Words I Live By

I’ve been doing quite a bit of reflecting lately, and one question that recently came to my mind was, “What words do I live by?” The first random thought that came to mind was the infamous “live, laugh, love” mantra that’s been plastered every place under the sun since I was 10 years old. I literally laughed out loud after thinking about that. It means well, but that mantra is not doing anything for me.

The second thought I had was from my adolescent years. Growing up, my mom and her 5 sisters always had the biggest “poofs” for their hairstyles. Seriously, I couldn’t tell where their heads ended and the poofage began. I remember often hearing them say, “The bigger the hair, the closer to God you are!”. The women in my family definitely lived by those words (and still do to this day!).


Based on our life experiences, we all have a set of principles or personal truths that influence how we act and live our lives. Having just finished reading the book, The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin, that’s what really sparked my interest in writing down my own set of personal truths, which I’ve really never taken the time to do before. Gretchen does it in her book as a way to recognize her authentic self.

My Personal Truths

Here’s what I came up with:

1. Always make your bed.
2. Say “please” and “thank you.”
3. Fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods.
4. Show respect to your elders.
5. Being early is being on time.
6. Laugh often.
7. Give genuine compliments.
8. Always have greenery and candles in your home.
9. Greet people with a smile.
10. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
11. Put yourself in others’ shoes.
12. Lend a helping hand.
13. “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
14. Don’t hold grudges.
15. Get out of your comfort zone – try new things often.
16. You control your own happiness.
17. Be proactive.
18. Listen first.
19. Be responsive to change.
20. Be outside more!
21. God has a plan for me.

As a look at my list of personal truths, it’s surprising to me how often I subconsciously think and come back to these ideals in my mind. They impact everything, from what I say, do, to how I feel. So where did these personal truths come from, anyway? Before I started analyzing my personal truths, I predicted that most of them came from my culture and how I was raised, but surprisingly, I think most of my personal truths developed after I left home and started taking care of myself. Sure, a couple of them like making my bed and saying “please” and “thank you” definitely came from how I was raised, but I feel proud of the personal truths that I live by because I chose them as a priority for how I live my life and what is important to me.

What are some of your own personal truths? Do you have any words that you want to live by but are struggling with? I would love to hear about them and how they came about. Share in the comments below.