While I don’t have regrets, I’ve had plenty of moments when I realized after the fact that I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve done something differently. 

Yes, I should’ve started studying Spanish at an earlier age. If so, I’d be speaking at a higher level than where I’m at. I could’ve also said yes to more dates that might’ve turned into meaningful connections. And yes, if I would’ve started eating vegan years ago, perhaps I’d be a bit healthier today.

I’d like to think that learnings and a-ha moments happen for a reason. While it’s hard to know why things unfold the way they do, I’ve found that using a motto, to capture an experience, helps me see things a little clearer. 

If you’re like me, life has thrown you some curveballs. As I continue to ride this roller coaster, the following mottos have become my go-to mantras — words of wisdom to refer to when things are challenging, uncertain, or lack clarity.

So, if you’re in need of some perspective, read on to see if these mottos might work for you too! 

Before You can Do, You Need to Be

After college, many of my friends got 9–5 jobs or went directly to graduate school. I opted to take a gap year. 

My year galavanting around Europe and the Middle East allowed me to reflect and figure out what I wanted to do next. Through that intentional time to “be” I learned that I wanted to make a difference in the world and “do” by working in the non-profit sector. 

Time and time again, before you can do, you need to be has helped me pause and make sure I don’t do things before thinking them through. It’s also reminded me to listen to my gut and do what feels right; rather than dive right in and make reactionary choices — no matter how big or small.

Do What Works

I had a therapist tell me, “do what works” and to this day, it’s still a great motto to use when I need some perspective.

While I knew a career in the non-profit sector was for me, I stayed in this field too long and burnt out. 

When I finally said good-bye to my former career, I kept asking myself why I did something that killed my spirit for five years too long. However, I now realize I DID do what works by leaving at the time that was right for me.

Do what works are three of my favorite words. Whenever I need a reminder or seek validation, I remember that it’ll all about doing what’s best for me. So, let go of the pressure to do things at a certain time-frame or how someone else does something. 

Just do what feels right for you!

Everything is a Process of Elimination

There’s no one-size-fits-all way of living. So, why not “try-on” a bunch of things to see what feels right for you. 

This motto applies to everything: work, relationships, diet, and fitness routines — even what you’re going to wear! 

If you don’t like your current desk job, take the steps needed to check out a different career path. If you don’t like certain things about your partner, cut the cord and find someone else. And, if you hate going to the gym, exercise outside. 

Trying on and not getting the desired results are the best ways to make authentic decisions that work for you. Its kind of like a less is more approach. And as you learn what doesn’t feel like a good fit, the truth will surface. 

Hence, everything is a process of elimination!

Tomorrow Is Not Promised

Aside from personal experiences, the way of the world is a reminder that tomorrow is not promised. When there are so many unknowns, this motto is a great reminder that you only have control over your own actions.

So, live hard, live fully, and don’t pretend to be anything more than what you are. Life is too short and not knowing what tomorrow will bring are motivators to do it, and do it now! 

This Too Shall Pass

During a crisis, doesn’t it feel like the sky is falling? 

Although the world we knew earlier this year has changed, it doesn’t mean things will always be how they are at the moment. 

When there’s a lot of upheaval in my life, I think back to times when I never thought the fog would lift. However, it does lift — it’s just a matter of when it’ll rise. When that moment comes, it’ll be a reminder that you survived and you still have plenty of opportunities ahead to thrive.

Do these mottos resonate with you? 

What are your go-to words of wisdom? I’d love to learn some catchphrases that work for you when you’re seeking perspective. Feel free to share in the comments section below.