How We Live Quote Image from All Time Favorite Quotes by Kirsten Alana

My All Time Favorite Quotes

I’ve always loved quotes and while that’s a stance oft-criticized or mocked online, it’s one that has remained a constant for all of my educated life. Almost since I learned to write, I’ve been collecting quotes in journals, notepads and once blogging was established – online.

In no particular order, here is an ever-changing, ever-evolving collection of some of my all time favorite quotes; about travel, self-improvement, food, lifestyle, home and more.

I hope you enjoy these favorite quotes as much as I have enjoyed collecting them! Leave a comment if you have one you’d like to add.


Life is a daring adventure, or nothing.
~ Helen Keller

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. ― Seneca

Not all those who wander are lost. – J.R.R. Tolkien

A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she’s in hot water. – Eleanor Roosevelt

she was brave,
and strong,
and broken,
all at once.
– Anna Funder

Don’t be afraid to lose people. Be afraid of losing yourself, by trying to please
everyone around you.
– author unknown

♥ Years, lovers and glasses of wine. These are things that should never be counted.
– supposed Italian saying from the movie, ‘Age of Adaline’

“When he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric, he said, ‘Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow’,”
– Joaquin Phoenix in his Oscars’ acceptance speech for ‘Joker’

“We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.”
– Confucius

“You have power over your mind — not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius

We are all made of stardust & we consume recycled sunlight. If that doesn’t make you see existence as a magical experience, you need to spend more time offline & outside.
– author unknown, found on twitter in a tweet since deleted

A saint was asked, “What is anger?” He gave a beautiful answer, “It is a punishment we give ourselves for somebody else’s mistake.”
– the good quote / cushandwizdom

♥ To this love, we give our work.
– Wendell Berry

“Only the trying is what counts…the rest is not my business.”
– T.S. Elliot

“Your people are driven by a terrible sense of deficiency. When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.”
– Alanis Obomsawin

A wise man learns more from his enemies than from his friends.
– Niki Lauda in the Formula 1 movie ‘Rush’

“[F]or he had heard an inarticulate promise: he has been pierced by Spring, that sharp knife. And life unscales its rusty weathered pelt, and earth wells out in tender exhaustless strength, and the cup of a man’s heart runs over with dateless expectancy, tongueless promise, indefinable desire. Something gathers in the throat, something blinds him in the eyes, and faint and valorous horns sound through the earth.”
― Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward, Angel

I am not an angel and do not pretend to be. That is not one of my roles. But I am not the devil either. I am a woman and a serious artist, and I would like so to be judged.
– Maria Callas

They tell me what it is to be a woman. Be nice, be supportive, be pretty but not too pretty, be thin but not too thin, be sexy but not too sexy, be successful but not too successful. … But I don’t want to flirt and mother them, flirt and mother, flirt and mother. I don’t want to flirt with you because I don’t want to f**k you, and I don’t want to mother you because I am not your mother. … I just want to work, mate.
– Keira Knightley, in an interview on why she doesn’t like to work with male directors for intimate scenes

People are what you make them. A scornful look turns into a complete fool a man of average intelligence. A contemptuous indifference turns into an enemy a woman who, well treated, might have been an angel.
– Andre Maurois

“If there were one more thing I could do, it would be to go on safari once again.”
– Karen Blixen

“Funny thing about this business,” she says a little sadly. “It’s hard to tell ahead of time what they’ll forget and what they’ll remember.”
– Excerpt from ‘Someday, Someday, Maybe’ by Lauren Graham

“Fame puts you there where things are hollow.”
– David Bowie

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read.
– Mark Twain

“You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.”
– Cheryl Strayd

“Nothing is better for self-esteem than survival.”
– Martha Gellhorn

“Don’t ever live vicariously. This is your life. Live.”
– Lavinia Spalding

She was not a slowpoke grownup. She was a girl who could not wait. Life was so interesting she had to find out what happened next.
– Beverly Cleary

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Evil prospers when good men do nothing.
– Irishman, John Philpot Curran

Poetry is the shadow cast by our streetlight imaginations.
– Lawrence Ferlinghetti

The air is soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great.
– Kerouac

♥ Love lights more fires than hate extinguishes.
– Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“a pessimistic person complains about the wind, an optimist expects it to change, and the realist simply adjusts the sails”
– Barbara Freethy

“You can’t win social media without being genuine. That’s why so many brands are struggling. They must unlearn everything they know about corporate communication and re-start communicating as humans.”

