Who wants to be happy? Most days, we all do. Living with mental illness can make that goal a struggle. This post will help by offering 12 inspirational quotes to keep you going. In addition, it will help you to apply each of these quotes in your own life.
Learning life lessons is essential if you are to grow as a person. Some of the best lessons can be condensed to just a sentence or two. These are some of my favorites along with tips on how to apply them in your life.
1. Start Right Here
Inspirational Quote: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
Success in anything isn’t about having the perfect circumstances. Every success story has to start somewhere. Living with mental illness is no different.
Most of us will never find the perfect time or perfect place.
That’s a harsh truth, and I’m sorry to say it, but you already knew it was true.
So, stop looking for perfect. What can you change today? What positive steps can you begin right now that will make things better? How can you make tomorrow better than today?
Start here. Start now.
Success never happens overnight. Start today in the direction you want to go. Tomorrow, you will wake up one step closer to your goal.
30 Days of Positivity
2. Set Small Goals
Inspirational Quote: “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins
It may sound odd to talk about setting goals when talking about mental health. Really, mental health is not any different than any other goal you might want to pursue.
For instance, if you want to write a book, set a goal of how many words you want to write each day. Starting a blog? Set a goal for how many posts you are going to publish each week. Want to run a marathon? Plan how much time you can devote to strength and endurance training each day.
Dealing with mental illness is no different, so this inspirational quote matters.
Sometimes the goals have to be quite small. For example, simple goals could be, today I will take a shower and make the bed. This week I will make sure that I eat at least one nutritious meal a day. This weekend I will get out of bed before noon.
I’m a writer and want to write a book this year. Most novels fall in the 80,000-100,000 word range. Can I do that in one day? How about it week?
It may be possible, but it is very unlikely. Instead, most authors succeed by writing every day, whether it’s only 10 or 10,000 words.
Treat your mental health the right way. The end goal might be a happy, healthy life. What small item can you pursue today to put you closer to that goal.
3. Forget Your Age
Inspirational Quote: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – Les Brown
A lie that people like to tell themselves, especially as they get on in years, is that they are too old to change. You are never too old to change.
I’m going to say that again because it’s important.
You are never too old to change.
In my life I have had the pleasure of watching friends achieve their goals, even starting later in life. One friend started taking piano lessons when she was nearly 60. She is a very accomplished pianist today.
Another friend, about the same age, started taking art classes. Her paintings now can stand their ground against those from painters with decades of experience.
Only a brief internet search will give you many stories of octogenarians that are sky diving, running marathons, climbing mountains, and the list goes on.
Caring for your mental health might feel like climbing a mountain, but it is possible to be successful. Make the decision you are going to change, and then see what you are capable of doing.
4. Leave Yesterday In The Past
Inspirational Quote: “The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.” – Unknown
The next inspirational quote is about letting go of the past. Maybe yesterday was not a good day. Perhaps on the success scale of caring for your mental
Yesterday is gone. There is nothing you can do to change it. Nothing. Letting it color today is not accomplishing anything good.
Don’t let yesterday’s mistakes halt today’s progress. Learn from the mistakes and move forward.
What triggered you to eat too much? Why did you miss work again? What thought process allowed you to stay in bed all day?
Learn from those mistakes and make today better. The power to change is in you.
Tomorrow is a blank page. Nothing from yesterday, or today for that matter, needs to overshadow it. Choose for tomorrow to be the day that gets you closer to better mental health.
5. Take Positive Action
Inspirational Quote: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
Once you have put the past in its proper place, get busy on today. What can you do right now to help you achieve a stable mind?
Can you take a walk? Does the floor need to be swept or vacuumed? Is there laundry or dishes that need to be done?
Pick one thing. Just one thing, and set out to do it today. Tomorrow
I’ve been reading a lot about blogging lately. Another goal I have for this year is to turn this blog into what I originally imagined it could be. I’m thinking of sharing my journey during the process, but more on that later.
For many bloggers, one of the things that is a huge struggle to getting started is picking a domain name. I agonized for a long time before picking Speaking Bipolar, and I’m still not 100% sure it was the best choice.
