Mahatma Gandhi is one of the main political and inspirational leaders of the 20th century. His achievements and unique approach have made him a role model to many, but even if you have only heard a bit about Gandhi, you can benefit from his wisdom today.
Let’s examine 8 lessons that he leaves us with.
Forgiveness makes us stronger
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
Forgiveness is a difficult choice to make. It can feel as if we are making ourselves more vulnerable if we choose to forgive, like making yourself more open to harm from those who have already harmed us. However, Gandhi reminds us that forgiveness makes us stronger.
It allows us to rise above the situation and find the power to move on. It frees us from the burden of an unresolved grudge.
Change begins with you
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
There are some changes that we cannot make. We can’t, on our own, shift global matters. But this doesn’t mean that we do not have the power to make changes around us. If we wish the world was kinder, we can choose to be kinder and watch how it transforms not only our lives but ripples into the lives of others.
If we wish the world was better, we can begin a chain of positive change that can end up much bigger than we thought.
Loyalty and trust are worth giving
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
We often feel disappointed in our relationships because we feel that we are not being given enough. But Gandhi would like us to remember that we need to focus on giving as well as receiving. Offering our trust and loyalty to other people can bring unexpected rewards and make us feel empowered in our relationship.
When we offer our support and commitment to whatever we are engaged in, be it a relationship or an activity, it gives us power, confidence, and connection.
Mental strength matters
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
We should constantly build our mental strength. It matters far more than our physical strength and allows us to achieve a lot more than we ever thought possible. Our mental strength comes from our thoughts. If we constantly focus on the negative or allow ourselves to believe that we won’t ever achieve anything, it makes us weaker, less resilient, less able to face obstacles.
Some of the biggest limitations we face are self-imposed, and mental strength gives us the power to deal with them and improve them significantly. We build mental strength by believing in ourselves, focusing on the positives, and working continuously towards our goals, no matter the pressure.
Make the most of each day
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Gandhi reminds us that life doesn’t last forever, but this doesn’t mean that we should despair. Instead, it should drive us to enjoy everything more and take advantage of every single opportunity. We should take any chance to learn, to be alive, to create, because that is what makes life worth living.
Be true to yourself
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
You might be able to fool others, but you can’t fool yourself. When you are living a life that is not true to who you are, you won’t be truly happy or satisfied. It’s important to seek out harmony between your beliefs, values, actions, and choices. Allow yourself the chance to live authentically, that is the way to true satisfaction.
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won.”
Remember that there is always hope. Even when things seem very bleak, whether in your life or the wider world, remember that goodness has always won out, in the end. Despair serves no purpose, because it keeps you from working on change.
“Where there is love there is life.”
Even when pursuing other things, never lose sight of love. Love is the central value for any of us, and it matters a lot. It is what gives us life and what gives us meaning. If you are feeling empty or overwhelmed, center on the love you can find and draw strength from it.