I don’t know about you, but I love reading quotations. I recognize that often times quotes can become over-used and platitudinous, but that’s why I’m constantly looking for fresh ones.
A great quotation, for me, can be a bite-size chunk of wisdom, the breeze of an unknown wind, a glimpse into a mind of genius, or an idea-seed that will prompt me to grow and re-invent myself and my view of the world.
Sometimes, reading quotations becomes almost therapeutic for me. I can lose myself in them — each one a miniature story — and alleviate the worries and stress that tend to accumulate in my mind.
And that’s why I want to share a few quotations with you. Here are 35 quotes that really speak to me in one way or another. Maybe they’ll speak to you as well.
“Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee
And I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me.”
― Robert Frost
“This is the real secret of life ― to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
― Alan Wilson Watts
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
― T.S. Eliot
“There is no passion to be found playing small ― in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
― Nelson Mandela
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself; I am large ― I contain multitudes.”
― Walt Whitman
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
― Oscar Wilde
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”
― Terence McKenna
“Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.”
― Gertrude Stein
“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.”
― Albert Einstein
“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.”
― Sigmund Freud
“Man is born to live, not to prepare for life.”
― Boris Pasternak
“I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.”
― John Steinbeck
“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence – whether much that is glorious – whether all that is profound – does not spring from disease of thought – from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.”
― Edgar Allan Poe
“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.”
― Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha
“Before you talk, listen.
Before you react, think.
Before you spend, earn.
Before you criticize, wait.
Before you pray, forgive.
Before you quit, try.”
― Ernest Hemingway
“Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.”
― Allen Ginsberg
“Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don’t know how to laugh either.”
― Golda Meir
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
― Carl Sagan
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― Shel Silverstein
― Emily Dickinson
― Pablo Picasso
― Groucho Marx
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning
― Ezra Pound
― Salvador Dalí
― Zora Neale Hurston
― Mark Twain
― C.G. Jung
― Charles Baudelaire
― Friedrich Nietzsche
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”
― E.E. Cummings
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
If you truly want to open your mind, check out 30 Challenges to Enlightenment, a course I helped create.