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Blog > February Writing Prompt: Your mantra

The Little Mail Carriers write their postcards!

The writing prompts invite postcrossers to write about a different topic on their postcards’ messages every month. These are just suggestions though — if you already know what you want to write about, or the recipient gives you some pointers, that’s great too!

We have a forum topic where members can make suggestions for things they’d like to see in our writing prompts. Among the great suggestions people are making, Sabrina (aka Albion) has a question about mantras.

In February, write about your mantra (if you have one) and what it means.

I don’t really have a mantra myself, at least not one that’s motivational or uplifting. I do, however, have a choice saying from my grandmother that I use when I’m getting overly emotionally involved in something that doesn’t really need my input, or where my opinion isn’t going to change anything… Does that count?

It’s really simple, in any case: “You can’t educate pork.” It means, basically, “there are some people you just can’t reason with; no matter how much you explain, they won’t learn/won’t see your point of view.” When I look it up online, there are a few results, but most people I know only know this saying from me! When I’m getting caught up in some silly debate online, I’ll take a deep breath and remind myself that “you can’t educate pork”… and step away. (Mostly!)

So in a sense I suppose I do have a mantra, albeit one that only applies when I’m getting myself overly involved in trying to change someone’s mind about something! What do you think? Do you have a mantra? What does it do for you? Share your answers in the comments, or perhaps use it to inspire your postcard messages this month!

88 comments so far

Poste, United States of America
“If I wake up breathing, then it’s another good day.”
Schuhmannic, Germany
Thanks for this great target" MANTRA"
Nearly since 3 years i am sick of depression, starting on my stressful work and sometimes my day is out of control.
So i get a Mantra that might help me to accept my situation.

"I don't get stressed out by things I can't control or change."
Rosario_Sannino, Italy
ayumi9, Japan
when I'm agitated and very angry with someone I do Ho'oponopono
ciccicocco, Italy
a VERY GOOD IDEA! IO I look my glass full, everyday . It is possible a Mantra like that?
I am sorry for my English!
Mantra ...tantra...Magic....

I am very motivated when i hear the cry...shout ... "Post" from the post man..

Which means I have mail....

I rush out and check my mail box.....

Even a single card is brings a 😊

And I Daily eagerly wait for this pleasant call...
NellyMuc, Germany
My father went to jail for his newspaper articles, I haven't made it that far yet. Mantra from poet Joseph von Eichendorff
Mosshumla, Sweden
I'm not a very optimistic kind of person, so my mantra is "Oroa dig inte. Det ordnar sig aldrig."
"Don't worry. It won't work."
GayeDoreen, United States of America
Mine is “Don’t borrow trouble” because I am very good at overthinking and expecting the worst. I got that from my mom. 😬 My next one would be “you can’t help everyone”. I want to but it’s impossible.
Kitaloko, Brazil
" É sobre isso, e tá tudo bem" aka It is what it is, and it's alright. This saying is quite trendy now in Brazil.
ZYC521, China
Postcards make life better. I really like the feeling of having a pen pal. Come and write to me privately.
teicher, Germany
I say to myself: "Do it with love, or let it be."
wildernesscat, Israel
If you don't care where you are, you're not lost :-)
lyndac, Canada
I have 2 - "Anything is possible" and at age 77 "Everyday above ground is a good day"
isaluna28, Germany
Stay true to yourself, not matter what.
YuliyaCello, Belarus
The thing you can perceive easy has no control over you any more (Confucius)
If enthusiastically doing things you love, you can skip even the apocalypse.
Verabrady, United States of America
My voicemail message is “BE KIND, EVERYONE HAS A BATTLE.” I guess that could be considered my mantra.
booboo_babies, United States of America
Whenever I was worried about messing something up, my father used to say "The only perfect man was nailed to the cross." Our family wasn't really religious, but this phrase has always meant a lot to me. It often calmed me down when I was up tight.
freezer55, United States of America
I do enjoy doing Postcrossing. It brought me a lot of happiness.
lindeclark, United States of America
My mantra is...... you cant change what you cant control. People are going to be what they are and you cant change someones motive or character. You can decide whether their actions benefit you and are healthy and if not, you make the change.
Chinxize, Germany
I got mine from the bestselling author in Germany, Karin Kuschik: "I still decide who annoys me on my own."
It's about the inner attitude, of having control over what and who's bothering you. You're not the victim of your surroundings and environment. You're in control of what irks you.
Maria_Kozyakova, Russia
When I struggle with procrastination, I usually say to myself:
"Strength of character. Decide what you want and find a way to get it."
Rosemary_, Netherlands
I find comfort when I feel powerless in the saying from M.L King jr: ‘even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, i’d still plant my appletree..’ 🍎♥️
wifetoalineman, United States of America
Life is too short to be grumpy. I am a happy person and I feel bad for people who are so negative with everything
Veribarbi, Germany
This is a quote from Colonia ( western Germany), which I really like:
It’s as it is, and it comes as it comes and it has still gone well. This quote can bring calmness.
( in German, or better, in „Kölsch“ : Et is wie et is, und et kütt wie et kütt und et hätt noch immer jot jejange).
Gertarud, Germany
I like the Polish saying "nie mój cyrk, nie moje matpy" (not my circus, not my monkeys), meaning it is not your problem. Apparently, in Poland it is used as a giving-up-phrase during a discussion when you can't convince someone. For me, it helps to be clear about what problems you can solve or do something about and where you can save (emotional) energy and effort.
BestemorVonnie, United States of America
“You can’t change others. You can control yourself and your own response.”
sisinje, Switzerland
We often struggle with all the possibilities we have. In such a situation my mantra is: a decision made is a good decision.

