Quotes About The Adventure of Life


You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.
I want to be remembered as a kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.
Zach Sobiech (1995-2013)

Watch Zach’s testament that brings to life Leronardo Da Vinci’s quote: Life well spent is long.

In life as in the dance, grace glides on blistered feet.
Alice Abrams – Quoted in And I Quote, Revised Edition, St. Martin’s Press, NY, NY, 2003, p. 285

We all live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.
Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) – quoted in: The Atlantic Community Quarterly v.14-15 1976-1978, p. 200

I have somewhere met with the epitaph of a charitable man, which has very much pleased me. I cannot recollect the words, but the sense of it is to this purpose; What I spent I lost; what I possessed is left to others; what I gave away remains with me.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) The Spectator (1711-12)No. 177, Sep 22, 1711.

When an old man dies, it is a whole library which burns.
African proverb

Be brave enough to live creatively. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can only get there by hard work, by risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful: Yourself.
Alan Alda (1936 – ) Quoted in The Educators Book of Quotes, ed John Blaydes, Corwin Press, 2003, p208

Life is short, and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us, so be quick to love and make haste to be kind.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881) – Journal In Time (1882), The Journal Intime of Henri-Frédéric Amiel as translated by Mary Augusta Ward, December 16, 1868.

Let the living live; and you, gather together your thoughts, leave behind you a legacy of feeling and ideas; you will be most useful so.
Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881) – Journal Intime (1882), The Journal Intime of Henri-Frédéric Amiel as translated by Mary Augusta Ward, May 3, 1849

I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.
Maya Angelou (1928 – ) – Kicking Ass (interview), Conversations with Maya Angelou, ed. Jeffrey M. Elliot (1989).

Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first, the lesson afterward.

Some people weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and some weave gold thread. Both contribute to make the whole picture beautiful and unique.
Gallery of Quotes 2

I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is the victory over self.
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) – Stobacus, ed Frobenius, p223

In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.
Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)– Fantastic Voyage II

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.
Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) -Life, Jan. 1984

The world is a great book, of which they that never stir from home read only a page.
St. Augustine (354-430) (Augustine of Hippo) – As quoted in Select Proverbs of All Nations by “Thomas Fielding” (John Wade), 1824, p. 216

Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
St. Augustine (354-430) (Augustine of Hippo) – Quoted in Spirituality and Liberation: Overcoming the Great Fallacy (1988) by Robert McAfee Brown, p. 136.

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.
St. Augustine (354-430) (Augustine of Hippo) – Confessions X (c 397)

The world is a great book, of which they that never stir from home read only a page.
St. Augustine (354-430) (Augustine of Hippo) – As quoted in Select Proverbs of All Nations by “Thomas Fielding” (John Wade), 1824, p. 216

Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
St. Augustine (354-430) (Augustine of Hippo) – Quoted in Spirituality and Liberation: Overcoming the Great Fallacy (1988) by Robert McAfee Brown, p. 136.

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.
St. Augustine (354-430) (Augustine of Hippo) – Confessions X (c 397)

You will find rest from vain fancies if you perform every act in life as though it were your last.
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) – Meditations (c. 161–180 CE) Book II, 5

Remember that even if you were to live for three thousand years, or thirty thousand, you could not lose any other life than the one you have, and there will be no other life after it. So the longest and the shortest lives are the same. The present moment is shared by all living creatures, but the time that is past is gone forever. No one can lose the past or the future, for if they don’t belong to you, how can they be taken from you?
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) – The Spiritual Teachings of Marcus Aurelius, Mark Forstateer, Tr., 2000.

Remember that man lives only in the present, in this fleeting instant; all the rest of his life is either past and gone, or not yet revealed.
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) – Meditations (c. 161–180 CE) Book III, 10

Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; but if a thing is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) – Meditations (c. 161–180 CE) Book VI, 19

Life is not to live merely, but to live well.
Lord Avebury (John Lubbock) {1834-1913) – Pleasures of the Life, “The Duty of Happiness,” MacMillan And Co, London, 1913, p.5

One person’s candle is light for many.
Babylonian Talmud – (2nd-5th C. CE) Shabbat

Remember the high board at the swimming pool? After days of looking up at it you finally climbed the wet steps to the platform. From there, it was higher than ever. There were only two ways down: the steps to defeat of the dive to victory. You stood on the edge, shivering in the hot sun, deathly afraid. At last you leaned too far forward, it was too late for retreat, and you dived. The high board was conquered, and you spent the rest of the day diving. Climbing a thousand high boards, we demolish fear, and turn into human beings.
Richard Bach – A Gift of Wings, Dell Publishing, 1975

They are ill discovers that think there is no land when they see nothing but sea.
Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626) The Advancement of Learning, bk 2, ch 7, sect. 5 (1605).
Gallery of Quotes 2

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) – Festus (1839), scene v, A Country Town.

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.
J. M. Barrie (1860-1937) – The Little Minister (1891), I

Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) – Westward Ho (1983)

We are all too much inclined, I think, to walk through life with our eyes shut. There are things all round us and right at our very feet that we have never seen, because we have never really looked.
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) – Address to Friend’s School, Washington DC, May 22, 1914, in National Geographic Magazine, June, 1914, “Out of the Beaten Track,” Volume 25, Number 6

Don’t keep forever on the public road, going only where others have gone and following one after the other like a flock of sheep. Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods.
Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) – Address to Friend’s School, Washington DC, May 22, 1914, in National Geographic Magazine, June, 1914, “Out of the Beaten Track,” Volume 25, Number 6

Each morning the day lies like a fresh shirt on our bed; this incomparably fine, incomparably tightly woven tissue of pure prediction fits us perfectly. The happiness of the next twenty-four hours depends on our ability, on waking, to pick it up.
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) – “One Way Street” in Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings, Volume 1: 1913-1926 – Page 483

We are alive within Mystery, by miracle. 
Wendell Berry (1934 – )- Life Is A Miracle : An Essay Against Modern Superstition, Counterpoint, (2000), p.45.

