101 of My Favorite Quotes

The right quote at the right time can have a significant impact on one's life. For me, many of these quotes caused me to see my situation in a new light, raised my ambitions, and sprung me into action.

The right quote at the right time can have a significant impact on one's life. For me, many of these quotes caused me to see my situation in a new light, raised my ambitions, and sprung me into action.

This list is what I've saved over the past 10 years and will now serve as my public storage space for my favorite quotes, so it will probably exceed 101.

I hope you find them as helpful as I have.

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"It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law.” - Cecil B. DeMille

"Knowing how to transform failure into success is more important than knowing how to succeed." – Sir Ernest Hall

“There have been so many times I have seen a man wanting to weep but instead beat his heart until it was unconscious.”— Nayyirah Waheed

“If you do not change direction, you might end up where you are heading.” - Lao Tzu

“Ten years from now you will surely arrive. The question is where?" -Jim Rohn

“Do not 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 coarse 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

"Avoid compulsively making things worse" - fortune cookie

"People fall so in love with their pain, they can’t leave it behind. The same as the stories they tell. We trap ourselves.” - Chuck Palahniuk

“God will not have his work made manifest by cowards” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The problem is not to find the answer, it’s to face the answer." -  Terence McKenna

"Inability to face personal responsibility is often hidden in seemingly innocent pastimes. Golf, poker, television, sleep. These diversions spawn intense feelings of guilt and worthlessness and some victims ultimately isolate themselves and become despondent. A few commit suicide. I had ample opportunity to damn society and curse my fate. But what good would that have done? To be sure, the Vietnamese would not have released me simply because I felt sorry for myself. - Captain Charlie Plumb, Vietnam Prisoner of War

“Do you take pride in your hurt? Does it make you seem large and tragic? ...Well, think about it. Maybe you're playing a part on a great stage with only yourself as audience.” - John Steinbeck

"No one will ever complain because you have made something too easy to understand.” - Unknown

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“When you’re good at something, you’ll tell everyone. When you’re great at something, they’ll tell you.” - Walter Payton

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” - F.M. Alexander

“If you don’t have time to do it right, what makes you think you’ll have time to do it over?” - Seth Godin

“Leap, and the net will appear.” - John Burroughs

“Tiger, one day you will come to a fork in the road and you’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go. He raised his hand and pointed. “If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments.” Then Boyd raised his other hand and pointed in another direction. “Or you can go that way and you can do something- something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference. To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?” ― John Boyd

“The true rule, in determining to embrace or reject anything, is not whether it have any evil in it, but whether it have more of evil than of good.” - Abraham Lincoln

“I was gradually learning that life was not as fragile as that voice in my head would have me believe. There were experiences to be had, but only if you were willing to have them.” - Michael A. Singer

“We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” - Carlos Cataneda

“Until we have begun to go without them, we fail to realize how unnecessary many things are. We’ve been using them not because we needed them but because we had them.” - Seneca

“It’s going to take all the non-cognitive skills to be great.” - David Goggins

"The purpose of life, as far as I can tell, is to find a mode of being that’s so meaningful that the fact that life is suffering is no longer relevant.” - Jordan Peterson

“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us.” - Steven Pressfield

“Should you be overcome, you slob, should you live in your own fat blood senseless, unconscious of nature whose gift you have betrayed, the world will soon take back what the world unsuccessfully sent forth.” - Ellen Pifer

“One thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” - Albert Schweitzer

“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent, everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction, however, and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart. If you wish to see the truth then hold no opinion for or against.” - Sengstan

“Living doesn’t cost much, but showing off does.” - Jeffrey D. Sachs

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt

“The difference between real material poison and intellectual poison is that most material poison is disgusting to the taste, but intellectual poison, which takes the form of cheap newspapers or bad books, can unfortunately sometimes be attractive.” - Leo Tolstoy

“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” - Desmond Tutu

“The within is ceaselessly becoming the without.” - James Allen

“Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It’s having the right attitude that’s hard.” - Robert Pirsig

“Will you be a cynic? Or will you be a builder?” - Jeff Bezos

“If you do not change direction, you might end up where you are heading.” - Lao Tzu

“Civilize the mind, but make savage the body.” - Ancient Chinese Proverb

“If you don’t actively choose problems that help you lead an interesting life, you’ll invent problems that prevent you from living an interesting life.” - David Kadavy

“Fear defeats people more than anything in the world.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Example is not the main thing influencing others, it is the only thing.” - Albert Schweitzer

“The distinction between being a fool and developing yourself is not as clear as people would like to imagine.” - Jordan Peterson

“All fortune is good fortune; for it either rewards, disciplines, amends, or punishes, and so is either useful or just.” - Boethius

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to always be in no-man's land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.” - Pema Chondron

“If failure is not an option, then neither is success.” - Seth Godin

“The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.” - Seth Godin

“How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don’t want?” - Jerry Colonna

“To be straight on the path, to fear disgrace but not death, to fear not duty but dereliction of duty—this is courage. The truly courageous do not live in anxiety from morning to night. They are calm because they know who they are, what their profession is, and its duties. In that knowledge, they do their duty with equanimity.” - John Siber

"Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or as heroes. Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.” - Henry Miller

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the short.” - André Gide

“Remember, no more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty.” - Napoleon Hill

"Even the habit of excessive indulgence in music, for those who are neither performers themselves nor musically gifted enough to take it in a purely intellectual way, has probably a relaxing effect upon the character. One becomes filled with emotions which habitually pass without prompting to any deed, and so the inertly sentimental condition is kept up. The remedy would be, never to suffer one’s self to have an emotion at a concert, without expressing it afterward in some active way.” - William James

