Inspiration Journal

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When my grandmother, Zelda, passed away a few years ago at the age of 90, she left me with a box of miscellaneous items from her house that she knew I had grown to appreciate over the years.  Among these items is an old leather-bound journal that she aptly named her ‘Inspiration Journal.’

Throughout the second half of her life, she used this journal to jot down ideas, thoughts, quotes, song lyrics, and anything else that moved her.  She would read excerpts from her journal to me when I was growing up, and I would listen and ask questions.  I honestly credit a part of who I am now to the wisdom she bestowed on me when I was young. Today I want to share some of these inspiring excerpts with you.

  1. Breathe in the future, breathe out the past.  No matter where you are or what you’re going through, always believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Never expect, assume, or demand. …if it is meant to be, it will happen, or it will show you the next step that needs to be taken.
  2. Life CAN be simple again.  Just choose to focus on one thing at a time.  You don’t have to do it all, and you don’t have to do it all right now.
  3. Let others take you as you are, or not at all.  Speak your truth even if your voice shakes.  By being yourself, you put something beautiful into the world that was not there before.
  4. You are not who you used to be, and that’s OK.  You’ve been hurt; you’ve gone through numerous ups and downs that have made you who you are today.  …nobody stays the same, but some people will still tell you that you have changed.  Respond to them by saying, “Of course I’ve changed.  That’s what life is all about…”
  5. Everything that happens helps you grow, even if it’s hard to see right now.  Circumstances will direct you, correct you, and perfect you over time.  So whatever you do, hold on to hope.  The tiniest thread will twist into an unbreakable cord.
  6. Do not educate yourself to be rich, educate yourself to be happy.  That way when you get older you’ll know the value of things, not the price.  In the end, you will come to realize that the best days are the days when you don’t need anything extreme or special to happen to make you smile.
  7. Be determined to be positive.  Understand that the greater part of your misery or unhappiness is determined not by your circumstances, but by your attitude.
  8. Pay close attention to those you care about.  Sometimes when a loved one says, “I’m okay,” they need you to look them in the eyes, hug them tight, and reply, “I know you’re not.”
  9. Sometimes you have to let a person go so they can grow.  Because, over the course of their lives, it is not what you do for them, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them a successful human being.
  10. Sometimes getting the results you crave means stripping yourself of people who don’t serve your best interests.  This allows you to make space for those who support you in being the absolute best version of yourself.
  11. It’s better to look back on life and say, “I can’t believe I did that,” than to look back and say, “I wish I did that.”  In the end, people will judge you in some way anyway.  So don’t live your life trying to impress others.  Instead live your life impressing yourself.
  12. If you’re looking for a happy ending and can’t seem to find one, maybe it’s time to start looking for a new beginning.  Brush yourself off and except that you have to fail from time to time.  That’s how you learn.  The strongest people out there – the ones who laugh the hardest with a genuine smile – are the same people who have fought the toughest battles.  Here’s the link to the full blog post: http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/09/24/12-things-my-grandmother-told-me-before-she-died/

Today I loved discovering a post Marc and Angel Chernoff’s made on their “Hack Life” blog about a year ago. I enjoyed it so much I just had to include some of it here. Thanks Marc and Angel. I enjoy your blog and am grateful for the reminders of what matters!

Advice is like snow…
the softer it falls,
the longer it dwells upon,
and the deeper in sinks into the mind.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

About James Browning

A seeker working to grow each day and be a better version of my self. Through sharing I commit myself deeper to my ideals and beliefs.
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