He who desires but acts not, breeds pestilence.
William Blake (1757-1827) –  Poem “Proverbs of Hell,”  in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 1793.

Begin today! No matter how feeble the light, let it shine as best it may. The world may need just that quality of light which you have.
Henry C. Blinn (1824-1905) – Quoted in: Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006

When all else is lost, the future still remains.
Christian Nevell Bovee (1820-1904) – Quoted in Gems for the Fireside, O.H. Tiffany, Ed, A.W. Mills Pub, 1883, p835.

If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go in business because we’d be cynical: ‘It’s gonna go wrong.’ Or ‘She’s going to hurt me.’ Or ‘I had a couple of bad love affairs so therefore …’

Well, that’s nonsense. You’re going to miss life. You’ve got to jump off the cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.
Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) – 1990, October 12, Herald-Journal, Interview with the NYT,Page C1, Spartanburg, South Carolina.

We were put here as witnesses to the miracle of life. We see the stars, and we want them. We are beholden to give back to the universe…. If we make landfall on another star system, we become immortal.
Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) – Speech to National School Board Association (1995)

Always remember, it’s simply not an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons.
Sarah Ban Breathnach (1947 ) – Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy, Grand Central Publishing, NY, NY, 2005, Feb16.

Don’t be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.
Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) – Happy End (1929) Pelagea Vlasova in Scene 10

Exhaust the little moment.
Soon it dies.
And be it gash or gold it will not come
Again in this identical guise.
Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) – “Exhaust the Moment,” from Annie Alien, 1949

O, do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks! Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle. But you shall be a miracle. Every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.
Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) – “Going up to Jerusalem,” Twenty Sermons, 1886, p. 330

We are haunted by an ideal life, and it is because we have within us the beginning and the possibility of it.
Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) – Quoted in The Optimists’ Good Morning, Ed. Perin, Little, Brown and Co., 1907, p. 17

A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s heaven for?
Robert Browning (1812-1889) – The Poems and Plays of Robert Browning, “Andrea del Sarto,” line 98, The Modern Library, NY, NY, 1934

Destiny is not a choice, it is a chance. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925)  – “America’s Mission”, speech delivered by the leader of the Democratic Party at the Washington Day banquet given by the Virginia Democratic Association at Washington, D.C., February 22, 1899.

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible and achieve it, generation after generation.
Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) -quoted in An Apple for the Teacher: Fundamentals for Instructional Computing (1983) by George H. Culp and Herbert N. Nickles, p. 190

All things are possible until they are proved impossible — and even the impossible may only be so, as of now.
Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) – A Bridge for Passing (1962).

None but the ignorant can be bored by life. To the lovers of learning, life is pure adventure shared with adventurers.
Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) – “The Delights of Learning,” Address, University of Pittsburgh Honors Convocation, April 6, 1960.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Attributed  to Edward Burke but the Quote Investigator concludes that the record is too incomplete to make strong claims about who crafted the quote: https://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/12/04/good-men-do/

Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little.
Edmund Burke (1729-1797), Quoted in Wisdom for the Soul, p391.

Love is the measure of life; only so far as we love do we really live.
John Burroughs (1837-1921) “The Art of Seeing Things,” Leaf and Tendril (1908)

Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902) – Samuel Butler’s Notebooks, 1951, p. 310, Speech at the Somerville Club, February 27, 1895.

Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902) – Note-Books, 1912, Ch. 8, p 189.

Count no day lost in which you waited your turn, took only your share and sought advantage over no one.
Robert Brault – Quoted in Quotable Quotes, Readers Digest, 1997

A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.
Rita Mae Brown (1944 – ) – Quoted in The Courage of Conviction, Phillip L. Berman, Ballantine Books, 1986, p34.

Life matters more than any painting, novel, film, or great big diamond.
Rita Mae Brown (1944 – ) – Bio, Rita Mae Brown Website, http://www.ritamaebrown.com/content/about.asp

We are involved in a life that passes understanding and our highest business is our daily life.
John Cage (1912-1992) -“Where Are We Going and What Are We Doing?,” Silence: Lectures and Writings, 1961

If, after all, men cannot always make history have meaning, they can always act so that their own lives have one.
Albert Camus (1913-1960),  “Defense of Freedom ” in Resistance, Rebellion and Death, tr Justin O’Brien, 1961, p106. 

In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
Albert Camus (1913-1960) – in The Unquiet Vision : Mirrors of Man in Existentialism (1969) by Nathan A. Scott, p. 116

Life is a sum of all your choices.
Albert Camus (1913-1960) – Quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006, 457.

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) – The Sense of Wonder (1956)

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today.
Dale Canrnegie (1888-1955) – How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Simon & Schuster, 1984

Be kind to others. How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
George Washington Carver (1864 – 1943) – Quoted in Quotes to Live by, Weinstein ed, Smashwords edition, 2009

I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.
Willa Cather (1873-1947) – Death comes for the Archbishop (1927)

An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.
GK Chesterton (1874-1936) – All Things Considered (1908)

Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyway.
Webb Chiles  (1941 -) – A Single Wave: Stories of Storms and Survival, 1999.

