by Jessica Hagy

 Fear is an asset. It can save you from danger and alert you to trouble. Don’t ignore the tingles that run up and down your spine.

Before you’re sprawled on your deathbed, there are some things you really have to say. They’re not complicated. They’re not poetry.

They’re just short sentences with big meaning.

I hope they get you talking.

 

40
“I wonder.”

Give yourself time to think so the time you spend doing things will be better spent.

 

39
“Today was good.”

If you can say it once, you can say it again. And again. And again.

 

38
“I believe in this.”

A god, a plan, a company, a person, an idea—you have to put your faith in something.

 

37
“I’m not finished.”

Only you get to decide when your life’s work is done.

 

36
“Thank you for making this possible.”

Because nobody does anything alone. We’re driven and supported and thwarted by others at every turn.

 

35
“That’s enough.”

Food. Drink. Episodes of Law & Order. Pairs of shoes. Overtime. Articulating your own limits is powerful.

 

34
“I can do better.”

 

As soon as you say it, you’re that much closer to making it true.

 

33
“I’m sorry.”

But you can’t just say it; you have to mean it. Really mean it.

 

32
“I survived.”

Moments of danger are the plot points of an exciting life.

 

31
“You’re amazing.”

Let yourself be in awe of another person, and you’ll feel strong and weak simultaneously.

 

30
“I am home.”

Home is every adventure’s final destination and starting point—and we all need one to call our own.

 

29
“I did my best.”

If this is true, you did something amazing.

 

28
“How can I help you?”

Because you want people to come to your funeral, and if they can’t make it, at least they’ll miss you.

 

27
“I’m lucky.”

You are lucky, in a way that no one else is. Now, what are you going to do with your good fortune?

 

26
“I want that.”

Ask for it: that’s you get what you covet—from others and for yourself.

 

25
“This is wrong.”

If you never say it, you embody the statement.

 

24
“I quit.”

Not everything is worthwhile, and sometimes we don’t find that out until we’re in the middle of a rotten situation.

 

23
“Isn’t this beautiful?”

The more often you notice the gorgeous world around you, the happier you’ll be.

 

22
“Congratulations.”

Say this without jealously. Practice if you have to.

 

21
“Damn, I look good.”

You come from a long line of people who convinced others to sleep with them. Remember that.

 

20
“I can master this.”

The ability to learn is the foundation of every other talent.

 

19
“Hold the mayo.”

Ask for the little things on a regular basis and you’ll find that it’s easier to make larger demands on occasion.

 

18
“This is who I am.”

The nervous energy spent pretending to be something you’re not is better spent on practically anything else.

 

17
“Get out.”

It’s always harder to take back an invitation than to give one, but protecting yourself from personified trouble is always worth the effort.

 

16
“That was my contribution.”

Own what you’ve worked to create—that’s how your presence will be felt long after you’re gone.

 

15
“I’ll try it.”

Consider the impotence of never saying you’ll try.

 

14
“Tell me more.”

Really getting to know someone (or some topic) will help you better triangulate your own place in the world.

 

13
“This is my favorite thing.”

 

Enjoy what you love and say this as often as you can.

 

12
“I earned this.”

There’s a layer of proud ownership over everything you possess that wasn’t merely given to you.

 

11
“I don’t care.”

 

Being able to discern between what’s important and what’s trivial is a skill that will save your sanity and your schedule.

 

10
“Your secret is safe with me.”

Because it feels deep-down good to be trustworthy.

 

9
“Eureka!”

Being the first to know something is a delicious sensation.

 

8
“Let’s go!”

Where you’re going often matters far less than the enthusiasm you have for the trip.

 

7
“I trust you.”

We all need allies, and admitting as much helps forge alliances.

 

6
“I don’t know how to do this.”

It’s better to admit it and learn than to fake it and embarrass yourself.

5
“I’m terrified.”

 

Fear is an asset. It can save you from danger and alert you to trouble. Don’t ignore the tingles that run up and down your spine.

 

4
“This is going to work.”

When this is said truthfully, it’s an assertion of power.

 

3
“I made a decision.”

Autonomy transforms any activity from a chore to an act of destiny.

 

2
“I love you.”

We all want to say this, and we all want it said to us.

 

1
“I understand.”

More important than being right, or being important, is being truly aware.

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Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.