These are structured in order from the more vague (more up-to-interpretation) to the most specific regarding self-discovery.

More Vague


 “It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves — in finding themselves.” — Andre Gide

“He knows his own mind so well that nothing can take away his character.” Empty Roads and Glass Bottles, Charlotte Eriksson

“And what is it that reason demands of him? Something very easy — that he live in accordance with his own nature.” Letters from a Stoic, Seneca

“The way to become human is to learn to recognize the lineaments of God in all the wonderful modulations of the face of man.” The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell.

“It is a journey to find a Truer self-hood; one that cannot be easily corrupted by the outer world or by time….there is no drive-thru enlightenment.” The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell.

“I’m / all thru playing the American / Now I’m going to live a good quiet life / The / World should be built for foot walkers.” “Bus East”, Jack Kerouac.

“I am simply unwilling to accept blanket limits about the ceiling of performance. Not any one of us knows the power of the human spirit.” Find A Way, Diana Nyad

“People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds, it is something one creates.”  “The Myth of Mental Illness” Thomas Szasz

“I saw that my life was a vast glowing empty page and I could do anything I wanted.” Jack Kerouac

Less Vague, More Specific

 “I studied myself and wrote my life down.” Empty Roads and Glass Bottles, Charlotte Eriksson.

“First of all, loneliness is not to be connected with solitude. Living in solitude for a while is the most important part of finding yourself, at least for me.” Empty Roads and Glass Bottles, Charlotte Eriksson

“It was all very ordinary until my heart connected with my mind and body, until I aligned with my own rhythm and simply let myself be.” Empty Roads and Glass Bottles, Charlotte Eriksson

“Dwelling free means to follow the divine impulse, to live in a way that is not restricted to what others say and insist on, but to follow one’s broadest, deepest, sense about how to grow and live” The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell

“She has had to make her way alone, through difficulties not commonly encountered, through shimmy muddy streets; she has known the dark night of the soul, Dante’s ‘dark wood, midway in the journey of our life’, and the sorrows of the pits of hell.” The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell

“Where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.” The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell

“And it occurred to me that to be a success it is invariably best to do what you are not supposed to do.” Sex, Surrealism, Dali and Me, the Memoirs of Carlos Lozanos, Clifford Thurlow

“It matters not how strait the gate, / How charged with punishments the scroll, / I am the master of my fate, / I am the captain of my soul.” “Invictus”, William Ernest Henley

“For this reason, when the wind is not fit for sailing, we sit down and torment ourselves . . . what then? We must make the best use that we can of the things which are in our power, and use the rest according to their nature.” The Discourse of Epictetus, Arrian

“But if with fear and trembling, you seek not to fall into that which you avoid, tell me how you are improving.” The Discourse of Epiceteus, Arrian

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone else’s distorted world view.” On the Road, Jack Kerouac

“So therefore I dedicate myself, to my art, my sleep, my dreams, my labors, my sufferances, my loneliness, my unique madness, my endless absorption and hunger because I cannot dedicate myself to any fellow being.” Jack Kerouac

Most Specific

“By living well, by observing as you live, by reading well and observing how you read, you have fed your most Original Self. By training yourself in writing, by repetitious exercise, imitation, good example, you have made a clean well-lighted place to keep the Muse.” Zen in the Art of Writing, Ray Bradbury.

“So I practiced every single day. I found a way to use my disciplined athlete mind to get up at 6 am every morning and not waste one single second, a second that I could use to develop and become better. If you want something bad enough you can always find a way to get it.” Empty Roads and Glass Bottles, Charlotte Eriksson

“The secret, [Dali] said, is to have a hundred ideas and, if ten of them materialize, it is nine more than the man who only has one.” Sex, Surrealism, Dali and Me: the Memoirs of Carlos Lozanos, Clifford Thurlow

“The task, as Pericles showed, is not to ignore fear but to explain it away. Take what you’re afraid of–when fear strikes you–and break it apart.” The Obstacle is the Way, Ryan Holiday

“Don’t use the phone. People are never ready to answer it. Use poetry.” Jack Kerouac

“My whole wretched life swam before my weary eyes, and I realized no matter what you do it’s bound to be a waste of time in the end so you might as well go mad.” On the Road: The Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac

“One man practicing kindness in the wilderness is worth all the temples this world pulls.” The Dharma Bums, Jack Kerouac

“Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.” Allen Ginsberg

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