Quotes of Wisdom: Inspirational Words towards Self-Knowledge

What type of knowledge is important to you?

Do you sometimes feel that you should know yourself more than you do?

Do you feel that you are spending too much time accumulating superfluous knowledge other than knowledge of self?

Learn to accumulate Wisdom not Superficiality

In the educational system we are taught general knowledge for us to learn from and that is suppose to provide us with the foundations towards contributing to society.  This carefully chosen knowledge is mostly made up of facts and figures which really has no real benefit towards our own personal growth.  Maybe if they included practical wisdom and self-knowledge on the curriculum it would go a long way to addressing the balance of what we learn at school.

When we leave education and venture out into the wild  jungle of employment, we are then encouraged to accumulate as much knowledge as possible so that we can be better prepared for the hunt for status and financial reward.

Especially in this technological world of communication competing for a captive audience who are willing to give up their hard earned cash to whoever can provide the best answers, we are continually bombarded with the familiar words “Knowledge is Power!” – and without this knowledge we can never become successful in life.  To that I say, “absolute rubbish!”.

The reasons why most knowledge we learn is not conducive to living wisely are:

  1. probably not relevant or useful to you and will not provide you with the wisdom to help you live successfully as a person
  2. you may not be able to actually apply the knowledge to your own life
  3. is mostly superficial because it’s external to you
  4. cannot help you totally understand and solve the problems that may arise within yourself and within relationship with others
  5. is only used for a means to an end and does not actually improve you as a person

Self-knowledge is the key to Living Successfully

So I’d like to rephrase the typical buzzword used to inspire you towards success to, “Self-knowledge is Power!” Or even, “Self-knowledge is Wisdom!” It’s a pity that we’re not encouraged to learn about ourselves rather than just learning a particular branch of knowledge to do our jobs or to display a show of vanity on how much we supposedly know  – which is nothing more than that.

What about our actual lives and relationships?  Self-knowledge would go a long way towards producing wise, intelligent and contented human beings who have the awareness to be reasonable and peaceful amongst one another, something which I think is the biggest success anyone can have in life.

I will go into this subject with even more depth in my next post, and will hopefully spark a light within you to begin self-reflecting and learning about yourselves, which I guarantee will improve your mind, spirit and life for the better – so no more ignorance,  just awareness towards successful living.

Read part two of the ‘Self-Knowledge’ series: ‘Self-Knowledge is Power! Knowledge of Self Towards Successful Living’

Quotes of Wisdom

I will now leave you with a few inspirational quotes that will provide the foundations and encouragement for you to work towards your own self-knowledge.

“Know Thyself”

~ The Oracle of Delphi Spoke to Socrates

“I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”

~ Socrates

“I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.”

~ Socrates

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

~ Socrates

“To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.”

~ Socrates

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”

~ Socrates

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

~ Aristotle

“Ninety percent of the world’s woe comes from people not knowing themselves, their abilities, their frailties, and even their real virtues. Most of us go almost all the way through life as complete strangers to ourselves.”

~ Sydney J. Harris

“Resolve to be thyself; and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery.”

~ Matthew Arnold

“Know thyself means this, that you get acquainted with what you know, and what you can do.”

~ Menander

“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”

~ Virginia Woolfe

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”

~ Lao Tzu

“Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-improvement.”

~ Spanish Proverb

“To conquer oneself is the best and noblest victory; to be vanquished by one’s own nature is the worst and most ignoble defeat.”

~ Plato

“Be a light unto yourself.”

~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

“He who knows not and knows not he knows not, He is a fool – Shun him.
He who knows not and knows he knows not, He is simple – Teach him.
He who knows and knows not he knows, He is asleep – Awaken him.
He who knows and knows that he knows, He is wise – Follow him.”

~ Arabic Proverb


  1. Great quotes. Here’s one from Karl Kraus: “Never learn anything more than you absolutely need to get through life.” Knowledge of life, not of facts, is what matters.

  2. Jason Cooper says:

    Pure poetry, NP.

    The truth of that quote beams with enlightenment.


  3. Sean Chang says:

    A timely and reflective post in an age where superficial knowledge is often confused with true wisdom.

    Great post.

  4. Jason Cooper says:

    Thank you for your wise words, Sean!

  5. Socrates says:

    Great post, my friend, great post. Please keep up the good work.

  6. Jason Cooper says:

    Thank you, my dear Socrates. Wise to the very end.

  7. I love it! This is a wonderful series you have Sir. Hopefully, you have sparked some people to find more knowledge of self. In fact, I’m sure you have!

  8. Jason Cooper says:

    Thanks Ali.

    I don’t know about sparking another to attain self-knowledge as I’m still learning about myself, and as the old saying goes:

    “You can take a horse to water but you can’t force it to drink”

    But if I have sparked some interest, then I would be truly humbled – everyone has their own path to walk, I just try to point the way towards the riches of a liberated and joyful mind, rather than to the man-made riches that we are conditioned to love and strive for.

  9. Your posts DO motivate others to learn more about themselves. Therefore, you do “light a fire” under people to look more within themselves. This IS a good, Jason!