favorite quotes, http://litemind.com/favorite-quotes/
The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
A. A. Milne
History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.
How many legs does a dog have, if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.
My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
Adlai E. Stevenson Jr.
I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.
It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge.
Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped.
Do you realize if it weren’t for Edison we’d be watching TV by candlelight?
Any company large enough to have a research lab is too large to listen to it.
Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.
When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about.
The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.
The person who reads too much and uses his brain too little will fall into lazy habits of thinking.
Time and space are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live.
When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, you think it’s only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.
There are people who, instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves.
When everyone is against you, it means that you are absolutely wrong– or absolutely right.
An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.
Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.
Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
Alfred A. Montapert
It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.
The point of quotations is that one can use another’s words to be insulting.
Acquaintance, n.: A person whom we know well enough to borrow from, but not well enough to lend to.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.
It is better to fail at your own life than to succeed at someone else’s.
People cannot discover new lands until they have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.
It is bad luck to be superstitious.
Andrew W. Mathis
If the lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
What lies in our power to do, lies in our power not to do.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Every nation ridicules other nations, and all are right.
I’d rather live with a good question than a bad answer.
The Argument from Intimidation is a confession of intellectual impotence.
The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.
B. F. Skinner
A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.
A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.
Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.
Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.
Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach.
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
No one gossips about other people’s secret virtues.
If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.
The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
If at first you don’t succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.
Thought is useful when it motivates for action, and a hindrance when it substitutes for action.
An optimist stays up to see the New Year in. A pessimist waits to make sure the old one leaves.
We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong.
Careful. We don’t want to learn from this.
I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.
I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.
A single question can be more influential than a thousand statements.
A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it.
The less you know, the more you believe.
When the student is ready the teacher will appear.
Don’t ever wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.
The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
Just the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
Some people make things happen, some people watch things happen, and some ask what happened.
If you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.
You don’t get anything clean without getting something else dirty.
Happiness is the absence of striving for happiness.
Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they contain the whole truth, or the only truth.
Charles A. Dana
The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting.
An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously.
Charles F. Kettering
Bureaucrats write memoranda both because they appear to be busy when they are writing and because the memos, once written, immediately become proof that they were busy.
By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.
One dog barks at something. And a hundred dogs bark at the sound.
I hear: I forget / I see: I remember / I do: I understand
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.
Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is.
When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I’m beginning to believe it.
Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.
There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbors will say.
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.
Dame Edna Everage
Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.
Daniel J. Boorstin
Procastination is not about not doing is about not doing and feeling crappy.
You can do anything, but not everything.
It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.
A committee can make a decision that is dumber than any of its members.
The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.
Television enables you to be entertained in your home by people you wouldn’t have in your home.
Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.
David Lloyd George
The tooth fairy teaches children that they can sell body parts for money.
The more you know, the more you realise how much you don’t know — the less you know, the more you think you know.
David T. Freeman
Simple, clear purpose and principles give rise to complex and intelligent behavior. Complex rules and regulations give rise to simple and stupid behavior.
The first step toward success will be the biggest one.
There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
It’s a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn’t want to hear.
If your parents never had children, chances are you won’t, either.
There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have.
Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.
If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
Donald H. Rumsfeld
The art of simplicity is a puzzle of complexity.
Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
Hofstadter’s Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.
In God we trust; all others bring data.
Dr. Edwards Deming
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it.
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
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
Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.
E. W. Dijkstra
I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.
If only we’d stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time.
Talent does what it can; genius does what it must.
Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.
Edward R. Murrow
The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to.
If the human mind was simple enough to understand, we’d be too simple to understand it.
If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.
There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.
You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.
The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.
Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.
Courage is grace under pressure.
You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another. There’s nothing to that.
A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don’t allow the happy moment, because they’re so busy trying to get a happy life.
Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it’s important.
Character is what you have left when you’ve lost everything you can lose.
America believes in education: the average professor earns more money in a year than a professional athlete earns in a whole week.
