We’ve sourced some of the most interesting and thought-provoking Oneself Quotes from James Baldwin, John Perry Barlow, Laura Riding, Pope Benedict XVI, Hunter Biden. Each of the following quotes is overflowing with creativity, and knowledge.
The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others.
But generally speaking, I felt to engage in the political process was to sully oneself to such a degree that whatever came out wasn’t worth the trouble put in.
I believe that misconceptions about oneself that one does not correct where possible act as a bad magic.
Loving the church also means having the courage to make difficult, trying choices, having ever before oneself the good of the church and not one’s own.
I believe that my father has become an ongoing symbol of what it means to keep on fighting for what is good in oneself, in others, and in our country.
Committing to a particular goal publicly puts pressure on oneself. It becomes an enormous action-forcing mechanism and often helps you achieve more than you might have had you kept your goals to yourself.
To be a Christian who is willing to travel with Christ on his downward road requires being willing to detach oneself constantly from any need to be relevant, and to trust ever more deeply the Word of God.
To speak of oneself means to lay bare one’s own soul, expose it like a body to the sun. To lay bare one’s own soul is not at all like taking off one’s brassiere on a crowded beach!
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.
The face of a lover is an unknown, precisely because it is invested with so much of oneself. It is a mystery, containing, like all mysteries, the possibility of torment.
Life in New York is one of succumbing to a tidal wave of control and direction, of numbing oneself to emotion.
One creates oneself.
It is in spending oneself that one becomes rich.
Apparently, blaming oneself for debilitating student debt is common.
What is freedom? Freedom is the right to choose: the right to create for oneself the alternatives of choice.
Many times, people who are self-involved or bullies, it stems from a place of hurt and insecurity within oneself.
Human beings are so made that the ones who do the crushing feel nothing; it is the person crushed who feels what is happening. Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand.
Ever since school, I got a lot of attention as I was modelling and everyone knew who I was. As a child, you enjoy it. But one has to explore and doing things by oneself to learn that life is very large.
One comes to believe whatever one repeats to oneself sufficiently often, whether the statement be true of false. It comes to be dominating thought in one’s mind.
There’s nothing harder than defining oneself.
Indeed, President Trump seems to have a pretty good idea how to enrich oneself at taxpayer expense.
It is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph.
Only by taking responsibility for oneself, to the greatest extent possible, can one ever be free, and only a free person can make responsible choices – between right and wrong, saving and spending, giving or taking.
For me, the reason why people go to a mountaintop or go to the edge of the ocean is to look at something larger than themselves. That feeling of awe, of going to a cathedral, it’s all about feeling lost in something bigger than oneself. To me, that’s the definition of spectacle.
It’s essential to feel beautiful to oneself. Not in an egotistical way, but in a self-loving way.
Fashion in the past meant conforming and losing oneself. Fashion in the present means being individual and finding oneself.
One must not make oneself cheap here – that is a cardinal point – or else one is done. Whoever is most impertinent has the best chance.
Everyone is a bore to someone. That is unimportant. The thing to avoid is being a bore to oneself.
There is nothing more natural than to consider everything as starting from oneself, chosen as the center of the world; one finds oneself thus capable of condemning the world without even wanting to hear its deceitful chatter.
To sustain oneself, one should learn to not take success or failure too seriously. You just need the confidence to stand there and say ‘Even if I fall, I can get up.’
Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.
I don’t watch TV. I think it destroys the art of talking about oneself.
A complete life may be one ending in so full an identification with the oneself that there is no self left to die.
Much of the time life is a sort of rhythmic progression of three characters. If one tells oneself that life is like that, one feels it less arbitrary.
To be forced to defend oneself is an inherently undesirable position to be in. The focus shifts from ideas to the person conveying them.
The contemplative life is often miserable. One must act more, think less, and not watch oneself live.
I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognized wiser than oneself.
I think the healthy way to live is to make friends with the beast inside oneself, and that means not the beast but the shadow. The dark side of one’s nature. Have fun with it and you know, is to accept everything about ourselves.
