Personal Motto: The Key to Living on Your Own Terms

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The 5 AM Club" by Robin Sharma. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is a personal motto? How can a personal motto help you manifest the life of your dreams?

The concept of a personal motto is simple: it’s a phrase that encapsulates your values and keeps you directed towards your goals. To create your personal motto, think about what matters most and translate it into a concise saying that reflects the kind of life you want to live.

Here are 11 personal motto examples for your inspiration.

The Power of a Personal Motto

There is great power in having a personal motto, and you can tap into it anytime you want to trust your heart, stay positive, and pursue activities that reflect the kind of life you want to live. Here are 11 personal motto examples to keep your focus on creating the life of your dreams.

Motto 1: Find Magic in the Universe by Finding Magic in Yourself

The most important relationship you have in this world is with yourself. When you look in the mirror, you must love the person reflected back. How you love yourself equals the amount of love you have to share with the world. Approach your internal relationship like you would a relationship with a loved one. Find isolated time to be with yourself so you can explore your soul and become aware of your most special traits. Sit peacefully with your heart to discover your passions. Quiet your mind so your true beliefs rise above those influenced by the external world. When you create a space to understand yourself better, you receive valuable insights about your unique genius that will transform your life and work. 

Motto 2: Value Experiences Over Possessions

You’ve been told by society that the amount of money you make, the kind of car you drive, and the size of your home are all indications of success. Your status at work has become what defines your identity. Seeking these fortunes has replaced your childlike desire for fun and adventure with a focus on acquiring material things. But possessions don’t equal happiness. Seek out activities that make you laugh, touch your heart, or blow your mind. Be playful in your life and develop a hunger for miraculous experiences. Collect joy like you collect paychecks. Happiness is the only currency that counts at the end of your life. 

Motto 3: Be Willing to Fail

If you don’t experience failure from time to time, it means you’re playing life so safe that you never take a chance. And you cannot succeed to your full potential if you don’t take chances. Fear of rejection, humiliation, or self-loathing keeps you from putting everything on the line to achieve something unbelievable. This is because you believe failure is a sign of weakness. You must stop tamping down the power of your gifts and possibilities because you’re afraid to fail. Failure breeds growth, and being willing to fail breeds courage. Say yes to opportunities that scare you so you can rise above your limitations and soar to great heights. 

Personal Motto 4: Be the Architect of Your Life

Satisfaction with your life is a slippery slope. You might tell yourself to be happy with what you have so you can feign satisfaction for a life unlived to its full potential, but complacency is the enemy of growth. When you rationalize your dreams away and ignore the power you have to create beautiful things that impact the world, you build a mediocre future. But you have four tools in your toolbox that help you create the life you want if you’re willing to start the process of building it: your thoughts, feelings, language, and actions. Use your thoughts to envision your goals and what it feels like to accomplish them. Use your feelings to show gratitude for what you have and all the good that awaits in your future. Speak only about hope, strength, and abundance. And behave in the manner that aligns with your most hopeful version of yourself. Use the gifts you have now to build a truly satisfying life. 

Motto 5: Remove Toxic People From Your Life

Negative people are like leeches who drain your life force. Scientists call this leeching “emotional contagion,” which describes the influence that bad energy has on your environment. Many people have experienced so much drama in their lives, they feel most comfortable when their world is in turmoil. You may know them as drama queens or kings. But you are on a journey of self-love and immense personal growth and discovery. If you surround yourself with people who only exist in the dark, you will become swallowed up by their shadows. Treat everyone with kindness and take the high road when someone tries to bring you low. And do what you can to engage with positive people, for their emotions are the ones you want to rub off on you. 

Motto 6: Live With Abundance to Create Abundance

Money is one of the biggest stressors in life, and a fear of lack drives many people to hold onto money with an iron fist. But money is meant to flow like electrical currents, and to allow that current to flow into your life, you must continue the flow in the other direction. Be generous with money to let the universe know you have enough to share, and you will receive even more. Tip waiters, drivers, attendants, and housekeepers well. Give money to charitable organizations. Lavish your friends and family with gifts or financial support. Show gratitude for what you currently have and what you’re able to do with it. You only live in scarcity if you believe in scarcity. You don’t need to go into debt, but you must remove your conditioning that money is finite. Create positive expectancy about money, wherein you believe that it will always come to you when you need it, even if you don’t know from where, to attract abundance into your life.

Motto 7: Prioritize Physical Health

If you focus on maintaining good health, you reduce the need to waste valuable time trying to recover from poor health. That time can be put toward your creative output and joy fulfillment, and you will be able to engage with those endeavors longer. Many people don’t realize what poor shape they’re in because a low state of health is their baseline. But when you reach a high level of fitness, you begin to realize just how unfit you were before. Regulate your sleep cycles, eat nutritious foods, elevate your heart rate, and sweat to encourage positive chemical reactions in your brain. Your extraordinary vitality will set you above the competition. 

Personal Motto 8: Never Settle for Good Enough

Human nature is highly adaptable. You have the ability to adapt to changes in circumstances and move forward with your new normal. The problem with this new normal is that the novelty soon wears off and your achievement becomes just another aspect of life. You reason that it’s good enough and become complacent. To avoid this conundrum, focus on growth rather than accomplishment. Never settle for a better plateau. Seek to continue climbing to the highest peak available. Keep your standards high and your efforts focused on reaching beyond your current limits. This doesn’t mean being dissatisfied, but rather increasing your strengths and powers. 

Motto 9: Give Love Away Like Your Life Depends On It

Love generates love. You were put on this earth to take the love you have and share it with the world. Never miss an opportunity to show someone love, and tell the people in your life how much you love them. As you expand your capacity to love, you expand your capacity to experience love, which leads to joy. Write letters to your friends or “thank you” notes to people who’ve supported your life. Show more interest in the lives of others than in professing your own value. Each person you meet has the ability to bring something fresh and amazing to your life, and you can unlock those gifts through the sharing of love. 

Motto 10: Seek Peace Within, Not Without

As stated, Heaven is not a location to be found but a state of mind to be captured. Your personal Heaven lies within your Mindset, Heartset, Healthset, and Soulset. Cultivate a better relationship with yourself. You are the only one who knows what you’re made of, and you discover who that is when you find inner peace and joy. Everything that has happened to you has been to get you to this point. Reflect on the journey and find gratitude for the lessons and insights it’s brought to your life. Within that landscape is the secret to who you are and where you’re going. Open yourself up to growth and experience Heaven.

Personal Motto 11: Live Each Day Like It’s Your Last

None of us is guaranteed a tomorrow. Accidents, illness, and tragedy happen every day, and missed opportunities become set in stone. Each second you’re alive is a blessing. Don’t waste it worrying about the future or planning to be happy. You can’t wait for great things to happen to allow yourself to feel pleasure and joy with your life. Embrace your mortality so you appreciate each moment you are alive. Share the love you have in your heart now, take risks, and create space to be unreasonable. Celebrate the small victories and soak up the majesty of the world and your life with each breath you’re still able to breathe.

Personal Motto: The Key to Living on Your Own Terms

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  • What the Victory Hour is and how it can change your life
  • Why an early morning routine activates your creative and productive potential
  • Why the first hour after you wake up is your most productive

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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