Listening to the interview with Aaron, I began to consider the importance of a life motto. I looked at myself and asked if I had a life motto and if so, what is it? Do I need to make one up?
I do think everyone should have a life motto. It doesn’t have to be a phrase like, “BeLove,” or “Just Do It.” It can be anything really. The heart of a life motto is something that anchors you. I don’t think it is a stretch to say that each of us are tossed about every which way in life. We don’t live in a black and white world and we are constantly faced with difficult choices. Having a single point of reference helps guide us though those decisions and holds us tight during times of turmoil. A life motto is also something that you tell yourself. It does not come from others, or from outside. This is what you use to self-affirm (an important skill to develop).
So, what is my life motto?
Well…I don’t really have one. Each of our experiences are different. Mine has less to do with decision-making, as I have thousands of years of tradition and moral philosophy to help guide me through that. My struggle is with self-image. I have always seen myself as, well, not very important, to put it mildly. There are things that happened that formed my sense of powerlessness. Therefore, my life motto is actually a Bible verse, Judges 6:12.
The context of this verse is that Gideon is hiding, out of fear, so that the current power would not take the food he was working on for his family. God casually sits to speaks with him and calls him a “mighty warrior” (NIV) or “mighty man of valor” (KJV). Gideon is a nobody. He is small and fearful and unimportant in the world. God sees something different though. He sees in him something great. That is the affirmation that I need to remind myself of. That even though the world may look down on me, tell me I’m a nobody, God sees someone mighty. As long as God still believes in me, I can keep going.
I do not have a snappy phrase. I have a Bible verse that reminds me God is with me and that he believes in me. That anchors me through all the tough times. If I did not have this to lean on, to self-affirm with, I would struggle with depression from powerlessness. I would play the victim. I would be a quitter. I would be fearful. I would live with regret.
Do not let the doubts and negativity of the world overwhelm you. Discover what you need at your core and hold onto that. Remind yourself of the power you do have. Others will not remind you of this. It is anchored inside yourself and you must tell yourself this early and often.
If you have a life motto, please share it in the comments. I would like to hear the story behind it as well.