Mantras for a Meaningful Life

Life lessons to help me navigate life and adversity

Content Warning: Mention of suicide 

Hey friends,

This week’s post is arriving later than usual on a Sunday. It’s been a particularly challenging week, and it took me some time to gather my thoughts.

On my way back from Poland on Monday night, my train journey was unexpectedly prolonged by around four hours, extending well past 2 AM. We were delayed due to a tragic incident that took the life of a 20-year-old woman. Although the details are unclear, the remote location and the late hour suggest that it might have been her choice to end her own life. Nearly a week has passed, and I am still struggling to regain my composure fully.

If you are struggling today, need support with your mental health, or have experienced a traumatic event, consider contacting a helpline. It’s free, anonymous and confidential. The link below helps you find contact details for all countries (even Cyprus). 

Find A Helpline

After much consideration, I’ve decided to shift the content around. This week’s original post was about time management and ADHD, perspective, and the call to action. Next week’s post, coming on Tuesday, will explore the often taboo topics of Depression, Derealization, and Depersonalization, which means that this week’s article will be pushed back by two weeks. Instead, this week, I’d like to revisit some truths, life lessons, and mantras that I’ve come across over the years that help guide me in difficult situations. 

Trust In Kindness

Expecting goodness in others brings more good than harm. By trusting in the kindness and good intentions of others, we open ourselves to new connections and a fuller enjoyment of life. While we might occasionally be hurt, these moments are small compared to the lasting joy and freedom that come from living with a positive outlook.

The alternative often leads to non-stop stress and negative thoughts about how everyone is out to get us, to harm us, or to take from us. Often to win, someone else doesn’t have to loose. 

Even The Darkest Night Will End And The Sun Will Rise

Life’s challenges can sometimes feel overwhelming, and it may seem as though there’s no way forward. Nonetheless, it’s crucial to remember in these moments that things often appear more daunting in the stillness of night. No matter how bleak the circumstances and how hopeless the situation may look, soon, the sun will rise and bring new perspectives and opportunities. Hold through until the morning, and things will get better. 

Be nice, be forgiving, but don’t be a pushover (game theory for life)

Most of life is not zero-sum, and often for us to win, others don’t have to loose. Choose to be good, choose to help and walk that extra mile. Forgive when others make mistakes and bad choices, but know and set your boundaries. Game Theory has been debated for decades, and while there is no single winning strategy, this one yields the best results for everyone. 

Taken from the wonderful video by Veritasium on the 1980s game theory research on The Prisoner’s Dilemma by Professor Axelrod.

This too, shall pass

It’s important to remember that nothing in life lasts forever. This phrase applies not only to the challenges and hardships we face but also to the periods of success and joy. It can help us endure the harder times and make us appreciate the good moments even more. 

Just Ask. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Discomfort is a huge part of our lives, and getting comfortable with discomfort is one of the best skills you can learn. (Especially with ADHD and Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria –  RSD). However, if we don’t ask and don’t give things a chance, we’ll always be on the losing end. 

This is true in everything in life, from things such as promotions at work to interpersonal relationships or things we want to try.

Case in point, after six months of pushing it off and being scared to reach out, I’ve asked the owner of if there was any agreement we could come to for us to get the domain. I dreaded the answer and prepared for the worst. I’m incredibly happy that I did try because we did find a way, and is now part of our brand inventory. Contrary, I’ve gotten a “no“ on some others, accepted it and had to move on.

Let go or be dragged

The line between persistence and stupidity is thin, often distinguished only by the outcome. It’s great to try again, to follow up, to give things another try, but it is equally as important to know when you have to let go and move on. As with most things in life, it’s crucial to find a balance – to know when to keep fighting and when the time has come to let go. The economic phenomenon of the Sunk Cost Fallacy serves as a perfect example of when you have to let go and cut your losses instead of being further dragged down. 

Life is too short for regret – carpe diem

We never know what tomorrow holds and tomorrow is never guranteed. It’s so important to seize the day (as corny as it may sound) and to do the things you want to do, even if it is just a tiny step in the right direction. Tell your family you love them, reach out to your friends and enjoy every day you get. Go on that adventure, find that passion, and explore the world. 

One “No” is one “No”, but one “Yes” can be a hundred “Nos”. 

Learn to say no. Saying no is incredibly hard. I know that first-hand. Between people-pleasing and our Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) kicking in, it’s easy to fall into the habit of saying “Yes”. In life, everything has an opportunity cost, and for every “Yes” we hand out, we inadvertently give “Nos” to hundreds of other things. It’s important to learn when to say No, how to prioritize, and how to choose the things you want to spend your time and energy on. While life is too short for regret, it’s important to miss that FOMO into JOMO – the joy of missing out. 

At the end of the last year, I promised myself that I would finally take fewer flights and be more “stable” and at home. With 17 flights under my belt by the end of the month, it’s safe to say that things have not gone quite to plan. Removing the flights I had to take because of work, there are still a few trips back to Poland that I took voluntarily, and even though I dreaded the thought of getting onto the plane, I still (happily) did. These flights were to go back and spend some quality time with family, whether to visit my mom and grandma in Wieliczka or to fly out for the day of my cousin’s baby’s christening. When sitting squeezed in a WizzAir flight back, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect, think, and take a look at why I was doing this. Did I take these extra flights to please others or to do what was expected? Did I say yes (to myself) even if it wasn’t in my best interest? 

I think the answer is no. Of late, I hate flying and being in the airport, but the few hours of discomfort are 100% worth it for those extra memories and experiences. I’m proud to show up, and I am happy to share that time with the people closest to me. That said, if anyone has a good suggestion for connections between Milan and Washington, DC, with as few flights as possible this May, I am all ears!

I know this week’s article is a little different than usual, but I hope it still brings some value. 

Love from Kraków (in retrospect),


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