I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.
—Douglas Adams (1952–2001) English Novelist, Scriptwriter
We can secure other people’s approval if we do right and try hard; but our own is worth a hundred of it, and no way has been found out of securing that.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
I care not so much what I am in the opinion of others as what I am in my own; I would be rich of myself and not by borrowing.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
Self-approbation, when founded in truth and a good conscience, is a source of some of the purest joys known to man.
—Charles Simmons (1924–2017) American Editor, Novelist
When the fight begins within himself, a man’s worth something.
—Robert Browning (1812–89) English Poet
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild, and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the World.
This curious world we inhabit is more wonderful than convenient; more beautiful than useful; it is more to be admired and enjoyed than used.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
I am my own heaven and hell.
—Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) German Poet, Dramatist
Learning how to operate a soul figures to take time.
—Timothy Leary (1920–96) American Psychologist, Author
Than self-restraint there is nothing better.
—Laozi (fl.6th Century BCE) Chinese Philosopher, Sage
Self-love is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
A man may be so much of every thing, that he is nothing of any thing.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
Every man is the painter and the sculptor of his own life.
—John Chrysostom (c.347–407 CE) Archbishop of Constantinople
There is such a thing as honest pride and self-respect.
—Edwin Hubbell Chapin (1814–80) American Preacher, Poet
Our own self-love draws a thick veil between us and our faults.
—Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773) English Statesman, Man of Letters
A man is ever apt to contemplate himself out of all proportion to his surroundings.
—Christina Rossetti (1830–94) English Poet, Hymn Writer
Man is a wonder to himself; he can neither govern nor know himself.
—Benjamin Whichcote (1609–83) British Anglican Priest, Theologian, Philosopher
If you love men and they are unfriendly, look into your love; if you rule men and they are unruly, look into your wisdom; if you are courteous to them and they do not respond, look into your courtesy. If what you do is vain, always seek within.
—Mencius (c.371–c.289 BCE) Chinese Philosopher, Sage
Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Man can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as… from a lack of bread.
—Richard Wright (1908–1960) American Novelist, Short-Story Writer
There are chapters in every life which are seldom read and certainly not aloud.
—Carol Shields (1935–2003) American-born Canadian Novelist, Short Story Writer
The self is only that which it is in the process of becoming.
—Soren Kierkegaard (1813–55) Danish Philosopher, Theologian
Camouflage is a game we all like to play, but our secrets are as surely revealed by what we want to seem to be as by what we want to conceal.
—Russell Lynes (1910–91) American Art Historian, Photographer, Author, Editor
Whatever task you undertake, do it with all your heart and soul. Always be courteous, never be discouraged. Beware of him who promises something for nothing. Do not blame anybody for your mistakes and failures. Do not look for approval except the consciousness of doing your best.
—Bernard M. Baruch (1870–1965) American Financier, Economic Consultant
The greatest service we can perform for others is to help them to help themselves.
—Horace Mann (1796–1859) American Educator, Politician, Educationalist
We have five senses in which we glory and which we recognize and celebrate, senses that constitute the sensible world for us. But there are other senses – secret senses, sixth senses, if you will – equally vital, but unrecognized, and unlauded.
—Oliver Sacks (1933–2015) Anglo-American Neurologist, Writer
We can be thankful to a friend for a few acres, or a little money; and yet for the freedom and command of the whole earth, and for the great benefits of our being, our life, health, and reason, we look upon ourselves as under no obligation.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
Self-pity is our worst enemy, and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
Men throw themselves on foreign assistances to spare their own, which, after all, are the only certain and sufficient ones.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
Who’s not sat tense before his own heart’s curtain?
—Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) Austrian Poet