Dr. Ramey's favorite quotes
By: Dr. Gregory Ramey
In addition to collecting baseball cards, I started writing down favorite quotes when I was in elementary school. My mom “cleaned out” (i.e., threw away) my cards when I went to college, but I’ve continued to collect inspirational perspectives from others.
My collection has changed over the years. I’ve deleted “feel good” quotes that didn’t make any sense. Peter Pan’s admonition that “Anything is possible if you wish hard enough” falls into that category. Here are some of my favorites.
- “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” (William Ward) Our happiness is less dependent upon what happens to us, and more related to how we adjust to minor frustrations and serious traumas. Therapy is about learning how to “adjust the sails” to deal with life.
- “Sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” (Dr. Seuss) Many parents feel overwhelmed by the challenges of getting through the day, and fail to appreciate the fleeting joys of family life. I encourage families, both parents and children, to take a few moments to reflect upon the many good things they experience every day.
- “If you’ve done what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” (Tony Robbins) I’m a bit taken aback by parents who bring their child to see a therapist but then are reluctant to make any changes. Talking with a child, without any parental modifications, rarely accomplishes anything. If you are not willing to try different approaches, don’t bother going to therapy.
- “Scars remind us of where we’ve been…they do not have to dictate where we are going…” I use this quote from “Criminal Minds” with kids who have experienced serious trauma. These children will never forget the sexual abuse or emotional turmoil of their childhood. However, yesterday’s pain doesn’t have to dictate today’s behaviors.
- “The only way I know how to fix my past is by taking control of my future.” This quote from the movie “Synchronicity” captures the essence of therapy. I tell kids that their lives are like a book. It’s fine to talk about the past, but none of that can be rewritten. What happened in a previous chapter doesn’t mandate the rest of their life story. They are in control. Change the way you think and feel and act. You can write a new chapter in your life.
- “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” (Wayne Dyer) Therapy is about challenging and changing negative, defeatist, and illogical belief systems. Stop being a victim. Develop a sense of gratitude. Learn what to accept and what you can influence.