My Favorite Quotes

“Our patience will achieve more than our force.”
—Edmund Burke

“Waiter, I’m on my soup.”
—a fly, from the film: A Bug’s Life

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” ―Stephen R. Covey

“‎The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
―Bruce Lee

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” ―Robert Frost

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my axe.”
―Abraham Lincoln

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
―Henry Ford

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”
―Sun Tzu, The Art of War

“It’s said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from others’ mistakes. But the wisest person of all learns from others’ successes.”
―John Maxwell

“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
―Martin Luther King Jr.

“To know oneself, one should assert oneself.”
―Albert Camus

“Here’s the secret to success: find something you love to do so much, you can’t wait for the sun to rise to do it all over again.”
―Christopher Paul Gardner

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”
―Farrah Gray

“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail, than to attempt nothing and succeed.”
―Robert H. Schuller

“Every person in the world wants to improve and grow, that’s impossible when you don’t want to lose yourself. It’s been my observation that the only way to achieve success is to become the person who deserves it. When we become this new person we are no longer ourselves. You see this is the issue with western philosophy, we believe we are something when we aren’t anything. The only question that’s important is who are we becoming?”
―Sam Ovens

“Mystery is not about traveling to new places but about looking with new eyes.”
―Marcel Proust

“Three things bring great people down: fear, greed and ego.”
―Vinnie Viola

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”
―Muhammad Ali

“Mankind is divided into two basic sorts: those who find the unknown future threatening … and those who find it thrilling. The rupture between those two sides has been responsible for most of the bloodshed in history.”
―Spider Robinson

“We know the sound of two hands clapping. / But what is the sound of one hand clapping?”
–A Zen Koan

“Most of us aren’t defeated in one decisive battle. We are defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we should really be.”
–Jocko Willink

“Aimlessness is a vice.”
–James Allen

“The aim of life is appreciation; there is no sense in not appreciating things; and there is no sense in having more of them if you have less appreciation of them.”
–Gilbert K. Chesterton

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.”

“The secret to life is meaningless unless you discover it yourself.”
–W. Somerset Maugham, Of Human Bondage

“Word-work is sublime… because it is generative; it makes meaning that secures our difference, our human difference — the way in which we are like no other life. We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.”
–Toni Morrison

“We’re on this planet for too short a time. And at the end of the day, what’s more important? Knowing that a few meaningless figures balanced—or knowing that you were the person you wanted to be?”
–Sophie Kinsella

“Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire.”
–Jorge Luis Borges

“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.”
–Victor Kiam

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
–George R.R. Martin

“When you are 20 to 30 years old, you should follow a good boss [and] join a good company to learn how to do things properly.
When you are 30 to 40 years old, if you want to do something yourself, just do it. You still can afford to lose, to fail.
When you’re 40 to 50 years old, my suggestion is you should do things you are good at.
When you are 50 to 60 years old, spend time training and developing young people, the next generation.
When you are over 60 years old, you better stay with your grandchildren.”
–Jack Ma, Alibaba CEO

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.

“If something can be done 80% as well by someone else, delegate!”
–J. Maxwell

“Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.”
–Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.”
–Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”
–Karl Marx, Eleven Theses on Feuerbach

“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”
–Milan Kundera

“Life has to be a little nuts sometimes. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together.”
–Beau Burroughs

“Life is writing. The sole purpose of mankind is to engrave the thoughts of divinity onto the tablets of nature.”
–Friedrich Schlegel, Theory as Practice,1997

“The literal meaning of life is whatever you’re doing that prevents you from killing yourself.”
–Albert Camus

“At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it. Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.”
–Thich Nhat Hanh

“All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”
“The more you struggle to live, the less you live. Give up the notion that you must be sure of what you are doing. Instead, surrender to what is real within you, for that alone is sure….you are above everything distressing.”
“If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.”
“I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them.”
–Baruch Spinoza

“He doesn’t yearn for a better, different life than the one he has – because he knows he’s got a home in this one.”
“I don’t think people should be encouraged to look like Kate Moss; I think that’s unreasonable. I think the normal human body should be glorified. By the same token, if you need a stick to wash yourself, you’re not healthy.”
“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you.Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”
–Anthony Bourdain

“We ascribe beauty to that which is simple; which has no superfluous parts; which exactly answers its end; which stands related to all things; which is the mean of many extremes.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
“The most intense conflicts, if overcome, leave behind a sense of security and calm that is not easily disturbed. It is just these intense conflicts and their conflagration which are needed to produce valuable and lasting results.”
“Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.”
“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”
–Carl Jung

“When you need the courage to be bold, simply ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could possibly happen?” When you have the answer, ask, “Can I live with that?” And if the answer is yes, then take a leap!”
—Cindy Bates, Vice President of Small and Mid-Sized Businesses at Microsoft

“If you really want to know where your destiny lies, look at where you apply your time. Time is the most valuable asset you don’t own. You may or may not realize it yet, but how you use or don’t use your time is going to be the best indication of where your future is going to take you…Don’t follow your passions, follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success, however you define it.”
—Mark Cuban, Entrepreneur

