What is the One Sentence or Story that Someone has Told You that Changed Your Life (for the Better)?

July 11 in

Life is too short to worry about stupid things. Have fun. Fall in love. Regret nothing, and do not let people bring you down.

This question is not about “What’s your favorite quote?” . Please tell us how your life changed because of those sentences or stories.


17 Answers

“Be with the people you want to change into”

– I was complaining how I couldn’t get a job in the industry I wanted to someone I was interviewing. His advice completely grounded me, and got me to where I wanted to be within months. I picked out the events where they went to and signed up myself. I let everyone know what I wanted. I was then invited to write on one of their blogs. I got accepted for an internship not long after at another start-up in those circles. My CV exploded with experiences and I’m now working with an amazing team in a city I love. It was such a simple, obvious sentence but I had become blinded by recruitment websites!

“I wake up each morning and try to be the man my dog thinks I am.”

Many years ago while sitting in a support group and discussing humility, this scruffy old man said, “I just wake up each morning and try to be the man my dog thinks I am.”


The story of Robert Kiyosaki in the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money – That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!

I found Robert’s book sitting on a bedside table where I was house-sitting and couldn’t put it down. His story made me aware of a new way of thinking about the “rules” of life. That if you want true freedom you don’t want to follow the common advice of “go to school, study hard and get a good job.”

My first business was launched immediately after reading his book. It didn’t last long but paved the way for the next business (and more) that firmly planted me on the entrepreneurial track.

Thanks to his story and insights about the way money and wealth work I have a level of freedom few people experience and this will only grow over the coming years and my lifetime.

The only limits we have are those we set ourselves….

I can’t remember the exact words but it was something along these lines…

This statement really made a huge impact on the way I viewed ‘what was possible in life’. Like most people, I had a million excuses why i couldn’t do this or that and I REALLY believed them. I was putting so many limits on myself by the limiting way i was thinking and I was so blind to it. I started to challenge myself more and my fear slowly turned into excitement. I realized i had to stop inventing all the reasons why i couldn’t do things and instead, I started to focus on all the reasons why I could.




“Happiness is a process, not a goal.”

When I first discovered this, I almost fell asleep, that’s how tense I realized I was until that moment. It’s all about the process, the doing, not the goal.

“It’s not enough to know your flaws. You have to act on it as well!”

My teacher in high-school said that to me.
People are not perfect and everyone has some flaws. If you don’t even trying to work on them, then you just have one more.

“Finished is better than perfect”

During my PhD studies, I took a course with a coach related to the soft skills that are necessary to finish a doctorate within reasonable time. She opened my eyes: research (and by the same token: work) is not anymore about getting the best grade, studying hard, and putting a lot of effort in the layout of your homework – instead, it is about thinking deeply and creatively to move projects forward, reporting them cohesively – yet keeping the door open for feedback and improvement, and most of all – about timely decisions and building up momentum.

“Don’t tell me what you want to do, or where you want to go, but tell me the stories of what you have done once you’re back.”

A friend’s dad told me this when I was 18 and dreaming about going travelling, but not doing anything about it. He taught me to stop convincing myself that my dreams were unattainable and to just grab life by the proverbials and actually achieve them. I don’t think I’d be where I am today if he hadn’t have told me that.

“Sail Your Boat!”

With a great deal of passion, drive, and high expectations, I can find myself overly critical and not satisfied with my progress and results. Being a guy who is all about personal and professional development, when this happens I seek to learn, understand, and overcome whatever it is I’m challenged with.

Two years ago I was having a mentoring meeting with the CEO of the company I work for. I told him I wanted to hire an executive coach and I wanted the company to pay for it. He said “OK… why?”

I told him that I recognize that in some situations I’m not as confident as I want to be. I said I want someone to challenge me out of my comfort zone and I want confidence in all situations.

His reply as I remember it:

“Jason, here’s the deal. You’re a boat. You’re in the water and you are moving in the right direction. Your sail is up and the wind is strong. Your boat is good; your sail is good. You are so damn busy trying find little tears in your sail, that you aren’t sailing your boat. Stop looking for tears and stop thinking you need to add to your sail and SAIL YOUR BOAT!”

I’ve been fortunate enough to have some great learning experiences, but this was probably the best advice I’ve ever received because it spoke to something that has probably held me back my entire life.

Many times the first step in self-improvement is self acceptance.

“Language is the primary moral choice in life.”

The words we choose can build communities, reunite loved ones, and inspire others. They can be a catalyst for change. However, our words also have the power to destroy and divide: they can start a war, reduce a lifelong relationship to a collection of memories, or end a life.

If there is anything in life worthy of consideration, it should be the way that we use words.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

This quote encouraged me to keep reaching for the stars in all my endeavors, both business and personal, because the sky is the limit!

After I blew the whistle on Bank of America, I was put in a position where I couldn’t trust anyone. I started conversing with Wendy Day. About a decade ago, Wendy was in a dispute with Cash Money Records over money they owed her. She spoke with Louis Farrakhan, who told her that he figures the government takes extra care to protect him because he’s so outspoken against them. It’s not that they’ll be blamed if anything happens to him, it’s that they know that. This is why she went public about her financial dispute. I applied this same advice when I decided to leak confidential banking info to the media and public through Anonymous. I’ve used the tactic ever since…in fact, it’s how I got this gig…

“You can do anything you set your mind to.”

I was very fortunate that my parents believed and taught me this. I never set limitations on myself for what I could or could not do. This has allowed me to travel down many roads and the future is wide open.

“Do what makes you happy”

I once had one of my bosses tell me this. This sentence changed the way I approach life. I think sometimes we live to satisfy others and do what we have to do instead of doing what makes us happy. Sometimes you have to take care of yourself and make sure that you’re happy instead of trying to please everyone else.

“Failure is a growing experience.”

We live in a culture that asks everyone to be perfect the first time, and that failure is a sign of weakness (“Failure is not an option). But I have been taught that this is untrue! Failure is a sign of growth. We are built to make many mistakes, and when successes come, we are to value them and move on, because we learn the most when we fail.

“In general, if we carefully examine any given situation in a very unbiased and honest way, we will realize that to a large extent we are also responsible for the unfolding of events.” ―Dalai Lama


It is so easy to blame others and outside influences for our successes and failures. The more we take responsibility of our actions (good or bad), the sooner we can begin to transform our lives and learn to appreciate life for what it is. I read this quote at a time when I had a lot of personal turmoil. As soon as I realized that I too was responsible for what was happening to me, it made me realize I had to carefully look at my actions and how it was affecting not only me, but others around me as well.



Several years ago, I was struggling with my career. I was putting in long hours and working hard, but it seemed as though I just wasn’t getting anywhere. I consulted a relative whom I had always considered to be a mentor, and he told me one thing that has stayed with me ever since. He said, “Don’t ever confuse efforts with results.”

It took a little time for this to sink in and for me to understand what he was trying to tell me, but I soon realized that I was focused more on working hard rather than working smart. I realized that you can put a ton of hours in at any position you’re working, but if you’re not producing any tangible results, then you’re not going to get anywhere. Once I instituted some time management tips in my professional life and focused more on getting things done rather than the number of hours I was logging, I saw immediate results.

I’ve even found ways to put this stellar piece of advice into place in my personal life. I recently experienced some rather significant weight gain, and decided to start exercising. After a month of going to the gym four times per week, I hadn’t lost much weight.Therefore, I upped my regimen to exercising even more, and over the last four months I’ve lost more than 50 pounds. That one simple piece of advice I received so many years ago definitely changed my life.