Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
December 5, 2023 ·  4 min read

35 pieces of wisdom that take sixty years to learn

When we’re young, we think we know it all. I have it all figured out, you think. It’s extremely sobering to understand that you, in fact, don’t have all the answers. Time and again, the people who have lived full lives and can look back on those life experiences will acknowledge that they knew very little in their earlier years.

With that wisdom, here are some quotes so that we don’t have to wait until the end of our lives to put them into action.

35 Snippets of Wisdom to Reflect and Act Upon

Live by Example

“Each person must live their life as a role model for others.” (Rosa Parks)

“Deal with the faults of others as gently as your own.” (Chinese Proverb)

“A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.” (Dave Barry)


“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” (Henry David Thoreau)

“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.” (John Wooden)

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” (Scott Hamilton)


“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark. A large group of professionals built the Titanic.” (Dave Barry)

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” (Henry Ford)

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.” (Amelia Earhart)

“Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” (Helen Keller)

Seize the Day

“Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair.” (Rick Warren)

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” (Pablo Picasso)

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” (Simone de Beauvoir)

The Journey

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility of our future.” (George Bernard Shaw)

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” (Soren Kierkegaard)

“Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.” (Billy Graham)

“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.” (John C. Maxwell)


“You should never confuse your career with your life.” (Dave Barry)

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.” (Friedrich Nietzsche)

“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” (William Barclay)

“Did I offer peace today…bring a smile to someone’s face…say words of healing…let go of my anger and resentment…forgive…love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and life to come.” (Henri Nouwen)

Showing Gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” (Melody Beattie)

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thank for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” (Tecumseh)

Rules of Thumb

“Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.” (Franz Kafka)

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” (Nelson Mandela)

Every Day Reminders

“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” (John Steinbeck)

“What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds.” (Wayne Dyer)

“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” (Brian Tracy)


“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.” (Ludwig van Beethoven)

“The most destructive force in the universe is gossip.” (Dave Barry)

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” (Anton Chekhov)

“Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.” (C.S. Lewis)

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” (Norman Cousins)