This year, I am trying to get a postcard from every state in the US. Please get in touch if you are interested in a direct swap.
heidiblooms, United States of America
"Everything will become beautiful in its time" from the book of Ephesians in the Bible!
orange_memo, United States of America
"I was born to be real, not to be perfect" and the other one which is my tattoo "Carpe diem" means "seize thet day".
PaiviM, Finland
My mantra is simple: "Shit happens". I can do mistakes and say stupid things in a wrong moments but most of those things are not so serious even if for me their meaning sometimes grows out of the real portions and I keep blaming myself for one more stupidity - and more is to come, I am sure. I just try to breathe that feeling out of me and continue my life with good intentions :)
SVGG, Cyprus
Hey hey hey world! My mantra has been chosen long ago when i was a school-girl when i happened to read the poem "If" by R. Kipling and i keep reciting it by heart, every line is so meaningful, so each can be a mantra:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream -- and not make dreams your master;
If you can think -- and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings -- nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run --
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And -- which is more -- you'll be a Man, my son!
lizanev, Russia
My mantra is "Ok, let's see what we can do here". It helps to understand that every problem can be solved in some way.
batyuk1811, Russia
Dear friends, hello! I do not know what a mantra is. I just live and enjoy life, I rejoice every day and the approach of spring. Olga.🤗
queenofc, Germany
Panta rhei ! (Heraklit)
Lana-Svet, Russia
My mantra : dreams tend to come true
HookedonPostcards, Canada
Something I ask myself often: "Is this the hill you wish to die on?"
In other words, how badly do I want to be correct? So badly that I'm willing to argue, rather than simply have an interesting conversation where I listen more?
Another example: Does it matter if my son wants to pierce his nose, or does matter more that the piercing does not change his loving nature? That sort of thing...
Meanwhile, I will definitely be borrowing "you can't educate pork" the next time I have a dispute with my computer. What a delightful expression! Thanks for sharing it.
agnami78, Poland
The more uphill you have in life, the more beautiful the views are later on.
So never give up!!!
at61, Italy
Each of us, consciously or not, has his own "mantra", a recurring thought that forms the background of our daily lives and leads us to act for better or for worse (mantras are not always positive, like people in whose mind only the word "money" eagerly resounds...)
I personally have at least a couple that I'm aware of:
"leave the world a little better than how you found it", "don't ask yourself what others can do for you, but what you can do for others" and "there are those who look at things as they are, and wonder why .. I dream of things that aren't there, and I wonder why not" (I learned this last mantra from Bob Kennedy, who in turn made it his own from a sentence from The George Bernard Show)
Days often run hectic, but for me it's really useful to have phrases that help you not lose one's bearings!
Greetings to all from Rome, Italy
tinisa, Spain
I have been using as a matra a sentence my boyfriend's grandfather used to say (I never got to meet him, though): Haz lo que haces (do what you do).
It means that in face of adversity, anxiousness and worries, you have to keep working, one step at a time. Just keep working. It has helped me on difficult times when my anxiety gets so bad it paralyzes me.
kristellab, Northern Mariana Islands
I personally do not have a mantra, but I was talking to a man in Guam and he had this mantra and it was something like, "I put my name in the hat and at some point, it goes juicier mode". I'm kind of butchering it but it was from a video game streamer that he admired. It basically means to always put yourself out there even if you don't always get picked or something does not happen in your favor. Without effort, there is no reward.

