“Life is what you make it, always has been, always will be” – Grandma Moses
If you ask anyone on the street who Anna Mary Robertson Moses is chances are you will receive many blank stares. Many instead know her by her nickname Grandma Moses. Grandma Moses was an American folk artist who took up painting much later in life and really hit her stride in her late seventies which goes to prove you’re never too old to learn something new. She is famous for her artwork, including one that sold for over a million dollars, but also the quote mentioned above, “Life is what you make it, always has been, always will be.
This quote is a constant reminder that each and every person controls their life at all times. We need to heed this advice not only for ourselves but also to make certain we pass it on to our children.
When a situation arises we have two choices. Do we let that situation take control of us or do we take control of that situation? How will this particular moment in time define us?
Are you the victim?
Many people play the role of a victim because it’s just easier for them. Maybe they’ve always been that way or that’s how their parents were. It’s how they grew up or what they were used to seeing around the house. Sometimes it might just be easier than actually dealing with the reality of what is happening. Woe is me, blah, blah, blah…
Many people enjoy this victim role and relish it. All too often they use it as a crutch. I hear these types of comments all the time.
- “Will I ever find happiness or someone to spend my life with?” – That’s true if you stay home and don’t put yourself out there. Life is what you make it.
- “I can’t afford to have the things I want in life because I don’t make enough money”. – Get a job that pays more or take a second job. Life is what you make it.
- “I don’t have any friends that I’m really close to”. – In order to be close to your friends, you need to share with them and invest them in your life. Life is what you make it!
The list goes on and on, excuse after excuse but in the end, it’s your decision to make.
I’ve been there too
I’ve been there before in life mostly in work situations. I was in a dead-end job that I was commuting two hours a day to (in each direction – 4 hours in total) and I was miserable. You might laugh but I got my hands on a Tony Robbins course called Personal Power (as recommended to me by someone) and I listened to those CDs every day and followed the step by step directions. I listed out why I was unhappy, what I wanted to change, what my goals were, and when I wanted them by. I came to the realization that I needed to make some changes and my current job and career path was one of them.
Immediately after completing Tony’s course, I connected with a recruiter who found a perfect job for me closer to home and it instantly changed my outlook. I was making more money, my commute was 20 minutes each way vs. two hours and I was happier. I was no longer the victim and I had a plan of action.
Life is hard
Life is hard for most everyone at times. It can be full of stress and anxiety, it can be exhausting and it can be full of anguish. It can also be filled with wonderful memories, terrific people, love, and endless possibilities. It’s all about what you make it.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If what you are doing isn’t working guess what? It’s time to change. Take a long deep look at yourself and make the change you need to be happy! No one can do it but you.
What’s the point?
My point is simple, Be terrified, take chances, step out of your comfort zone, explore, learn, and grow. Blame no one but yourself for where you are in life. It’s never too late to make the changes you need to. If you are unhappy find the root of your unhappiness and change it. If you don’t enjoy your work anymore find new work. Engage with people and share yourself with them. You may be surprised at what you get in return.
A day is 24 hours long, or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds. Don’t waste any additional time dreaming about what you want your life to be. Go out and do it!
The secret of life to me is that it’s not really a secret. It’s right in front of you. It’s up to you to make life what you want it to be.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau
“We have two lives and the second begins when we realize we only have one.” – Confucius
Comment below and share this with someone who could use the message.
Life is definitely what you make of it. After my dad passed away, I have made a point to just live. I’ve gone on more adventures, I’ve set more goals, and I love deeper. Thank you for this great post.
Enjoy it while you can!
YES!!! Life is what you make it. At times like this things are deffo tough but you have to find joy in the smaller things and try to be grateful for sure xx
I share your sentiments. Life ain’t easy, and it doesn’t really have a rulebook so do what you can to life the life you want! Create your own narrative!
Love this! The only thing we have control over is our own choices. And we can choose to sit back and make excuses or we can choose to make the most of what we’ve got. And once we choose to make the most of it, the possibilities just open up and life becomes a whole lot more exciting and enjoyable
Thanks for the comment Emily!
Thank you for this! I heard that quote for the first time just over 5 years ago, and it honestly started me on a big shift in my life… Since that time, I have moved, changed careers, changed my appearance (embracing my inner self vs what I thought society expected me to be) and started to prioritize the activities that we love the most in life. The result? I am SOO much happier with my life today and I know that I’m just getting started! I used to spend FAR too much time and energy focusing on the SHOULDs… Where I should be, how I should look, what I should be doing, etc. The truth is, no one knows what I need in my life to be happy but me!
This is a really vital post. I also hear these ‘victim mentality’ sentences enough – coming from a mentality of scarcity, not abundance. The answers are out there if you just go looking for them.
To counter those three victim statements, I would add:
– Do you really need a partner to be happy? Learn to be happy on your own and you’re more likely to attract others.
– Do you really need to buy all that stuff? Sometimes, more things or more spending don’t actually make us happier, we only think they will.
– Are you investing in your friends long term? A strong friendship is not built in a day or even a month.
Same here though, I have been in this victim mentality before as well. I worked hard and listened to some great resources (Tim Ferriss podcast, for example) to get out of it.
Great points Kat!
You are so right! If you keep doing the same old things over and over, you won’t ever change. If you want something different, it’s up to you to make those changes that lead to your goal. No one else can do it. Yes, it’s scary, and it might not work. You’ll never know though if you don’t try.
It almost always up to you!
I am going confidently in the pursuit of my dreams. A world of possibilities opened up for me when I changed my mindset and adopted one that was more grateful, eager to learn, more mindful, and one that unapologetically took control!
I can’t control what happens in life. What I can control is my response to it though. Which I often try to make the best out of it, especially when it is unknown. Life is full of risks, and we can either take them or live in a bubble of fear. It’s a choice we make every single day. One of my favorite quotes is “life is hard for two reasons: you’re stepping out of your comfort zone, or you’re staying in it.” Which I find completely true. This post is an amazing reminder!