Reality bites… and doesn’t let go.
There are no facts, only interpretations.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
It is not irritating to be where one is. It is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else.
—John Cage (1912–92) American Composer
The reality of the other person is not in what he reveals to you, but in what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says but rather what he does not say.
—Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931) Lebanese-born American Philosopher, Poet, Painter, Theologian, Sculptor
Wanting to change, to improve, a person’s situation means offering him, for difficulties in which he is practiced and experienced, other difficulties that will find him perhaps even more bewildered.
—Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) Austrian Poet
When every blessed thing you have is made of silver, or of gold, you long for simple pewter.
—W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) English Dramatist, Librettist, Poet, Illustrator
Time and memory are true artists; they remould reality nearer to the heart’s desire.
—John Dewey (1859–1952) American Philosopher, Psychologist, Educator
Oh God, don’t envy me, I have my own pains.
—Barbra Streisand (b.1942) American Musician, Actor, Songwriter
To treat your facts with imagination is one thing, but to imagine your facts is another.
—John Burroughs (1837–1921) American Naturalist, Writer
A test of what is real is that it is hard and rough. Joys are found in it, not pleasure. What is pleasant belongs to dreams.
—Simone Weil (1909–1943) French Philosopher, Political Activist
What our eyes behold may well be the text of life but one’s meditations on the text and the disclosures of these meditations are no less a part of the structure of reality.
—Wallace Stevens (1879–1955) American Poet
To be realistic today is to be visionary. To be realistic is to be starry-eyed.
—Hubert Humphrey (1911–78) American Head of State, Politician
Man’s heart is never satisfied; the snake would swallow the elephant.
The truly educated man is that rare individual who can separate reality from illusion.
An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.
—Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948) Indian Hindu Political leader
It is common to overlook what is near by keeping the eye fixed on something remote. In the same manner present opportunities are neglected and attainable good is slighted by minds busied in extensive ranges, and intent upon future advantages. Life, however short, is made shorter by waste of time.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.
Reality is something you rise above.
—Liza Minnelli (b.1946) American Singer, Actress
Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true.
—Napoleon Hill (1883–1970) American Author, Journalist, Attorney, Lecturer
This is a work of fiction. All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk, whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubts on their existence. Or lack thereof.
—Neil Gaiman (b.1960) British Writer
The reality is more excellent than the report.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
The superpowers often behave like two heavily armed blind men feeling their way around a room, each believing himself in mortal peril from the other, whom he assumes to have perfect vision.
—Henry Kissinger (b.1923) American Diplomat, Academician
I never admired another’s fortune so much that I became dissatisfied with my own.
—Cicero (106BCE–43BCE) Roman Philosopher, Orator, Politician, Lawyer
Success is not greedy, as people think, but insignificant. That’s why it satisfies nobody.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
The problem with beauty is that it’s like being born rich and getting poorer.
—Joan Collins (b.1933) English Actress
I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now? Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.
—John Lennon (1940–80) British Singer, Songwriter, Musician, Activist
All the things you think you should have done that you didn’t do, and all of the things that you shouldn’t have done, accept them. You did (or did not) do them. That’s reality. That’s happened. No changing the past.
—Peter McWilliams (1949–2000) American Author, Activist
I thought I had reached a point in life where everything would be smooth. But it is not. It just gets more jagged and pitted and filled with turns that take you into the dark recesses of your mind. It never seems to get easy.
—Sylvester Stallone (b.1946) American Actor, Screenwriter, Director
I think that one should recognize reality even when one doesn’t like it; indeed, especially when one doesn’t like it.
—Charlie Munger (b.1924) American Investor, Philanthropist
We must find our duties in what comes to us, not in what we imagine might have been.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
One of the most important-and most neglected-elements in the beginning of the interior life is the ability to respond to reality, to see the value and the beauty in ordinary things, to come alive to the splendour that is all around us.
—Thomas Merton (1915–68) American Trappist Monk
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
When people say there is too much violence in [my books], what they are saying is there is too much reality in life.
—Joyce Carol Oates (b.1938) American Novelist, Short Story Writer, Playwright, Poet, Literary Critic
To most of us the real life is the life we do not lead.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
In all climates, under all skies, man’s happiness is always somewhere else.
—Giacomo Leopardi (1798–1837) Italian Poet, Essayist, Philosopher
In Rome you long for the country. In the country you praise to the skies the distant town.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
Nothing is more important than reconnecting with your bliss. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more real.
—Deepak Chopra (b.1946) Indian-born American Physician, Public Speaker, Writer
Great leadership does not mean running away from reality. Sometimes the hard truths might just demoralize the company, but at other times sharing difficulties can inspire people to take action that will make the situation better.
—John Kotter (b.1947) American Management Consultant
Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.
Art must take reality by surprise.
—Francoise Sagan (1935–2004) French Novelist, Playwright, Short-Story Writer
Literary works cannot be taken over like factories, or literary forms of expression like industrial methods. Realist writing, of which history offers many widely varying examples, is likewise conditioned by the question of how, when and for what class it is made use of.
—Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) German Poet, Playwright, Theater Personality
He who leaves his house in search of happiness pursues a shadow.
One fine day in the middle of the night
Two dead boys got up to fight
Back to back they faced each other
Drew their swords and shot each other
One was blind and the other couldn’t see
So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play
A dumb man went to shout hooray!
A paralysed donkey passing by
Kicked the blind man in the eye
Knocked him through a nine inch wall
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all
A deaf policeman heard the noise
And came to arrest the two dead boys
If you don’t believe this story
Reality is a palette that humans paint on to let themselves sleep better at night.
Meaning and reality were not hidden somewhere behind things, they were in them, in all of them.
—Hermann Hesse (1877–1962) German-born Swiss Novelist, Poet
Nobody’s problem is ideal. Nobody has things just as he would like them. The thing to do is to make a success with what material I have. It is a sheer waste of time and soul-power to imagine what I would do if things were different. They are not different.
—Frank Hall Crane (1873–1948) American Stage and Film Actor, Director
Reality is not always probable, or likely.
—Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) Argentine Writer, Essayist, Poet
Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.
—C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) Irish-born British Academic, Author, Literary Scholar
People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet.
—Sa’Di (Musharrif Od-Din Muslih Od-Din) (c.1213–91) Persian Poet
Every stage of life has its troubles, and no man is content with his own age.
—Ausonius (c.309–392 CE) Latin Poet, Rhetorician