The Quote I Live By and Why You Should Too
I’m sure you’re familiar with the cheesy, inspirational posters teachers keep hanging on their walls. When I was in high school, they normally, they meant nothing to me and I gave them very little thought. But I was around 15 years old when I saw this one particular poster with a quote on it. It was an image of a road reaching out toward the horizon and a man walking down the road. (Memory may be a bit fuzzy here.) On it were the words, “No matter how far you’ve gone down the wrong road, you can always turn back.”
For some reason, this quote resonated with me. It resonated so much that I told my mom about the quote, which opening up to her about what I liked and my feelings at that age was something I didn’t often do.
The reason I love this quote so much, is that it can be applied to anything in life:
- When you’re in a long term relationship with someone who’s not right for you.
- Deciding whether or not to switch majors in college even though you’re close to graduating.
- Hanging out with the wrong kind of friends.
- Behaviors you have that you don’t think you can change.
- And so many more!
We have a tendency to feel like we have to see things through, even if we don’t want to. In the first example, many men and women will stay with someone who doesn’t make them happy simply because they’ve invested so much time with them. They think that it’s not worth it to leave, that if they try hard enough, they can be happy.
In the second example, sometimes we invest so much time in a degree only to find out that it’s not what we expected or what we want anymore. But we don’t want to change majors due to how much time would be lost.
This is called sunk cost fallacy. Originally dealing with economics, this fallacy now applies to any situation in which you’ve invested time, money, effort, and/or emotions into that is clearly wrong for you, making it hard to abandon. Many men/women stick with abusive relationships because they rationalize that all that effort and time spent with their abuser is now wasted if they leave.This is where that quote comes in. Remind yourself that no matter how far you’ve gone with this person/job/whatever that it’s okay to stop and turn around.
It works for habits too.
“I’m overweight and will always be overweight so I’ll go ahead and help myself to unhealthy food.” Or: “I’m on a diet, but I already messed up during my lunch by eating several cookies, so screw it, today’s a cheat day.”
NO MATTER HOW FAR YOU GO DOWN THE WRONG ROAD YOU CAN ALWAYS TURN BACK!
Just because you messed up once or twice or your whole life does not mean it has to dictate what you do now. This works for small habits like nail biting and overeating to more serious habits like substance abuse.
Don’t give in to these notions in order to justify actions, relationships, or any other investments. Remember, that it’s not too late to start over. Sure you’re a bit older, but that also means you’re a bit wiser. And turning around from that wrong road may make a world of difference in your happiness.
What are your favorite quotes? Let me know in the comments!
I’ll see you guys next Wednesday!