It was my junior year of high school and that Christmas, from a loved relative, I was given a simple little journal. I was not into writing diaries or stories and I wasn’t sure what else to do with it. Normally, with something like this, I would give away – to my mom, one of my sisters, a friend or leave it on the kitchen counter and hope someone else takes it just so it wouldn’t clutter up my room! However, I decided to keep this particular basic journal. I liked what the front cover said, dream a little dream. I kept it on my desk, but when I looked at it oddly enough, it made me think – BIG dreams. It was a constant reminder for me to reach for the stars! So, this small empty journal that had so much potential, sat on my desk for months until one day I had an idea for it. It just popped into my head. In the summer of my 11th grade year, I decided I was going to start a quotebook and write down quotes and sayings that inspired or awed me personally. I titled my my new found purposed journal, Words Worth Said. I wanted encouraging words that I personally loved; that meant a lot to me. Also, that I could look at everyday or whenever I needed a pick-me-up.
I would intently listen to people speak anywhere and everywhere – at school, my swim meets, at the mall, church, Water World, restaurants, Walgreens… you name it, anywhere! I’d also pay attention to everything I read and would listen intently to dialogue in movies and every word from songs played on the radio. I’d write down the words I heard or saw and labeled them with who or where I heard them from directly. I filled my journal up super fast just by listening and looking at things that I did in everyday life.
I never once sat down and just looked for quotes or inspirational words. I wanted to catch them unexpectedly. This fun, yet unexpectedly, fulfilling project that I took on allowed me to become very aware of my surroundings. It made me look and listen deeper than I ever had. I took this on over 13 years ago and I still look at it almost weekly and still add to it too. Though I don’t really look and listen for the words today, there are some things you hear that stop you in your tracks that apply to you, that you want to remember always.
Below are just a few of my favorite sayings from my journal that inspire me through a tough time or just make me think and slow down.
“We all experience doubts and fears as we approach new challenges. The fear diminishes with the confidence that comes from experience and faith. Sometimes you just have to go for it and see what happens. Jumping into the battle does not guarantee victory, but being afraid to try guarantees defeat” Brian Goodell, 1976 Gold Metalist. This is one of the first sayings I ever wrote in my journal and probably one that I think of most because it applies to so many aspects of life. Sometimes when I am hesitant to do something I remember this quote and just go for it. You will never ever know what could happen or could be if you don’t at least try!
“Others will not care how much we know until they know how much we care” Charles R Swindoll. I go back to this saying when I meet someone new and I am telling them all about me. People, I am sure, want to get to know you as a person. However, when we lend a listening ear and are genuinely interested in them, most of the time, they in turn want to know you more I have found and friendships are born.
“It’s the little thing’s that matter.” I have no idea where I heard this or who said it, but I think of this saying almost solely about my two girls. They are both very young and I have to remember that somethings I don’t even bat an eye to mean the absolute world to them. Paying attention to them more in this way I feel leads to better days because they feel like they can be understood.
I would encourage you to take on a similar project with that empty notebook you’ve had for awhile or that perfect one that’s waiting at the store for you. It created a bigger impact than I ever thought. It’s there to bring joy, hope and happiness and feed you strength when the going gets tough.
Thousands of times I have read it and I’m sure I’ll read it thousands more! These words that are so close to my heart never get old!
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