Have you even been in that moment where you needed to be a little more energetic and didn’t know how to get that extra energy? For me, short life quotes do exactly that.
Every time I need to get inspired, I search for short life quotes. Having this in mind, I wanted to research some optimistic quotes from some of the greatest philosophers and share them with you.
Let me know what you think and maybe leave the one that inspired you in the comments section below. And by that I mean below the huge f**king list of short life quotes.
Here are two simple ways to get inspired fast:
- Check the table of contents and, when you recognize a someone, click their name and you will automatically navigate to their quotes;
- Scroll and read randomly some quotes.
Table of Contents Hide
- 3 optimistic short life quotes from Immanuel Kant
- 25 optimistic short life quotes from Plato
- 20 optimistic short life quotes from Aristotle
- 18 optimistic short life quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche
- 4 optimistic short life quotes from Martin Heidegger
- 7 optimistic short life quotes from Michel Foucault
- 10 optimistic short life quotes from G. W. F. Hegel
- 7 optimistic short life quotes from Karl Marx
- 12 optimistic short life quotes from Ludwig Wittgenstein
- 4 optimistic short life quotes from Edmund Husserl
- 15 optimistic short life quotes from Thomas Aquinas
- 9 optimistic short life quotes from David Hume
- 6 optimistic short life quotes from Gilles Deleuze
- 5 optimistic short life quotes from Jacques Derrida
- 20 optimistic short life quotes from Sigmund Freud
- 14 optimistic short life quotes from Saint Augustine
- 7 optimistic short life quotes from Gottfried Leibniz
- 16 optimistic short life quotes from Benedict Spinoza
- 13 optimistic short life quotes from John Locke
- 10 optimistic short life quotes from Jean-Paul Sartre
- 4 optimistic short life quotes from Thomas Hobbes
- 13 optimistic short life quotes from John Dewey
- 11 optimistic short life quotes from Soren Kierkegaard
- 15 optimistic short life quotes from Bertrand Russell
- 11 optimistic short life quotes from Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- 6 optimistic short life quotes from Maurice Merleau-Ponty
- 12 optimistic short life quotes from Rene Descartes
- 2 optimistic short life quotes from Emmanuel Levinas
- 13 optimistic short life quotes from William James
- 3 optimistic short life quotes from Hannah Arendt
- 8 optimistic short life quotes from John Stuart Mill
- 3 optimistic short life quotes from Jacques Lacan
- 6 optimistic short life quotes from Walter Benjamin
- 3 optimistic short life quotes from Charles Sanders Peirce
- 3 optimistic short life quotes from John B. Rawls
- 7 optimistic short life quotes from Slavoj Zizek
- 10 optimistic short life quotes from Alfred North Whitehead
- 4 optimistic short life quotes from Roland Barthes
- 6 optimistic short life quotes from Karl Popper
- 17 optimistic short life quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson
- 8 optimistic short life quotes from Niccolo Machiavelli
- 9 optimistic short life quotes from Arthur Schopenhauer
- 8 optimistic short life quotes from Seneca
- 8 optimistic short life quotes from Epicurus
- 12 optimistic short life quotes from Marcus Aurelius
- 5 optimistic short life quotes from Heraclitus
- 7 optimistic short life quotes from Francis Bacon
3 optimistic short life quotes from Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant (22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German philosopher who is a central figure in modern philosophy. In his doctrine of transcendental idealism, he argued that space, time and causation are mere sensibilities; “things-in-themselves” exist, but their nature is unknowable. In his view, the mind shapes and structures experience, with all human experience sharing certain structural features.
01. Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.
02. To be is to do.
03. Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination.
25 optimistic short life quotes from Plato
Plato was a philosopher, as well as mathematician, in Classical Greece. He is considered an essential figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition, and he founded the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his teacher Socrates and his most famous student, Aristotle, Plato laid the foundations of Western philosophy and science. Alfred North Whitehead once noted: “the safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
01. Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.
02. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
03. Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.
04. A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.
05. The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile.
06. The beginning is the most important part of the work.
07. The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future in life.
08. The measure of a man is what he does with power.
09. Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.
10. He who is not a good servant will not be a good master.
11. Those who intend on becoming great should love neither themselves nor their own things, but only what is just, whether it happens to be done by themselves or others.
12. All things will be produced in superior quantity and quality, and with greater ease, when each man works at a single occupation, in accordance with his natural gifts, and at the right moment, without meddling with anything else.
13. Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.
14. Man – a being in search of meaning.
15. Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.
16. He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.
17. The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depends upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom.
18. I never did anything worth doing by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work.
19. No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education.
20. There is no harm in repeating a good thing.
21. Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.
22. Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the Gods.
23. Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, You cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation.
24. The most virtuous are those who content themselves with being virtuous without seeking to appear so.
25. Courage is a kind of salvation.
20 optimistic short life quotes from Aristotle
Aristotle (384–322 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher and scientist born in the city of Stagira, Chalkidiki, in the north of Classical Greece. Along with Plato, Aristotle is considered the “Father of Western Philosophy”, which inherited almost its entire lexicon from his teachings, including problems and methods of inquiry, so influencing almost all forms of knowledge.
01. It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.
02. Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.
03. Quality is not an act, it is a habit.
04. You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
05. The aim of the wise is not to secure pleasure, but to avoid pain.
06. Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.
07. I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.
08. Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.
09. The energy of the mind is the essence of life.
10. The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently; but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life – knowing that under certain conditions it is not worthwhile to live.