Do not now seek the answers which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them and the point is … to live everything.
– Rainer Maria Rilke

“We’re all dying. That’s what defines the condition of living.”
– Winston Churchill in The Crown

O Coffee! Thou dost dispel all care, thou art the object of desire to the scholar. This is the beverage of the friends of God.
– In Praise of Coffee, Arabic poem (1511)

climb up on some hill at sunrise.
everybody needs perspective
once in a while,
and you’ll find it there.
– Robb Sagendorph

I can enjoy society in a room;
but out of doors,
nature is company enough for me.
– William Hazlitt

“Are you feeling a bit shaken, maybe stirred, maybe fearful and doubtful and completely, utterly, wildly terrified? Good. Keep going.”
– Victoria Erickson

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”
– Neil Gaiman

I ain’t the world’s best writer nor the world’s best speller
But when I believe in something I’m the loudest yeller.
– Woody Guthrie

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of the living.
– Miriam Beard

♥ Love is like a tree: it grows by itself, roots itself deeply in our being and continues to flourish over a heart in ruin. The inexplicable fact is that the blinder it is, the more tenacious it is. It is never stronger than when it is completely unreasonable.
– Victor Hugo

Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.
— Walker Evans

Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.
— Deepak Chopra

I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.
— Helen Keller

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
– George Bernard Shaw

♥ If we have souls, they’re made of the love we share. Undimmed by time, unbound by death.
– Jack Harper’s character in the movie ‘Oblivion’

climb up on some hill at sunrise.
everybody needs perspective once
in a while,
and you’ll find it there.
– Robb Sagendorph

I can enjoy society in a room;
but out of doors,
nature is company enough for me.
– William Hazlitt

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
– Epictetus

“The aim is to balance the terror of being alive with the wonder of being alive.”
– Carlos Castaneda

“There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the passion of life.”
– Federico Fellini

Childhood, is the kingdom where nobody dies …
– Edna St Vincent Millay

“The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.”
– Frank Lloyd Wright

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle… Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.”
– Charles Dickens, from ‘Great Expectations’

♥ “You shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, say it a lot.
People forget.”
– J, age 8 via twitter shared by @RichardBranson

“You can kill time in a number of ways but it always depends on the kind of time you’re fighting: some time is unkillable, immortal”
– Martin Amis, Money

“Consider a tree for a moment. As beautiful as trees are to look at, we don’t see what goes on underground – as they grow roots. Trees must develop deep roots in order to grow strong and produce their beauty. But we don’t see the roots. We just see and enjoy the beauty. In much the same way, what goes on inside of us is like the roots of a tree.”
– Joyce Meyer

There is something about Safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne — bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.
– Karen Blixen, Out of Africa

“Thank god we can’t tell the future. We’d never get outta bed.”
– Julia Roberts character in ‘August: Osage County’

“I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth, then I ask myself the same question.”
– Harun Yahya

Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.
This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,
places to play in and pray in,
where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.
– John Muir

We once had Steve Jobs, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope.
But now we have no jobs, no cash and no hope.
– apparently an American joke; but told by our guide Jetmir in Albania in 2017

“The universe is change. Our life is what our thoughts make of it.”
Serena’s voice brings me back and I blink at the side of the bus. “Did you just quote Marcus Aurelius?”
“You think I don’t remember anything from that first-year philosophy course we took together?”
– excerpt from Piper Lawson’s book ‘Good Girl’

