100 Great Quotes About Life

Over the last few months, I’ve gotten in the habit of putting up a new quote in the tagline of my chat client every day. I miss a few days here and there, but generally I like to take a few minutes each day to put up something that catches my eye. Sometimes it’s a quote from a column or book, a song lyric, or a quote from a particular author or on a particular topic that seems profound. It’s a small thing, but I feel like taking the time to find that quote helps me grow as a human being just a bit each day. Happily for you, instead of growing a bit each day, you can read all these quotations in one big gulp. Enjoy!

1) “There is something terribly morbid in the modern sympathy with pain. One should sympathise with the colour, the beauty, the joy of life. The less said about life’s sores the better.” — Oscar Wilde

2) “There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.” — Andrew Carnegie

3) “Adversity reveals genius, prosperity conceals it.” — Horace

4) “Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.” — Dale Carnegie

5) “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

6) “If you have ability in a certain area, why not capitalize on it and improve it and use it?” — Wilt Chamberlain

7) “The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure very much.” — William Hazlitt

8) “Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and are incapable of struggle.” — Lenin

9) “When I fight someone, I want to break his will. I want to take his manhood. I want to rip out his heart and show it to him.” — Mike Tyson

10) “If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was a thousand miles away, I’d still swim. And I’d despise the one who gave up.” — Abraham Maslow

11) “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

12) “At home I am a nice guy: but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.” — Muhammad Ali

13) “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” — Bill Gates

14) “I own that I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive.” — Thomas Jefferson

15) “Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it.” — Alan Perlis

16) “Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can’t mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind.” – William S. Burroughs

17) “Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.” — Tony Robbins

18) “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

19) “Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, though it may be increased by short intermissions.” — Samuel Johnson

20) “People say time changes things, but it’s not true. Doing things changes things. Not doing things leaves things exactly as they were.” — House

21) “Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat.” — Samuel Butler

22) “The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.” — Napoleon Hill

23) “I don’t try to intimidate anybody before a fight. That’s nonsense. I intimidate people by hitting them.” — Mike Tyson

24) “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” — William James

25) “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” — Lao Tzu

26) “Love and work… work and love, that’s all there is.” — Sigmund Freud

27) “Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

28) “Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch.” — Robert Orben

29) “Guys ask me, don’t I get burned out? How can you get burned out doing something you love? I ask you, have you ever got tired of kissing a pretty girl?” — Tommy Lasorda

30) “To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.” — Herman Melville

31) “Pick a theme and work it to exhaustion… the subject must be something you truly love or truly hate.” — Dorothea Lange

32) “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” — Robert Frost

33) “A philosopher once noted that people long for immortality but run out of things to do on a rainy afternoon.” — David Niven

34) “A man without ambition is dead. A man with ambition but no love is dead. A man with ambition and love for his blessings here on earth is ever so alive.” — Pearl Bailey

35) “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies.” — Robert M. McCheyne

36) “Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.” — Blaise Pascal

37) “Never think that Jesus commanded a trifle, nor dare to trifle with anything He has commanded.” — Dwight L. Moody

38) “In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” — Miguel de Cervantes

39) “What would men be without women? Scarce, sir, mighty scarce.” — Mark Twain

40) “Show me the man you honor, and I will know what kind of man you are.” — Thomas Carlyle

41) “A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.” — Robert E. Lee

42) “He was a man, he always performed his promises.” — Zebulon Pike

43) “Seek for duty, and happiness will follow as the shadow comes with the sunshine.” — Tryon Edwards

44) “The motto of chivalry is also the motto of wisdom; to serve all, but love only one.” — Honore de Balzac

45) “In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have… is the ability to take on responsibility.” — Michael Korda

46) “Men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon, and seldom drive business home to the full period, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success.” — Dale Carnegie

47) “A few years ago I lost one of my dearest friends. He died at age 53 – heart attack. David is gone, but he was one of my very special friends. I used to say of David that if I was stuck in a foreign jail somewhere accused unduly and if they would allow me one phone call, I would call David. Why? He would come and get me. That’s a friend. Somebody who would come and get you.” — Jim Rohn