11. The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
12. At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.
13. The end of labor is to gain leisure.
14. Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
15. All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
16. Personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.
17. Excellence, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean, relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it.
18. We become just by performing just action, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave action.
19. The secret to humor is surprise.
20. Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.
18 optimistic short life quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on modern intellectual history. He began his career as a classical philologist before turning to philosophy.
01. Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
02. On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.
03. He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.
04. When marrying, ask yourself this question: Do you believe that you will be able to converse well with this person into your old age? Everything else in marriage is transitory.
05. He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
06. There is an innocence in admiration; it is found in those to whom it has never yet occurred that they, too, might be admired some day.
07. And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.
08. Every man is a creative cause of what happens, a primum mobile with an original movement.
09. In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.
10. Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.
11. That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
12. The future influences the present just as much as the past.
13. Rejoicing in our joy, not suffering over our suffering, makes someone a friend.
14. Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings – always darker, emptier and simpler.
15. What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.
16. We have art in order not to die of the truth.
17. When a hundred men stand together, each of them loses his mind and gets another one.
18. The world itself is the will to power – and nothing else! And you yourself are the will to power – and nothing else!
4 optimistic short life quotes from Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger (26 September 1889 – 26 May 1976) was a German philosopher and a seminal thinker in the Continental tradition of philosophy. He is “widely acknowledged to be one of the most original and important philosophers of the 20th century.” Heidegger is best known for his contributions to phenomenology, hermeneutics, and existentialism, though as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy cautions, “his thinking should be identified as part of such philosophical movements only with extreme care and qualification”. Heidegger was a member and public supporter of the Nazi Party. There is controversy over the degree to which his Nazi affiliations influenced his philosophy.
01. Anyone can achieve their fullest potential, who we are might be predetermined, but the path we follow is always of our own choosing. We should never allow our fears or the expectations of others to set the frontiers of our destiny. Your destiny can’t be changed but, it can be challenged. Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.
02. The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking.
03. Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one.
04. Thinking only begins at the point where we have come to know that Reason, glorified for centuries, is the most obstinate adversary of thinking.
7 optimistic short life quotes from Michel Foucault
Paul-Michel Foucault (15 October 1926 – 25 June 1984), generally known as Michel Foucault, was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, social theorist, and literary critic. Foucault’s theories primarily address the relationship between power and knowledge, and how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions. Though often cited as a post-structuralist and postmodernist, Foucault rejected these labels. His thought has influenced academics, especially those working in communication studies, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, literary theory, feminism, and critical theory. Activist groups have also found his theories compelling.
01. Discipline may be identified neither with an institution nor with an apparatus; it is a type of power, a modality for its exercise, comprising a whole set of instruments, techniques, procedures, levels of application, targets; it is a ‘physics’ or ‘anatomy’ of power, a technology.
02. Madness is the absolute break with the work of art; it forms the constitutive moment of abolition, which dissolves in time the truth of the work of art.
03. Maybe the target nowadays is not to discover what we are but to refuse what we are.
04. From the idea that the self is not given to us, I think there is only one practical consequence: we have to create ourselves as a work of art.
05. Discipline ‘makes’ individuals; it is the specific technique of a power that regards individuals both as objects and as instruments of its exercise. It is not a triumphant power…it is a modest, suspicious power, which functions as a calculated, but permanent economy.
06. Prefer what is positive and multiple, difference over uniformity, flows over unities, mobile arrangements over systems. Believe that what is productive is not sedentary but nomadic.
07. The game is worthwhile in so far as we don’t know what will be the end.
10 optimistic short life quotes from G. W. F. Hegel
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher and an important figure of German idealism. He achieved wide recognition in his day and—while primarily influential within the continental tradition of philosophy—has become increasingly influential in the analytic tradition as well. Although Hegel remains a divisive figure, his canonical stature within Western philosophy is universally recognized.
01. Nothing great in the world was accomplished without passion.
02. To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great.
03. Education is the art of making man ethical.
04. The valor that struggles is better than the weakness that endures.
05. People who are too fastidious towards the finite never reach actuality, but linger in abstraction, and their light dies away.
06. An idea is always a generalization, and generalization is a property of thinking. To generalize means to think.
07. The length of the journey has to be borne with, for every moment is necessary.
08. History is not the soil in which happiness grows. The periods of happiness in it are the blank pages of history.
09. Uneducated people delight in argument and fault-finding, for it is easy to find fault, but difficult to recognize the good and its inner necessity.
10. The very fact that something is determined as a limitation implies that the limitation is already transcended.
7 optimistic short life quotes from Karl Marx
Karl Marx (5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher, economist, historian, sociologist, political theorist, journalist and socialist revolutionary. Born in Trier, Germany, Marx studied law and philosophy at university. He married Jenny von Westphalen in 1843. Due to his political publications, Marx became stateless and lived in exile with his wife and children in London for decades, where he continued to develop his thought in collaboration with German thinker Friedrich Engels and publish his writings, researching in the reading room of the British Museum.
01. The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.
02. Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.
03. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.
04. The increase in value of the world of things is directly proportional to the decrease in value of the human world.
05. If you love without evoking love in return – if through the vital expression of yourself as a loving person you fail to become a loved person, then your love is impotent, it is a misfortune.
06. Necessity is blind until it becomes conscious. Freedom is the consciousness of necessity.
07. It is all the more clear what we have to accomplish at present: I am referring to ruthless criticism of all that exists, ruthless both in the sense of not being afraid of the results it arrives at and in the sense of being just as little afraid of conflict with the powers that be.
