14 Lines I Recite Every Morning

Something I don’t really want you to know about me is that I read a lot of self-help and business books. I like how the authors are so positive and encouraging. I’m used to hanging out with artists and songwriters. We’re like what I imagine a teachers’ lounge full of tenured English teachers is like. A little jaded and smoky. We used to want to change the world, and I suppose we still do, it’s just a bit lower on the to-do list.

So I like reading self-help and business books because they make me feel good. And they teach me a lot of stuff. Plus, have you ever stopped to think about how, after high school, nobody’s in charge of developing you anymore? It’s all on you.

I digress.

A few years ago I read a book called “The Carpenter” by Jon Gordon. There’s this sort of prayer one of the main characters says. It’s fourteen lines. He tells this other character who’s been struggling to write the lines down and put it in his pocket. To say it daily, and remember it in hard times.

Call me an overachiever, but I did it too. Printed it out and folded it into my pocket. I read it every morning until I realized I’d memorized it. I’ve been reciting these fourteen lines every morning for the past few years because it helps me steer my ship a little more steady. It helps with perspective.

I’ll put it below for you. Feel free to print it and put in your pocket. Maybe it’ll help you, too.


“The Carpenter’s Prayer”

I vow to stay positive in the face of negativity.

When I am surrounded by pessimism, I will choose optimism.

When I feel fear, I will choose faith.

When I want to hate, I will choose love.

When I want to be bitter, I will choose to get better.

When I experience a challenge, I will look for an opportunity to learn and grow.

When faced with adversity, I will find strength.

When I experience a setback, I will be resilient.

When I meet failure, I will fail forward, toward future success.

With vision, hope, and faith, I will never give up and will always move forward toward my destiny.

I believe my best days are ahead of me, not behind me.

I believe I’m here for a reason and my purpose is greater than my challenges.

I believe that being positive not only makes me better, it makes everyone around me better.

So today and every day I will be positive and strive to make a positive impact on the world.