What matters is action. Not to think about writing, but to write. Not to ghink about sailing, but to sail. Not to think about loving, but to love.
Webb Chiles, The Open Boat: Across the Pacific. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1982

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) – Quoted in The Prodigal Project : Book I : Genesis (2003) by Ken Abraham and Daniel Hart, p. 224

What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? And I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) – Speech at Kinnaird Hall, Dundee, Scotland (“Unemployment”), October 10, 1908, in Liberalism and the Social Problem (1909), Churchill, Echo Library (2007), p. 87

One problem with gazing too frequently into the past is that we may turn around to find the future has run out on us.
Michael Cibenko – www.helium.com/users/137611

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
Alan Cohen (1950 -)- Joy is my Compass: Taking the Risk to Follow your Bliss, Alan Cohen Publications, 1990, p 17.

The search for some ultimate significance in the universe, and in our little transient role in it, the compulsion to learn, to know, to find the truth, to answer questions and solve problems — these constitute the essence of an aware existence, the central core of intelligent life.
Dale Rex Coman (1906 – ) – The Endless Adventure, Henry Regency Co., Chicago, IL, 1972, p. 74

It takes some living to discover that the living itself is one’s life, that life is not a goal to attain but a possession to relish.
Dale Rex Coman (1906 – )- The Endless Adventure, Henry Regency Co., Chicago, IL, 1972

Like a flash of lightning between the clouds, we live in the flicker.
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) – Heart of Darkness, 1902, p19.
Gallery of Quotes 2

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside of us while we live.
Norman Cousins (1915-1990) – Quoted in History of Sikh Struggles (1989) by Gurmit Singh, p. 189

If something comes to life in others because of you, then you have made an approach to immortality.
Norman Cousins (1915-1990) – Anatomy of an Illness (1979)

Life is an adventure in forgiveness.
Norman Cousins (1915-1990) – Saturday Review, April 15, 1978

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 (1894-1962 ) – “A Poet’s Advice to Students,” E. E. cummings, A Miscellany, ed George Firmage, 1958

We live in a mystery. Our lives have flowed from exploding stars, from tides of time and gravity beyond our ken.
John Daniel (1949- ) – The Flow of Life, Audubon, January, 2002

Service is the rent we pay for living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time
Marian Wright Edelman (1939 – ) – Measure of Our Success: A letter to My Children and Yours, Boston, Beacon Press, 1993

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.
Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) – Quoted in Motivating Humans: Goals, Emotions and Personal Agency Beliefs, Martin E. Ford, 1992, p. 17

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. It is the source of all true art and science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – The World as I see it, (1949)
Gallery of Quotes  2

Conscious man, to be sure, has at all times been keenly aware that life is an adventure, that life must, forever, be wrested from death.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – Out of my Later Years, Thames & Hudson, London, 1950, pp. 4-5.

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – Quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millenia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, ed Chang, Gnosophia, Washington, 2006, p. 293.

Never lose a holy curiosity. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – Interview with William Miller quoted in “Death of a Genius,” William Miller, LIFE, May 2, 1955, p64

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – Letter to his son Eduard (5 February 1930), as quoted in Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), p. 367

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – Cosmic Religion : With Other Opinions and Aphorisms (1931) by Albert Einstein, p. 97

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – Letter to Morris Raphael Cohen defending the appointment of Bertrand Russell to a teaching position. March 19, 1940.

There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) – Attributed to: as quoted in Journal of France and Germany (1942-1944 by Gilbert Fowler White. (It is not clear whether White heard Einstein himself say this. Quote is without a primary source.) See Famous Quotes from 100 Great People, Mobile Reference

Neither a wise man or a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.
Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) – Quoted in Time Magazine, October 6, 1952

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all of our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliott (1888-1965) – Four Quartets, Little Gidding, V

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliott (1888-1965) – Preface to Transit of Venus: Poems by Harry Crosby (1931)

The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) – Collected Works 1, 44
Gallery of Quotes 2 

Life is a series of surprises.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) – Essays – Circles

Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many–colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) – Essays – Essay 14, Experience

Life is a boundless privilege, and when you pay for your ticket, and get into the car, you have no guess what good company you shall find there.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) – Essays and Lectures, “The Conduct of Life,” VII Considerations by the Way, 1860.

Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) – Journals 11 November 1842

For everything you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you have gain, you lose something
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) – Compensation

Life wastes itself whilst we are preparing to live.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) – Prudence

A ship should not ride on a single anchor, nor life on a single hope.
Epictetus (50-120) – Fragment xvi.

No thing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.
Epictetus (50-120) – Discources, Book I, Ch 15.

It is difficulties that show what men are.
Epictetus (50-120) – Discources, Book I, Ch 24.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out just how far one can go.
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) – Preface to Harry Crosby, Transit of Venus, 1931, p. ix

All men and women are born, live, suffer and die; what distinguishes us one from another is our dreams, whether they be dreams about worldly or unworldly things, and what we do to make them come about… We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose our historical epoch, the country of our birth, or the immediate circumstances of our upbringing. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and conditions of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live.
Joseph Epstein (1937 – ) – Quoted in Wisdom for the Soul, ed Larry Chang, 2006, 124.

