Are you looking for some wisdom to guide you in life? These Mexican sayings will provide you with all the guidance you need!
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Here in Mexico, we have a saying for everything. You’ll mostly hear older relatives repeat one like a mantra whenever just the right ocassion comes up.
Despite the nagging, I have to admit some of these are pretty helpful to keep in mind. Many times, I’ve heard my grandmother’s voice in my mind repeating one of these little proverbs when I’ve most needed it.
So here a few little Mexican tidbits of wisdom!
Inspiring Mexican Sayings That Will Make You Wiser
1. A darle que es mole de olla
Translation: “Get working because this is mole de olla.”
Meaning: Start working on something with energy and enthusiasm.
You’ll often hear this whenever there’s a task that seems daunting. Somebody will say it and everybody else will start working. It’s like a charm.
FYI, mole de olla is a spicy, hearty and delicious Mexican soup that you really should try!
2. Agua que no has de beber, déjala correr
Translation: If you’re not going to drink that water, let it flow.
Meaning: Don’t get involved with something you can’t deal with it.
I think most of us need to remember this saying. Many times we get involved with things and later regret it. Hasn’t it happened to you?
3. El flojo y el mezquino, recorren dos veces el mismo camino.
Translation: “The lazy and the shabby will walk the same path twice.”
Meaning: When you’re lazy with your work, you’ll very likely have to do it over.
My mother-in-law was a fan of this saying. She always said if you’re going to do something, do it right. Or don’t do it at all.
4. El que con lobos anda, a aullar se enseña.
Translation: He who runs with wolves will learn to howl.
Meaning: You are the average of the people you hang out with.
This is so true. The people around us have more influence over our lives than we think, so make sure you surround yourself with positivity.
5. El que es perico, donde quiera es verde.
Translation: A parrot is green anywhere.
Meaning: A person’s virtues always shine through no matter what.
I believe this is true. Hard-working, smart, talented people never stay in the background for long. They always stand out. Do you know someone like this?
6. El que nace para tamal, del cielo le caen las hojas.
Translation: If you’re born to be a tamale, the leaves will fall from the sky.
Meaning: If it’s meant to be, it will happen for you.
I like to think of this proverb more like if you make a decision, the universe will conspire to make it happen.
You might not believe this, but once you start doing what you’re supposed to, things just suddenly fall into place. I’ve seen it happen.
7. No hay mal que por bien no venga.
Translation: There’s no evil that doesn’t come with some good in it.
Meaning: Even if you’re going through some bad times, remember something good will come from it.
This always gives me hope when I’m going through difficult times. It helps to think there’s some meaning or higher purpose to the storm.
And yes, I’ve come through some hard times a little bit wiser, which is good.
8. El que a buen árbol se arrima, buena sombra le acobija.
Translation: He who gets close to a good tree will find a nice shade for shelter.
Meaning: If you get close to those who will teach and stimulate you, you’ll do well.
Keep an eye out for people you can learn from. A good mentor, teacher or role model is hard to find.
Cherish the people who help you grow!
9. Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.
Translation: The devil is wise because he’s old, not because he’s the devil.
Meaning: Never underestimate the wisdom of old age.
Listen carefully to what older people have to say. They know a lot more than you think!
I love listening to older people’s stories. They can be such an inspiration.
10. Camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente.
Translation: The current will take any shrimp that falls asleep.
Meaning: Miss an opportunity, and it might never come back.
Keep your eyes and ears open, because you never know when opportunity will come knocking at your door.
I know I’ve missed a few good opportunities because I wasn’t paying attention, so don’t be a sleepy shrimp (if you know what I mean!).