Also see Success and Failure, Gratitude and Acceptance.
- Always remember you're unique...just like everyone else.
- Be careful. Be kind. Be yourself.
- Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will find them gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. (Rainer Maria Rilke)
- Be yourself...It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.
- Be yourself. Who else is better qualified?
- Before you can break out of prison, you must first realize you're locked up.
- Being free is no guarantee of happiness, but if you're unhappy, at least it will be on your own terms rather than someone else's.
- The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. (Carl Rodgers)
- Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes. (Walt Whitman)
- Eventually it comes to you: the thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely. (Lorraine Hansberry)
- Everyone has a talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads. (Erica Jong)
- Everyone is a genius in some way but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live it's whole life believing that it is stupid.
- For most men life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed. (Clifton Fadiman)
- The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else's rules, while quietly playing by your own. (Michael Konda)
- Figuring out who you are is the whole point of the human experience. (Anna Quindlen)
- How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone. (Coco Chanel)
- A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.
- I am a human being--do not fold, spindle of mutilate
- I cling to my imperfection, as the very essence of my being. (Anatole France)
- I don't have an attitude problem.
You have a perception problem.
- I don't pretend to be something I'm not. Well, normal...sometimes I pretend I'm normal.
- I finally got it all together--but I forgot where I put it.
- I have never agreed with my other self wholly. The truth of the matter seems to lie between us. (Kahlil Gibran)
- I meander to a different drummer.
- I will always decide not to decide...unless I change my mind!
- If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. (Thomas Alva Edison)
- If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters. (Alan Simpson)
- If you have two loaves of bread, give one to the poor, sell the other and buy hyacinths to feed your soul.
- If you're too open minded, your brains will fall out.
- I'm at that point in the day where I'm tired of myself, she said, so if you don't mind, I'm going to be someone else until bedtime. We had a lovely time together, my new friend and I. (Brian Andreas)
- In my day, we didn't have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned. (Jane Haddam)
- In the bigger scheme of things, the universe is not asking us to do something, the universe is asking us to be something. And that's a whole different thing. (Lucille Clifton)
- The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want. (Ben Stein)
- It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not. (Andre Gide)
- It is never too late to be what you might have been. (George Eliot)
- It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere. (Agnes Repplier)
- It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. (from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry)
- It's better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction. (Diane Grant)
- It's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
- Know thyself! (But don't tell anyone!)
- Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. (Voltaire)
- A man needs self-acceptance or he can't live with himself; he needs self-criticism or others can't live with him. (James A. Pike)
- The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. (Carl Jung)
- Nine times out of ten, the first thing a man's companion knows of his shortcomings is from his apology. (Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.)
- No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head. (Terry Josephson)
- No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
- Not all those who wander are lost. (J.R.R. Tolkien)
- One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. (A.A. Milne)
- Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
- Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality. (Les Brown)
- People need to know what you stand for, AND what you won't stand for.
- The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me. (Ayn Rand)
- Saying no can be the ultimate self-care. (Claudia Black)
- She felt...well, not beautiful, but something better: knowing she didn't have to be. (Mary C. Pangborn)
- Somehow I have to believe that I'm worth all the aggravation I cause myself.
- There are two kinds of men who never amount to much: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who can do nothing else. (Cyrus H. Curtis)
- There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms. (George Eliot)
- There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered. (Nelson Mandela)
- To be nobody but yourself, in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else...means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting. (e.e. cummings)
- Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. (Robert Frost)
- Trust in yourself. Your perceptions are often more accurate than you are willing to believe. (Claudia Black)
- Trust your hunches. They're usually based on facts filed away just below the conscious level. (Joyce Brothers)
- We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.
- We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit. (ee cummings)
- We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. (Anaïs Nin)
- We may be blinded by our own perceived flaws, but those who love us have clearer vision. (Sarah Ban Breathnach)
- We must be our own before we can be another's. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- The weirder you're going to behave, the more normal you should look. It works in reverse, too. When I see a kid with three or four rings in his nose, I know there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about that person. (Oscar Levant)
- What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
- When one is a stranger to oneself then one is a stranger to others too. (Anne Morrow Lindbergh)
- When someone tells you something for your own good usually it is something that makes you feel bad.
- When we bury feelings we also bury ourselves...It's like awarding someone sole custody of your happiness without even asking for visitation rights. (Sarah Ban Breathnach)
- When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you. (Lao-Tzu)
- When you take charge of your life, there is no longer a need to ask permission of other people or society at large. When you ask permission, you give someone veto power over your life. (Geoffrey F. Abert)
- When your heart speaks, take good notes. (Judith Campbell)
- The woods would be silent if only birds with trained voices did the singing.
- You are more likely to be successful at attempting to be better than yourself than to be better than someone else.
- You can live a lifetime and at the end of it, know more about other people than you know about yourself. (Beryl Markham)
- You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection. (Buddha)
- You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. (Winston Churchill)
- You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself. (Alan Alda)
Quotes on Conformity
- Don't think you're on the right road just because it's a well-beaten path.
- Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself to others. It is because we are different that each of us is special. Don't set your goals by what other people deem important, only know what is best for you. (Ken Lewis)
- He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice. (Albert Einstein)
- He who trims himself to suit everybody will soon whittle himself away.
- How glorious it is--and also how painful--to be an exception. (Alfred de Musset)
- I am me. I will always be a second best somebody else; but I am the best ME there is.
