post written by: Marc Chernoff

75 Reminders for Tough Times

Reminders for Tough Times

When life gets stressful, we often forget the things we should remember, and remember the things we should forget.

Here are 75 reminders to help motivate you when you need it most.

Tough times never last, but tough people do.
- Robert H. Schuller

  1. You never know how strong you really are until being strong is the only choice you have.
  2. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.
  3. You cannot change what you refuse to confront.
  4. Nobody is perfect, and nobody deserves to be perfect.  Nobody has it easy.  You never know what people are going through.  Every one of us has issues.  So don’t belittle yourself or anyone else.  Everybody is fighting their own unique war.
  5. Crying doesn’t indicate that you’re weak.  Since birth, it has always been a sign that you’re alive and full of potential.
  6. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.  (Read Unstoppable.)
  7. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
  8. Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.  Let it go.
  9. Making one person smile can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  Start small.  Start now.
  10. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  11. Never let success get to your head, and never let failure get to your heart.
  12. You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.
  13. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
  14. You can learn great things from your mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.
  15. Give up worrying about what others think of you.  What they think isn’t important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.
  16. When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.
  17. When other people treat you poorly, keep being you.  Don’t ever let someone else’s bitterness change the person you are.
  18. You have to accept that some things will never be yours, and learn to appreciate the things that are only yours.
  19. Sometimes it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one in the world who’s struggling, who’s frustrated, or unsatisfied, or barely getting by.  But that feeling is a lie.  And if you just hold on, someone will find you and help make it better.  Because we all need a little help sometimes – someone to help us hear the music in our world.  To remind us that it won’t always be this way.  That someone is out there right now.
  20. Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone.  Some of your best life experiences and opportunities will transpire only after you dare to lose.
  21. Sometimes we accidentally allow small problems to escalate and dominate our lives.  If we get overcharged a few cents, it is irritating, but don’t let it ruin your day.  There will always be small issues that irritate us; the secret is to be able to give them the miniscule level of importance they deserve.
  22. Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go.  (Read The Dip.)
  23. Ask yourself whether each of your relationships drags you down or lifts you up.  Surrounding yourself with positive, loving people is half the battle of living a happy, successful life.
  24. Spend more time with those who make you smile and less time with those who you feel pressured to impress.
  25. There are few joys in life that equal a good conversation, a good read, a good walk, a good hug, a good smile, or a good friend.
  26. Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future for too long.  Right now is life.  Live it.
  27. No matter how cautiously you choose your words, someone will always twist them around and misinterpret what you say.  So just say what you need to say.
  28. In order to be creative, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
  29. Not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of good luck.
  30. To be great does not mean you have to dominate others.  It means you have to dominate your own potential.
  31. If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks.  That’s how dreams are achieved.
  32. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
  33. Forgiveness is one of the primary keys to happiness.
  34. The best revenge is happiness, because nothing drives your adversaries more insane than seeing you smile.
  35. Stay positive when negativity surrounds you.  Smile when others frown.  It’s an easy way to make a difference.
  36. If a person wants to be a part of your life, they will make an obvious effort to do so. Don’t bother reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay.
  37. Don’t regret intimate relationships that don’t work out.  Because they will only help you find the right partner for you, and better appreciate them for everything they do and everything they are.
  38. What lies before us and behind us are tiny matters when compared to what lies within us.
  39. The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists.  It rewards people who get things done.  And the only way to get things done is to be imperfect 99% of the time.
  40. Never lie – not even a white lie!  When you steer away from the truth, you steer away from your soul.  Be honest, be real and tell the truth.  This awareness forces you to make better choices and be a stronger person.
  41. Feelings, good and bad, always come and go.
  42. Don’t get caught up in wasted potential from years past.  Potential is all we ever have.
  43. We are not alone.  No matter how bizarre or embarrassed or pathetic we feel about our own situation, there will be others out there experiencing the same emotions.  When you hear yourself say “I am all alone,” it is your mind trying to sell you a lie so you will continue to feel sorry for yourself.
  44. It is okay to be angry.  It is never okay to be cruel.
  45. Don’t pray when it rains if you don’t pray when the sun shines.
  46. Mistakes teach you important lessons.  Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal.  The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.
  47. Money is a renewable resource.  If you lose some money, don’t sweat it.  You can always make more.  However, if you spend valuable time stressing over money, or lost opportunity, you’ll never get that time back.  Time is more valuable than money – time is the greatest constituent of life.
  48. Never let people know that they got to you.  Ignore them.  Hold your head up high and pretend all their negative remarks don’t even phase you, and someday they actually won’t.
  49. There is nothing to hold you back except you.  And there is only one question to ask yourself: “What would you do if you were not afraid?”  Think about it.
  50. Life is way more enjoyable when you stop trying to be cool and simply focus on being yourself.
  51. It’s often hard to tell just how close you are to success.
  52. When you spend time worrying, you’re simply using your imagination to create things you don’t want.
  53. No matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be.  Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win.
  54. You must see things how they are instead of how you hoped, wished, or expected them to be.
  55. Even when you feel like you have nothing, someone else likely has far less.  Find them and help them.  You’ll see why.
  56. Laughter is the best medicine for stress.  Laugh at yourself often.  Find the humor in whatever situation you’re in.
  57. If you want to feel rich, just count all the great things you have that money can’t buy.
  58. Forgiving yourself is far more important than getting others to forgive you.
  59. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  60. You can press forward long after you can’t.  It’s just a matter of wanting it bad enough.
  61. It’s not about getting a chance, it’s about taking a chance.  You’ll rarely be 100% sure it will work.  But you can always be 100% sure doing nothing won’t work.  Sometimes you just have to go for it!
  62. If it were easy everyone would do it.  This is why get rich quick schemes will never be true.  If it was so quick and easy then everyone would be millionaires.  Accomplishing great things is hard work, but well worth it.
  63. Notice and cherish life’s surprises.  Just because it’s not what you were expecting, doesn’t mean it’s not everything you’ve been waiting for.
  64. Be vulnerable.  Allow yourself to feel, to be open and authentic.  Tear down any emotional brick walls you have built around you and feel every exquisite emotion, both good and bad.  This is real life.  This is how you welcome new opportunities.
  65. You must create and look for opportunities.  Opportunities rarely ever come knocking on the door of someone who’s not seeking them.  You have to create and seek opportunities for yourself.  You have to take the initiative to get the ball rolling and the doors opening.
  66. If it’s out of your control, why fret about it?  Concentrating on things you can control is how you make good things happen.
  67. Saying “no” to right people gives you the time and resources required to say “yes” to right opportunities.  (Read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.)
  68. No matter how much progress you make there will always be the people who insist that whatever you’re trying to do is impossible. Or they may incessantly suggest that the idea or dream as a whole is utterly ridiculous because nobody really cares. When you come across these people, don’t try to reason with them. Instead, forget that they exist. They will only waste your time and energy.
  69. If you spend 80% of your time focusing on the problem and only 20% on the solution, what do you think is going to happen?
  70. No matter how badly you think your life may be going, or how messed up you think you are, there is at least one thing you are doing right in your life or you wouldn’t be alive reading this.
  71. A problem is a chance for you to learn.
  72. The greatest struggle is to be something different from what the average man is.
  73. In times of great stress, it’s always wise to keep busy, to plow your anger and frustration into something positive.
  74. One thing is for sure: Regardless of the situation, life goes on.
  75. Everyone wants a perfect ending.  But over the years I’ve learned that some of the best poems don’t rhyme, and many great stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, or end.  Life is about not knowing, embracing change, and taking a moment and making the best of it without knowing what’s going to happen next.

