What Quotes Do You Love?

Michelle Obama dancing with Barack Obama

On Sunday evening, I was eating popcorn and scrolling around Instagram (as one does) when I stumbled across a quote…

Technically, it was a quote about a quote:

“When Oprah interviewed Michelle Obama, Oprah asked how Michelle got over feeling intimidated sitting at big tables filled with smart, powerful men and Michelle said, ‘You realize pretty quickly that a lot of them aren’t that smart.’ I think about that quote every single day.”


What is it about quotes? They’re like one-sided conversations with your psyche, cutting out all the small talk and hitting you right where it’s needed.

A couple years ago, during an intentionally-trying-to-change-my-life phase, I took to writing quotes on my bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker. I’d update it every weekend and read over the words when I washed my face and brushed my teeth. They may have sounded a little like what a basketball coach says before a game, but I found it was surprisingly effective (even if everyone who came to my apartment was like, “What’s up with that?”).

Maybe, I thought, as I hit the “like” button, it’s time for the quotes to make a comeback.

What Quotes Do You Love

Do you have a favorite quote, or a phrase you turn to when the going gets tough — whether it’s from a famous person, or from someone in your life?

P.S. Becoming the person you’re meant to be and wise words.

  1. Jordan says...

    Hating your body will never get you as far as loving it will.

  2. Deirdre says...

    “Someday we will all have perfect wings”

  3. I absolutely love this one from Toni Morrison: “I want to feel what I feel. What’s mine. Even if it’s not happiness, whatever that means. Because you’re all you’ve got.”

    It reminds me not to shy away from events/emotions. You are what you feel. Or, to paraphrase Terry Pratchett, “be yourself as hard as you damn well can be.”

  4. Joanna says...

    “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain

  5. Lisa Terwilliger says...

    Not sure where I first read this: “If you can’t get out of it, get into it”. It applies to so many situations. If you have to do something, might as well have fun in the process. Plus, enthusiasm is contagious!

  6. Deana says...

    “If a man has common sense, he has all the sense there is.” Truth from a fortune cookie!

  7. Kim says...

    I saw this last night- if you like quotes, might I suggest *entire books*! I couldn’t help but chuckle.

  8. Kate says...

    “Comparison is the thief of joy” – Theodore Roosevelt

    This quote may be old but I feel it is so relevant in today’s social media society. Comparing myself to someone else’s highlight reel doesn’t have a positive impact on my mood. This quote puts into words how I feel at times and helps me step back and live in MY moment.

    • Nicole says...

      It was on Refinery29’s instagram feed and it simply said “Begin” such a simple word, yet so powerful and motivating to this anxiety ridden woman who has been afraid to try at, well just about everything. It’s now my screen saver.

    • Jeri says...

      Yes, this. Related: “Gratitude turns what you have into enough”

  9. Reenie says...

    “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
    My sister gave me a necklace with this quote etched into it 15 years ago. Ever since, the words have stuck with me and have reminded me to check in with my dreams every so often.

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent” is another Eleanor fave and helps put things in perspective when people try to put you down.

  10. Cláudia Brito Marques says...

    I’m a complete sucker for quotes! in tote bags, in clothes, everywhere…
    One of my favorites: “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”, from Leonard Cohen. It reminds me that nothing in this world is perfect and that sometimes you can only see the light/find a solution/break through when your broken.

  11. My husband and I do this together. Well, actually, I do almost all the posting, but I put them on the inside of the door to the bathroom closet, which is open when we dress and bathe in the morning. We discuss which ones are moving us and why. Once, I posted a photo to an early internet photo site and he was appalled, “IT’S LIKE YOU SHOWED EVERYONE THE INSIDE OF OUR BRAIN!”

  12. Liz says...

    I loved Maurice Sendak’s conversation with Terry Gross towards the end of his life. He was saying, in a way, goodbye to Terry in case they wouldn’t speak again. Terry wished him all good things, and he replied:

    I wish you all good things. Live your life, live your life, live your life.

    He said those last words with all the emotions we gather in a lifetime, and sometimes in a quiet moment, almost from nowhere, I can hear his voice. A dream, a challenge, a reassurance. Live your life, live your life, live your life.

    • Kim says...

      I love that interview. I listen to it once a year and it’s so cathartic.

    • Amy says...

      That interview is extraordinary. Really something special. Thanks for reminding me that it’s been a while since I listened to it.

  13. P says...

    actually it’s not really a quote but recently Obama was speaking and said how many people are Woke but don’t confuse that with activism.
    And he just brilliantly put into words what I have been feeling when I look at social media for years now: all my “friends” and strangers and perhaps celebrities alike, putting all this WOKE stuff out there but just living in comfort and not really understanding anything.

    Who said that activism happens in discomfort?

    Something to think about as we live in this fast information age where everyone seems to know everything but…it’s just all Wiki knowledge.

  14. Adrienne says...

    “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

  15. Julia says...

    “Bloom where you are planted.”

    -It gives me a lot of inspiration about thriving in every circumstance you find yourself and making the best of a situation.

    • Jeri says...

      Love this! And related: “The grass is greener where you water it”

  16. Ann says...

    “Get out of here and move forward. This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened.” – Don Draper on Mad Men.

  17. Erzsi says...

    “I am a firm believer that every few years one needs to shake one’s life through a sieve, like a miner in the Yukon. The gold nuggets remain. The rest falls through like the soft earth it is.” – Amy Poehler

  18. lisa says...

    “I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”

    ― Meryl Streep

    • B says...

      Another reason why Meryl Streep is queen.

  19. Stef says...

    “Jane Austen threw out the plan for a well‑read regency‑era woman. Frank Lloyd Wright threw out the plan for a young architect of his time. Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Enrico Fermi, Lin‑Manuel Miranda, Martin Luther King, Marie Curie, Pablo Picasso, Toni Morrison, they all threw out the plan. The right answer was safe; the wrong answer, the one no one else came up with or followed or believed in, was transformational. Ah, you say to yourself sitting there, ‘I cannot expect to be Jane Austen or Frank Lloyd Wright,’ but what you can embrace is a life that feels like it belongs to you, not one made up of tiny fragments of the expectations of a society that, frankly, in most of its expectations, is not worthy of you. And that requires courage, not compliance; passion in lieu of simply plans.” — Anna Quindlen to Washington University

    “Lastly, kid, there is a certain sadness that you will feel all your life. It comes and goes, often without explanation. You will feel it alone and with boys and in rooms of people you love. There’s nothing wrong with it or with you. Own it. Don’t look for other people as the cause. Learn how to handle it yourself and understand that no one will ever be able to fix it for you. And no one should. To be able to be okay on your own? It’s important.”

    oh god it’s wonderful
    to get out of bed
    and drink too much coffee
    and smoke too many cigarettes
    and love you so much
    – “Steps” Frank O’Hara

    “Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.” – Cheryl Strayed

    “You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”
    – Jonathan Safran Foer

    • Jessica Melindy says...