12 optimistic short life quotes from Ludwig Wittgenstein
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein (26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian philosopher who worked primarily in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. From 1929 to 1947, Wittgenstein taught at the University of Cambridge. During his lifetime he published just one slim book, the 75-page Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921), one article, one book review and a children’s dictionary. His voluminous manuscripts were edited and published posthumously.
01. To imagine a language is to imagine a form of life.
02. When we can’t think for ourselves, we can always quote.
03. Logic takes care of itself; all we have to do is to look and see how it does it.
04. The limits of my language means the limits of my world.
05. I don’t know why we are here, but I’m pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves.
06. The real question of life after death isn’t whether or not it exists, but even if it does what problem this really solves.
07. I am my world.
08. If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done.
09. A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.
10. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.
11. The problems are solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.
12. We are asleep. Our Life is a dream. But we wake up sometimes, just enough to know that we are dreaming.
4 optimistic short life quotes from Edmund Husserl
Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (8 April 1859 – 27 April 1938) was a German philosopher who established the school of phenomenology. In his early work, he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic based on analyses of intentionality. In his mature work, he sought to develop a systematic foundational science based on the so-called phenomenological reduction.
01. Natural objects, for example, must be experienced before any theorizing about them can occur.
02. At the lowest cognitive level, they are processes of experiencing, or, to speak more generally, processes of intuiting that grasp the object in the original.
03. In all the areas within which the spiritual life of humanity is at work, the historical epoch wherein fate has placed us is an epoch of stupendous happenings.
04. Without troublesome work, no one can have any concrete, full idea of what pure mathematical research is like or of the profusion of insights that can be obtained from it.
15 optimistic short life quotes from Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican friar, Philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. He is an immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis. The name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio, Italy.
01. To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
02. We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it.
03. There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.
04. Fear is such a powerful emotion for humans that when we allow it to take us over, it drives compassion right out of our hearts.
05. How is it they live in such harmony, the billions of stars, when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds?
06. I would rather feel compassion than know the meaning of it. I would hope to act with compassion without thinking of personal gain.
07. Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.
08. Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.
09. It is necessary for the perfection of human society that there should be men who devote their lives to contemplation.
10. If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.
11. Man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need.
12. knowledge depends on the mode of the knower; for what is known is in the knower according to the measure of his mode.
13. Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious.
14. In deliberation we may hesitate; but a deliberated act must be performed swiftly.
15. The splendor of a soul in grace is so seductive that it surpasses the beauty of all created things.
9 optimistic short life quotes from David Hume
David Hume (born David Home; 7 May 1711 – 25 August 1776) was a Scottish Enlightenment philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, who is best known today for his highly influential system of philosophical empiricism, scepticism, and naturalism. Hume’s empiricist approach to philosophy places him with John Locke, George Berkeley, Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes as a British Empiricist.
01. Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.
02. Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions.
03. Reading and sauntering and lounging and dosing, which I call thinking, is my supreme Happiness.
04. He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper, but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to his circumstance.
05. When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities.
06. The identity that we ascribe to things is only a fictitious one, established by the mind, not a peculiar nature belonging to what we’re talking about.
07. A wise man apportions his beliefs to the evidence.
08. A purpose, an intention, a design, strikes everywhere even the careless, the most stupid thinker.
09. Men’s views of things are the result of their understanding alone. Their conduct is regulated by their understanding, their temper, and their passions.
6 optimistic short life quotes from Gilles Deleuze
Gilles Deleuze (18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French philosopher who, from the early 1950s until his death in 1995, wrote on philosophy, literature, film, and fine art. His most popular works were the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia: Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980), both co-written with psychoanalyst Félix Guattari. His metaphysical treatise Difference and Repetition (1968) is considered by many scholars to be his magnum opus.
01. A concept is a brick. It can be used to build a courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window.
02. Bring something incomprehensible into the world!
03. The self is only a threshold, a door, a becoming between two multiplicities.
04. Let us create extraordinary words, on condition that they be put to the most ordinary use and that the entity they designate be made to exist in the same way as the most common object.
05. Lose your face: become capable of loving without remembering, without phantasm and without interpretation, without taking stock. Let there just be fluxes, which sometimes dry up, freeze or overflow, which sometimes combine or diverge.
06. What a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, or ever rarer, the thing that might be worth saying.
5 optimistic short life quotes from Jacques Derrida
Jacques Derrida (July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004) was an Algerian-born French-Jewish philosopher best known for developing a form of semiotic analysis known as deconstruction, which he discussed in numerous texts, and developed in the context of phenomenology. He is one of the major figures associated with post-structuralism and postmodern philosophy.
01. What cannot be said above all must not be silenced but written.
02. I always dream of a pen that would be a syringe.
03. I believe in the value of the book, which keeps something irreplaceable, and in the necessity of fighting to secure its respect.
04. How can I say ‘I love you’, if I know the love is you .. the word ‘love’ either as a verb or a noun would be destroyed in front of you.
05. I would like to write you so simply, so simply, so simply. Without having anything ever catch the eye, excepting yours alone, … so that above all the language remains self-evidently secret, as if it were being invented at every step, and as if it were burning immediately.
20 optimistic short life quotes from Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud (born Sigismund Schlomo Freud; 6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, a clinical method for treating psychopathology through dialogue between a patient and a psychoanalyst. Freud was born to Galician Jewish parents in the Moravian town of Freiberg, in the Austrian Empire. He qualified as a doctor of medicine in 1881 at the University of Vienna. Upon completing his habilitation in 1885, he was appointed a docent in neuropathology and became an affiliated professor in 1902. Freud lived and worked in Vienna, having set up his clinical practice there in 1886. In 1938 Freud left Austria to escape the Nazis. He died in exile in the United Kingdom in 1939.
