Quotes often express profound truths in the most elegant ways. A good quote can be so strong in it’s message, that just for a moment- you stop in awe to fully take in the wisdom they express so efficiently. Encouraging us to live, to learn and ultimately evolve to become a better person.
I’ve researched, extracted and redesigned 10 of the most inspiring personal development quotes that we found to be the most inspirational. Be sure you share them with your friends and family to spread a little inspiration into their lives too.
1. “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~ Viktor E Frankl – Author of Man’s Search for Meaning
You can’t always change what somebody else is doing. You can’t force people, things or situations to assist in your personal direction in the way we want them to. So, if we have a problem with something, we have to take a step back and look at ourselves, because that’s the only thing we can change.
2. “Be the change you want to see in this world.” ~ Gandhi
We all recognise this quote but it was a while before it’s true meaning really came to me. It’s a powerful call to take full responsibility for your life. Practice what you preach. Gandhi tells us that in order for us to see changes in the world, we are the ones who have to actively create them by ourselves. We are the ones who need to change first, nobody and nothing else. Complaining, criticising or theorising from a safe distance, just isn’t enough. We need to be responsible for ourselves and our environment and invoke the positive change we desire most.
3. “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how” ~ Fredrick Nietzsche – Author of thus spoke zarathustra
Find and internalise your real purpose in life and you can overcome almost any difficulty you face. In other words, if you know why your life (and/or what you’ve chosen to do in life) is important then you begin to approach even more difficult obstacles with less resistance, overcoming with recognition of the importance of achieving the end goal. The ends always justifies the means.
4. “In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.” ~ The Dalai Lama
If you are looking to grow as a person, you have to stay true to yourself to be truly free. When you ask yourself whether recent decisions, current working situations or future long term intentions are really what you want in life, try not to rationalise. Be conscious of your first instinctual answers, they are not to be ignored. The truth is often uncomfortable, but that’s how you make the true progress and really follow what you truly desire. What kind of situation do you want to be in?
It’s also relevant to many recent power struggles across the world today, Ukraine, Egypt, Venezuela, London. People rising up when they uncover the truth of their government agendas. Profit over people. But to live in a truly free society, these agendas must be transparent and exposing these truths is sure-fire way to promote real change.
5. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain
Seize the day. Mark Twain encourages you to go actively and courageously for what lays ahead. Take up those opportunities that throw you into the unknown. We’re often afraid of doing things when we do not know the final outcome, and instead opt for the comfortable ‘maybe another time’, I don’t really feel like it’ stunting our progress. The unexplored life isn’t worth living. Take a chance. See where it leads.
6. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein
Similarly to Mark Twain this one speaks for itself. Einstein advices us to have the courage to try something new. Woody Allen also half-jokingly, half-seriously said: “Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
From there, making mistakes along the way is an absolute necessity in learning how to do something new. No one picks up a unicycle and rides perfectly the first time. You watch in awe of their skill but only witness the end goal, the highlight reel, skipping the grazed knees and continual frustration they experienced. Making mistakes is the biggest part of the cycle to becoming successful in anything.
7. “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” ~ Supposedly Buddha
When you react impetuously to a situation by feeling angry, we wait revengefully, with intent of directing it at another person. This primal way of thinking will always backfire on us and every time we end up with progressively more pain and injury. Remember it is a choice to be angry at someone and ultimately it only hurts ourselves. For me, this quote alone eliminated my previously aggressive approach to road rage the moment I fully took in it’s wisdom.
8. “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.” ~ Eckhart Tolle – Author of The Power of Now
We can’t cheat on life. There are no short-cuts. Every bad situation is an opportunity for us to grow. We get what we attract by the way we are at the moment. If we don’t learn from our mistakes, we will see the same situations reoccur over and over again until we finally change.
9. “Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothings others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz – The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally. When you truly understand this, and refuse to take things personally, you can hardly be hurt by the careless comments or actions of others. It’s an incredibly empowering way to live.
10. “What we fear of doing most is usually what we most need to do.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson – Selected Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Furthermore, Fear is not your enemy. It is a compass pointing you to the areas where you need to grow. When your mind begins to fear something, take note. We’re not talking about ridiculous fears. If a wild bear is staring you down, I wouldn’t recommend walking towards it. But the little things that you fear daily, often dealing with money, weight loss, etc.. are incredibly important to learn how to deal with head on.
I challenge you to think of this quote each time you fear something for the next week. Start to believe that your inner fears are simply a compass showing you the way to a better life and see where it takes you.