Quotes

NOTE: This hasn’t been updated in a very long time.

Similar to notes this is a page for me. A place to save my favorite quotes.

The first couple aren’t quotes, but the rest are categorized with links to the source material when applicable.


Ithaca by Constantine Cavafy

Always keep Ithaca on your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.


My Wage by Jessie B. Rittenhouse (1918)

I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;
For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.
I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid.


Life

“It’s better to be at the bottom of the ladder you want to climb than the top of the one you don’t.”
—Stephen Kellogg


“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”
—Lily Tomlin


“We find our way by getting lost. Anything other than that is called reading a map.”
Seth Godin


“In solitude we find ourselves; we prepare ourselves to come to conversation.”
Sherry Turkle


“We need not come to the end of the path to experience the benefits of walking it.”
—Sam Harris, Waking Up (pg. 171)


“Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.”
—George Orwell


“It is always now. This might sound trite, but it is the truth. It’s not quite true as a matter of neurology, because our minds are built upon layers of inputs whose timing we know must be different. But it is true as a matter of conscious experience. The reality of your life is always now. And to realize this, we will see, is liberating. In fact, I think there is nothing more important to understand if you want to be happy in this world.”
—Sam Harris, Waking Up (pg. 34)


“I am an old man and I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
—Mark Twain


“[T]he eyes of an introvert, of a man who rarely looks out into the world but is for ever surveying the scene inside him.”
—Ian Fleming, From Russia With Love (pg. 231)


Let go, or be dragged.
Daily Zen


“To be everywhere is to be nowhere.”
—Seneca


“The problem with words is that they easily lose their meaning. Say something often enough and it becomes a tic, not an expression of how you actually feel. Not only that, but words rarely change things. Actions do.”
Seth Godin


“Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence.”
—Arabic Proverb


“We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.”
—Jean Baudrillard


“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”
—Benjamin Franklin


“When you see a person without a smile, give them one of yours.”
—Zig Ziglar


“You take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing, no one to blame.”
–Erica Jong


“Boredom is an emotion usually associated with a nourished body: like satiety, it is not normally for the starving.”
—Peter Toohey, Boredom: A Lively History


“What mindfulness does is create some space in your head so you can, as the Buddhists say, ‘respond’ rather than simply ‘react.’”
—Dan Harris, 10% Happier


“Before you make your own way you cannot help anyone, and no one can help you.”
—Shunryu Suzuki


“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
—Kurt Vonnegut


“Silence is also conversation.”
—Ramana Maharshi


“We must all either wear out or rust out, every one of us. My choice is to wear out.”
–Theodore Roosevelt


“If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.”
–Joe Rogan


The Work

“You can make a lot of impact with a short period of time. You can do nothing with a long period of time.”
Gary Vaynerchuk


“Perfection is not when there is no more to add, but no more to take away.”
–Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


“It is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior’s life.”
—Telamon of Arcadia, mercenary of the fifth century B.C.


“Create like an optimist. Spend like a pessimist.”
Seth Godin


“The things that they fire you for when you are young are the same things that they give lifetime achievement awards for when you’re old.”
—Francis Ford Coppola, The Director’s Chair


“The difference between the amateurs and the professionals is simple:

The professionals know they’re winging it.
The amateurs pretend they’re not.”
—Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking


“Very few people have a lot of time to dedicate to one hobby. I was fortunate to have started so young, because when you’re young you have nothing but time. Hours and hours to burn up on something as silly as a movie.”
—Robert Rodriguez, Rebel Without a Crew


“I’m keenly aware of the Principle of Priority, which states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.”
—Steven Pressfield, The War of Art


Learn to use the knowledge of the past and you will look like a genius, even when you are really just a clever borrower.
—Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power


“Play is the highest form of research.”
—Albert Einstein


“Doing something well does not make it important.”
—Tim Ferriss


“Opportunity is missed by most people because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
—Thomas Edison


“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”
—Frank A. Clark


“While you may have made money doing something a certain way yesterday, there’s no reason to believe you’ll succeed at it tomorrow.”
—Seth Godin, Tribes (pg. 93)


“If you want a happy ending that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.”
—Orson Welles


“When you’re an artist, nobody ever tells you or hits you with the magic wand of legitimacy. You have to hit your own head with your own handmade wand. And you feel stupid doing it.”
—Amanda Palmer, The Art of Asking


“Discontent is the first necessity of progress.”
—Thomas Edison


“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”
—André Gide


“Something that can never be learnt too thoroughly can never be said too often.”
—Seneca


“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”
—Salvador Dalí


“I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”
—Somerset Maugham


“Wrong answers to any problem outnumber right ones by a large margin, and it seems that it will always be easier to break things than to fix them.”
—Sam Harris, Waking Up (pg. 16)


“All those years I had been making movies because I loved movies, and that’s what made all the difference. If you’re doing it because you love it you can succeed because you’ll work harder than anyone else around you, take on challenges no one else would dare take, and come up with methods no one else would discover, especially when their prime drive is fame and fortune. All that will follow later if you really love what you do. Because your work will speak itself.”
—Robert Rodriguez, Rebel Without a Crew


“Often it comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat. Perhaps this is why so many fail to recognize opportunity.”
—Napoleon Hill


“When you take something easy and safe and make it look difficult and death-defying, you are a cheesy circus act. When you take something impossible and make it look easy, you’re an artist.”
—Penn Jillette, God, No!


“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
–Maya Angelou


“The price of security is insecurity.”
—Dr. Jay Harris, 10% Happier (pg. 8)


“Anything you build on a large scale or with intense passion invites chaos.”
—Francis Ford Coppola


Minimalism

“Any man who does not think that what he has is more than ample, is an unhappy man, even if he is the master of the whole world.”
—Epicurus


“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”
—Henry David Thoreau


“I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.”
—Blaise Pascal


Time

“What I find is that you can do almost anything or go almost anywhere, if you’re not in a hurry.”
—Paul Theroux


“The orca’s fin collapses while held in captivity and the human soul is no different.”
—Markus Almond, Brooklyn To Mars: Volume One


“We waste so many days waiting for the weekend. So many nights wanting morning. Our lust for future comfort is the biggest thief of life.”
—Joshua Glenn Clark


“I have stared long enough at the glowing flat rectangles of computer screens. Let us give more time for doing things in the real world … plant a plant, walk the dogs, read a real book, go to the opera.”
—Edward Tufte


“When a great adventure is offered, you don’t refuse it.”
—Amelia Earhart


“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”
—Jessica Hische


Fitness

“If you are wondering what ‘strong’ is, it is probably not you.”
—Pavel Tsatsouline, Kettlebell Simple & Sinister


“A workout should give you more than it takes out of you.”
—Ivan Ivanov


Nutrition

“If everybody walks into the room wearing crutches you don’t know who can stand on their own two feet.”
—Joel Salatin


“Your body is a chemistry lab, not a bank account.”
—JJ Virgin


Education

“Teaching how to think is better than lecturing how to do it.”
—James Altucher


Filmmaking

“News makes things black and white. Documentary filmmaking should do the opposite.”
Robert Greene


“If things go static stories die. Because life is never static.”
Andrew Stanton