Oh, and…

You wanna know who’s awesome?  Read the first word of this line again.  ;-)

Photo by: Funkyah

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  • Great list… very inspiring!

  • Great list!

    Number 13 I like the most:

    “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

    We are co-creators of the universe!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • I’ve never been a fan of “list-posts” but this one has beautiful gems!

    Thank you, I’ve shared it with a few friends without forgetting to mention your blog’s name and the address of your post. :)

  • So many wonderful gems here! I love #2: “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” So simple and elegantly stated … and true!

    It reminds me a little of the phoenix rising from its own ashes. It is a wonderful thought that the very crumbling of my world can very well be the demolition crew knocking down the walls of my life to build something much better.

    It also reminds me of the famous C.S. Lewis metaphor of God wrecking the cottage of our lives to build the mansion he intended us to be.

  • Agree with Sandy…

    To summarize, everyone needs to learn to live in the moment, forgive ourselves, make mistakes (but see them as lessons to help us grow), focus on what we can control instead of what we can’t, be grateful, notice the little things that make us smile, take action despite our fears and realize that the most important things in life can’t be bought by money =P

  • this is such an amazing post!!
    1, 11, 16 and actually all of them are really inspiring
    number 60 is my personal favorite
    You can press forward long after you can’t. It’s just a matter of wanting it bad enough.
    keep up the amazing work :)

  • You guys never cease to amaze me with your writings. Ive been reading books on Zen, books by Barry Long and reading this list made the teachings easier to understand. Love the “dance in the rain” quote so much :)

  • #69 is my favorite - it’s common sense, yet people ignore such simple logic much of the time.

    You’ve put together an awesome list and I definitely look forward to your next post!

    Have a great day!

    Josip Barbaric

  • Amazing list! :)

  • Awesome list. Much needed. Going through a time in my life where nothing seems to work, I feel stuck and the vast divide between where I am and where I know I should be is killing me. Thanks guys. I’ve been blessed

  • Great! Good inspiring words. Thank you! :))

  • You are great! Always putting out articles that keep me inspired.

