There is something about the beginning of a new year that fills me with even more optimism than usual. I won’t deny that last year was challenging on many levels for many people around the world. But that simple digit change on the end of the date invites the potential for something different—something better—something hopeful. And as a person who believes in the power of affirmations to help direct our thoughts in positive ways—I decided to go through a few of my favorite quotes to see which ones I want to focus on as 2018 gets underway.
As suspected, just by spending a couple of days researching and deciding which ones to include, I felt my own mood being optimized and energized. That’s when it occurred to me that a very good practice just might be to read every one of these quotes, every day, for the next 21 days. Could something so easy really make a difference? Is anyone else interested in joining me to find out?
Here are 21 quotes that I feel are thought-seeds that will encourage us, keep us focused on the positive, and inspire us to be hopeful about the future. They are:
- Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of humans as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is a daring adventure or nothing. ~Helen Keller
- Someone ought to tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now. ~Michael Landon
- We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world. ~The Buddha
- We are meant to outgrow ourselves; indeed, we can no more avoid this development than we can stop the aging process. The only question is how gracefully—and healthily—we will handle the transition. ~Caroline Myss
- If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you. ~The Gospel of Thomas
- Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
- You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life. ~Elizabeth Gilbert
- Think progress, not perfection. ~Ryan Holiday
- Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” ~St. Francis of Assisi
- I learned when hit by loss, to ask the right question: “What’s next?” instead of “Why me?” ~Julia Cameron
- The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same. ~Carlos Castaneda
- Things are always working out for me. ~Abraham-Hicks
- Every day you can choose to be happy, loving and live life to Its fullest. Remember, you get to make it up! ~Thom Gottberg
- I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and the doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. ~Joseph Campbell
- Peace is not something you wish for. It is something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away. ~Robert Fulghum
- If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain. ~Maya Angelou
- Use every letter you write, every conversation you have, every meeting you attend, to express your fundamental beliefs and dreams. Affirm to others the vision of the world you want. You are a free, immensely powerful source of life and goodness. Affirm it. Spread it. Radiate it. Think day and night about it and you will see a miracle happen: the greatness of your own life. ~Robert Muller
- Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- The turnaround came when I got up one morning and realized the sun was shining whether I wanted it to or not. CHOICES. That’s the word. That’s when I realized that every day I had a choice. I could choose to be miserable, or I could choose to move forward. Obviously, I chose to move forward. ~Richard Navarre
- We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better. ~ J.K. Rowling
- Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire. ~Saint Catherine of Siena
During the Christmas holiday Thom and I spent time with friends named Carol and Dave. During one of our conversations, Carol mentioned that she routinely struggled with letting go of some of the more difficult issues that she had faced during 2017. Worst of all, she seriously doubted it was even possible for her to think about other things with those thoughts so heavy on her mind.
But maybe there is. What if for the next 21-days each of us read these quotes (preferably out loud) and allowed them to sink into our minds? While they may not solve a person’s (or the world’s) problems, they just might help switch our thoughts in more positive or hopeful ways. From there, who knows what opportunities might develop? Again, who else wants to see what’s possible?
I continue to believe that with the right intentions we can design a better, more hopeful, and a more loving world for ourselves and each other. But we can’t sit around hoping it will just spontaneously happen or that someone else will do it for us. With the right thoughts, the right actions, the right intentions, 2018 can be an improvement. And as Gandhi said, it is always SMART to remember that, “We must be the change we hope to see in the world.”
Okay, your turn? Interested in joining me in this “thought experiment?” Please let me know in the comments below. Also, did I miss YOUR favorite quote? Feel free to add any quotes in the comments that are important for your positive future.