I was stressed and in a bad, unproductive mood all day yesterday. There wasn’t a particular reason for it; it was just one of those days.
You wake up not wanting to get up, and your head’s foggy like a morning at a marina. Your chest feels clogged with anger and sadness, and you wish you could go back to sleep and wake up tomorrow when it’ll be better.
But we can’t do that.
We only have this moment right now to turn our day around and make it the best it can be. That’s why I put together these quotes — for anyone who’s wishing to make today a better day.
1. You’re exactly where you need to be
“I wish I could make you understand, my friend. I wish I could really make you understand that life isn’t a race, that any expectations of you are negligible, that living the experience, trying things in no particular order, really exploring who you are, is not a waste of time — you really aren’t falling behind.”
2. It might not feel like it, but you’re on the right path
Looking back, you’ll see how obvious a path it was. You just need to walk it first.
3. Change your life for you
“…we only have a short time to live for ourselves, on our own terms, make our own mistakes, put aside the judgment of people, free ourselves from grudges and be brave enough to make a difference, no matter how bad it might make us look.”
5. There is no such thing as a step backward
It’s hard to see it that way, but imagine that success is on top of a staircase and every failure is just another step toward where you’re supposed to be.
6. Remember: you’re in control of your thoughts
“I do anything to prevent my thoughts from invading my brain. I find this method useful because I spend so much time distracting my mind that it doesn’t have time to keep bringing up the worst-case scenarios.
Every time my mind thinks of the worse-case, I change the ending.”
7. In the end, you win
Trust that your hard work will bring you precisely what you deserve.
9. Do the work and trust the process
I know that the harder you try to chase things like a book deal or bestseller status or page views here on Medium or money — the faster they run.
I know that I am happiest when I just write because I have a story I want to tell, and trust that what’s supposed to happen at the end, will. Including the possibility that I’ve told the story just for myself.
11. Do what works best for you
This means you don’t need to follow some CEO’s day step-by-step to accomplish your goals. You just need to create the kind of day that optimizes your own habits.
12. You have so much time
You will have multiple lives, and you will morph into many versions of yourself. It will never really be too late to start something, and you can quit almost everything you start. Your Latin degree might end up being a nonstarter in the real world, or maybe it won’t; so much of life comes down to luck. There can be more degrees. There will be so many chances. And no matter what anyone says, you will be young for a very long time.
15. Give everything you want a try
There will never be a “right time” to take on a massive commitment — only the here and now.
16. Weird advice: embarrass the hell out of yourself
If you want to do something but people are telling you that you’ll embarrass yourself — forget what they say and do it anyway.
Sure you may make a fool of yourself — but I don’t know about you but I’d rather get beaten on the field than shrivel up on the sidelines.
17. Make the best of this moment
The poet Heraclitus said, “One day is equal to every day.” Today could be that amazing day for you. Today could be how you want life to be. You just have to choose for it to be. Or rather, stop choosing for it not to be.
19. Don’t aim for happiness, just be happy
I want to see what I can get done until I die. I don’t want contentment. I don’t know if I even want to be happy. I just want to get really good at what I love.
If you want to get really good at what you love too, own it.
Don’t let people around you make you feel bad for having a little ambition. Don’t buy into the coded messages — there are no rules. You can do whatever you want as long as it’s legal — all other barriers (while some being very credible and even harsh) are perceived.
21. Meet your expectations, forget everyone else’s
The truth is, you can define success a hundred different ways — the only thing that matters is whether or not you’ve met the expectation you have for yourself.
22. You have to be happy with yourself
If you don’t feel adequately whole and worthy of love without affirmation from strangers, you’ll never feel whole even with it.
23. Stop comparing yourself to others
When you let go of how others perceive you, you become free to pursue an authentic relationship with yourself.
24. Take the emotion out of your problem, and figure out what’s wrong
We waste too much time by fighting reality and complaining about the unfairness of things we cannot control.
…Take a step back from the emotional rollercoaster and assess your situation logically instead of emotionally.
If you’re having a crappy day so far, remember it doesn’t need to end that way. You can turn it around, starting right now.
Make a list of things you’re grateful for, take a break from work and watch an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, call your mom, or grab lunch with your friends instead of eating alone.
Do something right now that could make your shitty day the best day ever.