    Best wishes and prayers.

  • Thank you. You’re blog is always such a wonderful way to start my day.

  • I so look forward to my weekly dose of inspiraration from you.This week’s article has given me much to think, cry and smile about, especially as a ‘new’ cancer sufferer who has not come to terms with the disease.

  • I LOVE this list so much that it’s now bookmarked on my computer and I’ve emailed it, tweeted it, and shared it on FB. I hope all my loved ones read it. I talk about this website a lot on my blog. It’s really been a huge help in my life. Thanks so much.

  • Nice post indeed. Inspiring and motivating.

  • Thank you.

  • Once again you find a way to make our lives better.

    I like the superman picture, very good metaphor.

  • I was looking for a self-improvement site a while back when I happened to stumble upon your site. The above article is great and I will be taking heed to what is says. This is such a great list and I can’t wait to start doing things to better my life.

    And you website as a whole is awesome! Keep up the good work.

  • Marc I adore the upbeat angle here and the sheer amount of positive outlook it contains. My fave is #70 because it flags up the truth that we’re all doing great just by being ourselves in any given moment or situation. Life ain’t perfect and neither are we but we’re not far off brilliant either!

  • Hi Marc
    I really admire yoru writing and your creativity. Maybe I should start putting in practice number 28, and all the rest.

    Thank you
    A Happier Self

  • As always, friends, thanks so much for the positive remarks and the added insight.

    I hope you all are enjoying the week.

    Stay cool out there. It’s been a hot one around here. ;-)

  • Amen. Amen. Amen… to every point here! So inspiring. Just what I needed.

  • Thank you so much for many of these 75 reminders.

    I frequently have phases when I feel completely down, nothing makes sense, and I just want to stay in bed.

    Now I have 75 (mostly) new approaches to pull myself up by the bootstraps, thanks!

  • Sooo many gems. #25 (There are few joys in life that equal a good conversation, a good read, a good walk, a good hug, a good smile, or a good friend.) & #69 (If you spend 80% of your time focusing on the problem and only 20% on the solution, what do you think is going to happen?) resonate with me today.

  • Thanks for the list. Definitely uplifting.

  • So many goodies, so little time. This is the best of the best right here.

    Thanks for putting this list of motivation together.

  • Literally speaking, I love this post. Beautiful advice.

  • 75 affirmation cards to be written & referred to OFTEN
    (actually 76, counting the last awesome line :) ).

    I simply love and appreciate you guys. Thank you. :)

  • A great list to check back over and over! I’m bookmarking this! Thanks for the inspiration…

  • Hey. Just want to say that this site is really helping me a lot. For the past few months, I’ve been suffering from depression. The articles here really inspire me and it makes me realize that there is more to life than to being sad. Thank you.

  • This is an amazing list! I loved it so much I linked to it in my own blog in a recent post. Thank you! :)

  • Marc and Angel! You’re awesome!

  • Really good read. Thanks for posting :)

  • excellent post. I loved each and every point….

  • I don’t know if i will stop reading this list. I have already quoted some lines and text to my friends. Realy a great work.
    Thank you Marc&Angel.

  • gives a boost to life and lift to spirit…great work!!!

  • Thanks for posting these reminders. Why is it that nowadays almost everyone affected by a terrible event automatically assumes (with the help of the news media) that they are “victims?”

    I refuse to be called a”victim” no matter how badly I have been hurt. Whether I was the target of a deliberate evil act or simply at the wrong place at the wrong time in the event of a natural disaster, it doesn’t matter. If I am still alive, I am a SURVIVOR! I am in control, and ultimately the VICTOR over my circumstances, because I and only I will determine how I will think and act. That’s my choice. That’s my freedom, and NO ONE will ever take that from me.

    “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” - Dr. Viktor Frankl

    Wishing y’all a BLESSED day!

  • Just “stumbled upon” you - love this post.
    #5 and #6 were my favorites! I’ll keep coming back for more!

  • Thank you Marc. I will share this on my blog.

  • Excellent. Love No. 2 — Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

  • I’m pretty sure this just changed my life

  • Very simplistic and very, very inspirational.

  • Thanks for the list, I needed it this morning! I love #50.

  • Great reminders to keep you focused on some of the things that ARE important in life.

  • I think my favorite is #6
    No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.

    Great list!

  • It’s a very inspiring list…love every point from it, but mostly no 11.

  • Im reading this at a time in my life where there are many unknowns that quite frankly scare me. Ive been praying alot and searching to find the true meaning of living in each moment. This list says so many great things that I need to hear, that I know, but need to believe with my heart. Grateful to have found this page and thank you.

  • You hit the nail on the head every time!

