Experience isn’t interesting until it begins to repeat itself—in fact, till it does that, it hardly is experience.
—Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973) Irish Novelist, Short-story Writer
We know nothing of what will happen in future, but by the analogy of experience.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
Experience has taught us that men will not adopt and carry into execution measures the best calculated for their own good without the intervention of a coercive power
—George Washington (1732–99) American Head of State, Military Leader
My experience is that the teachers we need most are the people we’re living with right now.
—Byron Katie (b.1942) American Speaker, Author
The best way to suppose what may come is to remember what is past.
—George Savile, 1st Marquess of Halifax (1633–95) British Statesman, Writer, Politician
It takes half your life before you discover life is a do-it-yourself project.
—Napoleon Hill (1883–1970) American Author, Journalist, Attorney, Lecturer
Experience is a school where a man learns what a big fool he has been.
—Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818–85) American Humorist, Author, Lecturer
The one who thinks over his experiences most, and weaves them into systematic relations with each other, will be the one with the best memory.
—William James (1842–1910) American Philosopher, Psychologist, Physician
The spectacles of experience; through them you will see clearly a second time.
—Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906) Norwegian Playwright
When I was young I was sure of everything; in a few years, having been mistaken a thousand times, I was not half so sure of most things as I was before; at present, I am hardly sure of anything but what God has revealed.
—John Wesley (1703–91) British Methodist Religious Leader, Preacher, Theologian
We have two lives – the one we learn with and the life we live after that.
—Bernard Malamud (1914–86) American Novelist, Short-Story Writer
Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purpose is beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.
—Louis Brandeis (1856–1941) American Jurist
Ask the experienced rather than the learned.
Nothing ever becomes real till it is experienced—even a proverb is no proverb to you till your life has illustrated it.
—John Keats (1795–1821) English Poet
A careful inventory of all your past experiences may disclose the startling fact that everything has happened for the best.
Experience. The wisdom that enables us to recognize in an undesirable old acquaintance the folly that we have already embraced.
—Ambrose Bierce (1842–1913) American Short-story Writer, Journalist
Experience teaches only the teachable.
—Aldous Huxley (1894–1963) English Humanist, Pacifist, Essayist, Short Story Writer, Satirist
At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Men are wise in proportion, not to their experience, but to their capacity for experience.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Everybody experiences far more than he understands. Yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behavior.
—Marshall Mcluhan (1911–80) Canadian Writer, Thinker, Educator
Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn’t often, on their own, the hard way.
—Robert A. Heinlein (1907–88) American Science Fiction Writer
The years teach much that the days never know.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we’d all be millionaires.
—Pauline Phillips (Abigail van Buren) (b.1918) American Columnist
Proverbs are short sentences drawn from long experience.
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) Spanish Novelist
Spirit is the sword and experience the sharpening stone.
A strong and secure man digests his experiences (deeds and misdeeds alike) just as he digests his meat, even when he has some bits to swallow.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
It is the experience of living that is important, not searching for meaning. We bring meaning by how we love the world.
—Bernie S. Siegel (b.1932) American Physician, Writer
Experience is a safe light to walk by, and he is not a rash man who expects success in the future by the same means which secured it in the past.
—Wendell Phillips (1811–84) American Abolitionist, Lawyer, Orator
One is taught by experience to put a premium on those few people who can appreciate you for what you are.
—Gail Godwin (b.1937) American Novelist, Short Story Writer
One thing about the school of experience is that it will repeat the lesson if you flunk the first time.