150 Wise Quotes


  1. Why be anything other than good? Why do anything other than love? ~Johnathan Dahl 
  2. To live in this world, you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go. ~Mary Oliver 
  3. Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be. ~Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ, c.1420 
  4. You’ve got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice. ~Steven D. Woodhull (b.1976, U.S. geologist), “Tuition,” 1999 
  5. What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939, translated from French by Lewis Galantière 
  6. Don’t wait for the Last Judgment. It happens every day. ~Albert Camus, The Fall, 1956 
  7. Good for the body is the work of the body, and good for the soul is the work of the soul, and good for either is the work of the other. ~Henry David Thoreau 
  8. Remember, if you’re headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns! ~Allison Gappa Bottke 
  9. Anyone can carry his burden, however hard, until nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Anyone can live sweetly, patiently, lovingly, purely, till the sun goes down. And this is all life really means. ~Robert Louis Stevenson 
  10. If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree. ~Jim Rohn 
  11. In what you say of another, apply the test of kindness, necessity and truth, and let nothing pass your lips without a 2/3 majority. ~Liz Armbruster, on rbrault.blogspot.com 
  12. See everything; overlook a great deal; correct a little. ~Pope John XXIII 
  13. Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow. ~Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros, November 2009 winner of The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter 
  14. Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 
  15. You will turn over many a futile new leaf till you learn we must all write on scratched-out pages. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960 
  16. If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it. ~Toni Morrison 
  17. Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it. ~Author Unknown 
  18. Do not confuse your vested interests with ethics. Do not identify the enemies of your privilege with the enemies of humanity. ~Max Lerner, Actions and Passions, 1949 
  19. Sometimes it’s more important to be human, than to have good taste. ~Brecht 
  20. Now that it’s all over, what did you really do yesterday that’s worth mentioning? ~Coleman Cox 
  21. Laziness will cause you pain. ~Slogan on T-shirt worn at the Vee Arnis Jitsu School of Self-Defense 
  22. [O]wning your burdens is half the battle. ~From the television show Scrubs 
  23. Think not because the chrysalis struggles that it is in need of you. Oh! I pray you, stay your eager hands, lest you despoil its silver wings. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904 
  24. Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. ~Victor Hugo 
  25. We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood. ~William James 
  26. You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him. ~Leo Aikman 
  27. In understanding freedom one understands also what discipline is…. Freedom and discipline go together, they are not two separate things…. Discipline does not mean suppression and control, nor is it adjustment to a pattern or an ideology; it means a mind that sees ‘what is’ and learns from ‘what is’. ~Jiddu Krishnamurti, “Freedom,” The Impossible Question, 1970 July 19th 
  28. Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. ~Frank Herbert (1920–1986), Dune Chronicles 
  29. The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile. ~Plato 
  30. Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win. ~Jonathan Kozel 
  31. Tough and funny and a little bit kind: that is as near to perfection as a human being can be. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966 
  32. I would not waste my life in friction when it could be turned into momentum. ~Frances Willard 
  33. One neglect makes ten regrets. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897 
  34. A refusal to face reality allows it to stab you in the back. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, http://www.lumpenbangenpiano.com 
  35. Always when judgingWho people are,
    Remember to footnote
    The words “So far.”
    ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


