Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was also know as Mahatma, meaning “Great Soul”.
As an Indian activist and leader, he inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world (in a nonviolent resistance).
Gandhi’s wisdom transcends most of your typical, cliche quotes. His words will change your perspective, provide you with inspiration and make you think differently about the world.
Below are just a few of his brilliant quotes, and how I feel we can apply them to our lives.
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment.”
We should always strive to remember that the journey is just as important, if not more so, than the destination.
It is in the journey in which we learn things about ourselves. We meet and rise above challenges.
We grow stronger, smarter, more resilient.
We often look to people who have achieved (what we perceive to be) success, and immediately want what they have. We see the fruits of their labour but rarely do we see the blood, sweat and tears behind the labour itself. And that is where the satisfaction comes from — rising up to challenges, jumping over hurdles — pure perseverance.
The reward or destination at the end of the journey is nothing but the end game. It’s everything in the lead-up that counts.
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself, who inspire you, who treat other people with kindness.
Avoid those who are toxic, who make you feel inferior or small. Your mind is your sanctuary and you have a big amount of control over the people and events that intrude upon it.
It’s easy to stew on the negative comments (made hurtful intentionally or not) for days on end. But what someone says to you or about you says more about them than you.
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
Whether you turn on the TV, scroll through social media, listen to the radio or read the news on your phone, it’s easy to become disheartened with what you see and hear.
It can often appear that the world is full of hate and violence, and sadly, it’s pretty damn true.
But for all the hate, there is more love.
For all of the violence, there is more kindness.
Even if we look at some recent news stories, we will see love and kindness shine through the darkness.
Take the story of Quaden Bayles, an Australian boy who captivated hearts around the world after his mother posted a video of him distressed and in tears after one too many bullying incidences.
Despite the despicable act of bullying, thousands of people rallied together to raise over $700,000 to send him to Disneyland (an offer which the family ended up declining, instead requesting it to be donated to various charities).
Celebrities like Hugh Jackman, Cardi B, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and several other celebrities sent Quaden videos and message of support.
He was invited to the All Stars NRL match and lead the team out.
In the end, the good trumped the bad.
Even more recently came the story of Callum Manning, a 13-year who decided to create an Instagram account to review books he’d read.
Soon after, his sister posted a message on social media, disgusted that a group of kids from Callum’s school had invited him into a group chat, purely for the purpose of ridiculing him for the account.
In response to the sister’s post, thousands of people began to follow his Instagram account to show their support (at the time of writing, his follow count is up to 354,000).
Harper Collins and several other publishers offered to send him free books.
Well-known authors such as Caroline Kepnes, Malorie Blackman and Matt Haig sent message of support.
Strangers from around the globe began buying him books form his Amazon Wishlist.
Despite the nastiness, the violence, the hate and the devastation around the world, it’s important to remember that the good almost always outshines the bad. The ocean isn’t dirtied by a few drops of dirt. Humanity is far too vast to be tainted by the evil of some.
“We may stumble and fall but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle.”
All to often, we are too hard on ourselves.
We can feel down and lost.
It’s therefore important to remind ourselves that simply making it through the day is sometimes enough of an achievement.
And when we experience adversity, in all shapes and sizes, we need to remember that:
- We will get through it.
2. We should feel proud of that fact.
“Change yourself — you are in control.”
I love this quote because it is so broad, and can fit into the context of anyone’s life.
If you’re unhappy, unsettled or unsatisfied, you have the power to change your situation.
If you feel like you could be kinder, stronger, better — you can be.
It is also in your hands to be able to forgive, grow, learn and evolve.
The ability to change is almost entirely in your hands.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
Life can slip right through our fingers whilst we count down the days to the weekend, or an upcoming holiday, or a big life event.
But every day is special, and should be treated as such.
We spend the vast majority of our days in a manner of chaos.
Hectic schedules, conflicting priorities and clashing timelines.
No matter what we seem to achieve, we remain unsatisfied. Happiness and fulfilment eludes us.
With these obstacles in mind, we need to try and appreciate the little things.
Make the most of each day and practice mindfulness. Live in every moment. And SLOW DOWN, because you will probably never be able to achieve everything that you want to achieve (and that’s okay).
If we constantly live in the moment, rather than constantly looking to the future, we will live truly satisfying and fulfilling lives.
“Whatever you do in life will be insignificant but it is very important that you do it because you can’t know. You can’t ever really know the meaning of your life. And you don’t need to. Every life has a meaning, whether it lasts one hundred years or one hundred seconds. Every life, and every death, changes the world in its own way. You can’t know. So don’t take it for granted. But don’t take it too seriously. Don’t postpone what you want. Don’t leave anything misunderstood. Make sure the people you care about know. Make sure they know how you really feel. Because just like that… it could end.”
And with that quote? Well, there’s really nothing left to be said. Just sit with it for a moment.