If there is anything more motivating and mood-lifting than an inspirational quote, I don’t know what it is. I mean, who doesn’t love them?
They lift us up, make us want to be better more tolerant and intelligent people, and quite often they come with a picture an adorable kitty!
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been ready to quit or just been in the worst mood, then I’d catch sight of a plaque or an instagram post with a poignant statement that is exactly what I needed to see. A message telling me not to give up, that I matter, that I’m smart/strong/pretty enough to do what ever the hell I want to do.
Battle cry: YEAH!
Back in high school I’d fill whole notebooks with words that inspired me from movies, books, famous people, occasionally even teachers. I think knowing that other people in the world, successful, talented people, have experienced what I’ve experienced, made me feel less alone. It made their amazing success stories and achievements seem even more possible. And as Audrey Hepburn herself is quoted as saying:
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, ‘I’m possible.’”
An inspirational quote has the power to motivate me when I’m feeling lazy, lift me up when I don’t feel good enough, embolden me when I feel scared or scattered.
Sometimes, I just need permission to step back and enjoy the present.
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn
But I think quotes like this can also remind us that no matter how hard things might seem, others have faced hardships too, some much worse, and yet those people shine bright with wisdom and praise. Say it with me folks, Helen Keller.
“Once I knew only darkness and stillness… My life was without past or future… But a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living!”
That quote brings tears to my eyes every time. Here I am complaining about my hangnail or that jerk who cut me off in traffic and now I’m late for a job interview. Sure I’m bummed, but seriously, people have and will continue to survive and thrive from worse things.
But it’s more than that. Her story is inspiring because helping her must have seemed like an impossible, thankless task. And yet her teacher, Ann Sullivan, worked tirelessly to help her communicate. Imagine what else could be achieved with such commitment?
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.” Helen Keller
And that’s what it’s all about; gratitude, happiness, love, strength, courage. We need those things but in a busy world, sometimes we miss them. We forget how lucky and strong and courageous we are, we get stuck in our own heads and our thoughts make up our reality.
“With our thoughts, we make the world.” Buddha
(You get bonus points if heard this in the narrator’s voice from Monkey Magic LOL)
I recently learned about daily gratitude and it changed my life! It’s genuinely amazing how a few minutes in the morning and before bed could change my entire perception of the world around me. In fact, it’s a lot like the way I felt in high school copying down quotes that made me happy or inspired me to be better.
But here’s the thing, sometimes at the end of a loooong day where nothing has gone right and everyone was mean. You know the days I’m talking about. It can be damn impossible to find anything to be grateful.
I found this one by Kenji Miyazawa to be indispensable when I’m having a really hard time:
“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”
Sometimes when I read that one it makes me feel stronger, sometimes it makes me laugh at my own drama. Either way I come out feeling better and generally more able to find things that I’m grateful for. And there are many of those. My health, my home, my family, the fact that there is an inspirational quote for any and every situation and they are all available online!
“Live a life full of humility, gratitude, intellectual curiosity, and never stop learning.” Gza
More recently though, I found this quote by Swami Sivananda to be the most influential:
“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”
This quote was so inspiring to me, even in it’s simplicity or maybe because of it.
I wrote this one on a card and put it by my bed so it’s the first thing I see in the morning. These words remind me to be present, even when doing boring monotonous tasks. When I started doing this, like actively noticing what I was doing throughout the day, I realized just how much of my days were usually spent in autopilot!
By just having these words in the back of my mind, I found that I was more aware of my choices from toothpaste to soap, from my work chair to what I was eating for lunch, all done thoughtlessly before and probably not for the better. Even my TV habits changed and I made a decision that I would only watch shows that I genuinely enjoyed and if there was nothing on, I would switch it off.
And I guess that’s my thoughts for today. A lot of people make fun of those little Instagram posts bearing a kitty or a planet and accompanied by a quote from some random celebrity or historical figure. But the one message they all share is that words and ideas have power, so chose what you say and who you listen to, carefully.
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” Robin Williams