Yesterday is ashes; tomorrow wood. Only today does the fire burn brightly.
Eskimo proverb

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.
William Faulkner (1897-1962) – Paris Review interview (1958)

Greet each day with your eyes open to beauty, your mind open to change, and your heart open to love.
Paula Finn – Quoted in Thinking Outside the Church: 100 Ways to Connect With Your Spiritual Nature, Jennifer Lee Selig PhD, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, MO, 2004, p. 141

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world.
Anne Frank (1929-1944) – The Diary of Anne Frank, 12 June 1942-1 August 1944

I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop and express all that’s inside me!
Anne Frank (1929-1944) – The Diary of Anne Frank, 12 June 1942-1 August 1944

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.
Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) – Man’s Search for Meaning (1946)

What is to give light must endure burning.
Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) – Man’s Search for Meaning (1946)

Live as if you were living a second time, and as though you had acted wrongly the first time.
Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) – Man’s Search for Meaning (1946)

What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost, but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.
Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) – Man’s Search for Meaning (1946)

Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.
Eric Fromm (1900-1980) – Man for Himself (1947), Ch. 3 “Human Nature and Character.”

The duty to be alive is the same as the duty to become oneself, to develop into the individual one potentially is.
Eric Fromm (1900-1980) – Man for Himself (1947).

In three words, I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.
Robert Frost – Sunday newspaper supplement “This Week Magazine”, September 1954, Quoted by journalist Ray Josephs, from an interview during Robert Frost’s eightieth birthday celebration.

He that will not sail until all dangers are over must never put to sea.
Thomas Fuller (1731-1800) – quoted in English Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases, University of Michigan Press, 1907, but not attributed to anyone. Later sources attribute to Fuller.

To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand.
Jose Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955) – Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006

Life is fired at us point blank.
Jose Ortega Y Gasset (1883-1955) – Man and People [El hombre y la gente] (1957), p. 41, translated by Willard R. Trask.

There is more to life than increasing its speed.
Mahatma Gandhi (1876-1958) – quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006

My life is my message.
Mahatma Gandhi (1876-1958) – Mahatma:Life of Gandhi 1869-1948 (1968) Reel 13.

Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) – A Handful of Sand on the Shore, as quoted in Alterquest: the Alternative Quest for Answers (2006) by Karen Fiala, p. 127

On ne découvre pas de terre nouvelle sans consentir à perdre de vue, d’abord et longtemps, tout rivage.
One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight, for a very long time, of the shore.
André Gide (1869-1951) – Si le grain ne meurt (Autobiography) Collection Folio. Paris: Gallimard, 1972.
Gallery of Quotes 2 

There are many things that seem impossible only so long as one does not attempt them.
André Gide (1869-1951) – Si le grain ne meurt [If It Die] (1924), ch. III

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves — in finding themselves.
André Gide (1869-1951) – Journals: 1914-1927, tr. Justin O’Brien, First Illinois Paperback, 2000, Journal 1924, 26 October, p. 355.

I am not afraid of death. It’s the stake one puts up in order to play the game of life.
Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944) – Amphitryon 38, 1929

We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) – Quoted in The Westminster Collection of Christian Quotations, By Martin H. Manser, 2001.

One lives but once in the world.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) – Clavigo, Act I, sc 1, 1774

A talent is formed in stillness, a character in the world’s torrent.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) – Torquato Tasso, Act 1, sc i, 1790.

Es irrt der Mensch, so lang er strebt.
Man errs as long as he strives.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) – Faust, Part 1, 1808.

One never goes so far as when one doesn’t know where one is going.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) – Letter to Carl Friedrich Zelter, Dec. 3, 1812

I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909) – Statement published in A Year of Beautiful Thoughts‎ (1902) by Jeanie Ashley Bates Greenough, p. 172, Third statement for June 11. Often misattributed to Helen Keller in print and on the web.

Vision is not enough — it must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the stairs, we must step up the stairs.
Vaclav Havel (1936- ) – Quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006 by Larry Chang , p. 85

The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and endure much.
William Hazlitt (1778-1830) – “Common Places,” No. 1, The Literary Examiner (September – December 1823), reprinted in The Collected Works of William Hazlitt (1902-1904)

You know more of a road by having traveled it than by all the conjectures and descriptions in the world.
William Hazlitt (1778-1830) -Essay: “On the Conduct of Life,” 1822, in Selected Essay, ed Geoffrey Keynes, London: Nonsuch Press, 1930.

Life has value only when it has something valuable as its object.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) – Introduction to Philosophy of History, Introduction, 1832, tr John Sibree


This is your LIFE. Do what you love and do it often . . .
Holstee Manifesto

As we speak, cruel time is fleeing. Seize the day believing as little as possible in the morrow.
Horace (65-BC – 8BC) -Odes (23BC and 13 BC), Book I, ode xi, line 8

Experience is not what happens to a man, it is what a man does with what happens to him.
Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) – Texts & Pretexts: An Anthology with Commentaries, Harper & Brothers, 1933

The great end of life is not knowledge but action.
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) – (Grandfather of Aldous)- Technical Education (1877)

For every man the world is as fresh as it was at the first day, and as full of untold novelties for him who has the eyes to see them.
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) – A Liberal Education and Where to Find It (1868)

The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
William James (1842-1910) – Quoted in Pragmatism and Other Writings, William James, Penguin Classics, 2000, Summary

It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all.
William James (1842-1910) – Pragmatism and Other Writings, James, Penguin Classics, 2000

Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you
to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it.
Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled
to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps
realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.
Mark Jenkins – web site markjenkins.net – Quote taken from previous rendition of the website.