“No one ever died saying, ‘I’m so glad for the self-serving, self-centered, self-protective life I lived.” - Parker Palmer

“Humans use their freedom to find their own slavery.” - Paulo Coelho

“You were born naked and the rest is drag.” - Rupaul

“I believe no man was every scolded out of his sins.” - William Cowper

“If you hesitate to map out your future, to make a big plan or to set a goal, you’ve just gone ahead and mapped your future anyway.” - Seth Godin

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” - Theodore Roosevelt

“He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch.” - Jean-Luc Godard

“Joy is the matriarch of a family of emotions. She won't come in your house if her children are not welcome.” - Joe Hudson

"You need to decide at some point in your life whether you're more in love with what you know or what you don't know." - Jordan Peterson

"We can often live for years with the chronic pain of our lack of vision, leadership, or management in our personal lives." - Stephen Covey

“Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.” - Parker J. Palmer

"If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin.” - Søren Kierkegaard

"The greatest hazard of all, losing one’s self, can occur very quietly in the world, as if it were nothing at all. No other loss can occur so quietly; any other loss - an arm, a let, five dollars, a wife, ect. - is sure to be noticed." - Søren Kierkegaard

"The fool is the precursor to the savior” - Carl Jung

“Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.” - Thomas à Kempis

“All men desire peace, but very few desire those things that make for peace.” - Thomas à Kempis

“Tell me what you pay attention to and I will tell you who you are.” - José Ortega y Gasset

"The best way to keep a prisoner from escaping is to make sure he never knows he’s in prison.” - Fyoder Dostoyevky

“The disease of philosophy. - Philosophy is itself the disease for which it pretends to be the cure: the wise man does not pursue wisdom but lives his life, and therein precisely does his wisdom lie.” - Bruce Lee

“To know, but to be as though not knowing, is the height of wisdom.” - Bruce Lee

“Incremental improvement repeated is virtually unstoppable” - Jordan Peterson

"There's something I know about you that you may or may not know about yourself. You have within you more resources of energy than have ever been tapped, more talent than has ever been exploited, more strength than has ever been tested, more to give than you have ever given.” - John W. Gardner

"Conflict delayed is conflict multiplied" - Jordan Peterson

“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.” - Joseph Campbell

"Q: Who am I? A: That which remains when you remove all the things that you are not. Q: What things am I not? A: All that you believe yourself to be." - Kapil Gupta

"The problem that you are experiencing is not that you do not know how to be unattached. The problem is that you do not realize the consequences of attachment." - Kapil Gupta

"Nothing in the world is practical unless it is first Non-negotiable." - Kapil Gupta

"S: You are saying that man is doomed? M: From the standpoint of his birthright, he is not. From the standpoint of what is possible for him, he is not. But from the standpoint of the likelihood and practicality of his turning against all the noise of the world and seek a way out of his mind, yes he is almost certainly doomed." - Kapil Gupta

"Man cannot be free until he realizes how deeply he is bound." - Kapil Gupta

"The Ego is not that which says that you are great. It is that which says that you Exist at all!” - Kapil Gupta

"Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence.” - Thomas Szasz

“If you feel that you are not free, look for the reason inside you.” - Leo Tolstoy

“Even if it’s not your ideal life, you can always choose it. No matter what your life is, choosing it changes everything.” - Andre Agassi

“This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them. To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right and to realize of a sudden that in your heart, life has accomplished its final miracle: it has become a fairy tale.” - Zorba The Greek

"The things you learn in maturity aren't simple things such as acquiring information and skills. You learn not to engage in self-destructive behavior. You leant not to burn up energy in anxiety. You discover how to manage your tensions, if you have any, which you do. You learn that self-pity and resentment are among the most toxic of drugs. You find that the world loves talent, but pays off on character.” - John Gardner

"There are some things you can't learn from others. You have to pass through the fire.’” - Norman Douglas

“What makes life worth living? No child asks itself that question. To children, life is self-evident. Life goes without saying: whether it is good or bad makes no difference. This is because children don’t see the world, don’t observe the world, don’t contemplate the world, but are so deeply immersed in the world that they don’t distinguish between it and their own selves. Not until … a distance appears between what they are and what the world is, does the question arise: what makes life worth living?” - Karl Ove Knausgård

Do you want to try to stay on top of things, or do you want to try to get to the bottom of things? - Tim Ferriss

"When making a decision of minor importance, I have always found it advantageous to consider all the pros and cons. In vital matters, however . . . the decision should come from the unconscious, from somewhere within." - Sigmund Freud

“In this age, which believes that there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest.” - Henry Miller

"On what principle is it, that when we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us? - Thomas Macaulay

"Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have dies in other people’s." - Anais Nin

"If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes only sooner." -

"Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it." - Maya Angelou

“Inaction will cause a man to sink into the slough of despond and vanish without a trace.” - Farley Mowat

"Be visible no matter what the risk." - Jim Carrey


"I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse."  - Florence Nightingale

"I discovered very early on that if you wanted a thing, you went for it — and you got it. Most people never go anywhere, or want anything — so they never get anything." - Ray Bradbury

"You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be, and one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab or shoot or bomb your house. So you refuse to take a stand. Well, you may go on and live until you are ninety, but you are just as dead at 38 as you would be at ninety. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit. You died when you refused to stand up for right. You died when you refused to stand up for truth. You died when you refused to stand up for justice.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential — as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.

You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.

To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.” - Bill Watterson

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