The word “now” is like a bomb thrown through the window, and it ticks.
—Arthur Miller (1915–2005) American Playwright, Essayist
I think I don’t regret a single ‘excess’ of my responsive youth – I only regret, in my chilled age, certain occasions and possibilities I didn’t embrace.
—Henry James (1843–1916) American-born British Novelist, Writer
When one has a great deal to put into it a day has a hundred pockets.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
Our repugnance to death increases in proportion to our consciousness of having lived in vain.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.
All the windows of my heart I open to the day.
—John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–92) American Quaker Poet, Abolitionist
Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out. That is what it is for. Spend all you have before you die; do not outlive yourself.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night or waiting perhaps for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting.
—Theodor Seuss Geisel (‘Dr. Seuss’) (1904–91) American Children’s Books Writer, Writer, Cartoonist, Animator
Now is the time to get drunk! To stop being the martyred slaves of time, to get absolutely drunk—on wine, poetry, or on virtue, as you please.
—Charles Baudelaire (1821–67) French Poet, Art Critic, Essayist, Translator
When your life flashes before your eyes, make sure you’ve got plenty to watch.
We do not do what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are – that is the fact.
—Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–80) French Philosopher, Playwright, Novelist, Screenwriter, Political Activist
The future has a way of arriving unannounced.
—George Will (b.1941) American Columnist, Journalist, Writer
Later never exists.
Fields can lie fallow, but we can’t; we have less time.
—Mignon McLaughlin (1913–83) American Journalist, Author
Time is a great teacher but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.
—Hector Berlioz (1803–69) French Composer, Conductor
Men, for the sake of getting a living forget to live.
—Margaret Fuller (1810–50) American Feminist, Writer, Revolutionary
The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.
—Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) Bengali Poet, Polymath
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
—Sydney J. Harris (1917–86) American Essayist, Drama Critic
Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.
—Kurt Vonnegut (1922–2007) American Novelist, Short Story Writer
Every day is an opportunity to make a new happy ending.
There are but three events in a man’s life: birth, life, and death. He is not conscious of being born, he dies in pain, and he forgets to live.
—Jean de La Bruyere (1645–96) French Satiric Moralist, Author
To-morrow – oh, ’twill never be,
If we should live a thousand years!
Our time is all to-day, to-day,
The same, though changed; and while it flies
With still small voice the moments say:
“To-day, to-day, be wise, be wise”.
—James Montgomery (1771–1854) English Hymn writer, Poet, Editor, Humanitarian
Every second is of infinite value.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
So much of our time is spent in preparation, so much in routine, and so much in retrospect, that the amount of each person’s genius is confined to a very few hours.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
Let us therefore set out whole-heartedly, leaving aside our many distractions and exert ourselves in this single purpose, before we realize too late the swift and unstoppable flight of time and are left behind. As each day arises, welcome it as the very best day of all, and make it your own possession. We must seize what flees.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
Here I am trying to live, or rather, I am trying to teach the death within me how to live.
—Jean Cocteau (1889–1963) French Poet, Playwright, Film Director
We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.