12 old sayings that can radically shift your perspective on life

Imagine your life is like a ship, and your perspective is its compass. 

If you adjust the compass by even a degree, your ship could end up in a completely different place. 

Similarly, by slightly shifting our perspectives, we can make profound changes in our lives. 

Sounds impressive?

Here are 12 such sayings that hold the power to change the way we view our lives. They might seem familiar, but do we really understand their transformative potential? Let’s dive in!

1) Don’t count the days, make the days count

We’ve all been guilty of living in the future. Anticipating the weekend, a vacation, or a milestone. 

But isn’t life happening right now? 

The essence of this saying is to remind us that quality is far more important than quantity. 

While we often wait for special days to be happy, the truth is that every day can be special if we want it to be!

That’s why I like this quote – it nudges us to make every day purposeful and meaningful. 

So, don’t just wait for special days. Make every day special. Do something meaningful every day. Make every day count.

And speaking of that, what are you doing to make today count?

2) Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans

Similar to the first saying, this one talks about being present

Let’s be honest:

We often get so absorbed in planning our future that we forget to experience the present. 

But the thing is, life is happening right now. And the most important part?

If we don’t enjoy it now, we’ll miss it. Trust me, I’m 100% sure about that.

So, don’t just plan your future. Live in the present. Enjoy every moment and don’t forget to ask yourself from time to time: Are you living in the now?

Remember, the future is made up of a lot of ‘nows’. Engage fully with your present, and life will be a series of enriching experiences. 

3) The secret to getting ahead is getting started

Now I want to ask you a few simple questions: 

  • How often do you wait for the perfect moment to start? 
  • Are you waiting for the stars to align or for when you feel fully prepared? 

Well, this particular saying serves as a powerful reminder that the “right moment” is a myth. 

Once again — the best time to start is right now!

Overthinking and perpetual planning often lead to procrastination and delay, while action, even if imperfect, brings us closer to our goals. 

Feeling stuck? Overwhelmed by the enormity of your dreams? 

Remember, every journey begins with a single step. 

This saying encourages action over procrastination

Just try to break down your dream into smaller, actionable steps and get started. Who knows? Your first step today might be the one that propels you ahead.

Don’t forget: the longer we wait, the harder it gets. So, don’t wait for the perfect moment. Just start.

4) The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now

This one is my personal favorite. And no, it’s not only about actually planting a tree (though it could be great if you did—hello, environment!). 

This timeless saying is an echo of wisdom about action and timing. 

It’s a gentle, yet powerful nudge saying, “Don’t wait!” 

Sure, you could mourn the missed opportunities, thinking about how well that proverbial tree could have grown if you had planted it twenty years ago. 

But does that change the past? 

Nope. It only adds to regret.

Here’s the thing:

Regret can be paralyzing. But brooding over the past won’t change it. The next best thing?

Start now. It’s never too late to start. The tree you plant today will thank you in the future. So, what seed will you plant today?

5) You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take

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Ever held back from doing something out of fear of failure? 

We’ve all been there. 

No one can deny that we often fear taking risks. But if we don’t take risks, we can’t achieve anything, right?

This saying reminds us that not taking a chance is a guaranteed miss.

In simple terms, if you want something, you have to try it. If you don’t try, you won’t get it.

Trust me, even if you miss, you’ll learn something valuable. Isn’t it better to learn and grow than to wonder what if?

So, don’t be afraid to take risks. Remember, if you don’t try, you won’t get it.

6) The only thing we have to fear is fear itself

Recently, I was thinking about the essence of our lives and realized that most of our lives are dictated by fear. 

You know, fear of failure, fear of judgment, fear of change. Too much, isn’t it?

Well, this simple, yet profound saying, reminds us that fear is often just an illusion, an emotional response to perceived threats. 

It’s not the external factors but our inner apprehensions that hold us back.

Isn’t it true that our biggest fears hardly ever materialize?

Just think about this. 

We build scenarios in our minds, weaving tales of failure and disappointment, that are often far worse than reality could ever be. 

Yes, fear keeps us trapped in our comfort zone, hindering growth and exploration.

This saying is a call to action. It urges us to confront our fears, challenge them, and question their validity. 

7) Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

Stuck in a rut, hoping things will change on their own? 

Think again! 

This saying encourages us to shake things up if we want different results. Innovation and adaptation are key to breaking monotonous patterns.

If you want something to change, you have to do something different. Why?

Because doing the same thing over and over again won’t change anything. 

So, if you want different results, try different things. Remember, change starts with you.

8) Change is the only constant in life

Speaking of change, it can be quite uncomfortable at times. But guess what? 

It’s also inevitable. 

Whether we like it or not, life never stays the same — things change all the time. 

Sometimes we like the changes, sometimes we don’t. But either way, change is a part of life.

If we can accept this, we can handle life’s ups and downs better.

Embracing change means embracing growth and new possibilities. 

This timeless saying helps us understand the ever-changing nature of existence. Whether it’s personal growth, relationships, or even the world around us, change is inevitable. 

9) It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see

Ever noticed how two people can look at the same situation and see it differently? 

That’s perspective! And perspective is everything. 

This saying emphasizes that our outlook greatly affects our experience. In short, our perspective can transform our reality. 

How so?

That’s because it’s not about what you look at, but how you see it. For instance, if you see things positively, you’ll feel positive.

It encourages us to see the silver lining in every cloud and the opportunity in every challenge.

The power to find the silver lining lies within us. 

10) Be yourself; everyone else is already taken

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This one might sound especially cliché, but bear with me because its power is often underestimated. 

Living in an age of constant comparison—thanks to our social media—it’s easy to lose sight of our unique worth.

Sounds familiar?

We all try to be like others. 

The irony is, while we’re busy trying to be like someone else, we overlook the fact that we’re one-of-a-kind. 

There’s no one quite like us in the entire world. And that’s not just sweet talk, that’s a scientific fact!

Trying to be like someone else won’t make us happy. 

So, instead of chasing the impossible task of being someone else, why not invest that energy in being the best version of yourself

After all, everyone else is already taken.

11) Happiness is not ready-made. It comes from your own actions

Looking for happiness in external factors?

Here’s a reality check: it comes from within. 

This saying reminds us that our actions and attitudes shape our happiness.

And indeed — believe it or not, happiness is a choice, not a result. 

That’s why I’m sure you can find happiness in your actions, in the way you treat others, and in the gratitude you show for what you already have.

So, don’t wait for happiness to come. Create it yourself. Do what makes you happy, and you’ll be happy.

12) This too shall pass

And finally, perhaps no other saying carries as much depth and resilience as “This too shall pass”. 

It’s a beacon of hope in dark times, a gentle reminder that nothing in life, be it joy or sorrow, is permanent. 

Going through a rough patch?

In such times, it’s easy to believe that the darkness will last forever. 

But this saying reassures us that, just like the seasons, our circumstances too will change. Just like good times don’t last, neither do bad ones. 

So hang in there, brighter days are on their way!

The winds of change

In a nutshell, these sayings are more than just pretty words. 

They carry wisdom and the potential to shift our perspective, shape our journeys. 

Remember, a small shift can lead to a massive transformation over time. So, are you ready to adjust your compass? 

Here’s to making every day count, embracing change, and sailing towards brighter horizons. 

Nato Lagidze

Nato Lagidze

Nato is a writer and a researcher with an academic background in psychology. She investigates self-compassion, emotional intelligence, psychological well-being, and the ways people make decisions. Writing about recent trends in the movie industry is her other hobby, alongside music, art, culture, and social influences. She dreams to create an uplifting documentary one day, inspired by her experiences with strangers.

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