I like it because it was something personal that related to him even if people would not understand it right away. He even kept the quote on his home screensaver as a constant reminder.
haaruu, Japan
My mantra is”Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life”
Michaela0705, Germany
I alway try to say to myself (especially at work) "Don't care about those who talk behind your back. That simply means you're already two steps ahead of them"
Peonynote, United States of America
Never compare your own shortcomings against other people's strengths.
Selenkastaya, Russia
"All this has happened before and will happen again"
Minigret, Netherlands
love rules!
Postenkartenfan, Germany
In German: Liebe deine Heimat mehr als dich selbst.
In English: Love your homeland more than yourself.
(It means not a government or a political system)
MissMichelsen, Germany
A little bit is Bettler than nothing.
GypsyLena, United States of America
One of mine is...not my monkeys, not my circus.
Futureawesome, Russia
a done thing is better than a perfect thing! I have done so many things using this mantra, it helps me to battle my perfectionism :)
ceoramalho, Brazil
If I am in peace, I'm OK... that's what matters!

I've struggled with depression and anxiety my whole life and I value little moments of joy, like listening to the rain, talking to friends, reading a nice book, watching birds, writing post cards...
portoraj, Portugal
The serenity prayer:
grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference . . .
MinttuMint, Finland
when I need to focus hoen inside me: clean up your inner chaos and feel the peace within
Ganesha08, Germany
That`s my favorite mantra:
"Don't believe everything you think!"
Moorgeist, Germany
I try to remember this when I am angry or confused about what someone has done or does- "Don't judge someone before you've walked a mile in their shoes." It is often possible to understand from the other person's point of view why the person acted the way he (or she) did.
WattlePark, Australia
The phrase I most often say to myself when something is coming up, such as a dentist appointment, is "this time next week it will all be over" with increasingly optimistic variations "this time tomorrow it will all be over", "only 2 hours and it will all be over".
My new dentist is lovely and since I found her I no longer have a bad dream in the nights before a visit, dreams in which I think I have small stones rolling around in my mouth then I realise these are my teeth, then I used to wake in fright - these dreams now just a not so nice memory.
When I leave the dentist's rooms I cross the road and buy a supply of my favourite gingerbread men - seven so I have one for each day for a week. This is a very nice memory, one soon to be repeated - I think I may be looking forward to my next dental appointment already.
"this time next month I'll be eating a gingerbread man"
jeffbh, United States of America
My mantra is: Things will be better tomorrow, but I'll probably be dead by tonight.
beesknees, United States of America
Many moons ago when I had a trainer at the gym I had shoes that had the saying "just do it" printed on them. weirdly it would help me power through when my body was screaming "stop this madness!" Sadly since covid I have not been back to the gym - I need to look out those shoes..............
Flippie, Canada
Hi Everyone, I love to say to people who are busy, "Step by Step".
When someone ask me: " How are you?" My answer is most of the times, "I'm still alive and kicking or I'm medium rare".
Eeyore (from Winnie The Pooh) said; "If it is not happening today that it is happening tomorrow".
boechen, Germany
One day, thankfully - "how you do what you do is more important than what you do" - came to me. =) can sound quite radical, depending on the angle from which one is looking at it, but it kinda explains the workings of the small things in life that are going on in between the big great things that most people use to only focus on... and while doing that, they miss the bigger picture of everything.
alpobc, Canada
I had a mantra when I was working in telecommunications. I maintained equipment in the background, so not customer facing. My mantra was; I don't do poles or holes or come to your house to fix your stuff! Usually said to folks who found out I was in telephones and wanted me to go fix their phones...for free :)
Now that I'm retired, I use; "Whatever works for you". In answer to 'what is the best way to do....'
omurk, Türkiye
My mantra is "Whatever you seek, you find in yourself". A folk poem by the Sufistic sect of heterodox Islam inspired by Hinduism.
sasameyuki, United Kingdom
“Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future”, by Oscar Wilde
Fluidity, United States of America
"Don't get excited over the little stuff."
LadyHelena, Finland
My current morning mantra is: ‘What would you do if you were happy…’.
It sets me on a positive road.
HetaAino, Finland
If I had to choose one, it would be "Sano, mitä ajattelet. Ajattele, mitä sanot". Say what you think. Think what you say. As someone who struggles with communication sometimes, that has been very helpful. It would actually be even more so if everyone did that.

