Words of Wisdom – For Life, Death, and Everything In Between

Words of Wisdom For Life

There’s a certain sense of ‘being alive’ that strikes you when you hear someone frame together words of wisdom that explain and express a certain feeling that torments you. You instantly feel a strong connection with that person for understanding what you feel and for putting it into words so that you can understand yourself better. Ultimately, you are relieved of the overwhelming burden of that certain feeling or emotion and you know for sure that you are not alone. 

This is the beauty and power of words.

Proverbs, anecdotes, quips, riddles, excerpts, aphorisms, koans, snippets, lyrics, and limericks – you name it, I appreciate them all.

Quotes these days tend to catch a bad rep on the internet, due to certain popular quotes to be shared ad infinitum.

But this is a real shame and disappointment. Because if you really dig deep enough in the caverns of the internet, you can find a nearly infinite wellspring of mind-liberating, soul-vitalizing words of wisdom. 

Words of Wisdom – For Life, Death, and Everything In Between

Now, don’t get me wrong, quotes can never be a replacement for reading entire books, intricate novels, and long-form essays. Absolutely no way.

But I believe that they can nonetheless deliver influential, pithy shots of insight, clarity, and vigor.

That being said, as a gift to you, we have assembled this list of 150 priceless jewels of thought, on everything ranging from love and suffering to mystery and happiness, to death and morality.

Make sure you marinate, contemplate, salivate, and above all, savor these words of wisdom as if they were intimate notes left personally to you by some of the greatest minds in history.

Because in fact, that’s exactly what they are.

Related: Take these words of wisdom and apply them to the power of now to power through life. Here are 100+ Eckhart Tolle’s Quotes To Help You Power Through Life.

Here are 150 Words of Wisdom – For Life, Death and Everything In Between:

On Happiness

1. “What did you do as a child that made the hours pass like minutes? Herein lies the key to your earthly pursuits.”
― Carl Jung

2. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
― Lao Tzu

3. “Contentment is natural wealth, luxury is artificial poverty.”
― Socrates

4. “Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

5. “Happiness consists in realizing it is all a great strange dream.”
― Jack Kerouac

6. “I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.”
― Franz Kafka

7. “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”
― Leo Tolstoy

8. “Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. ”
― William James

9. “The notion that a human being should be constantly happy is a uniquely modern, uniquely American, uniquely destructive idea”
― Andrew Weil


On Love

10. “The truly faithless one is the one who makes love to only a fraction of you. And denies the rest.”
― Anaïs Nin

11. “Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”
― Kahlil Gibran

12. “When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you’d like them to be.”
— Leo Tolstoy

13. “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”
― Ursula K. Le Guin

14. “We need, in love, to practice only this: letting each other go. For holding on comes easily; we do not need to learn it.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

15. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
― Lao Tzu

16. “We were together. I forget the rest.”
― Walt Whitman

17. “Love is friendship set to music.”
― Jackson Pollock

18. “Intelligence is intuitive
you needn’t learn to love
unless you’ve been taught
to fear and hate”
― Saul Williams


On Identity & Self-Actualization

19. “re what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
― Kurt Vonnegut

20. “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
― C.G. Jung

21. “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
― Joseph Campbell

22. “Become what you are.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

23. “What labels me, negates me.”
― Søren Kierkegaard


On Art

24. “What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.”
― Salvador Dalí

25. “Irresponsibility is part of the pleasure of all art; it is the part the schools cannot recognize.”
— James Joyce

26. “Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.”
― Chuck Klosterman

27. “Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not. ”
― Pablo Picasso

28. “Art is anything you can get away with.”
― Marshall McLuhan

29. “I don’t believe in art. I believe in artists.”
― Marcel Duchamp


On Writing & Language

30. “I’d tell you all you want and more, if the sounds I made could be what you hear.”
― David Foster Wallace

31. “If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.”
― Jim Morrison

32. “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
― Ernest Hemingway

33. “Poetry is the one place where people can speak their original human mind. It is the outlet for people to say in public what is known in private.”
― Allen Ginsberg

34. “Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.”
― Franz Kafka

35. “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly ― they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
― Aldous Huxley

36. “Poetry is what gets lost in translation.”
― Robert Frost

37. “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

38. What I really wanted was every kind of life, and the writer’s life seemed the most inclusive.”
― Susan Sontag

39. “Words are never ‘only words’; they matter because they define the contours of what we can do.”
― Slavoj Žižek


On Reading & Education

40. “Read a lot. Expect something big, something exalting or deepening from a book. No book is worth reading that isn’t worth re-reading.”
― Susan Sontag

41. “Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.”
― Richard P. Feynman

42. “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”
― Oscar Wilde

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