Awakening begins when a man realizes that he is going nowhere and does not know where to go.
—Georges Gurdjieff (1877–1949) Armenian Spiritual Leader, Occultist
Sum up at night what thou hast done by day, and in the morning what thou hast to do.—Dress and undress thy soul; mark the decay and growth of it.—If with thy watch, that too be down, then wind up both; since we shall be most surely judged, make thine accounts agree.
—George Herbert (1593–1633) Welsh Anglican Poet, Orator, Clergyman
If you want to be truly successful invest in yourself to get the knowledge you need to find your unique factor. When you find it and focus on it and persevere your success will blossom.
—Sidney Madwed (1926–2013) American Poet, Author
Analysis and synthesis ordinarily clarify matters for us about as much as taking a Swiss watch apart and dumping its wheels, springs, hands, threads, pivots, screws and gears into a layman’s hands for reassembling, clarifies a watch to a layman.
He who knows others is clever; He who knows himself has discernment.
—Laozi (fl.6th Century BCE) Chinese Philosopher, Sage
The first step to improvement, whether mental, moral, or religious, is to know ourselves—our weakness, errors, deficiencies, and sins, that, by divine grace, we may overcome and turn from them all.
—Tryon Edwards American Theologian
Self-knowledge is best learned, not by contemplation, but action.—Strive to do your duty, and you will soon discover of what stuff you are made.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
He knows the universe and does not know himself.
—Jean de La Fontaine (1621–95) French Poet, Short Story Writer
We should know what our convictions are, and stand for them. Upon one’s own philosophy, conscious or unconscious, depends one’s ultimate interpretation of facts. Therefore it is wise to be as clear as possible about one’s subjective principles. As the man is, so will be his ultimate truth.
—Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) Swiss Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Philosopher
No man ever understands quite his own artful dodges to escape from the grim shadow of self-knowledge.
—Joseph Conrad (1857–1924) Polish-born British Novelist
A man who knows he is a fool is not a great fool.
—Zhuang Zhou (c.369–c.286 BCE) Chinese Taoist Philosopher
Know thyself, was counted one of the oracles of the Greeks. It was inscribed as one of their three great precepts, in letters of gold, on the temple at Delphos, and regarded as divine.
—Diogenes Laertius (f.3rd Century CE) Biographer of the Greek Philosophers
—Socrates (469BCE–399BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher
I love people. I love my family, my children… but inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that’s where you renew your springs that never dry up.
—Pearl S. Buck (1892–1973) American Novelist, Human Rights Activist
I’m a salami writer. I try to write good salami, but salami is salami.
—Stephen King (b.1947) American Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Screenwriter, Columnist, Film Director
It is doubtless a vice to turn one’s eyes inward too much, but I am my own comedy and tragedy.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
The one self-knowledge worth having is to know one’s own mind.
—F. H. Bradley (1846–1924 ) British Idealist Philosopher
I think knowing what you cannot do is more important than knowing what you can do. In fact, that’s good taste.
—Lucille Ball (1911–89) American Actor, Comedian, Model
The precept, “Know yourself,” was not solely intended to obviate the pride of mankind; but likewise that we might understand our own worth.
—Cicero (106BCE–43BCE) Roman Philosopher, Orator, Politician, Lawyer
Know thyself? If I knew myself I would run away.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
Become aware of internal, subjective, sub-verbal experiences, so that these experiences can be brought into the world of abstraction, of conversation, of naming, etc. with the consequence that it immediately becomes possible for a certain amount of control to be exerted over these hitherto unconscious and uncontrollable processes.
—Abraham Maslow (1908–70) American Psychologist, Academic, Humanist
Learn what you are and be such.
—Pindar (c.518–c.438 BCE) Greek Lyric Poet
No one who has not a complete knowledge of himself will ever have a true understanding of another.
—Novalis (1772–1801) German Romantic Poet, Novelist
It is, I fear, but a vain show of fulfilling the heathen precept, “Know thyself,” and too often leads to a self-estimate which will subsist in the absence of that fruit by which alone the quality of the tree is made evident.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
The highest and most profitable learning is the knowledge of ourselves. To have a low opinion of our own merits, and to think highly of others, is an evidence of wisdom. All men are frail, but thou shouldst reckon none so frail as thyself.
—Thomas a Kempis (1379–1471) German Religious Priest, Writer
Self knowers always dwell in El Dorado; they drink from the fountain of youth, and at all times owners of all they wish to enjoy.
—Claude M. Bristol (1891–1951) American Journalist, Self-Help Author
Know one, know all.
—The Upanishads Sacred Books of Hinduism
We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects.
—Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–59) French Historian, Political Scientist
To grow wiser means to learn to know better and better the faults to which this instrument with which we feel and judge can be subject.
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–99) German Philosopher, Physicist
Before a man can wake up and find himself famous he has to wake up and find himself.