A mantra is a powerful phrase, designed to make a positive impact on the way that you feel.
For me, a ‘mantra’ is any phrase which makes a positive impact on how you feel. It can be a phrase created by you; a quote you have read or heard; a piece of advice someone has given you; or simply a word that has meaning and impact for you. It is always phrased in a positive way, intended to encourage and point you towards being your best self – not to punish or criticise you for being your worst self.
I personally believe that the power of words to inspire us is undeniable. A memorable phrase, giving us advice or encouragement – brought to mind on a busy day or during tough times – is enough to change our attitude, our outlook, and even, our behaviour – in the moment.
There are times in our lives when we all need something to motivate us. Sometimes, we lack energy, enthusiasm, focus or self-belief, and we need a push to get us going again.
Often, reminding ourselves of the reason we are doing something, is enough. It gives us our ‘why’, our sense of purpose. Visual reminders of this reason can keep us motivated: pictures, vision boards, written-down targets and peer pressure from friends, family and colleagues all help.
And having a mantra – a go-to phrase to repeat to yourself when you feel tempted to stop or to give in – can be enough to kick-start us. Most of us have reserves of strength and perseverance we rarely tap into.
A mantra can get us back to that place of determination, and give us the motivation we need:
When life pulls you back, aim forwards
Always, I rise
‘Find a way’ – the mantra that kept Diana Nyad going, when she finally swam the 111 miles from Cuba to Florida, through shark-infested waters, at the age of 64, on her fifth attempt
‘The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Take that step’ – adapted from a well-known Lao Tzu line, this reminds us that we just need to keep putting one foot on front of another
‘We drown, not by falling in the river, but by staying submerged in it’ – Paulo Coelho’s brilliant line reminds us that, when bad things happen, it is within our control to get beyond them, if we just persevere
‘KBO’ – a brilliant phrase used by Winston Churchill during the war. Go and look it up!