1. “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.” -Andy Bernard, The Office.
It’s made me appreciate the quality time I spend with my family and friends. Knowing I’ll never get this time back, I wanna be able to look back on these days and know I made the most of them with the people that matter most.
2. “You’re not in traffic, you are traffic.”
Made me more mindful of my own contribution to the things that go on in my life, and take more ownership over them.
3. “Even the longest days are twenty-four hours.”
I find myself repeating that in my head on especially terrible days.
4. “Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary feelings.”
To me, this quote’s message is really about not acting on things in the heat of the moment or impulses. Wait and see how things go before making important decisions – whether that’s a few hours, a few weeks, or a few years.
5. “Don’t ruin a Tuesday wishing it was Friday”
No idea who said it but it made my Tuesday a little better last week.
6. “Going sideways is a funny way of going forwards, but often it’s the only way.”
Things may not be going the way you want them to, but what other choice do you have than to stagnate?
7. “Worrying means you suffer twice” -Newt Scamander
Really helps me cope with my crazy anxiety sometimes.
8. “Beware the advice of successful people; they do not seek company.”
I don’t take this at face value, many successful people genuinely want to help others. But it does remind me that everyone has an agenda, no one has a guidebook for life, and I should think critically about anyone’s purported methods for success.
9. “All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.” – Mitch Albom
It didn’t really make me think in a different way about my whole life or whatever, but it definitely helped me think better of my parents and how it’s impossible for them to be perfect, no one’s perfect. It was the start of me appreciating them and how hard parenthood is more and our relationship being better.
10. “If the formula doesn’t work, you change the formula.” – Egoraptor.
It was originally said in terms of a gameplay element, but is applicable to life in general.
11. There’s a few.
1.) This one my step dad told me when I was depressed because of really unfortunate and unfair events that happened to me and i was in my feelings. “The world will not treat you any better because you are a good person but that is no excuse not to be one.”
2.) This one was told to me by my late grandfather when I was roughly ten. I know he didn’t come up with it obviously but he told me: “You can only shoot an arrow by pulling it back first. So when life drags you back, it’s preparing to launch you forward. so just relax, focus and keep aiming.”
3.) I forget who or where this one came from but it’s: “You have to learn how to heal yourself or you will spend your whole life bleeding on people who didn’t cut you.”
12. “If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn’t have hotdogs.” -Greg Universe, Steven Universe
It’s from a cartoon, but it’s just such a wholesome and fun way of saying that it’s okay to not be perfect and to make mistakes, that’s what makes us unique and defines our character.
13. “If you can’t get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you’d best take it out and teach it to dance”. -George Bernard Shaw
I have a past which, while not bad, makes my existence kind of controversial. I used to be ashamed of it and constantly worry about what others would think of me if they found out, and I would focus an inordinate amount of energy into making sure they never did. It was exhausting and gave me constant anxiety.
This quote and a series of events when I was 17-18 changed my outlook on my situation- I own who I am now. I might not actively talk about my past, but I also don’t avoid it or lie about it. I’ve accepted that I am who I am and my past is what made me this way, and more importantly, that I can’t erase my entire existence before age 16 and I shouldn’t try to.
14. Funny enough, it was something my mom said to me once.
Before then, I was…full of myself. I was one of those “gifted, but troubled” kids that teachers loved and doted on because I was sooooooo smart, and my peers hated me for it.
But then, one day, Mom changed my way of thinking.
“Every person on the street does something better than you. Everyone you know knows more about something than you do. I mean, there was one guy I went to high school with who was dumb as a rock. He barely had two brain cells to rub together, but he’s one of the best mechanics I know. He can take an engine apart and put it back together like it was nothing. Can you do that?
Everyone has knowledge of something that you don’t have. In a way, that means everyone is smarter than you.”
That little talking-to shaped me into the person today, and brought me down to Earth.
15. My boss once told me: “There are no big jobs or small jobs, only jobs that need to be done right” and that has always stuck with me.
