Self-Awareness Quotes

“Your master is he who controls that on which you have set your heart or wish to avoid.”
~ Epictetus

A man’s true delight is to do the things he was made for.”
~ Marcus Aurelius

“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower. You didn’t have to struggle to make your face different than anyone else’s on earth. It just is. You are unique because you were created that way. Look at little children in kindergarten. They’re all different without trying to be. As long as they’re unselfconsciously being themselves, they can’t help but shine. It’s only later, when children are taught to compete, to strive to be better than others, that their natural light becomes distorted.”
~ Marianne Williamson
21st century spiritual teacher

“Anyone will be unhappy until he recognizes his true calling.”
~ Unknown

“Be harsh with yourself at times.”
~ Seneca
from Letters from a Stoic
– Reflection

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
~ Walt Whitman
19th century American poet
– Self Concept

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
~ Leo Tolstoy
– Reflection

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
~ Carl Jung
– Self Concept

“Follow your bliss.”
~ Joseph Campbell
20th Century Philosopher & Mythology Expert
from A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living
– Divine Within

“Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?”
~ Benjamin Franklin
18th century US statesman, writer and scientist
– Divine Within

“Humility is to make a right estimate of oneself.”
~ Harry Truman
33rd President of the United States, 1945-53

It is the greatest good for an individual to discuss virtue (aka areté) every day…for the unexamined life is not worth living.”
~ Socrates
5th century bce Greek philosopher
from The Apology

“Know thyself.”
~ Socrates
5th century bce Greek philosopher

“Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves.”
~ James Allen
19th century English writer

“No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature. Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this. The only right is what is after my constitution; the only wrong what is against it.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
19th century Transcendental philosopher

“O, happy the soul that saw its own faults.”
~ Mevlana Rumi
13th century sufi poet and mystic
from Rumi Daylight: A Daybook of Spiritual Guidance

“Only by much searching and mining are gold and diamonds obtained, and man can find every truth connected with his being if he will dig deep into the mine of his soul.”
~ James Allen
19th century English writer
from As a Man Thinketh

“People of the world don’t look at themselves, and so they blame one another.”
~ Mevlana Rumi
13th century sufi poet and mystic
from Rumi Daylight: A Daybook of Spiritual Guidance

“People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.”
~ St Augustine

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”
~ Confucius
6th century bce Chinese sage and founder of Confucianism

Retire into yourself as much as possible. Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those whom you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one. People learn as they teach.”
~ Seneca
from Letters from a Stoic

“Success is achieved by development of our strengths, not by elimination of our weakness.”
~ Marilyn Vos Savant

“The best you can do for someone else is to be yourself.”
~ Aaron Eisenberger
21st century wizard (and head of technology for thinkarete)

“The easiest thing in the world is to be you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position.”
~ Leo Buscaglia
20th century Dr. of Love

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
~ William Shakespeare
The greatest playwright who ever lived

“The giving up of personality traits, well-established patterns of behavior, ideologies, and even whole life styles…these are major forms of giving up that are required if one is to travel very far on the journey of life.”
~ M. Scott Peck

“The man who is aware of himself is henceforward independent; and he is never bored, and life is only too short, and he is steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate happiness.”
~ Virginia Woolf
20th Century British Writer

“The single most important thing you can do in business is to be yourself.”
~ Sherry Lansing

“The superior man is distressed by the limitations of his ability; he is not distressed by the fact that men do not recognize the ability that he has.”
~ Confucius
6th century bce Chinese sage and founder of Confucianism

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
~ Plato
5th century Greek philosophe

The worse a person is the less he feels it.”
~ Seneca
from Letters from a Stoic

“There is a Japanese proverb that literally goes ‘Raise the sail with your stronger hand,’ meaning you must go after the opportunities that arise in life that you are best equipped to do.”
~ Soichiro Honda

“To be authentic literally means to be your own author.”
~ Dan Millman
21st century philosopher

“To be nobody-but-yourself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
~ e.e. cummings

“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men—that is genius.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
19th century Transcendental philosopher

“We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.”
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
19th century American poet

“What difference does it make, after all, what your position in life is if you dislike it yourself?”
~ Seneca
from Letters from a Stoic

“What is the seal of attained freedom? -No longer being ashamed in front of oneself.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
19th century German philosopher

“When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine yourself.”
~ Confucius
6th century bce Chinese sage and founder of Confucianism
from The Analects

“Whereas the average individuals “often have not the slightest idea of what they are, of what they want, of what their own opinions are,” self-actualizing individuals have “superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions, and subjective reactions in general.”

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