  36. God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me. ~Author unknown, variation of an excerpt from “The Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Neibuhr 
  37. A day is Eternity’s seed, and we are its Gardeners. ~Erika Harris, empathicwriter.com 
  38. People cannot go wrong, if you don’t let them. They cannot go right, unless you let them. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827 
  39. Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit. ~W. Somerset Maugham, The Summing Up, 1938 
  40. The vow that binds too strictly snaps itself. ~Alfred Lord Tennyson, “The Last Tournament,” Idylls of the King 
  41. The secret to happiness in your work is to find a job in which your neurosis is constructive. ~Jeanne LaMont, MD 
  42. I saw that he was dying. All the strength had left him. And I said Moe, “What will I do without you?” And he gathered up all the energy he could and he said, “Take the love you have for me and spread it around. In love spread around, there beauty is found.” ~Shirley L. Hyman, Ph.D. (1913–2016), from 2014 video produced by Brandon Stanton for Humans of New York, http://www.humansofnewyork.com 
  43. I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes. ~Sara Teasdale, “The Philosopher” 
  44. If I had my life to live over, I’d have fewer meetings and more rendezvous. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com 
  45. Every one should keep a mental wastepaper basket and the older he grows the more things he will consign to it — torn up to irrecoverable tatters. ~Samuel Butler 
  46. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. ~Theodore Roosevelt 
  47. Whatever we worship, short of God, is sure to be our undoing. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960 
  48. Toss your dashed hopes not into a trash bin but into a drawer where you are likely to rummage some bright morning. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com 
  49. I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it…. People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. ~Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982 
  50. Be pleasant until ten o’clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself. ~Elbert Hubbard 
  51. On the bathing-tub of King T’ang the following words were engraved: “If you would one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day. Yea, let there be daily renovation.” ~Confucian Analects 
  52. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. ~Jimmy Johnson 
  53. Every man ought to be above his position in the sense of being more than his position. To be king and nothing more, judge and nothing more, tallowe-handler and nothing more, is to allow the accident to swallow up the essence, and prove a miserable failure when measured by the true standard of human worth. A wise man would scorn to be like the tower of Pisa, leaning everlastingly one way; and as each special occupation has its own tendencies to narrowness, exclusiveness, and misconception, one continuous object of education should be to give scope and elbow-room in other directions. When governments, or societies, with imperial rescripts, acts of parliament, or conventionalities, hedge men round with directions and prohibitions, we rejoice in the brave spirits who manfully do what they are told not to do; and part of everybody’s education should be a training to resist the slavery by which custom is always trying to enthral the world. ~Henry James Slack (1818–1896), The Philosophy of Progress in Human Affairs, “Chapter XIII: Education,” 1860 
  54. 1. Don’t be afraid to say No.
    2. Don’t be afraid to say Yes.
    ~Dr. SunWolf, 2017 January 8th tweet, professorsunwolf.com


  55. What a strange narrowness of mind now is that, to think the things we have not known are better than the things we have known. ~Samuel Johnson 
  56. To sensible men, every day is a day of reckoning. ~John W. Gardner 
  57. Folks, I’m telling you,
    birthing is hard
    and dying is mean—
    so get yourself a little loving
    in between.
    ~Langston Hughes (1902–1967)


  58. There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go. ~Tennessee Williams 
  59. Face what you think you believe and you will be surprised. ~William Hale White 
  60. Young men, be masters of yourselves. The world needs you. ~James E. Shepard (1875–1947), quoted in Mitchell Davis, One Hundred Choice Quotations by Prominent Men and Women of the Negro Race, 1917 
  61. Just remember, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way. ~M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter 
  62. If you don’t understand the cause of the problem — your solution will become part of it. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, http://www.lumpenbangenpiano.com 
  63. Begin, not from an imaginary past, to which you can never go back; not from an imaginary future which you have not reached. Begin from the present, with all its treasury of good—ay, and with all its treasury of evil. And, keeping the pathway unbroken from the past to the future, lead on to life, to larger life… upward, upward. ~Lyman Abbott, “Out of the Past,” sermon preached in Appleton Chapel, Harvard College, Sunday evening, March 26, 1899 
  64. All you need are these: certainty of judgment in the present moment;
    action for the common good in the present moment;
    and an attitude of gratitude in the present moment for anything that comes your way.
    ~Marcus Aurelius (121–180 A.D.), Meditations, IX:6, a new translation by Stephen Hanselman, in The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman, 2016


  65. Don’t look where you fall, but where you slipped. ~African Proverb 
  66. One can enjoy a wood fire worthily only when he warms his thoughts by it as well as his hands and feet. ~Odell Shepard 
  67. Practical life teaches us that people may differ and that both may be wrong: it also teaches us that people may differ and both be right. Anchor yourself fast in the latter faith, or the former will sweep your heart away. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827 
  68. You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars guides you too. ~Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar 
  69. All things by immortal power,
    Near or far,
    To each other are linkèd are,
    That thou canst not stir a flower
    Without troubling of a star…
    ~Francis Thompson (1859–1907), “The Mistress of Vision,” c.1897


  70. The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice that which we are for what we could become. ~Charles Du Bos, Approximations, 1922, translated from French (Thanks, Lorianne!) 
  71. The happiest people don’t worry too much about whether life is fair or not, they just get on with it. ~Andrew Matthews 
  72. Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice;
    Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment…
    Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
    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.
    ~William Shakespeare, Hamlet [I, 3, Polonius] [Love this about Polonius, by Francesco Lo Piccolo: “While he is a blowhard, and he does spout aphorisms that were, even in the sixteenth century, clichés, his clichés constitute sound advice and his observations prove themselves prophetic.” He is also described as self-assured, cynical, self-centered, a flatterer, long-winded, sly, devious, false, shrewd, immoral, a sermoniser, meddling, political, arrogant, despicable, vain, hypocritical, manipulative, verbose, insincere, self-absorbed, a windbag, and a rambler of wisdom. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