      These are all so good.

      (I’m not even a quote person but they all strike the right chords for me!)

  20. Krystal says...

    ‘Speak words that strengthen the soul’……what we say and how we speak to others affects our soul just as much as it affects their soul.

  21. ” Lack of planning on your part DOES NOT constitute an Emergency on Mine”

    The funny thing about this one is that all of us have been on either side of the spectrum, some days you are fraught and some days easy breezy. Touche’!

  22. Denise says...

    “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

    This saved me after my husband died.

    • Sarah says...

      I needed to read this today. Love to you, Denise, and in the memory of your husband.

  23. MC says...

    “wanting approval…is a kind of aggression” ~ Allen Ginsberg

    A big lesson in my life is quieting the beast inside me that needs people to signal they like/approve/herald my existence. For the longest time it felt like this was something others were “keeping” from me. But in reality, it was me expecting things from others that I, in most cases, had no right or reason to ask for.

    This feeling was actually an aggression within ME, coming from a deep place of insecurity. Once I saw my behavior in that lens, it was a call to work on my own self-respect which, not-coincidentally, allowed me to better see the respect others had for me.

    • Nicole says...

      Yes to this!

  24. Harley says...

    I grew up reading the Harry Potter series, but it took rereading them as an adult to pick up on some of the gems that J.K. Rowling wrote. Here are some of my favorites, that have helped me through some difficult times over the last few years. All were said by Dumbledore.

    “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

    “Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

    “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”

    • Becca says...

      There are so many great HP quotes. I love this one as it reminds me to stay present.

      “What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.” Hagrid

    • Emilie says...

      As an HP kid and adult, all of these hit a special chord for me too. Reading them helps me feel like myself during times of disconnect or tumult. I also love this one:

      “But he understood at last what Dumbledore had been trying to tell him. It was, Harry thought, the difference between being dragged into the arena to face a battle to the death and walking into the arena with your head held high. Some people, perhaps, would say that there was little to choose between the two ways, but Dumbledore knew – and so do I, thought Harry, with a rush of fierce pride, and so did my parents – that there was all the difference in the world.”
      – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23, “Horcruxes”

    • JulieG says...

      It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live – Pr. Dumbledore

    • Patricia says...

      Ugh I LOVE Harry Potter. Some of my favorites:

      “Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.”

      “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

    • Charlotte says...

      Harley, Becca, Emilie, JulieG & Patricia :)

      isn’t Harry Potter just … it is such a lovely feeling to feel at home in a book & have a connection to all the other humans (muggles, I presume ;)) around the world. I am currently (after listening the Stephen Fry for all the books) watching all the movies. What a wonder to live now & being able to get lost in such a great fable!

  25. Sara says...

    “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
    -Mark Twain

  26. sandra says...

    “we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars ” – oscar wilde

    • Amanda says...

      This was my Senior yearbook quote! Dark for an 18 year old…but I still like it :)

  27. agnes says...

    I just love the first picture! I still can’t believe how crazy democracy can be.

  28. Anya says...

    I love quotes.. There’s a quotes section that Facebook allows you to fill out for your profile, and it’s so fun for me to go back and look at what I’ve written there years earlier that still ring true today.

    Two favorite quotes:
    We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. – TS Eliot

    The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. – Anna Quindlen

  29. Matthew says...

    “remember, if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?”
    – rupaul

  30. Elizabeth says...

    “The robbed that smiles steals something from the thief.” ~Wm. Shakespeare

  31. Catherine says...

    I have always been deeply obsessed with quotes. I would collect quote books and quote postcards and quote prints all through high school. Nevertheless, to this day, my favorites are the ones I read in context in big beefy books by Leo Tolstoy.
    “What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.” (I keep this one next to my full length mirror.) &
    “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity, goodness, and truth.”

    And then the one quote that comforts me every time I’m going through a tough time in life and feel scared: “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” – Cynthia Occelli

    • Kate says...

      Oh my, writing down that third one immediately. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  32. Genevieve Martin says...

    “the grass is always greener where you water it.”

  33. Natalie says...

    “I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.” Margaret Atwood

    How lovely!

  34. Teresa says...

    Oh, I love this! Sometimes I quote phrases to my friends, because they are so important to me ;).

    Here are my favourite ones:

    1. Trust the timing of your life.
    2. Be gentle to yourself (I read this on COJ years ago – I think Joanna’s mom said that and I don’t know how often I say this to myself during rough times).
    3. Enjoy it, while it’s happening
    4. Cross that bridge when you come to it
    5. Come what may and love it (I think that was a quote from the blogger Love Taza)
    :) Greetings from Germany

  35. Agnes says...

    Don’t limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.

  36. Kelly Griffith says...

    I don’t remember who said this or even where I heard it, but the speaker said something to the effect of “There are only two questions you will ask when you are dying: did I love well and was I well loved?”

    Such beautiful words and something to strive for…

  37. There are people in this life you can neither love nor hate. You just have them.

  38. Megan Lec says...

    So many good ones listed. A few of my favorites are;

    “And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” The Beatles
    It’s such a simple reminder that we get back what we put into the world.
    Another favorite I found, of all places, on a tshirt from forever21. It read “Fall in love twice a day.” It speaks to my passionate heart that’s always finding something new to love. And finally, “If anything can go well, it will.” Because sometimes we just need to hold on to hope.

    • Sarah says...

      The Beatles quote is one of my favourite lines from all of their songs. I feel so deeply comforted everytime I hear it.

  39. Margot says...

    “So when you realize you’ve gone a few weeks and haven’t felt that
    awful struggle of your childish self -struggling to lift itself out
    of its inadequacy and incompetence – you’ll know you’ve gone some
    weeks without meeting new challenge, and without growing, and that you’ve gone some weeks towards losing touch with yourself. The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.”

  40. Jennifer S. says...

    Thank you for this comment string!

    I’ll add the last stanza of A Psalm of Life by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

    Let us then be up and doing
    With a heart for any fate
    Still achieving, still pursuing
    Learn to labor and to wait.

  41. Sarah says...

    “God didn’t bless you to just bless you”— heard this the other day and it stopped me in my tracks. A great reminder to share our talents with others.

    • Stephanie says...

      “Here’s to strong women.
      May we know them.
      May we be them.
      May we raise them.”
      – anonymous

  42. joana says...

    for me, there’s always been this one:
    “talking about love is like dancing about architecture”
    (from the movie “playing by heart”)
    i find it so poetic, funny and true at the same time!

    more recently, some quotes from the book “maybe you should talk to someone”, which have resonated deeply with me:
    “there’s a difference between pain and suffering. you’re going to have to feel pain – everyone feels pain at times – but you don’t have to suffer so much. you’re not choosing the pain but you’re choosing the suffering.”
    “the truth does not change according to your ability to stomach it.”
    ” if i live in the present i have to accept the loss of my future”
    “you can’t get through your pain by diminishing it. you get through your pain by accepting it and figuring out what to do with it.”

