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Jean CocteauLife is a horizontal fall.

—  Jean Cocteau, 1889-1963, French artist

Elbert HubbardDo not take life too seriously; you will never get out of it alive.

—  Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer

Sylvia PlathWhy can’t I try on different lives, like dresses, to see which one fits me and is most becoming?

—  Sylvia Plath, 1932-1963, American poet & writer

Zig ZiglarCreate a life you can't wait to live.

—  Zig Ziglar, 1926-2012, American self-help writer

George CarlinLife is a zero sum game.

—  George Carlin, 1936-2008, American comedian

Cyril ConnollyLife is a maze in which we take the wrong turning before we have learnt to walk.

—  Cyril Connolly, 1903-1974, British writer

Wilson MiznerLife's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest.

—  Wilson Mizner, 1876-1913, American playwright

Friedrich NietzscheLove for life is still possible, only one loves differently: it is like love for a woman whom one does not trust.

—  Friedrich Nietzsche, 1844-1900, German philosopher

Lenny BruceLife is a four letter word.

—  Lenny Bruce, 1925-1966, American comedian

Pierre de CoubertinThe important thing in Life is not triumph, but the struggle; the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

—  Pierre de Coubertin, 1863-1937, French, father of the Olympic Games

Bette DavisThe key to life is accepting challenges. Once someone stops doing this, he's dead.

—  Bette Davis, 1908-1989, American actress

HoraceLife grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.

—  Horace, 65-8 BC, Roman poet

William ShakespeareWe are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

—  William Shakespeare, 1564-1616, English poet & playwright ‐ The Tempest

Mahatma GandhiLive as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

—  Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, Indian leader of independence

Lord ByronThe great object of life is sensation- to feel that we exist, even though in pain.

—  Lord Byron, 1788-1824, British poet

Eugene O’NeillLife is a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.

—  Eugene O’Neill, 1888-1953, American playwright, Nobel 1936

Arthur SchopenhauerEach day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.

—  Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher

Eleanor RooseveltLife is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.

—  Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884-1962, American politician & wife of the 32nd USA president

NapoleonAnd yet, what a novel my life has been!

Quel roman pourtant que ma vie!

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

Mahatma GandhiMy life is my message.

—  Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, Indian leader of independence

Benjamin FranklinLife biggest tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.

—  Benjamin Franklin, 1706-1790, American politician & writer

Albert EinsteinIf A is success in life, then A = x + y + z. Work is x, play is y and z is keeping your mouth shut.

—  Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, German-Jewish physicist

Wolfgang GoetheA useless life is an early death.

—  Wolfgang Goethe, 1749-1832, German poet & philosopher

Wolfgang GoetheRemember to live.

—  Wolfgang Goethe, 1749-1832, German poet & philosopher

Albert EinsteinLife is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

—  Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, German-Jewish physicist

Arthur SchopenhauerLife is a business that does not cover the costs.

—  Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher

Arthur SchopenhauerLife is a constant process of dying.

—  Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher

Arthur SchopenhauerThe shortness of life, so often lamented, may be the best thing about it.

—  Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher

Arthur SchopenhauerThere is no doubt that life is given us, not to be enjoyed, but to be overcome.

—  Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher

H.L. MenckenYou can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth.

—  H.L. Mencken, 1880-1956, American columnist & cultural critic

Jean-Paul SartreLife begins on the other side of despair.

—  Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905-1980, French philosopher

Jean-Paul SartreThe more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.

—  Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905-1980, French philosopher

Oscar WildeLife imitates art far more than art imitates Life.

—  Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish writer

Oscar WildeLife is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.

—  Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Irish writer

Eugene IonescoLife is surprising, a lot of unexpected things can happen to you. Small, not big ones.

—  Eugene Ionesco, 1912-1994, French-Romanian playwright

Kurt VonnegutLike so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.

—  Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007, American writer

Georges ClemenceauA man's life is interesting primarily when he has failed — I well know. For it's a sign that he tried to surpass himself.

—  Georges Clemenceau, 1841-1929, French Prime Minister

Ralph Waldo EmersonThe years in your life are less important than the life in your years.

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1884, American philosopher

Ralph Waldo EmersonIt is not the length of life, but the depth.

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1884, American philosopher

SenecaBut life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.

—  Seneca, 4 AD-65 AD, Roman philosopher

SenecaBegin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.

—  Seneca, 4 AD-65 AD, Roman philosopher

Samuel JohnsonLife is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

Samuel JohnsonHuman life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured and little to be enjoyed.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

Charles Caleb ColtonIf you would be known, and not know, vegetate in a village; If you would know, and not be known, live in a city.

—  Charles Caleb Colton, 1780-1832, English cleric & writer

Fernando PessoaMy life is as if you've hit me with it.

—  Fernando Pessoa, 1888-1935, Portuguese poet & writer

Albert CamusThere is not love of life without despair about life.

—  Albert Camus, 1913-1960, French writer, Nobel 1957

Albert CamusIt takes time to live. Like any work of art, life needs to be thought about.

—  Albert Camus, 1913-1960, French writer, Nobel 1957

Albert CamusLife should be lived to the point of tears.

