Life Quotes

Most popular life quotes

The young man loves women; the mature man loves enterprise, the old man loves memories.


Life is half delicious yogurt, half crap, and your job is to keep the plastic spoon in the yogurt.


Assume life will be really tough, and then ask if you can handle it. If the answer is yes, you've won.


Life is a bridge, build no house upon it; it is a river, cling not to its banks; it is a gymnasium, use it to develop the mind on the apparatus of circumstance; it is a journey, take it and walk on.

how to live life

Life is available only in the present moment.

buddhist present moment

A heuristic on whether you have control of your life: can you take naps?


Under precise, scientifically controlled conditions, life does as it damned well pleases.
Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.

chaos habit order

The best armor of old age is a well-spent life preceding it.


On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the escape key.
Life offers everyone truth and comfort. Choose carefully. You rarely can have both.


Life is priceless.
Life is our dictionary.
Life well spent is long.
Life is not for everyone.
Life is a zoo in a jungle.


Life is a horizontal fall.
Life is a verb, not a noun.
Life loves the liver of it.
There is no Wealth but Life.


Life is wasted on the living.
Life is an incurable disease.
Life is not a dress rehearsal.
What is life but one long risk?


Life itself is the proper binge.


In the end, everything is a gag.
Life is the only real counselor.
Life is a near-death experience.
Life is a school of probability.
Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries.
Showing up is 80 percent of life.


Life is a do-it-yourself project.
All of life is a foreign country.
Life is made up of marble and mud.
Life is heredity plus environment.
Life is a long lesson in humility.


Life is messy; only death is neat.
Life is a death-defying experience.
Life is an adventure in forgiveness.


Life is a flow of unexpected moments.
Life is the game that must be played.
Life is a succession of readjustments.
The unexamined life isn't worth living.


Life is a sexually transmitted disease.
I love life because what more is there.
Life is an unfolding of the unexpected.
May you live all the days of your life.

Goodness good wishes

Life is never easy for those who dream.
Your life is what your thoughts make it.
The unexamined life is not worth living.


Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf.

Indian proverbs listening proverbs

You can get all A's and still flunk life.
Life is the dancer and you are the dance.
Life is so short we must move very slowly.
— Thai proverb

mindfulness proverbs

Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.
Accomplishments are the ornaments of life.


We live, not as we wish to, but as we can.
One should count each day a separate life.
Life is one long process of getting tired.
The May of life blooms once, and not again.
Every man dies. Not every man really lives.
Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum.
Life is not to be bought with heaps of gold.
It is not length of life, but depth of life.
Life is a rainbow which also includes black.
Life is given to us, we earn it by giving it.
To live without loving is not really to live.


Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.


Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
Life is half spent before we know what it is.
Life is a constant challenge to know oneself.
If we don't know life, how can we know death?
Life is much shorter than I imagined it to be.
Life is what's happening while you're worrying.
Life is a test and this world a place of trial.
We learn the rope of life by untying its knots.
The most important things in life aren't things.


The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.


As leaves on the trees, such is the life of man.
Life is a compromise between fate and free will.

free will

Life is anything that dies when you stomp on it.
Don't go backwards, you have already been there.


Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.
The tragedy of life is that people do not change.

change tragedy

Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments.
The long habit of living indisposeth us for dying.
Life consists in what a man is thinking of all day.


Life is a foreign language; all men mispronounce it.
Life is something to do when you can't get to sleep.


Everything has been figured out, except how to live.

how to live life

Life is a foreign language: all men mispronounce it.
All life is nothing but a brief reprieve from death.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
In the Book of Life, the answers are not in the back.


It is never too late—in fiction or in life—to revise.

change losing our way

There is only one genuine misfortune: not to be born.


More things grow in the garden than the gardener sows.

proverbs Spanish proverbs

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing.
Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
— The Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1939–1944


Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Life backs up life. Nobody loves creditors and dead men.
Life is pain and the enjoyment of love is an anesthetic.

love pain

I count life just a stuff
To try the soul's strength on.
As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.
Each person's life is lived as a series of conversations.


Every man's life is a fairy-tale written by God's fingers.
Life is a game in which the rules are constantly changing.
The drama of life begins with a wail and ends with a sigh.
Life without Love is like a tree without blossom and fruit.


Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?
Life, n.  A spiritual pickle preserving the body from decay.
Life doesn't do anything to you, it only reveals your spirit.


