Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.
—Tony Robbins (b.1960) American Self-Help Author, Entrepreneur
Life is a frail moth flying
Caught in the web of the years that pass.
—Sara Teasdale (1884–1933) American Poet
O to have my life henceforth a poem of new joys!
To dance, clap hands, exult, shout, skip, leap, roll on, float on,
To be a sailor of the world, bound for all ports,
A ship itself, (see indeed these sails I spread to the sun and air,)
A swift and swelling ship, full of rich words—full of joys.
—Walt Whitman (1819–92) American Poet, Essayist, Journalist, American, Poet, Essayist, Journalist
A man walks through life painting a portrait, not of what he would have done, could have done, or should have done, but of what he did.
If standard of living is your major objective, quality of life almost never improves, but if quality of life is your number one objective, your standard of living almost always improves.
—Zig Ziglar (1926–2012) American Author
Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.
—Jim Rohn (1930–2009) American Entrepreneur, Author, Motivational Speaker
Life is too short to be little. You must enlarge your imagination and then act on it.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
In the morning of life, work; in the mid day give council; in the evening, pray.
Be glad of life because it gives you to chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.
—Henry van Dyke Jr. (1852–1933) American Author, Educator, Clergyman
If you care about something, you have to protect it—if you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.
—John Irving (b.1942) American Novelist, Short-story Writer
Never forget that life can only be nobly inspired and rightly lived if you take it bravely and gallantly, as a splendid adventure in which you are setting out into an unknown country, to face many a danger, to meet many a joy, to find many a comrade, to win and lose many a battle.
—Annie Besant (1847–1933) British-born Indian Theosophist, Civil Rights Advocate, Writer, Orator
Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences, all events are blessings given to us to learn from.
—Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004) American Psychiatrist
To live is so startling, it leaves but little room for other occupations.
—Emily Dickinson (1830–86) American Poet
Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort.
—Humphry Davy (1778–1829) British Chemist, Inventor
This miserable state is borne by the wretched souls of those who lived without disgrace and without praise.
—Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) Italian Poet, Philosopher
Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.
—Hans Christian Andersen (1805–75) Danish Author, Poet, Short Story Writer
How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?
—Logan Pearsall Smith (1865–1946) American-British Essayist, Bibliophile
The art of life is to live in the present moment, and to make that moment as perfect as we can by the realization that we are the instruments and expression of God Himself.
—Emmet Fox (1886–1951) Irish-American New Thought Leader
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
—Robert Fulghum (b.1937) American Unitarian Universalist Author, Essayist, Clergyman
A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900–44) French Novelist, Aviator
The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less.
—Vaclav Havel (1936–2011) Czech Dramatist, Statesman
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
—Plato (428 BCE–347 BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Mathematician, Educator
It is normal to give away a little of one’s life in order not to lose it all.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them … work, family, health, friends and spirit, and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls … family, health, friends and spirit … are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same.
There are in life as many aspects as attitudes towards it; and aspects change with attitudes… Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. Life would undergo a change of appearance because we ourselves had undergone a change in attitude.
—Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) New Zealand-born British Author
It is difficult to live in the present, ridiculous to live in the future, and impossible to live in the past. Nothing is as far away as one minute ago.
—Jim Bishop (1907–87) American Journalist, Author
We would like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it.
—John F. Kennedy (1917–63) American Head of State, Journalist
Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.
—Wayne Dyer (b.1940) American Motivational Writer, Author, Motivational Speaker
Gently remind yourself that life is okay the way it6 is, right now. In the absence of your judgment, everything would be fine. As you begin to eliminate your need for perfection in all areas of your life, you’ll begin to discover the perfection in life itself.
—Richard Carlson (1912–77) American Actor, TV Personality, Film Director, Screenwriter
While there’s life, there’s hope.
Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament.
—George Santayana (1863–1952) Spanish-American Poet, Philosopher
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
You can get all A’s and flunk life.
—Walker Percy (1916–90) American Novelist
Life’s splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come.
—Franz Kafka (1883–1924) Austrian Novelist, Short Story Writer
Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.
—Bernice Johnson Reagon (1942–73) American Singer, Composer, Scholar, Social Activist
Four Lessons on Life 1. Never take down a fence until you know why it was put up. 2. If you get too far ahead of the army, your soldiers may mistake you for the enemy. 3. Don’t complain about the bottom rungs of the ladder; they helped to get you higher. 4. If you want to enjoy the rainbow, be prepared to endure the storm.
—Warren W. Wiersbe (1929–2019) American Pastor, Biblical Scholar
Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.
—M. Scott Peck (1936–2005) American Psychiatrist, Author
Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend…when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience Heaven on earth.
—Sarah Ban Breathnach (b.1947) American Self-help Author
Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks for the river.
—William C. Durant (1861–1947) American Industrialist
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
—Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948) Indian Hindu Political leader
Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.
—Norman Cousins (1915–90) American Journalist, Author, Academic, Activist
They that have lived a single day have lived an age.
—Jean de La Bruyere (1645–96) French Satiric Moralist, Author
Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.
—Laozi (fl.6th Century BCE) Chinese Philosopher, Sage
Man – despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication, and his many accomplishments – owes his existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.
Living well and beautifully and justly are all one thing.
—Socrates (469BCE–399BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher
I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.
—Diane Ackerman (b.1948) American Poet, Essayist, Naturalist
The best things in life are never rationed. Friendship, loyalty, love, do not require coupons.
—Captain George T. Hewitt
Before I knew the best part of my life had come, it had gone.
—Ashleigh Brilliant (b.1933) British Cartoonist, Author
Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.
—Charles Caleb Colton (c.1780–1832) English Clergyman, Aphorist