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10 Eternally Inspiring Quotes From Gandhi That’ll Encourage You To Change The World

10 Eternally Inspiring Quotes From Gandhi That’ll Encourage You To Change The World

Mahatma Gandhi, born October 2, 1869 in Porbandar, Kathiawar Agency, British India, had a law degree but realized he was too introverted to practice law. Raised in a merchant caste family, he opted to pursue another line of work that would in later years earn him the name “Mahatma,” which means “The great-souled one.”

Gandhi’s mother raised her son to have simple needs, be a vegetarian, shun violence and tolerate the views of others. He appreciated this upbringing so much that he once quipped, “It may be possible to gild pure gold, but who can make his mother more beautiful?”

Gandhi devoted his life to fight for Indian independence from the British Empire through non-violent civil disobedience, a path that led his countrymen to immortalize him as the “Father of India.” Throughout the rest of the world, the date of his birth is celebrated as the International Day of Nonviolence.

How did such a lowly individual come to become such an impactful leader? What propelled him to stand up against injustice, government oppressions and change the world?

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Here are 10 eternally inspiring quotes from Gandhi that’ll give you a glimpse into his mind. The quotes are simple truths and powerful exhortation by Gandhi himself that can change your life. They’ll encourage you to get up and play your part in making the world a better place. Enjoy.

1. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Gandhi wished to see an end of poverty and Indians gain more rights. He wished governments stopped oppressing citizens and violating their basic human rights. So he stood up and began to champion for civil rights and inspire freedom movements around the world. In the end, he became the change he wanted to see in the world. You must be willing to roll up your sleeves, get in the ring and fight for the change you wish to see. It starts with you — your personal resolve and willingness to sacrifice for change.

2. “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”

Inspiring words are great. They help to highlight problems and strengthen people’s convictions. But, words alone are not enough. Gandhi believed in taking action—non-violent action. It doesn’t really matter how small or how radical your actions are, or even if you succeed, taking action is its own reward. As Gandhi himself observed, “Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.” Don’t be indifferent or a silent observer of ills in the world. Act now to bring positive change.

3. “My life is my message.”

In the course of his straggles for freedom and justice, Gandhi developed a concept he called “satyagraha.” This was in essence a philosophy devoted to the truth and non-violence. He modeled an ascetic lifestyle that incorporated prayer, fasting and meditation. He started wearing a traditional white dhoti or long loincloth, and was arrested several times for leading peaceful protests. His campaigns were to ease poverty, increase religious tolerance and expand human rights, including women’s rights. His life was his message. And his followers saw it and started calling him “Mahatma.” Your life should be your message too.

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4. “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

If you are struggling to find yourself or the meaning of your existence, commit yourself to the service of others. There you will find yourself because you are part of the whole, and the whole is part of you. Your welfare is interlinked with the welfare of others in the human family.

5. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

No one knows what will happen the next minute, let alone the next hour or tomorrow. Tomorrow might in fact never come. So do your absolute best now. Learn as much as you can about how to improve the world now. Show up and make the world better now. Now is the only time you are sure of.

On January 30, 1948, Gandhi was assassinated while walking to a prayer meeting in New Delhi. The assassin, a young Hindu extremist, was angry because Gandhi had been negotiating with Muslims. But, Gandhi lived each day of his adult life to the fullest. Because of that, and inspite of being assassinated at age 78, his legacy lives on years later. It can never be killed.

6. “I am a humble but very earnest seeker after truth.”

Wicked forces in the world wish to hide and stifle the truth. Seek out the truth and guard it earnestly because the truth shall set you free; the truth shall set the world free. Gandhi believed so much in seeking after the truth because, as he put it himself, “Truth never damages a cause that is just.” Truth may in fact damage an unjust cause.

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7. “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

In 1930, Gandhi led a march to the sea to protest Salt Laws that required Indians to purchase expensive British salt rather than mine their own. Many observers laughed at the protestors and others just ignored them. The protesters boiled salt water and extracted “illegal” salt. Gandhi was arrested, but soon after released so that he could attend round table negotiations in London.

The Round Table Conference was not great for Gandhi, but he met the King of England and gained international exposure. Those who laughed at him were not laughing any more. He won. Stand fast and fight for a better world inspite of people’s ridicule and mockery. You will win in the end.

8. “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

According to Gandhi, vengeance and violent retaliation is not the answer for injustice. Gandhi actually believed that,“Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.” So, he firmly asserted: “I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”

This conviction that violence is not the answer worked for Gandhi; it worked for Martin Luther King Jr.; it can work for you too!

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9. “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

Forgiveness is often quite hard. That is why it’s an attribute of the strong. It’s a gift that warms the heart and cools the sting. It is a sign of strength. When you forgive it does not delete a memory, it creates a new way to remember. It allows you to change your attitude. When your attitude changes, so does the attitude of the world toward you change. You influence the world positively by being generous with forgiveness.

10. “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

You don’t have get your bowels in an uproar and huff and puff to make a change in this world. This is self evident in Gandhi’s own life. He was one of the gentlest beings to ever walk the earth. And if you thought being gentle is a weakness, you couldn’t be more wrong. A gentle, forceful nature is what made Gandhi one of most revered spiritual-nationalist leader the world has seen. Gandhi is a testament that no matter what your circumstances, with a gentle, resolute spirit you can change the world.

Featured photo credit: Timothy Tolle via flickr.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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