You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
– Mae West
You know you’re on the right track when you can repeat each of the following headlines to yourself, honestly. (And if you can’t, this list gives you something positive to work on.)
1. I am following my heart and intuition.
Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. Live the life you want to live. Be the person you want to remember years from now. Make decisions and act on them. Make mistakes, fall and try again. Even if you fall a thousand times, at least you won’t have to wonder what could have been. At least you will know in your heart that you gave your dreams your best shot.
Each of us has a fire in our hearts burning for something. It’s our responsibility in life to find it and keep it lit. This is your life, and it’s a short one. Don’t let others extinguish your flame. Try what you want to try. Go where you want to go. Follow your own intuition. Dream with your eyes open until you know exactly what it looks like. Then do at least one thing every day to make it a reality.
And as you strive to achieve your goals, you can count on there being some fairly substantial disappointments along the way. Don’t get discouraged, the road to your dreams may not be an easy one. Think of these disappointments as challenges – tests of persistence and courage. At the end of the road, more often than not, we regret what we didn’t do far more than what we did. Read Quitter.
2. I am proud of myself.
You are your own best friend and your own biggest critic. Regardless of the opinions of others, at the end of the day the only reflection staring back at you in the mirror is your own. Accept everything about yourself – EVERYTHING! You are you and that is the beginning and the end – no apologies, no regrets.
People who are proud of themselves tend to have passions in life, feel content and set good examples for others. It requires envisioning the person you would like to become and making your best efforts to grow.
Being proud isn’t bragging about how great you are; it’s more like quietly knowing that you’re worth a lot. It’s not about thinking you’re perfect – because nobody is – but knowing that you’re worthy of being loved and accepted. All you have to do is be yourself and live the story that no one else can live – the story of your own unique life. Be proud, be confident, you never know who has been looking at you wishing they were you.
3. I am making a difference.
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
Is it true that we all live to serve? That by helping others we fulfill our own destiny? The answer is a simple ‘yes.’ When you make a positive impact in someone else’s life, you also make a positive impact in your own life. Do something that’s greater than you – something that helps someone else to be happy or to suffer less.
You are only one, but you are one. You cannot do everything, but you can do something. Smile and enjoy the fact that you made a difference – one you’ll likely remember forever.
4. I am happy and grateful.
Happiness is within you, in your way of thinking. How you view yourself and your world are mindful choices and habits. The lens you choose to view everything through determines how you feel about yourself and everything that happens around you.
Being grateful will always make you happy. If you’re finding it hard to be grateful for anything, sit down close your eyes and take a long slow breath and be grateful for oxygen. Every breath you take is in sync with someone’s last.
5. I am growing into the best version of me.
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.
Remember, trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Embrace that individual inside you that has ideas, strengths and beauty like no one else. Be the person you know yourself to be – the best version of you – on your terms. Improve continuously, take care of your body and health, and surround yourself with positivity. Become the best version of you.
6. I am making my time count.
Time is the most valuable constituent of life. Make the time for what does matter today. Really being in the moment, finding passion in your life, seeing the world and traveling, or just seeing the world that’s around you right now, being with great people, doing amazing things, eating amazing food and savoring life’s little pleasures.
Remember, your time is priceless, but it’s free. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can spend it, but you can’t keep it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back. You really do only have a short period to live. So let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions louder than your words. Make your time count!
7. I am honest with myself.
Be honest about what’s right, as well as what needs to be changed. Be honest about what you want to achieve and who you want to become. Be honest with every aspect of your life, always. Because you are the one person you can forever count on.
Search your soul, for the truth, so that you truly know who you are. Once you do, you’ll have a better understanding of where you are now and how you got here, and you’ll be better equipped to identify where you want to go and how to get there. Read The Four Agreements.
8. I am good to those I care about.
In human relationships distance is not measured in miles, but in affection. Two people can be right next to each other, yet miles apart. So don’t ignore someone you care about, because lack of concern hurts more than angry words. Stay in touch with those who matter to you. Not because it’s convenient, but because they’re worth the extra effort.
When was the last time you told your family and close personal friends that you loved them? Just spending a little time with someone shows that you care, shows that they are important enough that you’ve chosen — out of all the things to do on your busy schedule — to find the time for them. Talk to them. Listen to them. Understand them.
Many times it’s our actions, not just our words that really speak what our heart feels for another.
9. I know what unconditional love feels like.
Whether your love is towards a child, a lover, or another family member, know the feeling of giving love and not expecting anything in return – this is what lies at the heart of unconditional love. Life through unconditional love is a wondrous adventure that excites the very core of our being and lights our path with delight. This love is a dynamic and powerful energy that lifts us through the most difficult times.
Love is beautiful and unpredictable. It begins with ourselves, for without self-love, we cannot know what true love can be. In loving ourselves, we allow the feeling to generate within us and then we can share it to everyone and everything around us. When you love unconditionally, it isn’t because the person you love is perfect, it’s because you learn to see an imperfect person perfectly.
10. I have forgiven those who once hurt me.
We’ve all been hurt by another person at some point or another – we were treated badly, trust was broken, hearts were hurt. And while this pain is normal, sometimes that pain lingers for too long. We relive the pain over and over, letting them live rent-free in our head and we have a hard time letting go.
Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness, it causes us to miss out on the beauty of life as it happens. To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you.
11. I take full accountability for my life.
Own your choices and mistakes, and be willing to take the necessary steps to improve upon them. Either you take accountability for your life or someone else will. And when they do, you’ll become a slave to their ideas and dreams instead of a pioneer of your own.
You are the only one who can directly control the outcome of your life. And no, it won’t always be easy. Every person has a stack of obstacles in front of them. But you must take accountability for your situation and overcome these obstacles. Choosing not to is choosing a lifetime of mere existence. Read The Road Less Traveled.