01. One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
02. Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.
03. Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.
04. Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.
05. Whoever loves becomes humble. Those who love have , so to speak , pawned a part of their narcissism.
06. Words have a magical power. They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair; they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student; words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions. Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men’s actions.
07. Human beings are funny. They long to be with the person they love but refuse to admit openly. Some are afraid to show even the slightest sign of affection because of fear. Fear that their feelings may not be recognized, or even worst, returned. But one thing about human beings puzzles me the most is their conscious effort to be connected with the object of their affection even if it kills them slowly within.
08. It is that we are never so defenseless against suffering as when we love, never so helplessly unhappy as when we have lost our loved object or its love.
09. Beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it.
10. Men are more moral than they think and far more immoral than they can imagine.
11. Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.
12. The creative writer does the same as the child at play; he creates a world of fantasy which he takes very seriously.
13. The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief.
14. Loneliness and darkness have just robbed me of my valuables.
15. When a love-relationship is at its height there is no room left for any interest in the environment; a pair of lovers are sufficient to themselves.
16. Men are strong so long as they represent a strong idea,they become powerless when they oppose it.
17. It is a predisposition of human nature to consider an unpleasant idea untrue, and then it is easy to find arguments against it.
18. Words and magic were in the beginning one and the same thing, and even today words retain much of their magical power.
19. What is common in all these dreams is obvious. They completely satisfy wishes excited during the day which remain unrealized. They are simply and undisguisedly realizations of wishes.
20. Where such men love they have no desire and where they desire they cannot love.
14 optimistic short life quotes from Saint Augustine
Saint Augustine of Hippo (13 November 354 – 28 August 430 AD) was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of the Western Church and Western philosophy, and indirectly all of Western Christianity. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers of the Latin Church for his writings in the Patristic Period. Among his most important works are The City of God, De doctrina Christiana, and Confessions.
01. The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.
02. I was not yet in love, yet I loved to love…I sought what I might love, in love with loving.
03. Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.
04. Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.
05. The measure of love is to love without measure.
06. God provides the wind, Man must raise the sail.
07. Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe.
08. The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.
09. The mind commands the body and is instantly obeyed. The mind commands itself and meets resistance.
10. Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by accidents of time, or place, or circumstance, are brought into closer connection with you.
11. Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.
12. Pray as though everything depends on God. And work as if everything depends on you.
13. Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure: where your treasure, there your heart; where your heart, there your happiness.
14. Learn to dance, so when you get to heaven the angels know what to do with you.
7 optimistic short life quotes from Gottfried Leibniz
Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (sometimes spelled Leibnitz) (1 July 1646 – 14 November 1716) was a prominent German polymath and one of the most important logicians, mathematicians and natural philosophers of the Enlightenment. As a representative of the seventeenth-century tradition of rationalism, Leibniz’s most notable accomplishment was conceiving the ideas of differential and integral calculus, independently of Isaac Newton’s contemporaneous developments.
01. He who hasn’t tasted bitter things hasn’t earned sweet things.
02. There is nothing without a reason.
03. Music is the hidden arithmetical exercise of a mind unconscious that it is calculating.
04. As far as we are capable of knowledge we sin in neglecting to acquire it.
05. For all bodies are in perpetual flux like rivers, and parts are passing in and out of them continually.
06. He who does not act does not exist.
07. FImaginary numbers are a fine and wonderful resource of the divine intellect, almost an amphibian between being and non-being.
16 optimistic short life quotes from Benedict Spinoza
Baruch Spinoza (24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Sephardi origin. One of the early thinkers of the Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern conceptions of the self and the universe, he came to be considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy.
01. The highest activity a human being can attain is learning for understanding, because to understand is to be free.
02. The more you struggle to live, the less you live. Give up the notion that you must be sure of what you are doing. Instead, surrender to what is real within you, for that alone is sure….you are above everything distressing.
03. No matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides.
04. Everything excellent is as difficult as it is rare.
05. Peace is not the absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition of benevolence, confidence, justice.
06. The more clearly you understand yourself and your emotions, the more you become a lover of what is.
07. Happiness is not the reward of virtue, but is virtue itself; nor do we delight in happiness because we restrain from our lusts; but on the contrary, because we delight in it, therefore we are able to restrain them.
08. Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.
09. Minds, however, are conquered not by arms, but by love and nobility.
10. Self-preservation is the primary and only foundation of virtue.
11. All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.
12. The less the mind understands and the more things it perceives, the greater its power of feigning is; and the more things it understands, the more that power is diminished.
13. The good which every man, who follows after virtue, desires for himself he will also desire for other men.
14. He who has a true idea simultaneously knows that he has a true idea, and cannot doubt of the truth of the thing perceived.
15. Those, who are believed to be most self—abased and humble, are generally in reality the most ambitious and envious.
16. Blessed are the weak who think they are good because they have no claws.
13 optimistic short life quotes from John Locke
John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers and commonly known as the “Father of Liberalism”. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Sir Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social contract theory. His work greatly affected the development of epistemology and political philosophy. His writings influenced Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, many Scottish Enlightenment thinkers, as well as the American revolutionaries. His contributions to classical republicanism and liberal theory are reflected in the United States Declaration of Independence.
01. Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.