16. “A raindrop never feels responsible for the flood”
17. I don’t remember the name of who said it, but this is it,
“If I have an apple and you have an apple, and we trade apples, then we both still have one apple.
But if you have an idea and I have an idea, and we trade ideas, then we both have two ideas.”
18. About 8 years ago I was in a rough spot in my life. A guy told me, “Whatever you did to get yourself here, do the exact opposite to get yourself out”. It’s simple (and maybe not useful to all situations in life), but worked for the situation I was in and still remember it.
19. “It’s hard to be a cynic at twenty.” Something about seeing that written out made me completely change my perspective on life. It made me realize that there is so much left for me to do in life and that I should have a more positive outlook on my future.
20. “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”
Teacher in 9th grade had a poster with that quote in her room next to the whiteboard, so I read it all day. It’s so true. Anytime I have been depressed in my life I remember that quote, start changing things, and things get better.
21. “There are people we treat wrong, and later we’re prepared to treat other people right. Perhaps this sounds mercenary, but I feel grateful for these trial relationships, and I would like to think it all evens out – surely, unknowingly, I have served as practice for other people.” ― Curtis Sittenfeld, Prep
My favorite love/relationship quote of all time. It made me have a kinder, more forgiving approach to dating. Everyone is really just practicing. No one really sets a hard goal to be a douche.
22. “Things change. I want you to understand that. This year things might be shitty. Next year maybe it’s not shitty. Things change. Do you understand that?”
Whenever things just suck remembering that in a while it’ll probably be better is really helpful.
23. “It’s better to be alone than in bad company” -George Washington
I took this to heart and cut so many toxic people out. Life improved exponentially.
24. “Only you can make you happy.”
I know the wording is a bit off… I heard it from my southern mom. I had a rough time in high school keeping friendships and my parental issues (divorce, step-parents, etc). My mom told me this one day after a really rough day and it kind of has stuck. Optimism and strategic thinking go a really long way!!
25. “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” -FDR
26. “Would you be friends with someone who speaks to you the way you speak to yourself?”
This changed a lot of things for me in small ways. I don’t think self abusive things quite as much, and when I do it’s often peppered with supportive and calming things.
Learning that you can verbally abuse yourself, and that I had been doing it pretty much my whole life, helped put a lot of things into perspective for me. Obviously I didn’t get all of that from just that quote, but it’s the quote that got me thinking about it.
27. “Nothing really ever happens to you, but it happens for you.”
Really helped me see things from a different perspective, and how anything negative going on could be spun into a new beginning and new path.
28. “I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.” -Mewtwo. I come from a wealthy family and could probably get by just leeching off of my parents for a long time, but I still study and work hard to make sure I can make a positive impact on the world.
29. “The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, or a Hell of Heaven.”
That’s from Milton’s Paradise Lost. Whenever I feel shit about my job, I think that first part. The mind is its own place.
30. “A wise man speaks because he has something to say. A fool speaks because he has to say something.” No idea where I heard it, but it stuck with me.
31. Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t. – Mark Twain
Every writer should know this. It still is one I come back to every so often.
32. “You don’t have to be the man you were five minutes ago.”
33. “You who seek what life is in death, now find it air that once was breath.”
Basically we are so fixated on death and our own personal experience we forget it is a constant universal state and is not as precious as a “breath” seems.
34. “If you cannot be weak, be strong!”
Granted, the actual context is completely inapplicable to my actual life, but I found it good for when I need that extra bit of determination or strength to get through something. Sometimes life doesn’t allow you to falter, and you can’t do anything but pull yourself together and power through it.
35. I used to feel really weird and uncomfortable whenever my girlfriend brought up stories about her past boyfriends and one night stands, and I know it’s normal to feel a little weird but this was really over the top feeling like I’m gonna throw up weird. So weird that one day I told her I’d prefer if she didn’t bring it up.
