Wise sayings and quotes

On this page there is a list of famous wise and inspiring sayings and quotes that I like, or that mean a lot to me. I also put some of my own quotes on this page that I tried to translate from Dutch to English. I like inspiring sayings and quotes for as long as I live, and I have collected a lot of books filled with inspiring sayings and quotes. Most sayings and quotes are short powerful sentences, somtimes with some humor, somtimes cynical, and thay are able to explain complex matters in a simple way. An inspiring saying or quote can be used in powerpoint presentations or speaches to make them more poweful and inspiring. Regards, Hein Pragt

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.
(Edward De Bono )

Humor is by far the most significant activity of the human brain.

(Edward De Bono)

The thing that makes a creative person is to be creative and that is all there is to it.

(Edward Albee)

Whatever creativity is, it is in part a solution to a problem.

(Brian Aldiss)

The good ideas are all hammered out in agony by individuals, not spewed out by groups.

(Charles Browder)

Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules,
making mistakes, and having fun.
(Mary Lou Cook )

Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.

(Anna Freud)

The things we fear most in organizations like fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances are the primary sources of creativity.

(Margaret J. Wheatley)

Anyone can look for fashion in a boutique or history in a museum. The creative explorer looks for history in a hardware store and fashion in an airport.

(Robert Wieder)

If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide.

(Mahatma Gandhi)

Humor is just another defense against the universe.

(Mel Brooks)

Humor is always based on a modicum of truth. Have you ever heard a joke about a father in law.

(Dick Clark)

There are things of deadly earnest that can only be mentioned under the cover of a joke.

(J. J. Procter)

One never needs their humor as much as when they argue with a fool.

(Chinese Proverb)

The absolute truth is the thing that makes people laugh.

(Carl Reiner)

Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.

(Peter Ustinov)

The mind is like a parachute, it only functions when its open.


Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We don’t know because we don’t want to know.


We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

(Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

(Albert Einstein

When you stop learning you start dying

(M. Scott Adams)

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

(Oscar Wilde)

A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.

(Oscar Wilde)

A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.

(Doug Larson)

A man can be happy with any woman, so long as he does not love her.

(Oscar Wilde)

A man cannot be too careful in his choice of enemies.

(Oscar Wilde)

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

(Balthasar Gracian)

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

(William James)

All men make mistakes, but married men find out about them sooner.

(Red Skelton)

All people are equal, it is not birth, it is virtue alone that makes the difference.

( Voltaire)

All women become like their mothers, that is their tragedy; no man does, that is his.

(Oscar Wilde)

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.

(Niels Bohr)

Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend; it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friends’ success.

(Oscar Wilde)

Crying is the refuge of plain women and the ruin of pretty ones.

(Oscar Wilde)

Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives.

(A. Sachs)

Death is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.

(A.E. Newman)

Don’t be afraid to feel as angry or as loving as you can, because when you feel nothing, it’s just death.

(Lena Horne)

Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.

(George Iles)

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.

(Norman Vincent Peale)

Experience enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.

(Franklin P. Jones)

Experience is the name we all give to our mistakes.

(Oscar Wilde)

Fashion is what one wears oneself; what is unfashionable is what other people wear.

(Oscar Wilde)

For fascinating women, sex is a challenge; for others, it is merely a defence.

(Oscar Wilde)

Hot heads and cold hearts never solved anything.

(Billy Graham)

I can resist everything except temptation.

(Oscar Wilde)

I don’t want to make the wrong mistake.

(“Yogi” Berra)

I have always been of the opinion that a man about to get married should know either everything or nothing.

(Oscar Wilde)

I like men who have a future, and women who have a past.

(Oscar Wilde)

I never made a mistake in my life; at least, never one that I couldn’t explain away afterwards.

(Rudyard Kipling)

I sometimes think that God, in creating man, rather overestimated His ability.

(Oscar Wilde)

When God created the man, she made a big mistake.

If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference.

(Buckminster Fuller)

If politicians and scientist were lazier, how much happier we should all be.

(Evelyn Waugh)

If you can’t make a mistake, you can’t make anything.

(Marva Collins)

If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve obviously never been in bed with a mosquito.

(Michelle Walker)

In a few minutes a computer can make a mistake so great that it would take many men many months to equal it.

(Merle Meacham)

It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.

(Tom Brokaw)

It’s not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.

(Bear Bryant)

It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.

(Zig Ziglar)

It’s not what you do once in a while, it’s what you do day in and day out that makes the difference.

(Jenny Craig)

It’s your unlimited power to care and to love that can make the biggest difference in the quality of your life.

(Anthony Robbins)

Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.

(Theodore Isaac Rubin)

Learning makes the wise wiser and the fool more foolish.

(John Ray)

Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.

( Voltaire)

Men marry because they are tired, women because they are curious; both are disappointed.

(Oscar Wilde)

One fool can ask more questions in a minute than twelve wise men can answer in an hour.

(Nikolai Lenin)

Only a fool knows everything. A wise man knows how little he knows.

( Unknown)

Peace is not won by those who fiercely guard their differences but by those who with open minds and hearts seek out connections.

(Katherine Paterson)

People who don’t take risks generally make about 2 big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about 2 big mistakes a year.

(Peter Drucker)

Perhaps loving something is the only starting place there is for making your life your own.

(Alice Koller)

Science fiction is no more written for scientists that ghost stories are written for ghosts.

