10 Life Quotes and Lessons to Live By
Spouting “profound” life quotes on a daily basis gets old, but you hear it everywhere. So why am I writing an article called “10 Life Quotes and Lessons to Live By?”, if I’m so anti-quote?
The issue is the fact that some people just quote all day and repeat them without internalizing the message behind it. It doesn’t feel genuine when and I’m not convinced that they really believe in it.
Instead, you need to use life quotes to internalize the ideas. Once you do that, you can move on from the quote and truly understand how to be happy.
To me, profound life quotes serve as a reminder when we’ve forgotten the concepts. We shouldn’t rely on quotes for repetition’s sake.
Use the amazing quotes and live by the meaning, not just the words.
With that said, here are some quotes with ideas that I’ve internalized and live by. These quotes focus on different aspects of life and I expand on them to get you pumped and excited for personal development. Focus on the message and begin to implement the life lessons.
“‘I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.’” -Louis C.K.
This is perhaps my favorite life quote of them all.
Everyone knows that the universe is vast, we’re like ants compared to blah blah blah blah. Do you really want to feel like the world is great and amazing?
Think of it like this. All of us are the protagonist to our own story right? We’re the main character because we’re living our lives through our lens. Everyone else is a support or side character.
Guess what? Other people are thinking this exact same thing. You’re just a side character in their great story.
We cannot possibly understand how complex the lives of others are. They all have memories and events that brought them to where they are today and molded their personality. We can pinpoint a lot of our defining moments, but we often assume other people are just the way they are.
Life is complex and amazing. Everyone is living these lives that we cannot see. Just like your mind, everyone else’s mind goes on forever.
Because of that, you cannot say life is uninteresting. You don’t get to be bored. If you find yourself bored, go around and talk to others. Learn their life stories and spread happiness.
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” -Seneca
This quote can be interpreted many ways. Personally, I like to think of it as motivation against inaction.
You can make all the excuses you want. Maybe the timing isn’t right. Maybe there’s too much risk involved. In your head, it seems like what you want to do is difficult and impossible.
The things we want to do are only hard because we trap ourselves in our own thoughts. We invent excuses as to why we can’t do something and by the end of the day, it seems too hard. So we do nothing.
I can’t even count the amount of times where I used to let my fear of rejection control me. There have been so many women that I flirted with and let the opportunity go to waste. No followup lunch, no “Punch your number into my phone.” All because I let the fear of rejection take control.
It’s only ridiculous because I didn’t even dare to make the attempt. It seemed like the hardest thing in the world and so I did nothing.
Get out of your head. It isn’t hard at all, but you won’t go anywhere by sitting and feeling sorry for yourself. Get up and take action. When you tell yourself it’s too hard then you automatically default into failure. How can you expect anything if you don’t make the attempt?
“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” -Steve Furtick
Do you always compare yourself to others? I know I do. Hell, I do it on a daily basis.
I look at the people around me and I’m astonished by how confident they all appear. Even though people always tell me I’m confident, I still feel as if I’m a chump when I’m at my low points.
Sometimes when I get nervous I talk FAST. Ridiculously fast. I look around and I see how calm and collected everyone else appears as they speak at a normal rate. This makes me insecure because I’m babbling on like an idiot while the world is on another beat.
It’s because I’m constantly comparing my worst moments with other people’s best moments. We all have our moments of ups and downs. It’s so easy to get caught up in how terrible we are that we forget other people mess up too. We don’t even notice other people’s mistakes because we don’t care about that. We are too busy comparing ourselves to their best moments.
Stop thinking about your behind-the-scenes and begin to focus on your highlight reel. Hell, make it a goal to play on your highlights for as long as you can every day.
“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”
I’ve covered life quotes from Ernest Hemingway before, but the man is profound and he is worth mentioning again.
The importance of active listening needs to be taught in classes because most people never listen. That is true and you need to remember that. No one feels heard, seen, or wanted. People can pick up the difference when they notice you actively listening to them. You’ll be the one that stands out and they’ll naturally like you more.
It’s crazy because active listening is so powerful.
I’ll be honest, I’m not perfect at this. There are often times I’m too excited with what’s going on in my own life. When this happens, I forget to listen to others and I dominate conversations without stopping to listen. Most people are like this on a daily basis. Every conversation is a struggle for the spotlight.
