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The Keys to Creating Yourself in Quotes

Self-esteem, persistence, courage and belief are interrelated and inseparable keys to personal development, resilience and success, in fact to the human creative faculty itself. They are also persistently and consistently suppressed in our culture.

We are taught from an early age that our prospects in life depend on how others perceive us. We are discouraged from taking risks and following our dreams in the name of “realism” which is nothing more than skepticism in disguise. By allowing this belief structure of victimhood, dissuasion and discouragement to rule our lives, we crush our own innate creative capacity to manifest beauty, goodness and truth in the world.

It is not in the nature of human beings to experience happiness or fulfillment unless they are creating something good in the world, in accordance with the unique vision and passion that is given to each of us. This is an inconvenient truth for many societies, a disruptive and uncomfortable truth, a truth that rejects conformity and denounces the image of human being as a compliant worker in the halls of industry as a sin against human nature.

This ongoing and worldwide struggle with the forces of discouragement goes on in the battlefields of our hearts and minds and spirits. We offer these quotes as inspiration to press onward to victory in that struggle.


“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”
– Frederick Douglass

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.”
– Carl Jung

“I don’t want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did.”
– Henry James

“Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions … Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”
– Tina Fey

“No man ever got very high by pulling other people down. The intelligent merchant does not knock his competitors. The sensible worker does not knock those who work with him. Don’t knock your friends. Don’t knock your enemies. Don’t knock yourself.”
– Alfred Lord Tennyson

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
– Shakyamuni Buddha

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“She lacks confidence, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on the reflections of herself in the eyes of others. She does not dare to be herself.”
– Anais Nin

“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
– Anaïs Nin

“Let’s remember that our children’s spirits are more important than any material things. When we do, self-esteem and love blossoms and grows more beautifully than any bed of flowers ever could.”
– Jack Canfield
“Greater self-esteem produces greater success, and greater success produces more high self-esteem, so it keeps on spiraling up.”
– Jack Canfield



“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
– Winston Churchill

“Let the man who has to make his fortune in life remember this maxim. Attacking is his only secret. Dare, and the world always yields: or, if it beat you sometimes, dare again, and it will succumb.”
– William Thackeray

“The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.”
– Napoleon Hill

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
– Japanese Proverb

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
– Albert Einstein

“Saints are sinners who kept on going.”
– Robert Louis Stevenson

“It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.”
– Mark Twain

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”
– Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
– Winston Churchill

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
– Anaïs Nin

“Freedom lies in being bold.”
– Robert Frost

“It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.”
– Erma Bombeck

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.”
– C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”
– John Quincy Adams

“Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.”
– Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War

“The only tyrant I accept in this world is the ‘still small voice’ within me. And even though I have to face the prospect of being a minority of one, I humbly believe I have the courage to be in such a hopeless minority.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

“The potential of the average person is like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good.”
– Brian Tracy

“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.”
– Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

“A man of courage is also full of faith.”
– Marcus Tulius Cicero

“Courage consists not in hazarding without fear; but being resolutely minded in a just cause.”
– Plutarch


“More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing in nothing, than by believing too much.”
– P. T. Barnum

“What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.”
– Anthony Robbins

“To believe a thing is impossible is to make it so.”
– French Proverb

“If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide, then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything, including those things that other people are certain are impossible.”
– Anthony Robbins

“One person with a belief is equal to a force of ninety-nine who have only interests.”
– John Stuart Mill

“If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.”
– Dale Carnegie

“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, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.”
– James Joyce

“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright


We see from these quotes not only the importance of these four keys to the creative force, but their interrelation. Courage rests on self-esteem, persistence arises from belief, and each of these qualities multiplies each of the others. We also see traces of the correct and incorrect forms of each of these qualities, as in Twain’s quote about moral and physical courage. It is also clear that an academic, intellectual belief is not the kind of belief that can change the world. Hopefully, these quotes will inspire you to cultivate the sort of belief that can.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

The Power of “Story”: Understanding Society’s Grip on Your Mind

We’ve talked a great deal about belief and the Law of Attraction.  Stories are the medium that the human race uses to transmit beliefs.  Stories are everywhere, not just in books and newspapers, but in laws, popular wisdom, customs and etiquette, music, advertisements, what teachers and mentors and parents told you in childhood- in short, any medium that tells us something about The Way Things Are.  These stories about the world shape our beliefs, which in turn shape our lives.

In a macroscopic sense, stories are society’s reproductive mechanism- they allow us to create our children in our own image, just as our parents’ generation did with us.  Stories are society’s genetic material.  Nations, conflicts, wars, socioeconomic structures, all are sustained on the power of stories to inculcate beliefs.


A Look at Our Stories


Many of these stories encapsulate the lessons society has learned over the years.  Unfortunately, not all of the stories have positive effects on us and our belief structures.

