post written by: Marc Chernoff
9 Power Quotes for Times of Struggle
There’s scarcely any happiness, passion or success without struggle. Life is a constant climb, but the journey is rewarding and the view is great. It’s just a matter of pushing forward when the going gets tough.
Here are nine power quotes and some additional tips to help inspire you when you need it most.
1. Growth and Change
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” ―Anaïs Nin
Discontent is the principal necessity of positive growth, but only if you do something constructive with it. Without deviation from what you’ve been doing, progress is not possible. Don’t be someone who goes through greater lengths to avoid change than you do to obtain what you desire. You must define and embrace the necessary changes that move you forward.
Your life will begin to improve when you define precisely what ‘improve’ means to you. The agonies and frustrations will start to ease only when you have something real and positive to replace them with. Be specific. Happiness is not a goal, it’s the result of a life well lived. The question is: How do you want to live going forward?
To effectively move away from an unfavorable situation, you must decide exactly where you wish to go. Create a formidable intention for yourself, and feed that intention with the passion and energy that’s in your desire for change. Go beyond your discontent for what is, and instead focus on imagining and creating the best of what’s possible. Clearly know where you wish to go, and then take the first real step that gets you there. Read 1,000 Little Things.
2. Problems and Opportunities
“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.” ―J. Sidlow Baxter
Truth be told, you have to create more opportunities than you are handed in this world, and you have to design them with your own blood, sweat and tears. The effort, however, is well worth it.
There’s no shortage of problems waiting to be addressed. When you see problems piled on top of problems, and when there seems to be no end to the work that must be done in order to resolve them, what are you really seeing? You’re looking at a mountain of opportunity. You’re looking at a situation in which you can truly make a difference. You’re looking at an environment where you can reach great heights by raising the stakes and pulling the reality of what’s possible along with you.
When you look at a problem, but see opportunity instead, you become a powerful source that transforms grief into greatness.
3. Hard Work and Achievement
“It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing. Then everything would be. It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth. When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder – or impossible – to lose.” ―Sarah Dessen
There is no shortcut to a great achievement. There is no substitute for doing the work. Meditate on this every day: “I will do the work.” As Einstein once said, “Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work.” You must run to be a runner. You must write to be a writer. You must actively work on a business venture to learn how to run a successful business.
By all means, find ways to be more efficient in your work. But make no mistake that it takes diligent effort to build something worthwhile. There are certainly some success stories out there about people who excelled rather quickly, but you will usually find they had put in years of related work long before anyone was paying attention to their seemingly rapid success. In other words, their current state of achievement is simply all those years of work coming together flawlessly in the present.
Put in the required effort. Plan your work every morning, and then diligently work your plan every day. Read Do the Work.
Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” ―Paulo Coelho
Lack of focus, not lack of ability, is the most common problem that holds people back from their potential. We all have strengths and difficulties, and we all have the same twenty-four hour days and seven-day weeks to work with. If you find it difficult to deal with where you are, or how life is treating you, it’s time to change your focus.
Start focusing on what you want going forward. Set a specific goal, keep your routine centered on it, and you’ll find the strength to move steadily in a positive direction. When you focus on the right thing, even the difficult steps will seem easier. The burdens of the moment become much more bearable when you connect with the purpose behind them.
Your time, energy, and resources will get used no matter how well you focus them. By choosing to focus properly, you get the highest return for the efforts you invest in your life.
5. Positive Thinking
“Our thoughts about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we can be.” ―Anthony Robbins
The reality you live through daily is a process of your thinking. You are essentially who you design yourself to be – most of what you experience is the direct result of your own creation. This reality cannot be changed without first changing your thinking.
Yes, there are lots of inherent events in life that occur completely independently of you – birth, death, loss, sickness, aging, and unexpected changes of all kinds – but these life events do not have to cause ongoing confusion and suffering. They happen, you experience a little stress, you adjust, and you move forward. The problem occurs when you don’t adjust and move forward, when your mind clings to these events in a negative light and intensifies their significance into perpetuity. If your mind does this, of course, it completely overlooks the subtle feelings of excitement, adventure, love, and joy that come from the essence of overcoming a new challenge.
Bottom line: 99% of the time the discontent and frustration you feel is entirely your own creation. If you dwell on the positive thoughts and possibilities at least as much as you dwell on negative thoughts and painful emotions, life’s challenges help you improve your reality. Read Learned Optimism.
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” ―Mahatma Gandhi
No matter what you’re going to make mistakes; it’s an unavoidable truth. But the good news is, if you follow your heart and intuition, the mistakes you make will be steps in the right direction. Just because you fail once at something doesn’t mean you’re going to fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on and believe in yourself. Keep your head held high, your chin up, and above all, SMILE, because the most beautiful part of it all is that there’s so much left to smile about.
Life is what you make it. It’s a wild rollercoaster. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. And then just when you think it can’t get any better, it does. Every day is a beautiful mystery. Let go of yesterday’s mistakes and enjoy the mystery as it unfolds today.
“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.” ―Henry W. Longfellow
What you must realize is that you don’t really need more time; you just need to appreciate life in the current time. It’s a beautiful and bitter way of thinking all at once. If you don’t have what you want now, you don’t have what you want, but you still have a lot. Be thankful for what is; and also be thankful for what has not yet come to you, for that means there are still many possibilities available to you.
Find peace in the thought that you can’t ever have it all or know it all. You are always just a fraction of the whole. For if you weren’t, there would be nothing more to experience. Value what you know, and also value the countless things you don’t yet understand. For in what you do not understand, there is the joy of growth.
Life will always be incomplete and a bit asymmetrical. Realize this and embrace it. Be happy and sad at the same time, be hungry and thankful at the same time, be nervous and excited at the same time, and be okay with it.
8. Confidence and Beliefs
“Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we have to trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith.” ―Lauren Kate
Believe in yourself through tough times. Believe in your capacity to succeed. Believe that your relationships are worth the effort. Believe that people make mistakes on their way to greatness. Believe that people can be foolish and intelligent, selfish and generous, and stressed and happy all at once. Believe that very few people hurt others on purpose. Believe that there are many roads to what’s right. Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths. Believe that the answers are out there waiting. Believe that life will surprise you again and again. Believe that the journey is the destination. Believe that it’s all worth your while. Read 1,000 Little Things.
9. The Present Moment
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ―Mother Teresa
Regardless of what’s happened in the past or what might happen in the future, it’s being here now that’s important. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t edit it; we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if it will ever come.
This moment – right now – is your life. Say yes to it. Don’t ignore it by pretending that you’re living in some other time and place. You aren’t – doing so is impossible. The only life you can live is the only life there is – the moment you are in right now. Ignoring this fact is reckless. Ignoring it is denying reality, and denying reality is rejecting the entire process of living.
Start paying attention to the present. Start paying attention to your life. Right now, say yes to the life you‘re living and notice how it starts to flow WITH you rather than against you.
What’s your favorite power quote that can provide a quick dose of inspiration when you need it most?
Photo by: R.O. Mania