post written by: Angel Chernoff

18 Truths to Start Telling Yourself

18 Inspiring Truths To Start Telling Yourself

This is your journey, and yours alone.  Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.

Here are 18 truths to inspire, motivate and remind you that you aren’t confined by the boundaries others impose on you.  You are in full control of your own life, starting today.

  1. I can only be me. – Stop trying to be someone else’s idea of perfect.  Be your imperfectly perfect self.  Be YOU.  When they laugh at you for being different, laugh back at them for being the same.  Judy Garland once said, “Always be a first rate version of yourself instead of a second rate version of somebody else.”  Live by this statement.  There is no such thing as living in someone else’s shoes.  The only shoes you can occupy are your own.  If you aren’t being yourself, you aren’t truly living – you’re merely existing.
  2. This is my life, and my dreams are worth it. – Life is a courageous journey or nothing at all.  We cannot become who we want to be by continuing to do exactly what we’ve been doing.  If you are passionate about something, pursue it, no matter what anyone else thinks.  That’s how dreams are achieved.  Be deaf when people tell you that you can’t fulfill your dreams.  The only place where your goals and dreams are impossible is inside your head.  Once you’ve dreamed of it, you’re halfway there.  So go ahead and follow through.  Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions louder than your words.  Follow your heart regardless of what others tell you to do.  At the end of the day it’s you who has to live with your decisions, not them.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  3. Everything, good or bad, is a life lesson. – Everyone you meet, everything you encounter, etc. – they’re all part of the learning experience we call ‘life.’  Never forget to acknowledge the lesson, especially when things don’t go your way.  If you don’t get a job that you wanted or a relationship doesn’t work, it only means something better is out there waiting.  And the lesson you just learned is the first step towards it. Remember, there are no mistakes, only lessons.  Love yourself, trust your choices, remember what you deserve, and keep pushing forward.
  4. A few REAL friends are all I need. – When it comes to relationships, focus on quality over quantity.  Spend your time with friends who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways.  They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.  Spend more time with those who make you smile and less time with those who you feel pressured to impress. These people make your day a little bit brighter simply by being in it.  It is better to have one true friend than all the acquaintances in the world.
  5. My actions and words directly affect the lives around me. – Lead by example.  Practice what you preach or don’t preach at all.  Walk the talk!  People watch what you do more than they listen to what you say.  Inspire, challenge and encourage people to their best, by doing YOUR best.  And when someone else is doing a great job, tell them that you’re proud of them.  Encourage them.  Take the time to recognize their effort.  If they know you believe they can do great things, they will often go to great lengths to live up to your expectations.  Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.  Optimism is a happiness magnet.  If you stay positive and confident, good things and good people will be drawn to you.
  6. Broken promises destroy relationships. – You make commitments to others and yourself all the time.  The question is: Do you keep them?  If you said you’re going to do something, do it!  When you fail to keep a promise, it tells others that you don’t value their time or relationship.  Don’t over-promise; under-promise and over-deliver on everything you do.  And a few words to the wise:  Never make a big decision when you’re angry, and never make a big promise when you’re overjoyed.
  7. The little things are often the big things. – Keep it simple.  There is absolute joy and wonder to be had in the simplest of moments – like watching the sunset over the horizon or spending time with a family member.  Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.
  8. People regret the things they did NOT do. – You miss 100% of the shots you never take.  Choices, chances and changes – start making them.  You must make a choice to take a chance, or your life will never change.  In the end, more so than the mistakes we made, we regret the chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have, and the decisions we waited too long to make.
