February 10, 2016

Here are our Readers’ favorite Wisdom Quotes.

 The Shopping Sherpha/Flickr

Recently, we asked our readers what quote changed their approach to life or opened their mind. The number of responses was as inspiring as the quotes themselves.

Some of them are classic, some of them are obscure, and some just might stop you in your tracks.

Here are 62 life-changing quotes, curated by you, our readers:


  1. “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” ~ Albert Camus
  2. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
  3. “Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” ~ Voltaire
  4. “If you wanna be somebody, if you wanna go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention.” ~ Sister Act 2
  5. “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” ~ Dale Carnegie
  6. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom.” ~ Anaïs Nin
  7. The student asked the master: How do you walk around seemingly unafraid of anything?
    The master replied: The difference is, you see yourself in the world, yet I see the world in me. ~ Unknown
  8. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” ~ Ferris Bueller
  9. “We must be willing to get rid of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell
  10. “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
  11. “This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” ~ Walt Whitman
  12. “The trouble is, you think you have time.” ~ Buddha
  13. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ (not) Mahatma Gandhi
  14. “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
  15. “You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.”
    ~ Mary Oliver
  16. “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” ~ John Lennon
  17. “I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.” ~ Roald Dahl
  18. “…everything has a past. Everything—a person, an object, a word, everything. If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the present and plan properly for the future.” ~ Chaim Potok
  19. “You can close your eyes to the things you don’t want to see, but you can’t close your heart to the things you don’t want to feel.” ~ Johnny Depp
  20. Self love is not selfishness. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” ~ Eleanor Brownn
  21. “To live well, to laugh often, to love much, to gain the respect of intelligent people, to win the love of little children. To fill one’s niche and accomplish one’s task, to leave the world better than one finds it whether by an improved flower, a perfect poem or another life ennobled. to never lack appreciation of earth’s beauty or fail to express it, to always look for the best in others, to give the best one has. To make one’s life an inspiration and one’s memory a benediction. This is success.” ~ Bessie Anderson Stanley (often misattributed to Emerson)
  22. “I am still determined to be cheerful and to be happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learnt, from experience, that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us, in our minds, wheresoever we go.” ~ Martha Washington, letter to Mrs. Warren, Dec. 26, 1789
  23. “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” ~ Haruki Murakami
  24. “There’s no one to beat you, no one to defeat you, ‘cept the thoughts of your self feeling bad.” ~ Bob Dylan
  25. “The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep.” ~ Robert Frost
  26. “To see a World in a Grain of Sand
    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
    And Eternity in an hour.” ~ William Blake
  27. “Everything matters, but nothing matters much.” ~ Kathleen Winsor
  28. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I come to die, discover that I had not lived.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
  29. “With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.” ~ Max Ehrmann, Desiderata
  30. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” ~ Winston Churchill
  31. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
  32. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (maybe)
  33. “The only easy day was yesterday.” ~ U.S. Navy SEALs
  34. “The blessing lies close to the curse.” ~ African Proverb
  35. “At this point in my life
    I’d like to live as though only love mattered
    As if redemption was in sight
    As if the search to live honestly
    Is all that anyone needs
    No matter if you find it.” ~ Tracy Chapman
  36. “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
  37. “Do not forget in the darkness, what you have learned in the light.” ~ Joseph Bayly
  38. “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time spent going to the office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” ~ Jack Kerouac
  39. “One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” ~ Andre Gide
  40. “I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” ~ Mark Twain
  41. “We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” ~ Anaïs Nin (among others)
  42. “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche
  43. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ~ Helen Keller
  44. “Comparison is the thief of joy.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  45. “I am a human being; nothing human can be alien to me.” ~ Maya Angelou/Terence
  46. “Live to the point of tears.” ~ Albert Camus
  47. “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” ~ Abe Lincoln
  48. “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ~ A.A. Milne
  49. “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” ~ William Ernest Henley
  50. “When you know better, you do better.” ~ Maya Angelou
  51. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke
  52. “All suffering is caused by our inability to accept what is.” ~ The Second Noble Truth, kind of.
  53. “Find your place in the world and fully occupy it.” ~ Kristina Dryža
  54. “Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.” ~ Edward Abbey
  55. “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” ~ Paul Brandt
  56. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~Maya Angelou
  57. “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ~ Gloria Steinem
  58. “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” ~ Carl Sagan
  59. “I have noticed that most people are about as happy as they have made up their minds to be.” ~ Abe Lincoln
  60. “You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” ~ Pema Chödrön
  61. “Do, or do not. There is no ‘try.'” ~ Yoda
  62. “This too shall pass.”


Relephant Reads: 

10 Powerful Quotes to Read When We’re Feeling Stuck.

11 Wise Quotes that will Change your Way of Thinking Forever.


Plus, Waylon’s favorite quote of all time, ever: 

Photo: The Shopping Sherpa/Flickr

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