We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.
Francois de La Rochefoucauld
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.
The trouble with being punctual is that nobody’s there to appreciate it.
Franklin P. Jones
Experience is that marvelous thing that enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
Franklin P. Jones
A celebrity is a person who works hard all his life to become well known, then wears dark glasses to avoid being recognized.
Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.
The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.
Education… has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
G. M. Trevelyan
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.
I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
My friends tell me I have an intimacy problem. But they don’t really know me.
I’ve been trying for some time to develop a lifestyle that doesn’t require my presence.
Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
My way of joking is to tell the truth. It is the funniest joke in the world.
George Bernard Shaw
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
George Bernard Shaw
Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.
George Bernard Shaw
Too bad the only people who know how to run the country are busy driving cabs and cutting hair.
You know you’re getting old when you stop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there.
It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or the fourteenth.
Are people more violently opposed to fur rather than leather because its much easier to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs?
The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.
George F. Will
All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
A physicist is an atom’s way of knowing about atoms.
I have too much respect for the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world.
Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it.
Gordon R. Dickson
2 is not equal to 3, not even for large values of 2.
Those are my principles. If you don’t like them I have others.
A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.
There is no truth. There is only perception.
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
H. L. Mencken
There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem.
I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up – they have no holidays.
My Grandmother is over eighty and still doesn’t need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle.
Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.
Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science.
Truly great madness cannot be achieved without significant intelligence.
Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
Henry David Thoreau
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau
Whether you think you can or think you can’t — you are right.
Writing is good, thinking is better. Cleverness is good, patience is better
If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.
The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.
Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.
If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I’d type a little faster.
Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.
I don’t deserve this award, but I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either.
I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.
It’s no longer a question of staying healthy. It’s a question of finding a sickness you like.
The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation.
Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today.
Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.
James F. Byrnes
A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.
It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.
He knows all about art, but he doesn’t know what he likes.
No matter what side of the argument you are on, you always find people on your side that you wish were on the other.
Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism; the way you play it is free will.
Only the mediocre are always at their best.
A timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterward.
Jean Paul Richter
My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists.
A good tool improves the way you work. A great tool improves the way you think.
A person who trusts no one can’t be trusted.
I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.
Jerome K. Jerome
Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.
If God lived on earth, people would break his windows.
If the phone doesn’t ring, it’s me.
We are the people our parents warned us about.
The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well.
If it weren’t for my lawyer, I’d still be in prison. It went a lot faster with two people digging.
It is in self-limitation that a master first shows himself.
Mistrust the man who finds everything good, the man who finds everything evil and still more the man who is indifferent to everything.
Johann K. Lavater
In mathematics you don’t understand things. You just get used to them.
Johann von Neumann
The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.
John Kenneth Galbraith
A man always has two reasons for what he does-a good one, and the real one.
John Pierpont Morgan
What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.
We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.
John W. Gardner
Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.
Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories.
No wise man ever wished to be younger.
Man has to suffer. When he has no real afflictions, he invents some.
I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am.
A fine quotation is a diamond on the finger of a man of wit, and a pebble in the hand of a fool.
A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else.
Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.
Jules de Gaultier
Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.
It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
If you want truly to understand something, try to change it.
Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Truth over Harmony.
Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it.
Laurence J. Peter
Any event, once it has occurred, can be made to appear inevitable by a competent historian.
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Leonardo da Vinci
Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.
Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.
The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.
I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.
When hungry, eat your rice; when tired, close your eyes. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I mean.
The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it.
Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.
Love thy neighbour as yourself, but choose your neighbourhood.
Wisdom is knowing the right path to take… Integrity is taking it.
M. H. McKee
It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly.
The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would solve most the worlds problems.
An eye for eye only ends up making the whole world blind.
God has no religion.
Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.
Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of witnesses.
Times have not become more violent. They have just become more televised.
To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.
Marilyn vos Savant
If everything’s under control, you’re going too slow.