We all need to keep in mind the advice of Hemingway. Listen completely, because no one else will.
“Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else.” -Judy Garland
Once upon a time, I forgot how to be myself. I had moved from an elementary where I was worshipped and praised, to a school where I was all alone.
I didn’t have the old comfort of my friends or the status of a king. It was a restart.
As a result, I began to act less like myself and began to be what I thought others would like. I began to curse more than I normally would, play games I didn’t enjoy, and copy people who I thought were “cool.”
None of this made me happier. All it did was attract people who were nothing like me. It taught me that I shouldn’t try to be someone else because that never works out. You’ll either fail miserably at it or attract the wrong people. Being who you really are will allow you to become a better person along the road and attract the right people.
My story, of course, had a happy ending. I remembered who I was, embraced it, and found friends of high-quality that I can call amazing.
“Freedom is secured not by the fulfillment of one’s desires, but by the removal of desire.” –Epictetus
Have you ever noticed how your happiness only increases for a short period of time once you get what you wanted? That’s called hedonic adaptation.
When you finally achieve what you wanted, you’re only happier for a short period of time before finally baselining to where you originally were. Life is always this never-ending chase between one desire to the next. That’s no way to live a happy life.
This is perhaps the most difficult part for me to control. For example, when I created this website, things blew up instantly. I was already getting decent traffic, I had the chance to use the skills I learned through this site to create a great resume, and I was meeting interesting people. Without a doubt, I was happier for a while. Now as things progress, I find myself wanting more and I’m beginning to baseline to my original level of happiness
I keep myself sane and practice removing the constant desire for more by using Stoicism.
“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.” –Steve Jobs
Although I am obviously not the best at everything, I still try my best to set an example for others. When I do this, I notice that it creates an environment where everyone is doing well. It’s like healthy competition and it is infectious.
It can be something simple. You can always be punctual even when your friends are always 10 minutes late. Maybe you can start training yourself to function without caffeine. Or for something even more difficult, stop gossipping and actively discourage it.
I know people LOVE gossip. Hell, I used to be King of Gossip just five years ago. Then I changed for the better and realized that talking about others is not a good thing. It can only hurt feelings and besides, if you can talk badly about others to someone, they’ll wonder if you do the same to them.
Set the example. Others will follow along.
Failure and Moving On
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” -Johnny Cash
People are really afraid of failing. I understand, I really do.
But there is a difference between the fear of failure and fearing it to the extent of inaction. You’ve got to change your mindset. Failure is an opportunity you can use to learn and improve on what led you to fail last time.
It’s not about forcing yourself to forget about the failures in life because then you won’t learn. It’s about not letting it control you and letting yourself dwell on each mistake.
Life is so much more than that one mistake you made. It’s not about that one wrong thing you said to the person you like either. A lot of my friends tell me they wish they could forget about the past. Why? Use the past as a point of self-reflection and grow from it.
When you make a mistake that you know could have gone another way, stop asking yourself, “What if?” Analyze the situation from an objective point of view. What could you have done better last time? Think about it and then move on. Be ready for the next time the opportunity presents itself because you’ll be ready.
“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it, friends make life a lot more fun.” -Charles R. Swindoll
Just like Swindoll, my life would be incredibly different today if I didn’t have the amazing “overpowered” friends today. They’ve brought so much happiness and growth to my life. Even when they don’t mean to, they amaze me with the profound wisdom they share.
I can’t forget about the great humor some of them have. A few of them are satirical masters. Others use deadpan humor. Some of them even say blatantly ridiculous things. Where would I be today without my amazing friends?
Don’t think this life quote isn’t for you because you haven’t found great friends yet. There’s always time to learn how to make friends.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
I absolutely love a lot of my friends. It’s not because they know just what to say to bring me up. I don’t even remember most of the things they say! It’s always the feelings that they give me. It could be an assured pep talk they emphasize with body language and ridiculous gestures.
When you look back at your life, do you really remember all the words that fell out of people’s mouths? The people you love made you feel a special way. That’s what attracted you to them.
You may remember snippets of conversations or moments in a memory, but it’s the feelings of happiness and pure glee that’s worth holding onto.
Make it your life goal to cherish those around you and make sure the feelings you leave them are good ones as well. Let others feel great when they’re around you. Actively listen so they feel heard. Remind them to keep moving on and use the past as a stepping stone. You can be their guidance.
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