02. I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.
03. New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not common.
04. The only defense against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.
05. We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.
06. Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.
07. No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience.
08. Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues.
09. Personal identity depends on consciousness not on substance.
10. Who are we to tell anyone what they can or can’t do?
11. The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.
12. We are born to be, if we please, rational creatures, but it is use and exercise only that makes us so, and we are indeed so no farther than industry and application has carried us.
13. It is only practice that improves our minds as well as bodies, and we must expect nothing from our understandings any farther than they are perfected by habits.
10 optimistic short life quotes from Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism. His work has also influenced sociology, critical theory, post-colonial theory, and literary studies, and continues to influence these disciplines.
01. To know what life is worth you have to risk it once in a while.
02. The individual’s duty is to do what he wants to do, to think whatever he likes, to be accountable to no one but himself, to challenge every idea and every person.
03. If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.
04. I’m going to smile, and my smile will sink down into your pupils, and heaven knows what it will become.
05. Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give life a meaning.
06. Freedom is what we do with what is done to us.
07. The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.
08. I am going to outlive myself. Eat, sleep, sleep, eat. Exist slowly, softly, like these trees, like a puddle of water, like the red bench in the streetcar.
09. It is therefore senseless to think of complaining since nothing foreign has decided what we feel, what we live, or what we are.
10. Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.
4 optimistic short life quotes from Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes (5 April 1588 – 4 December 1679), in some older texts Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, was an English philosopher, considered to be one of the founders of modern political philosophy. Hobbes is best known for his 1651 book Leviathan, which expounded an influential formulation of social contract theory. In addition to political philosophy, Hobbes also contributed to a diverse array of other fields, including history, jurisprudence, geometry, the physics of gases, theology, ethics, and general philosophy.
01. The first and fundamental law of Nature, which is, to seek peace and follow it.
02. Look not at the greatness of the evil past, but the greatness of the good to follow.
03. Nor can a man any more live, whose Desires are at an end, than he, whose Senses and Imaginations are at a stand.
04. Curiosity is the lust of the mind.
13 optimistic short life quotes from John Dewey
John Dewey ( October 20, 1859 – June 1, 1952) was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. He is regarded as one of the most prominent American scholars in the first half of the twentieth century.
01. Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.
02. Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.
03. Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.
04. If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.
05. Were all instructors to realize that the quality of mental process, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth something hardly less than a revolution in teaching would be worked.
06. The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better.
07. To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.
08. The most important attitude that can be formed is that of desire to go on learning.
09. The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alteration of old beliefs.
10. Like the soil, mind is fertilized while it lies fallow, until a new burst of bloom ensues.
11. The goal of education is to enable individuals to continue their education.
12. Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.
13. Expertness of taste is at once the result and reward of constant exercise of thinking.
11 optimistic short life quotes from Soren Kierkegaard
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (5 May 1813 – 11 November 1855) was a Danish philosopher, theologian, poet, social critic and religious author who is widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He wrote critical texts on organized religion, Christendom, morality, ethics, psychology, and the philosophy of religion, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and parables.
01. Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
02. The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.
03. Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
04. There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.
05. Once you label me you negate me.
06. To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.
07. Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.
08. If anyone on the verge of action should judge himself according to the outcome, he would never begin.
09. The highest and most beautiful things in life are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen but, if one will, are to be lived.
10. It is impossible to exist without passion.
11. Adversity draws men together and produces beauty and harmony in life’s relationships, just as the cold of winter produces ice-flowers on the window-panes, which vanish with the warmth.
15 optimistic short life quotes from Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, essayist, social critic, political activist, and Nobel laureate. At various points in his life, Russell considered himself a liberal, a socialist and a pacifist, although he also confessed that his sceptical nature had led him to feel that he had never been any of these things, in any profound sense.
01. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
02. Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.
03. I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.
04. Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.
05. It’s easy to fall in love. The hard part is finding someone to catch you.
06. The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.
07. It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.
08. The secret of happiness is to face the fact that the world is horrible, horrible, horrible.
09. One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.
10. I believe in using words, not fists. I believe in my outrage knowing people are living in boxes on the street. I believe in honesty. I believe in a good time. I believe in good food. I believe in sex.
11. The secret of happiness is this: let your interest be as wide as possible and let your reactions to the things and persons who interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.
12. Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.
13. To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
14. Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.
15. A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.
11 optimistic short life quotes from Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Genevan philosopher, writer and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political, economic and educational thought.
01. The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.
02. I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe that I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different.
03. It is too difficult to think nobly when one thinks only of earning a living.
04. Why should we build our happiness on the opinons of others, when we can find it in our own hearts?
05. Every person has a right to risk their own life for the preservation of it.
06. Those that are most slow in making a promise are the most faithful in the performance of it.
07. There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.
08. Love, known to the person by whom it is inspired, becomes more bearable.
09. It is easier to conquer than to administer. With enough leverage, a finger could overturn the world; but to support the world, one must have the shoulders of Hercules.
10. The only moral lesson which is suited for a child–the most important lesson for every time of life–is this: ‘Never hurt anybody.
11. Falsehood has an infinity of combinations, but truth has only one mode of being.
6 optimistic short life quotes from Maurice Merleau-Ponty
Maurice Jean Jacques Merleau-Ponty (14 March 1908 – 3 May 1961) was a French phenomenological philosopher, strongly influenced by Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. The constitution of meaning in human experience was his main interest and he wrote on perception, art, and politics. He was on the editorial board of Les Temps modernes, the leftist magazine established by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1945.
