Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
Life, we learn too late, is in the living, in the tissue of every day and hour.
—Stephen Leacock (1869–1944) Canadian Political Scientist, Humorist
It is a good thing that life is not as serious as it seems to a waiter.
—Don Herold (1889–1966) American Humorist, Writer, Illustrator, Cartoonist
Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.
—W. C. Fields (1880–1946) American Actor, Comedian, Writer
Don’t worry about your life; what you shall eat, or drink, or the clothing for your body.
—The Holy Bible Scripture in the Christian Faith
There are chapters in every life which are seldom read and certainly not aloud.
—Carol Shields (1935–2003) American-born Canadian Novelist, Short Story Writer
It is vanity to desire a long life and to take no heed of a good life.
—Thomas a Kempis (1379–1471) German Religious Priest, Writer
Each man must look to himself to teach him the meaning of life. It is not something discovered: it is something molded.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900–44) French Novelist, Aviator
Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to. It doesn’t so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven’t had that, what have you had?
—Henry James (1843–1916) American-born British Novelist, Writer
Everything has been figured out, except how to live.
—Jean-Paul Sartre (1905–80) French Philosopher, Playwright, Novelist, Screenwriter, Political Activist
When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.
We take these risks, not to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping us.
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts!
—Adlai Stevenson (1900–65) American Diplomat, Politician, Orator
Life has taught me to think, but thinking has not taught me to live.
—Alexander Herzen (1812–70) Russian Revolutionary, Writer
Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.
You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life.
—Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895–1986) Indian Philosopher
Life is a great surprise. I do not see why death should not be an even greater one.
—Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977) Russian-born American Novelist
One of the most appalling comments on our present way of life is that half of all the beds in our hospitals are reserved for patients with nervous and mental troubles, patients who have collapsed under the crushing burden of accumulated yesterdays and fearful tomorrows. Yet a vast majority of those people would be walking the streets today, leading happy, useful lives, if they had only heeded the words of Jesus: Have no anxiety about the morrow; or the words of Sir William Osler; Live in day-tight compartments.
—Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) American Self-Help Author
There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.
It has always been difficult for Man to realize that his life is all an art. It has been more difficult to conceive it so than to act it so. For that is always how he has more or less acted it.
—Havelock Ellis (1859–1939) British Sexologist, Physician, Social Reformer
Life in the twentieth century is like a parachute jump; you have to get it right the first time.
—Margaret Mead (1901–78) American Anthropologist, Social Psychologist
Life is just a journey.
—Diana, Princess of Wales (1961–97) English Royal, Humanitarian, Peace Activist
Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies.
—Ask Ann Landers (1918–2002) American Advice Columnist
Every true man, sir, who is a little above the level of the beasts and plants does not live for the sake of living, without knowing how to live; but he lives so as to give a meaning and a value of his own to life.
—Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936) Italian Dramatist, Novelist, Short Story Writer, Author
Life is not so bad if you have plenty of luck, a good physique, and not too much imagination.
—Christopher Isherwood (1904–86) Anglo-American Novelist, Playwright
Life comes from physical survival; but the good life comes from what we care about.
—Rollo May (1909–94) American Philosopher
We live, not as we wish to, but as we can.
—Menander (c.343–c.291 BCE) Greek Comic Dramatist, Poet
Your life and my life flow into each other as wave flows into wave, and unless there is peace and joy and freedom for you, there can be no real peace or joy or freedom for me. To see reality—not as we expect it to be but as it is—is to see that unless we live for each other and in and through each other, we do not really live very satisfactorily; that there can really be life only where there really is, in just this sense, love.
—Frederick Buechner (b.1926) American Presbyterian Clergyman, Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist, Theologian
Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really merely commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the planning, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chain of events, working through generations and leading to the most outer results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.
—Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930) Scottish Writer
Life is the farce which everyone has to perform.
—Arthur Rimbaud (1854–91) French Poet, Adventurer
Life is a grindstone. But whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on us.
—Thomas L. Holdcroft
Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live; Not where I love, but where I am, I die.
—Robert South (1634–1716) English Theologian, Preacher
He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.
—The Bhagavad Gita Hindu Scripture
And thou wilt give thyself relief, if thou doest every act of thy life as if it were the last.
—Marcus Aurelius (121–180) Emperor of Rome, Stoic Philosopher
Life is obstinate and clings closest where it is most hated.
—Mary Shelley (1797–1851) English Novelist
A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.
—James Allen (1864–1912) British Philosophical Writer
To live fully is to let go and die with each passing moment, and to be reborn in each new one.
—Jack Kornfield (b.1945) American Buddhist Teacher
Everyone is trying to accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things.
—Frank A. Clark
We Japanese enjoy the small pleasures, not extravagance. I believe a man should have a simple lifestyle—even if he can afford more.
—Masaru Ibuka (1908–97) Japanese Entrepreneur, Engineer
Life is a foreign language: all men mispronounce it.
—Christopher Morley (1890–1957) American Novelist, Essayist
The four stages of man are infancy, childhood, adolescence and obsolescence
—Art Linkletter (1912–2010) Canadian-born American Radio Personality, TV Personality
It’s not true that life is one damn thing after another; it’s one damn thing over and over.
—Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950) American Poet, Playwright, Feminist
The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.
—Corrie Ten Boom (1892–1983) Dutch Jewish Humanist
Life is a comedy for those who think… and a tragedy for those who feel.
—Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (1717–97) English Art Historian, Man of Letters, Politician
Between us and heaven or hell there is only life, which is the frailest thing in the world.
—Blaise Pascal (1623–62) French Mathematician, Physicist, Theologian
He has not lived badly whose birth and death has been unnoticed by the world.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
See everything, overlook a great deal, correct a little.
—Pope John XXIII (1881–1963) Italian Catholic Religious Leader, Pope
Life finds its purpose and fulfillment in the expansion of happiness.
—Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1914–2008) Indian Hindu Religious Leader
Young people talk of what they are doing; old people of what they have done; and fools of what they have a mind to do.
Life—how curious is that habit that makes us think it is not here, but elsewhere.
—V. S. Pritchett (1900–97) British Short Story Writer, Biographer, Memoirist, Literary Critic