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20 Inspirational Sayings for Growth and Personal Insight

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20 Inspirational Sayings for Growth and Personal Insight

Never underestimate the power of words.

They can inspire us, influence our decisions, and even change our entire outlook on a subject. A single sentence may resonate with a reader on such a level that it can undo years of hurt and heal old wounds, or it may bring about incredible introspection and awareness, leading to change and growth. Words spoken by prominent people have spurred people into action for thousands of years, and there are many people  who owe their greatest successes and personal epiphanies to quotes they’ve read.

Hopefully some of the ones compiled below will resonate with you as well, and if they do, feel free to share them. If some of them happen to be about one particular gender or another, please don’t be put off: the sentiments can be applied to those of any gender, age, or faith.

“Nothing ever happened in the past that can prevent you from being present now, and if the past cant prevent you from being present now, what power does it have?”
 Eckhart Tolle

 

“Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.”
 May Sarton

 

“You are Life passing through your body, passing through your mind, passing through your soul. Once you find that out, not with logic, not with the intellect, but because you can feel that Life—you find out that you are the force that makes the flowers open and close, that makes the hummingbird fly from flower to flower. You find out that you are in every tree, and you are in every animal, vegetable, and rock. You are that force that moves the wind and breathes through your body. The whole universe is a living being that is moved by that force, and that is what you are. You are Life.”

Don Miguel Ruiz

 

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Frank Herbert, Dune

 

“Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don’t do that by sitting around, wondering about yourself.”

Katharine Hepburn

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    “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

    Leonardo da Vinci

    quote-Leonardo-da-Vinci-it-had-long-since-come-to-my-89606

       

      “There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.”
       Steve Maraboli

       

      “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

       Ralph Waldo Emerson

       

      “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

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        “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”

         Richard Bach

         

        “I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. Its because of them I’m doing it myself.” 

        Albert Einstein

         

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        “The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mudthe obstacles of life and its suffering. The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one. ”

         Goldie Hawn

         

        “It’s not enough to have lived.
        We should be determined to live for something.
        May I suggest that it be creating joy for others,
        sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind,
        bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.”

        – Leo Buscaglia

         

        “Often misconstrued, authenticity is not about being an open book, revealing every detail of yourself without rhyme or reason. It is simply the act of openly and courageously seeing what needs to be seen, saying what needs to be said, doing what needs to be done, and becoming that which you are intent on being.”
        – Scott Edmund Miller

         

        “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

        – Roald Dahl

         

        “The greatness of a man can nearly always be measured by his willingness to be kind.”

        – G. Young

         

        “Never again clutter your days or nights with so many menial and unimportant things that you have no time to accept a real challenge when it comes along. This applies to play as well as work. A day merely survived is no cause for celebration.”

        – Og Mandino

         

        “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
        – J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

        quote-J.-K.-Rowling-it-takes-a-great-deal-of-bravery-106426

           

          “Every time you do a good deed you shine the light a little farther into the dark. And the thing is, when you’re gone, that light is going to keep shining on, pushing the shadows back.”
          – Charles de Lint

           

          “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
          Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
          So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

          Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
          Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”
          – Neil Gaiman

          More by this author

          Catherine Winter

          Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on November 18, 2021

          10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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          10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

          We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

          A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

          So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

          • honest
          • reliable
          • competent
          • kind and compassionate
          • capable of taking the blame
          • able to persevere
          • modest and humble
          • pacific and can control anger.

          The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

          1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

          All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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          But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

          2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

          How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

          I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

          “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

          Abigail Van Buren

          3. How does this person take the blame?

          Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

          4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

          You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

          5. Read their emails.

          Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

          • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
          • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
          • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
          • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
          • Too many question marks can show anger
          • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

          6. Watch out for the show offs.

          Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

          7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

          A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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          Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

          8. Their empathy score is high.

          Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

          People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

          9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

          We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

          “One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

          Stendhal

           10. Avoid toxic people.

          These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

          • Envy or jealousy
          • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
          • Complaining about their own lack of success
          • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
          • Obsession with themselves and their problems

          Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

          Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

          Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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