Recently, my older sister told me that being in your 40s feels like being in your 20s, minus all the insecurities.
“Nice!” I thought. “Something to look forward to.”
But I don’t think she knew how much difference her advice really made for me. It soothed my anxiety about approaching the big 4-0. It caused me to shift my thinking about getting older. It also got me excited about reaching that particular milestone because I knew exactly what she was talking about.
I wanted to engrave the words into my brain. It’s the first thing that comes to mind when I stop to think about my age and how it makes me feel. I’ve since enlightened at least a handful of people with my sister’s brilliant observation.
You never know when you’ll hear something like this that will make you stop in your tracks and think about the world in a new way. It could be something your boss says in passing, or a motto a family member lives by, or even something a stranger casually — and randomly — mentions in passing.
In fact, one Redditor posed a simple yet powerful question about this: “What has someone said to you that you can never forget?”
Here are 25 of the most inspiring and thought-provoking responses:
1. Simple yet profound.
“The quieter you become the more you can hear.” Image via ALUCARD53/Reddit, used with permission.
2. On being patient and taking a leap of faith.
“You will never be good at something in the beginning.” Image via squidgymon/Reddit, used with permission.
3. On making mistakes.
“The only person to never make a mistake, is the one who never tried anything.” Image via ConcentricSD/Reddit, used with permission.
4. See this, professors? You never know whose life you’re touching.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Image via gronke/Reddit, used with permission.
5. On first judgments.
“The weirdest people always have the darkest stories.” Image via ajchann123/Reddit, used with permission.
6. This one is applicable to most things in life.
“I can teach it to you but I can’t learn it for you.” Image via katarokkar/Reddit, used with permission.
7. Remember this next time you have a bad day.
“It’s a bad day, not a bad life.” Image via kikisaurus/Reddit, used with permission.
8. Note to beginners everywhere.
“The Master has failed more times than the beginner has ever tried.” Image via PrisonWorker12345/Reddit, used with permission.
9. On mental health.
“We take the time to treat sprained ankles. It’s the same way with minds.” Image via Aayin/Reddit, used with permission.
10. Even using chess as a metaphor for life.
“When the game is over the king and the pawn go in the same box.” Image via My_legs_are_asleep/Reddit, used with permission.
11. A testament to the phrase “practice makes perfect.”
“Don’t practice until you do it right — practice until you can’t do it wrong.” Image via sonofherb/Reddit, used with permission.
12. Yep. It’s that simple.
“You deserve to be happy.” Image via Holska/Reddit, used with permission.
13. On dealing with grief
“Grief is just love without a home.” Image via mjforever33/Reddit, used with permission.
14. One mother’s humble financial advice.
“If you live like you’re rich when you’re not rich, you’ll never be rich. But if you live like you’re poor when you aren’t poor, you’ll never be poor.” Image via Ribonacci/Reddit, used with permission.
15. On meeting new people.
“Everybody knows something you don’t, so treat them like it.” Image via PrahblyDrunk/Reddit, used with permission.
16. One grandma’s skeptical advice on life.
“Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.” Image via Ophiopogon/Reddit, used with permission.
“Live as if you’ll die tomorrow, study as if you’ll live forever.” Image via Herr_Beans/Reddit, used with permission.
18. Ain’t that the truth.
“Love isn’t how you feel about someone else. It’s about how they make you feel about yourself.” Image via Seeyouyeah/Reddit, used with permission.
19. Putting it all in perspective.
“Someday, someone you love is going to die. Then you’ll realize that none of this matters.” Image via jamhandy/Reddit, used with permission.
20. This is something to think about if you’re feeling insecure about your appearance.
“Don’t worry about what you look like. Nobody cares; they’re too busy worrying about what they look like.” Image via dycentra/Reddit, used with permission.
21. On toxic relationships.
“Sometimes you just have to let a ship sink.” Image via tofu_llama/Reddit, used with permission.
22. A little encouragement to get through a difficult situation.
“If you turn your back now you will regret about this your whole life. If you push further you will look back and just laugh about this moment.” Image via gameofbongs/Reddit, used with permission.
“It’s better to regret something you have done, than to regret something you haven’t done.” Image via droidloot/Reddit, used with permission.
24. True story.
“Surround yourself with people who inspire you.” Image via dubai_dan/Reddit, used with permission.
25. On controlling your temper.
“Those you anger you, control you.” Image via viralplant/Reddit, used with permission.
While these are certainly not one-size-fits-all remedies for life, I imagine we can all relate to most of these musings.
Life can be tough and weird and wonderful and glorious and sad and crazy. So if you’re feeling lost, confused, or uninspired, turn to this list and remember: You’re not alone.