  43. Emma D Aus says...

    From my sister, from her therapist-
    The right conversation at the wrong time is still the wrong conversation.

    Another. Because I’m a procrastinator-
    Doing the work is often the antidote to being afraid of doing the work.

    • Nicole says...

      Ha! So true. An writing this one down now.

    • Gwennan says...

      Both of them are so useful! thanks for sharing Emma !

  44. MG says...

    My mom always said, “You marry the whole family.”
    So very true!

    • Vanessa says...

      Even if you’d said that to me VERY LOUDLY when I was getting married, I would not have believed it for a minute (not me/not them) but, alas, it was true.

  45. Jessica says...

    This quote from a book we studied in my French class at school has always stuck with me: “Ce que tu donnes, c’est à toi pour toujours. Ce que tu gardes, c’est perdu pour toujours.” – from Monsieur Ibrahim et les Fleurs du Coran by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. It means literally “that which you give is yours forever. That which you keep is lost forever”, which doesn’t make much sense on its own! But in context it was said about love and relationships – if you give love to someone, even if the relationship doesn’t work out, you will always have the wonderful experience of having loved. But if you hold back your love for fear of getting hurt, that you have lost that little piece/ experience of love forever. I think it’s just the loveliest idea; the experience of feeling love towards someone will improve you regardless of whether or not they love you back or what will happen in the future; it’s a life experience and you’ll feel kind and generous and empathetic and all those wonderful things and remember them.

    • JulieG says...

      I loved that book! Thanks for that

  46. Julie says...

    “I’ve never done it before, so I think I can do it” – Pippi Longstocking

    translated from Swedish “Det har jag aldrig provat tidigare så det klarar jag helt säkert” – Pippi Långstrump

    Astrid Lindgren.

  47. Camille says...

    “When Farmer Oak smiled, the corners of his mouth spread till they were within an unimportant distance of his ears, his eyes were reduced to chinks, and diverging wrinkles appeared round them, extending upon his countenance like the rays in a rudimentary sketch of the rising sun.”
    Thomas Hardy, Far from the Madding crowd

    … what a wonderful to describe bliss, aging, and time

  48. Jill says...

    “Whether your cup is half-full or half-empty, remind yourself there are others without one.” -Matshona Dhliwayo

  49. Camille says...

    My mother always says “Your are much stronger than you think you are. You are also much more fragile than you think you are.”

    This quote has given me confidence when I needed it
    and it has given me humility and kept me down to earth.

    • Brooke says...

      Oh I want to say this one to my own daughter! She’s only seven, but I already feel this truth in so many ways.

  50. Kato says...

    Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.

    Have been un-becoming a shitload of things the last few years

  51. Sal says...

    Oh god… I haven’t read the comments yet – I know I’m going to love them all. I need to get a cup of coffee and settle down with this one!

    Immediate thoughts on quotes…
    There’s one I like, that I think I first heard on a documentary… I think it was originally said in French, but translated into English, it’s:

    “Some days, it will rain. Don’t worry about it. Some days, the sun will shine. Don’t worry about it. The weather always changes.”

    My other favourite is:
    The devil whispered, “You can’t withstand the storm.”
    The warrior replied, “I am the storm.”

    I think my “take aways” from both of those, are messages I’ve tried to live with all my life. Things will change, but I can be brave and strong come what may.

    A favourite also came from my dad, who is no longer with us. Whenever something frustrating happened, and I was whining about it. He’d give a shrug and say, “All part of life’s rich tapestry”. Basically, a much nicer way of saying, “Eh, shit happens.”
    I use it all the time now, usually with a finger click and a “gosh darn it all” kind of gesture.

  52. Olivia says...

    These are so good!!

  53. Katharina says...

    For me it’s always Calvin&Hobbes.
    “Life’s disappointments are harder to take when you don’t know any swear words”

  54. Josephine W says...

    “There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.” – Zora Neale Hurston.

    I came upon this quote almost 20 years ago, during one of the first difficult spells I had to navigate on my own — right in the thick of those first exciting, uncertain, impossible, wonderful being-on-my-own years. It filled me with such calm and offered just the reassurance I needed then, and many, many times since. Back then, I was relieved and comforted by the perspective and truth it offered; it was just what I needed to hear. But I’ve since been grateful for the actual quote itself, for bridging the gap between my personal trials and the collective beyond. Whenever I read this quote, I remember that we’re not really in this alone, and that through these words, we can rely on the wisdom of the women who came before us. I’ve passed this quote on to many friends over the years, and each time, they’ve asked where I found it. I honestly don’t remember — I like to think that when I needed it, Ms. Hurston’s words found me.

  55. Joana says...

    Hi Caroline!
    I used to have the same habit: looking for inspiring quotes every week and sharing them on instagram (@joana1000). I just used to put them on a pegboard on a sideboard and look at them while eating breakfast every day for a week. Until I found one by Simone de Beauvoir: “j’accept la grande aventure d’être moi” (I accept the great adventure of being myself). And bam! a quote just become a life motto – for the time being. :o)

  56. BeverlySomething says...

    “My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humor to lighten the burden of your tender heart.” – Maya Angelou

    My mom shared this quote with me a few years ago because it reminded her of me. I’m a bit of an empath – sometimes to a fault – and have a tendency to put up walls or become a bit cold in the interest of self-preservation. I’ve loved this quote since and it makes my heart swell to remember how much my mom *gets* me.

  57. K says...

    “comparison is the thief of joy.”
    I think I may have actually read that in the Comments section of this blog! Thank you to whoever that was. Such a good reminder!

  58. Nigerian Girl says...

    “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison

    • Nigerian Girl says...

      This isn’t a quote as per se, but a saying I absolutely love. It’s a reminder to run your own race and not compare yourself to anyone else:

      “Whenever you wake up, that is your morning.” – Igbo Proverb

  59. Sian says...

    Not sure who said it but “never take criticism from someone you wouldn’t ask for advice”

    • Carrie says...

      Yes! and on the other side of the same coin:
      “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
      – Eleanor Roosevelt

  60. Tamara says...

    “Fair is a carnival in the country.”-my childhood best friend’s mom whenever we were fussing. Has come in handy over the years with both students & my own children.

  61. Rachel says...

    “Err on the side of kindness.” -my friend, Anna

  62. Kamina says...

    “By the time the sane woman has found the bridge,
    the crazy woman has crossed the water.”

    (I’ve seen this attributed as a “Turkish proverb” but I don’t really know the origins.)


    what didn’t you do to bury me
    but you forgot that I was a seed

    (This is the original wording from the Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos, but I’ve seen it adapted and attributed differently.)

  63. L says...

    I’m pretty bad about remembering specific quotes, but I think about this particular quote-poem when I’m visiting a new place. It’s so relevant given the crazed world of social media and geotags and hashtags we live in.

