Mahatma Gandhi left the world a clear message: Be the change you want to see in the world. The visionary leader widely known as the “Father of India”, Gandhi became a willing martyr for his country after leading the Indian people to independence from British rule in 1947.
But Mahatma Gandhi’s mark on the world goes far beyond his critical role in the Indian Independence Movement. He has become a guiding light for many people worldwide. Through his insightful quotes, Gandhi offers relevant wisdom on life, spirituality and change.
Among the hundreds of inspired rudiments Gandhi has presented, here are 10 essential insights he offers for positive change:
1. CHANGE YOURSELF. CHANGE THE WORLD.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
“If we can change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.”
How exciting it is that each of us, individually, can make a difference! By changing ourselves, we can change the world.
We cannot wait for the rest of the world to change. We have to “be” the change we want to see in the world.
Let me share with you one of the few universal truths I believe. It is the most powerful and practical universal truth of which I am aware because it highlights the path to personal success.
The only way to realize lasting positive change in your life is by “being”.
I know NO ONE who is truly successful in life who isn’t genuinely and authentically what they represent or claim to be. Truly successful people emulate what they stand for. They embody their mission in every way.
No, they didn’t become that way overnight. And it probably took them a tremendous amount of dedication and consistent, persistent effort to get there.
But here’s the thing: Once you become that person, no one can take it away from you. You are the real deal.
You want to change the world?
Gandhi tells us the key to changing the world lies in “being”.
Yes, you CAN change the world!
But first you must become the person you were born to be. Be the change.
2. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
“If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
You can do anything you set your mind to – if you believe you can. When you believe in yourself, you FIND ways to make things happen. That’s just how it works.
Don’t waste time wondering if you’re good enough or smart enough or strong enough.
You are enough.
Maybe you’re not totally ready or the path isn’t completely laid out before you. Or maybe you lack clarity. Maybe the pieces aren’t coming together exactly as you’d like them to.
Believe in yourself anyway.
As Gandhi points out, you will acquire the capacity to do it even if you don’t have it at the beginning.
3. STOP WORRYING AND TRUST IN GOD.
“There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.”
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow; learn as if you were to live forever.”
If you look back at the things that you were worried about last week or last month, the way it actually turned out probably wasn’t as bad as you had feared. The fact is that most of the things we worry about don’t actually happen. And even if they do, it’s usually something we can overcome without too much difficulty, and everything turns out alright.
If you can, replace worry with gratitude. For every worry you have, there are at least 5 things you’re grateful for. Instead of worrying about things you can’t control, be grateful for what you have.
4. LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH PURPOSE.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
“My life is my message.”
We all want to live a life of meaning and purpose. A life that reflects who we are on the inside – our beliefs, our values, and our passion for living.
Most of us already know that true happiness doesn’t come from money or accumulating material things. Gandhi reminds us that happiness comes from living a life aligned with our purpose, in the service of others.
Serving something larger than ourselves brings fulfillment and meaning to our journey. It makes all the struggle worthwhile.
“You have one job. And that is to live an extraordinary life.” – Umair Hague
Without a purpose, work is just work. But when we do something because it matters to us, even the mundane tasks become fulfilling and personally rewarding. When we have a clear purpose, our work becomes part of our “life message”.
5. DO SOMETHING EVERY DAY TO REALIZE YOUR DREAMS.
“The future depends on what you do today.”
“An ounce of practice is worth a thousand words.”
“Action expresses priorities.”
The key to action is simple. Do ONE thing. You don’t have to do it all. Just begin. Yes, there will be challenges. There will be uncertainty. There will be obstacles. But that’s all part of the process!
The difference between Dreamers and Makers is taking action in spite of the uncertainty.
Taking one small step leads to taking another step, and then another…and before you know it, you build momentum.
Achieving big goals probably won’t be easy. But it’s always worth it.
The key is to hold yourself accountable and actually DO IT.
Gandhi’s message is clear: your future depends on what you do today.
6. AVOID ANGER AND RESOLVE PROBLEMS PEACEFULLY.
“Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up.”
“Peace is the most powerful weapon of mankind.”
“Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.”
“Non-violence requires a double faith, faith in God and also faith in man.”
Mahatma Gandhi likens peace to a weapon. In that respect, he is telling us that violence is never the answer. Violence solves nothing. When you are confronted with an opponent, conquer them with love.
In our own lives, we can apply this principle in many ways. We can avoid anger and maintain control over our emotions. We should try to find ways to resolve problems peacefully. We can try to be more understanding and always show kindness to others.
7. RECOGNIZE YOUR POTENTIAL AND ALWAYS GIVE YOUR FULL EFFORT.
“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.”
To live up to your potential is to exercise your personal greatness. Do you believe you have greatness in you?
I assure you – you do!
You are a unique and remarkable individual, with talents and abilities unlike anyone else in the world.
Each of us is capable of doing something extraordinary. Don’t wait to be great! Start living up to your true potential by giving your absolute best in everything you do.
8. WE ARE UNITED BY OUR DIFFERENCES.
“Civilization is the encouragement of differences.”
“No culture can live, if it attempts to be exclusive.”
“Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.”
Every living being in this world is just as worthy as anyone else. Gandhi teaches us to be tolerant of others and to embrace our differences. He understood the importance of cultural and religious diversity and basic human dignity.
His message is one of unity and inclusion, tolerance and acceptance. Today these principles are being taught in the workplace, in large corporations, in government entities, and in schools.
9. LIVE EACH DAY FULLY.
“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.”
As we strive to realize our dreams and our aspirations, we tend to overlook the rewards derived from the journey itself – from the experiences, the struggles and the adventures along the way. But Gandhi reminds us that satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment.
Whatever path you’re on, whatever is compelling you to take action, give your full effort. At the same time, experience the joy and the satisfaction that comes from knowing you’ve done your best. But don’t sacrifice the present moment for the distant reward.
10. LOVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART.
“Love is the strongest force the world possesses, yet it is the humblest imaginable.”
“The real love is to love them that hate you, to love your neighbor even though you distrust him.”
“Peace between countries must rest on the solid foundation of love between individuals.”
Gandhi’s message is clear and unequivocal:
Love is “the strongest force the world possesses”.
Indeed it is. There is nothing in the world stronger than love. I truly believe that. I encourage you to love others selflessly and I hope you receive even more of it in return.