  9. Small people can make a BIG difference. – Stay positive when negativity surrounds you.  Smile when others frown.  It’s an easy way to make a difference.  There are many small, simple actions you can make to profoundly impact your family, your community, and the world.  You could pick up and throw away some trash you see on the street.  Send thoughts of loving kindness, support and peace to a friend.  Find something in your house you no longer need and give to someone who could use it.  Everyone values the gift of unexpected assistance and those who supply it.  Leave everything a little better than you found it.  You’ll see why.
  10. Adversity makes us strong and wise. – Pain makes you stronger.  Tears make you braver.  Heartbreak makes you wiser.  Be grateful for your past because it helped shape who you are.  And thank the past for a better future.  Live for today, learn from yesterday, and hope for tomorrow.  Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
  11. Everyone deserves kindness and respect. – Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even those who are rude to you – not because they are nice, but because you are.  There are no boundaries or classes that define a group of people that deserve to be respected.  Treat everyone with the same level of respect you would give to your grandfather and the same level of patience you would have with your baby brother.  People will notice your kindness.
  12. Everyone has something amazing to offer. – Accept people just the way they are.  In most cases it’s impossible to change them anyway, and it’s rude to try.  If you give them a chance, everyone has something amazing to offer.  Open your mind, arms and heart to all people; we are united in our differences, and stronger together because of them.
  13. There’s no point in doing something if I’m not going to do it right. – I’m impressed by great guitarists, writers, bloggers, painters, motivational speakers, internet entrepreneurs, computer engineers, mothers, fathers, athletes, etc.  And there’s only one thing they all have in common: They excel at what they do.  There’s no point in doing something if you aren’t going to do it right.  Excel at your work and excel at your hobbies.  Develop a reputation for yourself, a reputation for consistent excellence.  Read The Four Agreements.
  14. Dishonesty should never be tolerated. – Nobody likes a liar.  In the long-run, the truth always reveals itself anyway.  Either you own up to your actions or your actions will ultimately own you.  Living a life of honesty creates peace of mind, and peace of mind is priceless.  Period.  Don’t be dishonest and don’t put up with people who are.
  15. Personal growth will feel uncomfortable at first. – Growth always begins at the end of your comfort zone.  So break out of your comfort zone and try something new.  Fight the unfamiliar and enjoy the experience.  Try out that new restaurant.  Stop by the new park.  Routines stagnate us.  New experiences help us grow and they make life interesting.  Make an effort to try something new every day this week.  It can be a whole new activity or just a small experience, such as talking to a stranger.  Once you get the ball rolling, many of these new experiences will open doors to life changing opportunities.  And with a strategy of continuous small steps into new experiences, we are able to sidestep the biggest barrier to positive change:  Fear.
  16. Happiness is a choice that comes from within. – Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect, it means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.  There are choices you can make every day to feel the effects of happiness.  Choose to be around the right people.  Choose to focus on what you have, not on what you haven’t.  Choose a good attitude.  Choose to express gratitude.  Choose to forgive.  Choose to take care of your body.  Begin today by taking responsibility for your own happiness.  The choice is yours.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  17. The more I invest in myself, the more control I will have over my life. – Invest time and energy in yourself every day.  When you invest in yourself, you can never lose, and over time you will change the trajectory of your life.  You are simply the product of what you know.  The more time and energy you spend acquiring pertinent knowledge, the more control you have over your life.
  18. Knowledge without action accomplishes nothing. – The number one thing I persistently see holding smart people back is their own reluctance to take action with the knowledge they already have.  In other words, they believe they require additional knowledge, skill, experience, etc. before they can aptly partake in an opportunity.  Yes, more knowledge is great to have, but without action it doesn’t get you anywhere.  You’ve got to take baby steps.  You’ve got to act on what you know.  Remember, the acquisition of knowledge doesn’t mean you’re growing; growing happens when what you know changes how you live.

