Self Discovery quotationsSo I'm writing a very very very important essay and it's always my style to open it with a quote. Call it cliche or anything else, I just always find it to be the perfect...

Self Discovery quotations

So I'm writing a very very very important essay and it's always my style to open it with a quote. Call it cliche or anything else, I just always find it to be the perfect essay starter. My topic is self discovery from a trip I've taken. Here are some quotes that I've found and that one great answerer here gave me. WHich one do you think makes the biggest impact and why? Unless, that is, you have another quote you think is better- be sure to include that one. Please pick one for me, thank you!

Albert Einstein-Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.

 Eleanor Roosevelt
You gain strength, experience and confidence by every experience where you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you cannot do.


Henry David Thoreau
Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.


He who knows others is learned;
He who knows himself is wise.
~Lao-tzu, Tao te Ching


Asked on by papi

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Here is a good list of quotations. In choosing your quote, consider which one resonates with you emotionally. Which one stands out as representative of your trip? You also want to choose one that fits the thesis or theme of your essay.
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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I agree with the previous post's idea that the quote that speaks "the loudest" to you is the best bet.  I think that the reflexive journey aspect in the Thoreau quote and Lao- Tzu idea are very powerful.  Perhaps, one can open and the other can close the paper?  It might create a nice little symmetric feel to the paper, if nothing else.

mshurn's profile pic

Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Interesting collection of good quotes. Probably the best quote to use is the one that most applies to the essay as you intend to develop it. You said you will write about self-discovery from a trip you have taken.

Consider the kind of insights you have developed from the trip. Do you feel that you now understand yourself better in terms of who you are and why you have made certain decisions in life or possibly in terms of what is most important to you and what you seek in life or need in life in order to feel fulfilled? If so, then the last quote "He who knows . . . ." would certainly be meaningful and related to your essay.

I have always liked the Roosevelt quote for its wisdom in such a few words. Again, back to your trip. In that experience, did you find yourself in a position wherein you actually had to do something you did not think you could do? Or, another idea, during the trip did you develop some strength or understanding so that when you returned home you would be able to do something that you previously had been unable to do? If so, then the Roosevelt quote would be a great choice.

In selecting your quotation, find the one that most relates to your experience on your trip and how that experience affected you.


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