Each one of us can use a little guidance from time to time. Direction and assistance from wise people is an indispensable ingredient to growing and developing throughout life. As much as we are prone to gravitate towards individuality and independence, no individual is an island.

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

The best advice can often be stated in just a few words. For me, it is those simple insights that catch my attention. Because like you, at every turn, I am daily saturated with a barrage of information and soundbites. Consequently, I long to hear relevant and relatable wisdom that can cut through the noise around me.

I want to live life well. I don’t just desire to be smart. More than anything, I aspire to be wise. So I am looking for seasoned mentors who are willing to share with me bite-sized nuggets of perspective that will rouse me from my dizzying state of incessant activity. I welcome mini wake up calls.

In the midst of my daily grind, the rat race, and the temptation to commit myself to the tyranny of the urgent, I need to stop what I am doing and consider the effectiveness of my work, the quality of my relationships, and the health of my soul. If only for a few moments each day, I need to hit pause… and reflect.

For me, I find value in being still, taking a deep breath, and reviewing a list of 100 three-word phrases that I created for myself to consider when life feels a bit crazy and out of control. Here they are for your consideration:

  • Just be you
  • Delay immediate gratification
  • Establish a routine
  • Tell the truth
  • Give a hug
  • Ask tough questions
  • Express your emotions
  • Look beyond yourself
  • Invest in people
  • Cultivate close friendships
  • Schedule your priorities
  • Make eye contact
  • Don’t give up
  • Make your bed
  • Call a friend
  • See a counselor
  • Write down goals
  • Establish a budget
  • Be on time
  • Compliment your critic
  • Laugh hard often
  • Sing out loud
  • Don’t hold grudges
  • Quit name calling
  • Share that secret
  • Show your appreciation
  • Resist the temptation
  • Drink more water
  • Follow the directions
  • Beat the deadline
  • Proofread your emails
  • Iron your clothes
  • Talk to God
  • Practice saying no
  • Kiss gossip goodbye
  • Smile at others
  • Ask for guidance
  • Offer an apology
  • Find a mentor
  • Give something away
  • Fulfill that promise
  • Cease complaining today
  • Wake up earlier
  • Create a schedule
  • Write a letter
  • Join spiritual community
  • Consume less calories
  • Sweat every day
  • Don’t blame others
  • Stop making excuses
  • Eat more veggies
  • Clean your room
  • Put others first
  • Do not procrastinate
  • Count to 100
  • Pay off debt
  • Limit social media
  • Resolve conflict quickly
  • Prioritize your family
  • Celebrate others’ successes
  • Consider the source
  • Stop justifying addictions
  • Do it now
  • Develop mission statement
  • Open your heart
  • Give money away
  • Stay the course
  • Cultivate healthy patterns
  • Handle anger constructively
  • Eat less dessert
  • Spend time alone
  • Seek out experts
  • Consider different perspectives
  • Critique peer advice
  • Think before speaking
  • Sit in silence
  • Admit your mistakes
  • Update your wardrobe
  • Floss your teeth
  • Stop viewing pornography
  • Never post criticism
  • Focus on becoming
  • Develop your talents
  • Maximize every moment
  • Embrace your limits
  • Establish exercise routine
  • Start a journal
  • Initiate with strangers
  • Take a risk
  • Avoid divisive people
  • Talk to yourself
  • Learn something new
  • Express your spirituality
  • Tend to details
  • Be problem solver
  • Daily review values
  • Be fully present
  • Develop character first
  • Eliminate soul-numbing entertainment
  • Explore new places

I trust that perusing this list was a worthwhile investment of just three to four minutes within your 24-hour day? As you allowed these three-word phrases to travel from your eyes to your mind to your heart, it is likely that the next urgent task or pressing matter or looming deadline, for even a few moments, did not feel so overwhelming.

Why is this? Because these simple insights provide a context for what is most important in life and a buffer from the long laundry list of responsibilities that can drain your day of meaning and purpose. Might I encourage you to choose a few phrases from this list to ponder and practice for the next few days? Why not give it a try? And if you take me up on this challenge, don’t be surprised if what began as one small choice becomes a new pattern which then morphs into a new way of being – that quite possibly, could ultimately change your professional and personal life forever.