I personally love quotes. I regularly change my phone and laptop display to new quotes that inspire me, I write them down in my journals, I have them on my vision board, and at home, we even have them all over our walls and doors.
I especially admire philosophical quotes from people who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago. At first sight, most of their quotes are inspiring, yet, once you start reflecting, you realize how profound these lessons are.
It truly amazes me how humanity was aware of the core principles of a happy, fulfilled life — even thousands of years ago. Yet, sometimes we still fail to apply those lessons.
Gautama Buddha was a mendicant, meditator, and spiritual teacher who lived in India between the sixth and the fourth centuries BC.
Through his philosophy, he created Buddhism, built a massive following and is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures of all time.
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
True love is one of the strongest emotions we can feel. And we all deserve it.
You deserve it.
And you especially deserve to be loved by yourself because you are the most important person in your life. Like…ever. Many people might come and go. Friends, partners, colleagues, …but you will always stay. Thus it makes sense to get along well with yourself, right?
The fact that self-love is still treated like a taboo-topic truly annoys me. Without loving yourself, you can’t love anyone else. Fact.
Appreciating yourself is the foundation for valuing others. We all have the desire to be loved, but honestly: Why should anyone love you if you don’t do so?
How to apply it:
Spend time with yourself. Practice self-care. Do things that fulfill your soul. Get rid of people who don’t make you feel good.
Self-love means allowing yourself to be happy. Too often, we manipulate ourselves instead of increasing the amount of joy we bring to our lives.
So, every day, do things that make you feel good. Even 10 minutes of self-care can add up and make you feel much better in the long run. But you’re worth more than 10 minutes. You are the most crucial person in your life. Act accordingly, show love, and be open to receive love.
“Don’t respond to rudeness. When people are rude to you, they reveal who they are, not who you are. Don’t take it personally. Be silent.”
Whenever a person is actively offending someone to make them feel bad, he is revealing a big part of his own personality.
What others say or think about you has nothing to do with reality. It’s just their perception.
Sure, we’d all like to be around people who are kind and loving, but the harsh reality is that rudeness exists. Yet, it doesn’t need to affect you and especially not your wellbeing.
If someone is rude to you, let them be, it’s not your business, it’s theirs.
Whenever I see someone being mean to others, I honestly feel sorry for them. Any emotion that you express is born inside you. If you spread hate, you feel hatred. If you, however, spread love and joy, these are the emotions you feel deep inside.
You can’t fully love someone if you don’t love yourself. And you can’t be rude to a person if you don’t also think and feel poorly about yourself.
Strong, confident people don’t tear others down. They empower each other.
How to apply it:
Never take rude reactions personally.
Practice self-reflection, know yourself, your vision, and your values. Once you know yourself, you won’t have to listen to others’ perceptions anymore.
Be aware that the core of evil lies deep within the other person and doesn’t reflect who you are.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t accept feedback. Get as much feedback as possible throughout your entire life — but get feedback from people who intend to support you. There’s a massive difference between solicited feedback and harsh, rude comments.
“Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest.”
How often do you find yourself worrying about something that happened days, weeks, or even months ago? Or being angry at somebody because of a mistake in the past?
Honestly, my personal answer is too often.
Even though I’ve worked on myself for many years, and personal growth is not only my passion but also my profession, I still make these mistakes.
If we don’t take care, we quickly judge others, and by doing so, we lower our energy. We find it so hard to forgive that we sometimes retain on mistakes for years, torturing ourselves. As Buddha said,
“Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind.”
Forgiving is hardly about someone else, it’s instead about releasing ourselves from misery.
We all make mistakes. It’s humane. And we all learn lessons every day. But I believe learning to forgive quickly is one of the most precious lessons in life.
Through forgiving, being compassionate, and showing love instead of hate, you release yourself. You give yourself the ability to be happy. If you keep holding on to mistakes, you stand in your own way.
“Pain is certain, suffering is optional.”
We all experience emotional breakdowns, our hearts get broken, and we feel disappointed. And it’s okay to be sad. We are not machines, and the aim is not to hold back on your emotions.
However, we can always choose whether we accept the situation and grow through it or if we suffer. Instead of judging and blaming others, let’s be compassionate and spread love.
Through love, we can move mountains. Once you start showing more love to your fellows, you will realize how more and more love also comes back to you.
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” — Buddha
How to apply it:
Throughout your days, reflect on your feelings. If you find yourself judging somebody or something, stop for a minute and try to figure out why you feel that way. Does it have to do something with you? Are you insecure?
Whatever it is, accept the feeling and let it go.
Forgive others, and especially yourself, for everything that lies in the past. That’s the foundation to ensure a joyful future.
Every day, give your best to love. Especially love yourself. Focus on your strengths and positive qualities. Once you love yourself, you will realize how loving others becomes much easier.
“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot at least, we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”
In my opinion, this quote sums up almost everything one needs to know to live joyfully.
I’ve been working as a coach and trainer in personal development for a few years now, and if there’s one thing I learned over the years, it’s the fact that gratefulness is the key to all happiness in life.
If you look for it, there’s always a reason to feel bad or complain. However, there are also thousands of things to be grateful for, no matter in which situation you find yourself.
Most people never learn to practice gratitude and spend a considerable part of their lives complaining about anyone and anything. Instead of appreciating the beautiful sides of life, they are continually searching for the negative.
Life has so much to offer to each of us. And it’s up to us to make the most out of it. Yes, some people might have it easier than others, but that’s no reason to complain.
How to apply it:
Practicing gratitude is a foundational part of my morning routine.
Every day, I take a few minutes to write down what I am grateful for. On most days, the most significant parts of my list repeat themselves. I can’t be thankful enough for my health, my family, my amazing partner, living in beautiful Vienna, having access to education, clean water, and a roof over my head.
No matter how bad you feel, there is always a bright side.
Establishing the habit of practicing gratitude will profoundly change your life, even if you just spend five minutes on it.
“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”
This was my #1 lesson learned in 2019. At that time, I didn’t know this quote, but looking back, it summarizes everything I experienced pretty well.
No matter if in business, personal development, or whatsoever, there are so many “gurus” trying to educate us on how we need to act and live our lives.
And I was pretty obsessed listening to all these people. I gave my best to learn every piece of information and went crazy, trying to apply each of them.
At the end of the year, I asked myself why I wasn’t entirely satisfied with my achievements, and I realized it was mainly because I consumed so much content that didn’t help me at all.
I thought I need to know everything about doing business before starting, but it turned out to be completely wrong.
How to apply it:
What worked for someone else doesn’t necessarily have to work for you. Don’t take advice without reflecting on whether it suits you and your personal needs.
We are all on different paths, and we all have different needs. There is no one-fits-all-solution for anything in life. Not in business neither in relationships, in health, nor any other area of our lives.
“It is better to travel well than to arrive.”
If I understood this one a few years ago, I might have experienced so much more joyful moments in my life. I like pursuing big goals. I always did. And I can be totally proud of myself once I achieve a specific objective.
However, what I failed at was enjoying the process.
I always thought there must be some reason to be happy. I just couldn’t be entirely relaxed and proud of myself if there wasn’t something to celebrate.
Neither could I enjoy the moment and be peaceful on my way to achieving goals. That cost me a lot of time and energy.
Now, I enjoy every day of my life. I understand that no goal in life is more important than living happily. Thus, even if I work on a big project, I do it joyfully and make the most out of any present moment.
How to apply it:
Enjoy the process. Find a way to implement little, joyful moments into each of your days. No matter what your end-goal is, make sure to live a life that you can be proud of.
Life is not about achieving a particular goal but about who we become on our way.