  • I’m so grateful to have found this website and now I keep spreading the word among my friends and colleagues. I always come back here, especially when I’m at work and feeling a bit overwhelmed/unmotivated/upset/uninspired etc. and always find something that perks me up and switch this little light on in me that makes me keep going and smile to myself, just like now :) No. 49 is already in my diary and have already started anwering the question- I feel big things (for me) will follow :)
    Thanks for such an inspiring website!

  • I’ll be spreading the word about your blog… very inspirational.

  • I love finding blogs like these. And I now have a reminder set to read your blog every day. One to add “Don’t do what is popular, do what is right.”

  • I have found this just when i needed it…
    I have been going through some very difficult times the last 6 months and have felt every bit as little as is humanly possible. This has inspired me so much to remember how positive I actually used to be and how I would always look on the bright side no matter what the issue.
    Thank you. Thank you.
    Truly great reminders.

  • I love finding inspiring blogs like these. Thank you.

  • I needed to read this today.

    Thank you for the Reminder that no matter how hard the situation seems there are brighter days ahead.

  • This is an awesome list! Thank you for sharing it!!

  • Thank you for sharing your wisdom! It’s really a serendipity. I was browsing Stumbleupon and suddenly I found your blog. Just a click away. It’s great what you share here. :)

  • Perfect list and one that everyone should read from time to time. I’m going to try to remember to revisit this list every month.

  • Awesome post! Made me feel better just by reading it. Thanks.

  • Love this, sharing!

  • I simply *adore* this list! THANK YOU for sharing!

  • Amazing. I’m going to share this on my blog I’ve started for those dealing with depression, bipolar disorder and other mood/emotional disorders. This group of people are in particular need of these beautiful reminders. Thank you.


  • Great ideas! Very inspiring!

  • I would love to memorize this list! There seems to be one for every moment that you’d need it most! Thank you :)

  • I feel like I came upon a gold mine. Very uplifting. My mother always told use this one:

    Charity begins at home.

  • So very inspiring! Just what I needed to read today! Thank you for compiling such a list!

  • Very nice! Your words keep me hopeful.

  • Super List! Very motivating!

  • Great stuff, I came along this exactly at the time I needed it. Thank you for contributing and help lift my spirits. Many blessings to you all today!

  • I Stumbled this and stopped the second I saw the Superman sign. My blog explains why. But thank you for reminding me of a few things… sometimes we need positive reminders like these.

  • Great words of wisdom! Highly motivated, your no. 9 and 33 deserve to be remembered, smile and happiness. Thanks a lot for reminding me.

  • A very excellent list, plan to save it ! Thanks. I can especially relate to no. 67. I needed that one!

  • I’m thankful you made this list. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Came across this on StumbleUpon. I just HAD to post it to my friend’s Facebook wall because she’s been having a hard couple days. I hope it lifts her spirits

  • Wonderful list, and I notice you have lots of others! :-) Thanks for acting as a catalyst - words have power to move people, and I’m sure many people have been moved to act on at least one item on your list. Keep it up!

  • This post is simply amazing! It made my morning better, that’s for sure :)

  • So inspiring! I love this!

  • Inspiring! A nice collection… lots of experiences and lessons. Keep the good writing coming.

  • Inspirational! Thank you for this great read!

  • Thank you for a great list! I am in a very tough condition of my life right now and am so glad I found this article.

  • I like all 75 points here.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • This is great, thanks!

  • Very inspiring. I’m actually smiling while reading the list. I will share this with my friends. Thanks for the great words!

  • This is list is great

    If you believe in it then anything is possible. The challenge of my life is to find out how far I can take it.

  • What a great article. Thanks for the wisdom. I have found through my whole crazy “health hell” years with my husband, that you can absolutely steer things where you can control them. The event you cannot change, but how you view the event, which is so important, is yours. Focus on the positive in there - it is there, and waiting to help you through the troubled times.

  • Really enjoyed this post. Inspiring!

  • Superb list… I actually felt better after reading these. But the 75th reminder and the last line were the icing on the cake!!!

    Keep updating guys :)

  • It’s a great post with a collection of some very meaningful quotes and statements. Over the last 10 years, I too have learnt to say to be assertive while being polite and it has helped me big time. Also, speaking your mind and the truth saves you from the unnecessary stress of making stories/ excuses to avoid any mess up later.
    From your list; I simple loved this one; “No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying. “

  • Great read Marc. For me it boils down to respect. Seems we as humans no longer respect one another. There can be no love without respect. Anyway thanks again. My fav from your list is “You can learn great things from your mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.” Thanks again.

  • This post is helping me get through some hard times. Thanks.

  • thank you :)

  • Number 13 is the best! Thank you!

  • Interesting, I actually agree with all of them but some of them are not always easy to put into practice.

  • Perfect list and one that everyone should read from time to time. I’m going to try to remember to revisit this list every month.

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