Every day is filled with challenges. Some of these requiring a far more Herculean effort than others. And although it may not seem like it, even the luckiest of us cannot escape these trials and tribulations. The world isn’t in possession of a justice system on how these challenges are handed out either. So if we wish to carry on with a smile, then we need a bit of inner-strength.
Of course, there’s only so much one person can take, which is why we can often swing between happiness and listlessness like a pendulum. Life wasn’t made to be easy, and the more you care about it, the harder the emotional balance becomes to strike. Fact. However, with quality always reigning superior to quantity, a few pearls of wisdom can certainly help provide the incentive to stay strong when those hard times seem in abundance.
So, to help promote this game-changing incentive, here are 9 encouraging philosophical quotes to keep handy for when you need them most.
The question is not what you look at, but what you see.Henry David Thoreau
Perspective is key. Being in our own lives can often skew our vision of it. We know the intricacies far too well and are therefore far more critical of its flaws. Take a step back and look again – what do you see? The only way you can ever describe it with unbiased clarity is from the vantage point of distance.
To live is to suffer. To survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.Friederich Nietzsche
Some of our life’s greatest catalysts stem from emotional turbulence. It is through frustration and question that progress is born. Channel those feelings and sublimate them into creative force. This passion for change will inevitably map out your life’s next step. Upon reflection, one day, you’ll realise what it was all for.
If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.Ludwig Wittgenstein
Language, thought and reality are all intertwined. Words’ meaning is reliant on the world around them. Context is, therefore, everything. Perhaps this is why the perception of how other people describe the constructs of their universe is so hard to understand. No two people are the same. However, sometimes meaning can be conveyed not in what is said, but in how it is used. Our outlook on life is dependent on cracking this unwritten, yet universal, code.
The way we structure our lives is heavily weighed upon how we view ourselves. We possess the power to make many decisions that could change our lives, but the ones in which we choose to undertake are very much linked to what we believe we “deserve” or feel “safe” accepting. How do you see yourself? What 3 words would you use to best describe yourself? Now, ask other people who know you this same question and compare notes. You may be surprised at the differences. Remember, confidence is the key to the door of opportunity.
Your destiny can’t be changed but, it can be challenged.Martin Heidegger
We all strive to identify our purpose. What are we here for? Why do I matter? These are questions far too broad to answer so distinctly, though. Especially in a world filled with complexities. However, despite these challenges, it is within all of us to make something out of nothing. Our lives all begin this way, and yet, we all manage to create something from it – friends, family, work, projects, experiences. Our own self-awareness of what we like and want etc. is, by definition, what eventually showcases our purpose.
“We must act out passion before we can feel it.”Jean-Paul Sarte
Similar to the notion of, “fake it until you make it”, which, as crazy as it sounds, is actually part of sizing up our identity. We can only believe in our own capabilities if we see them in action. Think of it like trying on an item of clothing or eating a newly-discovered meal – we don’t know what we like until we try it. Then, once we have cautiously dipped our toe in the water, we’ll know whether it’s something we can willingly dive into again. In essence, it is our past actions and experiences that will guide us towards our future destiny.
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”Albert Camus
Looking for happiness before understanding what makes us happy is like seeking an item with a foreign title that you have neglected to learn in your mother tongue – it’s aimless! All efforts will be frustrating, confusing and neverending. Life tip: stop looking and start living. That is the only way we will ever find anything of meaning.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.Confucius
Pitfalls and bumps are just a small part of a very big road. We must keep moving. There is no other motivation to succeed, except our own power of will. We are not defined by the bad events that happen to us. Rather, what we choose to do in response to them thereafter.
It is not necessary that whilst I live I live happily; but it is necessary that so long as I live I should live honourably.Immanuel Kant
Although there is no clear cut strategy for life’s boardgame, what is clear is the duty we should uphold to ourselves and to others playing alongside us. So, whilst our next move is unclear by simply looking alone, feeling what is “right” in the current situation will ultimately help keep us moving along. Like with most of life’s curiosities, our choices are what dictate the next chapter in our story. In the words of Socrates, “To be is to do.”
Perhaps we have known the meaning of life for centuries? But, again, we’ve all been staring at it too closely. Sometimes, in order to figure out the complexities, we have to strip it all back and just admit that the answer is simpler than we think.
Of course, no one can tell us in detail what we’re inherently here for. That knowledge is bound by us as individuals. By our confidence, perspective, moral convictions, dedication, experience and expression. But, it is possible that how we advance through life will eventually tell us everything we need to know.
One last thing…
Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end”
If you can take home any one quote, let it be this.
Because your life matters.