19 Quotes to Live by in 2018

Every Christmas I get Amazon gift cards as gifts. And every New Year’s, I use those gift cards on books from Amazon and set a goal to read every book I buy in hopes of squelching my desire for reality TV.  Last New Year’s, I ended up getting 45 books. Unfortunately, I only made it through 28 of those books.  Some I read twice or even three times, while Big Brother and MTV’s The Challenge interfered with my reading of the others. 

Quotes from 2017

Below is a list of 19 quotes from the books I did read in 2017 that hopefully will have an impact on your 2018 as much as they will on mine. 

Side note: This past year I had a fascination with behavioral psychology, death, and stoicism, as you’ll notice in the quotes below. Weird, I know. 

  1. “Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could” -Louise Erdrich
  2. “I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” – Johan Wolfgang von Goethe
  3.  “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” – Pierre-Marc-Gaston
  4. “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu
  5. “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming – ‘Wow! What a ride!'” – Hunter S. Thompson
  6. “The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of the non-essential.” – Lin Yutang
  7. “He who suffers before it is necessary suffers more than is necessary.” – Seneca
  8. “Action may not always bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.” – Benjamin Disraeli
  9. “Our life is frittered away by detail.. Simplify, simplify… A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.” – Henry David Thoreau
  10. “The world is changed by your example, not your opinion.” – Paulo Coelho
  11. “In any situation in life, you only have three options. You always have three options. You can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it. What is not a good option is to sit around wishing you could change it but not changing it, wishing you would leave it but not leaving it and not accepting it.” – Naval Ravikant
  12. “Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.” – W.H. Auden
  13. “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people.” – Randy Pausch
  14. “It is better to be a tiger for one day than a sheep for a thousand years.” – Tibetan Maxim
  15. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
  16. Someone asked the Dalai Lama what surprises him most. His response – ““Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
  17. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot
  18. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” – Carl Sandberg
  19. “People ask me, ‘What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer must at once be, ‘It is of no use.’There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron… If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live. That is what life means and what life is for.” – George Mallory