It is surprinsingly how easy it is to forget that the way to get things done is to do them.
The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.
Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did; I ought to know because I’ve done it a thousand times.
A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, the rest of your day will be wonderful.
If you have to eat a frog, don’t look at it for too long.
If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.
It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.
Never put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after tomorrow.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.
When a thought is too weak to be expressed simply, simply drop it.
Marquis de Vauvenargues
I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say.
There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is in having lots to do and not doing it.
Mary Wilson Little
If God wanted us to fly, He would have given us tickets.
The coward dies a thousand deaths, the brave man…only five hundred.
I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying.
The more you can dream, the more you can do.
You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.
Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes.
A man who fears suffering is already suffering from what he fears.
We can do no great things, only small things with great love.
A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine.
Murphy’s Law of Computing
Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence.
Napoleon (Hanlon’s Razor)
History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.
Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
I’ve gone into hundreds of [fortune-teller’s parlors], and have been told thousands of things, but nobody ever told me I was a policewoman getting ready to arrest her.
New York City detective
The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.
I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy.
When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.
There is no greater impotence in all the world like knowing you are right and that the wave of the world is wrong, yet the wave crashes upon you.
Heroism consists of hanging on one minute longer.
You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.
The little I know I owe to my ignorance.
What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left.
Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
True friends stab you in the front.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
I am not young enough to know everything.
Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.
There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written.
Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.
Laws are like sausages. It’s better not to see them being made.
Otto von Bismarck
Action is the foundational key to all success.
Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.
The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.
There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.
Peter F. Drucker
Some people have so much respect for their superiors they have none left for themselves.
Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.
Write drunk, revise sober.
I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated.
Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage, and those who manage what they do not understand.
Some things have to be believed to be seen.
The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.
Ralph W. Sockman
I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.
A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities; an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties.
Reginald B. Mansell
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change thing I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
I quit therapy because my analyst was trying to help me behind my back.
One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.
Rita Mae Brown
An undefined problem has an infinite number of solutions.
Robert A. Humphrey
Understanding is simple. Knowing is complicated.
A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–/ I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.
While I am opposed to all orthodox creeds, I have a creed myself; and my creed is this. Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so. This creed is somewhat short, but it is long enough for this life, strong enough for this world. If there is another world, when we get there we can make another creed.
Robert Green Ingersoll
Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.
The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.
Robert M. Pirsig
It is a puzzling thing. The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth.’ and so it goes away. Puzzling.
Robert M. Pirsig
When one person suffers from a delusion It is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion It is called Religion.
Robert M. Pirsig
There’s so much pollution in the air now that if it weren’t for our lungs there’d be no place to put it all.
We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
If the automobile had followed the same development cycle as the computer, a Rolls-Royce would today cost $100, get a million miles per gallon, and explode once a year, killing everyone inside.
Robert X. Cringely
I haven’t spoken to my wife in years. I didn’t want to interrupt her.
My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
If there’s only one answer, then this must not be a very interesting topic.
Nobody believes the official spokesman… but everybody trusts an unidentified source.
Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.
After twelve years of therapy my psychiatrist said something that brought tears to my eyes. He said, ‘No hablo ingles.’
Inanimate objects are classified scientifically into three major categories – those that don’t work, those that break down and those that get lost.
O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet.
There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.
Saint Theresa of Jesus
You almost never get the pleasure of seeing that you won the argument in real time. People just don’t like to publicly change their minds. They change their minds in private.
What shapes our lives are the questions we ask, refuse to ask, or never think to ask.
Somewhere on this globe, every ten seconds, there is a woman giving birth to a child. She must be found and stopped.
It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don’t say it.
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good.
If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?
If you can eliminate all the other choices, the remaining choice, no matter how improbable, is the answer.
In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.
An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.
An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.
Not only is the universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.
Sir Arthur Eddington
I don’t mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don’t understand.
