inspirational quotes

10 Mottos I Live By

At the beginning of a new year it’s easy to catch the inspirational bug and set goals, make changes, book vacations—anything that can help you make the next 12 months bigger and better than the last.

I jump on this train. Come January I always make a list of goals I hope to accomplish in the next year and I’m usually on the hunt for upcoming concerts and weekend getaways I can add to my calendar before the days start filling up and flying by.

For me, when the holidays are long over and I’m back in the regular swing of things, I tend to let the inspiration fade and the stress, discouragement and exhaustion of the day to day take over.

One thing that helps me combat that however, is latching onto mottos and inspirational words that I can use as weapons, shields, and fuel to propel me forward.

So, if you’re someone like me who sometimes needs that extra something to lean on, I collected a few of my favorite mottos, all of which I’ve reached for at one time or another. I hope they can give you the boost of inspiration or comfort or whatever you might be needing, and that they can encourage you to always strive for the bigger and better, no matter what time of year it is.

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1) “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” – Rachel Hollis

What it means to me: Stop wasting time worrying about what other people will think of you and everything you might do or think about doing. People are going to judge you whether you live your life your way or their way, so you might as well live it your way.

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2) “Have courage and be kind.” – Cinderella

What it means to me: When things get overwhelming, go back to the basics. Be brave and be nice and something good will form on the horizon.

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3) “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

What it means to me: There is always going to be goodness in the world, so no matter how dark things look, if you keep moving forward, you will find the light again.

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4) “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

What it means to me: You are important. You matter. And while sometimes people won’t see that, won’t appreciate that and will hurt you, it is your choice what to do with that hurt. You do not have to dim yourself because someone else can’t see your light.

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5) “It’s not time to worry yet.” – To Kill a Mockingbird

What it means to me: I wrote a whole blog post on this one.

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6) “Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.” – John Wooden

What it means to me: Your past shaped you, but it is not where you are. Be here, in the day you have been given today, because all the days before this one are already over and you can’t change them.

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7) “Do no harm, take no shit.” – Yoga Girl

What it means to me: Don’t walk on people and don’t let them walk on you.

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8) “You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis

What it means to me: It is never too late to try something new. You are allowed to dream more than one dream, and you’re allowed to dream a dream completely and totally different than everyone else’s.

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9) “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” – Dolly Parton

What it means to me: Don’t wait for someone to tell you who you are, or keep your fingers crossed that the answer might fall into your lap. Learn about yourself. Passionately. Figure out who you are, what you love, what you hope to do with your life and do it without regret.

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10) “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” – George Addair

What it means to me: Fear is a door, not a wall. If you have the courage to push through it, it is an opportunity to take you somewhere and give you something you’ve never had before.

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Do you have any mottos you live by?

17 Things that Have Inspired Me (So Far) this Year

During List-cember—a series of list based posts I do in December—last year, I posted this blog that listed 25 things that inspired me in 2017. After writing that list, I made a mental note to be even more vigilant of saving and sharing inspiring things I find, both because I got a positive response from others appreciating that list, and because I personally love both making and reading those kinds of lists.

So, in the spirit of keeping those lists alive, and since we’re a little over halfway through this year, I thought I’d share some of the things that have inspired me thus far. Because there’s never a wrong time to share something that ignited a spark in you, right? (Cliché but still very true note: If I’m wrong, I don’t want to be right.)

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1) This:

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2) This encouragement to push through the awkwardness:Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 6.49.47 PM

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3) This post, which reminded me that engagement photos (and love in general) can be anything you want them to be. 

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4) The Breakup Song by Francesca Battistelli

I know who I am
I know I’m strong
And I am free
Got my own identity
So fear, you will never be welcome here

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5) Queer Eye

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Every episode of both seasons made me cry happy tears. It is honestly one of the best shows out there right now.

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6) The statement attached to this picture, which as someone who normally hates getting their picture taken, reminded me that there’s more to a picture than looking good, sometimes it’s just about capturing and appreciating the feeling of good.