    “Would you still want to travel to that country if
    you could not take a camera with you.
    —a question of appropriation”

  64. Anni says...

    Quote from Arabia:
    Don‘t be angry that the rosebush has thorns, be happy about the thornbush carrying roses.

    Be positive, be grateful! :)

    My favorite quote, my mum wrote it in my journal in second grade <3

  65. Abbey says...

    I’m more of a poet than an inspirational quote kind of person (I see a lot of kindred spirits here :) and I’ve been collecting quotes my whole life. When I was a tween/teen I kept a notebook just for quotes, jam packed with bits and pieces of everything I read, heard, and silly things my friends said.

    Now I don’t write them down but I tend to think the ones that stick without having to look them up to get the wording right are probably the ones I’m subconsciously living my life by. What I can dredge up for you now is…

    “I believe in nothing. Everything is sacred.
    I believe in everything. Nothing is sacred.”
    – Tom Robbins

    “Don’t die again with that holy ruby mine inside still unclaimed when you could be swinging a golden pick with each step.”
    – Haifz, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

  66. JFS says...

    We have a small whiteboard in our kitchen that any one of us can write a quote on. Mine are often poems or quotes from @_nitch on IG; my husband likes to write puzzles; and the kids put down song lyrics. It’s a fun way to give each other a thought for the day or share whatever is in each other’s backchannels. Recommend it!

  67. Emilie says...

    Especially important now, as it was when we said it:

    “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
    – Abraham Lincoln

  68. Maura says...

    When I was going through a particularly tough time, my mom sent me this quote:

    “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
    ― Rainer Maria Rilke

    It was perfect then, as mom advice tends to be, and even now 10 years later I still turn to these wise words in times of hardship.

    • Lauren says...

      I just got chills being reminded of this quote. I first heard it in a hot yoga class years ago and it has always stuck with me <3 I remember repeating it over and over and over throughout class so I could google the author after I left.

  69. E says...

    Because I study languages and sometimes, when things feel tough, I need to be reminded why:
    “A different language is a different vision of life.” – Frederico Fellini

    To remind me to be humble:
    “Every day I wonder how many things I am dead wrong about.” – Jim Harrison

    Inspiration when I feel like I’m not doing what I’m “supposed” to be doing:
    “I’m just doing what I wanted to and what feels right and not settling for bullshit.” – Janis Joplin

    When imposter syndrome strikes:
    “Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.” – Charlie Chaplin

  70. Prachi says...

    ‘Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final’- Rilke

    Thanks to the movie jojo rabbit, I found this quote..just when I needed to hear those words.

  71. Terry says...

    Started reading, and then read All! Thank you very much for lifting me up.
    Here is my contribution from Lucille Clifton: “….the light insists on itself in the world.” Amen.

  72. Meg says...

    “So, what if, instead of thinking about solving you whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”
    ― Rainbow Rowell, Attachments

    ” One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”

  73. Sophie says...

    I love this excerpt from Mary Oliver’s poem, “A Pretty Song”:

    “And I say to my heart: rave on. ”

    It reminds me to keep living with wild and unstoppable fervor.

  74. Meg says...

    I have never been a religious person, but I came upon this verse early on in my parenting days and still find so much comfort in it. I hope it can do the same for someone here –

    Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
    Matthew 6:34

  75. Beverly says...

    “Be soft in your practice. Think of the method as a fine silvery stream, not a raging waterfall. Follow the stream, have faith in its course. It will go on its own way, meandering here, trickling there. It will find the grooves, the cracks, the crevices. Just follow it. Never let it out of your sight. It will take you.” Shen- Yen

  76. “the very least you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. and the most you can do is live inside that hope. not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof. what I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness. enough to eat, enough to go around. the possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. that’s about it. right now I’m living in that hope, running down its hallway and touching the walls on both sides.” barbara kingsolver, animal dreams

  77. Trish says...

    Not a happy quote, but so frequently applicable: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.

  78. Michelle Metheney says...

    Saving the crap outta that one!

  79. Christa says...

    “Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic… Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.”
    -Ina May Gaskin

    “There’s something about north,” he said, “something that sets it apart from all other directions. A person who is heading north is not making any mistake, in my opinion.”
    “That’s the way I look at it,” said Stuart. “I rather expect that from now on I shall be traveling north until the end of my days.
    -E.B. White (Stuart Little)

    “To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.”
    -Simone Weil

    “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
    and also (+everything else he ever said and wrote, basically)
    “People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.”
    -James Baldwin

  80. Wanda says...

    Anything can be achieved in small, deliberate steps. But there are times you need the courage to take a great leap; you can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.
    David Lloyd George

    It reminds me that planning and preparing are smart, but sometimes you just have to go for it!

  81. joy says...

    This quote from Marilynne Robinson’s book “The Givenness of Things” is a long one, but oh, has it helped me in this current season of panic and alarm.

    “When panic on one side is creating alarm on the other, it is easy to forget that there are always as good grounds for optimism as for pessimism–exactly the same grounds, in fact–that is, because we are human. We still have every potential for good we have ever had, and the same presumptive claim to respect, our own respect and one another’s. We are still creatures of singular interest and value, agile of soul as we have always been and as we will continue to be even despite our errors and depredations, for as long as we abide on this earth. To value one another is our greatest safety, and to indulge in fear and contempt is our gravest error.”

  82. becky says...

    Lose your dreams or you will lose your mind- The Rolling Stones . Love it so much I had it tattooed on my back.

  83. Liz says...

    “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” – Pema Chodron

  84. Sarah says...

    “Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.””

    – Kurt Vonnegut

  85. D says...

    There were two mice that fell in a vat of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse fluttered his legs so much that he churned that cream into butter and crawled his way out.
    – Frank Abagnale Senior

  86. Re says...

    “and here you are living, despite it all” – rupi kaur

    “My heart wants roots, my mind wants wings, I cannot bear their bickerings.” -EY Harburg

    And few by Caroline:
    “Who will walk you home? Be your safe port in a storm? How about: I will.”
    “All the lifeboats that did not come to my rescue taught me how to swim”
    “I gave it my all, but I can’t forget the part where you felt like home”

  87. mary says...

    “Keep on dreaming even if it breaks your Heart” Eli young band.

    On another note can you do a post on chachkies sayings/quotes that maybe were good at one time but so overused? Like “eat, pray, love” or” it is what it is”. Like you’ve heard/seen these sayings so much that you can’t stand them. Especially those sayings that were so popular in the 2000’s to put on wall art like “Dream On”, “reach for the stars” or “always kiss me goodnight” cue eye roll

    • Angela says...

      Live, laugh, love is my least favorite. (barf)

  88. Lindsey says...

    “Wherever you are, be all there!” – Jim Elliott

  89. Catherine says...

    “Every transition is hard. Even good ones.” – my mother, who i have difficult relationship with, and i love to hold on to the good she has passed down.

    “Don’t skimp on night cream. It’s a grand error.” – my spanish-speaking grandmother in broken english.