01. We know not through our intellect but through our experience.
02. Nothing determines me from outside, not because nothing acts upon me, but, on the contrary, because I am from the start outside myself and open to the world.
03. The phenomenological world is not the bringing to explicit expression of a pre-existing being, but the laying down of being. Philosophy is not the reflection of a pre-existing truth, but, like art, the act of bringing truth into being.
04. The full meaning of a language is never translatable into another. We may speak several languages but one of them always remains the one in which we live. In order completely to assimilate a language it would be necessary to make the world which it expresses one’s own and one never does belong to two worlds at once.
05. Expression is like a step taken in the fog–no one can say where, if anywhere, it will lead.
06. If at the center and so to speak the kernel of Being there is an infinite infinite, every partial being directly or indirectly presupposes it, and is in return really or eminently contained in it. All the relationships we can have to Being must be simultaneously founded upon it.
12 optimistic short life quotes from Rene Descartes
René Descartes (31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years (1629–1649) of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. One of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Descartes is also widely regarded as one of the founders of modern philosophy.
01. I think; therefore I am.
02. The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.
03. If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
04. Conquer yourself rather than the world.
05. It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well.
06. Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.
07. To know what people really think, pay attention to what they do, rather than what they say.
08. It is only prudent never to place complete confidence in that by which we have even once been deceived.
09. You just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. I made every mistake that could be made. But I just kept pushing.
10. Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems.
11. Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.
12. But what then am I? A thing that thinks. What is that? A thing that doubts, understand, affirms, denies, wills, refuses, and that also imagines and senses.
2 optimistic short life quotes from Emmanuel Levinas
Emmanuel Levinas (12 January 1906 – 25 December 1995) was a French philosopher of Lithuanian Jewish ancestry who is known for his work related to Jewish philosophy, existentialism, ethics, phenomenology and ontology.
01. Faith is not a question of the existence or non-existence of God. It is believing that love without reward is valuable.
02. We breathe for the sake of breathing, eat and drink for the sake of eating and drinking, we take shelter for the sake of taking shelter, we study to satisfy our curiosity, we take a walk for the walk. All that’s not for the sake of living, it is living. Life is a sincerity.
13 optimistic short life quotes from William James
William James (January 11, 1842 – August 27, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist, and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. James was a leading thinker of the late nineteenth century, one of the most influential U.S. philosophers, and has been labeled the “Father of American psychology”.
01. We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.
02. The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.
03. The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
04. Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.
05. We don’t laugh because we’re happy, we’re happy because we laugh.
06. Anything you may hold firmly in your imagination can be yours.
07. Wherever you are, it is your friends who make your world.
08. The aim of a college education is to teach you to know a good man when you see one.
09. When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.
10. Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.
11. Your hopes, dreams and aspirations are legitimate. They are trying to take you airborne, above the clouds, above the storms, if you only let them.
12. All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.
13. Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
3 optimistic short life quotes from Hannah Arendt
Johanna “Hannah” Cohn Arendt (14 October 1906 – 4 December 1975), also known as Hannah Arendt Bluecher, was a German-American philosopher and political theorist. Her many books and articles on topics ranging from totalitarianism to epistemology have had a lasting influence on political theory. Arendt is widely considered one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century.
01. Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom.
02. Action, as distinguished from fabrication, is never possible in isolation; to be isolated is to be deprived of the capacity to act.
03. Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.
8 optimistic short life quotes from John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill (20 May 1806 – 7 May 1873), usually cited as J. S. Mill, was a British philosopher, political economist, and civil servant. One of the most influential thinkers in the history of classical liberalism, he contributed widely to social theory, political theory, and political economy. Dubbed “the most influential English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century”, Mill’s conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state and social control.
01. I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.
02. It is not because men’s desires are strong that they act ill; it is because their consciences are weak.
03. A state which dwarfs its men, in order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes–will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.
04. Persons of genius, it is true, are, and are always likely to be, a small minority; but in order to have them, it is necessary to preserve the soil in which they grow.
05. After the primary necessities of food and raiment, freedom is the first and strongest want of human nature.
06. No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.
07. One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.
08. He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.
3 optimistic short life quotes from Jacques Lacan
Jacques Marie Émile Lacan (13 April 1901 – 9 September 1981) was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who has been called “the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud”. Giving yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, Lacan influenced many leading French intellectuals in the 1960s and the 1970s, especially those associated with post-structuralism. His ideas had a significant impact on post-structuralism, critical theory, linguistics, 20th-century French philosophy, film theory, and clinical psychoanalysis.
01. I always speak the truth. Not the whole truth, because there’s no way, to say it all. Saying it all is literally impossible: words fail. Yet it’s through this very impossibility that the truth holds onto the real.
02. When one loves, it has nothing to do with sex.
03. Meaning is produced not only by the relationship between the signifier and the signified but also, crucially, by the position of the signifiers in relation to other signifiers.
6 optimistic short life quotes from Walter Benjamin
Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (15 July 1892 – 26 September 1940) was a German Jewish philosopher, cultural critic and essayist. An eclectic thinker, combining elements of German idealism, Romanticism, Western Marxism, and Jewish mysticism, Benjamin made enduring and influential contributions to aesthetic theory, literary criticism, and historical materialism. He was associated with the Frankfurt School, and also maintained formative friendships with thinkers such as playwright Bertolt Brecht and Kabbalah scholar Gershom Scholem.