Another good one is "If we don't know how things will turn out, let's suppose they'll turn out good".
anaistavares, Portugal
Hello! It´s normal that i have write 10 postcard in december and didn´t receive one?
TrAffic, Russia
My mantra is :
I think love has no size at all. There is only a Yes or No.
sharon3, Canada
Be Interested. Be interesting.
beizou, China
Wow! Unbelievable!
Olegovich, Russia
Can swearing be considered a mantra?
Cerimoon, United States of America
My mantra these days is: All is well in my world. It stops me from over thinking and analyzing and making trouble out of nothing. It brings me into peaceful now.
huckabiene, Germany
Do not believe everything you think
Nelli, Finland
"When you follow cattle, you always step in poop!"
kinuko, Japan
I have some favorite mantras. But it's just a comfort, and I don't expect it to change anything for me. It's an item that calms you down.
CarolBr, United States of America
"This, too, shall pass."
Amsie, United States of America
Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle--JM Barry
leaflets, China
My mantra is :
Change what you can and accept what you can't.
TravelOzbug, Australia
Live and let live. I'm 82 and have tried to embrace it since my adulthood
BakerKay, United States of America
There's a reason for everything that happens. Some we understand, some we don't, and some we may never understand.
Meaning: Let it be what it is. Time may or may not tell.
countryfolk, United States of America
I try to keep a phrase from the "Judd's" song grampa in my mind when I get tired. "Keep a going, hard work never did a body harm"
Cowgirl68, United States of America
If all I have is today- thank you for today!
poets_muse, Canada
because every thing in life is constantly changing I continue to look for ways to find more peace, give more, take less, feel more, listen better, love more, help more.
TORSAM, Norway
Mantra = lifestyle = how you spend your money. Furtunately I have surplus. I spend a lot in joint experiences with family and friends. Not difficult to find something with commom interests - small or large. Then when ever I meet someone in my flok my mind is somewhat focused on good memory. Probably others has the same as we are embrasing - joy of life.
Lider, Russia
My mantra is..."If you can't change the situation, change your attitude to it"
Tarane, Germany
My mantra is actually a poem, written by Theodor Fontane „überlass es der Zeit“, which -in summary- means:
In case someone or something enrages you, don‘t touch it, don‘t argue… let it be. At first, you will call yourself a coward. But after some time, you‘ll get over it. Everything is important only in a moment. Anger is a parasite and poison. Time is peacemaker.
Kaiwaza, United States of America
I have a similar motto/mantra that says "Pearls before swine". I believe it's Biblical in origin, and just means "the unintelligent aren't going to understand these pearls of wisdom you are speaking"
Vozmojnosti_Iriski, Russia
Tomorrow will be worse than the day after tomorrow.
It isn't 'Tomorrow will be better than today', but it's ruther positive now.
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