Wise Quotes About Life

A collection of quotes on the topic of wise.

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William Faulkner photo
Helen Keller photo
C.G. Jung photo

„I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.“

—  C.G. Jung Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology 1875 - 1961

Variant: I am not what happens to me. I choose who I become.

Jim Morrison photo
John W. Gardner photo

„Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.“

—  John W. Gardner American politician 1912 - 2002

Quoted in Matthew M. Radmanesh, Cracking the Code of Our Physical Universe, p. 269.

Abraham Lincoln photo

„And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

This quote is often misattributed to Lincoln. The earliest instance that Quote Investigator could locate was "in an advertisement in 1947 for a book about aging by Edward J. Stieglitz, M.D". The advertisement for “The Second Forty Years” which ran in the Chicago Tribune newspaper read like this: The important thing to you is not how many years in your life, but how much life in your years! (Compare 1947 March 16, Chicago Tribune, “How Long Do You Plan to Live?”, [Advertisement for the book "The Second Forty Years" by Edward J. Stieglitz, M.D.], p. C7, Chicago, Illinois. (ProQuest)). Source of misattribution: It’s Not the Years in Your Life That Count. It’s the Life in Your Years - Abraham Lincoln? Adlai Stevenson? Edward J. Stieglitz? Anonymous? by Quote Investigator on July 14, 2012 http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/07/14/life-years-count/
To my way of thinking it is not the years in your life but the life in your years that count in the long run.
Adlai Stevenson II, Address at Princeton University, "The Educated Citizen" (22 March 1954) http://infoshare1.princeton.edu/libraries/firestone/rbsc/mudd/online_ex/stevenson/adlai1954.html. This has also been paraphrased "What matters most is not the years in your life, but the life in your years" and misattributed to Abraham Lincoln and Mae West.
Adlai Stevenson II, "If I Were Twenty-One" in Coronet (December 1955).
Misattributed
Variant: It is not the years in your life but the life in your years that counts.

Friedrich Nietzsche photo

„There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.“

—  Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist 1844 - 1900

Helen Keller photo

„The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart“

—  Helen Keller American author and political activist 1880 - 1968

Variant: The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.

Robert Frost photo

„In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life — It goes on.“

—  Robert Frost American poet 1874 - 1963

As quoted in The Harper Book of Quotations (1993) edited by Robert I. Fitzhenry, p. 261
General sources
Variant: In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.

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Les Brown photo
The quote is mistakenly attributed to the author
Viktor E. Frankl photo

„Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how'.“

—  Viktor E. Frankl, book Man's Search for Meaning

Source: Quoted in Man's Search for Meaning and attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche.

Eleanor Roosevelt photo

„The purpose of life…is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.“

—  Eleanor Roosevelt American politician, diplomat, and activist, and First Lady of the United States 1884 - 1962

Foreword (January 1960)
You Learn by Living (1960)

Jackson Pollock photo
Robert Frost photo
Eleanor Roosevelt photo

„No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.“

—  Eleanor Roosevelt, This is My Story

Disputed
Variant: No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.
Source: Sometimes claimed to appear in her book This is My Story, but in The Quote Verifier by Ralph Keyes (2006), Keyes writes on p. 97 that "Bartlett's and other sources say her famous quotation can be found in This is My Story, Roosevelt's 1937 autobiography. It can't. Quotographer Rosalie Maggio scoured that book and many others by and about Roosevelt in search of this line, without success. In their own extensive searching, archivists at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York, have not been able to find the quotation in This Is My Story or any other writing by the First Lady. A discussion of some of the earliest known attributions of this quote to Roosevelt, which may be a paraphrase from an interview, can be found in this entry from Quote Investigator http://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/03/30/not-inferior/.

Albert Einstein photo

„There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

As quoted in Journal of France and Germany (1942–1944) by Gilbert Fowler White, in excerpt published in Living with Nature's Extremes: The Life of Gilbert Fowler White (2006) by Robert E. Hinshaw, p. 62. From the context http://books.google.com/books?id=_2qfZRp9SeEC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA62#v=onepage&q&f=false it seems that White did not specify whether he had heard Einstein himself say this or whether he was repeating a quote that had been passed along by someone else, so without a primary source the validity of this quote should be considered questionable.
Some have argued that elsewhere Einstein defined a "miracle" as a type of event he did not believe was possible—Einstein on Religion by Max Jammer (1999) quotes on p. 89 from a 1931 conversation Einstein had with David Reichinstein, where Reichinstein brought up philosopher Arthur Liebert's argument that the indeterminism of quantum mechanics might allow for the possibility of miracles, and Einstein replied that Liebert's argument dealt "with a domain in which lawful rationality [determinism] does not exist. A 'miracle,' however, is an exception from lawfulness; hence, there where lawfulness does not exist, also its exception, i.e., a miracle, cannot exist." ("Dort, wo eine Gesetzmässigkeit nicht vorhanden ist, kann auch ihre Ausnahme, d.h. ein Wunder, nicht existieren." D. Reichenstein, Die Religion der Gebildeten (1941), p. 21). However, it is clear from the context that Einstein was stating only that miracles cannot exist in a domain (quantum mechanics) where lawful rationality does not exist. He did not claim that miracles could never exist in any domain. Indeed, Einstein clearly believed, as seen in many quotations above, that the universe was comprehensible and rational, but he also described this characteristic of the universe as a "miracle". In another example, he is quoted as claiming belief in a God, "Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world."
As quoted in From Yale to Jail: The Life Story of a Moral Dissenter (1993) by David T. Dellinger, p. 418
Disputed
Variant: There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Variant: There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

Victor Hugo photo

„The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves—say rather, loved in spite of ourselves.“

—  Victor Hugo, book Les Misérables

Variant: The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved -- loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
Source: Les Misérables

Abraham Lincoln photo

„I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

Included in Portrait-Life of Lincoln (1910) by Francis T Miller
Posthumous attributions

Miguel de Cervantes photo

„Time ripens all things. No man is born wise.“

—  Miguel de Cervantes Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright 1547 - 1616

Source: Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605–1615), Part II (1615), Book III, Ch. 33. Note: "Time ripens all things" is the translator's interpolation and does not appear in the original Spanish text.
Context: Time ripens all things. No man is born wise. Bishops are made of men and not of stones.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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