To convince oneself that one has the right to live decently takes time.
To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.
It is necessary to work, if not from inclination, at least from despair. Everything considered, work is less boring than amusing oneself.
Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.
Florida isn’t so much a place where one goes to reinvent oneself, as it is a place where one goes if one no longer wished to be found.
I believe in reinventing oneself if one has messed up and is repentant and actually makes an effort to change for the better, I’m all about that.
Most of one’s life is one prolonged effort to prevent oneself thinking.
Freedom is the possibility of development, of enhancement of one’s life – or the possibility of withdrawing, shutting oneself up, denying and stultifying one’s growth.
Sport is and should remain a great school of life that supports young people in their personal development. It teaches respect for others and also for oneself.
Curiosity is the best motive for writing: curiosity about the world at large, or about oneself.
To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
To congratulate oneself on one’s warm commitment to the environment, or to peace, or to the oppressed, and think no more is a profound moral fault.
A value is valuable when the value of value is valuable to oneself.
Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.
One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human.
Fashion is not superficial; it is a dynamic tool to transform oneself, and it can be used to command the attention of those around you.
I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.
Never does one feel oneself so utterly helpless as in trying to speak comfort for great bereavement. I will not try it. Time is the only comforter for the loss of a mother.
The end of confession is to tell the truth to and for oneself.
The way to put oneself in a position to take the harder, more honorable political path is to argue for one’s virtues in a vigorous way.
There is no greater joy than that of feeling oneself a creator. The triumph of life is expressed by creation.
It is selfish to concern oneself with tragedies.
No one in al-Nahda believes that jihad is a way to impose Islam on the world. But we believe that jihad is self-control, is social and political struggle, and even military jihad is only a way to defend oneself in the case of aggression.
To make oneself hated is more difficult than to make oneself loved.
I believe that being honest to oneself and one’s work is all that matters.
After adolescence, if one’s life is sufficiently interesting, the desire to tell oneself stories diminishes.
Maybe scarcity isn’t always a bad thing. Maybe scarcity is something to seek out, to fabricate for oneself.
To make oneself an object, to make oneself passive, is a very different thing from being a passive object.
One does not substitute oneself for the past, one merely adds to it a new link.
To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.
Gratitude is important. One has to look beyond oneself to see that while there may be people who are far better off, one has been given so much more than so many.
The hardest thing is to tell the truth about oneself. One doesn’t like to remember unpleasant details, but forgetting them makes one’s life seem disorganized.
If you’re in the media, particularly newspapers, you are in the thick of all the interesting things that are going on in a community, and I can’t imagine any other life that one would want to dedicate oneself to.
I think ‘Lost Boy’ is more of a metaphor for oneself. When I listen to that song, I don’t picture someone else. I kind of wrote it from a very honest place.
And there isn’t any way that one can get rid of the guilt of having a nice body by saying that one can serve society with it, because that would end up with oneself as what? There simply doesn’t seem to be any moral place for flesh.
Of all the ways of acquiring books, writing them oneself is regarded as the most praiseworthy method. Writers are really people who write books not because they are poor, but because they are dissatisfied with the books which they could buy but do not like.
Artists should be free to create what we want. I believe there’s a special value in work that is a reflection of oneself as opposed to interpretation. When I see a film or a TV show about black people not written by someone who’s black, it’s an interpretation of that life.
Belief in oneself is incredibly infectious. It generates momentum, the collective force of which far outweighs any kernel of self-doubt that may creep in.
Discipline in art is a fundamental struggle to understand oneself, as much as to understand what one is drawing.
Foreign policy should not be justified through making oneself feel good, but through results that have tangible consequences.
I think poetry is best read to oneself.
Observing humans and observing oneself yields a clear-minded starting point for literature.
It’s important to have an examined life – but it’s a fine line between having an examined life and being hypercritical of oneself. There has to be balance in there somewhere.
To become a better actor, one needs to look inwards and understand oneself better. Then, you can create magic on screen.
