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13 Rumi Quotes That Will Change The Way You Think by Omar Itani

Rumi was a Persian poet and scholar from the 13th century.

His words and wisdom have crossed all borders and continue to stand the test of time. There is great beauty in the words he spoke, and it’s no wonder he has influenced and inspired artists throughout the years.

His quotes stand to transform your life for the better by inviting more hope, love, and awakening. Here are 13 quotes that will open your heart and mind to the beauty that lies within you and, in doing so, change the way you think.

“Yesterday I was clever so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise so I am changing myself.”

Who you were ten years ago and who you are now are two different people. The same applies to me. What began as a journey of seeking an answer to “how can I change this world with my ideas” transformed, in more recent years, into “how can I change myself so I can better be suited to contribute to this world.”

Changing yourself doesn’t mean becoming a different person, it simply means working on improving yourself to become better; learn how to have higher self-awareness, cultivate a stronger mindset, find meaning in what you do and develop mindful habits that boost your productivity.

Your goal is to understand yourself better and become more grateful, resilient, confident and productive in your daily life. Work on bettering yourself — only then can you be in a position to contribute positive change to the world.

“The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.”

Every year, Bill Gates takes two “Think Weeks” and spends them alone in a cabin in the woods. He does it to escape the noise, read books, reflect on his progress and engage in deeper creative thought. Studies have shown that people who learn to find comfort in solitude tend to be happier, experience lower levels of stress and are less likely to have depression.

A few years ago, I flew to Sri Lanka on a solo trip and spent a week on a silent retreat. That experience was eye-opening; it set me on a path of greater self-awareness and gave me a much better idea of where I wanted to take my life. I went quiet, and in that silence, I was able to hear.

Silence and solitude go hand-in-hand. Learn to integrate at least 10 minutes per day to be alone with your thoughts because “the quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.”

“The art of knowing is knowing what to ignore… Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.”

There will be people who will try to stop you from following your dreams and most will project their fears and limiting beliefs onto you.

Gary Keller, the author of The One Thing, says that “the way to protect what you’ve said yes to and stay productive is to say no to anyone or anything that could derail you.”

We are faced with so much noise in life that sometimes it’s easy to get lost in it. The key is to say no. Say no to the doubters — ignore them. Say no the ones holding you back — ignore them. Say no to fear, negativity and criticism — ignore them.

If you wish to make music in your life, you must tune out the noise. Find strength in ignoring what derails you from your focus of becoming better and moving forward in reaching your potential.

“It’s your road, and yours alone, others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.”

In other words, if you don’t find the courage to go after what you want in life, you’ll never get it.

I spent the majority of my life talking about “one day writing a book”. But instead of doing anything about it, I just talked about it — and never wrote. I’d always find an excuse why not to: ‘I don’t have time to write’; ‘it’s a great book idea but I don’t know how to start it’…

“Excuses are fabricated illusions we create to rationalise our behaviours when we're too afraid to go after what we really want.”


If you keep giving yourself excuses, you’ll never walk the road. Twenty years down the line, you’ll regretfully look back and say “I wish I had.”

Whatever it is you want to achieve in your life, you must be the first one to step forward toward it. Start walking the road now, so that later on, others may walk it with you.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

On May 19th, 2017, I had a bike accident and blacked out on the street. It was bad; I ended up spending the rest of the summer recovering from surgery. But that accident — that wound — transformed me.

Light is defined as “the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.” Through that accident, light entered to show me things I was blind to. It taught me to slow life down and appreciate what I have. It opened my eyes to the abundance in my life and I became a grateful person who set out on a deeper path of self-discovery.

Light makes things visible, and a wound is a place where the light enters you. We all experience pain, sorrow, and misfortunate in life; no road is free from bumps. The key is to not fall blind in the moment’s darkness and dwell in self-pity but to allow the light to enter you and show you all that you cannot see.

“Inside you there’s an artist you don’t know about.”

This is similar to Picasso said:

“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

J.K Rowling is an artist in the way she unfolds a story. Kobe Bryant was an artist in the way he played the game of basketball. Michael Jackson was an artist in the way he brought music to life. Pablo Picasso was an artist in the way he interpreted his paintings: “The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?”

