Quotes about the Self

Most popular the self quotes

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.


Our ideas of self are created by identification. The less we cling to ideas of self, the freer and happier we will be.


When we fully attend to the management of self, excellent management of all else is unavoidable.
Better to conquer yourself than to conquer thousands in battle.
I have no home but me.

be yourself

You can't change the music of your soul.

authenticity be yourself change individuality

The self holds both a hell and a heaven.
The center of the universe is still the self.
There is no such flatterer as is a man's self.

flattery self-deception

Maybe being oneself is always an acquired taste.

be yourself

My inner self was a house divided against itself.

be yourself inner peace

We are all serving a life-sentence in the dungeon of self.
The burden of the self is lightened when I laugh at myself.
When I look for my existence, I don't look for it in myself.
Men may rise on stepping-stones
Of their dead selves to higher things.

aspiration growth

Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.
To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self.


No man thinks there is much ado about nothing when the ado is about himself.
Resolve to be thyself; and know, that he
Who finds himself, loses his misery.

be yourself inner peace

I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart. I am. I am. I am.
Who sees all beings in his own Self, and his own Self in all beings, loses all fear.
— The Upanishads

fear universalism

I didn't learn for years that you generally find your Self after you quit looking for it.
One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star.


Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes.
There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.
If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am 'I'? And if not now, when?
Many of our problems with anger occur when we choose between having a relationship and having a self.


The self is not something ready-made, but something in continuous formation through choice of action.


I am not a thing — a noun. I seem to be a verb, an evolutionary process — an integral function of Universe.
I existed from all eternity and, behold, I am here; and I shall exist till the end of time, for my being has no end.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

authenticity be yourself

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self.

bravery desire self-control

Perhaps the depth of love can be calibrated by the number of different selves that are actively involved in a given relationship.


One is still what one is going to cease to be and already what one is going to become. One lives one's death, one dies one's life.
A biography is considered complete if it merely accounts for six or seven selves, whereas a person may well have as many thousand.
Every decision is like a murder, and our march forward is over the stillborn bodies of all our possible selves that we'll never be.
— Louis Pasteur: Free Lance of Science


Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.

confidence contentment health

People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself.  But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.

know yourself

Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and be more, and to do more.
The self is merely the lens through which we see others and the world, and if this lens is not clear of distortions, we cannot perceive others.
To study the Buddha way is to study the self. To study the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.

buddhist enlightenment

It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.
The living self has one purpose only: to come into its own fullness of being, as a tree comes into full blossom, or a bird into spring beauty, or a tiger into luster.

purpose of life

She began to understand why lovers talk baby talk to one another. There was no other socially acceptable circumstance in which the children inside her were permitted to come out.
People can't live with change if there's not a changeless core inside them. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about and what you value.
The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self—all your wishes and precautions—to Christ. Until you have given up your self to Him you will not have a real self.

God Jesus religious

Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atoms.

know yourself

Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music - the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.

egotism spiritual

What we call 'I' is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. When your mind is... calm enough to follow this movement, there is nothing, no world, no mind nor body, just a swinging door.

buddhist meditation

We are so many selves ... the person we were last year, wanted to be yesterday, tried to become in one job or in one winter, in one love affair or even in one house where even now, we can close our eyes and smell the rooms.


The greatest hazard of all, losing one's self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all.  No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss—an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc.—is sure to be noticed.


Living things tend to change unrecognizably as they grow. Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant? Flora or fauna, we are all shapeshifters and magical reinventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves.
We are all our own graveyards, I believe; we squat amongst the tombs of the people we were. If we're healthy, every day is a celebration, a Day of the Dead, in which we give thanks for the lives that we lived, and if we are neurotic we brood and mourn and wish that the past was still present.

profound the past

One realizes that even in harmonious families there is this double life: the group life, which is the one we can observe in our neighbour's household, and, underneath, another – secret and passionate and intense – which is the real life that stamps the faces and gives character to the voices of our friends. Always in his mind each member of these social units is escaping, running away, trying to break the net which circumstances and his own affections have woven about him. One realizes that human relationships are the tragic necessity of human life; that they can never be wholly satisfactory, that every ego is half the time greedily seeking them, and half the time pulling away from them. In those simple relationships of loving husband and wife, affectionate sisters, children and grandmother, there are innumerable shades of sweetness and anguish which make up the pattern of our lives day by day.

family relationships the human condition