Sir Edward Appleton
By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll be happy. If you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher… and that is a good thing for any man.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
The unexamined life is not worth living.
True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.
To a brave man, good and bad luck are like his left and right hand. He uses both.
St Catherine of Siena
When you’re young, you look at television and think, There’s a conspiracy. The networks have conspired to dumb us down. But when you get a little older, you realize that’s not true. The networks are in business to give people exactly what they want. That’s a far more depressing thought. Conspiracy is optimistic! You can shoot the bastards!
Failure to plan ahead on your part does not create an emergency on my part.
With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
Fortune does not change men, it unmasks them.
When I hear somebody sigh, ‘Life is hard,’ I am always tempted to ask, ‘Compared to what?’
Sydney J. Harris
Have the courage to be ignorant of a great number of things, in order to avoid the calamity of being ignorant of everything.
If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.
We don’t see the things the way they are. We see things the way WE are.
If I only had a little humility, I’d be perfect.
There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly.
Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.
Thomas H. Huxley
Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.
Thomas H. Huxley
The way to succeed is to double your error rate.
Thomas J. Watson
In archaeology you uncover the unknown. In diplomacy you cover the known.
When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.
Invention is the mother of necessity.
I have such a high regard for the truth that I use it sparingly.
Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.
A cult is a religion with no political power.
The best way to get a better answer is to start asking a better question.
The things you own end up owning you.
Tyler Durden, in Fight Club
The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.
Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everybody agrees that it is old enough to know better.
Learn from the mistakes of others, because you can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum sonatur. (Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.)
I wish I was as certain about anything, as he is about everything.
Management works within the system. Leadership works on the system.
There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.
I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you don’t know when you’re lost.
Be kind to unkind people – they need it the most.
It takes about ten years to get used to how old you are.
To fight a bull when you are not scared is nothing. And to not fight a bull when you are scared is nothing. But to fight a bull when you are scared is something.
Some people have nothing very well organized. And some people have nothing, very well organized.
What if this weren’t a hypothetical question?
The fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.
Tell a man there are 300 Billion stars in the universe and he’ll believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he’ll have to touch to be sure.
A wise man can see more from the bottom of a well than a fool can from a mountain top.
Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most.
When an ordinary man attains knowledge he is a sage; when a sage attains understanding he is an ordinary man.
Never try to please everyone. Your goal should be to become the hated enemy of certain kinds of people.
Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.
The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.
Work like you don’t need money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one’s watching
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.
Vernon Sanders Law
Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
I don’t mind what Congress does, as long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses.
Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.
Virgil Garnett Thomson
Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh.
W. H. Auden
The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself.
You’ve achieved success in your field when you don’t know whether what you’re doing is work or play.
It makes more sense to buy a wonderful business at a fair price than it does to buy a fair business at a wonderful price.
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
Always and never are two words you should always remember never to use.
Research is what I’m doing when I don’t know what I’m doing.
Wernher von Braun
The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self.
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all of your time.
Willem de Kooning
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward
It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend.
It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.
William G. McAdoo
The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.
I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages.
William H. Mauldin
After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say I want to see the manager.
William S. Burroughs
When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.
William Wrigley Jr.
I respect faith, but doubt is what gets you an education.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
I took a speed reading course and read ‘War and Peace’ in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.
If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.
No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.
Before enlightnment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightnment, chop wood, carry water.
People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.
When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.
Sometimes when reading Goethe I have the paralyzing suspision that he is trying to be funny.
Seriousness is the only refuge of the shallow.
Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.
Franklin P. Jones
A conclusion is the place where you got tired thinking.
Martin H. Fischer
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.
I’ve done the calculation and your chances of winning the lottery are identical whether you play or not.
First we make our habits, then our habits make us.
Charles C. Noble
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
Until you’ve lost your reputation, you never realize what a burden it was.
A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
I never apologize. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way I am.
The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.
Never try and teach a pig to think … It doesn’t work, and will only upset the pig.