    “You can’t reason with crazy” – my husband whenever I’m trying to pick an unbeatable fight with someone.

    “Don’t drive behind a truck with a ladder on the roof.” – COJ comment that applied to actual driving, but also don’t put yourself in the path of imminent emotional disaster.

  90. Tori says...

    I was just telling my husband last week that I admire our shared ability to see the positive, even in negative situations. I have always liked the line from Desperado by The Eagles, “It May be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you.” I guess that’s why.

  91. TinaC says...

    “Always ask the Turtle” – Gloria Steinem.

  92. Tara says...

    so many.

    “70 is the new 40”. -My mom who just turned 70 in April.

    Be thankful for stories that are still unfolding. -My iPhone notes. Me or stolen from somewhere.

    “Grief is not linear”. -Prob Nora

    “The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.” Cheryl Strayed. My mantra throughout my 20’s. Also, I’m 33 and cried on a toilet at work today so ALSO today.

    A”Sometimes when the world around us feels so overwhelming I look back at the letter my dad wrote to me in my 20’s. Roger W Ilsley is the best ❤

    My love for you runs deeper than the ocean….higher than the Colorado Rockies that I’m looking at right now. Our lives have taken us across the US…you make me so proud…you have grown up right in front of my eyes from tiny feet dancing on mine to your own footsteps. Enjoy the dance of life….every day is an opportunity to meet new people and enhance your perspective….diversity is not just skin color. I hope I’ve taught you tolerance…love is being tolerant.

    You will always be Daddy’s little girl to me….memories are to cherish….your past has created your today….whatever challenges life throws at you I’m here to listen, coach and offer my opinion (if asked)….my love is 24×7….my goal as your Dad is to deepen our relationship…love drives our relationships. We may be many miles apart…love lives within us…enjoy each day knowing my love grows for you. Your 20’s are a decade of discovery, confusion, joy, passion, pain, heartache, impatience, learning and sheer enjoyment of life….as you grow and learn to keep me in your heart…save a space in there for your Dad.

    Love always,
    -My dad who wrote this in a letter to me in my 20’s. I was broke. Living in San Francisco. I’ve share this before. When I’ve had a shitty day, like today I read it and feel pretty damn lucky.

  93. M says...

    “You’re not that important.” – an ex boyfriend.

    Surprisingly, he actually meant it in a comforting way and that’s still the way it echoes. I am riddled with social anxiety and not usually in the moment, but later. Like I replay eveything over and over and over and I’m always second guessing the things I said, did, gifted, showed, etc. He was there one time when I was doing a typical neutroitc replay and kindly remind me that most of the time, everyone is so preoccupied with themselves that they dont even really notice or remember what I did. I’m really not that important. Ha, can you believe it? 😂 No really cares and life will go on whether I am there or not, or whether I did all the little things, no one gives a damn! Oh, dear, it is so incredibly freeing!

    • Julie says...

      My mom and I both deal with similar anxiety (hers is a bit worse than mine) we have a similar mantra…people really only think about themselves! When they leave a party, they are likely thinking of the dumb things they said…not you! It is freeing in the best way when you realize you really aren’t that important!

    • G says...

      I totally get this! Growing up, my dad would remind me, “no one is paying any attention to you” haha. This always helps me relax during moments when I feel socially awkward, even just on the bus in the morning!

    • Lorraine says...

      I love this and totally agree! I tend to replay things in my mind especially because I have a crystal clear memory. I often need to remind myself that not everyone has a photographic memory, and many things that happen will just vanish from people’s minds pretty quickly. So there’s no point in putting so much weight into fleeting moments.

    • kelly says...

      haha. My grandma said, ‘no one’s looking at you’ and meant the same thing. like, stop obsessing over the pimple or what shoes to wear or feeling awkward walking into a party by yourself. i love remembering her tellling me that so much, agree that it is SO FREEING but when i repeat it to people it sounds kind of awful!

    • Nina Nattiv says...

      This is like in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy- there is a machine that is suppose to make you insane because it shows you how tiny and unimportant you are compared to the rest of the universe. But I remember reading that and thinking how wonderful it is to realize how little you matter. Like, no matter how big you mess up, the world is going to be just fine. Unless you are Donald Trump, then you just ruin everything.

  94. Kathy says...

    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.”
    – Mark Twain

    My favorite reminder.

  95. Jodi says...

    Okay, so I first saw this on a greeting card at Trader Joe’s, but… it stuck with me:

    “If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.” Thomas Jefferson

    It’s so simple, but also profound. It was also just what I needed to hear when trying to make a decision about going to grad school. So, guess what? I’m now 2 months in to my Master’s program!

  96. audrey says...

    :) always reminding my husband…
    “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”

    Irina Dunn

    • C says...

      Ha ha! Yes!

  97. Caitlin L. says...

    I love Michelle Obama but there is something about her quote that actually makes me feel MORE insecure. I constantly feel like my knowledge is inadequate when it comes to certain topics, politics, whatever, and someone thinking the people around them ‘aren’t that smart’ whether it’s men or women, weirdly makes me feel more self conscious… :-/

    • Lauren says...

      Something like politics is so complicated that if you spent a lifetime studying something like law, you by definition couldn’t have spent a lifetime studying economics, or military problems, or history, or statistics, or whatever, let alone how they relate to each other: in that sense, it’s true that nobody is all that smart.

      But if you’re just meaning that the people around you have more to say about current events than you do, maybe that’s something you want to spend your free time on. Or maybe not! There’s a lot more to life than politics of course 🙂

      I was just listening to an interview where someone was criticizing westerners for expecting to have high self esteem without putting effort into improving themselves, and that hit a little too close to home, so that’s what’s on my mind, reading through these comments!

    • Madi says...

      I *think* it’s more about remembering the humanity of people who might otherwise intimidate you- we assume others have it all together, but they’re just people with flaws just like we are.

    • Kahani says...

      Knowledge doesn’t equal “smart” =)
      I don’t know if this helps but I’ve spent 13 years as a journalist and editor. My job is to speak to people who are experts on subjects I know little about and I can say that the most intelligent and gracious people love to be asked and to be listened to. If you don’t know something, it’s fine to admit it if you’re willing to learn. It doesn’t make you less smart, just makes you someone about to learn something. Of course you get the occasional jerk who thinks he’s smart and will use the opportunity to put you down because you are less informed in one area than he is – but those people are small minded and petty. Not worth your time or attention and certainly not worth getting upset over.

    • Aishwarya says...

      In that case, it is best to start reading on those topics everyday. If one is always undergoing training and learning, one would not feel as overwhelmed when something important comes up.

    • Maggie says...

      There was more context – she’s talked about going to an ivy league school and feeling intimidated until she realized how many people there were legacy admissions who didn’t even do homework, or getting to Washington and seeing that people acted important but didn’t always know what they’re talking about. She doesn’t mean that she looks around at random people judging them for not being smart, I promise!

