Humans are complicated, and so is life. Sometimes, a few sage words from someone who knows what’s up can help turn everything around. So! Here’s a collection of mostly wise, sometimes funny thoughts from 10 smart people…

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
Maya Angelou

“The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked… that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”
Neil Gaiman

“Don’t try to win over the haters. You are not a jackass whisperer.”
Brené Brown

“I see people my age… getting married to people they’ve known for like a year and a half. A year and a half? Is that enough time to get to know someone to know you want to spend the REST of your life with them? I’ve had sweaters for a year and a half and I was like ‘What the fuck was I doing with this sweater?’”
Aziz Ansari

“Deep breaths are very helpful at shallow parties.”
Barbara Walters

“My husband likes to say that the work is probably evenly split if both partners feel like they are doing upward of 60 percent of the work, since a lot of what one partner does is necessarily invisible to the other partner. If you feel like you are doing half, you’re not.”
Rebecca Rosen

“There is hardly a more gracious gift that we can offer somebody than to accept them fully, to love them almost despite themselves.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

“Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere. A berm overlooking a pond in Vermont. The lip of the Grand Canyon at sunset. A seat on the subway. And something bad will have happened: You will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something at which you badly wanted to succeed. And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core ought to be. I don’t want anyone I know to take that terrible chance. And the only way to avoid it is to listen to that small voice inside you that tells you to make mischief, to have fun, to be contrarian, to go another way. George Eliot wrote, ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ It is never too early, either.”
Anna Quindlen

“Clutter and mess show us that life is being lived… Perfectionism is a mean, frozen form of idealism, while messes are the artist’s true friend. What people somehow forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here.”
Anne Lamott

“Sometimes you just have to put on lip gloss and pretend to be psyched.”
Mindy Kaling

What are your favorite words of advice? We’d love to hear…

P.S. 15 career tips from smart women, and what’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever read?

(Photo of Greta Garbo in 1926 with Leo, the MGM lion, by Don Gillum)