Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

37 Life-Changing Quotes


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

Sun - Life-Changing Quotes

“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

Sunset - Profound Quotes

“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


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  1. Hi Sandra,

    Thanks for sharing an excellent collection of quotes, each one speaks volumes if we read carefully and ponder. At present I am chewing on ‘Enlightenment is like….

  2. Thank you for these Sandra as quotes generally do have a profound affect on me and they inspire much of my writing especially for my new blog, Living From Happiness which I just started at the end of July.

  3. Jean Sampson

    Thanks Sandra—-I love every one of them! I especially love the one about going into your fear and letting it go through you and then realizing that it was GONE!

  4. You have given me a whole library of quotes that are new to me…no mean feat Sandra. So many beautiful words to contemplate. I shall begin immediately! 🙂

    • I’m always inspired by the quotes you include in your blog posts, Elle! I have no doubt your contemplation has been fruitful.

  5. What a great variety of people you’ve chosen quotes from here. I’ve been studying Thich Nhat Hanh this year – and last – he’s amazing but I’m very intested in the quote by Sogyal Rinpoche. No more redecorating! Time to just be 🙂

    • I love Thich Nhat Hanh too. There are so many wonderful spiritual teachers. Wisdom is always so very close to us. And so much can be gain by just being.

  6. Thanks for the morning inspiration. My favourite are always ones on giving back to the world. I have shared them via twitter in hopes to inspire just one person to give today. A student that we taught our giving program to this past school year had the best quote ” We are the change the world needs” One of my favourite. Thank you for sharing have a lovely day.

    • You’re welcome, Jacqueline. Thanks for sharing this quote from your student too. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all adopt that view. You have a beautiful intention!

  7. Enoch Richard

    Thanks much for giving us the light in our footsteps, showing us the way we should go and brightening our days

  8. Juanita Bay

    Greetings Sandra. May I add these to your list? Warm regards.

    The sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.
    ~Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

    “We’re in a free fall into future. We don’t know where we’re going. Things are changing so fast. And always when you’re going through a long tunnel, anxiety comes along. But all you have to do to transform your hell into a paradise is to turn your fall into a voluntary act. It’s a very interesting shift of perspective . . . Joyfully participate in the sorrows of the world and everything changes.” —Joseph Campbell

    “God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
    then walks with us silently out of the night.

    These are the words we dimly hear:

    You, sent out beyond your recall,
    go to the limits of your longing.
    Embody me.

    Flare up like a flame
    and make big shadows I can move in.

    Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
    Just keep going. No feeling is final.
    Don’t let yourself lose me.

    Nearby is the country they call life.
    You will know it by its seriousness.

    Give me your hand.”
    ― Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

  9. Thanks for the awesome quotes. I think the Pema Chodron one is the one I most related to. Learning to flow with the ups and downs of life and remaining calm is so important to your mental health. Hope you break from blogging went well.

  10. These are awesome quotes. I printed off the one that was said by Crowfoot and put it on my fridge. Thanks for the inspiration!

  11. Sandra, because I was seeing the Ernest Hemingway quote for the 2nd time in as many days, I am recognizing Divine Arrangement and welcoming the essence of these words to guide me, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”

    Thank you for all the inspiration and wisdom you share.

    ~ Dena

    • Dear Dena,

      How inspiring it is to see how you are flowing with the synchronicity. I love the idea of “Divine Arrangement.” We don’t have to see broken as “bad,” do we? We can see it as part of our strengthening process.

      • Recently, I began a novena with this focus: This is Divine Arrangement. Everything is Divine Arrangement.

        It is helping me find more spaciousness around situations that had been triggering frustration and stress. (Sometimes I hear my inner voice saying, “This TOO is Divine Arrangement.”)

  12. Ron Nilson

    Real gems here! And you nailed my personal all-time favorite – the one by St. Francis. Thanks.

    • Dear Ron, That is truly an amazing quote by St. Francis! It indicates a very high level of realization from my perspective. It coincides with the Buddhist perspective of abiding in pure awareness. I’m glad you liked the quotes.

  13. These are amazing quotes Sandra. I started to read through them all, but had to stop after the first three. There is such profound thoughts in each of them and I am the kind of person that needs time to ponder and linger over things. I couldn’t take in any more. I will be coming back to read a few each day. Thanks for posting.

    • I feel they are very special too, Sharon. That’s why I felt good calling them “life-changing.” Almost every one is very profound. Enjoy them at a leisurely pace! I agree, there’s much to let sink in.

  14. Hi Sandra,
    Super collection of quotes.
    I am a great follower of that one by Victor Frankl; about the gap between stimulus and response.
    Difficult to follow sometimes ,but grea test practice for self growth

    • Hi Mona,

      That’s one of my favorites too! Our happiness lies in that gap, doesn’t it. You’re so right, it’s a great test of our personal growth as it does take training and patience to allow for the gap. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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