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Do you remember how Elle in Legally Blonde felt when Warner dumped her because she didn’t seem serious about her life? Or when the law firm she worked for, fired her because she wanted to fight for what she believed in?
If you haven’t seen Legally Blonde, I highly recommend it. Just like Elle Woods, I wanted to give up my dreams, goals and everything I believed in at one point.
And then it hit me: If I am not willing to go all-out and sacrifice for what I want today, then what I want becomes the sacrifice.
Thus, I made a pact to turn myself around within a week. This is more than what happened in real life. This is a guide on how you, too, can turn yourself around with 7 quotes in 7 days.
1. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God. That’s why we call it the present.”
Little did I know, before Master Oogway, this quote had already been penned by the American cartoonist, Bill Keane.
I’m not against “dreaming big”, but an enigma arises when a big goal is all you’ve got.
When you live through one day, it feels like you only make only very slight progress towards your big dream. Then it becomes a bad day; your dream is a hopeless ambition.
In this way, your goal can end up hurting your self-esteem. You begin to internalise the idea that you aren’t good enough. All those demotivating and demoralizing thoughts eventually lead to failure, but in reality, you simply have a long way to go.
What I learnt is to compress and translate that goal into the kind of day I will have today. I asked myself, “What kind of day if repeated, would lead to that goal?”
For me to be at my best performance, I have to converge on what I can do today — not “How do I achieve my huge goal down the road?” or “What did I do wrong yesterday?”
There is no real road, as there is no guaranteed future. When the game changes, your life changes. Thus, the real goal is to honour the microcosm. The present is where it all happens.
2. “No amount of regretting can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future.”
I read this quote in a book called The Light in the Heart by Roy T. Bennet. What I discovered is, “Don’t worry.” Or rather, don’t just worry. Change your worry into action.
When you find yourself agonising about something, ask yourself the action question, “What can I do about this right now?” And then do something. Anything.
Knowing there is a chance you could make things right will spark that glimmer of hope hidden inside of you. When you act on something, the worry and regret go away as these feelings have a tough time coexisting with action.
We often hear the saying “worry it to death.” But it only makes the regret grow and instils fear. And we tend to worry an issue into a grotesque kind of life, sort of like Frankenstein’s monster that terrifies us beyond all reason.
I would like to recommend this system of action, every time you feel overwhelmed with life.
- List down the 5 issues that you are worried about right now.
- Spend 5 minutes on each problem doing anything related to those issues.
- Focus and commit yourself to 25 minutes of action.
You could always go back later and complete it, but the reality is, you did something. Some sense of satisfaction is better than nothing.
Anything that bugs should not just be thought about, but acted on. When there’s action, there’s no fear; when there is fear, there is no action.
3. “Be like stars; when darkness tries to stop you from shining, shine all the more.”
We weep for the winner inside of all of us.
This is my theory — in these poignant moments, we cry because we know for a fact that there is something in us that could be every bit as great as what we are watching.
We are, for that moment, the untapped greatness we are seeing. But we get tears in our eyes because we know the excellence isn’t being realised. We could have been like that, but we aren’t.
The former Australian professional rugby league footballer, Terry Hill, always ends his talks by saying, “Get your stars out.” That’s how you tap into the untapped you. Don’t force your stars out, just let them shine.
When recovering from our failures, we need to pour our hearts out into whatever we do. Shoot for the stars; you’re allowed to go wild because wild hearts are never broken.
Matshona Dhliwayo, the Canadian based entrepreneur, philosopher, and author, is the one who wrote this quote:
“Your life is yours to create. Do you want to inspire, or blend into the lacklustre walls behind you?”
4. “You can’t change anything by fighting or resisting it. You change something by making it obsolete through superior methods.”
The genius Buckminster Fuller uttered the above quote, and it is truly an eye-opener.
Making any bad memory, habit, or lifestyle go away is a double negative as “bad thing” and “go away” are both negative phrases. To start afresh in life, you need positive energy.
When you think about it, the world can be understood as a large system made up of smaller systems. Every outcome in life is generated by a system you are running. So if you are not getting the result you want, you need to switch up your system!
Here are 5 steps to do it:
- Identify your current system and the outcome it produces.
- Formulate a new system with enhanced features and updates.
- Test the actions in your new system, record the outcome and analyse the data.
- Compare the previous and current results and decide which system works best for you.
- If you’re satisfied with the outcome, make it a habit. If not, head back to step two and repeat until perfection!
For example, let’s say that exercising infrequently and eating a high-carb diet is producing the result of you being overweight. By replacing that system with a regular exercise program and a balanced diet, you would be in your ideal weight.
Keep in mind that for every system, you must customise it according to your situation and needs. Your improved system, therefore, will need to be tailored to you.
Making the old system obsolete through a superior design is the only way anything ever improves.
5. “The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
The former British politician, writer and army officer Winston Churchill, wrote this quote and what he’s essentially trying to say is: Be the bigger person.
I understand, you might rarely see yourself as the optimistic one in your circle. But believe me, we all are — we just need to dig a little deeper.
One reason why you may feel pessimistic is because your surroundings and circumstances have a greater influence on you than you realise. They prevent you from seeing the bigger picture, and will cause you to visualise the worst-case scenario every time.
But in reality, pessimism has nothing to do with reality, and everything to do with expecting the unexpected.
When you’re willing to see the brighter side of every opportunity, you can begin to cultivate it in everything you do. You’ll start coming up with all kinds of unexpected solutions to the challenges that life throws at you.
Granted, no one is perfect. But if you believe you were created in the image of your Creator, then, be optimistic and propel yourself towards positivity.
6. “The more of you I see, the more I’m glad I’m me.”
Image via Billboard USA
These words expressed by Yuna, our local singer-songwriter should always be a staple of your daily reflection before you go to bed.
Every day, we may encounter new people. It could be a random stranger you meet online or a new colleague. The truth of the matter is, there are billions of people going through tough times, especially during the current world crisis.
Out of these people, there will be many cruel and fake people around you, but never let them shake you or what you stand for.
In the same vein, don’t talk down to someone or engage in immoral pursuits just to make yourself feel better in the short term. That’s not how it works. Focus on your path to recovering from hardships, instead.
Never over-exaggerate nor underestimate any situation, because every turn you take and every move you make defines you. Remember that you’re always where you’re supposed to be, because everything happens for a reason.
You are amazing and unique in your own way, so be grateful, always.
7. “Our fate lives within us; you only have to be brave enough to see it.”
This quote is from the Disney animation film Brave and it was introduced when Merida finally realised the true definition of being brave.
Braveness means understanding and accepting what you stand for and staying true to yourself, no matter what occurs. You must be willing to face obstacles, even if it makes you uncomfortable.
Bravery comes in all shapes and forms.
Realistically, speaking up is not the only way to be brave. It is also in choosing to say nothing during a heated argument and dealing with it tomorrow morning when you’re in a better headspace.
This is a form of bravery too.
When you take this first step and move forward, you will be able to successfully face everything that follows.
Never doubt yourself, and you will create magic.
I hope these 7 quotes inspire you to turn yourself around just like how I did in 7 days. Remember, reality is what you make of it so, be the change you wish to experience. You are worth everything.