Personal Quotes

Most popular personal quotes

I was raised to farm work.
I am not an accomplished lawyer.
My mother was my first jealous lover.

mothers and daughters

I have climbed to the top of the greasy pole.


We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm.
I still live in and on the sunshine of my childhood.

childhood parenting

I want to lean into her the way wheat leans into wind.

mothers and daughters

I have no wealthy or popular relations to recommend me.
And, please, don't stop praying for me because, well, I need it.
My personal hobbies are reading, listening to music and silence.


I took what you didn't give to me and gave it to my sons
Thank you.


I must, in candor, say I do not think myself fit for the Presidency.
I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.

how to live life

To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power.
I am a reflection of my mother's secret poetry as well as of her hidden angers.

mothers and daughters

I grew up like a neglected weed - ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.

African-Americans freedom slavery

With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.


I stopped loving my father a long time ago.  What remained was the slavery to a pattern.


I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.
I carry her with me now like a loose sweater that sucks out the chill on a snowy winter night.

mothers and daughters

My early life was a series of fierce battles, from which my mother invariably emerged the victor.

mothers and sons

My mother is a poem I'll never be able to write
though everything I write is a poem to my mother.

mothers and daughters

Whenever I'm with my mother, I feel as though I have to spend the whole time avoiding land mines.

mothers and daughters

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the spaces between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.


She is my bridge.  When I needed to get across, she steadied herself long enough for me to run across safely.

mother mothers and daughters

My father, at the death of his father, was but six years of age; and he grew up, literally without education.
My father and I were always on the most distant terms when I was a boy—a sort of armed neutrality, so to speak.


I want to leave something behind when I go: some small legacy of truth, some word that will shine in a dark place.
I...have another cup of coffee with my mother.  We get along very well, veterans of a guerilla war we never understand.

mothers and daughters

My wife is as handsome as when she was a girl, and I...fell in love with her; and what is more, I have never fallen out.
After my mother's death, I began to see her as she had really been . . . It was less like losing someone than discovering someone.

mothers and daughters

All the feeling which my father could not put into words was in his hand—any dog, child or horse would recognize the kindness of it.


My mother has been dead for several years.  But old mothers never die, and they never fade away.  They are too complicated for either.

mother mothers and daughters

I have spent hours kicking myself for not fighting past Dad's reserve, for not going into that cave where he lived and rooting him out.


It was the nation and the race dwelling all round the globe that had the lion's heart. I had the luck to be called upon to give the roar.

English people

My mother preferred the simpler relationship which existed between donor and recipient to the more complicated one between mother and child.

mothers and sons

If I had my life to live over again, I would elect to be a trader of goods rather than a student of science. I think barter is a noble thing.
My Mother always deferred to my Father, and in his absence spoke of him to me, as if he were all-wise.  I confused him in some sense with God.


I was losing interest in politics, when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I have done since then is pretty well known.
The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty and truth.

beauty kindness truth

I have something to prove, as long as I know there's something that needs improvement, and you know that every time I move, I make a woman's movement.
They once asked me what one person accounted for most of my personal felicity in life, and I said, 'That's easy—that would be my wife's first husband.'


'Twant me, 'twas the Lord. I always told him, "I trust to you. I don't know where to go or what to do, but I expect you to lead me," and he always did.
Others have been made fools of by the girls; but, this can never be with truth said of me. I most emphatically, in this instance, made a fool of myself.


Knowing I was adopted may have made me feel more independent, but I have never felt abandoned. I've always felt special. My parents made me feel special.
I am a piece of machinery which, not understanding, my mother winds up the wrong way, setting all the wheels of my composition going in creaking discord.

mother mothers and daughters

All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother. I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.


I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I have come to the conclusion never again to think of marrying, and for this reason, I can never be satisfied with anyone who would be blockheaded enough to have me.


My father, dead so long now, looms up as unexplored landscape, the mountains of the moon, a text that has lain in a drawer, undeciphered, for which I have had no Rosetta Stone.


Our eldest boy, Bob, has been away from us nearly a year at school, and will enter Harvard University this month. He promises very well, considering we never controlled him much.
My father was a romancer and most of my memories of him are colored, I fear, by an untruthfulness that I must have caught from him, like one of the colds that ran round the family.


In me, one of those flaws had proven to be a chronic restlessness; an inability to appreciate, no matter how well things were going, those blessings that were right there in front of me.


For a person who grew up in the '30s and '40s in the segregated South, with so many doors closed to me without explanation, libraries and books said, "Here I am, read me." Take time to read.
I am slow to learn and slow to forget that which I have learned.  My mind is like a piece of steel—very hard to scratch anything on it, and almost impossible after you get it there to rub it out.
When my father would come home from the track after a good day, the whole room would light up; it was fairyland.  But when he lost, it was black.  In our house, it was always either a wake...or a wedding.


