Even though packed with wisdom, quotes barely change lives or people. We enjoy coming across little pieces of enlightenment when browsing through the web or scrolling through newsfeeds, yet, we hardly take action based on what we learn.
Instead, most people prefer investing in costly courses and seminars, believing these will change their lives.
The common reality, however, is that most expensive personal growth programs don’t teach more than the basic ideas. Most lessons we talk about today are rooted in ancient quotes and teachings of people who lived long before us but experienced similar challenges.
There’s a hidden power in ancient wisdom given you’re willing to take action and make changes. However, you’ll need to search for the lessons and spend time figuring out how to apply them in your daily life. Being inspired is cute, but it’s not enough.
Whenever you come across a quote, you have two options: Glossing over them or digging in and asking yourself how it could help you live a better life.
Most people are frustrated when they invest in personal development books, courses, or events and don’t see any change in their lives. They expect their lives to suddenly change because of the financial investment they make. Yet, the reality is simple: Nothing will change unless you do so.
Here are a few quotes that helped me be more conscious of how I live my life.
“Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. “ — Friedrich Nietzsche
Not everyone will understand your goals and your unique path. Some people will even blame you for working on becoming a better version of yourself and investing in your goals. They’ll want you to quit and to be like them because they won’t understand your ambitions.
When I started my business at the age of 19 and worked seven days a week, neither my friends nor my family understood why I was doing it. They thought it’s just a phase and that I’ll stop putting so much effort into my work soon.
Yet, what they still don’t understand is what keeps me going day after day. And they don’t need to. You need to know why you’re doing something, the rest is redundant because it doesn’t influence your results. Whether others agree with or understand what I’m doing won’t impact my income, satisfaction, or happiness, so I just don’t care and keep going.
Not everyone will understand your path and decisions — but they don’t have to. You just need to be confident enough to keep going, even when others try to tear you down.
“If a man knows not which port he sails, no wind is favorable.” — Seneca
Difficult times often arise from uncertainty. Not knowing what you desire frequently leads to discomfort and a doom-loop of negativity.
It’s no coincidence that some of the world’s most successful people are great decision-makers. Jeff Bezos, for example, once shared the following:
“Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70 percent of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90 percent, in most cases, you’re probably being slow.”
“Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.” — Marcus Aurelius
Sometimes, we punish ourselves by being too attached to the actions of others. Instead of changing our own behavior, we wonder about why someone else did us wrong, hurt us, or even deceived us.
Yet, while we can’t control the thoughts and actions of others, we can manage 100% of our own behavior and emotions.
Forgiving others and being more strict with ourselves is not easy, but it’s life-changing. Only through discipline can we truly transform our lives and forgiving is certainly an act that requires discipline. That’s how we build new, powerful habits and let go of old, unproductive routines.
The combination of both forgiving others quickly and being strict with yourself will not only lead to mental strength but also improve your productivity. You’ll be able to focus your mind on the essential things instead of worrying about useless stuff.
“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.“ — Dan Millman
It’s okay to be a little afraid and to have worries from time to time. We all need to deal with uncertainty at given times.
Yet, never let your fears control your life. Negative thoughts during difficult times are okay, and there’s no point in suppressing them but remind yourself that you are the creator of your life.
Don’t blame yourself for being concerned. Let your fears pass away and, most importantly, allow your insecurities to be present so that you can discover their reason. Only if you know why something bothers you can you detach from it and let go with ease instead of fear.
“It doesn’t degrade you when others treat you poorly; it degrades them.” — Ryan Holiday
Too often, we get caught up in negative emotions because of how someone treats us. And whenever someone treats us poorly, we wish to educate them on who we are. That’s mostly because our ego is screaming loudly from the inside out during these situations.
We want others to respect us and to admire all the great things we do instead of highlighting our mistakes.
Yet here’s how Ryan Holiday recommends dealing with negative emotions when others treat us poorly:
“Take it. Eat it until you’re sick. Endure it. Quietly brush it off and work harder. Play the game. Ignore the noise; for the love of God, do not let it distract you. Restraint is a difficult skill but a critical one.”
“The best fighter is never angry.” — Lao Tzu
Anger is one of the most destructive emotions: Being angry at yourself or others almost always leads to more misery and pain. And most of the time, anger is the result of caring.
You’ll never be angry with someone whom you don’t care about. Yet, we often find ourselves being angry with people we actually care about or even love.
Every time you get angry because of a happening or person, stop for a moment and reflect on your emotions. What hurts you? Is it an experience from the past? Or is it because you doubt yourself? Are you disappointed by someone? Or did you maybe have higher expectations?
Whatever it is, don’t suppress the emotions. Instead, allow them to be present and analyze them. Only by allowing your feelings to flow can you ensure letting go of your anger and hate.
Forgive others, and above all, forgive yourself. Make sure your anger doesn’t take control of your words or actions and choose love and peace over hatred.
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” — Oprah Winfrey
Too often, we get caught up in thinking about the future. Instead of being present at this very moment, we either worry about the past or wonder about the future. And while doing so, we often fail to take the next right step.
Yet, taking one right step at a time is the only way to achieve huge goals. Without doing the right thing now, you’ll never be able to make the next right move tomorrow.