Photo by: Phil Hilfiker

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  • As always, thank you Marc and Angel. You just made me smile, again.

  • I love this post. Inspirational and true.

    Thank you for continuing to do what you do.

  • These little gems of wisdom are priceless. I share your posts with friends and colleges who always find them as inspirational as I do.

    Thank you.

  • Every truth/tip you shared here is something I want to fine tune and move forward with in my life. Thank you. I will share this with my friends and family too.

  • Another great enumerated list of truths. Thanks. Always great reminders to get one’s thinking re-oriented.

    Here’s my latest simple math (without embellishments): What I am > What I am not

  • Thank you, again, for this.

  • I really needed this list this morning. I’ve been trying to breakout of my comfort zone for a while and I was down this morning wondering if my dreams were just dreams and not something worth working towards. I’ve had a stagnent year and it has been depressing. Thanks for what you guys do.

  • Thank you for this. I’m going to bookmark and print it, and try to reinforce all of these truths to my daughters as they are growing up. It’s never too early to teach children these lessons, as well as adults.

  • Great stuff, I too share your advice with my friends and I use it often in training programs. And I share the link to your site quite often as well.

  • “There’s no point in doing something if I’m not going to do it right. ”

    Maybe this is just written weird, but do you think those people that are great at something were always great at it?

    Chances are that they were terrible at it, and possibly for a long time. Chances are that they failed trying it, more than once. Chances are that they didn’t do it right and just didn’t give up.

    Having to do everything perfect or “right” is good way to never do anything right or wrong…

  • So true….Love 3 & 11! Thank you Marc and Angel!

  • Great list of inspiring and uplifting bits of wisdom !

    Will share with my Facebook friends for sure.

  • @Jestep: I think you’re misinterpreting our definition of “right.” You’re associating “right” with “perfect” or “flawless.” When we say, “There’s no point in doing something if I’m not going to do it right,” we are associating “right” with “diligence” or the constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken

    Another way of saying it would be “There’s no point in doing something if I’m not going to try my best.”

    @Everyone else: Thanks so much for the positive reinforcement. You already made our day. :)

  • Thank you once again, your posts are always a great part of my morning.

  • Wow, every word of this post is a morsel of inspirational goodness.

    Very well done!

    “Personal growth will feel uncomfortable at first” is one of my favorites. I work in sales and I remember when I first started, every sales pitch I uttered felt completely uncomfortable. Looking back I now realize that in order to get better at something, you have to do what makes you feel uncomfortable.

    And you have to do it often.

    On a grander scale, I think society could use this advice. If we tried implementing new solutions, that make us feel uncomfortable, I think we’d permanently solve many problems. The temporary discomfort of growth certainly beats trying to solve social issues the same way we’ve always tried.

    Thanks for this post. :)

  • Thanks for this! Love your blog. Any chance that you guys could add a printable version of your posts?

  • These are awesome! May have to type them up on a little card and laminate it for my wallet. The smallest pocket bible/words to live by! Thanks!

  • You guys continue to amaze me. Each post is better than the last. THANK-YOU!

  • These are truths you should place in your heart. I like 3. “Everything, good or bad, is a life lesson.” And i have found in my own life if you don’t learn the lesson, it will keep happening until the lesson is learned. It is much easier to see the lesson the first time around and learn it.

    Thank you,

  • Wonderful pieces of advice - I am trying to break out of depression and anxiety and your site it helping me keep it all in perspective. I even have some of the books you link in the articles on order.
    Thank you for sharing your words!

  • I just want to say how much I love your articles. I’m always happy when much of it sounds familiar and I realize I’m reading some of the same things I already do. I am pleased that I have managed to balance my “for pleasure” and work. Thanks for making it concise and wonderful.

  • I particularly enjoyed the phrasing in #10:
    Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass,
    it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

    What a sweet reminder to approach life with curiosity, an open mind, and bounce in your step. To step into the dance of life instead of sitting on the sidelines waiting for… whatever—the right conditions, an invitation, permission.


  • Very interesting. Great advice.
    Seriously. I will be reading again and again.
    Can’t wait for the next mail.
    I have an opportunity to change my career and join the family business and some of the points you raised are helping me.
    Well done and keep up the excellent work!

  • I absolutely love your clear & concise life truths!

    Thank you for all you do, I always wait in anticipation of your next posts :)


  • Binitha Surendran
    March 22nd, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    THANK YOU!!! Both of you.

  • I am so glad I came across this blog! These truths are what we all long to figure out for ourselves, and when we do, we seldomly realize it until it’s gone and passed. People truly do not know what they have until it’s gone…or at least being threatened.

    I’m definitely saving this post!

  • Love it Angel. Thanks. I’ve started a series on my blog about learning to be you which is at the heart of my work with clients. If you don’t show up as you, no one is going to, we all need everyone, as they are so we can build a better world.

  • I am a high school counselor and always share your words of wisdom with my students. Thank you for inspiring me to inspire them.

  • Wonderful. The little things also add up. You can do big things everyday. You are not going to save the world and put out a fire on a regular basis. However you can be thoughtful, considerate and mindful of yourself and others making your life and the lives of those around you a little more positive which can make a BIG difference.

