5 Quotes To Recalibrate Your Life
“When life gives you lemo-” is not one of them
As we approached 2020, we reveled in the spectacular progress of our world in the last two decades. We were more abundant, healthier, and more innovative than ever before with limitless potential for more.
Now, we find it increasingly harder to remember that familiar world. Some of us face the loss of our family, jobs, or work. What is universal, though, is our sense of insecurity, sprinkled with a pervasive feeling of uncertainty.
And for some of us, it’s not new.
“Life is too short. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking”
— Steve Jobs
On even good days, the responsibility of our future daunts us. We doubt ourselves, judge the universe and ultimately more often than not, fall back into what we know best — our natural societal conditioning.
The awareness of death changes that. When we see the end as a collective, inevitable destination for all of us, we can finally see that we were all created equally. Each one of us is made unique, yet we are not any more special than the other.
It is nothing, but our right to figure out our lives at our pace.
“Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings”
— Elie Wiesel
Elie Wiesel was a Nobel Peace Prize winner for writing his observations as an Auschwitz survivor. Since my first glorious encounter with Anne Frank’s diary during high school, stories of Jewish courage have become an unusual source of hope and comfort.
What I find universal in those stories, is a deep, unwavering sense of empathy even in the face of enormous grief.
Even the most devastated souls can provide hope to another.
Faced with adversity, we are all connected in its paralyzing effect. Once we understand that vulnerability to grief knows no race or gender, we can provide hope in our words, comfort in our actions and purpose in our presence to each other.
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err”
— Mahatma Gandhi
What is so special about human life if we were to merely follow a safe, secure, and comfortable manual to living it?
If we didn’t allow ourselves to be inspired, take chances, and design our own, curated future?
The key to a full life is not to tip-toe around absolute certainty. We bounce back the furthest only from the bottomless pits of failure. Growth is more satisfying when we recognize the impact of our mistakes and learn to improve the nature of our true selves.
When we forgive mistakes, we truly understand love and compassion.
“Fearlessness is not only possible, it is the ultimate joy. When you touch nonfear, you are free”
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Our biggest fear is the fear of ourselves. We are always scared of being alone, of our reactions, and of not having enough.
Fear drives us to continue the inertia of toxic relationships, at the same time, putting up walls for anyone who tries to access our real feelings. We indulge in overspending, overeating, and being routinely hyper distracted so that we feel insulated from the fear of uncertainty.
When we let go of fear and constant, compulsive judgment, we are free to access the abundance of new possibilities.
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us”
— Helen Keller
The familiarity of our past can have a powerful hold on us. Even the best of us can find ourselves established in the Shoulda-Woulda-Coulda of our history.
And that’s what it is — it is past us.
Unless you learn from your past, it simply has no other purpose.
Our minds, however, beg to differ and keep dissecting the same problems over and over again, expecting a more favorable outcome. Before we know it, we lose our sense of the present and start living in the illusion of a time gone.
Closing the door on what was once a source of happiness for us, is by no means, easy. We feel a loss on our investment, leaving us with a sense of nothing.
But by dwelling in the past, we stop investing in our present.
Now is the only truth there is.