This Serenity Prayer often attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr is amongst the most powerful and illuminating quotes, helpful across a wide variety of life challenges. It’s easy to feel at the top of the world when we are succeeding, however, when the going gets tough, that’s when staying confident becomes a challenge. Of course, memorizing three simple sentences won’t make your problems go away, but it will enable you to focus your energy where it matters most.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference."
Among the multitude of quotes on failure I have come across, Henry Ford’s excerpt captures failure and its two most important facets. First, failure is an opportunity. If we change our mindset about disappointment, we should be able to face failure more courageously and not engage in many self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors. Second, failure gives us the possibility to start over, better and stronger than before. This is the true purpose of failure. Failure isn’t meant to bring you down, but to strengthen your resolve and propel you to your goal.
"Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely."
As a life coach, I realize that the fear of victory is a genuine issue that many face. Many strive to reach a lofty goal, only to feel insecure and undeserving when they close in on their target. When hesitance creeps in, remember that you are “powerful beyond measure,” and you were “born to shine.” Therefore, instead of selling yourself short, go full strength and enjoy the massive success that’s rightfully yours.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frighten us."
This quote is simple, yet powerful. It takes no effort to descend into oblivion when someone criticizes us. Always remember that it’s easier for the average individual to chastise than to compliment. People often criticize to fill their own void. You should use it to your advantage. Ask yourself: how can I grow from that criticism? In the same vein, you must frame your criticism constructively to instruct, not to disparage.
"Criticism is information that will help you grow."
Boredom and procrastination are two enemies to expect when working toward a worthwhile goal. Regardless of one’s level of motivation and passion for a subject, there are days when they won’t feel like lifting a feather. Commit this quote to memory and refer to it whenever the weight of laziness drags you down.
"Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today."
Many times we become impatient when we have put in the hard work and aren’t seeing any results. But remember that nature doesn’t operate linearly, so cultivate patience. Mother nature doesn’t worry, why should you?
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."
Just as we may experience a sense of inferiority to others, as we become more knowledgeable, many develop the superiority complex. This is particularly common for those of us in leadership roles and whose ideas matter a great deal. As one climb the ladder of success, humility is the chief skill we must learn. May your effort, your failure and Socrates’ words remind you that like everyone else, you are a work in progress. Always remember that we the going is tough.
"True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing, absolutely nothing. Then you begin to know more."
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