(Brian Aldiss)

So long as we are loved by others I should say that we are almost indispensable; and no man is useless while he has a friend.

(Robert Louis Stevenson)

Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.

(Henry Van Dyke)

Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty, they merely move it from their faces into their hearts.

(Martin Buxbaum)

The attainment of an ideal is often the beginning of a disillusion.

(Stanley Baldwin )

The beginning is the most important part of the work.

( Plato)

The beginning of wisdom is silence. The second step is listening.

( Unknown)

The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

(William Shakespeare)

The fool wanders, a wise man travels.

(Thomas Fuller)

The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart.

(Benjamin Franklin)

The mistakes of the fool are known to the world, but not to himself. The mistakes of the wise man are known to himself, but not to the world.

(Charles Caleb Colton)

The old believe everything; the middle-aged suspect everything; the young know everything.

(Oscar Wilde)

The proper basis for a marriage is mutual misunderstanding.

(Oscar Wilde)

The prudence of the best heads is often defeated by tenderness of the best hearts.

(Henry Fielding)

The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he is one who asks the right questions.

(Claude Levi-Strauss)

There are many who had rather meet their bitterest enemy in the field than their own hearts in their closet.

(Charles Caleb Colton)

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.

(Mark Twain)

There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.

(Benjamin Franklin)

There are three things I always forget, names, faces and the third I can’t remember.

(Italo Svevo)

There are three ways to get something done – do it yourself, hire someone to do it, or ask your kids not to do it.

(Malcolm L. Kushner)

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth, not going all the way, and not starting.

( Buddha)

To fear love is to fear life, and those who fear life are already three parts dead.

(Bertrand Russell)

Two roads diverged in a woods, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

(Robert Frost)

We can only learn to love by loving.

(Iris Murdoch)

We must remember that one determined person can make a significant difference, and that a small group of determined people can change the course of history.

(Sonia Johnson)

When it’s all over, it’s not who you were. . . it’s whether you made a difference.

(Bob Dole)

When we know to read our own hearts, we acquire wisdom of the heartsof others.

(Denis Diderot)

Whenever people agree with me, I always feel I must be wrong.

(Oscar Wilde)

Wise men don’t need advice. Fools won’t take it.

(Benjamin Franklin)

Wise men learn by other men’s mistakes, fools by their own.

(H. G. Bohn)

Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.

( Cato the Elder)

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something.

( Plato)

Women are meant to be loved, not understood.

(Oscar Wilde)

Women give to men the very gold of their lives; but they always want it back in small change.

(Oscar Wilde)

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery,today is a gift… that is why it is called “present”

(ou long)

The more we know, the better we know, how little we know.


There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Soldiers who want to be heroes, number practical zero.
((Rod McKuen))

What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.
((Oscar Wilde))

The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.
((Robert Frost))

You can’t separate peace from freedom, because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
((Malcolm X))

The difference between what we do and we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.
((Mahatma Gandhi))

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.
(Edward de Bono)

A prince should therefore have no other aim or thought, nor take up any other thing for his study but war and it organization and discipline, for that is the only art that is necessary to one who commands.
(Niccolo Machiavelli)

Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied.
(Niccolo Machiavelli)

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

Art is the proper task of life.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, keep it.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

At times one remains faithful to a cause only because its opponents do not cease to be insipid.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Cleverness is like a lens with a very sharp focus. Wisdom is more like a wide-angle lens.
(Edward de Bono)

For the woman, the man is a means: the end is always the child.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

Hate the sin, love the sinner.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

He who blinded by ambition, raises himself to a position whence he cannot mount higher, must thereafter fall with the greatest loss.
(Niccolo Machiavelli)

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

He who has not first laid his foundations may be able with great ability to lay them afterwards, but they will be laid with trouble to the architect and danger to the building.
(Niccolo Machiavelli)

Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

I still live, I still think: I still have to live, for I still have to think.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

I would not know what the spirit of a philosopher might wish more to be than a good dancer.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.
(Niccolo Machiavelli)

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

In heaven all the interesting people are missing.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

In truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Indolence is a delightful but distressing state; we must be doing something to be happy.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Is man merely a mistake of God’s? Or God merely a mistake of man’s?
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist on being right – especially when one is right.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

It is the quality of our work which will please God and not the quantity.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

Man is the cruelest animal.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel. Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.
(Niccolo Machiavelli)

Morality is herd instinct in the individual.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

One must have a good memory to be able to keep the promises one makes.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

Poets are shameless with their experiences: they exploit them.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.
(Niccolo Machiavelli)

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies but also to hate his friends.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

There are no facts, only interpretations.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, and the third is useless.
(Niccolo Machiavelli)

There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

There is no other way of guarding oneself against flattery than by letting men understand that they will not offend you by speaking the truth; but when everyone can tell you the truth, you lose their respect.
(Niccolo Machiavelli)

To be feared is much safer then to be loved.
(Niccolo Machiavelli)

To forget one’s purpose is the commonest form of stupidity.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

We must become the change we want to see.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?
(Mahatma Gandhi)

What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

When neither their property nor their honor is touched, the marjority of men live content.
(Niccolo Machiavelli)

When one has much to put into them, a day has a hundred pockets.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

When you stare into the abyss the abyss stares back at you.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

You must be the change you want to see in the world.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
(Mahatma Gandhi)

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.
(Friedrich Nietzsche)

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