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In a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations. Inspiration propels a person from apathy to possibility and transforms the way we perceive our own capabilities. 

And oftentimes, when we feel like the whole world against us, there’s no greater source than some inspirational thoughts that can refresh our minds from all the stresses it’s going through. 

We get these thoughts from quotes that prove to have so much impact on our mindset that they may influence our decisions down the line. And some are just great to bring up once in a while during conversations.

Here are 15 of the most encouraging words for me that I have collected over time. It somehow changed my life and I think it can be a good mantra for you to follow too.

  1. 1 Never compare your weaknesses to other people’s strengths.


    First of all you have to understand that no matter how hard you try you will not have everything. All of us are different. You have your own unique skill. If you keep on comparing yourself with your friends, you will never be happy because you will always find something deficit in you. You won’t have self-satisfaction, and worst of all, you won’t grow self-love and appreciation.

    “You are beautiful, just the way you are.”

  2. 2 Own your life, or someone will own it for you.


    Don't focus on anyone else but you. Be grateful for where you are and the things you have achieved. Every day is a fresh start to go after your own dreams and improve from you yesterday. If you are dissatisfied with everything in your life, you will be “owned.” Others who see the solution to your life will get the better of you too. 

    So how do you take control of your life?

    Accept your responsibilities, stop blaming yourself for your flaws, change your negative attitude and be more optimistic, decide what you want in life and finally, we’ll go back to “not comparing yourself with others.”

  3. 3 We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.


    Sometimes, no matter how much we try to stay in control of our lives, there are circumstances that we cannot avoid. These are governed by chances. But even when misfortunes come, we should always try to make the best of life. 

    Instead of spending time reacting to some situations in life you have no control over (the card you are dealt), you should invest your energies in developing solutions on how to manage those situations. A simpler and similar metaphor is “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” You cannot “unspill” it, but you can clean it up and go to the store and buy some more - or milk the cows however you procure your milk.

  4. 4 Climb mountains not so the world can see you but so you can see the world.


    It's easy to forget why we strive to achieve certain goals. Many people have a need to feel noticed, appreciated, and complimented. This picture and statement bring me back to what matters. You should do things for your own enjoyment - not to get noticed. Doing things for the right reasons is really important. In the long run you'll feel better, won't be so exhausted, and instead, climb mountains that are of value.

  5. 5 If you accept your limitation, you go beyond them.


    This quote from Albert Einstein might be the very reason he became one of the greatest contributors in Physics. Just imagine how he couldn’t speak until age four, but look at how far his achievements went.

    Learning to take a new perspective and try things differently can make a difference. Einstein would figure out new ways of looking at things to help solve his problems. Continuing to do what doesn’t work is futile. Have the courage to look elsewhere. By acknowledging your limits in what you do to achieve your goals, you’ll be able to again continue with improving. 

    One must realize his limits and push themselves beyond. Take the time, effort and perseverance to work on improving them. This will allow us to start to move beyond them.

  6. 6 Comfort is the enemy of achievement.


    Never stop achieving things. When you already feel satisfied with your current position, you become comfortable and you never want to go beyond…

    This is the main point of this quote.

    Ships are basically made to get you out there, not just anchored in the pier! Meaning: if you just want to be safe always, you cannot succeed. As another saying goes: “Fortune favors the brave!” Take risks and achieve more!

  7. 7 No matter anyone says to you, you don’t have to eat dinner with them, live with them or go to bed with them.


    This is the reason why a lot of people feel depressed and commit suicide. They feel like the whole world is judging them. They feel like they aren’t any good.

    But you can’t please everyone. 

    Being affected by all the opinion of others will only destroy your mood and affect your activities, only making you ineffective in a day. Worst that can happen, you will lose your confidence.

    Stop trying to please everyone. Let them say what they want to say. They are entitled to their own opinion. Focus on your life and keep improving it. One day, you’ll prove them wrong without going through discomfort and depression.

  8. 8 If you risk nothing, you risk everything.


    Some people seem to be so unwilling to risk anything and they are missing out on some real opportunities in life. So many people always feel the need to play it safely on the shore and never venture out into the water of life. 

    People are usually afraid of stepping out and testing the waters. This is more of an expression of self-doubt — not believing in your ability; not trusting your instincts — and generally questioning your self-worth.

    You’re probably familiar with the saying, “A ship in a harbor is safe, but this is not what a ship is built for.” I understand that there are times in life when you need to stay in the harbor and heal a broken heart or broken life and, once healed, then you’ll be well enough to choose your next destination, or you’ll decide that you want to stay safely where you are. For some, that’s fine and there is nothing I can say that will ever convince you to leave the safety of the harbor to discover that there are bright lights and big cities waiting to be revealed on the other side.

    If you’re happy in the harbor of life, let’s not risk leaving the shore — it’s not for everyone. But if you yearn for the salt life of new adventure and opportunity, then get ready to pull up the anchor and set your sail to unknown waters that are beyond the safety of the harbor.

  9. 9 Don’t give others the power to control your emotion. Those are only yours and it is only for you to manipulate.