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7) Lauren Graham’s Book, In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It.

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The whole damn thing.

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8) This quote used to commemorate Opening Day, which I took as a reminder that “high quality” and “wealthy” are words that you can define for yourself. Also, I just plain agree with Humphrey on this.

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9) This video

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10) This tough truth

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11) Kristin Johns

She is probably the most genuine person on YouTube. She is consistently positive but not to the point where it’s dishonest, and she never fails to make me smile.

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12) You’re Not that Great (But Neither is Everyone Else) by Elan Gale

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A few of my favorite lines include:

  • “‘Everything happening for a reason’ is about how the world affects you. ‘What can I learn from this?’ is about how you affect you.”
  • “Try to remember feelings are not facts.”
  • “Never forget: you’re probably going to fail anyway, so you might as well go for gold.”

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13) This tweet series by Lin-Manuel Miranda

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Which he just recently announced is being turned into a book!!

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Must. Have.

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14) This post by Allison A.

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15) Which inspired me to write my own (which you can read here)

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16) “You Say” by Lauren Daigle

You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours

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17) “The whole mad swirl of everything that was to come began then.” Jack Kerouac, On the Road

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Here’s to another six months of inspiration! I’ve come to find it’s always out there 🙂

25 Things that Inspired Me this Year (List-cember #4)

You know those moments when you hear/read/see/taste/experience something that gives you butterflies and fills you up with something you can’t quite explain, except for the fact that you not only want to feel more of it, but you want to pass that feeling on to others?

One of the greatest gifts in life is that you can experience these moments, even in the darkest of times in the most unexpected of places. What’s even better is that we all have the opportunity to encompass that light, even if this simply means passing on the light given to you by someone (or something) else. So, in the spirit of passing the torch, here are 25 things that inspired me this year. From quotes to songs to photos to videos to small ideas to big accomplishments and the like. Anything that gave me that light or opened that new door in my mind.

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1) All the Good Things

This is a segment on my blog that I do at the end of each month, highlighting the good things that happened amongst the easier to find/well known bad. I am proud of this segment, but the reason I’m including it on this list is because of all the brave, kindhearted individuals that keep it going each month. Thank you for your continuing kindness and love, the world always needs it!

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2) This moment:IMG_3084

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3) Hard Love by Needtobreathe

“There’s a reason why the road is long, it takes some time to make your courage strong.”

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4) “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller

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5) Booksgiving

This an event held in February by The Bloggess, which encourages readers to gift each other books. This year I received When Breathe Becomes Air, which ended up being one of my favorite books of the year.

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6) “You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.” – Paul Kalanithi, When Breathe Becomes Air

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7) Eva Igo on World of Dance 

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8) We Are the Kingdom by Francesca Battistelli

“Not to gain the world but make a difference.”

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9) How to Be a Bawse by Lilly Singh

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Honestly, I could probably just say ALL OF IT, but here are some of my favorite reasons why:

Take the first page, for example:

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And then insights like THESE:

  • “Not being able to control people and situations doesn’t make you powerless; it just means you have to exercise your power in a different way.”
  • “Think of discomfort as currency—it’s the price you pay to learn some pretty crucial things.”
  • “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs. An escalator can go out of service at any time, but the stairs are always there.”
  • “Don’t let disappointment blind you to potential.”
  • “You are a product of your environment, so decide wisely what kind of factory you want to be built in.”
  • “If you stay true to your values only when things are going well, then those aren’t values; they’re hobbies.”

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10) The #MeToo movement and it’s recognition by TIME

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11) This artist who utilized ripped paper as a medium:

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12) And this artist who did the same with legos

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13) “We can be truly successful only at something we’re willing to fail at. If we’re unwilling to fail, then we’re unwilling to succeed.” – Mark Manson, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

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14) Happy People by Little Big Town

“If you wanna know the secret, can’t buy it gotta make it. You ain’t ever gonna be it by taking someone else’s away.”

