What a pleasure life would be to live if everybody would try to do only half of what he expects others to do.
—William J. H. Boetcker (1873–1962) American Presbyterian Minister
We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
I have done what I could do in life, and if I could not do better, I did not deserve it. In vain have I tried to step beyond what bound me. Despite my years, I am still trying.
—Maurice Maeterlinck (1862–1949) Belgian Poet, Playwright, Essayist
The chief duty I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
We set up harsh and unkind rules against ourselves. No one is born without faults. That man is best who has fewest.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
—Alexander Pope (1688–1744) English Poet
When you have an ass for a friend, expect nothing but kicks.
It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, that the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones.
—Niccolo Machiavelli (1469–1527) Florentine Political Philosopher
We tend to get what we expect.
—Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993) American Clergyman, Self-Help Author
I hope to work, support my children and die quietly without pain.
—Sean Connery (1930–2020) Scottish Actor, Film Producer
At thirty a man should know himself like the palm of his hand, know the exact number of his defects and qualities … And above all, accept these things.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
Learn to … be what you are, and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not.
—Henri Frederic Amiel (1821–81) Swiss Moral Philosopher, Poet, Critic
Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them—every day begin the task anew.
—Francis de Sales (1567–1622) French Catholic Saint
Shall a man go and hang himself because he belongs to the race of pygmies, and not be the biggest pygmy that he can?
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
Life is so constructed that an event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.
—Charlotte Bronte (1816–1855) English Novelist, Poet
From a broken violin do not expect fine music.
The element of the unexpected and the unforeseeable is what gives some of its relish to life and saves us from falling into the mechanical thralldom of the logicians.
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965) British Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Journalist, Author
It is only fools who keep straining at high C all their lives.
—Charles Dudley Warner (1829–1900) American Essayist, Novelist
To do all that one is able to do is to be a man; to do all that one would like to do is to be a god.
—Napoleon I (1769–1821) Emperor of France
Growth begins when we start to accept our own weakness.
—Jean Vanier (1928–2019) French-Canadian Philosopher, Theologian, Humanitarian
We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
That is a good book which is opened with expectation, and closed with delight and profit.
—Amos Bronson Alcott (1799–1888) American Teacher, Writer, Philosopher
Don’t expect. Inspect.
We expect more of ourselves than we have any right to, in virtue of our endowments
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809–94) American Physician, Essayist
He who inherits a penny is expected to spend a dollar.
Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing, through the overtaking and possessing of a wish discovers the folly of the chase.
—William Congreve (1670–1729) English Playwright, Poet
Presumption is our natural and original malady. When I play with my cat, who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
We will always tend to fulfill our own expectation of ourselves.
—Brian Tracy (b.1944) American Author, Motivational Speaker
May God … let me strive for attainable things.
—Pindar (c.518–c.438 BCE) Greek Lyric Poet
The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet