I’ve met a lot of really cool, successful and interesting people and I always have the same question for them: what inspires you? More times than not, it’s either a person or a mantra they think about often to keep them going.
While I’m generally an optimist and see the good in most situations, here are my top 3 mantras that can truly get me through anything…
1. Live Kindly
Of course I had to throw my own one into the mix. It’s my favorite. It means so many different things wrapped up into two simple words. I made a few promises to myself: I would never look back on the past, I would never compare myself to others and I would think of myself in the most positive light. Unproductive thoughts lead to, well, unproductive everything. By keeping this simple mantra in the back of my mind, I’m able to move past a lot of ups and downs relatively smoothly and cut through any negative thoughts that try to swoop in.
There’s a saying I learned rather quickly when I started running with marathon pros — #JFR — Just Freaking Run. I mostly saw this pop up on my feed when we’d have a 6:30am run accompanied by a torrential downpour. Or hill repeats on the hottest day of the year. It was fun and encouraging and kind of made you feel like a boss when using it. And who doesn’t love feeling like a boss?
I started using my own variation of this — #JFS — Just Freaking Smile, also in situations where boss-status was needed. Simple, to the point and cures just about anything. It’s literally the easiest thing you can do as human. It’s infectious and swear on my life, can make a world of difference.
Recently, a friend was having a pretty rough week and told me about it over text message. The only sound advice I had for her was #JFS. She set a calendar reminder for JFS every day at 11am and has had a few brighter days. Even if your day isn’t bad, but you need a boost. . . JFS. So much easier than running, too!
3. My Life, My Rules
“Don’t eat after 8pm.”
“Stay away from gluten.”
“Coffee is bad for you.”
“Only strength train 2x a week.”
“Your cycling socks aren’t the right length.”
I’ve heard them all. And while I know many have the best intentions with their advice, if I listened to everyone’s rules, not only would my diet consist of mostly air and water, but I’d never do things for me. Plus, I’m far too independent and a bit stubborn to listen to everyone or read every How-To book. Thankfully, I do have a mentor for almost every aspect of my life from my career to exercising and everything in between, so I’m able to take bits and pieces of what I learn from them and run with it.——–
Like you, I’m human and sometimes forget these mantras amidst an everything-is-going-wrong-type-of-day. But I always find that taking a moment to re-center and simply think before reacting helps a lot.
No matter what mantra(s) you turn to, perhaps the most powerful notion and common thread between all of them is realizing you are in control. Your thoughts, moods, reactions, behaviors and decisions all lie within your power. Which, when you really sit back and think about it — control — it’s a beautiful thing that no one else gets to have, but you.