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15) Will Darbyshire

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16) “Don’t fear being afraid.” – Connor Franta, Note to Self

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17) My adventure with Alison Teal

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It put me wayyy out of my comfort zone, but I’m thankful for every second of it. You can read about it here.

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17) This piece of advice:

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18) Which goes right alongside this one:

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19) Rudy Mancuso

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20) “Sometimes you just have to pick a direction and make mistakes. Then you use what you learn from your failure to pick new, better directions so you can make more mistakes and keep learning.” – Matthew Quick, Every Exquisite Thing

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21) Whatever it Takes by Imagine Dragons

“I do whatever it takes, ’cause I love how it feels when I break the chains”

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22) Move Beyond Tour

In June of this year, my mom, sister and I attended Move Beyond, a show put on by Julianne and Derek Hough, and I was absolutely floored. I actually wrote a blog post about it that I never published, but to give you an idea of how much the inspiration was bubbling inside me after seeing the show, here’s an excerpt:

When the three of us walked out of the theater that night, I had no doubts of what Move Beyond meant, and understood it was different for everyone. For me, it was a request—or rather, a demand—to move beyond the walls of the day to day. To move beyond the bounds of my limits. To move beyond the minimum, the maximum and the unthinkable. To become someone beyond who I’d imagined. To love, and create and discover beyond the realm of possibility. It was an encouragement to do more, to be more. It was proof that you can move beyond anything, if only you have the courage.

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23) This:IMG_3067

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24) Seeing this dream be manifested*:

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*Note: the first tweet was posted in January of 2014. This year he’s nominated for five Grammy’s. 

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25) And finally this:

Which quite honestly, still leaves me speechless.

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There is always inspiration to be found, and I’m thankful for the bright lights that have proven that to me this year and in years’ past. Thank you for filling me up when I’m feeling empty and opening doors I didn’t even realize were there. Here’s to a continuing cycle of inspiration, kindness and love!

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Mr. Rogers!

When I was little my family lived next door to my grandparents, and oftentimes I would walk over after school to watch TV and have an afternoon snack. My Grammie and Papa would get me, my sister and my cousins all settled in with an eskimo pie or a neapolitan ice cream sandwich and turn on our favorite set of afternoon shows. Depending on the day, our schedule would include the likes of Wishbone, Captain Planet, Zoom!, and of course, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

I remember feeling particularly drawn to Mr. Rogers. His show was different than the other ones we would watch. It wouldn’t make me laugh, or cry, or scare me, or excite me, it just made me feel calm. When I watched it, I felt safe. For no matter what kind of day I had, no matter how I was feeling or what I was worried about, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood never failed to be a reliable escape to something good.

Today, March 20th, is Fred Rogers’ birthday, and as a result, today has been dubbed “Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day.” In the past few years I, as well as many I’m sure, have found that the lessons Mr. Rogers taught me as a kid have only just begun to truly resonate now as an adult. I’d like to think this is what he hoped for. That he aimed to provide this escape to good when we were younger, so that when we were older it could act as a reminder that good can always be found.

In today’s society, I think we could use a little more Mr. Rogers, so today, in honor of what would have been his 88th birthday, I want to share some of my favorite quotes, from one of my favorite guys.

1) “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” 

2) “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

3) “If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” 

4) “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”

5) “The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.” 

6) “How great it is when we come to know that times of disappointment can be followed by joy; that guilt over falling short of our ideals can be replaced by pride in doing all that we can; and that anger can be channeled into creative achievements… and into dreams that we can make come true.” 

7) “Try your best to make goodness attractive. That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given.” 

8) “Often out of periods of losing come the greatest strivings toward a new winning streak.” 

9) “We speak with more than our mouths. We listen with more than our ears.” 

10) “Everyone longs to be loved. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.” 

Mr. Rogers, thank you for all of the afternoons you spent with me, my sister, my cousins and our eskimo pies. I can only hope I’m doing my part in spreading the good you instilled in me all those years ago. Happy birthday!