Just as you would not neglect seeds that you planted with the hope that they will bear vegetables and fruits and flowers, so you must attend to and nourish the garden of your becoming.
—Jean Houston (b.1937) American New Thought Author, Speaker
One does not “find oneself” by pursuing one’s self, but on the contrary by pursuing something else and learning through discipline or routine … who one is and wants to be.
—May Sarton (1912–95) American Children’s Books Writer, Poet, Novelist
Neither evil tongues, rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all the dreary intercourse of daily life, shall ever prevail against us.
—William Wordsworth (1770–1850) English Poet
There is only one you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.
—Will Smith (b.1968) American Actor, TV Personality, Film Producer
Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile, I caught hell for.
—Earl Warren (1891–1974) American Judge, Politician
Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones tend to take care of themselves.
—Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) American Self-Help Author
Life demands from you only the strength you posses. One one feat is possible—not to have run away.
—Dag Hammarskjold (1905–61) Swedish Statesman, UN Diplomat
We must overcome the notion that we must be regular…it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre.
—Uta Hagen (1919–2004) German-American Actress
It’s a dangerous thing to name yourself wrongly or to name yourself unjustly.
—John O’Donohue (1956–2008) Irish Priest, Hegelian Philosopher
We are all born originals—why is it so many of us die copies?
—Edward Young (1683–1765) English Poet
If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.
—Juan Ramon Jimenez (1881–1958) Spanish Lyric Poet
A bird does not sing because he has an answer. He sings because he has a song.
—Joan Walsh Anglund (1926–2021) American Poet, Children’s Book Author
It is not worth an intelligent man’s time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that.
—G. H. Hardy (1877–1947) English Mathematician
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.
—Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) Swiss Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Philosopher
We mean by “politics” the people’s business—the most important business there is.
—Adlai Stevenson (1900–65) American Diplomat, Politician, Orator
A man must be obedient to the promptings of his innermost heart.
—Robertson Davies (1913–95) Canadian Novelist, Playwright, Essayist
Think about your future possibilities and the fact that your potential is virtually unlimited. You can do what you want to do and go where you want to go. You can be the person you want to be. You can set large and small goals and make plans and move step-by-step, progressively toward their realization. There are no obstacles to what you can accomplish except the obstacles that you create in your mind.
—Brian Tracy (b.1944) American Author, Motivational Speaker
No one is to be called an enemy, all are your benefactors, and no one does you harm. You have no enemy except yourselves.
—Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) Italian Monk, Founder of the Franciscan Order
Any life, no matter how long and complex it may be, is made up of a single moment—the moment in which a man finds out, once and for all, who he is.
—Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) Argentine Writer, Essayist, Poet
The one person who most blocks you from a full, happy, and successful life is you. He is therefore wise who makes himself an asset. We can be our won worst enemy or best friend. We can be a source of trouble or a cure for trouble. So if you feel empty, as many do, start by getting free from yourself as a first stop to vibrant living.
—Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993) American Clergyman, Self-Help Author
In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.
—Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) American Head of State, Lawyer
When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other. Originality is deliberate and forced, and partakes of the nature of a protest
—Eric Hoffer (1902–83) American Philosopher, Author
Committing yourself is a way of finding out who you are. A man finds his identity by identifying.
A desire to be in charge of our own lives, a need for control, is born in each of us. It is essential to our mental health, and our success, that we take control.
—Robert F. Kennedy (1925–68) American Politician, Civil Rights Activist
There is nothing of which every man is so afraid, as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.
—Soren Kierkegaard (1813–55) Danish Philosopher, Theologian
We should every night call ourselves to an account: What infirmity have I mastered today? What passions opposed? What temptation resisted? What virtue acquired? Our vices will abate of themselves if they be brought every day to the shrift.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
Sometimes the best way to figure out who you are is to get to that place where you don’t have to be anything else.
We fail to see that we can control our own destiny; make ourselves do whatever is possible; make ourselves become whatever we long to be.
—Orison Swett Marden (1850–1924) American New Thought Writer, Physician, Entrepreneur
Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.
—Pope John XXIII (1881–1963) Italian Catholic Religious Leader, Pope