1. "Sometimes the grass is greener because it's fake."
We live in an age where it is all too easy to flaunt the best snippets of our lives and conceal the bad ones from people. Take social media, for example.
We all have those friends who appear to have such glossy lives. They're happy and healthy and living it up! Why can't our lives be as simple and carefree as theirs, right?
WRONG. While some people may go through less than others, everyone deals with drama, pains, and struggles.
Sometimes, the reason their grass looks so green is because it's fake; you don't see all that's rotting underneath the surface.
Even if the grass IS real on their side—what good does expending energy by feeling jealous bring to you? Use that time to water your OWN grass.
2. "When a flower doesn't bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower." -Alexander Den Heijer
I talked a lot about this in one of my previous posts, How Your Environment Can Influence Your Success.
Environment is everything.
If we plant a seed and it doesn't grow, do we blame the seed for not fulfilling its job? Or do we get frustrated with ourselves for not giving it what's necessary for its growth?
Apply this to humans. If you are not reaching your full potential, don't direct your anger at yourself. Don't consider yourself "broken," in need of fixing.
Simply remove yourself from the environment that is not conducive to your success and try a different one.
3. "Some things break your heart but fix your vision."
This one can be a tough pill to swallow.
There are some things we need to experience—some losses we need to suffer through—in order to correct our vision.
This is especially relevant in toxic relationships. Unfortunately, all too often people lack sympathy for those who are in a relationship with someone else (partner, friend, etc.) who is unhealthy and is bringing them down. We forget that they may actually LOVE the person and that leaving said person isn't as simple as snapping fingers.
However, we urge them to do so for their own safety, health, and sake of mind. And more times than not, once they do, it's like their vision gradually repairs itself. They start to recognize that, though losing the person they loved was extremely heartbreaking, the good it did for their lives is undeniably greater. They would never go back, yet they never would've realized this had they not made such a tough call.
This can apply to SO many situations in life—not just toxic ones! It's useful to remember that it's better to be hurt than blind.
4. "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." -Buddha
I've always loved this quote. It evokes a lot of thought.
The interesting thing about anger is that, when we are feeling it, we believe we are doing the most damage to the subject of our fury. We don't realize that the person we are hurting the most is ourselves.
I would argue that what this quote is really getting at when it says "holding onto anger" is the concept of resentment. Anger by itself can come in flashes and inflict many people, but it's usually short-lived. Holding onto that anger for prolonged periods of time (i.e. resentment)... THAT'S what will hurt you more than anyone, and for longer than anyone.
As someone who has lived with resentment before, it eats at you every day. It clouds so much of your life to the point where you must ask yourself, "Are you really living?" All the while, the other person is probably paying little thought to you and your resentment.
5. "Love is never wasted, for its value does not rest upon reciprocity." -CS Lewis
I've heard so many times that "Loving ___ was the worst mistake of my life! I wasted years of my love and time that I will never get back!"
There is no such thing as "wasted love," though.
The value love brings to our lives has no correlation with whether or not it is returned. Love is worth much more than that. Love is just as much for yourself as it is for someone else. Love is about learning who we are, how we give love, how we receive love, and what matters to us.
Time spent loving anyone, whether it ended positively or not, is time we learned and grew.
6. "You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches." -Dita Von Teese
This is such a fun, impactful metaphor.
As someone who also spends far too much time catering to the opinions of others—including people whose opinions don't even matter!—I've had to remind myself that there is only so much I can do if I'm not someone's type of person.
Here's another metaphor: It's like going out to a restaurant and asking the server which chicken dish is the best they serve. If the server answers, "Well, it's hard for me to say because I just don't like chicken in general," would you assume that all the chicken dishes there are bad? Or would you simply recognize that chicken is not that person's favorite type of food and that their opinion on the matter is virtually irrelevant?
There were a few times in life when I interacted with someone who just didn't like me. Made no sense to me, as I did everything within my power to be nice to them. But what it probably boiled down to is that they just didn't like peaches. I was one of the nicest damn peaches they would meet, but they just. didn't. like. peaches.
And that's okay.
7. "Was it a bad day? Or was it a bad five minutes that you milked all day?"
This is more applicable to smaller, trivial matters—not huge problems or heartaches. In general, questioning how long you're holding onto negative feelings is a good habit to adopt.
The way I see this matter is as follows...
For five minutes, you have the right to be upset. Angry. Sad. Whatever emotion you're struggling with. And for five minutes, you can even assign the blame to whoever's fault you think it is.
Once those five minutes are up, though (or whatever abstract amount of time is relevant to the situation), the only person to blame for how those negative emotions CONTINUE to impact you is yourself.
Granted, it's not always easy to just discard an emotion because you "shouldn't be feeling it anymore." All emotions are valid, and I understand that it's not fair to put an expiration date on them!!
However, it's also important to understand that the world moves on, so if it gets to a point where if you are milking something sour (see what I did there??) for much longer than others deem necessary, you cannot be all too surprised when they don't want to partake in the "pity party" anymore and want to keep moving forward. You yourself can continue to feel upset, but again, the only person that hurts is YOU.
8. "Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -Will Rogers
This is another interesting metaphor. I find that, when it comes to "being on the right track," there are two different facets to the concept—notions if you will—that oftentimes contradict each other.
The first notion is that people shouldn't rush to find their track. And just because they've found it doesn't mean they need to complete it overnight.
The second is that time is of the essence and shouldn't be wasted.
I think there is a compromising middle ground to this clash that is suggested in the quote. While we must not feel rushed to determine our identities or fulfill our dreams—as this can actually hinder growth—we must also be wary of growing too complacent with little effort.
It's one thing to take matters at a leisurely pace; it's another to sit on the track making no progress whatsoever. If we do the latter, we can expect to get trampled over and forgotten.
9. "Don't take criticism from people you wouldn't go to for advice."
This one sounds rather obvious yet can be quite difficult to remember and put into practice.
If there is someone you would not go to for advice for whatever reason that may be—maybe you don't see eye-to-eye, maybe you don't respect the way they handle situations, maybe they come from a different time than you—then why would it make sense to accept criticism from them?
Clearly, you do not have the same outlooks in life or value the same things. You and that person are different, and while it's more than okay to be different from someone else, it's also acceptable to not take their critical words to heart because then they are essentially turning you into someone who is more like them.
10. "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it." -Henry David Thoreau
There are a lot of layers to this quote, as it's more abstract than some of the others. This concept wasn't something I ever really considered until reading this quote.
I find that it's a good way for me to determine how important something is to me, as well as how much effort I should be putting into something that I claim "matters."
We must ask ourselves a few questions. How much time am I putting into this? How much effort am I putting into this? How much soul am I putting into this?
If the answer is a LOT, then we probably care about that thing deeply because we are "sacrificing" such great portions of our lives for it. If the answer is NOT MUCH, we must either recognize that 1) we don't care about that thing as much as we thought we did, or 2) we need to be putting more "life" into it to make it valuable, to claim that it's worth something to us.
I hope this was an enjoyable, eye-opening read for your Sunday evening.
I'm curious to know what your favorite perspective-changing quotes are. Let me know below!
Until next time...