26 Quotes For My 19 Year Old Self

1) When ending a day, you shoulder never say “I could have”, “I should have” or “I would have”. At the end of the day, you should say “I did”. – Unknown

This was a quote I came across during my time backpacking in Thailand. My friends and I decided to do our open water certification for scuba diving, and at the end of the course we were shown a video from our time doing the course. Dispersed throughout the video were inspirational quotes. I don’t know who originally said this quote, but it’s stuck with me ever since. I will always remember day one of the course, and our instructor asked who was scared. My friend and I were the only ones who put up our hands. For her, it was due to an unpleasant experience from a previous dive. For me, it was because it was something brand new that I had never done before. There are so many times in my life I have said “I could have”, “I should have” or “I would have”. Those moments gave me zero satisfaction, and only disappointment and regret. I successfully completed by scuba diving certification, and it was an unforgettable experience. I left being able to say “I did!” and it was wonderful.

2) In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take. – Unknown

3) Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

4) It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default. – J.K. Rowling

There is another quote I’ve heard that says, “Never regret anything because at one point it was exactly what you wanted”. I think this can often be true, but at the same time, if that regret stems from not doing anything at all, then it was never “exactly what you wanted”, it was doing exactly what you didn’t want. When I was around 20, I took a year off to ride. What I really wanted to do was move abroad and ride, but I decided to play it safe and stay home to ride instead. I will never regret taking the year off because I was doing what I wanted – riding, however, part of me will always regret not taking the chance to go abroad and ride.

5) The “what ifs” and “should haves” will eat your brain. – John O’Callaghan

6) Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening, it just stops you from enjoying the good. – Unknown

I used to go over the pros and cons, the “what ifs” and “should haves” constantly. This was often the reason why I never took the chances I wanted to take. One, partially because I would decide that there were too many “what ifs”, and two, because thinking about it would actually consume me to the point that I would take so long to make a decision that the opportunity would have already passed me by. I would feign indifference to mask my regret and say “Oh well, next time”, but next time doesn’t always come around.

7) All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it. – We Bought A Zoo

8) All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney

9) A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. – Lao Tzu

10) Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. – Neale Donald Walsch

11) If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done. – Unknown

12) Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards. – Tina Fey

Throughout it all, I’ve learned to take that leap of faith, and like Tina Fey said, “figure it out afterwards”. It honestly just takes that one moment to say “yes!” or 20 seconds of insane courage, but it’s all worth it. It can be scary, but…

13) There is no passion settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. – Nelson Mandela

14) Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places. – Unknown

15) You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. But you can decide how you’re going to live now. – Joan Baez

16) The future depends on what we do in the present. – Mahatma Gandhi

17) It is so hard to leave – until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world. – John Green

18) Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that – that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself. – Amy Poehler

By taking chances, I am learning. I am making mistakes, I’m learning from them. I may take a wrong turn, but I could find something even better. I am figuring out things about myself that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I am exploring the world. I am making decisions, and no matter the consequence, I have no regrets… because guess what – I am taking that chance! I would rather live and learn instead of “failing by default” as J.K. Rowling said.

19) Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true. – Leon J Suenes

20) Do one thing every day that scares you. – Eleanor Roosevelt

21) If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try. – Seth Godin

22) Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it. – Bill Cosby

23) Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. – Babe Ruth

My dream was to travel. I was given the opportunity to travel the world, but I had to move halfway around the world. Away from the city and people I loved, and that was a scary thing. But, more than anything, I wanted to travel, so I packed my suitcases, and moved, and I am living my dream right now.

24) Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. – Helen Keller

25) The adventures that seem the scariest, most difficult and dangerous are usually the ones that you will look back on, smile about and remember forever. –Craig Guillot

26) The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams. – Oprah Winfrey

To limit this at 26 quotes was hard. I originally planned to do a list of ten, but I am a quote hoarder, and there were far too many that I loved and wanted to share. Besides, my 19 year old self could have used all the inspirational and motivational quotes as possible! I love reading these quotes as reminders to live my life to the fullest. To take risks and be bold. To let loose and stop worrying. Different quotes bring back different memories of my life and travels, and those moments as well may inspire me, or simply remind me of what I have learned since then.

Have a quote or story that my 19 year old self could have used? Please share!


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