Tuesday, August 4, 2015

What's Your Motto?

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I've been contemplating my motto. What is my motto? What words do I live by everyday? I discovered a new-to-me blogger, Carrie Wisehart. She writes the blog, Live Upside Down. On her about me page, she mentions mottos. On her about me page it says, "She loves to surprise attack her students with stamps that have her mottos written on them: Choose Joy & Best Day Ever!"

I stopped and thought about it. "Do I have a motto? What is my motto? What words guide my life and my choices?"

I reached out to friends on social media and asked others what their mottos were. Here are some mottos...

"A grateful heart is a happy heart."
"Live your life!"
"Tomorrow is a new day, and we start fresh!"
"Everything happens for a reason."
"No matter how slow you are going, you are faster than everyone sitting on the couch."
"Live each day as if it were your last."
"Just making memories!"
"Improvise, adapt, and overcome."
"Be intentional."
"Be kind."
"Be a warrior, not a worrier."
"Show. Up."
"Don't let life get in the way of living."
"Be authentic."

Some of my students even answered. These mottos are some of my favorites...

"Be kind. Some people in the world are jerks and that's why this world needs more people to be balance it out."
"Life is way too short not to be yourself and share your ideas."
"Never be afraid to have your own ideas and you don't always need to like what everyone else likes. Be original and special. Make people notice you in a good way."
"Be true to you."

I think about mottos for those I love. I think if my dad were around for me to ask, I think he would say, "Be positive." My grandmother's motto would be about family! "Family is everything." Also, "Laughter cures all, and if laughter doesn't epsom salts does." Grammy Haseltine's motto would be "Never give up."

What's my motto? After thinking about this and writing about it, I think mottos can change with your life circumstances and some stick with you. When I was in college, friends teased me about my positive attitude by saying, "If Michelle was kept captive in a prison, the first thing she'd say when she was released was, 'I had the BEST TIME!' " I like to think that I make the best out of life, so that's one I'm claiming...

I love quotes. I think my love of quotes may connect with this idea of a motto. I'm looking for words that will guide my life. Brainstorming helped me remember some oldies and think of some new ones. Here's my notebook page with mottos...

What's my motto? I can't live with just one. What's yours?  


  1. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" seems to be working for me these days. Not exactly optimistic, but it gets me through whenever I start to wonder 'why me?'

    1. The power of the words is what matters to me! :)

  2. I was waiting, reading to see what your motto would be and in typical Michelle fashion, you couldn't choose just one. Reminds me of your couch full of quotes! I had a bumper sticker on my last car that said, "Do no harm." A friend gave me a new one for my new car, "Coexist." But for me, kindness is the one that resonates. The loss of our friend Jillian to the shooting in Lafayette has prompted many to post her motto, "Be kind. Do good work. Try hard. Listen. Love."

    1. Sorry, Margaret!! :) I love the words of your friend Jillian. Beautiful!!!

  3. Another one of mine is "Choose to be happy." Every day I wake up with a choice. I choose to find the happiness in each day. Any other choice really bogs me down! However, I must admit, sometimes it is difficult.

  4. This was a wonderful post! And thought-provoking... now I'm wondering what my motto is... or should I say, what my mottos are. I agree, I don't you can have just one exactly, though it would be nice and very neat. I think some of them include things like you get out of life what you put into it (I saw that to student a lot) and you can choose to look on the bright side. I like you "I had the BEST TIME!" That's great. :) Since you like quotes, this is the one that I think serves as a kind of motto for me. I've had it posted on my wall ever since my first year teaching. It's from the novel The Chosen by Chaim Potok, which we used to teach, and it inspired me to write a This a Believe essay a few years ago.

    "I life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest when I am no longer here."

  5. I don't think I necessarily have a life motto. I tend to have mantras that get me through certain points in my life. Like right now, my mantra is "Do I dare disturb the universe?" as a reminder to be brave and to speak up.

    For a long time, my mantra was a Mark Twain quote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

    And not to say that those still aren't words for me to live by, but it's evolved slightly. Now that I've seen the world and opened my mind, I need to be better about using that education I received in the world to speak up and enlighten others.

  6. "It's better to be kind than to be right" is a current favorite, I use it often with my own children :) They don't always like it though, lol

  7. Ha - I LOVED what your friends said about you - "I had the BEST TIME!" is an awesome motto. I don't know what my motto would be. I'll need to think on that...

  8. I love quotes, too, Michelle, and posted a short one on your FB page: "Wag more, bark less." But the one I most turn to is this from a favorite mystery writer, in one of her books. From Elizabeth George: "Let's just muddle through today. That's what I say. We can't take care of tomorrow until it gets here." It's supported me through tough times, and still means much. I love that you got so many wonderful responses, and love the "sparkle" from the one students. One word, says a lot!

  9. I laughed out loud when I read "I had the BEST TIME!" Just thinking it makes me smile. Probably because it's so attached to you. A motto, a mantra, a quote something to guide us is necessary. I love your kiddos who responded to you. They are going for great. I love so many of these ideas. Mine is hovering around seeing the world through the possible. We all have great possible lurking inside us.

  10. All of yours reflected YOU - a positive, shining spirit. Mine is this, from Teddy Roosevelt:Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

  11. Love all the mottos and your book. I really grabbed onto the mantra of the most recent Cinderella movie by Disney. "Have courage and be kind". It really summed it all up for me. So I've been using that as my motto lately.

  12. I found this one... If I have one regret, it's not meeting you sooner.
    Inspirational post :)

  13. I feel very much like you do Michelle and I am struggling to find one motto for my life. Instead, I'm stealing a line from the book, Wonder, since it spoke to me the moment I read it: "Be kinder than is necessary."

  14. Your question about mottos got me thinking... I have mantras that I change every 90 days with my network password that help me to refocus on what is important at the time. I've also been thinking about the concept of balance. ~MSM

  15. well... i want a life motto bc it makes me feel happy! but i cant find one that pops out to me. i think everyone have their own motto and i just havent found mine yet... :)


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