If you were starting a blog, your goal for today could be to make a list of possible names. If you already have a list, today’s assignment could be to pick one and sign up with a hosting company. I personally use Site Ground, but there are many other good options.
Reaching a goal isn’t about making big strides every day. The small things also have to be done along the way. Any forward movement is just that – forward movement.
Move forward and count the win. It will make you stronger tomorrow.
Do one thing today that moves you forward no matter how small. Then celebrate that win.
6. Let Go of Fear
Inspirational Quote: “Success often comes to those who dare and act; it seldom goes to the timid who are ever afraid of the consequences.” – Jawaharlal Nehru
I know, much easier said than done. Fear is a major struggle for those of us living with mental disorders. I’ve even devoted an entire post to the subject of fear: Bipolar Musings: Conquer Fear by Learning to be Strong on the Darkest Days.
It might seem unlikely, but many people never achieve their dreams because they are afraid of success.
Singer song-writers may fear that fame will change their lives in negative ways. Actors may fear that they won’t be able to keep the momentum after one big success. Authors fear that they might not have more than one good book in them. Bloggers fear they don’t have anything meaningful to say.
Living with bipolar, you might fear that you won’t be able to maintain good mental health. You might also fear that success is really mania and then be afraid of the coming depression that will inevitably follow.
Those might all be legitimate fears. But, you know what? There’s also a very good chance that nothing bad will ever happen. The fear stopping you is just one possibility. And there are infinite possibilities.
You won’t know until you try to apply this inspirational quote.
And if you don’t succeed? Then keep trying. There’s no time limit to follow, and no one else’s progress can be compared to your own.
The success comes in trying, and every small victory along the way will give you fuel to keep going.
7. Don’t Stop Moving
Inspirational Quote: “You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.” – Rabindranath Tagore
Suppose for a moment that your dream is to build a boat and sail across the sea. You work hard for months or years in crafting an impressive vessel. If you never put that boat in the water and actually set sail, your dream will never be accomplished and you will never get anywhere.
Each action you take to improve your mental health is part of building that boat. Your sea? It could be different things to different people. For me, it was about getting back into the world and learning to hold down a job again after a devastating mental break.
Happily, my boat was eventually sea-worthy, and I have been able to successfully maintain employment for over twenty years now.
You can be successful as well. There is nothing I can do that you can’t. Trust me. I’m just a simple man. Keep building your boat, and when it’s ready, set sail.
Once you’re in the water, it’s no time to stop. Keep your ultimate goal always in front of you and keep moving toward it.
The lesson? If you have already finished your boat, now is the time to get it in the water. If not, keep building, but whatever you do, don’t stop.
8. Be Prepared for Some Failure Along the Way
Inspirational Quote: “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” – Brene Brown
The brutal truth is that failure is an integral part of success. That said, failure never has to be the end of your journey. Just because something doesn’t succeed the first time, or even the second or fiftieth time, doesn’t mean that it never will.
Most of the biggest achievements in the world arrived with a past littered with numerous failures. Thomas Edison is a notable illustration. For each of his world-changing achievements, there were thousands of ideas that didn’t work.
Yes, that’s correct. Thousands. Meditate on that for a moment.
Have you failed a thousand times? Even if you have, don’t give up. The next time might be the success you’ve been waiting for.
If you do fall, It’s Okay to Start Over Again.
Being prepared for failure means that you won’t fall apart when it happens, and let’s face it, there will be bad days. Maybe it’s an eating disorder or addiction you are dealing with. Yes, a failure can be devastating, but it doesn’t have to be the end of your story.
To illustrate, I love the example of someone walking in a parking lot. Suppose for a moment that you are that someone. For whatever reason, you fall to the ground. Whether you tripped or were pushed is not important. What is important is how long you lie there.
How long would you stay there, lying flat in a parking lot?
Likely, most of us would jump up immediately and look around to see if anyone saw us fall. At least, that’s what I would do.
So, you’ve fallen. Nurse your wounds and get back up. It’s just plain silly to keep lying in a parking lot.
Your goal of good mental health is still achievable.