It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.
Samuel Johnson Life of Samuel Johnson (1791) Vol II, October 26, 1769, p. 174

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Steve Jobs (1955-2011) – Stanford University commencement address (12 June 2005)

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Steve Jobs (1955-2011) – Stanford University commencement address (12 June 2005)

Good impulses are naught, unless they become good actions.
Joseph Joubert  (1754-1824) – Some of the ‘Thoughts’ of Joseph Joubert (1867), published by William V. Spencer (Boston), translated by George H. Calvert, Chapter V (Of the Passions and the Affections of the Soul), p. 68

A man of genius makes no mistakes. His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.
James Joyce – Ulysses (1922), Ch. 9: Scylla and Charybdis

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) – Let Us Have Faith (1940)

Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and
behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) – Let Us Have Faith (1940)

The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but no vision.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) – Quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006 by Larry Chang , p. 737

Once i knew only darkness and stillness…my life was without past or future…but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) – The World I Live In and Optimism: A Collection of Essays, The Century Co., NY, 1910, p.88

One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) – Address to the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf at Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (8 July 1896).

I who am blind can give one hint to those who see—one admonition to those who would make full use of the gift of sight: Use your eyes as if tomorrow you would be stricken blind. And the same method can be applied to the other senses. Hear the music of voices, the song of a bird, the mighty strains of an orchestra, as if you would be stricken deaf tomorrow. Touch each object you want to touch as if tomorrow your tactile sense would fail. Smell the perfume of flowers, taste with relish each morsel, as if tomorrow you could never smell and taste again. Make the most of every sense; glory in all the facets of pleasure and beauty which the world reveals to you through the several means of contact which Nature provides.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) – “Three Days to See,” January, 1933, The American Idea: The Best of the Atlantic Monthly, Conclusion.

The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were and ask “why not?.
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) – Speech delivered to the Parliament of Ireland, June 28, 1863.

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968) – quoted in Dictionary of Quotations, ed C. Robertson, Wordsworth Editions, LTD, 1998, p. 205

Love the moment.
Flowers grow out of dark moments.
Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole.
Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.
Sister Mary Corita Kent (1918-1986) – Quoted in Brilliant Thoughts, Aisha Gothey, Author House, 2005, p38

Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will be spread beyond all boundaries.
Sister Mary Corita Kent (1918-1986) – Artwork entitled Love the Moment

Rule 6: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.
Sister Mary Corita Kent (1918-1986) – 10 Rules for Students, Teachers, and Life by John Cage and Sister Corita Kent, Rule 6, http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/08/10/10-rules-for-students-and-teachers-john-cage-corita-kent/

To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self…. And to venture in the highest is precisely to be conscious of one’s self.
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) – Quoted in the Renewal Factor, Bantam Books, 1988, p 300.

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) – Both/and: Reading Kierkegaard : from Irony to Edification By Michael Strawser, Fordham University Press, 1997, p 17.

If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating, as possibility!
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) – Either/Or, Vol. I, 1959

Only those within whose own consciousness the sun rise and set, the leaves burgeon and wither, can be said to be aware of what living is.
Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970) – “March,” The Twelve Seasons, 1949

Life is very persistent and very ingenious in seizing every opportunity.
Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970) – “Basic Forms of Life, ” The Great Chain of Life, 1956, University of Iowa Press Edition 2009, p 2.

For Man, the vast marvel is to be alive. For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.
D.H. Lawrence (1885-1930) – Apocalypse and the Writings on Revelation, 1929-30,

Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) – The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, I, ed. and trans, E. McCurdy, 1906

Life well spent is long.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) – The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, I, ch 1, Preface, ed. and trans, E. McCurdy, 1906

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) -Letter to Isham Reavis on November 5, 1855.

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) – Speech of the Sub-Treasury (1839), Collected Works 1:178

I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.
Jack London (1876-1916) – The Bulletin, San Francisco, California, December 2, 1916, part 2, p. 1.

Life achieves its summit when it does to the uttermost that which it was equipped to do.
Jack London (1876-1916) – White Fang (1906)

Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.
Jack London (1876-1916) – Quoted in Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior (1991) by Dan Millman, p. 78

Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) – Kavanagh: A Tale, Philadelphia, David McKay Publisher, 1893, p.190.

In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.
Ray Manzarek (Musician and Co-Funder of the Doors) – Often attributed to William Blake and Aldous Huxley. See article here.

Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.
Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924) Founder, Success Magazine

The Universe is one great kindergarten for man. Everything that exists has brought with it its own peculiar lesson.
Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924) Founder, Success Magazine

Each day provides it’s own gifts.
Martial (Roman Poet) Epigrams (A.D. 86), 8.78 Translated by Walter C.A. Kerr
Gallery of Quotes 2

So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
Christopher McCandless (1968-1992) – Quoted in Into the Wild by John Krakauer, p 56. Christopher ended up starving to death in what many considered a rather stupid and unhappy circumstance. See the criticism section of the wiki article.

When we are alone on a starlit night, when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children, when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet, Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash–at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the “newness”, the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident, all these provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance.
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) – “The General Dance,” in Thomas Merton: Spiritual Master: The Essential Writings, ed L. Cunningham, 1992, p. 256.

I saw the angel in the marble and I carved until I set him free.
Michaelangelo (1475-1564) – Quoted in The Quotable Intellect, Adams Media, Avon, MA, 2010, p. 18

Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens. Circumstances and situations do color life but you have been given the mind to choose what the color shall be.
John Homer Miller (b. 1904) – Quoted in Wisdom From World Religions: Pathways toward Heaven on Earth, John Marks Templeton, Sheridan Books, 2002, p. 270. Also attributed to Kahlil Gibran but no source for him could be found.

Living is both my job and my art … The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them; a man may live long yet live very little.
Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) – Essais, bk. 1, ch 20, 1595.

Time is a flowing river. Happy those who allow themselves to be carried, unresisting, with the current. They float through easy days. They live, unquestioning, in the moment.
Christopher Morley (1890-1957), Where the Blue Begins, Doubelday, 1922, p81.

