Gandhi’s Keys to Self-Understanding

UPDATED: November 18, 2008
PUBLISHED: November 18, 2008

Mohandus K. Gandhi fought for freedom. In the spirit of compassion and nonviolence, he worked tirelessly until his death for the independence of his beloved India. He is remembered for his courage, his strength of character and his faith. Clearly, he was a man with unique insight into himself and others. Here are some of Gandhi’s words about understanding our true natures, leading by example and being the best we can be in any situation:

All your scholarship would be in vain if at the same time you do not build your character and attain mastery over your thoughts and your actions.
Rule of all without the rule of oneself would prove to be as deceptive and as disappointing as a painted toy mango, charming to look at but hollow and empty within.
True morality consists not in following the beaten track, but in finding out the true path for ourselves and in fearlessly following it.
Your character must be above suspicion, and you must be truthful and self-controlled.
The truest test of civilization, culture and dignity is character, not clothing.
Self-respect and honor cannot be protected by others. They are for each individual himself or herself to guard.
One’s everyday life was never capable of being separated from his spiritual being.
What I want to achieve, what I have been striving and pining for these 30 years, is self-realization, that is, to see God face to face.
The pleasure lies in making the effort, not in its fulfillment.
I would like people to compete with me in my contentment. It is the richest treasure I own.

Amy Anderson is the former senior editor of SUCCESS magazine, an Emmy Award-winning writer and founder of Anderson Content Consulting. She helps experts, coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs to discover their truth, write with confidence, and share their stories so they can transform their past into hope for others. Learn more at and on Facebook.