When times get tough, I tend to turn into a perky cheerleader version of myself.
When I’m having a bad day, I quote Winston Churchill’s “Never, never, never give up” to myself like a mantra and it really does help.
Exhibit A: During my dad’s most recent hospital visit, I decided to help inspire him to work through the pain of rehab post hip operation. I actually said to him, “Pain is your friend, dad.” And his response? “Mind your own business.” Yes, he actually said that.
Exhibit B: When my sister was recently facing a huge decision about her future, I thought it would be helpful to say, “Bite off more than you can chew, and then chew like crazy.” Naturally, her response was along the lines of, “Bite what? Chew? What the hell are you talking about? Just tell me what to do!”
Exhibit C: When my son had a dance concert at school that he didn’t want to participate in because he was too embarrassed, my response was: “Philip, dance like no-one’s watching and live like there’s no tomorrow!” To which he said: “But Mum, everyone is watching and there is a tomorrow. I’m sorry I even told you.”
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Disney. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
But look, not all inspirational quotes fail so spectacularly. Some really are quite inspirational. But there are a few things to keep in mind when using them. Be aware of the timing, don’t say them too enthusiastically and strike these ones off your list, because they are of no help at all.
1. “Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you.”
Um, yes they do. Names do hurt.
2. “Tomorrow is another day.”
Yes, but how does that help me today?
3. “Don’t think too much.”
Oh, okay then. Let me just turn my brain off. No worries.
4. “If it won’t work, it won’t work.”
I’m sorry, did you think that was actually helpful?
5. “Leap and the net will appear.”
Yes, and so will the laws of physics.
6. “Just be yourself.”
Sure, yep, as soon as I figure out who that is.
7. “Live in the moment.”
So I don’t have to pack the school bags for tomorrow then?
8. “You can have whatever you want, as long as you want it enough.”
I want to win Lotto, I want to win Lotto, I really, really want to win Lotto.
9. “When life sends you lemons, make lemonade.”
This only works with lemons.
10. “Dream big.”
Okay then. Didn’t realise life was that easy, but thanks.
11. “Lower your expectations and you’ll never be disappointed.”
12. “It’s the things you don’t do that you’ll regret.”