The belief that there is only one truth, and that oneself is in possession of it, is the root of all evil in the world.
Cohabitation seems a greater leap in cities because it’s all the harder to extract oneself if things turn sour. It’s what keeps otherwise functional adults living with their mothers.
When I was 17, a neighbour I knew well died of cancer, and I became au pair to her three little girls. In circumstances like that, when you can’t really help, I think it’s a human response to do something beyond oneself. So I did a sponsored parachute jump for Cancer Research. It was exciting and ridiculous.
Obviously one must hold oneself responsible for the evil impulses of one’s dreams. In what other way can one deal with them? Unless the content of the dream rightly understood is inspired by alien spirits, it is part of my own being.
Perfecting oneself is as much unlearning as it is learning.
It is curious how instinctively one protects the image of oneself from idolatry or any other handling that could make it ridiculous, or too unlike the original to be believed any longer.
Never let oneself be guided by the opinion of one’s contemporaries. Continue steadfastly on one’s way.
There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second best is anything but second best.
They prospect of seeing oneself in the mirror clean-shaven is too close to a Vincent Price film… a prospect not to be contemplated, no matter the compensation.
Imagine trying to be a gay actor, a gay anything in modern Russia? Where to be positively oneself, to be affectionate in public with someone you love of the same gender, or to talk of that love in the hearing of anyone under 18, will put you prison?
I’d love to do radio plays. I think that one should be open to everything and shouldn’t limit oneself.
To forget oneself is to be happy.
Of course, as a model and actor, one has to look good and maintain oneself.
Cricketers and Bollywood stars are attracted to each other because they are both well-known in their fields, and the constant pressure of proving oneself doesn’t exist.
It’s hard to define change in oneself unless something really dramatic happens, like you give up some vice, fall in love, or something like that.
It is after all the greatest art to limit and isolate oneself.
To Live signifies to believe and hope – to lie and to lie to oneself.
To my mind, one does not put oneself in place of the past; one only adds a new link.
It’s a matter of pride to me to get the film done fast, to get it done well. I understand the need for compromise. There is no such thing as a perfect shot, a perfect film. The purpose of film is not to make a monument to oneself.
One has to move from one’s comfort zone to challenge oneself.
Belief in oneself and knowing who you are, I mean, that’s the foundation for everything great.
Personally, I like reading adventures which really have happened to people, because they show what kind of things might happen to oneself, and they teach one how to ‘Be Prepared’ to meet them.
Development of outlook naturally begins with a respect for God… Reverence to God and reverence for one’s neighbor and reverence for oneself as a servant of God.
One could look over the past century and ask oneself, has the increased longevity been good, bad or indifferent?
Me personally, I’m a guy who it took a long time to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing. I relate to a lot of that finding oneself a little later in the game, or being thrown a curve later in the game.
Life at any time can become difficult: life at any time can become easy. It all depends upon how one adjusts oneself to life.
Being human always points, and is directed, to something or someone, other than oneself – be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter.
I enjoy popularisation and I think I’m reasonably good at it. I also think it’s a duty. It’s just so pedagogically stupid to forget how difficult one found these ideas oneself to begin with.
Poetry is a vocal art for me – but not necessarily a performative one. It might be reading to oneself or recalling some lines by memory.
An idea’s birth is legitimate if one has the feeling that one is catching oneself plagiarizing oneself.
Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.
I think if there’s something one needs to change with oneself, it doesn’t have to happen in the New Year. You can do that any time you please – not that it’s not a good inspirational tactic for the people that it works for.
And what I like about it is it makes me happy and I think it makes a lot of people happy to go to the movies and to not think about the problems of the day or the problems of tomorrow or the yesterday and just go on for the ride and have the fun of losing oneself in a fantasy.
As a painter today you have to work without that essential platform. But if one does not deceive oneself and accepts this lack of certainty, other things may come into play.
Valor’ is a word we don’t commonly hear. People can show courage and bravery confronting many different challenges in life. But ‘valor’ connotes willingly putting oneself in mortal danger to protect others.
