15 Quotes about Living Life (with comments)

This post will highlight and explore 15 key quotes about living life. It is much better to engage in discussion with a few choice words rather than skim hundreds of quickly forgotten recitations. We will examine 5 key ideas for living life in each of the categories of encouragement, challenge, and warning.


1. Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive. Matt Cameron

This is the most general truth but it’s also the one that you can rely on time after time. No one wants to live a half-life or a quarter-life or even worse, a 10% life, everyone wants to live a full life. Of course, everyone defines a full life somewhat differently. So you also have to make sure that you live your own life, not someone else’s idea of the full life. Secondly, we must make sure to live a positive life; we must focus on the positive. Never live a life full of regret; never live a life full of worry; never live a life filled with negativity. It is the positive aspect of life that gives you the strength and the courage to keep going when existence is difficult.

2. Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been. Alan Alda.

As I mentioned before, always live your life, don’t live someone else’s life. It’s very tempting to see somebody who’s rich and famous or very successful and want to be like them and to act like them so that you can get the same results they have. But often, even when you try to copy them you don’t get the same results because we’re all different. We might be created with equal potential but we are not created identically. The challenge for each one of us is to consider all the examples we see in the world and find what will be successful for us, what brings us joy, and what brings us to the place where we are satisfied with our life. A creative life doesn’t require doing something absurd or even unusual. No, instead, a creative life is just finding out how you can fit into this complex world and become successful.

3. Cherish your yesterdays, dream your tomorrows and live your todays. Anonymous

The past is gone but don’t forget it. Instead, learn to appreciate it and to cherish what has gone before especially since you can’t change it. Likewise, always look to the future, always dream about what is possible, and about what could be because you will derive great strength from this hope. Perhaps one of the best pieces of advice is to live in the moment while honoring and remembering the past, and still hold on to your dreams of future. The life you live today will help create the future you want for tomorrow.

4. One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure. William Feather

We spend a tremendous amount of energy trying to become safe and comfortable. Then we spend a vast amount of time and money seeking to entertain ourselves through literature and through movies where we participate vicariously leave our comfort zone and participate in adventures. Instead of all this, why don’t we just consider life itself as an adventure and overlook the petty inconveniences and uncomfortableness we face in life and see that everything we do is part of an adventure, something that has a larger meaning than just day-to-day existence. Adventure is exciting because there is a story, because there is meaning, and in the same way if you see your life as filled with meaning, filled with consequence, it can become an adventure for you and you will be much more willing to ignore the small troubles of life and focus on the great meaning of your own story.


5. Do you want to live life, or do you want to escape life? Macklemore

This quotation can catch you up short because of course, we want to live life, but looking back we often see a lot of our time energy is spent escaping life. We may be escaping the problems of life or perhaps the consequences of our choices or perhaps just escaping the dullness of circumstances such as when our reality doesn’t match our desires. But the problem with too much escape is that it doesn’t change what is real, it doesn’t change the life that you actually have to make an effort in reality to find true joy. If you escape the world through fantasy, or through drugs, or through the newest high-tech VR program that comes along, you will not in any way improve your real life. In fact, the more you escape, the more the life that you live will deteriorate. It will fall apart and become even more of a problem than you already have. Instead, just as quote number four talked about seeing life as an adventure, take your life and do something with it. Refuse the temptation of escape and instead take action to make the life that you want, to creatively live in a way that brings forth the desires you have in your heart and mind.

6. Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. Robert Breault

No one is born full of wisdom, in fact, we’re actually born quite foolish. That’s why we send children to schools, that’s why we’re always educating young people because they don’t know what’s really important in life. In the same way, all of us, as we live life, we almost never recognize is really important. It all just seems to pass by, but the little things we do every day, they slowly build up the life that we live. Only much later, as we become older and wiser, are we able to look back and see the importance of a hug, a kiss, a thank-you letter, or an insult a careless word, and a vicious glance. All these things add up to your lifetime. So it is up to us to try to not only enjoy our daily life but to pay attention to the details as we live our lives and we also help other people live their lives, as well.

