In the wake of atrocities like those happened in Paris, it can be easy to feel like the challenges our world faces are insurmountable… that the violence, injustice, poverty, disease and the everyday struggle of most of the world will never be overcome. As tragic and horrific as the Paris terrorist attacks (and other similar attacks) always are, the fact remains that tens of millions of people are subjected to such violence every day. Every act of violence is a tragedy, regardless of where it happens.
Even if you’re blessed to live in the western world where we have been largely immune to such daily, large-scale violence, it’s safe to say that just about every one of us will experience tough times, tragedy and “dark nights of the soul” at some point during our lifetimes. A personal set-back or tragedy, even if not on the scale of global terrorism, can feel even more life-altering and morph into a black hole of negative thinking that quickly engulfs your motivation, energy and ability to be the person you want to be.
Because life can be so brutal and randomly cruel, it’s so incredibly important that the heart-centered, loving people of the world use every opportunity to shine their lights and dispel the darkness. Every one of us has the power to stand as beacons of hope and goodness so that others can be uplifted by our presence, words and work in the world. What you do and how you live makes a difference not just on a personal level, but on a global one, too.
So, when you find yourself feeling knocked down and your faith in yourself and life has taken a hit, how can you get back up and move forward again?
You simply choose to. You consciously make the decision to respond instead of react and not give up your power to the circumstances around you.
You can be in turmoil without becoming lost to it.
That being said, my life has not been immune to loss and hardship and I appreciate the devastating power tragedy can wield in an attempt to wreck one’s will and life. My heart goes out to the individuals and families impacted by the recent violence, as well as those struggling to make it every day.
I’ve assembled some of my most beloved quotes that have served to uplift and empower me when times have gotten tough, plus I’ve added a few of my own empowering words. I hope you can draw inspiration from them and that they speak to your heart as much as they do mine.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
- What are your favorite quotes that uplift you?
- Where do you find inspiration when times get tough?
- From where do you draw strength in the face of tragedy and hardship?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. - Dalai Lama
The signature of the truly great is not the absence of difficulty but the ability to recover from setbacks. – Jim Collins
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. – Mother Teresa
When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.
– Henry Ford
Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
- John R. Wooden
You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.
- Margaret Thatcher
It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
- Emiliano Zapata
Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. - Howard Thurman
In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.
– Tom Bodett
We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. – Randy Pausch
You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.
- Mae West
Our greatest fear should not be of failure ... but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.
- Francis Chan
For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently. ― Maya Angelou
A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
- David Brinkley
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
– Steve Jobs
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter
the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you
can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
– Maya Angelou
Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak. – Thomas Carlyle
I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. - Michael Jordan
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love