Love is union with somebody, or something, outside oneself, under the condition of retaining the separateness and integrity of one’s own self.
It may seem that with the new breed of actors – Arjun, Varun, Siddharth, Ayushmann, Sushant – there is suddenly too much of a hustle to make space for oneself, but acting is subjective. And we motivate one another.
There is a time and a place for things. Sometimes one needs to put a filter on oneself. That can be a good thing.
If your focus in life is on being productive, when things are not happening… one has to ask oneself, ‘Is this worth a grown man’s time?’
Of course the other and more serious way in which it all happens is that one finds in poems and language some quality one appropriates for oneself and wishes to reproduce.
The Southern whites are in many respects a great people. Looked at from a certain point of view, they are picturesque. If one will put oneself in a romantic frame of mind, one can admire their notions of chivalry and bravery and justice.
The older one gets the more one comes to resemble oneself.
I feel very lucky, and the work that I do doesn’t depend on much. If your vision’s still good, and your hands – I have no arthritis in my hands, and I play the piano very easily – I don’t think there’s any reason to deprive oneself of the fun of working. Music is so rewarding.
To forgive oneself? No, that doesn’t work: we have to be forgiven. But we can only believe this is possible if we ourselves can forgive.
An infallible method of conciliating a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured.
At times, it appears easy to sermonise on morality and ethics. But morality and ethics appear good only when applied to others, never on oneself.
Nothing in the nature around us is evil. This needs to be repeated since one of the human ways of talking oneself into inhuman acts is to cite the supposed cruelty of nature.
One has to devote oneself to a particular pursuit. To be successful at anything, you have to make a total commitment to it.
Faith in oneself is the best and safest course.
The feeling of having no choice or no say is a fear of mine, partly because the idea of loosening oneself from the burden and responsibility of choice and consequence is so intoxicating.
To desire and expect nothing for oneself and to have profound sympathy for others is genuine holiness.
I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. To cut yourself out of stone.
What one hides is worth neither more nor less than what one finds. And what one hides from oneself is worth neither more nor less than what one allows others to find.
The surest way to be deceived is to consider oneself cleverer than others.
The courage to be is the courage to accept oneself, in spite of being unacceptable.
It is disturbing to discover in oneself these curious revelations of the validity of the Darwinian theory. If it is true that we have sprung from the ape, there are occasions when my own spring appears not to have been very far.
Everyone who means well gives advice based on his or her perception. I have realized that while it’s important to hear the suggestions, one should only listen to oneself.
There is, to be sure, sometimes only a small difference between being alert to possible danger and allowing oneself to become terrified to the point of paralysis by seeming or imagined portents.
Every writer uses his own way to motivate oneself.
Unless one says goodbye to what one loves, and unless one travels to completely new territories, one can expect merely a long wearing away of oneself and an eventual extinction.
Salvation lies in imitating Christ, in other words, in imitating the ‘withdrawal relationship’ that links him with his Father… To listen to the Father’s silence is to abandon oneself to his withdrawal, to conform to it.
Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.
The advantage of doing one’s praising for oneself is that one can lay it on so thick and exactly in the right places.
It is, finally, a word is untimely in three different senses, and bearing it as one’s treasure will not win one anyone’s favours; one rather risks finding oneself outside everyone’s camp… Beauty is the word that shall be our first.
You must learn to perceive as your self that which lies outside you. Looking only within oneself leads to a hardening in oneself, to a higher egotism.
It is difficult to separate oneself from one’s design moralities.
What becomes fascinating is the way the culture industry doesn’t deny it and doesn’t try to mitigate it, but tries to sell its products as a way of liberating oneself.
To me, ‘The End of the Jews’ – both the title and the novel itself – is about the end of pat, uncritical ways of understanding oneself in the world.
In oneself lies the whole world and if you know how to look and learn, the door is there and the key is in your hand. Nobody on earth can give you either the key or the door to open, except yourself.
To busy oneself with what is futile when one can do something useful, to attend to what is simple when one has the mettle to attempt what is difficult, is to strip talent of its dignity.
