I have two small white boards hanging on my closet door. One of them has my two week schedule, bill due dates, and my shopping list. The other used to have a writing To Do list, but I moved all of that business to Evernote. Afterwards, I wondered what to do with it now that it was all empty. I like my things to be useful.
I ended up turning it into a quote board. It all started quite innocently. I wrote my mantra “Let’s Be Brave” on the bottom of it. (For the “Let’s Be Brave” story, click here.) It’s a visual reminder of how I’m supposed to be running my railroad.
The second quote that went up came across my Twitter feed and was attributed to Guillermo del Toro (I’m not sure if he actually said it, I can only relay the circumstances in which I found it; I hope he did, though).
“Success is fucking up on your own terms.”
I love this. I love this so much. It serves as a constant reminder that if I’m going to do this thing called life, the only way I’ll ever be able to call myself a success is if I’m doing what I want to do. Even if I fail at it, it’s still a success because it’s the path I wanted to walk.
Then I added two quotes that I’ve been carrying with me in some fashion since I was about 17. They’re pinned to the cork board over the computer desk in the kitchen and I realized that I needed to bring them into my bedroom work space as well, especially since I don’t work in the kitchen work space all that often anymore.
“The power is inside you. Nobody can give it to you. Nobody can take it away. Now go play the harp.” Michael Nesmith said this on an episode of The Monkees (I’ve talked about it before) and even though it might have been scripted, I like to think that he put a little something into it. A reminder that I am the master of my command here on the big Earth ship.
And from his fellow Monkee, Peter Tork: “Scary to cope, to have to deal, but sometimes it works out, gets real. Don’t quit just before the miracle.” Life is rough, kids, but you have to keep going. There’s always something just waiting to be great.
Finally, the last quote I added to the board came from Maya Angelou. It was added shortly after she passed away. The woman was so gifted with words and feelings that it’s a shame that I didn’t have this up on my board eons ago.
“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”
Something I need to be reminded of daily, particularly when I’m being questioned about the not-so-conventional life I’ve decided to lead. I don’t have to prove my worth to anyone. I have every right to exist as I am, doing what I’m doing right now.
I look at the board every day, to be inspired and to be reminded.
I think it’s the best use that white board could have had.
Edit: After this post was initially written, but before it was posted for the world to read, I added another quote to my board, once again because of a death, this one untimely as all hell. Another quote to remind me that I’m doing things right.
“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” ~Robin Williams