  • I’ve been struggling with negative thought processes for pretty much my entire life. I’m now working to undo them and stop being my own worst enemy. The posts on this website are such a big help! I’ve told myself that if I can convince myself to always thing negatively, in the alternative, I can also convince myself to think positively. Right now, it feels very unnatural to me, but hopefully in time, it will be the norm. Thanks for helping me get there, Marc and Angel. :)

  • I appreciated reading everything! I however, have a rephrasing of item 13 to help be more clear. I think it should be worded “Always do your best” which is from “The Four Agreements”
    By using the words “There’s no point in doing something if I’m not going to do it right” we steer people away from trying, steer people away from “taking action” as in a later number. They may feel that they don’t know how to do it right, so they won’t try. But if they “take action” and “try their best” then they will excel, to whatever degree they judge their own excellence.

  • Thank you for this post. Great reminders!
    You guys rock!

  • Great post. Wow, this is so true, “This is your journey, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” It was that point for me, when the isolation became complete, when I discovered that this time, no one was (or could) save me from myself. That point of desperation where I had to make a choice. I chose life and from then all everything else has just been gravy!

    Many things in that list really resonated with me, especially about feeling uncomfortable and that everything (good or bad) is a life lesson. Perspective is a great gift.

    Pain is also a great teacher.

  • When i read your blogs there is this light that come stay with me… nice one.

  • Great read! Provides plenty of positive food for thought.

  • I found this website stumbling around…:)
    And now I read it everyday to keep me grounded.

    Thanks so much for pointing out the sometimes not so obvious…sometimes we become blinded by our own misconceptions, but it feels liberating to live life…fully and positively!

  • Thank you… This is helping to make a difference in my life :)

  • Thank you for the inspiration!
    I feel it’s time to take action!

  • This is superb, like everything you write.

    I would add something to #3 though. Not only is everything that happens a learning experience, everything works for your greater good. I do believe there’s a purpose to what happens to us, and all of those things (good and bad) serve to move us closer to our goals if we let them.

  • Awesome words of wisdom!

  • I absolutely agree with in regards to #4 that “it is better to have one true friend than all the acquaintances in the world.” However my question is how do you even acquire that friend. I’m extremely disappointed and embarrassed to say that I am 26 years old and I haven’t even come close to that. I have no problem talking to random strangers or going up to anyone because I’m very outgoing, but while I have these acquaintances they rarely if never develop into friendships. I’ve done everything to meetups to you name it. However, outside of that plan never materialize. I on my own suggest plans and offer ideas of activities to do. At this point I am lost, depressed, and sometimes lack any hope so I could really use some suggestions.

  • Awesome work Marc & Angel!

    Brezlyn: In my experiences, I noticed #4 when I wasn’t looking for them; THEY were just people that I was a friend to when THEY weren’t looking. I find that much of what M&A posted (and even Tara said in her comment) all ‘tie-in’ and culminate together in a ‘Gestalt’-fashion.

  • As always stupendous!!!

    Loved this line: “I can only be me” - How true…Need to implement it!

  • @Marc

    I absolutely agree. If you aren’t going to give it your best, there’s no point wasting time with it.

    Didn’t mean to come of overly critical. Just seemed to be a little counter-intuitive of most of your other posts.

    Anyway, have been a reader for a long time now. Keep up the great work.

  • Truly amazing post, with insights I can start using. How many of you guys that comment on here, have used some of these tips they mention here? How have some of them worked out for you? =)

  • Love, love, love #18! Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and all the greats always say…”You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. Knowing something and not using it does no one any good in this world.

  • Just two words- LOVED IT! And TWO more- THANK YOU

  • These were some very inspirational words!
    I will definitely come back to this site! :)

  • I agree with you here. Unfortunately, the majority of the people in the society don’t even know about these truths they should be telling themselves. This is the first post I read in your blog and it left me craving for more :)

  • Marc and Angel, you’re great!!! I am so happy I came across your site, you will never know how you influence me. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! :)

  • You are really special and doing something so amazingly kind with this site. You are absolutely so lovely to me. XX

  • This article really inspires me. I like it!

  • Great insights, especially these which I appreciate most:
    - Everything is lesson that aids your growth.
    - Growth begins with uncomfortable feelings.

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