Words are the primary way humans share the world and the experiences they encounter in it. Depending on the speaker’s intention, words can have the power to comfort or to agitate, to hurt or to inspire.
See this power in action with these amazing examples of when words changed a person’s world and their perspective of it for the better.
See what words of wisdom strangers have to share, and you might just find some that’ll inspire you, too.
#1 It’s never too late
Because of the life timeline that people were taught to follow since they were kids, some might be discouraged to try something new when that thing doesn’t fit in with the chronology of the ‘ideal life.’ Good thing, this person followed their friend’s advice. It just proves that it’s never too late to go back to school or change careers or start a new hobby as long as you’re doing it for the right reasons.
#2 Be afraid and then do it anyway
If only we had this lady’s voice speaking to us in times when we need encouragement the most. In life, we’ll be faced with many moments like the girl in the story’s swimming lessons. But as we progress through life, there might be more at stake when we succumb to fear.
#3 Self-improvement pays off
Here’s some motivation to invest time and effort in improving yourself. Try out new hobbies you can enjoy doing alone or cultivate your current interests further, and you’ll never be bored when you’re by yourself. Developing a healthy relationship with yourself is crucial because, unlike with other people, you cannot run away from yourself.
#4 The responsibility that comes with being the older sibling
People who grew up with younger siblings are familiar with the pressure that comes with the responsibility of setting a good example as the older sibling. Although it may be hard or even seem unfair having to be more cautious, it will eventually pay off as you realize that the experience made you a wiser and more responsible person.
#5 Be kind to your dog
This may not be as serious as the previous ones, but it’s still an important lesson to learn. Your dog may only get to live 10 or 12 years with you, so make all those years count. This doesn’t just mean taking them to the vet or making sure they’re fed. Dogs need love and extra attention more than anything else.
#6 You can learn something from everyone you meet
This anecdote doesn’t just remind people to be humble despite their achievements but also to consider seeing beyond people they may not like. After all, no two people in the world have the exact same set of experiences. You can learn something new from every person you encounter in life.
#7 Finding a different perspective
Sometimes we grow up exposed to a certain idea and we neglect to see another perspective about it. It’s a great exercise in reasoning and critical thinking to challenge our own ideas by talking to people who have opposing ones from ours.
#8 Don’t be too judgmental
We often criticize other people more harshly because we judge them by their actions while we judge ourselves based on our intentions. A little self-awareness will reveal that this is a pretty unfair way of assessing people especially since we know nothing of their reasons and intentions most of the time.
#9 On dealing with death
Often, people aren’t really afraid of death itself but of dying before they get to live and play out what they imagine their life to be like. Thus, it’s important that people learn how to accept and live with their mortality early on in life to fully enjoy it.
#10 Kindness goes a long way
A little kindness goes a long way. As you’ll learn from your experiences, it’s not really other people’s words you remember but the way those words made you feel. Make sure to be careful about how you treat people.
#11 Treat yourself right and others will, too
Putting yourself first isn’t always a selfish act. It’s also a necessary act of self-preservation and self-love. When you learn how to treat yourself right, other people will too. While acts of selflessness are admirable, there are times when you have to put yourself first.
#12 Time really does fly fast
People always say time flies by, but we’re never really hit with the realization of its passage until we look back and see how different things have become. Small changes can compound over time.
#13 Life is fair in being unfair
You’ve probably asked the same question on one of your bad days. You may have felt that the misfortunes that come your way are there because the universe has it out for you for some reason. But the reality is that things can happen for no reason at all and life doesn’t discriminate when it comes to luck and misfortune.
#14 Running out of people who understand
In your twenties or thirties, relating to people in a younger age group may not seem too difficult. You may still appreciate the music, movies, or interests they’re into and know how they think. But it becomes more difficult as you get older. There comes a time when you can no longer relate to other people while the group of people around your age shrinks.
#15 The importance of self-awareness
When people you trust tell you there’s something wrong with your attitude, believe them. Sometimes it’s hard for people to see their flaws because of their own bias. But it doesn’t end in acknowledgment. Once you’ve discovered a negative quality in your personality, work on it, and you’ll turn out a better person.
#16 Start today
Got something that you’ve been meaning to do? Go do it and start on it today. You can easily get tangled up in school, work, or other responsibilities and lose sight of the things you actually want to do. Want to learn a language? Want to run a marathon or just start eating healthy? Start today. You’ll be surprised by how far you’ll progress in just a year.
#17 Striking a balance
Social media has made it harder for people to be content with what they have when they are being bombarded by the seemingly happier, better lives other people show on Facebook or Instagram. The quote above is the perfect antidote to the poison of discontent that grows within when we fail to see the good things we have.