“Ultimately, you won’t really know what you love to do unless you actually bite the bullet. Until you give it a go, it’s really just speculation. So, whether you take a small step like signing up for a class or you dive head-first into entrepreneurship, roll up your sleeves and do it. You’ll never know until you try.”
—Ruth Zive, Writer

“Everything you think you are and everything you think you perceive are undivided.”
—Tat tvam asi

“To live only for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain which sustain life, not the top. Here’s where things grow.”
―Robert M. Pirsig

“If you make your business about helping others, you’ll always have plenty of work.”
―Brooke Snow

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.”
―John Le Carré

“Solve it. Solve it quickly, solve it right or wrong. If you solve it wrong, it will come back and slap you in the face, and then you can solve it right. Lying dead in the water and doing nothing is a comfortable alternative because it is without risk, but it is an absolutely fatal way to manage a business.”
―Thomas J. Watson Jr.

“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”
―Winston Churchill

“It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life, and instead to think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly.
Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but in right action and in right conduct.
Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.”
―Victor Frankl

“Success isn’t about achieving something in the future, but about doing something right now that you love.” ―Leo Babauta

“You will move in the direction of the people that you associate with, so it’s important to associate with people that are better than yourself.”
―Warren Buffet

“Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.”
―Helen Keller

“The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival.”

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
―George Bernard Shaw

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
―Albert Einstein

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
―Winston Churchill

“Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.”
―John F. Kennedy

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
―Nelson Mandela

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”
―Oprah Winfrey

“The safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.”
“Child, to say the very thing you really mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less or other than what you really mean; that’s the whole art and joy of words.”
―C. S. Lewis

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”
―Soren Kierkegaard

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.”
―Amelia Earhart

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
―Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living

”If you’re thinking about an idea that you can solve in your lifetime, you’re thinking too small.”
―Wes Jackson

”If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”
―Elon Musk

“It is dangerous to live in a secure world.”
―Teju Cole

“In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.”
―Arundhati Roy

“Mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

“The purpose of life is to discover your gift; the work of life is to develop it; and the meaning of life is to give your gift away.”
—David Viscott

“I never allow myself to hold an opinion on anything that I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.”
—Charlie Munger

“We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it, if it were not the earth where the same flowers come up again every spring that we used to gather with our tiny fingers as we sat lisping to ourselves on the grass, the same hips and haws on the autumn hedgerows, the same redbreasts that we used to call ‘God’s birds’ because they did no harm to the precious crops. What novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known and loved because it is known?”
—George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss

“The limits of my language are the limits of my world.”
—Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The only thing in life we HAVE to do is die, everything else is a choice with a consequence.”

“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.”
—Jerzy Gregorek

“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”

“Most of us only find our own voices after we’ve sounded like a lot of other people.”
—Neil Gaiman

“An artist who stops making art is committing emotional suicide. Get off the couch and start painting again.”

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”
—Martha Graham

“Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.”
—Eckhart Tolle

“What is eternal fame? Emptiness. Then what should we work for? Only this: proper understanding; unselfish action; truthful speech. A resolve to accept whatever happens as necessary and familiar, flowing like water from that same source and spring.”
“Even the smallest things ought to be directed toward a goal. To allow its action and impulse to be without purpose, to be random and disconnected, destroys the soul.”
“No random actions, none which is not based on underlying principles.”
“If you can do the job in a principled way, with diligence, energy and patience, if you can find fulfillment in what you’re doing now, then your life will be happy.”
“An ordered world or a mishmash. But still an order. Can there be order within you and not in everything else?”
“What stands in the way becomes the way.”
“Most of what we say and do are not essential. If you can eliminate them, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility.”
—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“If you declare to the world what you love, it will give you more of it.”
“Always find more reasons to love than to hate.” —M.A. Ligaya

“Balance is so important in our lives. In our busy world, we can give ourselves balance between thinking and feeling.”
—Yakov Smirnoff

“Unless one is able to live fully in the present, the future is a hoax. There is no point whatever in making plans for the future which you will never be able to enjoy. When your plans mature, you will still be living for some other future beyond. You will never, never be able to sit back with full contentment and say, “Now, I’ve arrived!””
“This feeling of being lonely and very temporary visitors in the universe is in flat contradiction to everything known about man(and all other living organisms) in the sciences. We do not “come into” this world; we come out of it, as leaves from a tree. As the ocean “waves”, the universe “peoples”. Every individual is an expression of the whole realm of nature, a unique action of the total universe. This fact is rarely, if ever, experienced by most individuals. Even those who know it to be true in theory do not sense or feel it, but continue to be aware of themselves as isolated “egos” inside bags of skin.”
—Alan Watts

“For most people, thoughts occur to them randomly, and they accept them. They call this ‘thinking’. It is not. Thinking is conjuring a mental position, and then observing it from as many different positions as possible, and testing it for its logical sufficiency. You try to destroy that position. That is thinking.”

When you do something for money, you quit. When you do it because you love it, you do it forever.”
Gary Vaynerchuk

“When I die, I hope that my only sin would be that I have loved too deeply.”

“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.”
—Rocky Balboa, 1977