A man's life may stagnate as literally as water may stagnate.
You only live once. But if you work it right, once is enough.
Every man regards his own life as the New Year's Eve of time.

interesting time

Variety's the very spice of life
That gives it all its flavor.


Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.
Life is but a daily oscillation between revolt and submission.
Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.


Life is my college.  May I graduate well, and earn some honors!
Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.


To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.
Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.
Someone said that "Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."
I believe life is an intelligent thing: that things aren't random.
Life is not having been told that the man has just waxed the floor.


On the keyboard of life, the backspace and delete keys are missing.
Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.


This life is worth living, we can say, since it is what we make it.
Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.


Life is the funny thing that happens to you on the way to the grave.
Life is a pill which none of us can bear to swallow without gilding.
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.

attitude positive

The best things in life are free, but it costs alot to find that out.
Life is a frail moth flying
Caught in the web of the years that pass.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Is life worth living? This is a question for an embryo not for a man.
Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
Life is a theater in which the worst people often have the best seats.
Any idiot can face a crisis—it's day to day living that wears you out.
I long ago come to the conclusion that all life is six to five against.
There is no harbor of peace from the changing waves of joy and despair.
Life makes senses
and who could doubt it,
if we have
no doubt about it.


The last act is bloody, however delightful the rest of the play may be.

old age

Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.
— Italian proverb

history Italian proverbs proverbs

One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.


What a fine comedy this world would be if one did not play a part in it.
When we are born, we cry that we are come. To this great stage of fools.
The world is a comedy to those that think; a tragedy to those that feel.
Life, too, is like that. You live it forward, but understand it backward.
The art of life is to know how to enjoy a little and to endure very much.
Man cannot change the direction of the wind, but he can adjust the sails.


Life is like a sewer.  What you get out of it depends on what you put in.
To live is so startling, it leaves but little room for other occupations.
Life is a journey, but don't worry, you'll find a parking spot at the end.
The main facts in human life are five: birth, food, sleep, love and death.
The circumference of life cannot be rightly drawn until the center is set.
Life is like riding a bicycle.  To keep your balance you must keep moving.
Life is a disease, the whole world a hospital, and Death is our physician.
All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.

art of living

Life is like a ten-speed bicycle.  Most of us have gears that we never use.


Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well.
Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on.
It happens in life, as in grammar, that the exceptions outnumber the rules.
Life is always either a tight-rope or a featherbed.  Give me the featherbed.
From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.

charity generosity service

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.

purpose of life

Life is a jest; and all things show it.
I thought so once; but now I know it.
Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can.


Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.

art of living

All man's life among men is nothing more than a battle for the ears of others.
In life, as in a football game, the principle to follow is: hit the line hard.

hard work how to live life

The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.
Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?

present moment

Life is the continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations.
Life is funny.  Sometimes you're the bug, and sometimes you're the windshield.
Most of the evils of life arise from man's being unable to sit still in a room.
Life is a box of chocolates, Forrest.  You never know what you're going to get.


Every life is a march from innocence, through temptation, to virtue or to vice.

temptation vice & virtue

Life loves to be taken by the lapel and be told, "I am with you kid.  Let's go!"
Life is a quarry, out of which we are to mold and chisel and complete character.


Life is a maze in which we take the wrong turning before we have learnt to walk.
Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece.
Life is an offensive, directed against the repetitious mechanism of the Universe.


Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.
Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.


When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Life has meaning only if one barters it day by day for something other than itself.
Life would not be life if a sorrow were sad, and a joy merry, from beginning to end.

joy sorrow

When I consider Life, 'tis all a cheat;
Yet, fool'd with hope, men favor the deceit.
The more science learns what life is, the more reluctant Scientists are to define it.


Nature has granted the use of life like a loan, without fixing any day for repayment.
Life appears to me too short to be spent in nursing animosity, or registering wrongs.
Dost thou love Life?  Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff life is made of.


Life, it's rather like opening a tin of sardines—we are all of us looking for the key.
For what is life but a play in which everyone acts a part until the curtain comes down?
Life is like a play: it's not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.


Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.


The other planets may not be able to support life, but it isn't easy on this one either.
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain.
When I hear somebody sigh, 'Life is hard,' I am always tempted to ask, 'Compared to what?
Life—the way it really is—is a battle not between Bad and Good but between Bad and Worse.
Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one dies.


