Mahatma Gandhi was born in India in 1869. He was a lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist. He is famous for leading a successful non-violent campaign for his country’s independence from British Rule. This led to him becoming an inspiration for freedom and civil rights movements across the globe. Sadly, he was assassinated in 1869. Despite his death, Mahatma Gandhi has remained an inspiration for people around the world. Although much of what he said related to civil rights, freedom, and world peace, some of the things he said are motivational for people working in business. Here are 20 Gandhi quotes that apply to business.
20. On the Importance of Continuing to Learn
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”.
Biography.com lists this as one of the greatest Gandhi quotes. Believing that you know everything and have nothing left to learn is a big mistake. Life is a journey in which you are constantly learning new things, and this also applies to business. Take any opportunities for continuous professional development and learn from those around you. To progress in business requires keeping up to date with new practices and technologies, so you are constantly on a learning curve.
19. On Making a Difference
“In a gentle way, you can shake the world”.
If you put in the effort, you can make a difference. This may not have a huge global impact, but you can make waves in your field of business and make a difference to your local community. You can also make a difference in your own life through your personal and business success. How much of a difference you make and in what way is entirely down to your own ambitions and determination.
18. On Not Letting the Negativity of Others Affect You
“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet”.
Anyone who is a success in business attracts negative attitudes from other people. Rather than praising the success of others, people can sometimes become critical and find faults with the things that others have achieved. It is important not to let the negativity get to you and to maintain a positive attitude to the things you do to increase your chances of success. It is only by maintaining a positive attitude that you can work effectively towards your goals.
17. On Accepting Your Mistakes
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes”.
Some people find it difficult to accept their own mistakes, and they may even try to blame others. However, making mistakes is a normal part of life and an inevitable aspect of running a business. Making mistakes is not always a bad thing, as your mistakes can sometimes have positive outcomes. Mistakes are an important part of the learning process and can help you to avoid making bigger mistakes in the future.
16. On Embracing Change
“Change yourself- you are in control”.
The one thing that you have full control of in your business is yourself. If things need to change in your business, then this may mean making changes to yourself. This does not mean altering your personality or becoming a different person. Instead, you should interpret this Gandhi quote to mean changing your attitude or the way you go about completing tasks. You can also interpret it as making self-improvements.
15. On the Power of Positive Thinking
“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes”.
Negativity can severely hinder progress and success. You should always take a positive approach to everything that you do. According to Gandhi’s quote, it is important to believe in yourself and your own abilities. If you believe that you can become successful, then you have a greater chance of this becoming a reality. On the other hand, if you are filled with self-doubt, then success is likely to evade you.
14. On the Importance of Being Proactive
“An ounce of practice is worth a thousand words”.
Listed on Goalcast, this quote stresses the importance of getting on with it and not just sitting talking about it. People can have lots of ideas that they talk about, but if they don’t do anything about it, they will make no progress. Takes steps to put all your ideas into place, because the sooner you take action, the sooner you will succeed.
13. On Self-Improvement
“If I believe that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning”.
When you have an idea for your business, the one thing that may stand in your way is your own abilities or knowledge to achieve a goal you have set yourself. However, this should not deter you from striving to achieve the goals you have set. Put in the effort to gain more knowledge, learn new skills, and enhance your own abilities. There are multiple ways that you can do this, from attending training sessions to identifying your own weaknesses, and from reading about new business strategies to signing up for online courses. By doing so, you can achieve your dreams.
12. On Putting in the Effort
“Glory lies in the attempt to reach one’s goal and not in reaching it”.
Goal setting is an important element of running a business. This gives you something to work towards. According to Gandhi, reaching your goals is a great achievement. However, it is the journey towards reaching your goals and the effort you put in that is worthy of the glory. Each step you take towards your goal is an achievement.
11. On Taking Control of Your Future
“Your future depends on what you do today”.
