Human beings have gotten as far as we have by building on what those in the past have left behind. From the age of sticks and stones to the age of information, we have constantly improved ourselves – reflecting on our history and improving ourselves. And old sayings have played an important part in this process.
A saying or a proverb is wisdom passed down across generations. They can be witty and funny or incredibly grim. But one common trait that they all share is that they contain the common-sense and mindfulness of our ancestors; they teach us important lessons on how to live a good life. It is why they endure the test of time and are still occur frequently in human conversations.
Here are a few insightful sayings that have been collected from across the world that you will surely motivate you to be better.
15 Inspirational Sayings From Around the World
1. “Many hands make light work.” – English Saying
Human being have always been social creatures. We are awesome because we can accomplish great things when we work together. So, ask for or offer a helping hand whenever you can. Never underestimate the power of teamwork. It can make even the most daunting tasks much easier than before.
2. “Big fish are worth aiming for – even if you don’t catch one.” – Finnish Saying
Dream big! Grand goals motivate you to work your hardest. It doesn’t matter if you stumble along the way or fail to reach your goal. What matters is that you apply yourself to achieve what others would claim is impossible and improve yourself in the process. Limiting yourself only ensures that you never get to see your full potential.
3. “Talk does not cook rice.” – Chinese Saying
Ideas, goals, and plans are all wonderful things to have. But they become useless if you do not work for them. Just having a vision for your future is not enough; you need to apply yourself to make your dreams a reality!
4. “Starting is half the task.” – Korean Saying
Starting something new can often be the most difficult part of the process. Our fears and self-doubt can give us pause and shrink away from committing to any new process. But remember, this is just another obstacle that bar your way – often even the hardest one you will have to overcome. Because once you push through your doubts and actually start working towards your goals, the journey to the end will actually feel much smoother than you thought it would.
5. “Constant dripping will wear away a stone.” – Greek Saying
Be persistent in what you are trying to accomplish. Things may not go according to plan at times but that does not mean you should quit. Quitters never win! Only those who continue to march forward, in spite of all the hardships they face, find success.
6. “Even monkeys fall from trees.” – Japanese Saying
Everybody makes mistakes – no matter who they are. So, don’t beat yourself over the times you stumbled. Learn from them and make sure you do not repeat them again. Also, learn to forgive others for their mistakes and move on.
7. “Don’t blame the ground when you don’t know how to dance.” – Nepalese Saying
Accept responsibility for your own actions. Blame is easy to throw around but it takes a decent human being to accept accountability. Only by accepting your own flaws can you truly work towards fixing them.
8. “A trade not properly learned is an enemy.” – Irish Saying
You can’t have accomplish anything if you aren’t willing to give it your 100 percent. Sure, it might still get results – but are they going to be the best you could have achieved? Of course not!
It’s easy to fall into the trap of being satisfied with mediocrity. But that is no way to get ahead in life. It kills your potential and sets you up for failure in the long run. And you deserve better than that!
And the only way you’re going to get it is by giving it everything you’ve got. Because to achieve the best, you’ve got to give it your best!
9. “When I rest, I rust.” – German Saying
If you are not constantly striving to be your better self, you are wasting your potential away. Keep working for your goals – push forward no matter how small your steps might feel. Because once you stop, it can be very difficult to rev yourself up again. And the stagnation of rest will all but assure you a life spent in mediocrity – never knowing the best you could become!
10. “Every man forges his own destiny.” – Latvian Saying
You are the master of your own fate. It is your actions alone that define you as well as your future. Embrace that control – and steer your life into the direction you want it to go. Nobody else but you can do it for you!
11. “Those who want fish should get their butts wet.” – Spanish Saying
The world doesn’t owe you a thing. So, if you want something, you have to work for it. Empower yourself through hard work and perseverance. You may not be entitled to anything but there’s nothing in this world that you cannot earn with enough effort!
12. “What soap is for the body, tears are for the soul.” – Israeli Saying
Life is a roller coaster of emotions. And not all of them will be the fun kind. When we find ourselves feeling these negative emotions, our first response might be to bottle it all up. Maybe you want to pretend these emotions don’t exist and bottle it all away. Or maybe you think showing emotion is a sign of weakness. Either way, all you are doing is harming yourself.
Let it out. Bottling up your emotions, especially the negative ones, only promotes rumination and stress, which in turn ruin your life. Only by being honest with yourself and others about how you are feeling, can you begin healing your inner self.
13. “Experience will show you; a master can only point the way.” – Egyptian Saying
Nothing beats hands-on experience. Of course, you can learn through studying or by listening to mentors but no amount of theoretical knowledge could ever compare to experience. Because learning indirectly may provide you with all the foundations you need to get a job done, but it will not prepare you to face the mental, emotional, or even physical challenges the task may entail.
It is why most employers put work experience on a pedestal while recruiting. There’s just nothing that builds character and skill as much as experience. So, it is infinitely wise to go out into the world with a more direct approach to learning. Get a relevant internship or volunteer. Because in the long run, it all adds up.
14. “Fortune favours the bold.” – Latin Saying
Acting with courage and self-confidence can open up doors to opportunities you never would have imagined possible. Because everything is up for grab if you are brave enough to reach for it. Don’t think negatively and shut yourself out from great chances. Instead of thinking about all the things that could go wrong, think of all you can get if you just be brave and take a leap of faith!
15. “One should not rub bottoms with a porcupine.” – Ugandan Saying
Or simply put, “Don’t be an idiot.” There is a very well-defined line between taking calculated risks and being plain stupid. The former yields great results but the latter only recklessly endangers you and those around you. Remember: you have one life and nothing is worth the risk of losing it.
Just because something is old does not mean it is obsolete. That is why these sayings still hold true to this day. Those before us lived in tougher times and they compiled their experiences into sayings. And perhaps that is why we refuse to let these proverbs disappear.
Because, in essence, sayings are lessons that bear the hopes of the past for a better future. Thus, it is our responsibility to learn from them and hopefully pass it forward.
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