Quotes are crafty, artful, catchy, handy, stimulating, and often times elusive in their source. Some like to sprinkle them around (I used to have them as such on this site) or dole them out on a periodic basis. Some have a encyclopedic storage of them and others of us can nary recall a pithy one on command. Some of us collect them to varying degrees. We all have different feelings towards any particular one as being brilliant, trite, overwrought or under-appreciated. We stencil our walls with them, buy posters and other objects with them on, re-broadcast them on social media or t-shirts and hats. They are a force in our lives and they live on long after death. They seem to have power and we consider some higher quality than others. Someone should say something quotable about quotes!

I casually collected some in notebooks and eventually electronic form. I'm not sure what amount feels right, definitely need more than a few, but a hundred or more feels like too many. I've decided to post my curated collection publicly. Perhaps some will strike others positively too. Or provoke a debate. I find that these little collected lists of mine are more handy if on my website - I can easily pull things up on demand! Or send any interested person here to self-serve. And yes, I fancy some pithy words I pieced together at times (and wish to remember them sometimes serving as personal mantras). I'm giving myself credit until proven otherwise. 😄

I've applied my own simple categorization and I fully expect ongoing grooming as life goes on. Perhaps my chosen list says something about me or perhaps it doesn't imply a thing. I welcome you to contact me with any feedback, debate, correction (especially regarding attributions, which can seem impossible at times) or suggestions others for consideration.

Living and Death

Life is about experiencing the journey, not arriving at the destination. --Reid Iford

There is more to life than increasing its speed. –Gandhi

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. --Aristotle

For all sad words of tongue and pen, The saddest are these, 'It might have been'. --John Greenleaf Whittier.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW!! What a ride!" --Unknown

Do everything in life once and the fun things twice. –Anonymous

Without acknowledging the ever-present gaze of death, the superficial will appear important, and the important will appear superficial. Death is the only thing we can know with any certainty. --Mark Manson

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see. --John Burroughs

Sow a thought, reap an action; Sow an action, reap a habit; Sow a habit, reap a character; Sow a character, reap a destiny. --Stephen R. Covey

Both bitterness and true happiness are choices that we make.

Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.

Peace is to be found in the acceptance of things that we are unable to change. --Dean R. Koontz

There is no real excellence in all this world which can be separated from right living. --David Starr Jordan

No one gets to enjoy their own legacy - by definition --Ryan Holiday.

Success, Failure, Determination, and Persistence

When you're going through hell, keep going. --Winston Churchill

Success is the ability to move from one failure to the next with enthusiasm. --Winston Churchill

Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion; you must set yourself on fire. --Fred Shero or Reggie Leach.

Most people give up just when they’re about to achieve success. They quit on the one-yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown. --Ross Perot

If you start wishing things were different then they are, the next step is depression, then inactivity, and finally vegetation.  No matter what the state of the world, you have got to move. --D. Koontz

Competition is for losers. --Peter Thiel

Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish. --Michelangelo

A goal is not always meant to be reached. It often serves simply as something to aim at. --Bruce Lee

Be a practical dreamer, backed by action. --Bruce Lee

Money and Material Possessions

Riches don’t make a man rich, they only make him busier. --Christopher Columbus

Things are thieves of time. --Paul Hawken

Even when we have everything, it’s never in the right amount. --Neil Peart

That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly. It is dearness only which gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price on its goods. --Thomas Paine

Encouragement and Resilience

You can’t beat the wind, you face the music, trim your sails, and keep going.

We cannot change the direction of the wind... but we can adjust our sails.

Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.

Productivity, Career, and the Workplace

There will never be enough time to do everything you have to do. –Brian Watterson

Procrastination is the thief of time. --Edward Young (1683-1765)

It’s easiest to ride a horse in the direction it is going. If the horse is dead, get off it. Since it’s hard to tell your horse is dying, have at least two horses. –Terry Paulson

Entrepreneurship is 'Insane perseverance in the face of total rejection.' --Jack Thorne (Founder of the Carnegie Mellon University Entrepreneurship program)

Invest 5% of your time in your next career at all times.


Love is worth the risk of loss.

Love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant. –unknown

You can learn more about a person during one hour of play than in a lifetime of conversation. –Plato

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person. –Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Don’t be interesting – be interested. --Jim Collins

Anger harms no one more than him who harbors it.

In reality, the 2-hour or 350-page romance does not exist. They only serve to create false hopes, heartache, and disappointment. –Ron Edwards

Education and Reading

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. --Sir Richard Steele

The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man who can’t. --Mark Twain

A truly great book should be read in youth, again in maturity, and once more in old age, as a fine building should be seen by morning light, at noon, and by moonlight. --Robertson Davies

Adventure and Exploration

I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. --Henry David Thoreau

We must not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time. --T. S. Elliot

Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. --Miriam Beard

Don't tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled. --Mohammed

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. --John Muir

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --Mark Twain

The riskiest thing you can do is play it safe. --Seth Godin

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor. --Robert Louis Stevenson

The point of a journey is not to arrive - Anything can happen. --Neil Peart

We travel on the road to adventure; On a desert highway straight to the heart of the sun; Like lovers and heroes, and the restless part of everyone; We're only at home when we're on the run. On the run. --Neil Peart

The dynamic principle of fantasy is play, which belongs also to the child, and as such it appears to be inconsistent with the principle of serious work. But without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable. --Carl Jung


The tops of mountains are among the unfinished parts of the globe, whither it is a slight insult to the gods to climb and pry into their secrets and try their effect on our humanity. Only daring and insolent men, perchance, go there. --Henry David Thoreau

Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way. –Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

At the top of the mountain, we are all snow leopards. –Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

On every climb there comes a time when you just want to be done. –Ron Edwards

Wisdom and Advice (General)

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. --Philo of Alexandria

Then what is freedom? It is the will to be responsible to ourselves. --Friedrich Nietzsche

The things of most beauty in the world are worth suffering for.

Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. --Eleanor Roosevelt

Look for meaning where you can and cherish mystery where you can’t. --Barry Corbet

When you come to the fork in the road, take it. --Yogi Bera

Advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to wise, and all courses may run ill. --J. R. R. Tolkien

Rearview mirrors are small. The windshield is large. --Terry Paulson

Don’t be afraid to see what you see. --Ronald Reagan

Give criticism in private, praise in public.

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. --Mark Twain, (attributed)

Where is the Life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

Where is the information we have lost in data? --T.S. Elliot

It’s always the best of times and the worst of times. –Ron Edwards


Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun.

Birthdays are good for you; the more you have, the longer you live.

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you’re on.

Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!