If I could reset my post-college years and start all over again, I’d work at a startup. Without hesitation. Without worrying about making the ‘wrong’ career choice.
Because out of everything, working at my startup has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. The challenge, the endless opportunities to learn, the close-knit culture, watching your product grow from a mere idea, the flexibility to work anywhere, anytime — I love them all.
But during the tough days, my life would get pulled apart through burnouts, ugly emotions, and self-disappointments. No matter how much I wanted to push myself towards the future I’d envisioned, I couldn’t convince my mind to keep hustling. The only thing that could are these quotes (which I’m about to share with you).
Anytime you feel unmotivated or stuck, reread these quotes — they’ll bring you the light where you see dark.
1. Sometimes people with the worst pasts end up creating the best futures.
As someone who has been broken off from a 9 1/2 year relationship and left stranded with an empty resume, it made me even more determined to get my life back on track. I knew if I didn’t work hard enough, I’d always be a step behind. But if I keep it up and continue to learn and see my progress grow, I’d be closer to living the life I want.
Just know that if you’ve been through a tough life, it’ll be easier for you to create a better future — that’s if you put in the effort.
2. Don’t talk, act. Don’t say, show. Don’t promise, prove.
There’s two types of people in the world: thinkers and doers. Complainers and doers. You won’t make a dent in the world if nothing happens. If you want people to know what you’ve accomplished, do it. Even if you think you’ll fail, do it anyways. Because the moment you’ve tasted success, it’ll drive more motivation for you to keep going.
3. Never give up on something you can’t go a day without thinking about.
If your startup is important, you’ll be thinking about it every day, maybe every minute. Your laundry? Not as much, unless you have an obsession to being clean. You see, the things you think about on a daily basis holds more importance in your life — whether that’s the short & urgent (e.g. your emails) or the long-term commitment (e.g. your partner). And if you devote your time and attention to what you value most, you won’t be stalling yourself from achieving your goals and expectations.
4. Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.
Every time I see an “awesome” rating on my customer support ticket, I feel great. Every time I get hundreds of recommends for one of my blog posts, I feel like dynamite. It’s small things like these that encourage me to raise my customer support skills up a notch and to keep writing. In fact, I feel even more motivated to keep doing what I’ve been doing, even if it’s the most boring task in the world. Without anyone to give me positive feedback, or any feedback at all, I wouldn’t try as hard and would care less about my performance.
5. Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
No matter how closely you follow someone you highly respect, you’ll never become them. Even if you spent hours and hours every day practicing the skill they’ve perfected, you’re still under someone’s shadow. There’s nothing new you’re sharing with the world. All you really are is an inferior version of the best. So if you want people to recognize you, whether you’re a content marketer (like me), a school teacher, or a doctor, you’ll need to pinpoint what your strengths are and keep powering through them until you’ve become the most reputable expert of your field.
If possible, remember this:
We all feel unmotivated and unwilling to push ahead sometimes. But it’s up to us to find a solution that works best for our situation. For me, it’s these quotes.