Every now and then we need a few inspirational quotes to get back on our feet. To help you feel better, I compiled a few quotes that help me get through the tough days. Enjoy.
It’s not how good you are – it’s how good you want to be. – Paul Arden, author
This is the title of a New York Times bestseller. (Which book isn’t a New York Times bestseller these days?) Anyway. I gave the book away. It was okay, but not super fantastic. The title is great and it gave me the power to focus on the future and stop hitting myself in the head as to why I was not as good right now. I used to have a difficult time with patience. I wanted, what I wanted, and I wanted it now. I was quite impatient as to achieving my goals. And I get easily tired of things, and I used to quit. Which brings me to the next quote.
Take away: ask yourself how good you want to be and stick to it.
If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit. – Tré Wee, Medium, blogger
I got this quote from an article on Medium. And it just hit me with 150 miles per hour that I had been doing the wrong thing for so long. Whenever things got a bit difficult I quit. Quitting was programmed into me. But with Tré Wee’s article, I changed. It was so obvious that I should just take a rest and get my shit together so I could go on again.
Sometimes we learn the wrong things either from being told or experience it first hand. The learning gets stuck in our mind. Then it takes an effort to “unlearn” these things again or at least perceive them in a new and constructive way. Take a hard look in the mirror and tell yourself, that you don’t have to quit when things get difficult; you only need to rest for a while.
Take way: learn to rest.
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn, motivational speaker
I almost didn’t mention this quote, because it’s cliché. But when I look at myself and my friends, I see that I am the average whether I like it or not. There’s not much to it. Look at your friends and ask yourself if they are what you want to be. And more importantly, if they are where you want to be. Because you’ll end up where they are and likewise.
It was ugly but I did it. I reviewed some of my friends, their character and being. I found a few of them too light according to my standards. It was necessary. At least for me. I’m not here to point fingers and say you should do the same. I was at a crossing in my life where I had to make up for myself if I wanted to be what they were.
Take away: decide who you want to be.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail better. – Samuel Beckett, author
How do you perceive yourself? Is it to be or not to be? To be a stutterer or not to stutter? To be a writer or not to be a writer? Or whatever it is that you would like to be or not. Until recently I lived my whole life between these dichotomies. Either I was or I wasn’t. Then one day I realized it was wrong. I failed. I failed hard believing in dichotomies. Because dichotomies are black and white. Dichotomies limit you.
I realized that I had to live my life based on values. With values like family, creativity, learning, and knowledge I had the power in my hand to maximize the values every day. Values never expire. You can always be more of the value that you choose to live by. On that point, dichotomies are constrained. Because either you are a writer or you’re not. With “writer” as a value, you can be more of a writer tomorrow than you are today. And that’s good.
So I got back on the horse (what a cliché) and trained myself to view my life through the lens of values.
Take away: failing = learning
Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. – Steven Pressfield, author
The resistance in you is telling you, what you can’t do. Every time you’re doing something out of your comfort zone, then resistance is telling you, that you can’t or shouldn’t do it. The voices in your head constraining you sound different, but it’s the same they tell us all. Resistance feeds on anxiety.
This year I have committed myself to do exactly the opposite of what the resistance is spinning in my head. And it feels great. I have published in English on my blog and on Medium. Remember that my native language is Danish. I have read 6 books until now this year, and done many other things. Each time the resistance visited and told me: “Nope, you can’t do that, because of random things.” It feels great to confront resistance. I can highly recommend Steven Pressfield’s The war of art. (not affiliate) It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read on the subject.
Take way: every time you confront resistance, you gain confidence.
Don’t let yesterday take too much of today. – Will Rogers, actor
There’s an old story about two monks. They are about to cross a river. On the shore, they meet an old lady. She can’t swim she tells them. The first monk says that he cannot have anything to do with women, so the starts to cross the river. But the other monk carries the old woman on his back. She gets perfectly dry-footed across the river. On the other side, he leaves her. The two monks carry on walking to the monastery. Halfway the first monk says: “Why on earth did you carry her? You know we aren’t allowed to have anything to do with women!” to which the second monk reply: “Do you still carry her? I left her on the shore.”
I like to journal. Every day I load of the things I thought about during the day. It’s like the second monk who left the woman on the shore and didn’t give her another thought. I release myself from the thoughts.
I used to journal in a Moleskine because the Moleskine brand fitted my high thoughts about myself. But in the end, they were too expensive and I realized that any journal book will do. At some point I used Evernote, but I like to journal by hand. Remember: any journal book will do. Your journaling doesn’t get better because the book is more expensive.
Take away: declutter your mind.
I am made of all the days you don’t see. – Jan Frodeno, pro triathlete. Graphic.
I got this quote from a triathlete magazine. Most of the time people only see the event where you succeeded doing what you have been struggling to achieve. They don’t see the process. But everything is a process.
No matter what you’re doing, think of it as a process. Not an event, because then you’ll be more likely to quit. If you think about things as an event, you’ll hit yourself in the head for not being where you want to be right here and now. And like the triathlete, you should learn to rest. It’s when you rest your muscles grow and you know if you’re doing it right.
Take away: everything is a process.
There are more stupid people, than there are clever ones. That’s why I sell stupid books. – Antiquarian, Denmark
I laughed so hard of this quote. I was selling all of my master’s degree books as part of my minimalist program. And then he said the above. But I think there’s at least one thing to learn from it.
- Whatever you do; simplify. When you simplify people will understand. And because of that you will reach your goals faster.
Take away: simplify.
All in all
Keep going no matter what. Here’s the complete list of all quotes.
- It’s not how good you are – it’s how good you want to be. – Paul Arden, author
- If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit. – Tré Wee, Medium, blogger
- You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. – Jim Rohn, motivational speaker
- Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail better. – Samuel Beckett, author
- Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it. – Steven Pressfield, author
- Don’t let yesterday take too much of today. – Will Rogers, actor
- I am made of all the days you don’t see.- Jan Frodeno, pro triathlete
- There are more stupid people, than there are clever ones. That’s why I sell stupid books. – Antiquarian, Denmark
Hope the quotes help you as much as they do for me.