I often have people asking me what my favorite quotes are. It’s a funny thing. I’m picky about quotes. Maybe it’s the writer in me, but I just think there are too many life quotes floating around on social media that either have little meaning or offer totally misguided advice (I even talk about the famous “Happiness is a choice” quote, which I mostly disagree with, in my TEDx talk).
There are, however, a select few favorites that have lead me to major “aha” moments and continue to offer me strong guidance in my everyday life. So, I thought I’d share five here that have been huge for me, and just why I think they’re so profound.
1. “If a train doesn’t stop at your station, then it’s not your train.” – Marianne Williamson
This is such a simple and empowering explanation as to why some people or opportunities may pass us by – they simply are not for us. This quote has eased my hurt and disappointment on so many occasions and emboldened me to know that my train, that is the perfect one for me, is on the way in its own time. LOVE.
2. “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou
Holy shit that’s a good quote! I soooo used to make excuses for people and give people who wronged me (or were just jerks in general) so many more chances than they deserved. Why? I’m a very forgiving and empathetic person. But, it took me a long time to realize that you can be forgiving and empathetic while still being watchful about whom you allow into your space, and being wise enough to know when to immediately navigate away from people who have shown you clearly who they truly are. Not that some people don’t deserve second chances – I’m a big believer in that (3rd chances…very rarely). Just proceed with caution.
Oh, the wise and beautiful Maya Angelou. How I miss her presence in the world.
3. “If you want the best the world has to offer, offer the world your best.” – Neale Donald Walsch
Perhaps the most powerful truth to live by is that you get out of life what you put into it. Negative, unmotivated people who eat like crap will get the same vibes (and probably several illnesses) in return. Positive people who care for themselves, offer the world their best, and treat others with kindness will get the very best back from life. It’s really that simple.
4. “Happiness is a state of activity.” – Aristotle
This quote is one of the biggest inspirations behind the powerful changes I made in my life to become a happy person, and behind my book, Operation Happiness – The Three Step Plan to Creating a Life of Lasting Joy, Abundant Energy, and Radical Bliss. People don’t “find happiness” like you’d find a penny on the ground; they make it happen with action. With activity. Happiness is not simply a choice or something you find, it’s actually something you DO.
5. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
If you’ve read my book or followed me for some time, it’s no secret that I speak openly about the hells (plural, because there are so many different kinds) I’ve been through in my life. We’ve all been through at least a few versions of hell in this life so far, right? During the worst of it, for me, just remembering to keep going was sometimes all I could manage. And it worked. I always came out stronger, wiser, and better than before. Not without a few dings and scars, but I believe those are the things that make us more beautiful, don’t you think?