    • Angela says...

      It makes me feel better and quiets my imposter syndrome at work to know that mostly everyone else is just faking it. That’s not saying people aren’t that smart, but rather they are doing a good job at projecting what they want others to see.

  98. Andrea says...

    “O love, O fire! once he drew
    With one long kiss my whole soul through
    My lips, as sunlight drinketh dew.”
    ― Alfred Lord Tennyson

    Read for the first time in a poetry class in college. Has always stayed with me. And inspires me that no matter how beautiful or hard or busy the day has been, to give my husband at least one, good, long kiss everyday. My soul always feel more alive after I do.

    • Annie Kelley says...

      That’s beautiful

  99. Lara says...

    “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” Bob Marley

    • Jasna says...

      Yes!! One of my favorite quotes, as well!

    • agnes says...

      woooa! love that quote! thank you Lara!

    • L says...

      x one million.

  100. Maddy says...

    “Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul
    And sings the tune without the words
    And never stops at all.” -Emily Dickinson

  101. Amy says...

    “ Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” – James Baraz

  102. Emma says...

    My favorite: “it is a serious thing // just to be alive / on this fresh morning / in this broken world.”
    ― Mary Oliver, Red Bird

    Reminds me that life is a gift, even when things are terrible.

    “this decay, this hope, this mouthful of dirt, this poetry.”
    — Margaret Atwood, from Selected Poems II: 1976 – 1986; “Mushrooms,”

    Reminds that the good can exist with the bad.

    “And I began to let him go. Hour by hour. Days into months. It was a physical sensation, like letting out the string of a kite. Except that the string was coming from my center.”
    — Augusten Burroughs

    I thought of this quote often when healing from a bad breakup. One day it became true. I ran out of string and felt free.

    You, bright star, stand exactly over the place where I am darkest and most afraid.
    — Rainer Maria Rilke, from a letter to Lou Andreas-Salomé c. August 1903

    I have not found someone who makes me feel like this yet, But I hope to one day!

    • anna says...

      so helpful about the string …. for all types of mourning. Thanks for sharing x

    • Anna says...

      These are all wonderful. Thank you.

  103. Emily L says...

    I heard this in college: “Don’t make decisions when your decision maker is broken.”

    Not especially deep but it reminds me when I’m exhausted or in emotional pain to not make big decisions as I’ll make better decisions when my frame of mind is better.

    • I truly needed to hear that today. Thank you!

  104. Michelle says...

    “Silence is so accurate” Mark Rothko
    “Courage, dear heart” C.S. Lewis InVoyage of the Dawn Treader
    “Everything is hard before it is easy” Goethe
    “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. They are either charming or tedious.” Oscar Wilde
    “What you seek is seeking you” Rumi
    ”In the midst of winter I found there was, within me, an invincible summer” Albert Camus

    My best of the best. I’ve collected quotes for inspiration since college and these have stood the test of time.

  105. Laura C says...

    I have an ever-evolving google doc filled with quotes that I believe need to be remembered. I love being able to go back & see what I was reading or what stood out to me at different moments of the year. My most recent addition comes from an EB White quote:

    “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world & a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

  106. Jasna says...

    “Do the best you can, until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

    This one became my mantra.

    • Jocelyn says...

      Right before I left on a 3 month sabbatical to travel solo, a yoga instructor centered the class around the idea that “maybe the glass isn’t half empty or half full. It’s neither. The glass is just there – in neutral – and our individual life experiences are where we draw from that define things for us.”

      I’ve thought about this concept so much on this trip… particularly in situations that seem scary at first. Sleeping alone in a campervan… no reason to be afraid when in New Zealand, however I was so scared of every sound the first few nights because camping alone isn’t always safe where I’m from. Started back at neutral and it allowed me to see that it’s not scary at all in NZ… there’s not even an animal that could harm you! I was applying fear from a previous experience to a situation that was actually quite beautiful under a million stars right next to a glacier! =)

      Besides, the glass is refillable after all.

    • Me too.

  107. D says...

    From L.M. Montgomery, via Anne Shirley . . . “Look upon each little hindrance as a jest, and every great one as the foreshadowing of victory”.

  108. Gigi says...

    “All of them have had doubters. Some continue to have a roaring, stadium-sized collection of critics and naysayers who will shout “I told you so” at every little misstep or mistake.
    The noise doesn’t go away, but the most successful people I know have figured out how to live with it, to lean on the people who believe in them, and to push onward with their goals.” – Michelle Obama in “Becoming”

    When there are so many voices around and some negative, this continues to comfort me and encourage my heart to lean on the people who believe in me, especially as a mother.

  109. Elizabeth says...

    When I was a classroom teacher, I had a board with the “quote of the week” on it. Two of my favorites were:

    “Always remember, you are braver than you believe, smarter than you seem, and stronger than you think.” –A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)

    “Today You are You! That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is You-er than You!” — Dr. Seuss

    I find that last one comforting when I feel like I “should be” more.

    • Rosemary says...

      I have many favorites from the children’a story The Little Prince. These resonate with me 20 years after first reading thisin elementary French class!
      “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important”.
      “ I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies”

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

    • Johanna says...

      That reminds me of the Judy Garland quote: Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.

  110. “There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” — Henri Matisse

    • Jodi says...

      This reminds me of a favorite quote from the street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, “He who seeks beauty shall find it.” I love that one.

  111. Amanda says...

    “It’s not stress, it’s Pooh.”
    – Christopher Robin movie

  112. Jennifer says...

    From COJ’s My Beauty Uniform, Linda Rodin:

    Was there a time in your life when you felt really beautiful?
    Right now. Truly, more than ever. Getting old gives you freedom. You can be cranky; people just say, oh, well, you’re a doddering old lady. You don’t have to make excuses. If I don’t want to go out, I just say, I don’t want to, there’s a great show on TV. People say, tape it. I say, I don’t know how.

    This quote makes me smile- Linda embraces her beauty and age with a healthy dose of humor, and you can feel the freedom radiate from the interview.

  113. AM says...

    “Important lessons: look carefully; record what you see. Find a way to make beauty necessary; find a way to make necessity beautiful.”

    Anne Michaels

    • Rachel says...

      I’m so glad you posted this one! I read Fugitive Pieces in a freshman seminar class and this quote has stayed with me.

  114. Nadine says...

    “Life is not a dress rehearsal.”
    “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.”

    • Emma says...

      I have been collecting quotes about joy, Hope, and optimism for a while now.
      I’m the supervisor for a team of social workers and I always come back to these quotes to ground myself when times are tough.

      “Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.” – Joseph Campbell

      I also love the poem “Decisions” by Boris Novak.

      Between two words
      choose the quieter one.

      Between word and silence
      choose listening.

      Between two books
      choose the dustier one.

      Between the earth and the sky
      choose a bird.

      Between two animals
      choose the one who needs you more.

      Between two children
      choose both.

      Between the lesser and the bigger evil
      choose neither.

