70+ Great Quotes on Life, Human Nature and Creativity

Large library of books - Great Quotes

Interesting quotes are the ones that could be the summary of complex books. They are too brief to teach anything substantially but perfectly suited to remind.

So here are, in no particular order, 70+ quotes that resonated with me. I update the list regularly.

In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the thing you have long taken for granted
Bertrand Russell

Like all dreamers, I mistook disenchantment for truth
Jean-Paul Sartre

With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Half-knowledge is more victorious than whole knowledge: it understands things as being more simple than they are and this renders its opinions more easily intelligible and more convincing
Friedrich Nietzsche

In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. One must develop a palate capable of discerning good and bad. Without good taste, you can’t make good food
Jiro Ono

The more we frequent men, the blacker our thoughts; and when, to clarify them, we return to our solitude, we find there the shadow they have cast
E. M. Cioran

Keeping it real” is a waste of the medium. More fun to become the most interesting or helpful version of you
Austin Kleon

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself
George Bernard Shaw

Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you’ll suck forever
Brian Wilson

It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any
Hugh Laurie

Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad
Miles Kington

The Bookworm by Carl Spitzweg

A good book is more intelligent than its author. It can say things that the writer is not aware of
Umberto Eco

I am the greatest, I said that even before I knew I was
Muhammad Ali

There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it
Alfred Hitchcock

You know how you survive? You make people need you. You survive because you make them need what you have. And then they have nowhere else to go
Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates in Pirates of Silicon Valley

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see
Arthur Schopenhauer

You spend a lifetime playing music to learn what not to play
Dizzy Gillespie

That human being is free, we say, who exists for his own sake and not for another’s

Men will act when they are convinced that their cause is 100 percent on the side of the angels and that the opposition are 100 percent on the side of the devil… There can be no action until issues are polarized to this degree
Saul Alinsky

We may seek a fortune for no greater reason than to secure the respect and attention of people who would otherwise look straight through us
Alain de Botton

The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions
Oliver Wendell Holmes

As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If one only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are

After I’m dead I’d rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one
Cato the Elder

The trouble with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it
Franklin P. Jones

Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest
William Shakespeare

How sad it is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom
Isaac Asimov

Speak When You’re Angry and You’ll Make the Best Speech You’ll Ever Regret
Groucho Marx

A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for
William G.T. Shedd

Intellectuals are naturally attracted by the idea of a planned society, in the belief that they will be in charge of it
Sir Roger Scruton

I see no good in having several lords; Let one alone be master, let one alone be king.
Homer, according to Étienne de la Boétie

[Note: This one sounds way better in french: D’avoir plusieurs seigneurs aucun bien je n’y vois. Qu’un, sans plus, soit le maître et qu’un seul soit le roi”]

I don’t care who writes a nation’s laws, or crafts its advanced treaties, if I can write its economics textbooks
Paul A. Samuelson

Man’s achievements rest upon the use of symbols…. we must consider ourselves as a symbolic, semantic class of life, and those who rule the symbols, rule us
Alfred Korzybski

College: two hundred people reading the same book. An obvious mistake. Two hundred people can read two hundred books
John Cage

The mind of man at one and the same time is both the glory and the shame of the universe
Blaise Pascal

Something must happen and that explains most human commitments. Something must happen even loveless slavery, even war or death
Albert Camus

A definition is the start of an argument, not the end of one
Neil Postman

There are two kinds of truth, small truth and great truth. You can recognize a small truth because its opposite is a falsehood. The opposite of a great truth is another truth
Niels Bohr

To be gentle, tolerant, wise and reasonable requires a goodly portion of toughness
Peter Ustinov

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera
Dorothea Lange

If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something to have him hanged
Cardinal Richelieu

Monster’ is a relative term. To a canary, a cat is a monster. We’ve just gotten used to being the cat
Dr. Henry Wu, Jurassic World

Like Saturn, the revolution devours its children
Jacques Mallet du Pan

Painting: The Philosopher by Jusepe de Ribera

It’s easier to hold your principles 100 percent of the time than it is to hold them 98 percent of the time
Clayton M. Christensen

Once you have a point of view all history will back you up
Van Wyck Brooks

If you got em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow
Lyndon Baines Johnson

I’m fantasizing, but the world is starting to look like my fantasies
André Malraux

The purpose of an organization is to enable common men to do uncommon things
Peter Drucker

The difference between the sane and the insane is that the sane have power to lock up the insane
Hunter Thompson

I start in the middle of a sentence and move both directions at once
John Coltrane

Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through
Jonathan Swift

Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them
Alfred North Whitehead

Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire
François de La Rochefoucauld

As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death
Leonardo Da Vinci

An organization, as a whole, is more conservative and resistant to change than the individuals who comprise it. Do not assume that general agreement will lead to change—it takes substantial energy to move a group, even when all are on board
Ed Catmull

If you run an ambulance company, you need to be the fastest at response. (The most quick”). Anything else is a reason for potential users to switch.On the other hand, if you’re delivering flowers, fast enough’ is plenty fast.Everyone competes on something. That thing you compete on is your most. The other things you do, those need to be enough
Seth Godin

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day
E. B. White

My soul is a hidden orchestra; I know not what instruments, what fiddlestrings and harps, drums and tamboura I sound and clash inside myself. All I hear is the symphony
Fernando Pessoa

We have this idea that love is supposed to last forever. But love isn’t like that. It’s a free-flowing energy that comes and goes when it pleases. Sometimes, it stays for life; other times it stays for a second, a day, a month or a year. So don’t fear love when it comes simply because it makes you vulnerable. But don’t be surprised when it leaves either. Just be glad you had the opportunity to experience it
Neil Strauss

I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member
Groucho Marx

All knowledge degenerates into probability
David Hume

By nothing do men show their character more than by the things they laugh at
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Odysseus wept when he heard the poet sing of his great deeds abroad because once sung, they were no longer his alone. They belonged to anyone who heard the song
Ward Just

Drama is anticipation mingled with uncertainty
William Archer

Beware the investment activity that produces applause; the great moves are usually greeted by yawns
Warren Buffett

A novel can often be a divided man’s conversation with himself
Mohsin Hamid

The slogan of Hell: Eat or be eaten. The slogan of Heaven: Eat and be eaten
W.H. Auden

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water
John W. Gardner

Unfortunately, the balance of nature decrees that a super-abundance of dreams is paid for by a growing potential for nightmares
Peter Ustinov

If gambling is exciting, you’re doing it wrong
Jordan Ellenberg

All human knowledge begins with intuitions, proceeds from thence to concepts, and ends with ideas
Immanuel Kant

Your handwriting. The way you walk. Which china pattern you choose. It’s all giving you away. Everything you do shows your hand. Everything is a self-portrait. Everything is a diary. **Chuck Palahniuk

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