What makes a movie memorable? To me it’s the quote that sticks out and defines the plot. One of my favorite movies of all-time is Forrest Gump (I love it so much I went as him for Halloween) and if you don’t know the quote, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get,” I suggest you stop reading now, go watch the movie, and come back after you truly appreciate the innocence and greatness of Forrest.
Done watching? Great! Now my point is you hear that quote and it generates different scenes in your mind and sums up the plot of the movie. This is what I want to explore with you today, but instead of a quote that sums up your life I want to hear what your motto is. Recently I had the privilege to listen in on a talk given by social media guru Chris Brogan, if you haven’t heard of you him you should check out some of his stuff, he’ll make you laugh and inspire you.
Chris said everyone should have a three word motto, not a three word sentence with words like “the” or “and”, but three separate words with passionate meaning to you. I’m going to share with you what my three word motto is and, as you begin your college career or continue it, why you should have one too. My motto: Laugh; Love; Relax.
The first word in my motto is laugh because it’s something I do more often than anything else. I can explain why this is so important to me from a late night conversation between my roommate Lorenzo and I. We both had a hard couple of weeks with relationships and exams and we just sat down and started talking which led to fits of laughter. After we wiped the tears from our eyes he said, “I love laughing, for that brief period of time you forget about all the crap going on in your life.” I was blown away.
No matter what is going on in your life, if you’re laughing you will forget about all the negative things going on in your life and rejoice in being happy, even if it’s for a second. That is why I love laughing so much and never forget to do it. I try to find humor in all situations because, number one, it makes me feel better and keeps me sane and, number two, takes away a little bit of the seriousness of the situation.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m a hopeless romantic. I’m always looking for that perfect moment with a girl or for the perfect meeting story (turns out I’m not really good at those moments, but more on that at a later time), but that’s not what I mean here. What I mean is to never forget to express your love to the people who have been there for you in your worst times.
To me this includes my family who has been there for me since the very beginning and I love them unconditionally. Then there are my high school friends who, although we are all scattered right now, I never forget to send them an occasional text saying I love them because they helped me through my awkward high school and middle school days (I’m not ready to share those pictures with you yet). Lastly, I love my college friends who have picked me up when I have been knocked flat on my ass and helped me laugh through some hard situations, but they have also helped me relax, my third word.
Because I love these people I keep them at the top of my mind at all times and they help shape many of my decisions. If they need something I will drop what I am doing and help them, even if that means putting off my work until a later time because I know one day I will need them too.
In high school I was a constant ball of stress trying to maintain my 4.0 GPA and stay on top of my extracurriculars. It wasn’t until my junior year of high school when I was freaking out about a grade and my English teacher told me, “You keep this up you’re going to have a heart attack at an early age.” Now, to the regular person this wouldn’t mean anything, but it put in perspective how high strung I was at the time. From that point on I have always remembered to take proper time and relax to do the things I love: athletics, reading, or hanging with friends.
Now I didn’t know what to expect coming to college in regards to stress, but I always remembered, if things got too stressful, sometimes the best thing to do is put it aside and do something to take your mind off it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to study and a little bit of stress is healthy, but you have to remember school isn’t the only thing going on in your life so take time to zone out every now and then.
My favorite nights haven’t been when I stay up all night studying because some test is going to make or break my grade. They have been when I come home after a long day and my best friends are in the living room rolling around laughing and I get to join them. These are the moments my motto firmly takes shape when I see the people I love in the same room laughing and helping me relax.
Why does it matter?
I know what you’re asking yourself, “Why do I care what his motto is and why should I have one?” You’re right, you don’t have to listen to me or care what I have to say but my point is your motto is your compass to guide every decision for how you want to live your life. It sets the destination you want your life to go and once you figure out what it is then every decision you make from that point on should be with them in mind.
So we come back to Forrest’s quote, “Life is like a box of chocolates,” because it’s true, you never do know what you’re going to get. This is why you can and should change your motto to what is most important at that point in your life. Right now it may be friends and school, but later it could be your job or your own family because they will be what you base all your decisions on.
Put in perspective what matters most in your life and take the time to make a three word motto to help guide you through college, it may just come in handy and keep you sane at times. Let me know what yours is and comment below.