“We can forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The tragedy is when men are afraid of the light. The quote comes back to me. I think it’s Plato, but I’m not sure.”
“‘You can live a hundred years without really living a minute’.”
“More Kierkegaard?”
I love that he remembers.
“Close. Gilmore Girls.”
– excerpt from Piper Lawson’s book ‘Wicked Girl’

I get what Mark Twain was saying—I do, and to an extent, I agree. Settler colonialism and capitalism tell us to fear our neighbor, to chase excess by laboring in individualism. And when that gets too stressful, to escape “to Timbuktu” (as if it’s not an actual place in Mali). But taking colonial mindsets on the road is what has led to the majority of human suffering on the planet, from slavery to genocide and domination. If modern-day travel culture isn’t based on the goal of working against these ills, then it is only furthering that agenda. And that is the truth about travel. — in response to Mark Twain’s quote: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
– from Yes Magazine

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
– Brennan Manning

♥ “There are a hundred thousand species of love, separately invented, each more ingenious than the last, and every one of them keeps making things.”
– Powers, Richard ‘The Overstory: A Novel’

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it.”
– Gabaldon, Diana ‘The Fiery Cross’

He threw back his head and laughed. “Maureen, have you ever heard the story about the Lutheran who went to heaven?” “I don’t believe I have…” “Well, let’s see if I remember it correctly. As I recall he wasn’t a real bad sinner, as Lutherans go, and made it to heaven based on his good works. Saint Peter was giving him a little tour. They walked through magnificent gardens, past glorious mansions, beside breathtaking waterfalls and rainbows. There was a group of people in a fabulous park and Saint Peter said, ‘Those are the Baptists—no dancing or card playing over there.’ They walked farther and passed what appeared to be a big celebration, a roaring party, and Saint Peter said, ‘Methodists. Anything goes.’ And a little farther along there was a gathering of folks visiting, chatting and laughing, having a good time, and Saint Peter said, ‘Shhh, be very quiet.’ When the Lutheran asked why, Saint Peter said, ‘Those are the Catholics. They think they’re alone up here.’”
– Virgin River book series, quote found in ‘Angels Peak’

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
– popular legend of unknown origin, most often attributed to the Cherokee or Lenape people

You do not need to fix yourself. You need to support and take care of yourself.
– from a Calm newsletter


“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”

“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.”

“Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”

“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”

“Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have.”

“Might it follow then that we shouldn’t aspire to live always by sensible choices? That what is good for us in the short term is not always the ‘best’ way? To live always by what’s right now in front of our faces and the imperatives of keeping things running smoothly for me and mine, good business, no problems  —  that’s the kind of shopkeeper mentality that got the world into a whole lot of shit back in the day. So, maybe, just maybe, fuck sensible.”
– Medium

“Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”

“Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, moribund.”
– Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

“I’d say, just be open. Don’t be afraid. If it’s appropriate to drink alcohol, drink heavily. Be smart, but be open to the world.”
– Bon Appetit

“[When I die], I will decidedly not be regretting missed opportunities for a good time. My regrets will be more along the lines of a sad list of people hurt, people let down, assets wasted, and advantages squandered.”
– Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

“It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I have still to go, how much more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom … is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”

“Right now, nothing else matters but women’s stories of what it’s like in the industry I have loved and celebrated for nearly 30 years  —  and our willingness, as human beings, citizens, men and women alike, to hear them out, fully, and in a way that other women can feel secure enough, and have faith enough that they, too, can tell their stories. We are clearly at a long overdue moment in history where everyone, good hearted or not, will HAVE to look at themselves, the part they played in the past, the things they’ve seen, ignored, accepted as normal, or simply missed  —  and consider what side of history they want to be on in the future.”
– Medium