  73. Be loyal to what you love, be true to the earth, fight your enemies with passion and laughter. ~Edward Abbey 
  74. The incurable ills are the imaginary ills. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882 
  75. Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. ~Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 
  76. B hopeful, B happy, B cheerful, B kind,
    B busy of body, B modest of mind,
    B earnest, B truthful, B firm and B fair…
    B watchful, B ready, B open, B frank,
    B manly to all men, whatever B their rank;
    B just and B generous, B honest, B wise…
    B temperate, B steadfast, to anger B slow.
    B thoughtful, B thankful, whate’er may B tide…
    B pleasant, B patient, B fervent to all,
    B best if you can, but B humble withal.
    B prompt and B dutiful, still B polite;
    B reverent, B quiet, and B sure and B right…
    B grateful, B cautious of those who B tray.
    B tender, B loving, B good and B nign,
    B loved thou shalt B, and all else B thine.
    ~”A Swarm of Bees,” The British Bee Journal, and Bee Keeper’s Adviser, 1882 February 1st


  77. Let your strongest muscle be the will. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897 
  78. There is no such thing in anyone’s life as an unimportant day. ~Alexander Woollcott 
  79. If you keep rephrasing the question, it gradually becomes the answer. ~Robert 

    Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


  80. [T]ime you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ~Marthe Troly-Curtin, Phrynette Married, 1912 (Thanks, Garson O’Toole of quoteinvestigator.com!) 
  81. It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. ~Albert Einstein 
  82. …Love all, trust a few,
    Do wrong to none…
    ~William Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well


  83. Love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe. ~Author Unknown 
  84. Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, a touch that never hurts. ~Charles Dickens 
  85. Ever ask yourself what you would do if you had tomorrow to live over again? ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com 
  86. If only I may grow: firmer, simpler, quieter, warmer. ~Dag Hammarskjold 
  87. History is apt to judge harshly those who sacrifice tomorrow for today. ~Harold MacMillan 
  88. We have a choice every day — to act on yesterday’s good intentions or get an early start on tomorrow’s regrets. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com 
  89. When you start treating people like people, they become people. ~Paul Vitale 
  90. Be kind to your shadow. ~Rebecca Lawless 
  91. I thought growing up was something that happened automatically as you got older. But it turns out it’s something you have to choose to do. ~From the television show Scrubs 
  92. Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts. ~Bernard Baruch, 1946 
  93. The only way you may correct the bad things in your past is to add better things to your future. ~Shiloh Morrison 
  94. So often our greatest triumph is a willing surrender. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com 
  95. If you have to do it every day, for God’s sake learn to do it well. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960 
  96. Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson 
  97. We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
    In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
    We should count Time by heart-throbs. He most lives
    Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
    ~Philip James Bailey (1816–1902)


