4 Mottos That Guide My Life and Soothe My Soul Amidst Chaos

And how they could help you, too.

Margaret Pan
Jan 18 · 6 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Guilherme Almeida in Pexels

all have our fair share of goals and ambitions in life — exercising daily, eating more healthy, or working harder. We sit down, make a plan, set a timetable, and vow to stick to our goals, no matter what…and then we give up.

Well. We first get tired and frustrated, and then we give up. Because life gets in the way.

Fatigue, weariness, distraction, and having to cope with the dozens of problems life throws our way not only push us away from our goals and dreams but also create a lot of stress and negativity.

That’s when personal mottos should be brought into play.

Mottos and slogans are everywhere you look — companies, organizations, teams — and there is a good reason for it. Or rather, multiple good reasons.

According to this article published in Psychology Today, having a motto can remind you of who you are and what you stand for, can encourage and inspire you, calm your mind, and increase your productivity.

Those are some of the reasons I have chosen four mottos that not only guide my life and decisions but also soothe my soul amidst the chaos sometimes life is.

Let’s dive right into them.

1. “Que Será, Será”

This is a Spanish phrase that stands for “whatever will be, will be” and one that I keep repeating to myself every time super anxious thoughts about the future start dancing around in my head.

“What if I lose my job?”

“What if my partner dumbs me?”

“What if things don’t go according to plan?”

Each and every one of us has our own stressful what-ifs regarding our future. However, the valuable thing this 3-word phrase has taught me, is that we must accept that we can’t control everything that happens to us.

We can’t foretell our futures and we can’t prevent bad things from happening. That’s why you shouldn’t worry too much about the future. Good things will happen. Bad things will happen. At the end of the day, life is a cycle of good and bad days.

If you want to simplify your life, you should be positive, give your best self into everything you do, and try not to worry too much about the future. Whatever will be, will be.

2. “It’s Always Impossible Until It’s Done”

This is actually a quote by Nelson Mandela I came across a couple of years ago and, up until today, has pushed me into doing things I was awfully scared to do because I thought I was bound to fail.

We often refuse to set high goals and aim for certain things because we think that we are not smart enough/good enough of achieving them. We tell ourselves something along the lines of, “What’s the point of trying? It’s impossible — I’m bound to fail” and we actually believe it.

The thing is, all those things that in our heads seem impossible now, in reality, might not be impossible at all. Once you master the golden trio — faith, patience, and persistence — you can achieve anything that gets in your head.

Sure, things won’t be going smoothly all the time; you might find yourself facing a lot of obstacles or realize that you will need a hell of a lot of time to go where you want to go and achieve what you want to achieve.

A couple of years ago, I believed that making real, decent money by doing something I love (writing), was impossible. I told myself things like “You should have started sooner”, “No one will hire you”, or “There’s too much competition”.

When I was alone, contemplating the possibility of becoming a part-time writer, I kept repeating “nothing is impossible until it’s done”. And then, slowly, I started to believe it.

Now, here I am, doing the thing I love so much and making enough money to sustain myself — and keep doing the thing I love.

The takeaway is, never tag something as “impossible” before you have actually tried doing it. You would be amazed by how many “impossible” things you will be able to achieve once you armor yourself with faith, patience, and persistence.

3. “Tomorrow Is Another Day”

This phrase, although plain and simple, for me is one of the most optimistic I’ve ever heard and that’s mainly why I’ve added it to the personal mottos that guide my life.

This is a phrase that talks about tomorrow as a new opportunity, a new chance to try again, start again, and reminds me of a comforting truth about life: just because things didn’t go well today, doesn’t mean they will be as bad tomorrow.

If you failed at something today, you can try again tomorrow. If you lost something today, you can try to find it tomorrow. If someone hurt you today, you can start healing tomorrow.

Because, no matter what happened today, there’s something no one will ever be able to take away from you: tomorrow is another day.

Or, as this line from this song by twenty-one pilots goes,

“The sun will rise and we will try again.”

4. “C’est La Vie”

This is a french expression that stands for “that’s life”, or, in other words, “it is what it is” and it is one that has kept me sane and soothed my soul whenever life decided to show its (very) ugly face to me.

I’m gonna go ahead and say something we are all already familiar with: sometimes, just sometimes, life simply sucks. Big time.

And there’s nothing we can do about it. We can’t control the bad things that happen to us, but we can control our reactions to them. When something bad happens to you, you can sit down, cry, isolate yourself and start a never-ending cycle of self-pity and depression, or you can pick up your pieces, accept that’s the way life works, and do your best to move on.

When one day my grandmother unexpectedly died and I had to face the ugly consequences of death for the first time, I kept telling myself, “C’est la vie”.

When I was 22 and my mother got diagnosed with cancer, I kept telling myself, “C’est la vie”.

When, during my worst, my best friend of 5 years walked out of my life without a single word, I kept telling myself, “C’est la vie”.

And it might sound strange, but that simple phrase always made me feel better. Always comforted me and kept me sane. Because, it reminded me that whether I liked it or not, life always comes with problems, obstacles, and struggles. And that’s true for every single person on this planet.

There’s no point in whining about life’s unfairness or start wondering why you’re so damn unlucky every time something bad happens to you. Instead, whisper to yourself “C’est la vie”, brace yourself with courage and patience, and remember: every struggle in your life ultimately shapes you into a stronger, wiser, and better person.

Final Thoughts

If you don’t already have a personal motto, I highly recommend that you find one. Or, you know, multiple. You can borrow mine, or find new ones.

These small, simple phrases can give you so much comfort, hope, and motivation. They can be a powerful reminder of who you are, where you stand, and where you want to go.

Throughout the years, the four mottos I mentioned above have shielded me against daily stress and the random obstacles life threw at me, have soothed my soul amidst chaos, and have ultimately paved the way for a calmer, happier, and more satisfying life.

I hope they can do the same for you.

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness and fulfillment.

Margaret Pan

Written by

Thoughtful writer. I write about relationships, psychology, and personal development. Newsletter + more: https://linktr.ee/margpan

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join thousands of others making the climb on Medium.

Margaret Pan

Written by

Thoughtful writer. I write about relationships, psychology, and personal development. Newsletter + more: https://linktr.ee/margpan

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join thousands of others making the climb on Medium.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store