“I love Detroiters. You got to have a sense of humor to live in a city so relentlessly f***ed. You’ve got to be tough and occasionally even devious. Detroiters are funny, tough, and supreme improvisers. They are also among the best and most fun drinkers in the country.”
– Tumblr

all above attributed to, or quoted from, the late Anthony Bourdain


You use a mirror to see your face; you use art to see your soul.
~ George Shaw

Do not fear death, but rather the un-lived life. You don’t have to live forever. You just have to live.
~ Tuck Everlasting

Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
~ Franz Kafka

♥ All our young lives we search for someone to love. Someone who makes us complete. We choose partners and change partners. We dance to a song of heartbreak and hope. All the while wondering if somewhere, somehow, there’s someone perfect who might be searching for us.
~ Daniel Stern (as Kevin Arnold, narrating in The Wonder Years)

I have witnessed the softening of the hardest of hearts by a simple smile.
~ Goldie Hawn

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
~ Anne Bradstreet

An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.
~ Mohandas Gandhi

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.
~ Scott Adams

I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.
~ Vincent van Gogh

♥ Love is, of all passions, the strongest.  For it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.
~ Voltaire

Absence is to love as wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small and kindles the great.
~ Roger De Bussy-Rabutin

♥ 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

It’s a sad day when you find out that it’s not accident or time or fortune, but just yourself that kept things from you.
~ Lillian Hellman

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.
~ Jimmy Carter

♥ When you give each other everything, it becomes an even trade. Each wins all.
~ Lois McMaster Bujold

In the highest civilization, the book is still the highest delight. He who has once known its satisfactions is provided with a resource against calamity.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

A bird that you set free may be caught again, but a word that escapes your lips will not return.
~ Jewish Proverb

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.
~ Carol Burnett

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the common place, the slaves of the ordinary.
~ Sir Cecil Beaton

Beautiful pictures are developed from negatives in a dark room…So if you see darkness in your life be reassured that a beautiful picture is being prepared. ~ Donna Clary Cole

There is no passion to be found playing small-in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. – Nelson Mandela

“Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” – James M. Barrie

♥ “Life is short and we have not too much time to gladden the hearts of those who are traveling the way with us. Be swift to love. Make haste to be kind.”
-Henri Frederick Amiel

In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty. ~ Christopher Morley

Today will be different, it has to be. I will smile and it will all be believable. My smile will say ‘I’m fine, thanks’. I will start fresh, be someone new. ~ Elena, on The Vampire Diaries

“Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” – George Sand

♥ Looking back, I have this to regret, that too often when I loved, I did not say so. ~ David Grayson

♥ “Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.” ~ Neil Gaiman

Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you. ~ Oscar Wilde

“I’ll quit coffee. It won’t be easy drinking my Bailey’s straight, but I’ll get used to it. It’ll still be the best part of waking up.” ~ Megan Mullally

♥ “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it up round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable…” ~C.S.Lewis

Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in. – Andrew Jackson

“I’d rather go outside and risk being sunburned than stay inside forever. Nothing good comes without risk.” ~ Naomi Cochran

“Don’t rush me Sonny. You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.” ~ The Princess Bride

Milk without fat is like nonalcoholic Scotch. –Andy Rooney in Out of My Mind (Public Affairs)

♥ “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” — Rumi

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence. ~ Ansel Adams

We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours. ~ Dag Hammarskjold

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” – Sun Tzu

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Sir Winston Churchill

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Albert Einstein

“I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.” – Audrey Hepburn

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
-St. Thomas Aquinas

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. ~ Winston Churchill

We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. ~ Thomas S. Monson

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves. ~Albert Einstein

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are. ~ Kurt Cobain

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

There is no such thing as that which is impossible. ~ Kathryn Bigelow

“First say to yourself what you would be and then do what you have to do.”

The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they
can grow separately without growing apart.
– Elisabeth Foley

My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake. – Hemingway

I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another.
– All Quiet on the Western Front

featured image by Annie Spratt available for free on Unsplash

Leave a Comment