My Five on Friday is a little different this week. Following the death of Maya Angelou I reflected on one of her famous quotes and went looking for others written by her. Here are 5 of those that I found to be very inspiring and why. I found these quotes here.
1. “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
This is of course probably one of Maya Angelou's most famous quotes, often quoted by Oprah Winfrey. This was the quote that I first thought of and which set me off to look for other words of wisdom by Angelou.
I try to bear this in mind when looking back at things I did in the past. I cannot change the past, but I can strive to do better and be better in the future. When I look back at some of my blog posts I wish that I had written them better, or said different things - or not said them! - but I cannot change those and although I could delete them that would be dishonest and would not show the truth of the past. I can and will do better in the future as I learn. Not by simply pressing the delete button.
2. “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”
This was a revelation for me when I read it. So many times I have ignored this. I am someone who believes what people tell me and as I always try to see the good in others and to be kind and caring and most of all honest with others, I assume that they are, and will be, the same.
Sadly however, I have been proved wrong in this. In future I will try and remember that the first time they show me that they are not what I would want them to be I will indeed believe that they are that way. I will also steer a wide berth around them if at all possible.
3. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
Another great lesson indeed. I have definite control freak tendencies. I need to learn to let things go a lot more and to relax. These are perhaps the most valuable of these words of Maya Angelou that I could learn today.
4. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”
Being someone whose natural instinct is to care for and love others I can indeed spend a lot of time with my focus in the wrong direction. I have very recently made someone a priority, at times to the exclusion of all else, including myself. However, I came to realise that they did not care that I was doing this, and that my actions were making no difference to that person. The only person affected was me, and not in a good way.
I am not an option, if you want me, you want me. If not, that is fine, but you will therefore only become an option to me to be fitted into what I want and need.
5. “Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.”
What inspiring words these are. So often it feels as though all we can do is survive, we are drowning in the events of everyday life and what is going on around us. I love the idea that thriving is elegant. I will strive to thrive with elegance!
I could of course have chosen many other quotes for many other reasons, but these were the first five that I came across that really spoke to me.
I hope that you are never an option to anyone, that you will thrive with elegance and never be reduced by anyone.