There are those who mark History and the consciousnesses. Faces that pass through History, and yet leave their mark in the minds of men. Light bearers, people who shared their passion with the world and inspired future generations. Gandhi was one of those people. A man of faith and a man of peace, the way he lived his life, the way he chose to live his personal legend and to be faithful to his dream is now a tangible proof of the capacity we all possess to lift above our daily lives to embrace our highest potential.
To begin this new year, I want to share with you 10 quotes of Gandhi that I find particularly vibrant. These quotes which were so strong yesterday have kept their depth and are still relevant today. In this article I decided to analyze them to bring out their pearls of wisdom and see how they can help us in our daily lives.
« Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes»
We all seek freedom. This is surely one of our favorite topics when we claim something, and it has been since our youth. We demanded the right to be free to go out, free to be who we want, free to express ourselves… Yet somehow the majority of us is still trapped. And the jailer is none other than our own conscience. We will be truly free when we will learn to forgive us our mistakes. Each of our actions, each of our mistakes shapes our reactions and haunts our minds. That’s karma. To be free is to learn to forgive, it is to accept that error is human, it is to be able to release from the karmic cycles that our past actions have seed in our mind. True freedom is thus found first within us rather than outside.
«Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony»
The majority of our problems in our lives are born from a dichotomy between our aspirations and how we want to be perceived by those around us and the way that we act in the world. In this quote, Gandhi spoke of happiness but we can ask ourselves what is actually happiness. In my opinion, happiness cannot be defined in terms of property owned or daily situations. Happiness refers to an inner state, it speaks of profound joy and harmony. Happiness is attained when our look at our reality make echoes to a sunrise on a placid lake. And this inner balance, the peace to which we aspire can be achieved when we align our lives with our dreams. When we success in liberating ourselves from the important role we play in society, from the opinion of our family, from the actions needed in order to be accepted by any group of individuals. From experience, happiness lies in highlighting our true essence beyond the roles that we impose ourselves in order to be accepted and to achieve the goals that society has established as models of success and “standards”.
«Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it»
Through the dance of the season and due to the impermanence of all things, nothing matters. Everything is inexorably cast away in the sands of time. Yet each of our actions, as simple as it is, carries within it the seeds of the future. We are all in our own way builders of History. The way with which we act in our life, our desire to remain faithful to our dreams, the courage that drives our every action or statement is like a stone thrown into a lake. The wave that we generate propagates itself in circles along the infinite canvas that shapes our world. If we place ourselves at the “material” level, Gandhi was right when he says that everything we do is “insignificant”. But on a spiritual or energetic level there is no small actions. And I think that’s what Gandhi mean in the second part of his sentence. Each of your actions has the potential to inspire your neighbor, your family. I know that each of you have the power to profoundly change the world. Your presence on Earth is no accident. You are a gift to the world, a seed that has the potential to break the chains of this world and bring light. In each one of you sleeps a hero.
«You must be the change you want to see in the world»
Following the principles of Hawaiian Huna, the outside world is a reflection of our inner world. I share this point of view. If Gandhi had been content to watch the outside world as it was, he would have sat there and cried and then would have drowned his sorrows in alcohol. But he understood that to create a world of peace and justice, he must first embody this model he was looking for with his whole heart. So Gandhi had worked on himself. Then he awoke and became the embodiment of peace. If you want that in your office peace and harmony prevail, start to embody the peace with your colleagues even the more difficult ones. If you want your marriage to be a manifestation of cosmic love then look at your partner through the eyes of love. Every time we say “if that person or that situation was different then things would have been better” then we are wrong. Because we will never have the power to change the way others act. But we can influence ourselves by becoming the change we wish to demonstrate.
«Nobody can hurt me without my permission»
As I said earlier, you’ll never have control over others. You can never control people’s reactions as a musician can write notes on a score. Life is inherently unpredictable. By cons you have the power to decide the impact that people and situations have on you. Inner peace does not depend on external events but rather on the way you react. Every moment we have a choice. The choice to participate in the dramas of the existence or the choice of seeing the illusory nature of this world. This does not mean you should withdraw from existence. But we can agree to see reality for what it is: a dream we have consented to live during our incarnation. When you dream you are in an infinite number of funny or sad situations believing that they are real. Then you laugh when you wake up remembering the show you have just dreamt. In the end the reality is identical. Gandhi was first and foremost a spiritual man who constantly sought God. He understood the illusory nature of this world but also understood it was his duty to improve the global dream of humanity.
«Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love»
In life we all face obstacles, whether in our personal or professional life. There are two ways to address these obstacles: the frontal way or through love. The conflict way causes the collision of two masses of energy and generally no one is spared. If in your job you decide to tackle a competitor or colleague who opposes you by force there is little chance that your reputation will be unscathed. You could win your fight and in the short term you will surely feel that you are victorious. But in the long term, know that every attack you launch will end up hurting you. But know that any enemy, any problem can be dissolved by the energy of love. The Hawaiians have even developed an entire system around this concept: the ho’oponopono. Forgiveness and true love have the power to dissolve any barriers and raise energy.
«Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, than I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning»
All great achievements are first born in the mind of a man. Our mind is surely the most powerful instrument that this planet has ever known. Thanks to him we have the ability to reinvent ourselves constantly. By combining vision, determination and a right action, every man is capable of achieving any goal. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise or make you think you cannot become what you aspire to be. The key, however, is that your action have to make echoes to your true vision, the one that touches the center of your heart.
«You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result»
Often we are afraid to act because we are afraid to fail, we fear that our hopes will be shattered like a raft in the raging waves. But the truth is that if we do not act then our dreams will gradually shrink until they disappear completely. It is an illusion to believe that failures are killing our dreams. What kills them is the fact that we had abandoned them. But in fact failures help us to grow. They help us to redefine some of our dreams, to express them better. So believe in your dreams and take action. Maybe it will take six months to achieve them or 15 years. But it is not important because time passes inexorably. And when those 15 years will come, would you prefer to enjoy your efforts or would you prefer to say “15 years ago I should have hold on to my dreams because if so, today I would have seen them manifested?”
«Life as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever»
The greatest illusion of this world is to believe that we are not yet ready to become what we are destined to be. We believe that when we have developed and acquired such competence then we can become that person we aspire to be. Here is a trap that life handed us because at this rate we will never reach our destination. The key to success in life is to understand that we already have everything within us to become this special being. Step by step, by acting in line with our highest potential, making each day that passes an important day, we build the shortest path to our realization. Of course you have to work, learn, grow over time. But life is not something that awaits us. We will not “live” in 10 years when we have the house of our dreams. We live today, now, at this precise moment. By cons each day we must take time to cultivate our soul to become a better person. Growing up is one of the greatest gifts we were given. The more we grow, the more we take height to enjoy the scenery that life gives us.
«To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest »
The more intransigent judge that can be crossed in our lives is our own consciousness. And the biggest crime that consciousness is stalking is lie. There can be no happiness if we compromise our values in order to achieve certain goals. To betray our principles to get a contract, to cheat on our partner, to refuse our own sexuality… Every time we lie to ourselves, it is a bit of ourselves that we kill. We lose sight of our very essence through the illusions of the roles we want to play for the approval of society. The world needs people who embody the principles of loyalty, fidelity to their dreams. Throughout history, people have sought out these lights in the night, these models show to the lost souls the way back home. Everyone can play this role for his family or at a larger scale. To begin to stand up for your ideals, to start living your principles is an essential step for you on the way to your achievement.