Inspirational quotes to make you think
In general, I’m a pretty optimistic person who almost always sees the cup as half full. However, there are times that life gets me down. I occasionally feel defeated, uninspired, stagnant, and just downright shitty. When that is the case, I have certain go-to coping mechanisms that I depend on. Music will always be my number one, but I also seek solace in relatable quotes.
Sometimes the words of others can so succinctly say what you feel better than you ever could. Other times, their words are the advice you didn’t know you needed. In other situations, they remind you who you are or who you want to be. No matter the case, there is something comforting in the words of others.
So should you ever need a pick me up, a friendly reminder of what life is really about, or are just feeling a bit introspective, check out some of my favorite quotes
“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.” – Bob Marley
Sometimes we get so stuck on our own perspective that we miss the big picture. We can get so focused on the negative that we lose sight of the beauty and wonder that is the rain. Bob Marley nails it with this quote. Don’t just get wet. Feel the rain on your skin and celebrate the new life it brings and the old dirt it washes away.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindall
“It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.” – Albus Dumbledore
When we find ourselves in tough situations, we are presented with a choice. We can gossip, whisper, and disrespect others, blaming them for our faults and lashing out. We can internalize the problem and beat ourselves up.
Or we can act with respect, dignity, and grace. We can forgive others and ourselves. We can learn and grow and be better for it. It is only in the most trying of times that we can really show others our true character. Let go of what you can’t control and stay focused on what you can.
“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
We humans have a lot more in us than we give ourselves credit for. This FDR quote reminds me of the Chinese proverb, “The temptation to quit will be the greatest just before you are about to succeed.” When you think you can’t anymore, give it that last little extra. You may just surprise yourself.
“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something.” – Former President Barack Obama
Regardless of your sentiments toward the former president, he’s got a point here. Humans are not simply something the world acts upon. We are free agents who can build our future and our successes. We are anything but hopeless. Rather, we are capable and creative. Don’t give up on yourself. Get up and do something!
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
Similar to the words of former President Obama, Peter Drucker so succinctly sums up the importance of choice and free will. Get busy building your future rather than wasting time and energy on worrying!
“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.” – Katherine Hepburn
It’s important to follow some rules and keep the peace. But it’s equally important to challenge them, and by extension, yourself! Keep pushing the boundaries and you may just change the world for the better, and if nothing else, you might just have a little fun.
“You drown not by falling in the river, but by staying submerged in it.” – Paulo Coelho
Life is full of highs and lows. We all fall down, or as Paulo Coelho puts it, we all fall into the river. However, we are all also capable of swimming, staying afloat, and finding our way to land. Sometimes there’s someone there to help you out, while other times you have to climb out yourself. It is only by staying in the river, neglecting to swim, and letting the rapids sweep us away that we drown.
“A ship in harbor is safe – but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd
You can play it safe, stay in your comfort zone, and stick to what you’re used to. The unfortunate reality is that you also then would have no idea what magnificence you’re capable of. Don’t be afraid to let the wind hit your sails and carry you away from shore.
“Now we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil that we must fear most. And that is the indifference of good men.” – The Boondocks Saints
One of my favorite movies of all time starts with a scene in a Catholic church during mass. As part of the homily, a priest discusses the story of Kitty Genovese. Although a number of people witnessed her being attacked, no one stepped in to stop it and help her. (See the whole scene here).
Although the quote is a bit ominous, I have never taken it as a warning about others. Much like the protagonists of the movie, I feel motivated by it to stand up for what is right and intervene when I see wrong.
It is far better to live with empathy than to live with ambivalence.
“Optimism is true moral courage.” – Ernest Shackleton
The world can be harsh and the tough realities of life can leave you cynical. Especially in the face of so much hate and divisiveness that plagues America today, it can be easy to be pessimistic. But to remain optimistic in the face of so much negative, that is true bravery.
A final thought on outlook …
And last but not least, my favorite quote by my favorite author. It is the perfect manifestation of so much of who I am and what I believe. So I leave you with the wise words of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that although the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place. ” – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
What is your favorite inspirational quote or quote that makes you think? Leave it below in the comments. Also, keep your eyes out for a part 2 coming soon!