12. I have no regrets.
This one is simply a culmination of the previous eleven…
Follow your heart. Be true to yourself. Do what makes you happy. Be with who makes you smile. Laugh as much as you breathe. Love as long as you live. Say what you need to say. Offer a helping hand when you’re able. Appreciate all the things you do have. Smile. Celebrate your small victories. Learn from your mistakes. Realize that everything is a lesson in disguise. Forgive. And let go of the things you can’t control.
Photo by: Esparta Palma
I wish I could say all these things now. I’m working on it though, and making progress. 🙂
“Laugh as much as you breath.” So much of this article made my day soooo much better. 🙂
Brad Alexander says
Another great list. Especially taking care of our body and our health. Maintenance is not enough. Our health us our life. We should be striving to always build and improve our body and health.
Love this one! #12 is my favorite.
Excellent read, as always. Thanks you two! 1, 2 and 12 really speak to me.
Its funny how some of these affect the others. I am so 1, 7, and 11, but they somehow make it a little harder to achieve 2, 4, and 12. It’s all about balance.
What a great list! Although its unfortunate that I’m not able to say all of these things about myself yet.
James Burke says
Really good stuff – I like all the 12. You could in coaching build a spider diagram on it and check with the client where he fits
I really like the one where it says “I’m making a difference.” That’s how I feel about my blog.
Wow… this is an eye-opener. Thank you for this!
Jerry Hislip says
#12 really speaks to me. Great ending to a great post. Marc and Angel thank you again for your great words of wisdom.
Love this list especially number 5, embrace the individual inside you! Thank you for your wisdom.
I honestly LOVE you Marc & Angel!!!! Thanks for continuing to help me find myself.
Solid advice, as usual. I think some of these ideas have been discussed here before, but it’s nice to see them re-purposed and used in one article that can be used specifically as a checklist to better ourselves. Thanks as always.
This gives me a lot to think about. Very insightful.
A wonderfully insightful list. Thoughts and sentiments I consciously strive to live by every day.
Erin Owen says
This is fantastic. I am grateful that I can say these things for myself and I am going to share this with ALL my clients! Thank you! -Erin
Something to strive for, but the key thing is what you say about time “You can spend it, but you can’t keep it.”. Life is short, so better make it count and the the risks you need to; nobody said it was going to be easy 🙂
David Corbin says
This is truly unique and wonderful advice. As someone in the field of personal development I must say that this is absolutely quality info communicated clearly. I’ll put it to work immediately.
This talked to the bottom of my heart and almost drove me into tears!! So true! What a good article – one of your better ones. Love it!
Excellent post! I always look forward to your posts. They are always appropriate to whatever life is throwing at me at the time.
Great! you made my day with this post.
LOVE #12! My new life mantra!
This is exactly what I needed to read today; thank you.
Betty Reedy says
I really enjoyed this article. Gives me ideas to work on and things to reflect on. Thanks.
Great article… This list inspires me to keep pushing forward. I’ve got a long way to go, as I only can say I do TWO of those. Certainly NOT #12. I have tons of regrets…
Having a HUGE mountain of debt from supporting a dieing loved one years ago has made my life nothing but eat-work-sleep for way to long…and many more years to come…
Looking forward to the day that I can start working on these… Heck, if I can get to the point where I do #4, that will be good enough for me.
T. AKA Ricky Raw says
I like all 12, but #10 and #12 are especially sticking points for me.
I’m not there yet for all the things in the list, but I’m happy to say that I am getting there, and that I am aware of them.
it’s my birthday today – perfect sentiments for such a day. Thanks X
I can not begin to express enough how much this touched my heart and made me want to be all of me! Not just some girl, but a very special girl who rocks the world!
Excellent words of wisdom! Thank you! 🙂
I was feeling so lost this morning after a very recent tremendous loss. Found myself again after reading this post. Thank you.
David Orman says
Truth has a very distinct feel to it. This is truth.
Awesome and uplifting! Thanks for the wonderful article.
ene okwori says
I keep learning great things from your site. Thanks for showing me how to be a better ME.
So beautiful! Thank you so much! xx
Thank you for the inspiration to keep moving forward!
Your site has helped me a lot!! Thank you very much!
Your positive words of wisdom continue to motivate me. This article was a joy to read.
Remez Sasson says
Great tips, not just for inspiration, but to follow every day.
It might not be easy to follow all tips at the same time, but even following just one tip at a time can improve one’s feelings and one’s life.
WONDERFUL. I am going to keep it, to read it every day. Thank you.
Valencia Ray MD says
Thanks for posting. I can say them and I can say that the story continues to evolve. There will be opportunities as long as I live to have new opportunities to experience these 12 things anew. Getting free of “somewhere over the rainbow” thinking that I’ll finally “arrive” or that “I am this or that” has been the greatest of all insights so far. As Dorothy essentially said, in the movie, “it was here (within) all along”. The best version of “me” is not an endpoint, but an eternal journey of discovery and learning to “in joy” the journey and stay present is what continuously sets me free, – spirit, mind, heart and body.
This one is great. We can never be perfect at many of these things, but, they are wonderful things to aspire to. Thanks Angel.
This is one powerful list! I can definitely cross off a few of the statements, but not all of them. I’m working on it though. Thanks for the continual motivation.
I need these lines permanently written on my bedroom walls. I need to read them over and over every day! Thanks for all the help, Angel. 🙂
Loved this. 1,2 and 4 is my favorites.
One of my favorite songs is by Edith Piaf and its called Je ne regrette rien (I don’t regret anything). Great song and I try to live that way.
What a beautiful list filled with truths about life. I’m going to read this many times over because this is wisdom I don’t want to forget.