      Between hope and despair
      choose hope:
      it will be harder to bear.

  115. Alina says...

    “It is in the shelter of each other that the people live”

  116. Val says...

    “The future has an ancient heart.” —Carlo Levi

  117. Lauren says...

    This letter written by E.B. White in 1973 is so prescient for our times and resonates deeply as we seek to find goodness in our world:
    “As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.

    Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society—things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.

    Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.”
    – E.B. White, 1973

    • Love this!

    • Anna says...

      This is so good

    • Emma says...

      Oh I love this!

    • Amy says...

      Thank you for posting this- never heard it and it’s magical!

    • Di says...

      YES. I love that one, and I hold onto it tightly.

  118. Christi says...

    “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

    Always a great reminder to this girl who zooms forward, and occasionally steps backward, in time to find new and incredibly useless ways to worry.

    Also, often when I would head out with friends or something in high school and later, my mom would say “Remember whose you are.” Makes me a little teary as a young mom now, wanting to be sure my girls always know exactly who they are in Christ and find me as a soft place to land whenever things get tough or confusing. My mom also often quoted “This too shall pass,” but that did and still does drive me nuts!

  119. Karin says...

    The light of the sun is always present. Clouds are just temporary. (No idea who said this)
    Just keep swimming (Finding Nemo) – no matter how spun I am, I can always remember this one!!!

  120. Susanne says...

    “Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly. Kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made you smile.” by Robert Doisneau
    This is the one for me <3

  121. Maureen says...

    “I’ll like myself more tomorrow if I do this today.”

  122. AngelaM says...

    This is from Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and I love it. She is so brilliant and funny and sad, and I am using it to try and get through times when I’m afraid (a lot).

    “Whenever I get stuck on something, I’m like “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid? What would I write if I wasn’t afraid? What would I say in this situation, if I wasn’t afraid.”
    -Phoebe Waller-Bridge

    • Mary says...

      “It’s good to see you.”

      My grandfather passed away this summer – and this is really the first time I’ve been experienced death and the emotions that follow. Every time I’d visit, he’d stand up from his chair, stretch his arms out for a hug, and say “It’s good to see you.” It’s simple, but I know that my presence was valued when he’d say that. I’ve started greeting people like this to pass on that feeling of making someone feel loved and welcomed. Putting this into practice myself is a great way to cope and helps me remember comforting details about my grandpa. It also makes me appreciate and hold onto other little “isms” that people have.

  123. Irene says...

    Buddha said it best: There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.

    And one I struggle with every day: Worry is another form of prayer.

    A last one for kicks: Let it go. Disney. Seriously!

    • Lauren says...

      Yes, I’ve heard that middle quote as ‘worrying is like praying for something you don’t want’. Although pushing away worry instead of acknowledgeing it and letting it pass is a good way to make the worry come back even stronger!

  124. Margaret Hermanek says...

    A few that run through my mind regularly…

    “The cure for anything is salt water – tears, sweat, or the sea. ” (Isak Dinesen)

    “Time will explain.” (Jane Austen)

    “Breathe in. Breathe out. Move on.” (Jimmy Buffett)

  125. Caroline Gray says...

    Ann Lamott’s book Bird by Bird is filled with so many wonderful words of wisdom. I often have this particular quote simmering in the back of my mind: “E.L. Doctorow said once said that ‘Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.”

  126. Meghan says...

    I just read this one today and thought it’d make a great t-shirt: “As a girl, my heroine was Jo, as a woman, it’s Louisa May Alcott.” – Greta Gerwig (NYT)

    • Lucy says...

      Love this! I would totally buy that t-shirt. My daughter’s middle name is Louisa after Louisa May Alcott :)

    • Lauren says...


    • Joanna says...

      I just learned that my middle name is May for the same reason! I had no idea, my whole life (I’m 31). Ha!

  127. Danielle says...

    Ugh, so many quotes! Love, love, love so many. Embarrassingly, I used to have a “quotes” document in high school and college that I’d collect quotes I loved.

    The one I currently have on my desk as a mantra/reminder:
    “You can’t make someone think, feel or act differently. You can be as kind as possible or as combative as possible and still not change reality for someone else. All you can do is control what you think and do, and try to help them without hurting yourself.”

    So many song quotes to name, but this one from Sara Bareilles hits me lately as I go through a breakup:
    “If the bottom drops out, I hope my love was someone else’s solid ground.”

    Embarrassing that I still love Grey’s Anatomy, but they had some good ones over the years. This one I think about ALL THE TIME. One of Cristina’s last quotes on the show:
    “He is very dreamy, but he is not the sun. You are. Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need.”

    Finally, from “The Universe” emails:
    “The thing that most forget while dreamily looking off into the horizon for the ship of their dreams, is that such ships never sail in, but are actually built beneath their very feet.”

    Can you tell I’m going through a breakup? :)

    • Mikaela says...

      I hadn’t realized the Grey’s Anatomy quote had slipped into my subconscious until mid-argument earlier this year, out of nowhere I told my partner he wasn’t the sun. I’m not sure he totally understood, but it gave me the power to assert my choices, and we’re both happier for it.

    • Samantha says...

      Hang in there Danielle — you’ll get through it stronger and wiser. :) Long live the sisterhood!

    • J says...

      Danielle- me too! Here is a Brene Brown quote (doesn’t she always know what to say?) that I have been referring back to over and over:

      “In order for forgiveness to happen, something has to die. If you make a choice to forgive, you have to face into the pain. You simply have to hurt.

      Given the dark fears we feel when we experience loss, nothing is more generous and loving than the willingness to embrace grief in order to forgive. To be forgiven is to be loved.”

      My personal mantra: endure everything. And from Eleanor Roosevelt (via Mia Thermopolis, haha): “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.

      Sending good vibes your way.

    • Alyssa says...

      Sorry that you’re walking through a break-up Danielle. These quotes are lovely. Hope you feel your ship being built beneath your feet. <3

  128. Heather B says...

    Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing –Arundhati Roy

    And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time – T.S. Eliot

    Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I did think, let’s go about this slowly. This is important. This should take some really deep thought. We should take small thoughtful steps. But, bless us, we didn’t. – Mary Oliver

  129. E. says...

    I can’t remember where I read this, but it’s a favorite of mine as I interact with my own little kid and the bigger, high school kids I teach:
    “They are not bonsai trees; they are wild flowers.”

  130. Em says...

    “The corollary to carpe diem is gratitude; gratitude for simply being alive, for having a day to seize. The taking of breath, the beating of the heart. Gratitude for the natural world around us — the massing clouds, the white ibis by the shore. In Barcelona a poetry competition is held every year. There are three prizes: The third prize is a rose made of silver, the second prize is a golden rose, and the first prize: a rose. A real rose. The flower itself. Think of that the next time the term “priorities” comes up.”
    – Billy Collins

    “The cure for everything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.”
    – Isak Dinesen

  131. Diana K. says...

    Your blessing in life is when you find the torture you are comfortable with.
    -Jerry Seinfeld

    It seems pessimistic, but it highlights what we choose to forget. We can all count on pain and suffering in life, and we should feel all of those things. BUT we should also not accept more suffering than necessary. There is a balance between accepting inevitable pain and actively pursuing a good life.

