“A penny saved is a penny earned.” “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” “The early bird catches the worm.”
Do any of these sound familiar? I’m sure the majority of us have heard these and a million and one other adages and sayings (over and over again) throughout various stages of our childhood and adolescence. The funny thing about that is when you’re little, you can’t even begin to comprehend the full meaning and context of these sayings. For example, when I was younger and first heard one of my aunts say “that’s the pot calling the kettle black”, I just imagined cartoon pots and kettles having a conversation.
My oh my, how things change! Whenever you get a little older and have some experience under your belt, you find that these “little sayings” your grandparents or parents often quoted come back full circle. Most of these actually have implications reaching far beyond the playgrounds or situations when they were first presented to you. Here are 5 adages that ring truer by the day in my life.
1. “Can’t never could do anything”… or more eloquently put by Henry Ford “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
During my childhood, my mom used to remind me of this constantly. If I ever said “I can’t” she would always say, “Can’t never could do anything” with a smile stretching from ear to ear. To be honest, it really used to get on my nerves. However, now that I’m older, I realize she was right. Whatever we condition our minds to believe about our abilities and limitations is true. Either you can or you can’t. It’s your choice.
2. “A closed mouth doesn’t get fed.”
We’ve all heard this one. Literally speaking, a mouth that’s not open can’t eat, but this saying means much, much more than that. If you don’t ask for what you want or need, nine times out of ten you won’t get it. So speak up, speak out.
3. “Attitude is contagious.”
I’m sure I saw this on one of those inspirational classroom posters in middle school. Back then this perplexed me because I didn’t think my attitude affected anything but me. I have grown to realize that most often what you exude comes back to you. Attitudes are contagious and are one of the main factors in what cultivates the environment around you. Is yours worth catching?
4. “Actions speak louder than words.”
I don’t know about you, but when I was little I was very loud and animated. So when I first heard my actions were louder and more important than what I was saying, it just didn’t make sense. Now it speaks to me loud and clear. Words without actions are nothing. Your actions typically speak for themselves.
5. “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
I think I am actually just learning the true meaning of this one. I’ve always loved helping people and being there for people. Only with some recent experiences have I realized that helping can only go so far. You can help lead them to what you believe is a solution or to help them see other options, but it’s their own decision to choose it… or to not choose it. You are not responsible for other people. You can be there, inspire, and help, but ultimately people are responsible for themselves and their own decision-making.
Hopefully this took you back and helped you remember some of the golden nuggets of wisdom so freely passed down from parents, grandparents, or other adults in your lives. These are only a few of the many sayings that have an impact on my daily life. What are some of your favorite adages or pearls of wisdom? Share with us in the comments section below.