    One common example of this is a husband torturing his wife emotionally. There are times when women get so emotional because that’s their nature. But here comes the practical men saying they should be swaying away from the dramas of the world, leaving them with no support. They challenge them to be strong when it’s time for them to express their vulnerability.

    And when the emotions are already too much, it spills and a breakdown happens. Depression is lurking around.

    Men might think they are helping their woman become strong that way, but the truth is, they are limiting them; they are changing them; they are avoiding the downtimes of their partners.

    It’s not wrong to cry and be sad at times. It’s natural. Go through the process and come back fresh.

    This goes the same to face failures. Don’t let the criticisms affect you. Grieve for your losses but come back as the winner on the next round.

  10. 10 Victory introduces you to the world, but defeat introduces the world to you.


    A defeat will only lead you to conquer something even bigger. That’s why it is important to smell defeat, so you can study the world before you take it over.

    But you should know, defeat arrives in many faces. It is important that we recognize them, so that we can learn from them in the right way. Here are some faces of defeat that you must be familiar with, but never realized.

    Failure is a timeless gift. Our parents always keep telling us that we shouldn’t repeat the mistakes that they did in the past. Even though it sounds absurd, it is true. Mistakes are not time-restricted. If you have already made them once in your life, then you will be a hundred times careful, next time you are in that situation. Let’s take a simple example. When you were a kid, your mother must have told you a thousand times about how you should not play with fire. But thanks to curiosity, you did. Unfortunately, it didn’t end the way you thought it would and in the process, you hurt yourself.

    And now you tell your kids to never play with fire because you know the consequence you faced when you were a little kid. That’s a defeat we accept at a young age. We faced the downside of an experience when we didn’t succeed in it.

  11. 11 If you don’t do stupid things while you are young, you will have nothing to smile about when you are old.


    No one’s born wise. And when we’re still kids, we ‘d love to experiment on things. Most of these are dumb things. 

    But it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone goes through that process. We all have a secret we don’t want to reveal because it’s embarrassing or it’s bad. But when we grow older and wiser and we look back at all those years, we just laugh and tell ourselves, “Oh sh*t, yes I did that stupidest thing and I can’t believe it.”

    Besides, every mistake makes us grow a little bit wiser. Treasure those experiences. It’s what made you who you are.

  12. 12 Don’t waste your time with explanation, people only hear what they want to hear.


    “Time is gold.” Let’s not waste it on trying to convince others when they already decided from the beginning not to believe you.

    We are always giving explanations to people even when there is no need and then when they don't listen to us, we get into a belief that they are still mad as us. It’s a total waste of time to explain.

    But, just for a second think about what you could have done in that 5 minutes you wasted explaining some nonsense to someone who doesn't give a damn to you. 

    People are stubborn and selfish. We never listen to something we don't desire or would like to hear. Most people are not really interested in knowing what you were doing in your life before or after an incident. 

    But don't take me in the wrong way because sometimes when your higher authority asks you for an explanation, don't go and say that I read that we shouldn't waste time on explanations. That time you will have to give an explanation to your boss, teacher, mom, dad, etc. 

  13. 13 Don’t rest after your first victory, because if you fail the second time, more lips will be waiting to say that your first victory was just luck.


    These were the words of late President A P J Abdul Kalam which he lived by till the last moment. Like I already mentioned, some people tend to feel comfortable when they achieve something so they stop putting effort to achieve more things. Victory isn’t a constant factor in our lives too. Sometimes, we win, but sometimes we also fail. 

    When you succeed, do not assume that in your next venture, you will automatically succeed again. Prepare for the worse so that when you lose on the second round, you’ll know how to pick yourself up and plan for the next round so you will succeed again. 

    Never stop trying until you find the ingredient of success.

    "If you fail, never give up because F.A.I.L. means ‘first Attempt In Learning;’ End is not the end, in fact E.N.D. means ‘Effort Never Dies;’ If you get No as an answer, remember N.O. means ‘Next Opportunity,’ So Let's be positive," was another quote that he often used to mention in his pep talks to university and school students. 

  14. 14 Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing themselves.


    People tend to look furthest away from themselves for fault – different countries, different religions, different political parties, or even just different personal  habits.  We can all see what is “wrong” with the other guy and if only they would change to be more like us, we think the world would be a more loving place. 

    I believe to make a real change, we need to reverse that thinking.  We need to search deep into our own actions, behaviors, beliefs and start to do the only work we really can control- within ourselves. 

  15. 15 The person that you will spend most time with in your life is yourself, so better try to make yourself as interesting as possible.


    People tend to realize that the very first person they talk to, run to, celebrate with, consult with, laugh with or cry with is themselves. 

    You are your confidant.

    Nobody knows you more than yourself. 

    So invest on making yourself happy. Take time being alone and take time molding yourself into the person you really want to be. Be in love with yourself and by making yourself interesting in your eyes is one way of doing it.

    I hope after reading those motivational sentences, it will boost your morale and motivate you to strive harder and to move forward and dream higher.


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Gabriel

Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.