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marinelife's avatar

Have words had a major impact on your life?

Asked by marinelife (62418points) May 23rd, 2008

Has someone ever said something or have you read something that had a profound effect on you? This has happened to me several times. Maybe it wasn’t that was was said or written was so amazing, but you heard it or read it at exactly the right moment. Please share what it was and how it affected you.

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13 Answers

bearfair's avatar

I was shopping with my aunt, and I couldn’t find the thing I was looking for. I was just going to let it go, go home, and get it some other time, but she insisted on going to another store where we could find it. She said “you deserve to have what you want”, and it totally changed my way of thinking about what I deserve and how to work to get it. The context is kind of trivial, but I’ve applied the words to lots of other situations and benefited hugely.

marinelife's avatar

I had a friend whose mother would say when something bad happened, “You’d be surprised what you can stand.” My friend had heard that all her life growing up. The one day, after she had done a lot of personal growth work, she heard the phrase again and thought how ridiculous it was to have to just stand something rather than work to change it. After that, she used it as a kind of reverse mantra and laughed when she said it.

@bearfair That is a wonderful anecdote. Thanks. I think I might adopt that phrase myself!

Adina1968's avatar

In referring to my small but growing business a colleage told me “They are not the competition, YOU are the competition.”

kevbo's avatar

There are quite a few phrases that float around my periphery and every once and a while sink in (or bubble up as the case may be).

Yoga man Baron Baptiste says, “In order to heal, you have to feel,” meaning you have to acknowledge your emotions before you can get over personal pain/trauma.

“Anger is fuel” comes from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.

Pretty much everything Chuck Palaniuk has written sends me into a trance of heightened perception. I didn’t realize until recently that he’s part of a genre/tradition called transgressional literature, where the goal is to experience life on the edge in order to feel more fully human.

Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn’s Gulag Archipelago books were absolutely mindblowing for me. The idea that such an existence and system of government could be perpetrated and perpetuated on a nation of people for so long and with such textbook absurdity I still can barely fathom.

My therapist’s suggestion that I ask myself, “What’s one thing you can do right now to feel better?” Tremedously helpful.

How to Succeed With Women by Louis and Copeland has irreversibly improved my dating life.

The Rich Dad, Poor Dad series of books as well as The 4-Hour Workweek have enlightened me to the fact that money is a game limited only by your perspective and understanding of the rules. “The Secret” video also helped me understand this, albeit differently. Prior to that, Your Money or Your Life taught me how to save money, even on a very meager income.

In college, I took a class on “Third Cinema,” which is roughly third world cinema or minority cinema in a first world context. Some films espoused an “anti-Hollywood” model with no “star” in the picture but instead a collective of actors, usually representing a peasant class. Some were political films that were banned in their respective countries. A Dutch film used six languages. “Dumb and Dumber” came out while I was taking this class, and the vapidness and seeming waste of resources compared to the earnestness of third cinema sent me into orbit. I’ve never again looked at Hollywood blockbusters in the same light.

Oh. Peace Pilgrim and the book by the same name. An elder woman who shed her identity and possessions and walked the United States for 28 years during the Korean War and Vietnam talking about peace. She only carried a comb and a toothbrush and only accepted food and shelter if it was offered or if she found it. I almost walked home to Albuquerque from North Carolina as a result of reading the book.

Michael Pollan’s recent works, of course.

A funny one. I finished reading Patriot Games which includes a van full of bad guys who pull alongside Jack Ryan, slide open the door, and open fire. At a three way intersection, I was in line to make a left hand turn and noticed a van for sale parked on the “dead end” side of the intersection. My mind wandered to the book, my left turn went way wide, and I crashed into the curb.

Finally, a good friend of mine counseling me on what to do when I was sort of at a crossroads and only barely self sufficient. She said, “you’ll know what to do and make the right decision.” Her words hit me in the gut in the right way, and gave me the confidence to take the next steps.

This was a good exercise, Marina. Great Question!

Jbor's avatar

“Do not go gently into that good night,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light” – Dylan Thomas

It showed me, that I was responsible for my life. That leaning back was not going to bring me anywhere. I often think of that poem.

nikipedia's avatar

Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

—Walt Whitman

bearfair's avatar

@marina- thanks! I also really like what you said about working to change something instead of just standing it. It’s so important to step up and take some action.

Allie's avatar

Recently I was feeling pretty sorry for myself and one of my best friends in the entire world quoted Grey’s Anatomy (we’re such girls), but it made a lot of sense at the time. She said, “Don’t lick your wounds. Celebrate. The scars you bear are the sign of a competitor. You’re in a lion’s fight. Just because you didn’t win doesn’t mean you don’t know how to roar.” Then she told me to keep my head up because this is going to pass and that in the end I’m only going to be stronger for having gone through it.

buster's avatar

i was having problems with a crazy girlfriend. i should have left her way before i did. she cheated on me with my friends and did a bunch of crazy stuff. i couldnt bear to leave her. one day i was whining to my grandpa who i work for. he said “Boy, get away from her. Don’t you know there all equipped the same?” I was like your so right Poppa Tom and i left her ass. Im glad i did too she had me feeling like dog@@#.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

“follow the golden rules of life and you will never have to question yourself” by my grandfather.

Besafe's avatar

Three words come to mind:

acebamboo77's avatar

It’s happened alot to me as well. I find alot of them in novels, sometimes movies. One novella I read actually inspired a tattoo I have, i completely connected with the passage.

The best peice of advice I ever received was “Destiny doesn’t make mistakes”

YARNLADY's avatar

I have been fascinated with the written word since I was very young. I learned to read around the age of three, and I built my vocabulary up with the Reader’s Digest, and by reading every book I could get my hands on. The spoken word is not quite as important to me. I can’t imagine life with any words, can you?

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