“I cannot remember a time when the Golden Rule was not my motto and precept, the torch that guided my footsteps.” ~ James Cash Penney
That’s what mottos do. They act as torches that guide footsteps when and where footing is precarious and unsure. They point us in a direction and remind us of the direction we mean to travel when sidetracked by less important things.
After all, countries have constitutions. Companies have corporate mission statements. Clubs and other organizations have vision statements, taglines or mottos.
So why not us?
Both families and individuals would benefit as much as countries and corporation if we all were to develop our own personal mottos to, torch-like, guide our footsteps in this adventure called life (keep reading for 18 inspiring mottos you may want to pick from and adopt as your own).
“I have encountered riotous mobs and have been hung in effigy, but my motto is: Men’s rights are nothing more. Women’s rights are nothing less.” ~ Susan B. Anthony
We can learn a lot from other people’s mottos. They can inspire us to take action, to overcome obstacles and keep working toward our goals, persevering even in the face of overwhelming opposition. They inspire us to live up to our highest selves, to reach inside and pull the best within to the outside.
Not everyone, however, gets their mottos right. Sometimes we fail to live up to them. Sometimes we establish a motto without the commitment needed to make it the natural expression of our soul’s desire.
“My motto is: Live every day to the fullest – in moderation.” ~ Lindsay Lohan
Lindsay, it seems, struggles with hers (the moderation part, anyway). But truth is we all do the same to some extent. Our mottos reflect our insides, it’s true. But they also inspire us to improve what’s ticking on that inside as well. We are, after all, works in progress.
We can all, therefore, use the motivation and inspiration to help keep us keeping at it, to take the next step forward and then the next, to improve the life we live and the lives of those around us.
“My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.” ~ Hank Aaron
On that note, I recently asked some blogging friends of mine if they would share their mottos with us here at M2bH to provide us with that motivation to keep swinging in life, and maybe to start swinging at something even better, something we haven’t yet dared to swing at.
The following is the result of that request …
18 Inspiring Mottos
Motto #1: Good Habits for a Great Life
“This really sums up my personal motto. Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” Therefore, if you want to be outstanding, you have to develop the habit of personal excellence. In each key area of life, I seek out the very best practices and strive to make those my habits. The result is a continual incremental improvement in happiness, fulfillment and sense of purpose.” ~ Jeff Nickles of My Super-Charged Life
Motto #2: Live boldly and bloom to your fullest potential by taking small but fearless daily actions in the direction of your dream
~ Barrie Davenport of Live Bold and Bloom
Motto #3: The future is my unknown paradise
“Too many people worry about and fear the future. I choose to create positive assumptions and expectations.” ~ Tess Marshall of The Bold Life
Motto #4: Trust in yourself, before anyone else
“This means that I trust myself to do what’s right for me, and that I trust myself above anyone else. Without the self-trust, I could be led astray by others. Trust begins with each of us.” ~ Stuart Mills of Unlock The Door – Unlocking The Solutions To Your Problems
Motto #5: You cannot change or heal what you do not acknowledge
“The simple path to building healthy relationships, learning to love yourself and being a positive force in the world begins with discovering this powerful truth.” ~ Alex Blackwell of The Bridge Maker
Motto #6: Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying
“It’s the title of my blog, but it’s also a famous quote from the movie the Shawshank Redemption. The motto really spoke to me at a time when I felt stuck in life. I realized that I either can do everything I can to make life exactly how I want it, or just sleepwalk through life and get one day closer to death. I had a choice to make and you can too if you’re not happy with the results you’re getting.” ~ Benny Hsu of Get Busy Living
Motto #7: My vision is to live a full, meaningful, and thriving life. I stay inspired and empowered by connecting with others, using my character strengths, and following my passions
(Editor’s Note: These are actually 2 different mottos Joe sent me. I’m hoping it was okay to combine them )
