Quotes are so stupidly simple, from graduation quotes to leadership quotes. They’re typically one or two sentences that interrupt your thought patterns. They are found all over the internet and social media is drowning in quotes.
The problem? Many life quotes are a waste of time. They’re shared without much thought and not carefully curated. Tim Ferriss has a surprisingly good intuition when it comes to the sport of quote spotting. He seems to find absolute gems from completely random people you’ve never heard of, which I can rarely find myself.
I scrolled through Tim’s Twitter Feed for hours trying to find a few of my favorites to share with you, that will change how you think and have positively impacted my psychology over the last few years.
Here are the five best life quotes curated by Mr. Ferriss.
It’s helpful to switch off and reboot
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” — Anne Lamott
We all overload our brains with work, social media or life, at some point. When the dishwasher breaks, you turn the power off and on. When the computer stops working, you switch it off. When the TV spits the dummy and won’t load a movie, you switch it off. Why would your body be any different?
We all need to switch off once in a while and then eventually reboot. Switching off looks like this:
- Take a break from social media
- Turn your phone on airplane mode
- Go somewhere quiet
- Relax and read a book
- Take a holiday for 2 weeks
- Do a weekend away with your partner
- Spoil yourself with gelato
These tiny little habits allow your brain to relax. If switching off can work for your computer, why couldn’t it work for the human body?
Start your day well and the rest will feel easier
“Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning, and the rest of the day will take care of itself.” — Elbert Hubbard
If you wake up tired, angry and in a bad mood, it’s not hard to see which way your day’s going to go. The way to start your day right is to remember your day starts the night before. If you go to bed at a decent hour, get plenty of sleep, relax before bed and empty your thoughts, you’ll wake up refreshed.
Then once you’ve woken up refreshed, if you can maintain that feeling for the first few hours, you increase the probability of your day going right. The crucial thing to focus on in those first few hours is your mental state.
Focus on what’s going to go right and why, not on all the problems you’re about to face and reasons you can’t deal with them.
Be kind to yourself and you’ll treat others amazingly well as a result
“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” — Jack Kornfield
If you talk down to yourself, how you treat others will be a direct reflection of that behavior. I used to have a goal of treating people better and not being so selfish. It was always impossible to achieve. Then, I discovered that my inner self-talk was terrible and my treatment of others was a result of how I was treating myself.
You can become upset with yourself when you fail to perform, make a mistake or hold yourself back due to fear. The key is to be kind to yourself and understand this one sentence:
“You’re doing the best you can.”
It’s the one sentence that can set you free and prevent you from being cruel to yourself. Kindness and compassion starts with yourself.
You’re not lazy
“What looks like laziness is often exhaustion.” — Chip Heath and Dan Heath
There are points in our lives where we stop engaging in habits we know are good for us or go off the rails. Perhaps you drink alcohol or smoke a cigarette when you know you shouldn’t and have worked so hard to get away from these vices. Perhaps you lost weight and then went ballistic at a work function and ate a whole pizza.
When you feel lazy, it’s not laziness.
Recently I had a rough patch with my writing and tried every hack under the sun to get back on my feet and write again. Everything I tried didn’t work. Then a mentor said to me, “Perhaps all you need is a break.”
She was right. I took some time away from writing and stopped trying to write 10,000 words a day without taking a break. I returned to writing with a fresh outlook and a whole mountain of ideas that came from reflection.
Maybe what feels like laziness is just you needing to slow down in life.
Where attention goes, energy flows
“Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.” — Robert J. Sawyer
Every time you get angry, it costs you energy. You’re paying for every tantrum, argument, and swear word by robbing yourself of energy that you could use to do something you’re passionate about.
On days when I write, there is a zero-tolerance for losing my sh*t. I know that if I give in to the temptation, my writing day will be messed up and my best work will remain hidden under the covers of my thoughts.
The same is true for you. See your attention and energy as investments and that brings you results when you make wise choices. It’s easy to react to a situation but it’s damn hard to ignore it and hold onto your inner-peace in the process.
As you practice ignoring people and situations that don’t serve you, you get better at it.
You build your resilience muscle and will find you become calmer during situations where you’d previously explode and burn everything to the ground.
There are adult babies too and you can protect your adult status by ignoring that which does not serve you. Everything in life is a choice, including the life quotes you pay attention to.
This article originally appeared on Medium.