11 Inspirational Quotes From John Lennon

October 9, 2015 marks the day that would have been John Lennon’s 75th birthday. Lennon was born in Liverpool, England in 1940 and would grow up to become an iconic figure in early Rock n’ Roll as one of the founding members of The Beatles, next to Paul McCartney. After The Beatles broke up in 1970, Lennon went on to pursue a successful, but tumultuous solo career, releasing such hits as ‘Imagine’ and ‘Whatever Gets You Through The Night’.

The Beatles have remained one of the most influential groups of twentieth century music, inventing new sounds and styles and setting the standard for all rock bands and artists that came after their time. Lennon, himself, would go on to become an advocate for world peace and a political figure during the Watergate era of American politics, but even after the Beatles, he never lost site of himself as a person, nor of his goals of world peace. Here are eleven inspirational quotes from John Lennon to live your life according to your beliefs and dreams.

1. “You don't need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!”

Do not define yourself by societal norms or social expectations. If John Lennon had been the well mannered, complacent teenager everyone expected him to be, the world may very well have never heard ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ or ‘Imagine’. You must remain true to yourself in order to define and accomplish your goals in life.

2. “Trying to please everybody is impossible; if you did that, you'd end up in the middle with nobody liking you. You've just got to make the decision about what you think is your best, and do it.”

When you make a decision, you should make it in the best interests of your values and beliefs. There will always be someone who disagrees with your decisions, and even with your lifestyle. But if you change your mind or your goals to accommodate someone else, whose goals are you really working to achieve?

3. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Nothing in life is certain. Our failures and our successes are determined by our choices. If we knew what the outcome of our decisions would be, we would miss out on the experience of life altogether. Making plans and preparing yourself for the future is a good precautionary measure to practice, but life happens in the here and now. If you spend all your time worrying about what’s to come, you cannot enjoy what is already here, and so life will simply pass you by.

4. “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

Approach every day with an optimistic attitude. The sun always rises, and the grass is always greener.

5. “Only by trying on other people’s clothes do we find what size we are.”

If you don’t consider other people’s perspectives, you cannot have a truly valid opinion about anything. You must always consider other points of view before you can make an educated decision about whether your argument, or belief is definitively right or wrong.

6. “Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not if you put it on the leaders and the parking meters. Don’t expect Carter or Reagan or Jesus Christ to come do it for you. You have to do it yourself.”

If you have something you want to accomplish, or there is a problem with the world or a social issue you want to see fixed, it is up to you to go and do it. Only you can make change happen in your life; no one else can do it for you.

7. “When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody noticed, do not be sad. For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.”

If you are only setting a goal and working to accomplish it for the praise of others, then you are accomplish it for the wrong reason. Everybody has their own individual goals and hindrances to deal with in life, so if nobody takes notice when you accomplish one of yours, don’t take it personally. Just be proud of yourself, and move on to the next task.

8. “We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.”

No lesson here, really, just a reflection on our modern society. We live in a world where violence is promoted in video games and romanticized in film. And yet people still throw a fit when educators try to have Sex Ed classes in schools. #wholepicture?

9. “Peace is not something you wish for; it’s something you make, something you do, something you are. And something you give away.”

In other words, practice what you preach! Don’t just sit around and mope about how everything is doom and gloom, go out and change it. Give someone a smile, and you’ll spread happiness. Give someone a helping hand, and you’ll spread charity. Just pay it forward.

10. “There are no problems, only solutions.”

Once again, optimism is the key to happiness.

11. “Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.”

If you want people to accept you for you, then you must remain true to yourself when meeting new people. Those who respect you for being yourself are people to keep around in your life; others that expect you to conform or act in a manner that doesn’t represent your values are not. To have true friends, you must first be true to yourself. Then you will have all the riches in the world.