Art is defined as “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.” Which means we all have the capacity to create art. The key is to allow yourself to explore it.

Never lose sight of your inner-child. You are an artist in your own way. The question is are you willing to take the time to resurface your inner-child, discover what your talent is and be curious enough to explore it?

“As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.”

This is so true. So many times we find ourselves hesitant because we know where we want to go but we don’t know how to start.

You want to build your own business, but you’re not sure how to start. You want to become a New York Times Bestselling author but you’re not sure how to get there. You want to become a musician, but you’re not sure how to release music.

"But it’s not about the how; it’s about the where."

You need to be moving towards something in life — a goal, a direction or destination. Don’t dwell on the details, just get started. How you’ll get there is something that will unravel as you begin the journey towards that destination. But you must start walking first — walk, and the way of “how” will present itself to you. You’ll figure it out as you go.

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”

Some call it passion. Some call it purpose. Others call it meaning. Whatever you call it — it’s “curiosity” that pulls you closer to it.

And curiosity isn’t something you “think”, it’s something you “feel” that stems from the heart. It’s that feeling you have for someone that goes from a crush to one date to a relationship. It’s that feeling you have for writing that takes you from amateur to blogger to author. Let yourself be drawn by its pull.

Learn to follow your heart. It can lead you to places you could’ve never imagined.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

This is beautiful. What Rumi is saying is we must learn to love ourselves before we try to love someone else.

When we were first born into this world, we joined it as a little bundle of joy, screaming our way into existence. Thoughts like “I’m not good enough” or “I’m fat” or “I’m not a good person” are things we’ve come to believe either because we were told these things earlier in life and we never questioned them, or because we repeatedly said (and still say) those things to ourselves, and through time, they were encoded in our subconscious mind.

Self-care is necessary for your sanity and your health. It means loving yourself for who you are today and forgiving yourself for your past. It means changing the story you tell yourself: “I am good enough”; “I love my body”; “I am a good person”.

“The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind.”

This is the most powerful of all because it reminds us that we set our own limits in life.

You can choose to see the world as a lush green garden scattered with waterfalls that flow with possibilities. You can also choose to see it as a bottomless pit of troubles and a life-sucking machine of death.

Which one will it be?

The world is a direct reflection of your mind. Look through a lens of positive possibility and you will see the gardens of growth; look through a lens of negative restrictions and you will see the abyss of demise.

“Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.”

Recent research has proven that gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.

It not only unshackles you from toxic emotions, improves your physical and mental health and offers positive lasting effects on the brain, but it also helps you feel more positive emotions, become more resilient in dealing with adversity, and build stronger relationships with family and friends.

Gratitude allows you to see life with abundance. Practice gratitude and its positive implications will spill over into other areas of your life.

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”

You were born with wings. You are meant to fly, explore and discover. Why are you crawling? Why are you not spreading your wings, filling them with the winds of conviction?

It’s fear isn’t?

That’s completely normal because fear is omnipresent; fear is always there. But with time, I’ve learned that fear is not something we must overcome, rather it’s simply an emotion that we must channel differently. Fear is an instinct and it only rises for things that we care for — it’s a form of resistance to stop us from spreading our winds.

Not wanting to do something will make you feel indifferent about it, and thus fear is tamed. It’s only when you have an inclination for something — an interest — that fear rises. If you give in to that fear, you will continue to crawl through life; if you don’t, you will spread your wings and fly like you were born to do.

“When you let go of who you are, you become who you might be.”

If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you must shed your older habits and limiting beliefs in order to grow in the journey. If you want to become a great writer, you must learn to crush your self-doubt and fear of vulnerability and expand in the process of “becoming.”

It’s in the journey where you find happiness. It’s in the journey where you become what you dream to be. But to grow and expand, you must be willing to let go of who you are — your limiting beliefs, harmful habits, and negative self-talk. At the end of the day, you are the only one holding yourself back from reaching your potential.

If you enjoyed this, head to Omar Itani's page for more.



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