6 Thought-Provoking Realizations to Make You Feel Better About Life

“Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you.” ~Māori Proverb

It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives and forget what makes life so beautiful in the first place. Isn’t that true? I know for me, I end up living life through autopilot, lacking a conscious thought until I snap out of it and remind myself that life is great.

When I get like this, it’s nice to remind myself of the realizations I’ve come across over the years and stored in my memory bank.

Every time you forget what you’re living for or feel like life is purposeless, consult this list.

1. You can’t ever really be bored.

One of my favorite quotes comes from comedian Louis C.K. If you don’t think you should be reading life quotes from a comedian, wait until you hear his.

“‘I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.'”

2. You have the potential to make someone smile.

You know what’s awesome? You could, if you really tried, make a stranger’s day today. Find a stranger who you'd guess no one has acknowledged in weeks and smile at him or her. Most people live invisibly with hardly an individual glancing at them. Show them you see them and smile. Bonus points if you say hi or strike up a conversation.

3. You’ve gotten through so many moments where you thought it was going to be all over.

Especially as a kid, I used to have all these doomsday alarms setting off in my head. If I don’t get this or that, my life is over. I’m going to be miserable forever.

Of course, as I grew up my mind became more realistic, but how often do we feel like we’re going to be miserable forever? We’ve gotten through pretty much most of them, right?

We move on and find new things to fear or be worried about.

4. You have the power to better yourself every day.

Maybe a few people reading this may think to themselves that this one is obvious, but it really isn’t. I honestly know many people who don’t believe in the idea of people changing and, of course, they “accept” who they are.

There’s a difference between accepting who you are and striving to become a better person. Isn’t it liberating to know that you’re not stuck with the cards you’ve been given? You’re not stuck at all! Not ever!

You can work towards becoming your ideal self a little bit at a time.

5. You from five years ago had nothing on present-you.

Every time I look back just a few years I have this smile on my face. I look at the socially awkward past-Vincent, the guy just trying to figure life out. Then I say, wow, I was a doofus!

Guess what? A few years ago when I did the same retrospection I thought the same thing to myself. Every time you look back you sort of cringe and wonder how you were so _______.

Imagine five years from now. You’re going to change so much (hopefully for the better) and you’ll realize you’ve grown a lot.

6. You have the potential to learn about anything.

The Internet is this gigantic resource available to you anytime and it has the potential to teach you just about anything.

Isn’t that just awesome? I taught myself how to get websites on Google’s first page, how to write words that stick so that people across the world can enjoy and learn, and I also taught myself juggling! All of these, by the way, were within the past year.

When was the last time you thought to yourself, “I wish I knew about _____”?  What’s your excuse? You have access to the Internet. After all, you are reading this.

Sometimes life may seem hard, unfair, or chaotic, but you must remind yourself of how beautiful the world really is. Try to remember the little things that many people forget somewhere along the way.

About Vincent Nguyen

Vincent Nguyen is the author of personal development blog, Self Stairway, where their motto is “Self-Improvement through Self-Reflection.” Vincent often draws through personal life experiences to tie into his life lessons. Follow Self Stairway on Twitter and Facebook.

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  • Emily

    Thanks Vincent – a great reminder to be grateful for the present 🙂

  • You’re welcome, Emily!

  • Alexey Sunly

    Great entry, Vincent! Much more superior to your lizard brain, i feel 🙂

  • lisa

    Thank you for these reminders.

  • Lisa Gardner

    Only boring people get bored! 😀

  • IPW, Inc.

    Thanks so much for this post. Very true all the way around!

  • Jeffrey_Willius

    Very nice, Vincent! I couldn’t agree more. I write of awareness & wonder, and often stress that wonders can be found everywhere and all the time – from gazing deep into the night sky at things light years away, to marveling at the wonder of one’s own skin. The problem we have when we’re sad or depressed isn’t that there are no wonders in our lives; it’s that we’ve shut the door to them. What’s the key to opening it?

  • Heh, that’s a good thing! It’s been several months since lizard brain. You know what that means? Progress! 🙂

  • No problem, Lisa!

  • You’re welcome. 🙂

  • I really think the Stoics have the key. Check out “negative visualization.” Doors will open for you.

  • Yup!!

  • Ah #3 is so true! Was just reflecting on this yesterday! Like in the past when I’ve thought circumstances were the end of the world (like something at work going ‘wrong’) and then in hindsight it’s completely insignificant and you realise that the drama of something is all in your head and down to the self-created level of importance you’ve placed upon it. Nice article thanks Vincent.
    Bernadette 🙂

  • I think I used to have that feeling every week! Nowadays, rarely, if ever. 🙂

  • Lena


  • growthguided

    Another great post Vince.

    I love #2.

    It is so important to recognize that a smile from a stranger can really change a strangers day around.

  • I really like all six of the points you make, and I think the last one about our potential to keep learning is especially important. I believe that as long as you keep learning new things, you will always stay young in heart and mind.

  • Very nicely written Vincent. Thanks for realizing and spreading your light.

  • My pleasure, Joseph.

  • That’s the hard part, learning new things. It is oh so worth it though!

  • Thanks! Smiles can make a huge difference in a stranger’s day.

  • Agreed! That’s what I always say too! I guess great minds think alike:-) Life has too many opportunities to ever be boring.

  • Great article! I am going to share it with some people and on twitter. I agree with everything especially the ‘five years from now’ – I recently looked back in a journal from several months ago and was amazed at how much I had grown as a person, let alone five years from now.

  • Kelsey

    Thank you for such a wonderful article! I am going to bookmark it and reread your words whenever I need positive-thinking encouragement.

  • Awesome! I’m sure they’ll appreciate that you’re thinking of them, Michelle. 🙂

  • Glad I could be of help, Kelsey!

  • Anna Puchalski

    Neat article Vincent! Love these positive reminders, really encouraging to be our authentic selves since so many good things are truths.

  • Tisiphone

    Great list, Vincent! These are some things I already live by, but I can forget them during down times, so thanks for putting it into six neat points.

  • epepota

    Hi Vincent, thank you so much for this post. I found it very inspiring and I really like number 1 because I really am one of those people who won’t evenr understand how people can say they’re ever bored. I don’t think I can remember the last time I ever felt bored; I am on the contrary always longing for more time to do everything I’d like to, so to me the thought that somebody might ffeel bored or like they have nothing to do is just something I don’t understand!

    Thank you!

  • Of course 🙂

  • So sorry I missed this, Anna! Thanks for the kind comment. 🙂

  • Sorry I’m so late on my reply! Can’t figure out how to get new comments to notify me. Thanks for reading though!

  • Late reply, sorry!

    Glad to know you’re on the side of never being bored. 🙂

  • Kaeremon

    The best! 🙂 It made me realize taht life is just too short to be unhappy. 🙂