Sometimes we need a powerful kick in the pants or a few potent words to remind us of the obvious. You may have heard these quotes before, but are you living their truth?
That’s the daily challenge, isn’t it? Let these quotes help you rise up. Take just one for now and chew on it for a while, several days, even. Turn it around in your mind again and again. Consider how you can actually apply it to your life. Let it catapult you into an open space where new possibilities arise.
A quote can can alter your life, but only if you let it seep in. That’s called the lost zone of contemplation.
37 Profound, Life-Altering Quotes
“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” – Leonardo Da Vinci
“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
“Everything we call real is made up of things that cannot be regarded as real. If quantum mechanics hasn’t profoundly shocked you, you haven’t understood it yet.” – Niels Bohr
“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.” – Thomas Merton
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Viktor E. Frankl
“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” – Kurt Vonnegut
“It is remarkable how liberating it feels to be able to see that your thoughts are just thoughts and that they are not ‘you’ or ‘reality.’ For instance, if you have the thought that you have to get a certain number of things done today and you don’t recognize it as a thought but act as if it’s the ‘the truth,’ then you have created a reality in that moment in which you really believe that those things must all be done today.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
“When I dare to be powerful — to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde
“The traditional Buddhist image for compassion is that of the sun, which shines beneficently and equally on all. It is the sun’s nature to shine; there is no struggle. Likewise, compassion is a natural human activity, once the veils and obstacles to its expression are removed.” – Judy L. Lief
“One way to prevent mental suffering is to observe ourselves and figure out what triggers our problem. If we can identify what makes our blood pressure rise and causes us to feel upset, then we have taken a big step toward seeing the larger picture. With this wider perspective, there is less chance that we will jump back into an old habitual pattern that only makes us feel bad.
It is not that we have to stop going to all family holidays, but that we figure out ways to enjoy the parts that are enjoyable, like the delicious food and the chance to connect with people, and to feel more neutral and detached about the annoying or hurtful moments. We often place too many expectations and requirements on ourselves and those around us. We could give the situation a little space and see what develops. The kindest thing we can do in these situations is to remain calm and refrain from causing more difficulty.” – Khenpo Gawang
“With eternity to draw on there could be no reason for hurrying — ‘hurry’ was not a concept in Martian.” Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger In a Strange Land
“Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace.” – Joan Borysenko
“It can be helpful to remember that the enlightened mind and the ordinary mind are two sides of the same coin. The mind is like the sea, which can be rough on the surface, with mountainous waves stirred up by ferocious wind, but calm and peaceful at the bottom. Sometimes we can catch sight of this peaceful mind even in times of trouble. These glimpses of peace show us that we may have more inner resources to draw upon than we had realized. With skill and patience, we can learn how to be in touch with our peaceful selves.” – Tulku Thondup
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ― Desmond Tutu
“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa
“In Tibetan, the word for ‘body’ is lü, which means ‘something you leave behind,’ like baggage. Each time we say lü, it reminds us that we are only travelers, taking temporary refuge in this life and this body. In Tibet, people did not distract themselves by spending all their time trying to make their external circumstances more comfortable. They were satisfied if they had enough to eat, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads.
Going on, as we do, obsessively trying to improve our conditions, can become an end in itself, and a pointless distraction. Would people in their right mind think of fastidiously redecorating their hotel room every time they checked in to one?” – Sogyal Rinpoche
“Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.” – Don Miguel Ruiz
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.” – Oscar Wilde
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” – Ernest Hemingway
“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and ‘start searching for different ways or truer answers.'” – M. Scott Peck
“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” – Crowfoot, April 1980, on his deathbed.
“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” – Joseph Campbell
“We all depend on one another. For this reason, whenever we act according to self-interest, sooner or later our selfish aims are bound to clash with the aims of the people we rely upon to accomplish our own goals. When that happens, conflicts will inevitably arise. As we learn to be more balanced in valuing others’ concerns with our own, we will naturally find ourselves involved in fewer and fewer conflicts. In the meantime, it is helpful to acknowledge that conflicts are the logical outcome of this combination of self-interest and interdependence. Once we recognize this, we can see that conflicts are nothing to feel shocked or offended by. Rather, we can address them calmly and with wisdom.” – the Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje
“I dwell in possibility” – Emily Dickinson
“Who we are looking for is who is looking.” – St. Francis of Assisi
“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: ‘When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?'” – Gabrielle Roth
“Enlightenment is like witnessing the brilliant sun for the first time in the morning. It is like seeing the beautiful flowers that grow in the wood, the frolicking deer, a bird flying proudly, or fish swimming. Life is not all that grim. In the morning you brush your teeth, you can see how shiny they are. Reality has its own gallantry, spark, and arrogance. You can study life while you are alive. You can study how you can achieve the brilliance of life.” – Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
“To stay with that shakiness—to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.” – Pema Chodron
“Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: I’m with you kid. Let’s go.” – Maya Angelou
“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” Anne Frank
“Perhaps everything terrible is in its being something that needs our love.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
“We are all here on this planet, as it were, as tourists. None of us can live here forever. The longest we might live is a hundred years. So while we are here we should try to have a good heart and to make something positive and useful of our lives. Whether we live just a few years or a whole century, it would be truly regrettable and sad if we were to spend that time aggravating the problems that afflict other people, animals, and the environment. The most important things is to be a good human being.” – the Dalai Lama
Is there a quote in this collection that might truly change your life if you were to take it to heart? I would love to hear your choice!
Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious! Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always. With love, Sandra