after a hiatus of thirty years. 

One thing that Armstrong can’t be criticised for is the high volume of fantastic motivational quotes that appear in all of his books. 

I have set up a quotes wall in every room I have stayed in , mainly with his sporting based stuff it has to be said . 

I don’t know what it is about them but I seem to draw such a positive energy from them , just reading them and writing them out on index cards for the wall . 

My favourites include : 

“ Always give 100% whatever your 100% looks like” 

“ A negative mind will never give you a positive life” 

“If you ever get a second chance in life for something you’ve got to go all the way” 

That really resonated with me folllowing my relapse in 2018. 


The one I had taped to my bike handlebars during my first ever century ride read simply

 “Remember you can keep going long after you think you can’t “ 

I encountered two very steep inclines on the ride where I had to get off my bike and push , both times I read the quote out loud to myself as the sweat dripped off my face onto the card ..At no point however did I consider giving up during the nine hours I was out on the course for . 

I guess everyone is very different in how they approach the most critical attempt to survive in their life. Every other patient I have encountered has a unique take on how to progress that survival attempt forward. 

On my diagnosis day, the consultant said we have all the doctors ,the staff, the medicine to make your condition treatable,how you respond to the treatment is largely down to you .. Which fifty percent you fall into can be guided by your approach to what is going to happen. 

I took that to mean that if I kept a positive mind to the situation and focused on looking forward I was in with a shot of survival. Those words have stayed in my head during some really dark moments. 

The quotes wall I set up at UCLH was added to by staff and consultants over the weeks , I think they realised just how positive it made my approach to them and the situation in general. 

I am now in a reflective phase of my recovery ,over a year in remission, but still have quotes with me at all times. 

Continually making hope stronger than my fear of failure! 


March 2016 

Diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. 


August 2016 


February 2018 


July 2018 - present 

Still turning the pedals over .. The journey continues... 

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