Dream dreams and write them aye, but live them first.
Samuel Eliot Morrison (1887-1976) – Inscribed on his gravestone.

It is a glorious privilege to live, to know, to act, to listen, to behold, to love. To look up at the blue summer sky; to see the sun sink slowly beyond the line of the horizon; to watch the worlds come twinkling into view, first one by one, and the myriads that no person can count, and lo! the universe is white with them; and you and I are here.
Marco Morrow assistant publisher of the Capper Publications mid 1930’s in Kansas was a good friend of American Writer, Sherwood Anderson. The quote was published in Elbert Hubbard’s Scrap Book, p46 in 1923.
Gallery of Quotes 2

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
William Hutchinson Murray (1913-1996) – The Scottish Himalaya Expedition (1951) – The portion in bold italics was misattributed by Murray to Goethe. It was first penned by John Astner as a “very free translation” from Goethe’s Faust. It is said that the last phrase is too far from anything Goethe wrote to be called a translation. See the following: http://german.about.com/library/blgermyth12.htmd

Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt to you represents determinism, the way you play it is free will.
Jawaharla Nehru (1889-1964) – Quoted in Treasury of Spiritual Wisdom: A Collection of 10,000 Powerful Quotations, ed Andy Zubko, 1996.

Believe me! The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) – The Gay Science: with a Prelude in Rhymes and an Appendix of Songs, tr Walter Kaufmann, Vintage Books, NY, 1974, Book Four, s 283,

You ask me why I do not write something….I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results.
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), Letter to a friend, quoted in The Life of Florence Nightingale (1913) by Edward Tyas Cook, p. 94

People living deeply have no fear of death.
Anaïs Nin (1903-1977)- The Diary Of Anais Nin, Volume Two (1934-1939)

To withhold from living is to die … the more you give of yourself to life the more life nourishes you.
Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) – The Diary Of Anais Nin, Volume 4. (1971) March 6, 1936 Fire

I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by loving.
Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) – The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol 1:190

A life without a lonely place, that is, a life without a quiet center, easily becomes destructive. When we cling to the results of our actions as our only way of self-identifiction, then we become possessive and defensive and tend to look at our fellow human beings more as enemies to be kept at a distance than as friends with whom we share the gifts of life.
Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) – “Our life in Solitude,” Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life, Ave Maria Press, IN, 1974,

Life is not a possession to be defended, but a gift to be shared.
Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) – “Our Life in Solitude,” Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life, Ave Maria Press, IN, 1974,

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was a bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it’s over I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
Mary Oliver (1935 -2019 ) – “When Death Comes,”  Library of Congress

One cannot run from a challenge without losing. To flee is signing a death warrant to dignity and character, and, having run, there is no return; one is a weakling forever. Meeting a challenge, though one may be defeated, gives strength, character, and a certain assurance that regardless of outcome, one will survive or go down fighting.
Sigurd F. Olson (1899-1982) – Reflections from the North Country, Knopf, NY, NY, 1976

Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) – Spoken in 1976, Quoted in Joan Didon: The White Album, 1976

When you walk to the edge of all the light you have
And you take the first step into the darkness of the unknown
You must believe that one of two things will happen
There will be something solid for you to stand upon
or you will be taught to fly.
Patrick Overton – The “Faith” poem
Gallery of Quotes 2

Fortune and love befriend the bold.
Ovid (43BC – 17AD) – Ars Amatoria I, 608

Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.
Ovid (43BC – 17AD) – in Risk

Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.
Tom Peters (1942- ) – The Best Corporate Strategy? None, Of Course. Chicago Tribune July 11, 1994

We have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
Thomas Paine (1707-1839) – The American Crisis – The Crisis No. I

Between us, and Hell or Heaven, there is only life between the two, which is the most fragile thing in the world.
Variant: Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest thing in the world.
Entre nous, et l’enfer ou le ciel, il n’y a que la vie entre deux, qui est la chose du monde la plus fragile.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) – Discours sur les passions de l’amour

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) -quoted in Thoughts from Earth (2004), p. 9

In matters of observation chance favors only the prepared mind. (not literal translation) – Dan’s les champs de observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits prepares.
Louis Pasteur (1822-1895 ) – Lecture, University of Lille (7 December 1854)

A man practices the art of adventure when he heroically faces up to life. When he has the daring to open doors to new experiences. When he is unafraid of new ideas, new theories and new philosophies. When he has the curiosity to experiment. When he breaks the chain of routine.
Wilferd Perterson (1900-1995) – The Art of Living: Thoughts on Meeting the Challenge of Life (1993)

The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before.
Alan Ashley-Pitt (Aardvarque Enterprises) pseudonym used by Francis Phillip Wernig. Discussion of misattribution to Einstein here.

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.
J.B. Priestly, (1894-1984) Delight, 1949, p265

The only true voyage of discovery, . . . would be not to visit strange lands but to possess other eyes.
Marcel Proust (1871-1922) – Remembrance of Things Past, Vol 5, “The Verdurins Quarrel with M. De Charlus,” 1923

I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.
Anna Quindlen (1952 – ) Living Out Loud, Random House, 2010, p11

Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.
Anna Quindlen (1952 – ) – A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Random House, 2000

Don’t ever confuse the two, your life and your work. That’s what I have to say. The second is only part of the first.
Anna Quindlen (1952 – ) – A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Random House, 2000

I learned to love the journey, not the destination. I learned that this is not a dress rehersal, and that today is the only guarantee you get.
Anna Quindlen (1952 – ) – A Short Guide to a Happy Life, Random House, 2000