    Also Greta Gerwig said something that felt profound in an interview about Little Women. She said, “Sometimes the future reaches down and pulls you forward.”

  132. Megan says...

    So many favorites, including a lot of those here! Two that come immediately to mind, both of which have prompted me to remember to choose the bigger life (itself a good quote):

    “Keep not standing, fixed and rooted. Briskly venture. Briskly roam.”–Goethe

    And a poem by Wendell Berry, in its entirety:
    “It may be that when we no longer know what to do
    we have come to our real work,
    and that when we no longer know which way to go
    we have come to our real journey.
    The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
    The impeded stream is the one that sings.”

  133. Lara says...

    “I’ll never know and neither will you of the life you don’t choose. We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.” – Cheryl Strayed

    • Emily says...

      I love this quote and it would’ve been the one I shared. A few years ago, my life took such a dramatic turn – that’s not true, I TOOK the steering wheel of my life and yanked it hard. I changed a career, moved to a new city in a new region, and created this life that is *from the outside* almost like a rom com movie. But in reality, like anything, it’s full of ups and downs and lots of bad days and emotions mixed in with the good, careless times. Sometimes I miss the big city and big life I left behind, but this quote is such a graceful, gentle reminder that we have countless unknown lives that we have and don’t have. It’s such a comforting thought.

  134. Sarah N. says...

    Assume good intent. Is that a famous quote? I don’t know. But a mentor once shared it with me and I have since passed down to numerous colleagues and friends. In this digital age, where emails and texts have almost completely replaced face to face communication, this mantra is key to maintaining relationships (and sanity!).

  135. Di says...

    For years, I’ve tried to think of this line from a Molly Ivins piece as sort of my Rule of Life:

    “So keep fightin’ for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don’t you forget to have fun doin’ it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin’ ass and celebratin’ the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was.”

    • Claire says...

      Molly Ivins!!!!!! Lord, this Texan loves her.

    • BeverlySomething says...

      One of my favorites! <3 Thanks for sharing!

    • Sophie says...

      One of my very favorites. Thank you.

  136. Siobhan says...

    “Even on the stormiest of days, the sun is still shining above the clouds”

  137. Shannon Murphy says...

    “Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” Louise Erdrich

    “Inside human beings is where God learns.” Rilke

    • Megan says...

      That Erdrich quote has been a favorite. Thanks for reminding me of it.

    • Aleka says...

      These are gorgeous!

    • Heather says...

      Love the Louise Erdrich quote – that’s wonderful!

  138. Muna says...

    Being kind is free, because it will cost you alot if you arent. (Cant remember who, just always stuck w me)

    Be like the flower that releases its fragrance even to the hand that crushes it
    A man’s measure is his will
    (Both by imam Ali A.S.)

  139. Meg says...

    “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.”

    — Theodore Roosevelt, “The Man in the Arena”

  140. Lindsay Sadler says...

    “I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
    I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
    I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
    I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden.
    I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
    I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”
    ― Marjorie Pay Hinckley

  141. Anne says...

    “i want to apologize to all the women
    i have called pretty
    before i’ve called them intelligent or brace
    i am sorry i made it sound as though
    something as simple as what you’re born with
    is the most you have to be proud of when your
    spirit has crushed mountains
    from now on i will say things like
    you are resilient or you are extraordinary
    not because i don’t think you’re pretty
    but because you are so much more than that”
    -rupi kaur

    More of a poem than a quote but one I love! I try to tell it to myself on down days, but also, to the little girls I meet [I’m a soon to be pediatrician!]. I don’t compliment their shirt or skirt or appearance, but ask them about sports they play or hobbies they have and tell them they are strong and brave.

  142. Katelyn says...

    “It is no coincidence that ‘aspiration’ means both hope and the act of breathing.”—
    Ted Chiang, From Exhalation

    I use this as a reminder that I actually always know what to do when I don’t know what to do—just breath.

    • Genevieve Martin says...

      That’s amazing!

  143. Emily says...

    “Life moves quickly. Don’t let it pass you by” and “be not afraid of moving slowly, be only afraid of standing still.”

    These two quotes have had a big impact on how I see the world and my place within it. I have the second one as a tattoo in Chinese characters and is something I look down and reference often to remind myself it’s okay to be slow sometimes. Slow and steady truly wins the race.

    • michelle says...

      Yes to this!

  144. Susan says...

    ‘Let go, or be dragged’

    • L says...

      5 powerful words!!!!

    • G says...

      Yes! This one is just so good.

    • M. says...

      Haha! Oh wow, is this true or what!

  145. Jen Sheridan says...

    I always point myself to Mary Oliver when I am tempted to choose the less meaningful or less impactful option.
    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?”
    Keeps me away from the straight and narrow every time ;)

    • Meredith MC says...

      Mary Oliver is my favorite to quote. I love this one especially. Reminds me what I’m made of, and that it’s finite.

  146. Ann says...

    yes yes yes. big giant tear + clapping all at the same time.

  147. Emma says...

    When I was going through a particularly hard time, I printed out the Ellen Bass poem “The Thing Is” and pinned in up in my cubical, right across from my computer. I read it maybe sixteen times a day. While note a quote, per say, this poem gave me the strength to soldier on, have faith that my current struggles were temporary and that I will have joy again. They were and I do.

    “The Thing Is” by Ellen Bass
    to love life, to love it even
    when you have no stomach for it
    and everything you’ve held dear
    crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
    your throat filled with the silt of it.
    When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
    thickening the air, heavy as water
    more fit for gills than lungs;
    when grief weights you like your own flesh
    only more of it, an obesity of grief,
    you think, How can a body withstand this?
    Then you hold life like a face
    between your palms, a plain face,
    no charming smile, no violet eyes,
    and you say, yes, I will take you
    I will love you, again.

  148. Erin says...

    “She rises and stands looking out at the waves, overcome with the beauty. Her whole mind feels raw and receptive. She experiences a searing, wide-open thankfulness, an unmediated wonder at the world.” -Gabriel Tallent, My Absolute Darling (new favorite book!)
    I have this pinned above my desk as a reminder to always be thankful and open to seeing beauty wherever I go.

  149. Laura Doherty says...

    “there are years that ask questions and years that answer”

  150. I just binge-watched Couples Therapy on Showtime. It looks like a drama but it’s actually a reality show about, well, couples in therapy, highly recommended!

    One of many great pieces of wisdom by the therapist was (I’m paraphrasing):
    Everybody thinks: ‘If only my partner would change this or that, everything would be better.’ But in reality the only change that happens is if you love the other person so much, if you want to relationship so much, that you change something within you, that you transcend yourself.