48) “Don’t let your will roar when your power only whispers.” — Thomas Fuller

49) “To take revenge halfheartedly is to court disaster; either condemn or crown your hatred.” — Pierre Corneille

50) “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” — Aesop

51) “If people would dare to speak to one another unreservedly, there would be a good deal less sorrow in the world a hundred years hence.” — Samuel Butler

52) “The world is not so much in need of new thoughts as that when thought grows old and worn with usage it should, like current coin, be called in, and, from the mint of genius, reissued fresh and new.” — Alexander Smith

53) “There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.” — Richard Bach

54) “Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times. And a very small number really.” — Brandon Lee

55) “The importance of information is directly proportional to its improbability.” — Jerry Pournelle

56) “Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.” — Carl Jung

57) “Nothing is more dangerous than a friend without discretion; even a prudent enemy is preferable.” — Jean de La Fontaine

58) “Function in disaster; finish in style.” — Howard Penney

59) “To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero

60) “You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom.” — Clarence Darrow

61) “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” — Frederick Douglass

62) “Always do right–this will gratify some and astonish the rest.” — Mark Twain

63) “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” — Socrates

64) “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.” — John Kenneth Galbraith

65) “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” — Lucille Ball

66) “A society deadened by a smothering network of laws while finding release in moral chaos is not likely to be either happy or stable.” — Robert Bork

67) “Many a man gets weary of clamping down on his rough impulses, which if given occasional release would encourage the living of life with salt in it, in place of dust.” — Henry S. Haskins

68) “The person who knows one thing and does it better than anyone else, even if it only be the art of raising lentils, receives the crown he merits. If he raises all his energy to that end, he is a benefactor of mankind and its rewarded as such.” — Og Mandino

69) “The end of man is action, and not thought, though it be of the noblest.” — Thomas Carlyle

70) “A ‘No’ uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a ‘Yes’ merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.” — Mohandas Gandhi

71) “I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult his calendar.” — Robert Brault

72) “If in my youth I had realized that the sustaining splendour of beauty of with which I was in love would one day flood back into my heart, there to ignite a flame that would torture me without end, how gladly would I have put out the light in my eyes.” — Michelangelo

73) “Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.” — Carl Jung

74) “I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.” — Edward Gibbon

75) “If it looks good, you’ll see it. If it sounds good, you’ll hear it. If it’s marketed right, you’ll buy it. But… if it’s real, you’ll feel it.” — Kid Rock

76) “There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” — Napoleon Hill

77) “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.” — Albert Einstein

78) “The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

79) “Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it.” — George Bernard Shaw

80) “The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking.” — Mia Hamm

81) “I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

82) “Failure sometimes enlarges the spirit. You have to fall back upon humanity and God.” — Charles Horton Cooley

83) “Real love is a permanently self-enlarging experience.” — M. Scott Peck

84) “Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” — Jim Rohn

85) “Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.” — Edna St Vincent Millay

86) “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.” — John Burroughs

87) “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

88) “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

89) The ascent to greatness, however steep and dangerous, may entertain an active spirit with the consciousness and exercise of its own powers: but the posession of a throne could never yet afford a lasting satisfaction to an ambitious mind.” — Edward Gibbon

90) “No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one’s sentiments may be, if one has not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one’s character may remain entirely unaffected for the better.” — William James

91) “In the successful organization, no detail is too small to escape close attention.” — Lou Holtz

92) “It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.” — Jessamyn West

93) “Sometimes, if you aren’t sure about something, you have to just jump off the bridge and grow wings on your way down.” — Danielle Steel

94) “We should take care not to make the intellect our god; it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.” — Albert Einstein

95) “I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” — Og Mandino

96) “I heard a definition once: Happiness is health and a short memory! I wish I’d invented it, because it is very true.” — Audrey Hepburn

97) “God bears with the wicked, but not forever.” — Miguel de Cervantes

98) “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

99) “Cleverness is not wisdom.” — Euripides

100) “The person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere.” — Xun Zi

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