Humanity 101 - self-reflection

Self-reflection in their words...


The only real conflict you will ever have in your life won’t be with others but with yourself.

Shannon L. Alder


Only by much searching and mining are gold and diamonds obtained, and man can find every truth connected with his being if he will dig deep into the mine of his soul.

James Allen


When you are looking in the mirror, you are looking at the problem. But, remember, you are also looking at the solution.



Your glass will not do you half so much service as a serious reflection on your own minds.

Mary Astell


People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.

St Augustine


How all becomes clear and simple when one opens an eye on the within, having of course previously exposed it to the without, in or der to benefit by the contrast.

Samuel Beckett


Introspection precedes constructive criticism.

Toba Beta, Master of Stupidity


It is when you lose sight of yourself, that you lose your way. To keep your truth in sight you must keep yourself in sight and the world to you should be a mirror to reflect to you your image; the world should be a mirror that you reflect upon.

C. JoyBell C.


It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment.

Marcus Tullius Cicero


By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.



When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine yourself.


I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.

Leonardo da Vinci


Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.

Barbara De Angelis


There are three principal means of acquiring knowledge... observation of nature, reflection, and experimentation. Observation collects facts; reflection combines them; experimentation verifies the result of that combination.

Denis Diderot


When we know what we most fear, we know what we most care about.

Patti Digh, Creative Is a Verb: If You're Alive, You're Creative


A battle lost or won is easily described, understood, and appreciated, but the moral growth of a great nation requires reflection, as well as observation, to appreciate it.

Frederick Douglass


Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.

Peter Drucker


I think making mistakes and discovering them for yourself is of great value, but to have someone else to point out your mistakes is a shortcut of the process.

Shelby Foote


Love your Enemies, for they tell you your faults.

Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack


The philosophy of the wisest man that ever existed, is mainly derived from the act of introspection.

William Godwin


If we are too busy, if we are carried away every day by our projects, our uncertainty, our craving, how can we have the time to stop and look deeply into the situation-our own situation, the situation of our beloved one, the situation of our family and of our community, and the situation of our nation and of the other nations?

Thich Nhat Hanh


Art is a mirror for the sub-conscious.

Tyler J. Hebert


…there is not a day of my life that I am not critiquing myself to see if my politics are borne out in the way that I live and the way that I talk and present myself.

Bell Hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black


When you do The Work, you see who you are by seeing who you think other people are. Eventually you come to see that everything outside you is a reflection of your own thinking. You are the storyteller, the projector of all stories, and the world is the projected image of your thoughts.

Byron Katie


Self-reflection is the gateway to freedom. It also brings greater appreciation and enjoyment. We begin to enjoy spending time with our own mind, and we enjoy reflecting on our experience of the teachings. Like the sun emerging from behind the clouds, the teachings of the dharma become clear.

Dzigar Kongtrul


Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.

John Locke


Self destructiveness is given a really bad rap. It can mean self-reflection, poetic sensibility, empathy, hedonism and libertarianism.

Courtney Love


Begin to see the violence around you; begin to see the violence within you.

Bryant McGill


The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.

Thomas Paine


To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection.

Jerry Pournelle


I think there's a terrible price to be paid when your exterior life is not an honest reflection of your interior life.

Gene Robinson


O, happy the soul that saw its own faults.

Mevlana Rumi


People of the world don't look at themselves, and so they blame one another.


It is necessary ... for a man to go away by himself ... to sit on a rock ... and ask, 'Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?

Carl Sandburg


We should every night call ourselves to an account; What infirmity have I mastered today? What passions opposed? What temptation resisted? What virtue acquired? Our voices will abort of themselves if they be brought every day to the shrift.



Retire into yourself as much as possible. Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those whom you are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one. People learn as they teach.

Be harsh with yourself at times.


Is it sufficient that you have learned to drive the car, or shall we look and see what is under the hood? Most people go through life without ever knowing.

Dr. June Singer


Know thyself.




It is the greatest good for an individual to discuss virtue (aka areté) every day...for the unexamined life is not worth living


Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Leo Tolstoy