Someone once said that every man is trying to either live up to his father's expectations or make up for his father's mistakes, and I suppose that may explain my particular malady as well as anything else.


When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.


I am not a very sentimental man; and the best sentiment I can think of is, that if you collect the signatures of all persons who are no less distinguished than I, you will have a very undistinguishing mass of names.
I don't have all the answers. Nor do I have all the questions... . I confess that, in general, because of my temperament, the first response that occurs to me is the wrong one... . It's curious, but that's the way it is with me.
Whatever woman may cast her lot with mine, should any ever do so, it is my intention to do all in my power to make her happy and contented; and there is nothing I can imagine, that would make me more unhappy than to fail in the effort.
I promised myself that if I ever had some money that I would savor a cigar each day after lunch and after dinner. This is the only resolution of my youth that I have kept, and the only realized ambition which has not brought dissolution.

Cigar cigars

I was very lucky to have grown up with this industry. I did everything in the early days—documentation, sales, supply chain, sweeping the floors, buying chips, you name it. I put computers together with my own two hands. And as the industry grew up, I kept on doing it.
I feel like somebody just punched me in the stomach and knocked all my wind out. I'm only 30 years old and I want to have a chance to continue creating things. I know I've got at least one more great computer in me. And Apple is not going to give me a chance to do that.
I met Woz when I was 13, at a friend's garage. He was about 18. He was, like, the first person I met who knew more electronics than I did at that point. We became good friends, because we shared an interest in computers and we had a sense of humor. We pulled all kinds of pranks together.
I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.
I prayed all night long for my master. Till the first of March; and all the time he was bringing people to look at me, and trying to sell me. I changed my prayer. First of March I began to pray, 'Oh Lord, if you ain't never going to change that man's heart, kill him, Lord, and take him out of the way'.

abolition slavery

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.


I'd never been so tired in my life. I'd come home at about ten o'clock at night and flop straight into bed, then haul myself out at six the next morning and take a shower and go to work. My wife deserves all the credit for keeping me at it. She supported me and kept the family together with a husband in absentia.
Woz and I very much liked Bob Dylan's poetry, and we spent a lot of time thinking about a lot of that stuff. This was California. You could get LSD fresh made from Stanford. You could sleep on the beach at night with your girlfriend. California has a sense of experimentation and a sense of openness—openness to new possibilities.


I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept around the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not as a punishment.
A neighbor down the block named Larry Lang was an engineer at Hewlett- Packard. He spent a lot of time with me, teaching me stuff. The first computer I ever saw was at Hewlett-Packard. They used to invite maybe 10 of us down every Tuesday night and give us lectures and let us work with a computer. I was maybe 12 the first time. I remember the night. They showed us one of their new desktop computers and let us play on it. I wanted one badly.
When I was 12 or 13, I wanted to build something and I needed some parts, so I picked up the phone and called Bill Hewlett—he was listed in the Palo Alto phone book. He answered the phone and he was real nice. He chatted with me for, like, 20 minutes. He didn't know me at all, but he ended up giving me some parts, and he got me a job that summer working at Hewlett-Packard on the line, assembling frequency counters. "Assembling" may be too strong. I was putting in screws. It didn't matter; I was in heaven.
I was very lucky. My father, Paul, was a pretty remarkable man. He never graduated from high school. He was a machinist by trade and worked very hard and was kind of a genius with his hands. He had a workbench out in his garage where, when I was about five or six, he sectioned off a little piece of it and said, "Steve, this is your workbench now." And he gave me some of his smaller tools and showed me how to use a hammer and saw and how to build things. It really was very good for me. He spent a lot of time with me.
When I was a seminarian, I was dazzled by a girl I met. Her beauty, her intellect surprised me, and well, I walked around dizzy for a good bit. When I returned to the seminary, I couldn't pray for a whole week because this girl always popped into my head. I had to rethink what I was doing. I was still free because I was a seminarian; I could have gone back home, [but] I reaffirmed my decision, the religious path. It would be abnormal if this type of thing didn't happen. When it does happen, one has to resituate oneself.


My mother taught me to read before I went to school, so I was pretty bored in school, and I turned into a little terror. You should have seen us in third grade. We basically destroyed our teacher. We would let snakes loose in the classroom and explode bombs. Things changed in the fourth grade, though. One of the saints it my life is this woman named Imogene Hill, who was a fourth-grade teacher who taught this advanced class. She got hip to my whole situation in about a month and kindled a passion in me for learning things. I learned more that year than I think I learned in any year in school. They wanted to put me in high school after that year, but my parents very wisely wouldn't let them.
I was lucky—I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was twenty. We worked hard, and in ten years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4,000 employees. We had just released our finest creation—the Macintosh—a year earlier, and I had just turned thirty. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at thirty I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.