10 Quotes To Help You Rediscover Yourselves

Asmita Karanje


I love quotes. They are like these little capsules of wisdom by some brilliant minds. There is so much to learn from them — they sum up an entire concept in just a few words. 

Some of them connect straight to the heart. These are the ones you know are truth bombs, and if applied correctly, they would help you become a better version of yourself. 

Here are 10 such quotes which I would want to go back to often. I have also elaborated on them, drawing from my personal experiences and tips on how to apply them.

“I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am.” — Thomas Cooley

We spend half our lives worrying about how we are perceived by others. “He must think I am too bold and opinionated,” “She must think I am lazy,” or “He must think I am fat.” 

We spend so much time trying to understand what others think of us. And the truth is we will never know. But that doesn't stop us from creating these opinions about others. 

Maybe they don’t see you as fat, lazy, bold, or opinionated. Stop obsessing over what others think — do what you want to do.

Society will never stop judging you. If you fear being fat-shamed, trust me, there are people who would shame you for being fit too. I have been there; where I was regularly fit-shamed. I could not care less about what they think. I know I looked good; I felt better. So kept treading on — it’s been three years on, and their opinions about me don’t matter anymore. Don’t worry about perceptions. People will always have views and opinions on everything. And sometimes it’s our perception of their opinions that bothers us more than what they really think. 

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Nelson Mandela

I must have read at least a hundred quotes on success, and they all stem from a simple thought — you need to keep trying in order to succeed.

You can’t fail unless you try

And failure isn’t what keeps you from succeeding — it is not getting back up in time. I gave up driving after a car accident — it’s been ten years since I got back in the driver's seat. I feared I might hurt someone or myself if I drive again. 

“Being calm is a skill.” — Anonymous

When was the last time you did nothing? Like nothing at all. No screens, no conversations, and no work. Can’t remember how long ago that was? I can’t either. We are all too busy for our own good. Being busy doesn’t equate to productivity. It’s quite the opposite.

It’s when you are at peace that your mind is actually the most focused. You get these fascinating ideas. And you are more conscious of your surroundings, your goals, and yourself than before. I have been meditating since the lockdown began. I am not a regular, but I try. And the days I do, I can feel the difference. I love the calm it brings.

I don’t use superlatives unless I mean it. If you have been procrastinating with meditation — I just want to say you this. Stop reading this article, put your phone aside and close your eyes. Try it once, if not more — I am sure you will experience a sense of calm.

Use Insight Timer — it’s free, and I absolutely love their courses — a must-try for beginners to explore the world of meditation.

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” — C. G. Jung.

Everyone has ideas, only a few execute. Ideation is only the first step, execution is a million steps that follow. I had a terrible mindset when I was young.

If I’d do something well, I’d not be particularly excited about it. I would think my friends could have done better than me. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know because they didn’t choose the same path. Say, if everyone in the world — yes, all people who can play tennis actually played it, then maybe Djokovich, Nadal, and Federer won’t be the champions they are today.

But the problem is that not all of those over five trillion people in the world tried, so we’d never know. What we do know is of people who tried. So don’t give up even before you try. Do what you say you would. You are not a hundred things you think you’d do. You are those few things people see you do. Create stories you can narrate to your grandchildren. Live a life of no regrets, only experiences. 

“Spend your life exploring. Not settling.” — Anonymous

Everyone wants you to settle. Our parents, families, and society, in general, have set a path for us — education, job, marriage, and family. Where is the time to discover ourselves in this rat race? Where is the time to explore, have fun, ideate, experiment, and fail?

Where is the time to pursue our hobbies, interests, and passions? We often get caught up in the whirlwind living lives with the expectation to settle at some stage. But life is not about settling. It is a constant pursuit of action. 

When we experience mid-life crises, that’s when we have settled. We have nothing else to do — we have hit that snooze button more than a million times. Our body got used to the same cycle on repeat mode for years and is now craving for something different. Don’t wait till then. Make it exciting each day. Don’t settle for anything less. 

“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” — James Cameron

If you ever accomplished something you had dreamed of, you’d know this feeling — while you enjoy that success, you also wonder what if you had dreamed of something bigger? Why settle for the stars when you can have the moon.

They always tell you to aim higher. What they don’t tell you is when you think you have failed to get the moon, you have still gotten the stars — most people haven’t even dreamed of it.

So you are already ahead of a lot of others, even when you think you haven’t accomplished much. Always acknowledge your success. While you are chasing someone else’s dream, someone else wants to be exactly where you are. Be grateful. 

“Groups search for consensus (inflicted upon you) and Individuals search for truth (choice).” — Naval Ravikant

What society wants for you need not always be good for you. Society tells you that money will make you happy, but in reality, money makes you happy only up to a certain amount. And Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel laureate, has actually found the price of happiness. It is $75,000. 

He says irrespective of the geographical boundaries, income gaps, currency value, this is the point on the earning scale beyond which money doesn’t make you happy.

Society also tells you school teaches you education. In reality, schools teach you indoctrination, self-discipline, a bit of socialization, a lot of babysitting, and also help to keep trouble out of the streets.

It is not for society to tell you the truth and you are forced to go along with it, even though you know it's not true.

“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” — Nassim Taleb

I know nothing about heroin. However, I know a lot about carbs and salaries. I have had a love-hate relationship with carbs like many others. But with salary, it is only a love-love relationship. I am addicted to it. I have thought of quitting my job to start my own business — but I haven’t had to courage to risk everything.

There were two reasons — one I didn’t have a compelling idea that keeps me awake every night, two I love the message that says salary credited to your account. I don’t know if I can live with the stress of uncertainty. Is it good or bad, I don’t know. But I know I am at peace.

Being addicted to a monthly salary keeps us from taking a risk or exploiting our potential to the fullest. If I were to make a choice today between starting my own business or taking up a well-paid corporate job, I might choose the former — it’s difficult to switch now. And I am not alone — a large majority of us think in the same manner. Salaries are highly addictive. If only it came with warning signs as big as that on a pack of cigarettes, we’d not been as addicted to it as we are today. Nevertheless, if you have a choice, choose wisely.

“If you don’t ask, the answer is always NO.” — Nora Roberts

Ask for a promotion. Ask for a raise. Ask for advice. Ask someone if they’d marry you. Ask for what you want. If you don’t ask, you may never get it. You might not get it after asking either, but at least you now know. And sometimes you’d be surprised at how other people react — they might say “yeah” or “sure.”

Sometimes, it isn’t about asking others. It is also about asking yourself, especially when you have your doubts — do you really want to move to another country for higher studies or are you sure about becoming vegan? When you ask those tough questions, you get the clarity.

Questions are often underestimated, but they serve as a powerful tool. When phrased correctly, it leads you in the right direction. All inventions begin with curiosity. And all curiosity begins with a simple question. 

“Two things define you, your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.” — Keanu Reeves

I love this quote. It sums up how one must carry oneself before and after success. When you have nothing but uncertainty, your perseverance would help you sustain through those tough times. 

As a creator, most days my article gets paltry views. It’s been 1.5 years since I have seen any success in writing, but I am in it for the long haul. I know my writing has definitely improved in this time, and that keeps me going. I know it would lead me to success one day for sure. Believe in yourself.

Be patient and keep improving — one step at a time. When you do achieve success, always remember your humble beginnings. Someone is right now where you were once. Be kind. 

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Thinker, self-experimenter, and a newbie writer. I write about personal growth, socio-political issues, and career advice.

Dallas, TX

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