Mahatma Gandhi's inspirational quotes for self-awareness

Gandhi Jayanti: 5 Inspiring quotes by Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhiji’s vision, teachings and philosophy remain relevant even in this day and age. Here, five of his sayings enlighten us about the power of self-awareness and improvisation.

I remember vividly the first movie I had ever seen in my junior school – Gandhi. The much acclaimed, award-winning film about the father of our nation moved the students in my class, leaving most teary eyed. Many of us watched the movie repeatedly, such was its impact.

In our country, Mahatma Gandhi has always been a hero for his steel-willed resolve to free the nation from the shackles of the British Raj. His unique and powerful non-violent approach earned him followers throughout the world.

His life story has been inspiring right from the beginning. Born on October 2nd, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was a practicing lawyer. During his childhood, he was influenced by the stories of Raja Harishchandra of the Solar dynasty who was known for his truthfulness. Soon, Gandhi moved to England to study law and later went to South Africa as a law practitioner. It was in South Africa that Gandhi faced discrimination. There were many incidents that left him humiliated and shaken. But he resolved to fight back.

In one of the most unfortunate and wildly quoted incidents, Gandhi was not allowed to sit with the European passengers in the stagecoach and was thrown out upon refusing to budge. He was also reportedly kicked into a gutter for daring to walk near a house. As dark skinned people were not allowed to walk on public footpaths in South Africa, Gandhi was pushed by a police officer out of the footpath without warning.

He returned to India after 21 years with a resolve to drive the British people out of his beloved country. Once back, he interacted with more and more people, understood and felt their plight, making him even more determined to free the country via his non-violent ways. Mahatma Gandhi was, rightfully, named the ‘Father of the Nation’. His vision, teachings and philosophy remain absolutely relevant even for a contemporary generation like ours. Here, we share five of his inspiring sayings that enlighten us towards the power of self-awareness and improvisation.

Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever

Gandhi showed profound wisdom when he delivered this precious thought. Often we chase happiness, linking it with milestones and accomplishments. In doing so, we  ignore what we have in hand. But if we only looked around, we’d find ourselves privileged – be it for our relationships, bonds, traits or values.

When we start to cherish everything that we have today, instead of what it could be tomorrow, life transforms into a beautiful saga. Mahatma Gandhi emphasized on living life fully in the moment, rather than worrying or planning  for the future. He urged us to do what we want today rather than delaying it for another day.

He also stated that learning should be a life-long process. Each day unfolds into something new and productive when we keep alive our yearning to learn. This learning evolves further when we have our inquisitive streak burning high. The more we learn, the more confident and wiser we become.

Change yourself – you are in control

Sticking to a set mindset – to what we have been conditioned – often creates a major hurdle when trying to change ourselves. In response to the changing environment, we need to change, but it is easier said than done. Inertia, the property to remain in a state that we already are in, is one of the most challenging hurdles in humans. For instance, when  we build the habit of sleeping till late, it becomes extremely difficult to rise early, making time management difficult.

But when we determine to reverse this habit and wake up early, we work towards changing ourselves and even achieve it after a while. Soon, we  find that our productivity is higher and we feel more energetic with an improved lifestyle.

We can change ourself rather than change the surroundings or thinking about the factors that are beyond our control. In this manner, our thought patterns, learnings, routines, health and dietary habits can all be under our control. Instead of being fixated with pre-set patterns, we can bring a change in ourselves for the better with sheer willpower and tiny actions.

This Gandhian thought is even more relevant now as we struggle with an  increased threat to our mental and physical wellbeing, in the form of stress,  be it in our workplace or dwelling. By changing, we make ourself more adaptable and fitter to survive.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony

While interacting with others, thoughts originate in our minds. What we think is purely our truth. When our thoughts, verbal speech and actions are aligned, it gives us a sense of contentment and results in happiness. This is what integrity is. The reverse can be quite disastrous, not only for others but for ourselves too. Not having our thoughts, speech and actions in sync can often lead to conflict and stress.

Gandhi was a true visionary. This self-reflecting quote from him has immense relevance with people increasingly feeling a non-alignment in their thought process, in what they communicate and what they actually do. This is one of the major underlying causes of not just miscommunication but lack of trust in people today. So learning to align one’s thoughts, words and actions are supremely important.

A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.

If you get up in the morning with a heavy heart and harbour dim hopes, miracles cannot be expected to turn your day around. But, on the contrary, when you are up and about with optimism and a determination to navigate through the day positively, even with its share of obstacles, there are more chances of triumphing. So your thoughts can truly make or break the life you lead.

Life indeed presents a variety of situations – some favourable, others not so much. When we give up to our circumstances, thinking that it won’t be possible to win, our future shapes up in tune to that. However, when we challenge the situation with sheer willpower and determination, we work to turn the situation around, and often win by doing so.

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

In life, betrayal or hurt is inevitable. Often while expecting the best, there emerges a worse scenario and we find ourselves in a situation where it is difficult to forgive. However, the stronger people always forgive to move ahead without nursing any bitterness in their hearts. A clean heart and mind is more creative and productive. It allows humans to live life with more fulfilment.

It is well-known that Gandhian thoughts stand eternally relevant and inspiring. The nation and the world has always looked up to him for his life-enhancing principles and ideologies. The coming generations will also undoubtedly find solace in his wisdom and strength in his words.


When is Gandhi Jayanti celebrated?

Gandhiji Jayanti is celebrated on October 2nd.

Where was Gandhiji born?

Gandhiji was born in Porbandar, Gujarat.

For how long did Gandhiji stay in South Africa?

Gandhiji stayed in South Africa for 21 years.




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