A four-year-old should have no self-esteem, and for good reason. What could he have possibly accomplished in his life to justify esteeming oneself so highly?
Giving oneself permission to write to begin with is the first enormous challenge. But you discover that this permission involves a requirement: To write about things that are difficult because they are, in fact, your subject.
A taste for irony has kept more hearts from breaking than a sense of humor, for it takes irony to appreciate the joke which is on oneself.
I think, until I was 16, classical music had just seemed like a little bit of a rhythmic wasteland for me. Coming from bluegrass, where one conducts oneself rhythmically, it seemed like such a different approach, and at that point the difference that I was noticing was a real turn off to me.
The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.
Being a unique superpower undermines the military intelligence of strategy. To think strategically, one has to imagine oneself in the enemy’s place. If one cannot do this, it is impossible to foresee, to take by surprise, to outflank. Misinterpreting an enemy can lead to defeat. This is how empires fall.
I have never had a studio, and I do not understand shutting oneself up in a room. To draw, yes; to paint, no.
But what is the greatest evil? If you are going to epitomize evil, what is it? Is it the bomb? The greatest evil that one has to fight constantly, every minute of the day until one dies, is the worse part of oneself.
I knew ‘Bad Girls’ attracts a younger audience, and it’s vital to get oneself known to that audience because, unless they watch me in re-runs on ‘U.K. Gold,’ they won’t know me from a hole in the ground.
Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can’t put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you’re doing it from a position of correction.
To understand is to forgive, even oneself.
There’s a panic, a rush, to this ‘achievement’ of fame. There’s also the ambivalence of fame: the love of it and the hatred of it. We sometimes hate the famous while, at the same time, straining to achieve fame oneself.
The whole problem of the sound-work is distancing oneself from the dramatic.
To keep oneself safe does not mean to bury oneself.
The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat oneself.
In order to engage in an ‘experiencing of the world,’ one has to physically move oneself to the most diverse places on earth.
Grooming oneself with all the crazed compulsion of an under-exercised lab rat in order to hook a rich man and obtain a lush lifestyle makes a certain (albeit seedy) sense.
We are all murderers and prostitutes – no matter to what culture, society, class, nation one belongs, no matter how normal, moral, or mature, one takes oneself to be.
Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the church is often labeled today as fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and swept along by every wind of teaching, look like the only attitude acceptable to today’s standards.
Love is, above all, the gift of oneself. It’s a never ending study, once we have learned to love, we will learn to live. Love creates an ‘us’ without destroying a ‘me!’
Coming out is a means of redefining oneself, of claiming membership in a lifestyle and a social order with distinct values. Chief among these values is honesty.
In talking about the impact of ideas in one field on ideas in another field, one is always apt to make a fool of oneself.
An important consequence of freeing oneself from the fear of death is a radical opening to spirituality of a universal and non-denominational type.
There is no excellence without labor. One cannot dream oneself into either usefulness or happiness.
My clothes don’t make one a different person, just more of oneself.
With age comes a greater wisdom, an ease and comfort with oneself.
I was going to say that writing is about disclosure and acting is about obfuscation, but that’s such a little lie. Both of them are about obfuscation and masking oneself.
I have that precious commodity – freedom. I can live my life a day at a time, and I am open to whatever the next day brings. I know I sound as if I have been off with some guru in India, but I haven’t. I’ve come to realise the value of being able to decide for oneself.
The relationship to one’s fellow man is the relationship of prayer, the relationship to oneself is the relationship of striving; it is from prayer that one draws the strength for one’s striving.
One may speak about anything on earth with fire, with enthusiasm, with ecstasy, but one only speaks about oneself with avidity.
I don’t watch television, I think it destroys the art of talking about oneself.
I never really make solid resolutions. I think if there’s something one needs to change with oneself, it doesn’t have to happen in the New Year.