There is only one person who is responsible for your future, and that is you. Anything you want to achieve is possible if you are willing to put in the effort to do so. You should not put this off until a future date, you should take action straight away to begin your journey to success.
10. On Achieving Your Goals
“If you do nothing, there will be no result”
Unless you are willing to take action, you will achieve nothing in life. It is those that put their ideas into practice that become a success, and not the people who sit and talk about it. Adopt a proactive approach to reaching your goals rather than simply thinking of great ideas.
9. On Having Strength and Determination
“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will”.
Physical strength is only important for physical tasks. In business, mental strength and determination are far more important. You must have the mental strength to ride both the highs and lows of business and the determination to continue and succeed no matter what.
8. On Making Changes
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”.
This Gandhi quote on Fearless Motivation is easy to apply to business situations. If you want your life to change for the better, then you must have a vision of how you can achieve this. Launching a business is a big step to take, but it is a necessary change in your life that you will need to make if you intend to achieve your dreams.
7. On Acknowledging Your Capabilities
“The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems”.
In most cases, people have more capabilities than they put into practice. Look at your actions and assess whether you have the capabilities to achieve more in your life. Often, people will realize that they could do a lot more than they are currently doing. Make the most of all your skills and abilities to reach your full potential.
6. On Ignoring the Haters
“Nobody can hurt me without my permission”.
Almost everyone working in a business will face negativity from others at some point in their life. This may come from outsiders, the competition, and even your work colleagues. It is essential that you can ignore the negativity of others and do not let people halt you in your tracks. Have the strength to continue with what you believe in and take control of your own destiny.
5. On Not Wasting Time on Negativity
“An eye for an eye only ends up with the whole world going blind”.
Your competition can sometimes cause your business to face challenges. In these situations, you may feel the temptation to exact your revenge. However, these negative thoughts may not just damage your competition. They may also affect your business, especially if the competition then sets about returning the revenge in your direction. Instead, treat having competition as a positive experience. Learn what you can about what they are doing and use the positives of the competition to enhance your own business. This information can help you to make improvements to stand up to the competition, and if you had wasted your time on revenge and negativity, you wouldn’t have the time to take these steps.
4. On Treating Your Team with Respect
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated”.
If you interchange the word ‘nation’ in this quote with the word ‘business’, and the word ‘animals’ with the word ‘workforce’, then this Gandhi quote is easily applied to the business setting. One of the most valuable resources of any business is the people who work within that business. It is vital that you value the human resources within your company. To get the most out of your team, you need to treat them with respect, show them that you value their contributions, and acknowledge their achievements.
3. On Positivity
“I remain an optimist because of my unflinching faith that right must prosper in the end”.
A trait that is common amongst many people who are successful in business is that they have a positive attitude. Applying a positive approach to every task will generally achieve better results. It is also a good idea to set an example for the workforce by taking a positive approach. Your positivity will rub off on them, and this can help to improve motivation levels within your team.
2. On Working Relationships
“Relationships are based on four principles: respect, understanding, acceptance, and appreciation”.
Even if you are a business owner, leader or manager, it is unlikely that you are the only person working within a business. Each team member has a valuable role to play, and it is essential that this is recognized. Gandhi outlines four principles of relationships, and these are respect, understanding, acceptance, and appreciation. While he made this quote about relationships with other people in general, it is also possible to apply these principles to your working relationships. If you apply these principles to your interactions with colleagues, then you will earn their respect, they will feel valued, and your team will work more effectively.
1. On Achieving Success
“Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves”.
According to Awaken the Greatness Within, this is one of the best Gandhi quotes that apply to business. It stresses the importance of having a clear understanding of yourself and then having the ability to change to reach your potential. This involves identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Once you have done this, you can use your strengths to your advantage, and use strategies to improve on your weaknesses. Having such a clear understanding of where your strengths and weaknesses lie and adapting yourself accordingly is a sign of someone that can become a success.
Written by Dana Hanson
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