Louise Glück on Originality

“You have to live your life if you’re going to do original work. Your work will come out of an authentic life …”

~ Louise Glück

Jorge Luis Borges on Art

The task of the artist is to transform what is continuously happening to us… into symbols, into music, into something which can last in man’s memory. That is our duty. If we don’t fulfill it, we feel unhappy.

~ Jorge Luis Borges 

Seneca on Penance

“Philosophy calls for simple living, not for doing penance, and the simple way of life need not be a crude one.”

~ Seneca

Edward Gorey on Fate

‘I don’t think anything might have been. What is, is.’

~ Edward Gorey

D.B.C. Pierre on Mistakes

My life is built from second chances; I wouldn’t be speaking to you but for having been forgiven and helped off the floor and back on my feet. I believe that’s the correct way, [but] that’s being thrown out very quickly. You can be shut down from life on the basis of one mistake.

~ D.B.C. Pierre / Guardian

Thomas Jefferson’s Ten Rules for Daily Life

  1. Never put off till tomorrow what you can do to-day.
  2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
  3. Never spend your money before you have it.
  4. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
  5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst and cold.
  6. We never repent of having eaten too little.
  7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
  8. How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened!
  9. Take things always by their smooth handle.
  10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.

Confucius on Thoughts

“Your life is what your thoughts make it.”

~ Confucius

Friedrich Nietzsche on Life

“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different…”

~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Barbara Ehrenreich on Mortality

In fact, if you’re not prepared to die when you’re almost sixty, then I would say you’ve been falling down on your philosophical responsibilities as a grown-up human being.

~ Barbara Ehrenreich

David Hockney on Life

“The only real things in life are food and love in that order.”

~ David Hockney

Thomas Cranmer on Kindness

I pray you learn and bear well away this one lesson, To do good to all men as much as in you lieth, and to hurt no man, no more than you would hurt your own natural and loving brother or sister.

~ Thomas Cranmer

Kevin Bacon on Life

Don’t count on anyone to give you things in life. You pick up your toolbox and you try to make it yourself before you ask someone else to do it for you.

~ Kevin Bacon

Alain de Botton on Imperfection

What’s the most enlightening conclusion you’ve drawn about life so far?
That imperfection is built into the structure of human endeavour.

~ Alain de Botton / Times, 5th February, 2012

Seneca on Burdens

“If you want to escape the burdens that oppress you, you should not be somewhere else, but someone else.”

~ Seneca

Sonny Rollins on Life

What I need to know is that being a person who understands that giving is better than getting is the proper way to live. Live your life now in a positive way. Help people if you can. Don’t hurt people. That works perfectly for me, man.

~ Sonny Rollins / NYT, February 21, 2020

Brian Cox on the Long Haul

‘…It’s the long haul for you. You’ve got to understand that. You will have moderate success in your career. But it is the long haul that counts.’ And he was absolutely right.

~ Brian Cox / Financial Times, 17th January 2020

Monty Don on Life Satisfaction

If you had to rate your satisfaction with your life so far, out of 10, what would you score?
10. I’ve been so lucky. I’ve loved and been loved, and in the end that’s all everybody ever wants.

~ Monty Don / Financial Times, 17th January 2020

Neil Peart on Not Selling Out

“It’s about being your own hero,” he said on his enforced retirement in 2015. “I set out never to betray the values that 16-year-old had, never to sell out, never to bow to the man.”

~ Neil Peart / The Times, Wednesday 15th January 2020

Seneca on a Small Life

“Just as one of small stature can be a perfect man, so a life of small compass can be a perfect life.”

~ Seneca

Marcus Aurelius on Life

“Ask yourself at every moment: is this necessary?”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius on Life

“…life is a war and a journey in a foreign land, and afterwards oblivion.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Paul Theroux on Enough

“In travel, as in many other experiences in life, once is usually enough.”

~Paul Theroux

Paul Theroux on Patience

“There’s always a way if you’re not in a hurry.”

~ Paul Theroux