Sometimes, we get so caught up in our big goals and visions that we forget to focus on the small, yet critical moves we need to take. During these times, it’s crucial to stop wondering about the future and instead focus on what you can do right now.
“You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.” — Diane Von Furstenberg
Everyone except you can leave you. You are the only person with whom you’ll spend your entire life. So, it makes sense to get along well with yourself, right?
When choosing the right partner, we go for someone who makes us feel good, appreciated, and worthy, so why not treat ourselves the same way every single day?
Most people never achieve their goals or even live in misery because they don’t appreciate themselves. Instead, they keep tearing themselves down but expect to be appreciated by others. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. You’ll always attract what you expect and the way you treat yourself is how others will treat you as well.
Most of the time, it’s you standing in your way. So, get off the damn road and stop standing in the way of your dreams by blaming yourself for previous mistakes.
“Love the life you have while you create the life of your dreams. Don’t think you have to choose one over the other.” — Hal Elrod
So many people believe that personal development means escaping their current life and building a new one. The reality, however, is quite different.
You’ll hardly be able to build a future you love if you can’t be grateful for the present. Yet, being happy now doesn’t mean you should stop growing and becoming an even better version of yourself.
Instead, you can love yourself and your life with all its ups and downs while working on creating an even more exciting future.
“They blame those who remain silent, they blame those who speak much, they blame those who speak in moderation. There is none in the world who is not blamed.” — Buddha
Whatever you do, there’ll always be someone to dislike it. You‘ll never be able to satisfy everyone. Yet, the good news is that you don’t have to do so anyway.
If you live life trying to please others, you’ll forever be their servant. If you, however, let go oft other’s expectations and start living life on your own terms, that’s when you’ll experience true freedom and inner peace.
People will always find reasons to blame you for your actions. So stop focusing on the opinions of others and start putting more energy into yourself and the future you want to experience.
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Throughout your entire life, you’ll face negative people and experiences. Even if you’re a positive, uplifting person, you need to learn how to deal with the opposite.
The fact that some people just want to do bad to others is upsetting, yet, it’s no reason to lose faith in humanity.
Whenever you see someone acting wrong, remind yourself that it’s only an exception. Losing faith in humanity because of what a few people do wrong is a pitty and will just hold you back from living your best life.
Instead of worrying too much about those who act wrong, surround yourself with like-minded, positive people. Regularly take time to reflect on your social circle and be aware of with whom you spend your days.
“The Man Who Asks a Question Is a Fool for a Minute, the Man Who Does Not Ask Is a Fool For Life” — Confucius
When I first read this quote, I had to think of a former classmate of mine. She’s one of the very few people I remember who never shrank back from asking questions. At school, we all hated her for doing so. We were annoyed because sometimes, the whole lesson was dedicated to answering her questions. Yet, when I look back, I genuinely respect her courage.
Unfortunately, most of our educational systems are based on mistakes: Instead of appreciating wins, we highlight errors. No wonder we grow up abstaining from asking questions.
Whenever you have a question, just ask. You hardly have anything to lose, but all the wisdom to gain.
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” — Tony Robbins
Being thankful for what we have in the present is critical in order to create the future that we desire. Gratitude is one of the fundamentals of personal and spiritual growth.
By being fearful and reminding yourself of what you lack, you attract even more scarcity. If you, however, start counting your blessings, you’ll suddenly see and attract more of them.
While many people practice gratitude through meditation, others prefer talking to their loved ones and telling them how thankful they are.
My personal preference is journaling. I love writing down what I am grateful for at least once a day. This doesn’t take more than five minutes, and it helps me to shift my focus on the positive and all the abundance in my life.
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” — Marissa Meyer
There’s nothing more powerful than surrounding yourself with people who’re ahead of you.
Having coaches, accountability buddies, and being part of mastermind groups can be massive accelerators for your growth and help you to achieve your goals more efficiently. While being in a room full of people who’re more experienced and successful of you can sometimes feel intimidating, it’s the ideal environment for growth.
If you’re surrounded by people who achieved great things, you’ll soon adapt their thinking patterns and start behaving as they do, which will eventually lead to better decisions and personal growth.
Whenever possible, choose to be around people who’re ahead of you. Instead of stepping into rooms with people who think smaller than yourself, be the one with the least experience and grow through the ideas and experiences of those who’ve already walked their talk.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” — Rumi
Whatever you do, don’t forget that all change starts with you.
You’re a powerful individual, and you have everything you need to create the reality of your dreams, but it all starts by changing yourself.
No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to force a change in how others behave if they don’t want it themselves. Yet, you always have the power to change your own behavior and thinking.
Whenever you come across an inspiring quote, you have two choices:
- Give it a passing thought and move on
- Use the wisdom to become a better version of yourself and create a life you love
We’ve all practiced the first bullet, the second is far more challenging.
Applying knowledge isn’t easy. That’s why millions of people are reading self-help books and articles but drowning in misery. If it was easy, everyone would be living their best life and experiencing joy and abundance. But it isn’t. It takes effort, courage, and, most importantly, honesty.
To use the lessons above for your advantage, you first need to admit your flaws and mistakes. Not to me, but yourself. Once you can confidently talk about the mistakes you made, you’re ready for change, and even little epigrams like the quotes I shared can help you to become a better version of yourself. But, you must take them seriously.