Self Help Quotes, Stories, Poems and Prayers



everything in this world is a luminous divine dream
I have spun.

I did not know life was a fabric woven by my soul.
Any form that can appear to you – should I confess this? –
it is something I have made.
All roots nurse

God’s art is mine. I did not want his divine talent.
It simply grew in my heart from
the way I

Existence is as a young child moving through
a lane late at night;

it wanted to
hold my

Here, dear Earth, hold me,
until your own

St.Catherine of Sienna (1347-1380)


“Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.” ~ William James

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference." ~ Robert Frost

“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” ~ Saint Augustine

"Life is a journey, not a destination." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"There is only one journey. Going inside yourself." ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

“There is only one great adventure and that is inwards toward the self.” ~ Henry Miller

“There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self.” ~ Aldous Huxley

“Thus saith the Lord: ‘Set thy house in order’.” ~ Kings II 20:1

"Be the change you want to see in the world." ~ Gandhi

“One of the most difficult things is not to change society - but to change yourself.” ~ Nelson Mandela

"It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles." ~ Buddha

“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.” ~ Confucius

"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavour." ~ Henry David Thoreau

“You can’t direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails.” ~ Unknown source

“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” ~ Henry Miller

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." ~ Marcel Proust

"Other people may be there to help us, teach us, guide us along our path, but the lesson to be learned is always ours.” ~ Unknown source

"Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a night; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime” ~ Chinese sage, Kuang Ztu

“Everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room, every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.” ~ Indian Proverb

“A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Human development is being more, not having more.” ~ Rabbi Soetendorp

“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” ~ Jiddu Krishnamurti 

Disciple Frank Humphreys question to Sri Ramana Maharshi: "Master, will I be helpful to the world?'' The Mahatma's answer was "Help yourself, you will help the world''. The same question repeated had the same reply, with the observation that he was in the world but not different (separate) from it, nor was it different from him, and that therefore by helping himself, he would help the world.

“No one succeeds without effort... Those who succeed owe their success to perseverance.” ~ Ramana Maharshi

“Know where to find the information and how to use it – that’s the secret of success.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Lift up the self by the Self

And don’t let the self droop down,

For the Self is the self’s only friend

And the self is the Self’s only foe.”

~ Bhagavad Gita

“What is it that love dares the self to do?

Love dares the self to leave the self behind.”

~ Anne Carson

In the fable, “Hercules and the Waggoner”, by Æsop, a waggoner’s heavy load becomes bogged down in mud. In despair, the waggoner cries out to Hercules for help. Hercules replies, "Get up and put your shoulder to the wheel. The gods help them that help themselves."

The Sufi Bayazid says this about himself: ‘I was a revolutionary when I was young and all my prayer to God was, “Lord give me the energy to change the world.”

As I approached middle age and realised that half my life was gone without changing my changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to: “Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come in contact with me. Just my family and friends, and I shall be content.”

Now that I am an old man and my days are numbered, my prayer now is: “Lord, give me the grace to change myself.” If I had prayed for this right from the start I should not have wasted my life.

~ Anthony de Mello, The Song of the Bird

                                                                                                    The Detachment Prayer

Great Spirit,
Grant me the detachment and equanimity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The strength and courage to change the things I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

(Adapted from ‘The Serenity Prayer’ by Reinhold Niebuhr)

One of the most important results
You can bring into the world
Is the You
That you really want to be
Robert Fritz

“At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” ~ Lao Tzu (600BC-531BC)

“The task of self-knowledge and of further self-development is of such importance and seriousness, it demands such intensity of effort, that to attempt it any old way and amongst other things is impossible. The person who undertakes this task must put it first in his life, which is not so long that he can afford to squander it on trifles.” ~ George Gurdjieff (1873-1949)

“It is a grave error to accuse a man who pursues self-knowledge of ‘turning his back on society’. The opposite would be more nearly true: that a man who fails to pursue self-knowledge is and remains a danger to society, for he will tend to misunderstand everything that other people say or do, and remain blissfully unaware of the significance of the many things he does himself.” ~ E. B. Schumacher

                                                                                                      Rules for being human

1. You will receive a body. You may like it, or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.

2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full time informal school called life. Each day in this school you have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think they are irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works”.

4. A lesson is repeated until learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go to the next lesson. Periodically, the lesson will be re-presented to see if you still remember it.

5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learnt. If no lesson is being presented, it is likely that you are no longer alive.

6. “There” is no better than “here”. When your “there” has become a “here”, you will simply acquire another “there”. That will again look better than “here”.

7. Others are simply mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you make of them is up to you; the choice is yours.

9. Your answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you have to do is look, listen and trust.

10. You will forget all this. That fact is itself a lesson.

“There is an inner life which is the world of final reality, the world of memory, emotion, common sense and which goes on all the time consciously or subconsciously, like the heart beat. There is also the thinking process by which we break into the inner life and capture answers and evidence to support the answers out of it. That process of raid, or persuasion or ambush, or dogged hunting, or surrender, is the kind of thinking we have to learn, and if we do not somehow learn it, then our minds lie in us like the fish in the pond of a man who cannot fish." ~ Ted Hughes, 'Poetry in the Making'

                                                                                           THAT THEY MAY FACE THE WINDS

Great Spirit, Great Spirit, my Grandfather,
Give me the strength to walk the soft earth, a relative to all that is!
Give me the eyes to see and the strength to understand, that I may be like you. With your power only can I face the winds.
Great Spirit...all over the Earth the faces of living things are all alike.
With tenderness have these come up out of the ground.
Look upon these faces of children without number,
and with children in their arms,
that they may face the winds
and walk the good road to the day of quiet.
This is my prayer; hear me!

  Black Elk, Sioux Indian (1863-1950)



Faster and more fast

O’er night’s brim, day boils at last

Boils pure gold o’er the cloud-cup’s brim,

Where spurting and suppressed it lay,

For not a froth-flake touched the rim

Of yonder gap in the solid grey

Of the Eastern cloud, an hour away:

But forth one wavelet, then another, curled,

Till the whole sunrise, not to be suppressed,

Rose reddened, and its seething breast

Flickered in bounds, grew gold, then over­flowed the world.

 Robert Browning (1812-1889)