Sometimes, there’s a specific agenda behind that belief.  John Taylor Gatto, award-winning former New York State public school teacher, has spent years researching and documenting the beliefs that public education was designed to foster in children.  As we’ve previously written, the avowed goal behind many innovations that are now part and parcel of public education worldwide was to create students who think in similar ways, believe similar things and would generally make tractable additions to the workforce.


Let’s have a look at the stories that we gravitate towards for entertainment.  On television and in literature, the current wave in storytelling is quite interesting.  We’ve been acclimatised to think of darker, grittier, more depressing material as “realistic.”  Cop shows, Dramas, Sci-Fi, Fantasy- genre after genre has begun to tell us that “real” means a world where all heroes fall, where people serve their own interests above any higher good, where no one’s hands are clean, where all successful people are unscrupulous, where everyone is bitter and unable to maintain stable human relationships of any kind.  In short, the stories that permeate our culture at the moment show us exactly the opposite of what most of us want to manifest in our lives- and sell it to us as reality.  Now there’s a healthy belief for you!

I’m not saying that fiction shouldn’t encompass the struggles of human life- it absolutely should.  But to be both honest and useful to us, the way to overcome those struggles should be included (by both positive and negative example).  The trouble is, that’s exactly the kind of narrative we seem intent on discarding.


Weak Stories


In Power vs. Force, Dr. David Hawkins describes the effect of trying to fight or use force against something.  He uses the “War on Drugs” as a prime example.  Trying to fight a phenomenon rather than build up its opposite is the surest way to strengthen it.  A similar effect can be observed in every situation where we’ve been told a conflict-based story.

The world of work and employment is a prime example.  We are told that we are in conflict and competition with other job-seekers, with other candidates for promotion.  We are at the mercy of our employers.  Our success is based on how hard we work and how much crap we will accept- so says the prevalent narrative of our society.  We pull ourselves up by the bootstraps, toiling in jobs we don’t care about until we retire (or, more likely with the financial crisis, until we die).

The problem is, none of this has anything to do with how success really works.  Successful people follow their talent and their passion, knowing that they have something to offer- and they succeed, even if only after much trial and error- that is, after eliminating whatever was blocking them from achieving their goal.  (Search “Famous Failures” on Youtube to see some great examples- two of them became American presidents and one invented the light bulb.)

You don’t have to subscribe to all of Hawkins’ theories (and I for one think there are some problems with his methodology) to understand that the low-vibrational energy of conflict-based narratives and beliefs will always be less successful than the higher-vibrational energy of emphasizing the positive.  The same thing applies to the fear narratives that are so prevalent today- whether it’s killer diseases or terrorism, something, it seems, is always out to get you (of course, the fact that you’re still here reading this might be an indication that the threat is just a little overrated!).


Vetting These Stories


One of the most powerful tools for personal resilience you can master is simply to notice these stories and the beliefs they generate.  I once had a teacher who taught her class to do this with advertising- I have never once to my recollection purchased anything in all the years since simply because it was advertised.  You can start to look at your reality in more objective terms by standing outside the flow of the stories and examining them.  Observe the mentality of the time, the flow of fashion, the changes in thinking, the surge of popular enthusiasm, rather than being caught up in them, and understand that they will pass.  It is much more difficult than you might think.

Once you’ve started to notice, there are a number of tools you can use to vet the stories that underlie your own mental programming.  They should be fairly familiar to you:


  1. The Ws: Who told the story?  Why did they tell the story?  What beliefs did the story generate?  Where have these beliefs led those who hold them?  When did this story start?
  2. What is the emotional level of the belief?  How does it make you feel?  Is it confrontational and conflict-based?  Does it ask you to fear something in a way that is disproportionate to the danger?  How does it cause you to act toward others or when approaching a particular task?
  3. How does the belief square with your core principles?  Does it help you of hinder you in manifesting these principles in your life?
  4. What other stories have been told on this subject in other times and places?  What were their effects?


The most important and indispensable tool, of course, is a genuinely open mind.


What do we mean by an open mind?


An open thinks, “I know, at most, parts of the truth.  The totality of truth and knowledge is too big for my mind to grasp.  Therefore I will accept what seems to work and seems to be good for me, regardless of theoretical and ideological infighting, until I find something better, and I will also assume that I may be partly wrong.”  This approach does not deny the existence of bedrock principles and beliefs- it merely acknowledges that they are greater than the mind that is thinking about them.  Ideology, like relativism, is the enemy of truth.




By noticing the connections between the stories you absorb throughout your life, the beliefs they encourage (or discourage) and the effects of those beliefs in your own life, you gain not only a tool for changing your own belief structure in order to improve your own life, but an inner barometer for all stories.  By their fruits you will know them, as the Gospel of St. Matthew says.  If the fruit of the story, the beliefs that it feeds, have a positive impact upon you and your life, keep it around.  If not, you need to start asking questions of that story.


 ~ Dr. Symeon Rodger