Life is like a mirror.  The people you see reflect back to you the way you present yourself.
The first forty years of life give us the text; the next thirty supply the commentary on it.
Men deal with life as children with their play,
Who first misuse, then cast their toys away.
Life is a series of problems.  Every time you solve one, another is waiting to take its place.

problems problem-solving

For most men, life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.  LLAP
Life is a copycat and can be bullied into following the master artist who bids it come to heel.
Life is much more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt as opposed to a surprise party.
But somehow one never had time to stop and savor the taste of life as the stream of it flowed by.
Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.
There is no meaning to life except the meaning man gives his life by the unfolding of his powers.
Snatching the eternal out of the desperately fleeting is the great magic trick of human existence.
A child becomes an adult when he realizes he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
Life is the greatest art of all, and the master-artist is the man who is living the beautiful life.

art of living

Life, that can shower you with so much splendor, is unremittingly cruel to those who have given up.


Someone said that life is a party.  You join after it's started and you leave before it's finished.
Life is a toy made of glass; it appears to be of inestimable price, but in reality it is very cheap.
Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.


Life is not an organization chart.  Life is more like a spider's web.  Things happen in strange ways.
A man sooner or later discovers that he is the master-gardener of his soul, the director of his life.

self-determination the human condition

Life is a petty thing unless there is pounding within it an enormous desire to extend its boundaries.
The man who regards meaningless is not merely unfortunate but almost disqualified for life.
Life was a lot simpler when what we honored was father and mother rather than all major credit cards.
Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those changes that would make all the difference.
For what is your life?  It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
— The Bible—James 4:14


Life is like a game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.

fate free will

If life were just, we would be born old and achieve youth about the time we'd saved enough to enjoy it.

age youth

Life is like a B-movie.  You don't want to leave in the middle of it but you don't want to see it again.
Life is like a great jazz riff.  You sense the end the very moment you were wanting it to go on forever.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity, and stumble from defeat to defeat.

adversity defeat stumble suffering

It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.
Life begins as a quest of the child for the man and ends as a journey by the man to rediscover the child.

childhood growing up

Measure wealth not by the things you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money.


I've learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper; the closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds a man down or polishes him up depends on the stuff he's made of.
Life is made up of constant calls to action, and we seldom have time for more than hastily contrived answers.

action answers

One can live for years sometimes without living at all, and then all life comes crowding into one single hour.
There is only one difference between a long life and a good dinner: that, in the dinner, the sweets come last.


Life is like an overlong drama through which we sit being nagged by vague memories of having read the reviews.
God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not the choice. One must take it. The only choice is how.
Surgeons must be very careful
When they take the knife!
Underneath their fine incisions
Stirs the Culprit—Life!
Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.
Life was to me like a horse to whose motions one yields, but only after having trained the animal to the utmost.
Just remember this one thing: Life is like a dog-sled team.  If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes.
Once you fully apprehend the vacuity of a life without struggle you are equipped with the basic means of salvation.

purpose of life struggle

Life is like a game of cards.  The hand that is dealt you represents determinism.  The way you play it is free will.
Life is a disease; and the only difference between one man and another is the stage of the disease at which he lives.
Fortunately, analysis is not the only way to resolve inner conflicts.  Life itself remains a very effective therapist.
One of life's machinations is to make some people both rich and unhappy, that is, jointly fragile and deprived of hope.
Life—and I don't suppose I'm the first to make this comparison—is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.
A bit beyond perception's reach
I sometimes believe I see
that life is two locked boxes
each containing the other's key.


No sooner do we think we have assembled a comfortable life than we find a piece of ourselves that has no place to fit in.
Do not be too timid & squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better.
Life is a battle between faith and reason in which each feeds upon the other, drawing sustenance from it and destroying it.
We all run the risk of declining, if somebody does not rise to tell us that life is on the heights, and not in the cesspools.

aspiration inspirational leadership

The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were, perhaps, to win it without honor.


Life is not a continuum of pleasant choices, but of inevitable problems that call for strength, determination, and hard work.

Indian proverbs pessimistic proverbs

Life is always walking up to us and saying, "Come on in, the living's fine," and what do we do? Back off and take its picture.


Life has this in common with prizefighting: if you've received a belly blow, it's likely to be followed by a right to the jaw.
Life may be seen through many windows, none of them necessarily clear or opaque, less or more distorting than any of the others.
Life is like a library owned by an author.  In it are a few books which he wrote himself, but most of them were written for him.
Life is like a recycling center, where all the concerns and dramas of humankind get recycled back and forth across the universe.
I have learned that life is an adventure in forgiveness.  Nothing clutters the soul more than remorse, resentment, recrimination.


