I’ve been collecting quotes for years on various topics including, but not limited to, life, love, contentment, creativity, nature, and of course, writing. I’m sharing some of my favorites to inspire, enlighten and comfort you as you go the way of life. The list is long, and I hope you will return to it often over time.
We must let go of the life we have planned so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
Nothing is secure, but life, transition, the energizing spirit … people wish to be settled; only so far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonder.
What makes us discontented with our condition is the absurdly exaggerated idea we have of the happiness of others.
When you can think of yesterday without regret and tomorrow without fear, you are near contentment.
A permanent state of transition is man’s most noble condition.
Juan Ramon Jimenez
Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.
To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
It is through creating, not possessing, that my life is revealed.
Vida D. Scudder
In art, as in life, follow the accident, fear the fixed plan.
A poet is a nightingale who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Every story I create creates me. I write to create myself.
Octavia E. Butler
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.
If you keep working on it, it’s going to get good. And the fact that it’s bad at first doesn’t mean that you’re ill-suited to do it. It just means that it takes time.
Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.
Mary Lou Cook
An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fall.
Dr. Edwin Land
Writers make few choices, really, about their material. We have to write about what comes naturally and what interests us.
I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.
Vincent van Gogh
Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.
The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.
The key to success is to focus our conscious minds on things we desire, not things we fear.
When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.
François De La Rochefoucauld
Comparison is a thug that robs your joy.
The poor long for riches, the rich long for heaven, but the wise long for a state of tranquility.
It is only when we silence the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts.
K. T. Jong
Language … has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone, and it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.
You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.
Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.
No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored, solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself, and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.
Perfection has one grave defect; it is apt to be dull.
William Somerset Maugham
The principle mark of genius is not perfection but originality, the opening of new frontiers.
People throw away what they could have by insisting on perfection, which they cannot have, and looking for it where they will never find it.
Once you accept the fact that you’re not perfect, you develop some confidence.
You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out.
One of the most essential things you need to do for yourself is to choose a goal that is important to you. Perfection does not exist—you can always do better, and you can always grow.
In everything, no matter what it may be, uniformity is undesirable. Leaving something incomplete makes it interesting and gives one the feeling that there is room for growth.
Even the most expensive clocks still show 60 minutes in every hour.
You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?
The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have and be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.
Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol; you want it not for itself but because it will content your spirit for the moment.
The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.
Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
It is not the man who has too little but the man who craves more, who is poor.
Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.
It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.
Pride makes us artificial, and humility makes us real.
When science discovers the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disappointed to find they’re not it.
True humility is contentment. There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.
Henri Frederic Amiel
A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.
It wasn’t until quite late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say, “I don’t know.”
Humility, that low, sweet root from which all heavenly virtues shoot.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.
Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
I believe in God; only I spell it Nature.
Frank Lloyd Wright
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth.
If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.
Vincent Van Gogh