9. Stop Putting It Off
Inspirational Quote: “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” – Napoleon Hill
Procrastination is probably the biggest hurdle to achieving success in anything. You no doubt have seen this a lot, especially with weight loss goals around the end of the year.
People often find themselves eating way too much is the last weeks of the year. Many indulge themselves because they believe they will start some weight loss plan on the first of the year, and that plan will fix everything.
Sadly, the first of the year comes, and most of those people still don’t start the diet.
The good news is procrastination is another thing that you can control. And control is often the one thing you feel you don’t have when coping with anxiety and depression.
Take that control and resolve to keep moving forward. Create deadlines for yourself and then do all you can to stick to them.
Yes, it’s okay to start something the first of the year. If that is your plan, though, then when the first gets here, make sure you carry through. Stick to that date and your plan.
It is within your power to be successful. Learning not to procrastinate will help you get there.
10. Accept Responsibility
Inspirational Quote: “Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” – Carol Burnett
Next, consider that only you can do what needs to be done. No matter how many doctors you see, how many self-help books you read, or how many support groups you attend, your final success is in your hands and yours alone.
Accept that responsibility. If you are still lying in the proverbial parking lot, get yourself up. You may not feel like it, but you have the strength to do it. I know you do.
arol Burnett really hits the nail on the head with this inspirational quote. We each are responsible for changing our own lives.
If your boat is finished but still on the sea shore, put it in the water. No one is going to launch it for you.
Yes, learn and remember that your mental well-being is primarily in your hands. Your decisions and actions are what will lead you to success.
Take action today.
11. Remember That Success Takes Time
Inspirational Quote: “Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.” – Og Mandino
If you are living with bipolar disorder, you know what Superman days are like. No, that’s not the technical or medical term, but that’s what I like to call them.
Those are the days, generally manic days, when you feel like nothing is impossible. You can fly, stop speeding bullets, and even make time go backwards.
Unfortunately, Superman days are often followed by the “depths of despair,” as Anne Shirley would say.
You are not Superman, and that is okay. Success takes time, and it is usually the culmination of weeks, months, and years of effort.
Personally, I was finally diagnosed as having bipolar disorder in the spring of 1995. The next three years were a living hell as I tried dozens of medications to try to achieve balance.
I won’t lie to you, there were lots of days where I didn’t take a shower, shave, or clean up around the house. The few times I did leave my house, people who saw me didn’t even recognize me. I feared it might never end.
Slowly, I started to find my way. Great books like Bipolar Disorder: A Guide for Patients and Families, positive mental health professionals, and my patient friends and family helped me to get through that time. With their help, I learned to start taking small actions again, like shaving and brushing my teeth, and learned to grow again.
You can find more great books in the post 15 Top Books You Need to Survive Bipolar Disorder.
The last twenty years have not been without struggle, but the coping techniques I learned and my past successes helped me to overcome every fall I have experienced since then.
You will be no different. Each success you achieve will give you hope to help you climb over that next hurdle.
12. Just Keep Going
Inspirational Quote: “Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill
This last inspirational quote is one of my favorites, and that’s partly because of its simplicity. If you remember nothing else from this post, carry these five words with you.
“Never, never, never give up.”
No matter what happens along your journey to achieving good mental health, don’t give up.
There will be bad days. There might even be bad weeks and months. I’ve even had bad years more than once. But don’t let anything stop you from moving forward.
Even if your progress seems to stall for a while, then as soon as possible, get moving again.
Remember that the small things count. Celebrate the small victories.
Appreciate the small accomplishments as well as the big ones. Each one is moving you toward reaching your goal.
In this post, we’ve looked at 12 inspirational quotes that can help you to keep moving forward toward good mental health. We’ve learned to stop laying in the parking lot, to put our boat in the water, and to celebrate even the smallest of victories.
There’s just one more illustration to leave you with, and this one involves rocks.
If your goal was to fill a bucket with rocks, big rocks would get the job done quicker, but even the smallest rocks tossed into the bucket add to the whole.
Take time to commend yourself for those small rocks. Your bucket is getting fuller, and that’s all that matters right now.
I believe in you. You got this.
Until next time, keep fighting.
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