#18 Suppose it didn’t
A lot of people go through life not living it fully because they spend it worrying about the things that may come. Anxiety and worry are inevitable parts of life, sure, but you can learn to overcome them. Hey, bad things will happen, but good things will too. What matters is that you find the courage to risk going through the bad parts of life to get to the good ones.
#19 Save yourself first
Of course, we all want to keep the people around us happy, especially our friends and family. But we need to be aware that there should be limitations on the lengths we go to just to keep other people happy.
#20 The difference between a wise man and a fool
The fact that you realize that you don’t (and can’t) know everything is in itself a telling sign of wisdom. As the old saying goes, “the more you learn, the less you know.” This is especially observable in comparing the confidence in which a novice and an expert in a certain field have in their knowledge of that field. Notice how a novice often thinks they know everything while experts show more doubt?
#21 Choose your battles
You’ll face so many battles in your life it would be impossible and tiring to fight all of them. While you may be eager to defend your principles or stances at all times, you should learn to distinguish which instances need your 100% and which ones don’t.
#22 Hold on for another day
If you’re struggling with a mental illness or a personal problem that leaves you hopeless, this message is for you. Don’t give up just yet and hold on for one more day… and another and another, because things can’t stay as bad as they are today.
#23 People care less than you think
Here’s something for people who suffer from social anxiety. When you find out just how little other people notice the things you think are wrong about you, you’ll have more confidence in finally doing the things you want to do despite the people who may be watching and waiting to judge you.
#24 Learning from mistakes and moving forward
In life, you’ll make plenty of mistakes – there’s no doubt about that. The secret is not wasting time regretting those and to start learning from them instead. You’ll have an easier time dealing with mistakes and moving forward with your life a wiser person despite them.
#25 We’re all extras in someone else’s life story
Just as you’re the main protagonist of your own life story, you are also just a background character in someone else’s. The truth is that the world doesn’t revolve around one person and every person has their own stories to realize and struggles to overcome.
#26 A change in perspective
Sensitivity is unfairly seen as a negative trait by society. Growing up, people are often punished for letting their emotions or vulnerable side show in public. This shouldn’t be the case. We should start encouraging people to embrace their sensitive side instead of suppressing it. The story above shows a great way to move forward.
#27 Everybody’s got to start somewhere
Seeing how good other people are at their art or hobby may discourage you from starting or improving on your skills. But remember, even the masters started as beginners. When you put in the same amount of time and effort, the chances are high that you’ll also reach an advanced level like your idols.
#28 Would an idiot do that?
Here’s a simple way to prevent yourself from doing things you’ll most likely regret. When you feel yourself on the verge of a bad decision stop and ask yourself, “Would an idiot do that?” If the answer is yes, you know what not to do.
#29 A change of heart
Focusing on the things that make other people different from us can blind us from the fact that, at the end of the day, we’re all just people who can feel the same emotions. Let the story above be a reminder to be more understanding and accepting.
#30 Born in the ‘right’ religion
The funny thing about religions is that every one of them believes they have got it right and that their interpretation of life’s purpose and the world’s fate is the only truth. Being exposed to only one belief system blinds people from other ideas that may contradict or be more reasonable than theirs. While believing in one religion isn’t bad, people should at least open their minds and learn about other faiths to better assess their own.
#31 A matter of perspective
Everyone can learn something from the disabled person in the story. When people reach a hard spot in life, it can be difficult not to get swallowed up by their negative thoughts. It always helps to find new and positive ways to look at seemingly unfortunate situations.
#32 Pricey life lessons
If you’re lucky, you’ve only encountered bosses who were always professional and didn’t let their emotions or personal bias against employees influence their decisions. A good boss will always react accordingly to the matter at hand no matter how big the problem is.
#33 Nobody thinks they’re the bad guy
We’re all the main characters in our own stories. People who we may consider to be the ‘bad guy’ most likely don’t think of themselves in that light. Real life villains aren’t always like the ones we see in movies.
#34 Appreciate generosity no matter how small
Always appreciate the generosity that other people show you, no matter small or insignificant it may seem. You never know, they might be making more significant sacrifices than they let on when they choose to give you something of theirs, whether it’s material things or their time.
#35 Finding the comedic in life
People gifted with sensitivity are cursed with feeling and empathizing too much sometimes. Meanwhile, others are doomed never to treat anything seriously when they only focus on finding the comedic aspect of life. Striking a balance between thinking and feeling should be your goal as you go through life.
#36 Dust to dust
When we realize that everyone ends up in the same place at the end of their lives, we can be more accepting of the differences between us. We’re all the same in the end.
#37 You’ve gone through this before
There are days when we wake up in fear of facing what another day has to challenge us with. On days like this, remember this quote. Remind yourself of the other awful times in your life when you felt this way. You’ve lived through them, didn’t you? So, what’s stopping you from doing the same this time?