When a quote stands the test of time, becomes indelible over the years by being spoken and read, it’s because there is a truth and wisdom that resounds with the human experience.
A famous quote is a powerful thing. It touches the heart and evokes an emotion or sentiment, or even empathy toward and within the person hearing it.
When a quote lasts, is carried on through generations, it gains credibility and the ability to impart its wisdom.
Indeed, it’s a wise man or woman who can think about the way a timeless and invincible quote can help shed light on their own lives.
Often, quotes come from hard life lessons learned by the people who wrote or spoke them.
If we allow ourselves to become students of life and human nature, we may glean some insight into situations that these people experienced that is applicable to our own lives.
We may even sidestep some hard times because we heed the lessons expressed in the quote.
Or maybe, they simply cause us to pause in the busyness and reflect on kindness, love, hope, and the gift of being alive.
We all live our lives too quickly sometimes, and really, we are only guaranteed the day before us.
Take some time to slow down and read the following quotes.
You may learn something strange and wonderful, or precautionary, or just remember the joy of being alive, free, and your own self.
1. I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain. – James Baldwin
2. Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to. – Alan Keightley
3. Let go of the people who dull your shine, poison your spirit, and bring you drama. Cancel your subscription to their issues. – Steve Maraboli
4. If we can forgive what’s been done to us… If we can forgive what we’ve done to others… If we can leave our stories behind. Our being victims and villains. Only then can we maybe rescue the world. – Chuck Palahniuk
5. Quiet people have the loudest minds. – Stephen Hawking
6. The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step… – Les Brown
7. The whole future lies in uncertainty: Live immediately. – Seneca
8. Wisdom is merely the movement from fighting life to embracing it. – Rasheed Ogunlaru
9. The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek. – Joseph Campbell
10. The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. – Confucius
11. Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down.
12. To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. – E. E. Cummings
13. My own habitual feeling is that the world is so extremely odd, and everything in it so surprising. Why should there be green grass and liquid water, and why have I got hands and feet? – Don John Chapman
14. You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass. – Timber Hawkeye
15. Everyone takes the limits of his own vision for the limits of the world. – Arthur Schopenhauer
16. The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. – Marcel Proust
17. It’s the hard things that break; soft things don’t break … You can waste so many years of your life trying to become something hard in order not to break; but it’s the soft things that can’t break! The hard things are the ones that shatter into a million pieces! – C. Joybell C.
18. Don’t equate your self-worth with how well you do in life. You aren’t what you do. If you are what you do, than when you don’t … you aren’t. – Wayne Dyer
19. You learn more from getting your butt kicked than getting it kissed. – Tom Hanks
20. Before we can become who we really are, we must become conscious of the fact that the person who we think we are, here and now, is at best an imposter and a stranger. – Thomas Merton
21. Among the great things which are to be found among us, the Being of Nothingness is the greatest. – Leonardo da Vinci
22. I refuse to be intimidated by reality anymore. What is reality? Nothing but a collective hunch. – Lily Tomlin
23. There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. – William Shakespeare
24. Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. – Nathaniel Hawthorne
25. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down. – Ray Bradbury
26. Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. – Wayne W. Dyer
27. A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. -John A. Shedd
28. It’s so hard to forget pain, but it’s even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace. ― Chuck Palahniuk
29. There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. – Louis L’Amour
30. Don’t postpone joy until you have learned all of your lessons. Joy is your lesson. — Alan Cohen
31. The wound is the place where the light enters you. – Rumi
32. Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. – Oscar Wilde
33. The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. – Henry David Thoreau
34. Every day of our lives, we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference. – Mignon McLaughlin
35. Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. – Soren Kierkegaard
36. You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. – Christopher Columbus
37. If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way. – Napoleon Hill
38. We all have two lives. The second one starts when we realize we only have one. – Confucius
39. Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life. – Seneca
40. Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. – Mark Twain
41. I cannot make my days longer, so I strive to make them better. – Henry David Thoreau
42. You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need. – Vernon Howard
43. Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It takes away today’s peace. – Randy Armstrong
44. The trouble is, you think you have time. – Jack Kornfield
45. The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. – Henry David Thoreau
46. It is not what happens that determines the major part of your future. What happens, happens to us all. It is what you do about what happens that counts. – Jim Rohn
47. Sometimes when you lose your way, you find yourself. – Mandy Hale
48. And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later. – Randy Komisar
49. Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. – Robert Brault
50. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back. – Maya Angelou
51. If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection. – Lecrae Moore
52. You want to change your life fast? Then trade your expectation for appreciation; you’ll have a whole new life. – Tony Robbins
53. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hopefully this journey you have taken through the words and experiences of some prolific people has helped you to learn something new about yourself.
Hopefully it has helped you appreciate the life you are given, and the ones you share it with.
Let the words you’ve read seep in. Read them again and you may see a different angle or perspective.
Carry in your heart the hope of a future, the appreciation of a past, and the grace of the present.
You may not be able to determine your path, but you can keep walking it as it unfolds before you using the quotes you encounter as signposts.
Life is a gift, never to be taken for granted, and the words that express the wisdom and gratitude are true and beautiful.
What is your favorite quote? Let me know in the comments below and if you liked this article, please share it.
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Photo by Graham Holtshausen on Unsplash