over the course of our whopping, 1.5-hour-long phone conversation, my greatest friend mentioned loving my note card habit. to catch up newer readers: i carry a stack of index cards filled with affirmations, mantras, and uplifting quotes to review while killing time.
she begged me to share their contents. part of her reasoning, which I’ll return to, was that people memorize prayers and they don’t help that much (her words, not mine) so it stands to reason we should ritualize guidance—which may be more effective—in a similar way.
then she confessed to wanting the shortcut to enlightenment. (she’s a new yorker)
i am happy to share the quotes and their sources but before we begin, a few notes:
- there is no fast track. you’ll probably never arrive at endless internal bliss. this process helps short circuit your reactions, which in turn could be a short cut. but this is not a miracle product; it’s an investment.
- in fact, when you feel impatient about your rate of progress, remember this Jack Dixon quote: “If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.”
because this concept is so fundamental, i even made a little graphic for you:
think for a moment about when someone starts dieting. suddenly, the only topic of conversation is total caloric intake, right? they yoke themselves to numbers (results) instead of revising their lives to accommodate healthier living (changes). the real issue—needing a cleaner lifestyle—is brushed aside in favor of a distracting, fleeting one—their lunch on a random Wednesday. it’s not even keeled.
- the format is also important. index cards are great because they’re cheap yet sturdy. plus, you can shuffle them so you don’t get accustomed to reading the mantras in the same order.
- finally, just as mindless repetition of prayer can become, well, mindless, the same holds true for these ideas. carrying the cards, reviewing them daily, eventually memorizing them—none of this will help. their power lies in execution. the cards are a mental crutch to keep the concepts front and center. when the crazy comes out, their wisdom kicks in, helping you overcome reactivity and impulsiveness.
I went through my pile and chose quotes that fall into three categories: self perception, creativity, and approach to life. the common thread among them is bringing a lighter, looser energy to every aspect of life.
please note: some quotes are not in quotation marks. this means i removed excess words to tighten them. but the original ideas remain and they belong entirely to the sources I’ve listed. i also turned “you” into “me” throughout so it’s more potent, since i’m, you know, talking to myself via notecards, as one does.
You attract experiences that match how you feel inside.—Shelley Bullard
“When I accept myself, I am freed from the burden of needing you to accept me.”—Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
Only compare yourself to your former self and notice how far you’ve come.—Dr. Ali Binazir
Use the belief that will serve you best.—Dr. Ali Binazir
You are ok at every point in the process because you are never-ending growth and progress/improvement.—Dr. Ali Binazir
“Genius is the result of doing what you love, not the prerequisite for it.” – Charles Eisenstein, The Ascent of Humanity: Civilization and the Human Sense of Self
APPROACH TO LIFE:
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” –Seneca
Meditative awareness as the default mode of your perception.—Eric Klein, Boundaries & the Spiritual Path: What’s the Right Approach?
what did I leave out? who would you like to hear more from? are there other topics you’d like me to cover? spill it all in the comments.
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