Things to remember when life seems too hard

Post by Open Colleges on May 23rd, 2016

It is amazing the power that a good quote has to lift us up and carry us out of our dark places. A great quote shows us the truth of a situation and gets us to think about life from a different perspective.

So we’ve dug up 22 of the best quotes to give you a bit of perspective for when life just seems too hard.

Stop thinking of what could go wrong, and start thinking of what could go right.

For those with anxiety or depression, or even those of us who are just going through a rough patch, our minds seem bent on telling us just how wrong everything could go.

But the truth is, things can turn around. Things can go really right, and often they do.

So next time you find your mind trying to convince you of negative lies, stop, acknowledge what your brain is doing, and correct the thought by asking yourself: what are the odds of this actually happening? Then shift your focus to how the situation can turn around, think about all the good things that could happen.

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. – Wayne Gretzky

It is easy to sit back and let life pass you by. Everyone fears failure, but the one sure way to fail at something is to never give it a go.

So be brave, step out and try, because trying is the first step to succeeding.

It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela

If anyone knows how hard life can be, that person would have been Nelson Mandela.

Think of all the things in your life that you achieved, even the small things. At the time you set out to do them, I bet you never thought you could. But you did.

Achievement doesn’t happen immediately. Most of the time it’s a slow uphill walk. But gradually, over time, the landscape changes, you near the top, and suddenly you’re there.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about dancing in the rain.

It would be a lie to say that life is perfect. It is full of ups and downs. The key to happiness lies in being able to find the laughter and the small moments of joy within the dark places.

Sing off-key in your pyjamas when you don’t feel strong enough to leave the house. Go for a walk in the sunshine when you feel you can’t move another step. When you feel crippled with fear, watch something that will make you laugh.

Dance when life rains down on you. You will be amazed at what a difference this will make.

I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways it does not work. – Thomas Edison

Yes, sometimes our plans don’t work out the way we want them to, but that is no reason to give up. It just means that you may need to find another approach.

Be flexible, be inventive. There really is no such thing as failure as long as you are willing to find a lesson in it, and then find another way to make the situation work.

Fall down seven times and stand up eight. – Japanese Proverb

Life knocks everyone down from time to time. And sometimes it feels like nothing ever goes right.

You can become crippled by the fall; or you can dig deep, find what you can learn from it, grow as a person, and get back up.

The second option is harder. It involves learning about who you are and challenging yourself to change. But that’s where the growth comes in, and in the long run, it’s much better for you.

Ultimately, how you react to the falls determines the course of your life.


Bad decisions make great stories.

We all make wrong choices, bad decisions, fall flat on our faces or embarrass ourselves. It’s part of being human and learning how to live.

Next time you make a bad call, something terrible happens, or you fall down a set of stairs in front of strangers, don’t think of how embarrassing it is, don’t beat yourself up about something you can’t change, instead re-frame the story in your mind.

Think about how you will tell the story to your friends to make it a funny and entertaining.

Let the story you tell make you smile and chuckle.

Sometimes the wrong choices can lead us to the right places.

This is an old saying, but it is true. Every wrong road you take may lead you to the right place.

The wrong relationship may teach you about your own boundaries and what you really want, leading you to the right person a few years down the track. Or making a bad career choice can teach you about what you really want from life.

Take a lesson from the wrong path, and you will end up at the right place for you in the end.

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow’. – Mary Anne Radmacher

True courage is facing your fears and still walking ahead anyway. These moments are not always about going into battle, in fact, most of the time they happen when we are alone with our thoughts. They happen when we make the decision to try again.

Everything changes eventually.

Nothing in this world is permanent. That is the only thing we can be sure of.

Today it may seem like you are stuck in a prison; like the pain, fear and desperation you feel is just how your life will be. But that is not true. You won’t always feel this way; people, situations, locations and feelings all change.

Think of other times in your life where you felt like nothing would change. Now remember that they did.

Things can change in an afternoon, and this time that you are going through, like all other times, will pass.

Your past does not equal your future. – Tony Robbins

The mistakes that you made last week, last month, last year, don’t determine who you will become, your choices do.

Leave the past where it is, it is gone, your future is waiting for you. Make it what you want.

If you’re going through hell, keep going. – Winston Churchill

What you are going through at the moment may feel like hell, but the only way to get through it is to keep moving.

It may be hard right now, but with some effort, support and guidance, you will actually make it out the other side.

It is never too late to be what you might have been. – George Elliot

We seem to have an obsession with time in our society. It is almost like we have an expiry date on our own worth, which clicks over when we hit a certain age.

But that is just another lie that society tells us. We have been conditioned to believe that our value as a person is somehow directly linked to our age. But in truth, we are not a number assigned to us, we are people with worth, individuality, gifts and talents. Age cannot rob us of that.

You are valuable and worthy regardless of your age, economic status, or job, and you are capable of so much more than you think you are.

Don’t let other people’s ideas of worth define your life. You are in control of your path, so make it what you want it to be.

If you always wanted to be an artist, a mechanic, a teacher, just do it. It really, truly is never too late to be who you were meant to be.

The best is yet to be. – Robert Browning

When you are feeling low, it is easy to imagine that the best times are behind you.

But the truth is that you never know what is waiting just around the corner. Something amazing may be just about to happen. Look forward to your future, it’s going to be an adventure.

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein

Every time something is difficult, or you are going through a rough patch, there is an opportunity to learn and to grow as a person.

Seek out the growth opportunities when you hit rock bottom, as often the best lessons are learned in the darkest times.

Always ask yourself, how can I grow from this?

If I persist long enough I will win – Og Mandino

You can have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t have persistence you will not succeed.

In fact, the people that are usually the most successful are the ones that just kept pounding on the doors of opportunity.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly – Robert F Kennedy

Anytime we want to grow, to achieve something or to gain something, we place ourselves in a scary and vulnerable position. We risk failure and ridicule.

But do you think that any great thing was achieved without risk?

Just think of all the great history changers: Martin Luther King Jr, Steve Jobs, Nelson Mandela, Florence Nightingale, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Picasso, Agatha Christie, Erin Brockovich, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Ghandi, Hellen Keller, Oprah Winfrey, the list could go on and on!

These were just people who took enormous risks, who dared failure and ended up changing the world.

Be daring. Step out. Put yourself on the line. Who knows what may happen.

The first step is you have to say that you can. – Will Smith

The things we tell ourselves are incredibly powerful. Thoughts do create a reality. So if you tell yourself you can’t, then you won’t.

Imagine what you could do if you told yourself that you can!

Most people have attained their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure. – Napoleon Hill

Pushing beyond failure, taking the lessons it teaches and using them to create a better future is often the difference between success, and staying stuck.

You never know what is around the corner, you just have to have the courage to walk around it and see.

It’s only a problem if you think it’s a problem.

The way we choose to view things determines how we react to them, and ultimately the course of our lives.

You have the power to see something as a problem, as a challenge to be solved, or as a funny life story.

Gratitude improves every situation.

Being grateful for life, for the small things every day, like a great cup of coffee, or the smell of fresh sheets, can really change the course of your day.

When things are at their darkest, look around you. Think of five amazing things, and be grateful that you are here, in this time, and that you get to experience them.


You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. Because it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.  Maya Angelou

Sometimes it’s the hardest parts in life which teach us the most, if we’re willing to view them as lessons, not as crushing blows.

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