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Creative quotes and quotations
On Self...


Who is creative? You. But who are you? Now there’s a question. Inside your head somewhere is the bit that makes you, you. Our self is aware of itself, which is rare amongst animals. And our sense of identity, how we view the self, is very important to us.

See also

being*, being creative, being different, mind*, people, thinking


‘The kingdom of God is within you.’

— Luke 17:21

‘Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.’

Alan Alda

‘The end of every maker is himself.’

Thomas Aquinas

‘A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.’

Henry Ward Beecher

‘Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else is always a portrait of himself.’

Samuel Butler

‘One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.’

Leonardo Da Vinci

‘Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.’

Miles Davis

‘The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self.’

Albert Einstein

‘The fact that man produces a concept "I" besides the totality of his mental and emotional experiences or perceptions does not prove that there must be any specific existence behind such a concept. We are succumbing to illusions produced by our self-created language, without reaching a better understanding of anything. Most of so-called philosophy is due to this kind of fallacy.’

Albert Einstein

‘Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self.’

Erich Fromm

‘Man unites himself with the world in the process of creation.’

Erich Fromm

‘Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself.’

Erich Fromm

We live at a time when man believes himself fabulously capable of creation, but does not know what to create. Lord of all things, he is not lord of himself.’

José Ortega Y Gasset

‘As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world—that is the myth of the atomic age—as in being able to remake ourselves.’

Mahatma Gandhi

‘As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.’

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

‘Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.’

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

‘What you must dare: is to be yourself.’

Dag Hammarskjöld

‘It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.’

— Sir Edmund Hilary

‘The compulsion to take ourselves seriously is in inverse proportion to our creative capacity. When the creative flow dries up, all we have left is our importance.’

Eric Hoffer

‘Man, like Deity, creates in his own image.’

Elbert Hubbard

‘There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, you talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.’

Sophia Loren

‘Self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment.’

Maxwell Maltz

‘One must die to be utterly a creator.’

Thomas Mann

‘When you come right down to it, all you have is your self. Your self is a sun with a thousand rays in your belly. The rest is nothing.’

Pablo Picasso

‘No man is free who cannot command himself.’


‘It is easier to deceive yourself, and to do so unperceived, than to deceive another.’

Francois, Duc de Rochenfoucauld

‘We work so consistently to disguise ourselves to others that we end by being disguised to ourselves.’

Francois, Duc de Rochenfoucauld

‘The mainspring of creativity appears to be the same tendency which we discover so deeply as the curative force in psychotherapy, man’s tendency to actualize himself, to become his potentialities. By this I mean the organic and human life, the urge to expand, extend, develop, mature - the tendency to express and activate all the capacities of the organism, or the self.’

Carl Rogers

‘Whoever undertakes to create soon finds himself engaged in creating himself.’

Harold Rosenberg

‘The only journey is the journey within.’

Rainer Maria Rilke

‘Let he who would move the world first move himself.’

Lucius Seneca

‘We know what we are, but know not what we may be.’

William Shakespeare

‘This above all, to thine own self be true.’

William Shakespeare

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.’

Thomas Szasz

‘Things do not change, we do.’

Henry David Thoreau

‘The tragedy of a man’s life is what dies inside of him whilst he lives.’

Henry David Thoreau

‘Everyone things of changing the world, but no one things of changing himself.’

Leo Tolstoy

‘He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.’

Lao Tzu

‘Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.’

Oscar Wilde

‘Only the shallow know themselves.’

Oscar Wilde



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