—  Albert Camus, 1913-1960, French writer, Nobel 1957

Francis BaconBut men must know that in this theater of man's life it is reserved only for God and angels to be lookers on.

—  Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, English philosopher

VoltaireLife is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.

—  Voltaire, 1694-1778, French philosopher & writer

VoltaireWe never live; we are always in the expectation of living.

—  Voltaire, 1694-1778, French philosopher & writer

Stanislaw Jerzy LecPeople find life entirely too time-consuming.

—  Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, 1906-1966, Polish author of maxims

Carl SandburgLife is like an onion; you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.

—  Carl Sandburg, 1878-1967, American poet

Jules RenardAs I grow to understand life less and less, I learn to love it more and more.

—  Jules Renard, 1864-1910, French writer

Charles BaudelaireThis life is a hospital where each patient is possessed by the desire to change his bed.

—  Charles Baudelaire, 1821-1867, French poet

Henry David ThoreauThe great art of life is how to turn the surplus life of the soul into life for the body.

—  Henry David Thoreau, 1817-1862, American writer

Karl JungLife really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.

—  Karl Jung, 1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist

Karl JungThe difference between a good life and a bad life is how well you walk through the fire.

—  Karl Jung, 1875-1961, Swiss psychiatrist

Sigmund FreudThree of life's most important areas: work, love, and taking responsibility.

—  Sigmund Freud, 1856-1939, Austrian psychologist, founder of psychoanalysis

George SantayanaThere is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.

—  George Santayana, 1863-1952, Spanish-American philosopher

George BurnsThere's an old saying, 'Life begins at forty.' That's silly. Life begins every morning you wake up.

—  George Burns, 1896-1996, American comedian

Isaac AsimovIn life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.

—  Isaac Asimov, 1920-1992, American Sci-Fi writer

Elbert HubbardLife is just one damn thing after another.

—  Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer

Elbert HubbardThe best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.

—  Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer

Elbert HubbardTrue life lies in laughter, love and work.

—  Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer

Elbert HubbardLife in abundance comes only through great love.

—  Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer

Elbert HubbardLife is a compromise between fate and free will.

—  Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer

Karl KrausLife is an effort that deserves a better cause.

—  Karl Kraus, 1874-1936, Austrian writer

Karl KrausYou don't even live once.

—  Karl Kraus, 1874-1936, Austrian writer

William JamesThe great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

—  William James, 1842-1910, American philosopher

William JamesThere are two lives, the natural and the spiritual, and we must lose the one before we can participate in the other.

—  William James, 1842-1910, American philosopher

William JamesYou can alter your life by altering the state of your mind.

—  William James, 1842-1910, American philosopher

Robert FrostIn three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life — It goes on.

—  Robert Frost, 1874-1963, American poet

Eugene O’NeillLife is perhaps best regarded as a bad dream between two awakenings.

—  Eugene O’Neill, 1888-1953, American playwright, Nobel 1936

Marcel ProustDo not wait for life. Do not long for it. Be aware, always and at every moment, that the miracle is in the here and now.

—  Marcel Proust, 1871-1922, French writer

Eleanor RooseveltLife is like a parachute jump, you've got to get it right the first time.

—  Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884-1962, American politician & wife of the 32nd USA president

George Bernard ShawLife is not meant to be easy, my child; but take courage: it can be delightful.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

George OrwellAutobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful. A man who gives a good account of himself is probably lying, since any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.

—  George Orwell, 1903-1950, British writer

Latin Quotes

HippocratesArt is long, life is short.

Ars longa, vita brevis.

—  Hippocrates, 460-377 BC, Ancient Greek physician, the 'Father of Medicine'

Latin phraseWhile we live, let us live!

Dum vivimus, vivamus!

—  Latin phrase

Quotes in Verse

Akis PanouMy whole life is a cigarette
that I don’t like and, still, I smoke it.

—  Akis Panou, 1933-2000, Greek folk song writer

Bob MarleyLove the life you live.
live the life you love.

—  Bob Marley, 1945-1981, Jamaican singer

Funny Quotes

Steven WrightI intend to live forever. So far, so good.

—  Steven Wright, 1955-, American comedian

Jean-Paul SartreEverything has been figured out, except how to live.

—  Jean-Paul Sartre, 1905-1980, French philosopher

Non-English Quotes

Michel de MontaigneMon métier et mon art, c'est vivre.

My trade and my art is living.

—  Michel de Montaigne, 1533-1592, French thinker


French proverbLife is like an onion, which one peels crying.

—  French proverb


Special Quotes

Have you met life today?

—  Slogan of MetLife

Movie Quotes

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)You see, George. You really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to throw it away?

—  from the film It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Frankenstein (1931)Look! It's moving. It's alive. It's alive... It's alive, it's moving.

—  from the film Frankenstein (1931)

Pierrot le Fou (1965)That's what makes me sad: life is so different from books. I wish it were the same: clear, logical, organized.

—  from the film Pierrot le Fou (1965)

Fight Club (1999)This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.

—  from the film Fight Club (1999)

Dead Poets Society (1989)Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.

—  from the film Dead Poets Society (1989)

Forrest Gump (1994)My Mama always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates; you never know what you're gonna get”.

—  from the film Forrest Gump (1994)


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou