Favorite Quotes, Part I

Once upon a time there lived a king who hungered to know all the wisdom in the universe. He assembled a group of the wisest men in the kingdom and sent them out on a mission to discover this wisdom and write it down. The wise men went out and after many years returned with five huge volumes packed from cover to cover with wisdom.

The king stared in horror at the five volumes and said, ” That’s too long!”

The wise men worked for several more years and returned with one volume, but the king thought that was still too long. So they condensed it to one chapter, then to one paragraph, and finally to one sentence.

Helen Keller

Helen Keller

“That’s it!” the king cried. “That’s the wisdom of the universe.”

The sentence read: “There ain’t no free lunch.”

I don’t know the origin of that story, but I first heard it several years ago from Zig Ziglar. He used it to illustrate the principle that to get something out of life you must work for it–the universe will only reward you if you are willing to make an effort.

I like quotes like this. They are short and to the point, and the good ones hold nuggets of truth; some of the truths are profound discoveries, others are whimsical or satirical observations about life.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

  • “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” ~ Sylvia Plath
  • “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision” ~Helen Keller
  • “Plumbers don’t get plumber’s block. Why should writing be the only profession that gives a special name to difficulty of working.” ~ Philip Pullman
  • “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” ~ Mark Twain
  • “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison
  • “You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer.”- Isaac Asimov
  • “Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” – Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat.” – Robert A. Heinlein

    Mark Twain

    Mark Twain

  • “Some critics will write ‘Maya Angelou is a natural writer’ – which is right after being a natural heart surgeon.” – Maya Angelou
  • ‘A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” -Mark Twain
  • “People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do” ~Lewis Cass
  • “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.” – Mark Twain
  • “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” – Earl Nightingale
  • “Whatever the mind of man can conceive, it can achieve.” ~ W. Clement Stone
  • “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” ~ Mark Twain
  • “Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “You fail only if you stop writing.” – Ray Bradbury

    Ernest Hemingway

    Ernest Hemingway

  • “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” – Ernest Hemingway
  • “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.” ~ Lou Holtz
  • “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” ~ Milton Berle
  • “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb
  • “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” ~Mark Twain

I’ve got lots more favorites. Maybe I’ll do a Favorite Quotes part II someday.

What are some of your favorite quotes?

Categories: Quotes

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