- If a man does not keep pace with his companions perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears--however measured or far away. (Thoreau)
- If both of us were the same, one of us would be unnecessary.
- If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking. (General George S. Patton, Jr.)
- If people offer their help or wisdom as you go through life, accept it gratefully. You can learn much from those who have gone before you. But never be afraid or hesitant to step off the accepted path and head off in your own direction, if your heart tells you that it's the right way for you.
- If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity. (Bill Vaughan)
- It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. (Herman Melville)
- It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that. (G. H. Hardy)
- Modern man lives under the illusion that he knows what he wants, while he actually wants what he is supposed to want. (Erich Fromm)
- People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost. (H. Jackson Browne)
- Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity. (Christopher Morley)
- The reward for conformity is that everyone likes you except yourself. (Rita Mae Brown)
- That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong. (William J.H. Boetcker)
- To go against the dominant thinking of your friends, of most of the people you see every day, is perhaps the most difficult act of heroism you can perform. (Theodore H. White)
- To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive. (Robert Louis Stevenson)
- We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon. (Konrad Adenauer)
- We're not meant to fit in. We're meant to stand out. (Sarah Ban Breathnach)
- Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. (Mark Twain)
- You all laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same. (John Davis)
- You are not here to please other people or to live your lives their way. You can only live it your own way and walk your own pathway. You have come to fulfill yourself and express love on the deepest level. You are here to learn and grow...When you leave the planet...the only thing you take is your capacity to love! (Louise L Hay)
- You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note. (Doug Floyd)
- You non-conformists are all alike.
- You were born an original. Don't die a copy. (John Mason)
(Bruce B. Wilmer)
The world would like to change you;
There are pressures all around.
You must decide just who you are,
Then firmly hold your ground.
You have an image of yourself,
An ideal sense of you;
And to this vision you must always
Struggle to be true.
You know what you are good at,
And you know where talents lie;
But if you're ruled by others,
Your uniqueness could pass by.
Remember, there is much to learn;
But all new things aren't good.
Wisdom lies in what we learned,
And what we have withstood.
So, be yourself and don't allow
The world to take control.
Preserving your identity,
Is life's most precious goal.
Each child is different
I cannot change the way I am,
I never really try,
God made me different and unique,
I never ask him why.
If I appear peculiar,
There's nothing I can do,
You must accept me as I am,
As I've accepted you.
God made a casting of each life,
Then threw the old away,
Each child is different from the rest,
Unlike as night from day.
So often we will criticize,
The things that others do,
But, do you know, they do not think,
The same as me and you.
So God in all his wisdom,
Who knows us all by name,
He didn't want us to be bored,
That's why we're not the same.
from The Man in the Tree
Driving down the wrong road and knowing it, the fork years behind, how many have thought to pull up on the shoulder and leave the car empty, strike out across the fields; and how many are still mazed among dock and thistle, seeking the road they should have taken?
I Was Born...
I was born to catch dragons in their dens
And pick flowers
To tell tales and laugh away the morning
To drift and dream like a lazy stream
And walk barefoot across sunshine days.
A Butterfly in the Wind
A child is like a butterfly in the wind
Some can fly higher than others,
But each one flies the best it can.
Why compare one against the other?
Each one is different.
Each one is special.
Each one is beautiful.
Have a Good Day
Tell a joke,
Or say a prayer.
Take time out
To take good care.
Draw a bath.
Light a candle.
There is nothing
You can't handle.
Close your eyes.
Dream a dream.
Change your horses
Cry a little.
Laugh a lot.
Hold a hand.
Hold that thought.
Tell your feelings
Let your soul
Come out and play.
You are you.
You are free.
Be who only
YOU can be!
I look just like my mother.
I'm the image of Aunt Bee.
My nose is like my father's,
But I want to look like me.
Here's to the Kids That are Different
Here's to the kids that are different,
The kids that don't always get A's.
The kids that have ears, twice as big as their peers,
Or have noses that go on for days.
Here's to the kids that are different,
The kids that are just out of step.
The kids they all tease,
Who have cuts on their knees,
And whose sneakers are constantly wet.
Here's to the kids that are different,
The kids with a mischievous streak.
For when they have grown,
As history has shown,
It's their difference that makes them unique.
You Are Special
A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $20 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $20 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you, but first, let me do this." He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air.
"Well," he continued, "what if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants this $20?" Still the hands went into the air.
"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.
"Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value: dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to those who love you." The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know, but by WHO WE ARE.
You are special--Don't ever forget it.
The Unknown Citizen
(W. H. Auden)
(To JS/07/M/378/ This Marble Monument Is Erected by the State)
He was found by the Bureau of Statistics to be
One against whom there was no official complaint,
And all the reports on his conduct agree
That, in the modern sense of an old-fashioned word, he was a saint,
For in everything he did he served the Greater Community.
Except for the War till the day he retired
He worked in a factory and never got fired
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.
The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to advertisements were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health-card shows he was once in hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A phonograph, a radio, a car and a Frigidaire.
Our researchers into Public Opinion are content
That he held the proper opinions for the time of year;
When there was peace, he was for peace; When there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation.
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.
I Am the Captain of My Soul
(William Earnest Henley - from Invictus)
Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole. I thank
whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under
the bludgeonings of chance my head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears, looms but the horror of the shade, and
yet the menace of the years finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.