Until fairly recently, Amish teachers would reprimand the student who raised his or her hand as being too individualistic. Calling attention to oneself, or being ‘prideful,’ is one of the cardinal Amish worries. Having your name or photo in the papers, even talking to the press, is almost a sin.
A man is, after all, what he loves. But one always feels cornered when asked to explain why one loves this or that person, and what for. In order to explain it – which inevitably amounts to explaining oneself – one has to try to love the object of one’s attention a little bit less.
I think it’s important to spend some time with oneself, and the mountains are a great place to do that. So I go hiking and trekking often.
Prayer provides an opportunity to remind oneself of how one should be living, our responsibilities to others, our own failings, and our relative good fortune, should we have it. This is, I think, a pretty worthwhile practice and it is not something you can only do if you believe you are talking to an unseen creator.
A golden rule: to leave an incomplete image of oneself.
Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.
Calling oneself a hero after making mistakes shouldn’t earn public trust.
I find putting oneself out there difficult. I think writing and sharing writing require different skill sets. I want to be read, but it takes courage to ask someone to read your work.
In Queen Mary’s, which was an all-girls’ college, I learned discipline, hard work and to be competitive. But at Madras Film Institute, I learned about the world, being free and knowledgeable, and thinking beyond oneself.
True guilt is guilt at the obligation one owes to oneself to be oneself. False guilt is guilt felt at not being what other people feel one ought to be or assume that one is.
It is impossible to go through life without trust: that is to be imprisoned in the worst cell of all, oneself.
Employ oneself upon trifling professional matters which others could do.
I think we forget that part of parenthood means having to face and reject or face and embrace a kind of animal capacity for unkindness. And if, when, parents do embrace that, it reveals something very ugly to oneself.
I totally have the ability to laugh at myself. I don’t think one should take oneself seriously, ever. As long as you are not hurting my sentiments by revealing personal details or talking badly about my family, I’m absolutely fine.
When one takes action for others, one’s own suffering is transformed into the energy that can keep one moving forward; a light of hope illuminating a new tomorrow for oneself and others is kindled.
We have never considered our brand superior or inferior to any other one, and we have never spoken about our work in comparison to anyone else’s. We are ourselves; we have never had the presumption to please everyone, but we believe in the utmost liberty to express oneself.
Love is understood, in a historical way, as one of the great human vocations – but its counterspell has always been infidelity. This terrible, terrible betrayal that can tear apart not only another person, not only oneself, but whole families.
Writing is a question of finding a certain rhythm. I compare it to the rhythms of jazz. Much of the time life is a sort of rhythmic progression of three characters. If one tells oneself that life is like that, one feels it less arbitrary.
In novels, and American novels in particular, it’s not just about redemption, it’s about forward movement and healing oneself. Americans are very big on getting better.
I am not into self-exploration. My family would lose their eyes in the backs of their heads if people talked about personal journeys or finding oneself.
My experience has been that work is almost the best way to pull oneself out of the depths.
It’s impossible not to be taken in by the spectacle of oneself, which is the biggest sin of the culture right now.
My team at Pittsburgh is the greatest example of unselfishness and giving of oneself. They bought into that, and it’s brought those kids championships, and it’s brought all those kids so much glory.
Self-complacency is pleasure accompanied by the idea of oneself as cause.
Only by keeping oneself in constant process of growth, under the constant influence of the best things in one’s own age, does one become a companion halfway good enough for one’s children.
Boredom is the root of all evil – the despairing refusal to be oneself.
I don’t know whether I believe in God or not. I think, really, I’m some sort of Buddhist. But the essential thing is to put oneself in a frame of mind which is close to that of prayer.
To abandon oneself to principles is really to die – and to die for an impossible love which is the contrary of love.
Carrying out the thing, getting it to the point when one might say: There, now it is good – that point is hard to reach. Often, one sets very high goals for oneself. Perhaps too high.
Since Socrates and Plato first speculated on the nature of the human mind, serious thinkers through the ages – from Aristotle to Descartes, from Aeschylus to Strindberg and Ingmar Bergman – have thought it wise to understand oneself and one’s behavior.
The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.