  98. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than the person to be loved. ~Barbara Johnson 
  99. You do not have the right to quit trying. (The universe wobbles when you do.) You have the right to quit Toxic People. (They’re contagious.) ~Dr. SunWolf, professorsunwolf.com 
  100. Dare to be imperfect and one day there will tug at your sleeve a soulmate. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com 
  101. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. ~Robert Louis Stevenson 
  102. In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest. ~Henry Miller, The Books in My Life 
  103. Never explain. Your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe it anyway. ~Elbert Hubbard, A Thousand and One Epigrams, 1911 
  104. Do not condemn the judgment of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong. ~Dandemis 
  105. The first thing to learn in intercourse with others is noninterference with their own peculiar ways of being happy, provided those ways do not assume to interfere by violence with ours. ~William James 
  106. Whatever you are, try to be a good one. ~William Makepeace Thackeray 
  107. It’s better to fight for something than against something. ~Author Unknown 
  108. The day will happen whether or not you get up. ~John Ciardi 
  109. Create each day anew by clothing yourself with heaven and earth, bathing yourself with wisdom and love, and placing yourself in the heart of Mother Nature. ~Morihei Ueshiba 
  110. Nature gave men two ends — one to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then man’s success or failure has been dependent on the one he used most. ~George R. Kirkpatrick 
  111. One should always play fair when one has the winning cards. ~Oscar Wilde 
  112. Strength will grow from the heart, blossom as results, and wither in others’ hearts as seeds. ~Mikhael Dominico, September 2010 winner of The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter 
  113. To finish the moment, to find the journey’s end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours, is wisdom. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson 
  114. Think of your faults the first part of the night when you are awake, and the faults of others the latter part of the night when you are asleep. ~Chinese Proverb 
  115. Facts and figures are not the whole story. ~Terri Guillemets, “Âme et les yeux,” 1998 
  116. When you live in reaction, you give your power away. Then you get to experience what you gave your power to. ~N. Smith 
  117. Do not fall before you are pushed. ~English Proverb 
  118. Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know. ~Pema Chödrön 
  119. Life isn’t fair, at least on the micro level. Deal with it. But don’t deal with it by making it more unfair to others. ~David C. Hill, ***Dave Does the Blog (hill-kleerup.org/blog) 
  120. If you must choose between a falsehood and a rudeness, choose the rudeness; if the choice lies between a falsehood and cruelty, choose the falsehood. ~Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882 
  121. Ruts are not made by the wheels of Destiny, but by the cart of Care… ~Kenneth Alfred Evelyn Alexander (c.1890–1953), “The One-Way Mind,” in The New Zealand Railways Magazine, 1931 June 1st 
  122. If I make of myself nothing, I shall expect not more than nothing’s proper place and portion. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912 
  123. When “Why not do it?” barely outweighs “Why do it?” — don’t do it. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960 
  124. An important corollary to the Golden Rule is to leave others be as you would have them leave you be. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com 
  125. If you hate your lot but wouldn’t trade it, it’s not your lot you hate. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966 
  126. No useful man has time to go back and rub out his unfortunate foot prints. ~Author unknown, from Dallas-Galveston News, c.1894 
  127. You live and let live. And eventually, that becomes enough. ~Author Unknown 
  128. Half the failures in life arise from pulling in the horse as he is leaping. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827 
  129. When you invite trouble, it’s usually quick to accept. ~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 
  130. It’s illegal to bore people. ~Mo Siegel [I saw this quote in 2003 on a sign at Celestial Seasonings in Boulder, Colorado. Siegel is one of the company’s founders. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g] 
  131. A man must have something to cling to. Without that he is as a pea vine sprawling in search of a trellis…. I was all asprawl, clinging to Beauty, which is a very restless trellis. ~E.B. White (1899–1985) 
  132. Giving up doesn’t always mean you are weak. Sometimes it means that you are strong enough to let go. ~Author Unknown 
  133. There is great power in letting go, and there is great freedom in moving on. ~Author Unknown 
  134. Promise only what you can deliver. Then deliver more than you promise. ~Author Unknown 
  135. All philosophy in two words, — sustain and abstain. ~Epictetus 
  136. Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake. ~Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne 
  137. Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you’ve got. ~Janis Joplin 
  138. Every ten years a man should give himself a good kick in the pants. ~Edward Steichen 
  139. Beware of letting your comforts become means of pain; nor make yourself miserable for the sake of being happy. ~William Benton Clulow, Horæ Otiosæ, 1833, and Aphorisms and Reflections, 1843 
  140. Life is like riding a bicycle; we can keep from falling if we keep moving. Only a few trick-riders can stand still and not tumble. ~Author Unknown, c.1922 
  141. Wake up, do your best, sleep, repeat. ~Thingsweforget.blogspot.com, #660 
  142. Work hard, enrobe yourself in velvet hope, and rule your world! ~Terri Guillemets 
  143. The biggest problem in the world
    Could have been solved when it was small.
    ~Witter Bynner, The Way of Life According to Laotzu


  144. In the hopes of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet. ~Albert Schweitzer 
  145. What you can’t get out of, get into wholeheartedly. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960 
  146. Don’t look for your dreams to come true; look to become true to your dreams. ~Michael Beckwith 
  147. Strength will carry you through no matter how deep the valley… surrender to your strength. ~Gunda Fijnje-Nolan, September 2010 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter 
  148. The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything. ~Bill Murray 
  149. The only business of the head in the world is to bow a ceaseless obedience to the heart. ~William Butler Yeats 


  150. The winds of grace are always blowing, but you have to raise the sail. ~Ramakrishna 

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