Bob Marley continues to inspire and enlighten with is lyrics and words, through his music as well as in recorded interviews and concerts. We’ve assembled some of his most inspiring quotes that can help brighten your day, and could even change your life if it gets you into a better frame of mind on a daily basis.
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“Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright.”
This is perhaps the most poignant and oft quoted lyric by Marley, and it sums up a great way to think about worry, stress, and anxiety. When times are tough it’s easy to get caught up in worry and dread, and think that it’s not going to turn out well. But everything was alright, is alright, and will be alright, it’s just a matter of getting yourself to believe it.
The specificity that he uses here, getting down to every little thing, is the part that really drives this home. Not just the big picture will be alright, but all of the details as well. Believe it!
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”
Here’s a great way to get remind yourself that any experience can be a chance to learn something new and open yourself up to actually feeling it. Everything that happens to you can have meaning, you just have to be present and live in the moment. Rain doesn’t have to be a bad thing, and bad things that happen to you are only bad if you perceive them that way.
Perhaps what Bob is trying to say here is that no matter what comes your way, your can make the most out of it, and be part of this magical experience called life, rather than just let things happen to you and think nothing of it.
“One love, one heart. Let’s get together and feel all right”
Quantum physics is showing us more and more that we’re all in this together, so this lyric was way before its time. One love, one heart refers to that one feeling of love we all share, it’s a universal feeling that we can all relate to, no matter where we are in the world, rich or poor, or what religion we subscribe to. When we come together in a spirit of unity, peace, and love, it does feel all right, it feels great. Bob Marley was a peace activist, and this song encapsulates his message and is something that crosses borders and boundaries and resonates with people across the world.
“Overcome the devils with a thing called love.”
Love is an energy that can conquer anything, and the devils he’s referring to can take form of whatever is giving you trouble in this life. The solution is love, and perhaps the reason why those devils are in your life is from a lack of love. If you can crank up the love in your life it should follow that you’re haunted by fewer and fewer demons. This is not romantic love per se, but rather the feeling of love you get for those things that are most precious in your life. Focus on that feels, and all of the things that bring joy and love into your world and watch the devils dissipate.
“Though the road’s been rocky, it sure feels good to me.”
Bob Marley endured his share of setbacks, but always seemed to keep a positive mentality, and went on to do great things. It’s a reminder that the road doesn’t have to be smooth in order to enjoy the ride. In fact, the more you enjoy the road you’re on, the smoother it will get. It doesn’t work the other way around, if you’re not enjoying the rocky road you’re on, it’s only bound to get rockier. It’s about learning how to enjoy every moment of your life, and not waiting until things get better before you start enjoying it.
“Light up the darkness.”
When darkness surrounds you, you might be tempted to look for a switch or hope that a light comes on to get rid of it all. But you have to remember that you are the light, and you have the power to overcome the darkness that exists in the world. Marley once said that he had to keep performing because the evil people in the world weren’t taking a break, so he couldn’t either. The same holds true for you if you plan to do some good in this world. Unfortunately not everyone shares the same view, so you have to shed some light onto things in your own way, in your own world.
“When one door is closed, don’t you know that many more are open.”
This is a take on the adage that when one door closes, another opens. But it expands that thinking and gets you to realize that it’s not just one door that opens, but many. There are always more opportunities to be had, so you don’t need to feel too invested in any one thing. It’s a bit limiting to think that only one door opens when one closes, and much more liberating to think that in fact there are several more opportunities for each one that doesn’t work out.
“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”
Can it be as simple as this? Love the life you’re living, and live a life you love. It sure would create a positive spiral because if you’re living your life the way you want you’ll be more apt to love it, which should make it much easier to continue living it in a way that inspires more love. It definitely makes sense to live a life that’s worthy of your love, and this quote can be a wakeup call for those that have gone down a path they don’t really like, and find themselves stuck in a life they’re not really thrilled about.
“Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don’t give up the fight.”
This quote is pulled right from the song Get Up, Stand Up and is empowering for those that feel their rights are being threatened. It’s also inspirational because it encourages you to keep fighting, no matter what battle you’re in. Battles come in all shapes and sizes and each of us fights our own. Sometimes it’s tempting to just stop fighting and give in, or to let someone take advantage of you because it’s too much effort to stand up for yourself. But this is saying not to be passive when it comes to your rights, or your fight.
“Man is a universe within himself.”
Each of us is our own universe, and the further they map the human brain the more they’re finding out that it’s a sort of microcosm of the universe itself. Perhaps he meant that each of us has an infinite dimension, the way the universe is described as being infinite. Maybe he meant that we’re each vast and largely unexplored like the universe. Whatever he meant, this is a nice mental note that we’re special, that we matter, and that there are plenty of forces working within each of us.
“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold.”
In our hustle and bustle society where everyone is trying to get ahead, make more, get more, be more, it’s nice to be reminded that those things don’t amount to much if you trade in your soul to get them. All the money in the world can’t buy it back, and what he’s saying here is that you should be striving to gain more knowledge and wisdom of the world around you, rather than continually chasing material things. This is something that he could speak knowledgeably about, because he made his own fortune and did it without losing his soul, and displayed that he possessed plenty of wisdom on a number of subjects.
“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.”
It’s true that only you can free your own mind, no one else can do it for you. But it’s up to you to determine if you’re a mental slave to anyone or anything. This can come in many forms, from excessive television watching to still following beliefs that were instilled upon you by others. Take a self inventory and see if there’s anything you believe in that doesn’t suit you, or that was placed there by someone else. Has advertising caused you to mindlessly by products? What can you do today to start freeing yourself from this sort of mental bondage.
“The day you stop racing, is the day you win the race.”
Today we call it the rat race, but what are we all racing towards? Learning that you don’t need to race that sort of race is the day that you win by default. It’s the day that you start going against the grain of the 9-5 workaday world and start to carve out a new path for yourself.
“You just can’t live in that negative way, make way for the positive day.”
Here’s a rhyme that will have you feeling better and busting out of any negative rut you might have been in. The problem with thinking negatively is that it breeds negative thoughts, which end up manifesting as negative actions or events that take place in your life. Luckily the opposite is true, and if you can cut the ties of a negative thinking pattern you can eventually tip the scale over to the positive side, which also manifests itself into pleasing things and people in your life. Think of it this way: if you had the choice, wouldn’t you rather have a positive day than a negative one? You do have a choice, it just takes repeated effort to slowly dissolve the negative.
“My future is righteousness.”
A bold vision of your own future is an important thing to possess. Bob didn’t know exactly how his future was going to pan out, but he knew it would be grounded in righteousness. None of us can know what’s going to happen in the future, but if we have a goal or a philosophy as a foundation, if we have an underlying belief then we can act according to that and mold the future as we go along. What is your future going to be like? What will you set as your founding principle?
“You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.”
Sometimes it takes a challenging situation to see just how strong you really are. Life is going to present you with challenges, big events that push you to the point of not knowing if you can handle them or not. It’s in these moments that you’ll find you have a strength you didn’t know you had. It’s also in these moments that you gain confidence in that strength, and a knowingness that it will be there for you the next time you face a similar situation.
“Wake up and live!”
He’s not talking about the sort of waking up you do with a cup of coffee, he’s talking about waking up to your life and then start living it. It’s easy to get complacent about life, and even bored, but there’s really no sense in that because life was meant to be lived, not merely experienced or observed. Wake yourself up and live your life, don’t sleep through it or count down the days. Once you awaken to your purpose and start living accordingly you’ll notice all sorts of changes take place that you can’t even imagine from where you stand now.
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