“My dear fellow, who will let you?”
“That’s not the point. The point is, who will stop me?”
Ann Rand (1905-1982) – The Fountainhead, 1943, Howard Roark comment to the dean of The Stanton Institute of Technology

Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand- and melting like a snowflake.
Marie Beyon Ray Biographical Information: http://www.thekansan.com/article/20100303/NEWS/303039962 – Quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006 by Larry Chang , p. 242

Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear.
Ambrose Redmoon – pseudonym for James Neil Hollingworth (1933-1996) – No Peaceful Warriors!” Gnosis Magazine, 1991.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) – Speech at the Hamilton Club, Chicago (10 April 1899)

It’s not having been in the Dark House, but having left it that counts.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) – Rosevelt’s Letter to Edward Arlington Robinson, quoted in Philip Johnson and Texas, ed. F. Welch, University of Texas Press, 2000, p. 18.

Believe in yourself. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face… You must do that which you think you cannot do… The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dream.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) – It Seems to Me: Selected Letters of Eleanor Roosevelt

What I have learned from my own experience is that the most important ingredients in a child’s education are curiosity, interest, imagination, and a sense of the adventure of life.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) – You Learn By Living: Eleven Keys for a more Fulfilling Life, Harper & Row, 1960, p. 4.

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) – You Learn By Living: Eleven Keys for a more Fulfilling Life, Harper & Row, 1960, p. 4.

The purpose of life is not to be happy—but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you lived at all.
Leo Rosten (1908-1997 ) – “The Sunday Star,” April 8, 1962, Text of an address by Leo Rosten at the National Book Awards in New York, “On Finding Truth: abandon the Strait Jacket of Conformity,” Washington DC.

The man who gets the most out of life is not the one who has lived it longest, but the one who has felt life most deeply.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) – Emile, or On Education (Rosseau, 1991a)
Often misquoted as: The person who has lived the most is not the one who has lived the longest, but the one with the richest experiences.

Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms, you would never see the beauty of their carvings.
Elisabeth Kubler Ross (1926-2004) – The Tunnel and the Light: Essential Insights on Living and Dying, Marlow & Co., NY,NY, 1999, p11.

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
Elisabeth Kubler Ross (1926-2004) – Death: The Final Stage, Simon & Schuster, NY, NY, 1975, p96.

It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it were the only one we had. Elisabeth Kubler Ross (1926-2004) – Parade, 1991
Gallery of Quotes 2

Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.
J.K. Rowling (1965 – ) – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2005, Scholastic, 3:110.

The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.
John Ruskin (1819-1900) – quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006 by Larry Chang , p. 758.

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-1944) – Pilote de Guerre (1942) (translated into English as Flight to Arras)

Your task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it.
Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-1944) – Citadelle (1948) (translated into English as The Wisdom of the Sands)

It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.
Antoine de Saint Exupéry (1900-1944) – Quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Milenia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, Larry Chang ed, Gnosophia, WA, 2006, p. 262

I’m an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967 ) – Incidentals (1904)

Back of every mistaken venture and defeat is the laughter of wisdom, if you listen. We go forward by failure. Every blunder behind us is giving a cheer for us and only those who are willing to fail shall taste the dangers and splendors of life. To be a good loser is to learn how to win. The real coward is he who sees no glory in failure.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967 ) – Incidentals (1904)

In the time of your life, live – so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite variety and mystery of it.
William Saroyan (1908-1981)  – “The Time of Your Life,” 1939

All things lie dark in possibility.
William Saroyan (1908-1981)  – “Baby” (1936)

This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.
Susan Polis Schutz (1944 -) – Yours if you ask, Blue Mountain Arts, 1978, p. 59.

The opportunity that God sends does not wake up him who is asleep.
Senegalese proverb
Gallery of Quotes 2

Begin at once to live, and count each day a separate life.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (5BC – 65AD) quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006 by Larry Chang , p. 710

If a man does not know to what port he is steering, no wind is favorable to him.
Ignoranti quem portum petat, nullus suus ventus est.
Seneca the Younger – Epistolae, LXXIl,3

To be always fortunate, and to pass through life with a soul that has never known sorrow, is to be ignorant of one half of nature.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, (The Younger) (4BC =- 65AD) De Procidentia, IV., 1.

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
Les pierres du chantier ne sont en vrac qu’en apparence, s’il est, perdu dans le chantier, un homme, serait-il seul, qui pense cathédrale.
Antoine De Saint-Exupery (1900-1944)  Pilote de Guerre (1942) (translated into English as Flight to Arras

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.
St. Augustine (354-430) Confessions, X 34, 397 ad

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.
William Shakespeare – Measure for Measure, (1603)

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)  Man and Superman, Epistle Dedicatory to Arthur Bingham Walkle, 1903

My life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is a privilege to do for it whatsoever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment; and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) – Address at Brighton, 1907

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)  quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006 by Larry Chang.

A life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) – The Doctor’s Dilemma: Preface on Doctors, “The Technical Problem,” Penn State, 1909

Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; and do not outlive yourself.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) – The Doctor’s Dilemma: Preface on Doctors, “The Latest Theories,” Penn State, 1909, given as advice to physicians.

People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) – Mrs. Warren’s Profession, (Vivie), Act II, 1893

You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) – Back to Methuselah, 1921, The Serpent, Pt i.

A ship in harbor is safe -but that is not what ships are built for.
John A. Shedd – Salt From My Attic, 1928

The thing about failure is that you never know how close you were to success.
Brian Simo – Race car driver, founder No Fear Gear

You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.
Zach Sobiech (1995-2013) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NjKgV65fpo

Heaven ne’er helps the men who will not act.
Sophocles: Plumptre’s Translation in Sophocles: Tragedies and Fragments volume 2, p165, fragment 288.