A genius! For 37 years I’ve practised fourteen hours a day, and now they call me a genius!
Pablo Sarasate (Spanish Violinist)
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau
The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.
Andrew S. Tanenbaum
Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
My definition of an expert in any field is a person who knows enough about what’s really going on to be scared.
P. J. Plauger
Eighty percent of success is showing up.
‘Someday’ is the day after you die.
I can’t understand why a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one for a few dollars.
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.
Who is wise? He who learns from all men.
Dream is not the thing what you see in sleep, dream is the thing that does not let you sleep.
If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.
When I was young, I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. So I did ten times more work.
George Bernard Shaw
There are only two ways of telling the complete truth–anonymously and posthumously.
When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.
George Bernard Shaw
Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.
Charles M. Schulz
Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.
When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
R. Buckminster Fuller
Life is based on perception,
Perception is based on opinion,
Opinion is based on thought,
Thought comes from the mind.
Change your mind , change your life.
You can never get enough of what you don’t really need.
Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn’t seem to be working
An incompetent attorney can delay a trial for months or years. A competent attorney can delay one even longer.
Evelle J. Younger
I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.
Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
Never judge a book by its movie.
J. W. Eagan
The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.
George Bernard Shaw
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they’d never expect it.
A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.
Why does the Air Force need expensive new bombers? Have the people we’ve been bombing over the years been complaining?
Before you go and criticize the younger generation, just remember who raised them.
It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.
Time is the stuff life is made of.
Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted.
I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some.
When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
George Bernard Shaw
Silence is so accurate.
Money doesn’t change you; it reveals who you are when you no longer have to be nice.
Quiet is the absence of sound. Silence is the presence of silence.
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
H. L. Mencken
If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw
It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true.
I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.
The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.
The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.
Alfred North Whitehead
You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.
The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.
60 Selected Best Famous Quotes
In this posting you will find my selection of the very best 60 quotes, from nearly a decade of collecting them. They range from the profound to the intriguing to the just plain funny.
One way or the other, you’ll surely find many of them to be thought-provoking and entertaining.
This selection is, of course, based solely on my personal taste (and even that varies largely from day to day according to my mood). You are welcome to browse the entire collection and look for your own favorite ones or contribute new quotes from your own personal collection.
1. You can do anything, but not everything.
2. Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
3. The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.
4. You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
5. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
6. You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
7. When hungry, eat your rice; when tired, close your eyes. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I mean.
8. The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
—A. A. Milne
9. To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.
10. We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
11. A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
12. Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.
13. Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
14. Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
15. What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.
16. The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.
17. Work like you don’t need money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one’s watching
18. Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.
—Virgil Garnett Thomson
19. Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
20. People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
21. Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories.
22. What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left.
23. Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
24. I’ve gone into hundreds of [fortune-teller’s parlors], and have been told thousands of things, but nobody ever told me I was a policewoman getting ready to arrest her.
—New York City detective
25. When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.
26. Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
27. Just the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
28. My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists.
29. Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.
30. I quit therapy because my analyst was trying to help me behind my back.
31. We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
32. If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?
33. If the lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us.
34. When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I’m beginning to believe it.
35. Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.
36. There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbors will say.
37. There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
38. All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
—H. L. Mencken
39. I don’t mind what Congress does, as long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses.
40. I took a speed reading course and read ‘War and Peace’ in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.
Otherwise Intelligent Quotes
41. The person who reads too much and uses his brain too little will fall into lazy habits of thinking.
42. Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.
43. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
44. I’d rather live with a good question than a bad answer.
45. We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong.
46. I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.
47. Don’t ever wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.
48. An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously.
—Charles F. Kettering
49. Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
50. Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
51. Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.
—Dame Edna Everage
52. I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.
53. Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.
54. The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
55. Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.
56. Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it.
—Gordon R. Dickson
57. The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.
58. Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence.
—Napoleon (Hanlon’s Razor)
59. Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.
60. When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.