Words can be a persuasive tool that can help us in hard times, but only if we harness the most beneficial ones and discard the ones that weaken us or cause doubt. But sometimes our own inner voice just doesn’t have the right combination of words and phrases to encourage, support, and motivate us to do what we need to do, feel how we need to feel, and anticipate all that we are capable of achieving. So, we look to the master wordsmiths who know how to create the perfect grouping of words and meanings and soak up all of the creative brilliance we can from what they give us with their ideas. Finding the motivation to get past a difficult time in your life can be a little easier when you have the guideposts of meaningful quotes to light your path. Let’s look at a few inspirational quotes to encourage and spur on positive thinking when a challenge comes our way. “Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.” ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart When we are going through a difficult time, it is so easy to get down on ourselves and wallow in our shortcomings. Bennet’s supportive tone reminds us that even though we may think we are weak and not capable, our own personal fortitude is usually stronger than we give it credit. Sometimes we simply need to hear that we have it in us, already, to get through whatever challenge lies before us. “Keep your face always towards the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” -Walt Whitman The famous poet Whitman’s view here is that the negatives will always fall away when you meet your task head on. In other words, don’t shy away from the good or the bad in your life. The hardships or damaging experiences you encounter will always eventually end up in your past as you ultimately persevere through and beyond those challenges. “The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be greater than our suffering.” -Ben Okri, The poet Okri gives us the confirmation that we are more than our challenges and difficulties. As we are facing them and going through trials or difficulties, we might feel like this is what defines us as a human being. But Okri suggests that our human condition is so much more than what happens to us, rather it is what we add to and give to our own life and humanity that is the key to really living. “What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” -Plutarch This ancient Greek philosopher astutely recognized what multitudes of self-help books continue to reiterate to those facing challenges: how we think affects how we act or perform. Plutarch’s simple phrasing in an affirmation that if you think you can – or can’t – you are right, and you will end up fulfilling that with your actions. So when facing trials or hardships in your life, positive thoughts can help guide your actions through the challenge. ”The best way out is always through.” -Robert Frost While not always what we want to hear, poet extraordinaire Frost reminds us of how we best can remove ourselves from a difficult situation. When we are faced with a challenge or hardship in our life, instead of trying to avoid it, we likely need to forge ahead and pass through it in order to leave it behind. While evading our troubles or escaping from a hardship in our path might be desirable, in all likelihood we must simply pass through it. ”Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” -Charles Spurgeon Always an unwelcome companion to difficult times, anxiety is not something that edifies us during our hard times. Remember that being anxious does not actually solve any problems but instead drains you of the strength you need to get through your trials. Clergyman Spurgeon’s plead for us to not waste our energies on anxiousness is a perfect reminder and goal to keep in mind when we are experiencing hardships and are looking for the strength to persevere. ”Every exit is an entryway somewhere else.” -Tom Stoppard We all like to choose our paths and want to see success in our lives. But sometimes, even if temporarily, we end up on a path that we did not choose and did not want. Dramatist Stoppard encourages us to remember that even if we find ourselves going down a different path in life, we should always remember to look to see the positives in the newly minted route we find ourselves traversing. Different, yes, but that path opens new possibilities in our life that we might just enjoy! ”If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” -Maya Angelou The inimitable poet Angelou’s direct approach to creating a positive attitude hinges on your own actions. We all find ourselves in situations that we would rather not be in, experiences that we do not want to go through, or face challenges we’d rather not encounter. But when we cannot change the oncoming train we see just up the tracks, Angelou reminds us that we can always adjust our perspective to help us cope. A cancer diagnosis comes with a lot of baggage, for example, and some of that baggage is the side-effects that come from treatment. You may not be able to control the fact that chemotherapy will make your hair fall out, but you can put on some chemo headwear and keep going as long as you can. Take What You Need, Leave the Rest We all encounter challenges, roadblocks, or difficult times in our life. But hearing encouraging words echoing in our minds as we rise to the challenges before us can give us the strength we need to endure what life throws at us. When we learn to listen to the encouraging words and leave behind the ones that create self-doubt or encourage our own weaknesses, we can find the path to pass through the hardships. And sometimes listening to someone else’s wisdom is a timely prescription for what ails us.