Some of them are bleak. Some of them are sassy. But Shiva knows creative types need some inspiration.

The Buddhist definition of mantra is a sound, syllable or group of words that creates transformation through repetition. The pressures of finding work, balancing the best technology with your emptying bank account, and walking a thin line between art and commercialism are hard enough on a photographer, while simultaneously seeking to capture meaningful moments and memories.

We’ve compiled a list of 25 things you can mutter to yourself when you’re seeking inspiration. In the mirror, on the toilet, when rehearsing your order at Taco Bell—we won’t judge.

Here are 20 mantras to make you a better photographer.

When Rejected, Persist 

1. Nanakorobi yaoki

Origin: Japan

English Translation: “Fall seven times, stand up eight”

2. ’ashadd min alhajar

Origin: Arabic region

English Translation: “Tougher than a stone”

3. Saru mo ki kara ochiru

Origin: Japan

English Translation: “Even monkeys fall from trees,” meaning the most skilled can still make mistakes

4. Sh?bài shì chéngg?ng zh? m?

Origin: China

English Translation: “Failure is the mother of success”

5. Donde hay gana, hay maña

Origin: Latin America/Spain

English Translation: “Where there is desire, there is ability,” or where there’s a will, there’s a way

Practice Your Art

6. Wàn shì k?i tóu nán

Origin: China

English Translation: “All things are difficult before they are easy.”

7. Ang kita sa bula, sa bula rin mawawala

Origin: Philippines

English Translation: “What comes from bubbles will disappear in bubbles,” or easy come, easy go

8. B?ng dòng s?n ch?, f?i y? rì zh? hán

Origin: China

English Translation: “It takes more than one cold day, for a river to freeze three feet deep,” basically meaning Rome wasn’t built in a day

9. Kaizen

Origin: Japan

English Translation: literally “change good,” meaning striving for improvement constantly

10. Alhulu ma yakmalish

Origin: Egypt

English Translation: “A beautiful thing is never perfect”

11. Tam net styda, ne znaya; styd lezhit v ne obnaruzhivaya

Origin: Russia

English Translation: “There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out”

Free To Be Me

12. Merdeka atau mati

Origin: Indonesia

English Translation: “Freedom or death”, a motto from battling Dutch colonialists

13. Deru kui wa utareru

Origin: Japan

English Translation: “The stake that sticks up gets hammered down,” reminding us that some are threatened by mavericks

14. Hunii erkheer zovokhoor uuriin erkheer jarga

Origin: Mongolia

English Translation: “Suffer in liberty than delight in captivity”

Going with the Flow

15. Om

Origin: India

English Translation: none. Representative of the past, present and future.

16. An piasteís sto choró tha chorépseis

Origin: Greece

English Translation: “If you join the dance circle, you must dance,” a quirky way of saying “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”

17. Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis

Origin: Ancient Rome

English Translation: “It is best to endure what you cannot change,” by the stoic Seneca the Younger, who encourages us to change the things we can

18. Non omnia possumus omnes

Origin: Ancient Rome

English Translation: “We all cannot do everything,” meaning you can’t be a master of every skill, and there’s no shame in that

19. Ada asap ada api

Origin: Indonesia

English Translation: “Every why has wherefore,” or there is no effect without a cause

Haters Gon’ Hate

20. Bakahashinanakyanaoranai

Origin: Japan

English Translation: “Unless an idiot dies, he won’t be cured”

21. Aki nasubi wa yome ni kuwasu na

Origin: Japan

English Translation: “Don’t let your daughter-in-law eat your autumn eggplants,” a charmingly strange way to warn someone against being taken advantage of

 22. He who swallows a complete coconut has absolute trust in his anus

Origin: possibly President Robert Mugabe of Ghana

Translation: a colorful insult for the delusional

23. Govoriti resnico, ampak pustite takoj

Origin: Slovenia

English Translation: “Speak the truth, but leave immediately after”

Eat, Pray and Photograph the World

24. An té a bhíónn siúlach, bíonn scéalach

Origin: Ireland (Gaelic)

English Translation: “He who travels has stories to tell”

25. Kusafiri ni kujifunza

Origin: Kenya

English Translation: “Traveling is learning”

[Featured image by Unsplash via Pixabay, CC Attribution]