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Bob Marley’s Deepest Thoughts - And How They Will Help You Reach a Higher Level
Bob Marley laughing textured

Bob Marley’s Deepest Thoughts - And How They Will Help You Reach a Higher Level

Bob Marley and the Wailers were one of the most influential groups in the history of music, thanks not least to Marley's incredible and inspirational lyrics. But what do they mean and how can they help your life?

Bob Marley is revered around the world as arguably the pioneer of reggae music in the mainstream. This engaging sound evolved in the 1960s in Jamaica from a combination of local music, with elements of rock, soul, ska, and rhythm and blues. Marley helped bring reggae to a worldwide audience, thanks to his compelling lyrics and beats, as well as his dynamic and inspirational persona. 

RELATED: Bob Marley Quotes That Will Shift Your Perspective for the Better

Sadly, his life was cut short by cancer, but his songs -- and his soul -- live on. Of particular appeal is the wisdom that’s often woven through the lyrics of his many hits. Read on to discover some of his greatest quotes, which still resonate powerfully today.

These inspiring, contemplative lyrics share some of Marley’s most profound and inspirational thoughts. Learn what they mean and how they can help you reach a higher level.

“The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just have to find the ones worth suffering for.”

Bob Marley natural mystic album cover

Life is full of suffering — and love. Life is messy and relationships are complicated. People will make mistakes and disappoint us. But if we embrace that reality as inevitable, we can learn to appreciate it as a struggle we go through that will make us stronger, and bond us to those we love.

We will make our own mistakes and disappoint others and ourselves, as well. However, if we surround ourselves with the people who will stand by our side, then we will prevail.

“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.”

Bob Marley Legend album cover

Our perspective is powerful, transformative, and key to a well-lived life. We can look at the rain as a bummer, a ruiner of our day. Or we can walk outside and feel the raindrops hit our skin -- and smile. We can watch the downpour and be inspired by the majesty of nature.

RELATED: Bob Marley’s Life Story: How a Boy Rose from the Slums to Change the World with His Music

We can run through the drizzle, not letting it stop us from our daily adventures, enjoying the way each drop hits our skin. We can revel in the flowers that will surely bloom after the rain has stopped. Truly experiencing our world and looking at things beyond the surface gives us a deeper resonance with life. And focusing on the positive makes each day better.

“None but ourselves can free our minds.”

Bob Marley singing

All too often, it’s easy to blame others for our own issues and roadblocks. We can become complacent, disgruntled and accepting of things we don’t really want to accept. Instead, take responsibility for your own life, your own mind, your own heart. Question things that don’t make sense to you. Think about your life, your community and your world. 

How do you fit into it right now? Consider how you might like to fit into the world, or reshape it to better fit you. While it can feel comfortable to let others make key choices for you or do your thinking for you, be brave and abandon that comfort where you can. Take on the role of director in your own life. Free your own mind to take ownership of the life you live.

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”

Bob Marley black and white album cover

Wake up to the choices you are making in your life. Become more aware of where you might be complacent or unquestioning. What are you keeping in your life that doesn’t serve you? What can you change that would bring more joy, ease, and love into your days?

RELATED: Nina Simone’s Most Inspirational Quotes about Life and Love

Living a life you love is a purpose to pursue. The flip side of truly loving the life you have is equally as powerful. It tells you to make peace with the practicalities of the life you have and to love that, even if every bit isn’t “perfect.” Yes, change what you can and go for your dreams, but also accept what is real for you. Love yourself and your life as it is — and go from there.

“Better to die fighting for freedom than be a prisoner all the days of your life.”

This quote can be looked at literally as inspiration and support for those vying for freedom. But it can also be applied to anyone’s life. Yes, it speaks directly to putting yourself on the line and fighting against injustice when you are facing an impact on your freedoms (or those of others). It also inspires you to value yourself and know you are worth fighting for.

But it also addresses, in a larger sense, the idea of living your life to the fullest and not letting others — or yourself — inhibit your ability to pursue your dreams. Rather than following along the expected path, this statement encourages you to break out of the box and challenge yourself to take on obstacles and challenges instead of being complacent.

“Don’t worry about a thing, everything is gonna be alright.”

Black and white grainy Bob Marley album cover

This fabulous phrase serves as a reminder that given time, patience and faith, things usually turn out okay in the end. Trust and hope in the future can help us through even the darkest of times. While worry can alert us to problems and guide us to focus on looking for solutions, being in a perpetual state of high alert isn’t healthy or helpful. 

RELATED: Why Maya Angelou Stopped Speaking – and How She Found a Voice that Changed the World

In fact, the stress that can come with excess worry can be debilitating, physically as well as emotionally. These anxious feelings can often hold us back and keep us stuck in the doldrums. Letting go of our fears can set us free to move on. And clear our minds so that we can come up with creative solutions and a new, more positive perspective. 

“When one door is closed, don’t you know that many more are open?”

quotes bob marley

This question begs us to see all the possibilities that are always all around us. Yes, sometimes we hit a dead end or obstacle that feels like an ending or failure, but there are always other opportunities or paths to follow. It’s easy to get bogged down or feel defeated when things don’t go our way or a setback happens. Even easier is to just give up because it can feel fruitless to keep trying.

However, the truth is that for every missed opportunity or “door,” there are many others that we can seek and walk through if we just know to look for them. In fact, turning problems on their heads can lead to new beginnings, new ways of thinking, and new challenges to pursue.

“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”

Bob Marley singing passionately

This quote is all about self-reflection. This lyric asks us to live an examined life. Instead of just going with the flow and moving through your life blindly, start asking questions of yourself. Are you happy? Are you living the life you want to live? What would you like to change about your life? Are there changes you can make that would give you more fulfillment and put you closer to the path you want to be on? Does the way you are living align with your goals and values? 

RELATED: 38 Tupac Quotes to Help You Face Life’s Challenges

Don’t be satisfied with just the surface answers either. Go deeper than a simple yes, no, or maybe. Dig in and ponder the why, when, and hows of your life plan. Be brave enough to shake things up and try new things if your life is not on the track you want it to be on.

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