Quotes to Ponder On

A good quote is like that hit of ginger in chai

I’m a sucker for good quotes, especially aphorisms. In fact, I would love to read entire books that are really just quotes from the wisest people in history. Here’s a quote to start things off:

“It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.” - Sir Winston Churchill.

  • “The most dangerous worldview is the view of those who have never looked at the world” - Alexander von Humboldt.
  • “The company that needs a new machine tool, and hasn’t bought it, is already paying for it” - An old Warner & Swasey ad.
  • “The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them” - Mark Twain.
  • “It’s sad, but true: Not everybody loves me” - Munger
  • “If people are determined to be offended, if they will climb up on the ladder, balancing it on their own toilet cistern, to be upset by what they see through their neighbour’s bathroom window, there’s nothing you can do about that.”- Christopher Hitchens
  • “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” - Teddy Roosevelt, “The Man in the Arena”
  • “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler” - Albert Einstein.
  • “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone” - Blaise Pascal.
  • “The next thing most like living one’s life over again seems to be a recollection of that life, and to make that recollection as durable as possible by putting it down in writing” - Benjamin Franklin.
  • “Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” - Benjamin Franklin.
  • “Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge” - Alfred North Whitehead.
  • “Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.”- Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • “The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe” - Gustave Flaubert
  • “The main thing is the YOU beneath the clothes and skin—the ability to do, the will to conquer, the determination to understand and know this great, wonderful, curious world. Don’t shrink from new experiences and custom. Take the cold bath bravely. Enter into the spirit of your big bedroom. Enjoy what is and not pine for what is not. Read some good, heavy, serious books just for discipline: Take yourself in hand and master yourself. Make yourself do unpleasant things, so as to gain the upper hand of your soul.” - W. E. B. Du Bois with some life advice in a letter to his daughter
  • “Trickery and treachery are the practices of fools that have not wits enough to be honest.” - Benjamin Franklin.
  • “If science ceases to be a rebellion against authority, then it does not deserve the talents of our brightest children.” - Freeman Dyson
  • “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die” - Warren Buffett
  • “The three big decisions - what you do, where you live, and who you’re with.” - Naval Ravikant
  • “Life’s basic but essential algorithm is to repeat what works for you.” - Charlie Munger
  • “If you’re so smart, why are you not happy?” - Naval Ravikant
  • “The perfect is the enemy of the good” - Voltaire
  • “It is by acts and not by ideas that people live.” - Anatole France
  • “Chronic remorse…is a most undesirable sentiment….On no account, brood over your wrong doing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean” - Aldous Huxley
  • “The most courageous decision that you can make each day is to be in a good mood.” — Voltaire
  • “Invert, always invert” - Carl Jacobi
  • “Intuition is nothing more than a sudden and immediate seizing of what is real” - Robert Greene
  • “Do not talk about giftedness, inborn talents! One can name great men of all kinds who were very little gifted. They…… all possessed that seriousness of the efficient workman which first learns to construct the parts properly before it ventures to fashion a great whole; they allowed themselves time for it, because they took more pleasure in making the little, secondary things well than in the effect of the dazzling whole” - Friedrich Nietzche
  • “Just as a well-filled day brings blessed sleep, so a well-employed life brings a blessed death.” - Leonardo Da Vinci
  • “[Great creative minds] think like artists but work like accountants” - NYT commentator David Brooks
  • “The best Armour of Old Age is a well spent life preceeding it; a Life employed in the Pursuit of useful Knowledge, in honourable Actions and the Practice of Virtue; in which he who labours to improve himself from his Youth, will in Age reap the happiest Fruits of them; not only because these never leave a Man, not even in the extreamest [sic] Old Age; but because a Conscience bearing Witness that our Life was well-spent together with the Remembrance of past good Actions, yields an unspeakable Comfort to the Soul” - Cicero in de Senectute.