Life is made up of a series of judgments on insufficient data, and if we waited to run down all our doubts, it would flow past us.


No man knows his true character until he has run out of gas, purchased something on the installment plan, and raised an adolescent.


To see life through the lens of death is to approach the condition of gratitude for the gift (or simply the fact) of our existence.

death gratitude

I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it.  I want to have lived the width of it as well.
If one considered life as a simple loan, one would perhaps be less exacting.  We possess actually nothing; everything goes through us.
I sit astride life like a bad rider on a horse.  I only owe it to the horse's good nature that I am not thrown off at this very moment.
Living is like working out a long addition sum, and if you make a mistake in the first two totals you will never find the right answer.


The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again I'd make all the same mistakes - only sooner.


Life is like a beautiful flirt, whom we love and to whom, finally, we grant every condition she imposes as long as she doesn't leave us.
The art of living is more like that of wrestling than of dancing.  The main thing is to stand firm and be ready for an unforeseen attack.

art of living

I compare human life to a large mansion of many apartments, two of which I can only describe, the doors of the rest being as yet shut upon me.
Who is wise? He that learns from everyone. Who is powerful? He that governs his passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.
In a wider sense, it can also be said that the first forty years of our life furnish the text, whereas the following thirty supply the commentary.

age 40

The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunities.
Philosophy is perfectly right in saying that life must be understood backward.  But then one forgets the other clause—that it must be lived forward.
It will make far less impression on the mind if you say "Fleeting and brief is the life of man" than if you quote the proverb "Man is but a bubble."
Life is like dancing. If we have a big floor, many people will dance. Some will get angry when the rhythm changes. But life is changing all the time.
Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.
Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.


It is the law of life that if you are kind to someone you feel happy.  If you are cruel you are unhappy.  And if you hurt someone, you will be hurt back.
As you get up in the morning, as you make decisions, as you spend money, make friends, make commitments, you are creating a piece of art called your life.
The most decisive actions of our life – I mean those that are most likely to decide the whole course of our future – are, more often than not, unconsidered.


A mature mind is one who understands the impossibility of knowing the ultimate, and with this understanding there is a new dimension: the dimension of being.

ultimate reality

Life does not consist mainly—or even largely—of facts and happenings.  It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one's head.


When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, 'I used everything you gave me'.
Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
— JOB 14:1-2


Life, in my estimation, is a biological misadventure that we terminate on the shoulders of six strange men whose only objective is to make a hole in one with you.
Life's a cigar': the wasting body glows;
The head turns white as Kosciusko's snows;
And, with the last soul-fragrance still in air,
The ashes slowly sink in soft repose.

Cigar cigars

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.
The day the child realizes that all adults are imperfect he becomes an adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; the day he forgives himself he becomes wise.


Life is intrinsically, well, boring and dangerous at the same time. At any given moment the floor may open up. Of course, it almost never does—that's what makes it so boring.
Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through.  Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it.  This is a kind of death.
The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story and writes another and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.
Life, in part, is like a poker game, wherein you have to learn to quit sometimes when holding a much-loved hand—you must learn to handle mistakes and new facts that change the odds.

change flexible thinking

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.
We play out our days as we play out cards, taking them as they come, not knowing what they will be, hoping for a lucky card and sometimes getting one, often getting just the wrong one.

the human condition

Life is a search after power: and this is an element with which the world is so saturated—there is no chink or crevice in which it is not lodged—that no honest seeking goes unrewarded.
There are many people who reach their conclusions about life like schoolboys; they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked out the sum for themselves.
The life of man is a long march through the night, surrounded by invisible forces, tortured by weariness and pain, towards a goal that few can hope to reach, and where none may tarry long.
Life is like music, it must be composed by ear, feeling and instinct, not by rule.  Nevertheless one had better know the rules, for they sometimes guide in doubtful cases—though not often.
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more. It's a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.


Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
and then is heard no more, it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
signifying nothing.
There's a speech I had to cut out of [the 1979 film] Manhattan and plan to get into the next film, where my character says that the metaphor for life is a concentration camp. I do believe that.
Life is like farming.  You have to prepare the land, you have to have the right seeds, continue to water, and you have to work very, very hard to make sure that everything is right and correct.
It's like in soccer: you have to deal with the penalties where they fall; you can't choose where they're going to land. Life is like that, and you have to deal with it even if you don't like it.
Life Is a Journey.  No maps
But now with apps
Certain straps and caps
Plenty of flaps, gaps,
Wraps, yaps, zaps,
Saps, traps and overlaps
Maybe a few bad raps
At the extremes, naps
At the end, taps.
There are many people who arrive at answers in life just like schoolboys; they cheat their teacher by copying the answer out of the arithmetic book without having worked the problem out themselves.

purpose of life

Life is a hospital in which every patient is possessed by the desire of changing his bed.  One would prefer to suffer near the fire, and another is certain he would get well if he were by the window.
Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends.
Life is the only art that we are required to practice without preparation, and without being allowed the preliminary trials, the failures and botches, that are essential for the training of a mere beginner.


We cannot put off living until we are ready. The most salient characteristic of life is its coerciveness: it is always urgent, 'here and now,' without any possible postponement. Life is fired at us point-blank.
Night after night I went to sleep murmuring, "Tomorrow I will be easy, strong, quick, supple, accurate, dashing and self-controlled all at once!"  For not less than this is necessary in the Game of Life called golf.


Happiness lies in wait; it comes upon suddenly, like a midnight thief at a turn up in the street, or in the midst of a dream, because a ray of light, a strain of music, a face, or a gesture has overcome the despair of living.


Life is a game with many rules but no referee.  One learns how to play it more by watching it than by consulting any book, including the Holy Book. Small wonder, then, that so many play dirty, that so few win, that so many lose.
The purpose of life is living. Men and women should get the most they can out of their lives. The smallest, the tiniest intellect may be quite as valuable to itself; it may have all the capacity for enjoyment that the wisest has.
Eating, loving, singing and digesting are, in truth, the four acts of the comic opera known as life, and they pass like the bubbles of a bottle of champagne. Whoever lets them break without having enjoyed them is a complete fool.


This earthly life is a battle. If it isn't one thing to contend with, it's another. It always has been so, and it always will be. The sooner you make up your mind to that, the better off you are, and more thankful for your pleasures.
Life is a poem written on a blank page
Life is a poem that reflects each stage
Life is a poem that changes with age
Sometimes it feels like the words of a sage
Sometimes it reflects frustration or rage
Sometimes I wish I had a new page.
Life has got a habit of not standing hitched.  You got to ride it like you find it.  You got to change with it.  If a day goes by that don't change some of your old notions for new ones, that is just about like trying to milk a dead cow.
Life, at any moment and in any view, is as dangerous as a sinking ship; and yet it is man's handsome fashion to carry umbrellas, to wear india-rubber overshoes, to begin vast works, and to conduct himself in every way as if he might hope to be eternal.
All life is a struggle.  Amongst workmen, competition is a struggle to advance towards higher wages.  Amongst masters, to make the highest profits.  Amongst writers, preacers, and politicians, it is a struggle to succeed—to gain glory, reputation, or income.


Once a relatively simple dirt road with forks where the traveler had a simple choice, life is now a crowded superhighway with bewildering cloverleaf exits on which, after a maize [sic] of turns, a man is libel [sic] to find himself speeding back in the direction he came.
There are two great rules of life, the one general and the other particular. The first is that everyone can, in the end get what he wants if he only tries. This is the general rule. The particular rule is that every individual is more or less an exception to the general rule.
Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.
I can entertain the proposition that life is a metaphor for boxing—for one of those bouts that go on and on, round following round, jabs, missed punches, clinches, nothing determined, again the bell and again and you and your opponent so evenly matched it's impossible not to see your opponent is you.
Warped with satisfactions and terrors, woofed with too many ambiguities and too few certainties, life can be lived best not when we have the answers—because we will never have those—but when we know enough to live it right out to the edges, edges sometimes marked by other people, sometimes showing only our own footprints.


I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live.  I rejoice in life for its own sake.  Life is no "brief candle" for me.  It is a sort of splendid torch, which I have got hold of for the moment; and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

personal credos

It does not at present look as though Nature had designed the universe primarily for life; the normal star and the normal nebula have nothing to do with life except making it impossible. Life is the end of a chain of by-products; it seems to be the accident, and torrential deluges of life-destroying radiation the essential.
Consider a man riding a bicycle.  Whoever he is, we can say three things about him.  We know he got on the bicycle and started to move.  We know that at some point he will stop and get off.  Most important of all, we know that if at any point between the beginning and the end of his journey he stops moving and does not get off the bicycle he will fall off it.  That is a metaphor for the journey through life of any living thing, and I think of any society of living things.