1. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them” – Maya Angelou

For me, this quote means two things: 1. Life is unpredictable, and 2. The best thing we can do about it is be proactive. Being proactive means taking a situation into your own hands by causing something to happen (i.e. taking action, crafting positive thoughts) rather than simply responding to what happened (i.e. being reactive, falling into negative thinking). We have the choice to act when things happen to us. Regardless of what happens, we have the ability to take the next step and decide to act in a way that contributes to our wellness. It’s incredibly important that we realize we are not frozen, we can actively improve our circumstances, and that we don’t have to be reduced by anything that comes our way.

2. “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there” – Theodore Roosevelt

Half of the battle of accomplishing something is believing that you can. Believing in yourself propels you forward, and gives you that extra boost that helps you get to where you want to be. If you believe you can get better, run farther, or accomplish whatever goal you desire, then you can. There’s no doubt about it. (*Bonus quote that relates to this idea! “The man who says he can, and the man who says he can’t are both usually right” – paraphrased Confucius quote.)

You have everything you need to accomplish everything you want to. You owe it to yourself to believe, and make it there. The power of your thoughts, actions, and beliefs are more powerful than any obstacle. Believe.


3. “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” – Norman Vincent Peele

Take a look at the following picture:



My assumption is that you see a young woman with her face turned away. What if I told you there was another face there? One of an older woman. If you have trouble seeing her, look at the young woman’s chin. That is actually the older woman’s nose, and the “necklace” is her mouth.

I bring this optical illusion up to illustrate the fact that once you change the way you look at something, that very thing changes. Often times we see situations as black and white, or we look at the things in our lives from one perspective. The next time you find yourself frustrated, or stuck, try looking at things with a different approach. You might find some new answers, creations, and ease from doing so.


4. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” (I know this from Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries, but Ambrose Redmoon is quoted as saying it)

It’s scary to take the first step, to take a risk, or to do anything that you’re afraid of sometimes. However, fear should not stop us from doing something worth doing. For example, stage fright is common for some aspiring musicians or performers at the start, but fear should not keep a performer from doing what they love. Another situation where courage triumphs fear may be when one person stands up for another in the face of discrimination or harm of any sort. It is not that the person is not afraid (for some this may be somewhat frightening), but it is instead that the person realizes that the action of standing up for another human being is more important than any fear they may have about doing so. By being courageous, we can all exhibit acts of acceptance like this, and do more things worth doing.


5. “I am thankful for my struggle, because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.” – Alex Elle

You’ve made it through every single rough day you’ve ever had thus far. Congratulations! This is just a testament to how resilient, strong, and capable you are! Whenever I reflect on my life, I like to express gratitude for all the obstacles I’ve overcome. Without them, I would not know I could overcome them. The same is true with you. All of your past obstacles have been a test, and you’ve passed each and every time. Take pride in the fact that you’ve been able to tackle everything that’s been thrown your way thus far. Acknowledging your progress is awesome for good mental health, and overall wellbeing.


6. “There is a way to be good again” – Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)

The Kite Runner was one of my favorite books to read in middle school. This quote has always stuck with me. No matter how bad things get, or how low we fall, there is always a way to be good again. There’s a way to get back up, to clean things up – no matter how much dirt has surfaced – and to get to a state of peace again. No matter what, there is always a way.


7. “If you want something, go get it. Period.” – The Pursuit of Happyness

This quote is something I live by. If there’s something that you want, go get it. We have all the tools necessary to be and have what we want. The biggest tool of all is our minds! Therefore (tying in some themes from previous quotes), it’s important to believe in yourself, look at things from a different perspective, be proactive, be courageous, and go after what you want. You can do it. You will.


All the best,

Valencia Saint-Louis