How much of our lives could we buy back if we cherished our lives instead of our trinkets?
Gerry Spence (1929 – ) – Give Me Liberty! Freeing Ourselves in the Twenty-First Century, St. Martin’s Griffin, NY, 1998, p. 199

To travel hopefully is better than to arrive.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) – Virginibus Puerisque, 1881

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)– Familiar Studies of Men and Books (1882)

An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding; and it is not to be found in foreign lands but in the heart itself.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) – cited to Robert Louis Stevenson in The Law of Success (1928) by Napoleon Hillp108.

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.
Edward Stieglitz M. D. (Tentative for Stieglitz, but misattributed to Lincoln, see discussion at the Quote Investigator)

Look on every exit being an entrance somewhere else.
Tom Stoppard (1937- ) – Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Grove Press, NY, 1967, p. 28.

If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.
Abraham Sutzkever –Family Circle Magazine, Aug. 9, 2005 – Misattributed to Tom Stoppard

Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time, like dew on the tip of a leaf.
Rabindranath Tagore aka Rabi Thakur (1861-1910) – The Gardener, Macmillan, 1915, p. 45

I am a part of all that I have met.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) – Excerpt of the poem Ulysses

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) – Journal, August 5, 1851

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. It is not important that he should mature as soon as an apple-tree or oak. Shall he turn his spring into summer? If the condition of things which we were made for is not yet, what were any reality which we can substitute? We will not be shipwrecked on a vain reality.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) –Walden – Conclusion, paragraph 10.

If you have built your castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) – Walden, Conclusion, paragraph 5.

If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) – Walden – Conclusion, paragraph 5.

If a man believes and expects great things of himself, it makes no odds where you put him, or what you show him . . he will be surrounded by grandeur.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) – Letter to Harrison Blake, May 20, 1860, published in Familiar Letters, 1865

However mean your life is, meet it and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) Walden – Conclusion, Paragraph 13.

The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.
Frequently paraphrased as: The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) – Economy, Part II

The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.
Thucydides -History of the Peloponnesian War, Book II, , 2.40-[3]

Life is not an easy matter…You cannot live through it without falling into frustration and cynicism unless you have before you a great idea which raises you above personal misery, above weakness, above all kinds of perfidy and baseness.
Leon TrotskyDiary In Exile, Entry for April 3, 1935

The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few is to be found in their perseverance under the promptings of a brave, determined spirit.
Mark Twain (1835-1910) – Mark Twain, a Biography

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.
Mark Twain (1835-1910) – The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson, American Publishing Co, Hartford, 1900, Chapter 6.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Misattributed to Mark Twain – The quote cannot be verified – www.twainquotes.com – Quote Investigator states that the writer H. Jackson Brown Jr. published it and attributed it to his mother.

You can’t depend on your judgment when your imagination is out of focus.
Mark Twain (1835-1910) – Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1935, p344.

Life is a promise. Fulfill it.
Unknown – Falsely attributed to Mother Teresa, See: http://www.motherteresa.org/08_info/Quotesf.html

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.
Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) – Dear Theo: An Autobiography of Vincent Van Gogh, 1937.

This span of life was lent for lofty duties, not for selfishness; not to be wiled away for aimless dreams, but to improve ourselves and serve mankind.
Aubrey de Vere (1814-1902) – “Time Misspent,” From “A Song of Faith, Devout Exercises, and Sonnets, by Sir Aubrey de Vere, Bart., 1842

The primary benefit of practicing any art, whether well or badly, is that it enables one’s soul to grow.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Despite Tough Guys, Life Is Not the Only School for Real Novelists, NYT, May 24, 1999.

The adventure of life is to learn, The purpose of life is to grow,
The nature of life is to change,
the challenge of life is to oversome, The essence of life is to care,
The opportunity of life is to serve.
William Arthur Ward (1921-1994) – Quoted in Dawn of a New Discovery: Poems of Life, Wonder, Conflict, and Far Away Places, John Scott, Unique Art & Gifts, 2009, p. 223

At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.
Denzel Washington (1954 – ) – A hand to Guide Me, Denzel Washington, Meredith Books, 2006, p. 23.

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892 ) – Leaves of Grass, Preface, 1855

Make voyages! – Attempt them! – there’s nothing else…
Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) – Camino Real, University of the South, 1953, p.162

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson – from A Return to Love

When coyotes howl outside your tent, that may be adventure. While you’re sweating like a horse in a climb over a 12,000 foot pass, that’s adventure. When howling headwinds press your lips against your teeth, you face a mighty adventure. While trudging through a raging rainstorm, adventure drenches you. But that’s not what makes adventure. It is your willingness to struggle through it, to present yourself at the doorstep of Nature. Can any greater joy come from life than living inside the ‘moment’ of an adventure? It may be a fleeting ‘high’, a stranger that changes your life, an animal that delights you or frightens you, a struggle where you triumphed, or even failed, yet you braved the challenge. Those moments present you uncommon experiences that give your life eternal expectation. That’s adventure.
Frosty Woodbridge (1947 – ) – How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World, Author House, 2011

Learn as if you were to live forever; live as if you were to die tomorrow.
John Wooden (1910-2010) – They call me coach, John Wooden, 1988

You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
John Wooden (1910-2010) – They call me coach, John Wooden, 1988

The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.
Emile Zola (1840-1902) – quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006 by Larry Chang , p. 55

Scroll to Top