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
You live in a deranged age, more deranged that usual, because in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing.
—Walker Percy (1916–90) American Novelist
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
Life is obstinate and clings closest where it is most hated.
—Mary Shelley (1797–1851) English Novelist
If life doesn’t offer a game worth playing, then invent a new one.
—Anthony J. D’Angelo
Life is a romantic business. It is painting a picture, not doing a sum—but you have to make the romance, and it will come to the question how much fire you have in your belly.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841–1935) American Jurist, Author
Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.
—Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) Austrian Poet
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
Do not take life too seriously—you will never get out of it alive.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher
Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to preserve it. Has it ever been said that a man who throws himself out the window to escape a fire is guilty of suicide?
—Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–78) Swiss-born French Philosopher
People find life entirely too time-consuming.
—Stanislaw Jerzy Lec (1909–1966) Polish Aphorist, Poet
In the game of life it’s a good idea to have a few early losses, which relieves you of the pressure of trying to maintain an undefeated season.
—Burton Hillis (William E. Vaughan) (1915–77) American Columnist, Author
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
All of life is a foreign country.
—Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) American Novelist, Poet
It is really true what philosophy tells us, that life must be understood backwards. But with this, one forgets the second proposition, that it must be lived forwards.
—Soren Kierkegaard (1813–55) Danish Philosopher, Theologian
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
Order your soul; reduce your wants; live in charity; associate in Christian community; obey the laws; trust in Providence.
—Augustine of Hippo (354–430) Roman-African Christian Philosopher
Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find “tomorrow” on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, “If I had my life to live over again. “Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
—Og Mandino (1923–96) American Self-Help Author
You only live once; but if you live it right, once is enough.
Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.
Life is like a box of chocolates: You never know what you’re gonna get.
—Movie: Forrest Gump
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
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
Life is a foreign language: all men mispronounce it.
—Christopher Morley (1890–1957) American Novelist, Essayist
When we speak the word “life,” it must be understood we are not referring to life as we know it from its surface of fact, but to that fragile, fluctuating center which forms never reach.
—Antonin Artaud (1896–1948) French Actor, Drama Theorist
The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.
—J. M. Barrie (1860–1937) Scottish Novelist, Dramatist
Life is a means of extracting fiction.
—Robert Stone (1937–2015) American Novelist, Short Story-Writer
Life is made up of marble and mud.
—Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–64) American Novelist, Short Story Writer
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