01. History is written by the victors.
02. The only way of knowing a person is to love them without hope.
03. To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without fright.
04. You could tell a lot about a man by the books he keeps – his tastes, his interest, his habits.
05. Ideas are to objects as constellations are to stars.
06. Our image of happiness is indissolubly bound up with the image of redemption.
3 optimistic short life quotes from Charles Sanders Peirce
Charles Sanders Peirce (September 10, 1839 – April 19, 1914) was an American philosopher, logician, mathematician, and scientist who is sometimes known as “the father of pragmatism”. He was educated as a chemist and employed as a scientist for thirty years. Today he is appreciated largely for his contributions to logic, mathematics, philosophy, scientific methodology, semiotics, and for his founding of pragmatism.
01. In all the works on pedagogy that ever I read — and they have been many, big, and heavy — I don’t remember that any one has advocated a system of teaching by practical jokes, mostly cruel. That, however, describes the method of our great teacher, Experience.
02. To know what we think, to be masters of our own meaning, will make a solid foundation for great and weighty thought.
03. My language is the sum total of myself.
3 optimistic short life quotes from John B. Rawls
John Bordley Rawls (February 21, 1921 – November 24, 2002) was an American moral and political philosopher in the liberal tradition. Rawls received both the Schock Prize for Logic and Philosophy and the National Humanities Medal in 1999, the latter presented by President Bill Clinton, in recognition of how Rawls’s work helped a whole generation of learned Americans revive their faith in democracy itself.
01. The natural distribution is neither just nor unjust; nor is it unjust that persons are born into society at some particular position. These are simply natural facts. What is just and unjust is the way that institutions deal with these facts.
02. We strive for the best we can attain within the scope the world allows.
03. As free persons, citizens recognize one another as having the moral power to have a conception of the good. This means that they do not view themselves as inevitably tied to the pursuit of the particular conception of the good and its final ends which they espouse at any given time.
7 optimistic short life quotes from Slavoj Zizek
Slavoj Žižek (21 March 1949), a Slovenian philosopher, is a researcher at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Ljubljana Faculty of Arts; an International director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities of the University of London, Global Eminent Scholar at Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. He works in subjects including continental philosophy, political theory, cultural studies, psychoanalysis, film criticism, Marxism, Hegelianism and theology.
01. We live in weird times in which we are compelled to behave as if we are free, so that the unsayable is not our freedom but the very fact of our servitude.
02. I do all my work to escape myself. I don’t believe in looking into yourself. If you do this, you just discover a lot of shit. I think what we should do is throw ourselves out of ourselves. The truth is not deep in ourselves. The truth is outside.
03. I think boredom is the beginning of every authentic act. (…) Boredom opens up the space, for new engagements. Without boredom, no creativity. If you are not bored, you just stupidly enjoy the situation in which you are.
04. An enemy is someone whose story you have not heard.
05. You cannot change people but you can change the system so that people are not pushed into doing evil things.
06. We feel free because we lack the very language to articulate our unfreedom.
07. Words are never ‘only words’; they matter because they define the contours of what we can do.
10 optimistic short life quotes from Alfred North Whitehead
Alfred North Whitehead (15 February 1861 – 30 December 1947) was an English mathematician and philosopher. He is best known as the defining figure of the philosophical school known as process philosophy, which today has found application to a wide variety of disciplines, including ecology, theology, education, physics, biology, economics, and psychology, among other areas.
01. Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.
02. Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.
03. We think in generalities, but we live in details.
04. The only simplicity to be trusted is the simplicity to be found on the far side of complexity.
05. Everything of importance has been said before by somebody who did not discover it.
06. Intelligence is quickness to apprehend as distinct from ability, which is capacity to act wisely on the thing apprehended.
07. Rationalism is an adventure in the clarification of thought.
08. Wisdom is the fruit of a balanced development.
09. From the moment of birth we are immersed in action, and can only fitfully guide it by taking thought.
10. Change is the description of the adventures of eternal objects in the evolving universe of actual things.
4 optimistic short life quotes from Roland Barthes
Roland Gérard Barthes (12 November 1915 – 26 March 1980) was a French literary theorist, philosopher, critic, and semiotician. Barthes’ ideas explored a diverse range of fields and he influenced the development of many schools of theory, including structuralism, semiotics, social theory, design theory, anthropology, and post-structuralism.
01. Eiffel saw his Tower in the form of a serious object, rational, useful; men return it to him in the form of a great baroque dream which quite naturally touches on the borders of the irrational … architecture is always dream and function, expression of a utopia and instrument of a convenience.
02. I am interested in language because it wounds or seduces me.
03. I encounter millions of bodies in my life; of these millions, I may desire some hundreds; but of these hundreds, I love only one.
04. What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially.
6 optimistic short life quotes from Karl Popper
Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-born British philosopher and professor. Generally regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers of science, Popper is known for his rejection of the classical inductivist views on the scientific method in favour of empirical falsification. A theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be falsified, meaning that it can and should be scrutinised by decisive experiments. Popper is also known for his opposition to the classical justificationist account of knowledge, which he replaced with critical rationalism, namely “the first non-justificational philosophy of criticism in the history of philosophy”.
01. No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude.
02. Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.
03. No book can ever be finished. While working on it we learn just enough to find it immature the moment we turn away from it.
04. The more we learn about the world, and the deeper our learning, the more conscious, specific, and articulate will be our knowledge of what we do not know; our knowledge of our ignorance. For this indeed, is the main source of our ignorance – the fact that our knowledge can be only finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite.
05. The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory but progress.
06. Always remember that it is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood: there will always be some who misunderstand you.
17 optimistic short life quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.
01. To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
02. For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
03. It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
04. Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
05. The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
06. Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.
07. Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.
08. Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.
09. If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.
10. Be not the slave of your own past – plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old.
11. Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.
12. A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.
13. Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
14. Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for.
15. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.
16. Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
17. In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.
8 optimistic short life quotes from Niccolo Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, writer, playwright and poet of the Renaissance period. He has often been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science. For many years he served as a senior official in the Florentine Republic with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry.
01. It is better to act and repent than not to act and regret.
02. The best fortress which a prince can possess is the affection of his people.
03. Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.
04. The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.
05. Never was anything great achieved without danger.
06. Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.
07. A man who is used to acting in one way never changes; he must come to ruin when the times, in changing, no longer are in harmony with his ways.
08. A prudent man should always follow in the path trodden by great men and imitate those who are most excellent, so that if he does not attain to their greatness, at any rate he will get some tinge of it.
9 optimistic short life quotes from Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer (22 February 1788 – 21 September 1860) was a German philosopher. He is best known for his 1818 work The World as Will and Representation (expanded in 1844), wherein he characterizes the phenomenal world as the product of a blind and insatiable metaphysical will. Proceeding from the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant, Schopenhauer developed an atheistic metaphysical and ethical system that has been described as an exemplary manifestation of philosophical pessimism, rejecting the contemporaneous post-Kantian philosophies of German idealism.
01. Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.
02. A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.
03. Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world.
04. The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience.
05. It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.
06. Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.
07. Treat a work of art like a prince: let it speak to you first.
08. Without books the development of civilization would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows on the world, “Lighthouses” as the poet said “erected in the sea of time.” They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind, Books are humanity in print.
09. Reading is thinking with someone else’s head instead of ones own.
8 optimistic short life quotes from Seneca
Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – AD 65), fully Lucius Annaeus Seneca and also known simply as Seneca, was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and—in one work—satirist of the Silver Age of Latin literature. Seneca was born in Córdoba in Hispania, and raised in Rome, where he was trained in rhetoric and philosophy. His father was Seneca the Elder, his elder brother was Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus, and his nephew was the poet Lucan.
01. If you live in harmony with nature you will never be poor; if you live according what others think, you will never be rich.
02. It does not matter how many books you have, but how good the books are which you have.
03. It is difficult to bring people to goodness with lessons, but it is easy to do so by example.
04. True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.
05. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
06. You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire.
07. It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor.
08. Life is like a play: it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.
8 optimistic short life quotes from Epicurus
Epicurus (341–270 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher and sage who founded a highly influential school of philosophy now called Epicureanism. He was born on the Greek island of Samos to Athenian parents. Influenced by Democritus, Aristotle, Pyrrho, and possibly the Cynics, he turned against the Platonism of his day and established his own school, known as “the Garden”, in Athens. Epicurus and his followers were known for eating simple meals and discussing a wide range of philosophical subjects, and he openly allowed women to join the school as a matter of policy.
01. It is not the pretended but the real pursuit of philosophy that is needed for we do not need the appearance of good health but to enjoy it in truth.
02. Of all the things which wisdom acquires to produce the blessedness of the complete life, for the greatest is the possession of friendship.
03. We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.
04. Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
05. Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.
06. He who has peace of mind disturbs neither himself nor another.
07. We must, therefore, pursue the things that make for happiness, seeing that when happiness is present, we have everything; but when it is absent, we do everything to possess it.
08. Be moderate in order to taste the joys of life in abundance.
12 optimistic short life quotes from Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius (26 April 121 – 17 March 180) was Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher. He was the last of the rulers traditionally known as the Five Good Emperors, and the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire. He served as Roman consul in 140, 145, and 161.
01. When you arise in the moring, think of what a precious privelege it is to be alive– to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
02. You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.
03. Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.
04. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
05. Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
06. Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.
07. Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
08. Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.
09. Do not indulge in dreams of having what you have not, but reckon up the chief of the blessings you do possess, and then thankfully remember how you would crave for them if they were not yours.
10. It is in your power to withdraw yourself whenever you desire. Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind, the realm of your own.
11. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.
12. Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to throw away. Death stands at your elbow. Be good for something while you live and it is in your power.
5 optimistic short life quotes from Heraclitus
Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 535 – c. 475 BCE) was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, and a native of the city of Ephesus, then part of the Persian Empire. He was of distinguished parentage. Little is known about his early life and education, but he regarded himself as self-taught and a pioneer of wisdom. From the lonely life he led, and still more from the apparently riddled and allegedly paradoxical nature of his philosophy and his stress upon the heedless unconsciousness of humankind, he was called “The Obscure” and the “Weeping Philosopher”.
01. No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.
02. We are most nearly ourselves when we achieve the seriousness of the child at play.
03. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you choose, what you think and what you do is who you become.
04. All things are in flux; the flux is subject to a unifying measure or rational principle. This principle (logos, the hidden harmony behind all change) bound opposites together in a unified tension, which is like that of a lyre, where a stable harmonious sound emerges from the tension of the opposing forces that arise from the bow bound together by the string.
05. It is necessary to take what is common as our guide; however, though this logic is universal, the many live as if each individual has his own private wisdom.
7 optimistic short life quotes from Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and as Lord Chancellor of England. His works are credited with developing the scientific method and remained influential through the scientific revolution.
01. Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.
02. A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
03. Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.
04. Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand–and melting like a snowflake…
05. Age appears best in four things: old wood to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust and old authors to read.
06. Knowledge itself is power.
07. If we are to achieve things never before accomplished we must employ methods never before attempted.
With love and optimism,