Sometimes, life is hard. Life is confusing. Life is complicated. Things happen that you do not understand. People come and people go, and often, at first, you will not know why. It’s these things you should keep in mind when pondering life and all it has to offer you. Here are a few quotes to guide your thinking.
1. “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” – Cesare Pavese
Every now and then – perhaps a little more often, depending on the week – you are going to have a very bad day. It is going to feel like the worst day you have ever lived through. You are going to feel sad and angry and tired. But here’s the benefit of life stretching out for so long: you often will not remember those days. Not the whole day, not every single second of stress and misery. We don’t remember days. We remember moments – significant moments, always moments that shape our entire lives for years to come. Cherish those moments, even the ones that don’t seem to have a reason behind them. You will learn their reasons, someday. And those moments will become even more significant to you then.
2. “Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.” – Charlie Chaplin
Let’s be honest: a lot of bad things are going to happen in your lifetime. A lot of good things are going to happen, too. You have to learn to laugh at yourself. Make light of the situations that often leave you feeling bitter and constantly downcast. Know that no matter how bad things may seem right now, they will not always appear that way. There is a much bigger picture that you cannot see right now. You’re focused right now only on the present, but the present will only make up a very small fragment of your entire life. Look forward to your future, and how all the pieces will one day fall into place for you. Remember that there are always good things around the corner; you just can’t always see them until they happen.
3. “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” – Joseph Campbell
Do you know what is one of the absolute best things about being alive? Having the opportunity to be whomever you want to be. You can study what you want to study. You can follow whichever career path you choose. You can live the life you want to live. Not everyone has that luxury, but you do. No one else is in control of your life. Even better, you are the only “you” there ever has been and ever will be. You are unique and have something equally special to offer the world. If that isn’t worth living for, what is?
4. “I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” – Arthur Rubinstein
Are you at a place in life where nothing ever seems to make you happy the way you used to be? You might be looking at happiness all wrong, it turns out. In order to truly be happy, you have to realize that happiness is all about attitude. The only thing that is going to make you truly happy is choosing to love the life you are living no matter how badly it seems to be treating you. If you learn to embrace all life has to offer you, both the good things and the bad, you will find it has plenty more rewards for you than punishments. When you choose happiness, you also choose to see the good things you may have otherwise missed when you were too busy being sad or upset about things happening to you.
5. “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius
Why do we have such a habit of making things so complicated? We start arguments. We stir up drama. We don’t take opportunities we should and jump at chances best left alone. Things are much simpler than they appear, because we expect things to be so hard we create more challenges for ourselves than it is worth. You can change this in your own life. Learn to live simply. De-clutter your possessions and your emotions and your relationships. Say no without feeling guilty. Say yes without being afraid. Don’t feel the need to create solutions where problems do not exist. Don’t over-complicate what can be dealt with simplistically.
6. “The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” – Dalai Lama
A lot of people put happiness below every single other thing in their lives. They come to believe that money and career status and connections and social identity are more important than the things that truly make people happy, such as family and friends and good health. There is no reason why you should not be able to be happy in your life. No one has the right to take your happiness away from you; don’t let them. No circumstance can steal your joy; in the end, choose happiness over hate. If the only thing you ever accomplish in life is true happiness, well, isn’t that enough?
7. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
We spend a large portion of our younger years trying to “figure out” who we are or “discover” who we are supposed to be. Have you ever thought that maybe instead of trying to be who you should be, you should create the person you want to be? No one can make that kind of decision for you. You are in full control of the person you want to become, regardless of your circumstances or things that have happened to you in the past. You have the power to create exactly the kind of person you want to be. Spend your life acting as that person, not looking for someone who does not exist.
You only have one life to live. Make the most of it, no matter the cost.