~ Joe Wilner of Shake off the Grind
Motto #8: Lead Without Followers, Live from Within
“My motto speaks to the personal practice of how I wish to live amongst, on behalf of and for others. To lead without followers reminds me to lead by humble and quiet example. To live from within reminds me to live within my means, and to seek the simplest sources for happiness, wholeness and fulfillment — what’s already and always within each of us.” ~ Dave Ursillo of daveursillo.com
Motto #9: I can choose to be free
“This (motto) is powerful for me because I sometimes forget that my thoughts, perceptions, and interpretations shape my world. When I’m mindful of that—when I clear my head and minimize internal drama—suddenly challenging external circumstances seem far more manageable, and even beneficial for my growth and overall well-being.” ~ Lori Deschene of Tiny Buddha
Motto #10: Love is all that matters
“It is because of the love of my children and husband that I started to be a Zen Mama. I changed my attitude.” ~ Betsy Henry of Zen Mama
Motto #11: Be like the sun and you shall warm the earth
“I heard it when I was a teenager and ever since I took it as my own personal motto. To me it says that you must spread love, light and goodness to everyone you meet just as the sun spreads its warmth and light without judging who ‘deserves’ it or not.” ~ Angela Artimus of Powered by Intuition
Motto #12: Simple steps to a happier life
“Taking the initiative to take those simple steps can so radically transform a person’s life and open one to true happiness …We all want to be happy and it’s so simple, if we only open ourselves to the simplicity.” ~ Paige Burkes of Simple Mindfulness
Motto #13: There is nothing scary about facing the truth.
“I came up with this motto to remind me that the sooner I stop playing foolish games with the truth, the quicker I find solutions to problems. It is the basis of all that I speak about on my blog.” ~ Rob White of Mind Adventures
Motto #14: Be Who You Were Meant To Be
“For me this personal motto means to keep doing the work to find out who you really are so that you can live your life to the fullest.” ~ Cathy Taughinbaugh of Treatment Talk
Motto #15: To assist others to rise from the ashes of their lives and to become all that they have been created to become
“A few years ago I was drawn to the idea of creating my own original family crest to be cherished by present and future Sinclair generations – which in a sense is a broader expression of my motto. The tree, as represented in the crest, though burnt, is in the shape of a cross and is giving forth a green shoot. This speaks of resurrection and new life… This in fact defines everything I do in business, with my blog, my books, with my personal relations with others and the causes that I support.” ~ Peter G. James Sinclair of Motivational Memo
Motto #16: Never underestimate the power of your mind to change your destiny
~ Vidya Sury of Going A-Musing
Motto #17: Your life counts – and make it count. You are unique. There is no one like you on this planet. Never has been and never will be.
“Do not sell your self short. Do not sell the world short. This is your life – love it, live it. One life, one chance – grab it. Get the life you love – and live it” ~ Arvind Devalia of Make it Happen
Motto #18: Love, kindness, and compassion are what’s important in life. The rest is commentary
~ Fran Sorin of Awake Create
3 Questions to help create your own personal motto:
1. What are your core values?
2. What values would you most want to pass on to you children?
3. What values will most improve the person you are today?
The answers to these questions are a starting point. Figure out what speaks most clearly to you and begin working on the language to tersely express that core belief in an empowering and inspiring way. And then use it often to reinforce its message, letting it sink deeply into the fiber of who you are on a fundamental level.
Oh, and by the way, feel free to borrow others. They’re free!
One last motto: “Sharing is Caring”
- So please share your thoughts in the comments below.
- And share this article with others using your favorite social media if you found it to be of value.
- But most of all, always remember to share your love and decency and your example with others.
- Thank you for sharing your time with me.
- Read Part I of this series called What’s the Motto with You: The Power of Personal Mottos, Part I
- Read Part II of this series called 4 Mottos You Can Look at, but Can’t Keep: The Power of Personal Mottos, Part II
Photo Credit: Joe_King