Quotes on Being Unique

Daring to be different reaps its own rewards

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Every person is unique. While some of the things that make us different—like our DNA or our fingerprints—we have no control over, each of us is also formed by personal experience and the environment in which we grow up. Our character is influenced by everything around us—emotions, such as love and hate; primal impulses such as hunger or fear, and intellectual premises such as art and philosophy.

It's the sum of all these factors that makes us into the individuals we eventually become. No two human beings, no matter how similar, are exactly the same. These thoughts from famous minds on the importance of individuality will help you reflect on and celebrate the importance of being true to yourself.

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can't be any large-scale revolution until there's a personal revolution, on an individual level. It's got to happen inside first.” ―Jim Morrison
"This above all—to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man." —Polonius, Act, Scene III, "The Tragedy of Hamlet" by William Shakespeare
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The things that make me different are the things that make me.” —A. A. Milne
"I believe that every person has uniqueness—something that nobody else has." —Michael Schenker
"As we grow as unique persons, we learn to respect the uniqueness of others." —Robert H. Schuller
“I often warn people, somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, 'There is no 'i' in team.' What you should tell them is, 'Maybe not—but there is an 'i' in independence, individuality, and integrity.'” ―George Carlin
"I yam what I yam and dat's all what I yam. I'm Popeye the Sailor Man." —Popeye
"It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents." —Eric Hoffer
“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” ―Friedrich Nietzsche
“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.” ―Anaïs Nin, "The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934"
"Trusting your individual uniqueness challenges you to lay yourself open." —James Broughton
“I was not born to be forced. I will breathe after my own fashion. Let us see who is the strongest.” ―Henry David Thoreau, "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience"
“It's hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world.” ―Dolly Parton
"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." —Dr. Seuss
"It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else." —Henri Matisse
"The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique." —Walt Disney
"A human being is a single being. Unique and unrepeatable." —Eileen Caddy
"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." —Coco Chanel
"He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed." —William James
"You are unrepeatable. There is a magic about you that is all your own." —D.M. Dellinger
“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.” ―Ray Bradbury, "Zen in the Art of Writing"
"Dare to be remarkable." —Jane Gentry
“I worship individuals for their highest possibilities as individuals and I loathe humanity for its failure to live up to these possibilities.” ―Ayn Rand
"You were born to be an original. Don’t die a copy." —John Mason
“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” ―Margaret Mead