Happiness doesn’t start with a relationship, a vacation, a job… or an election. It starts with your thinking and what you tell yourself today. Remind yourself of this truth. And remind yourself that the absolute best lessons we learn in life are the lessons we learn over and over again. The human mind needs lots of proactive reminders—lots of practice—to operate effectively through thick and thin. For example, deep down we know it’s OK to…

  • Say “no”
  • Speak up
  • Tell the truth
  • Believe differently
  • Change our mind
  • Prioritize our needs
  • Learn from our mistakes
  • Embrace our imperfections
  • Forgive and seek forgiveness
  • Begin again, stronger than before

Yet, we often seek the exact opposite when life gets stressful and we’re under pressure.

We do the wrong things even when we know better.

Because the human mind has weaknesses. It becomes forgetful and insensible when it’s stressed. And the only way to conquer these weaknesses is to practice conquering them.

Daily Quotes and Notes

It’s all about keeping the right thoughts at the top of your mind every day, so they’re readily available on those inevitable days (like today) when you need them most. For Angel and me, that means pausing frequently and reflecting on precisely what we need to remember.

  1. You can’t control how other people behave. You can’t control everything that happens. What you can control is how you respond to it all. In your response is your power.
  2. The biggest and most complex obstacle you will ever have to overcome is your own mind. Let that sink in. You aren’t responsible for everything that happens to you in life, but you are responsible for undoing the self-defeating thinking patterns these undesirable outcomes create.
  3. The goal is to change your response to what you can’t control. To grow so strong on the inside that nothing on the outside can affect your inner wellness without your conscious permission.

Use Visual Reminders, Too

Written quotes and notes like the ones above are powerful, but they merely scratch the surface of possibilities for daily self-reflection. For instance, I have my laptop’s desktop background set to a photo of my family, both because I love looking at them and because, when life and work get really tough, these photos remind me of the people I am ultimately working and living for. It’s so simple, but it helps.

Think of moments when you are most likely to give in to impulses that keep you stuck and take you further away from your best intentions. Then use written quotes, notes, and visual reminders to interrupt those negative impulses and keep yourself on track