She said to me a when ago during an argument about it “I’m allowed to have a past you know” with a sad look on her face, and my mindset immediately flipped and I haven’t felt weird since. I felt terrible for making her feel ashamed of something she ought not to be ashamed about. I apologised and we have been happy about it since.
36. “Fear is just a memory.”
I was attacked by a police dog as a kid. It left me with a serious anxiety around Dogs. There were times where i’d literally run out the room or cross a street to keep away from a dog.
Then someone told me that when I was faced with a dog, I wasn’t scared of the one in front of me attacking me… I was remembering the memory of being attacked as a kid.
I’m still nervous as heck sometimes around dogs, but that line has helped me deal with any anxiety I have… for the most part.
37. “Treat others how you’d treat yourself.” I make sure to treat everyone kindly as we may never know what they might be going through
38. “We do have a lot in common. Same heart, same air, the same sky. Maybe if we looked at what’s the same instead of what’s different, well, who knows.” -Meowth
39. “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” – Hanlon’s razor
Not that it’s always right, but it’s just makes life easier and happier.
40. A more modern one that’s changed a lot for me is this.
“The only time you look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have as much as them.” – Louis C.K.
I have never been a selfish person, but as somebody who strives to better myself toward others that teaches my kids the same (or tries to, edgy teens are sort of a bitch to work with) This quote really cemented my overall outlook on things my entire adult life into a simple black and white saying I never really gave a second thought.
41. An Aristotle quote:
“It is the mark of an educated mind to entertain an idea without accepting it.”
This was crucial to fighting my backfire effect when confronted with an idea I didn’t understand that conflicted with my world view.
42. “If you wanted to be there, you would’ve.”
My family has been using this to guilt trip me a lot lately. A few years ago, my mom kicked me out after an argument and I had to scramble to find a way to make a living while I was in law school. I visit every single day. Always. So when I miss something, they always try to guilt me and make me feel bad. It used to work. Keyword: “used to.”
Today’s example: my sister is getting married to a fuckboy. Everybody knows how I feel about him. Everybody knows how strongly against this marriage I am, because he is not good enough for my sister, who only named me the Maid of Honor because her best friend stopped speaking to her because of this whole fuckboy situation. In essence, I was her second choice for Maid of Honor, and I am her biological sister. Today, she and my mom went shopping for a wedding dress. I told them repeatedly I could not go because I had plans to be out of town before the plan to go wedding dress shopping was ever even considered. They still planned for today, and got mad at me when they found out that I was, in fact, out of town for the weekend and would not be attending the dress shopping thing.
Of course, they hit me with the, “If you wanted to be here, you would’ve been here.” Normally the guilt trip works, and I apologize profusely and let them think I feel guilty. But today, I finally let them have it. I simply said, “You’re right. If I wanted to be there, I would’ve been.”
In essence, this phrase is no longer a phrase I see as a guilt trip. It’s a fact for me now.
43. “When I want to read a good book, I write one.” I think it was Ernest Hemingway, but don’t quote me on that. It has the oomph that “be the change you want to see in the world” lacks.
44. “If you are not hungry enough to eat an apple, you are not really hungry.”
Great one for people who eat from boredom.
45. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” -Stephen R. Covey
46. I don’t know if its really a quote, but “expect little, and you’ll never get disappointed” really made me feel better every time I didn’t achieve something i wanted, also “improve yourself with every mistake, don’t try to be the best, only be better.”
47. When you compare your insides to other people’s outsides, you always lose.
48. I think it was Derren Brown who said something along the lines of ‘there’s only two things in this life you can control: your thoughts and your behavior’. As someone with anxiety, that made things a lot easier for me.
49. A ship is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not what it was built for.
To everyone who says “but what about Pearl Harbor,” I said safest. Not entirely safe. But thanks for your pedantic nitpicking. That was really the point of the quote.
50. We judge others by their actions, but we judge ourselves by our intentions