7. I live life what I consider to be normal. Vijay Mallya

Along with living creatively, we should also strive to live normally. Now, of course, you and I, we probably define what is a normal life completely differently. My life is filled with motorcycles and whiskey and young children. Your life might be filled with high-tech meetings, your life might be filled with gardening, your life might be filled with flying airplanes; all of these things are normal for each of us. So let us strive not to go outside what we think is acceptable, to hold on to what we each consider a normal life and be successful within what is normal for us. Don’t let the world push you into living a life that feels unnatural for you. And vice versa. As long as it’s leading you to be filled with love and joy and peace and patience. But avoid a subnormal and unnatural life filled with anger, hatred, jealousy, bitterness, and the desire for vengeance, punishment, and wrath. If you face all of these negative things, you have left the normal life and you need to find a way to get back to your center, to get back to your balance, to get back to being normal.

8. Every day, it’s important to ask and answer these questions: “What’s good in my life?” and “What needs to be done?” Nathaniel Branden

I believe it was Socrates who said the unexamined life is not worth living. Almost every successful person takes regular timeouts in their life. They have a period of quiet where they examine not just their place in the world but they examine themselves and their hearts. They look at what’s good in their life because remember our number priority is to focus on the positive. We need to make that impulse stronger. Secondly, we must never be self-satisfied, we must never be self-righteous, we must be looking for the good we can do. Before you are ready to act in the world, you need to get your act together. That’s a very important part of Jordan Peterson’s book, 12 Rules for life.

9. Do you know that people fall in love in war and go to school and go to factories and hospitals and get divorced and go dancing and go playing and live life? Zainab Salbi

I found this quote to be surprising and fascinating. Ultimately I do believe it’s true. No matter what is going on in the world, no matter what terrible disasters happen, people have certain basic needs and desires and they have to express them. Even if the world is unnatural, you must try to maintain your own natural life. Don’t be so caught up in the crisis of the moment or the cause of the day, instead, take care of your life, take care of your needs, and take care of the needs of your family and your friends. The only way to succeed long-term is by avoiding burnout which happens when you give everything to the cause, everything goes to the mission and nothing is left for yourself.

10. I used to choose friends based on similarity in age and life stage, but I’ve learned that those were the wrong criteria. Trying to live life exclusively alongside others our own age is like attempting to climb Mt. Everest without a Sherpa. It’s a little dangerous. Glennon Doyle Melton

One of the greatest mistakes of modern schooling is where all the students are the same age and roughly the same level of maturity and development. In a more natural family-style system, you have parents, you have older children, you have middle children and younger children. This allows the older children to guide and help shape the younger children. In the same way, as an adult, you need to make sure that you are relating to people who are older and wiser than you so that they can mentor you so that they can give you wisdom, even so, they can tell you their own stupid mistakes so that you can avoid them. Likewise, you yourself can be mentoring younger people; it could be children, it could be younger adults, it could be people in your business who are just starting out. You should be using your wisdom, your hard-earned experience and sharing it with those who can benefit from it.


11. Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes. Hugh Prather

Change is one of the most difficult aspects of life and yet it’s unavoidable. One of the most challenging features of existence is growing older and seeing grandparents pass away and of seeing your parents get older and weaker. It’s especially disturbing to see in our own lives, within our own bodies changes through time such as getting fatter or thinner, getting taller or bending over in old age. These are changes that we mostly can’t stop and yet we are disturbed by them and we spend a lot of money trying to hide or avoid them. Likewise, we are often disturbed by the changes in the economy by the changes in the environment, or by the changes in the ethnic composition of our neighborhoods. The solution to change goes back to the idea of seeing life as an adventure. So, instead of hiding from change or being angry at change; face change as an adventure, face change as an opportunity for yourself to grow stronger and wiser and perhaps even more successful amidst the chaos.

12. It’s not about what you tell your children, but how you show them how to live life. Jada Pinkett Smith

Did you know that the United States Congress often and makes laws and then it exempts itself from having to follow the laws? What kind of a signal is that to the rest of the citizens? Did you know that many of the Hollywood people who talk again and again about global warming have a huge energy footprint? They live in huge mansions, they fly in airplanes all over the world, they eat food that comes from very energy-intensive practices? By the very actions, they show us that they do not believe what they say is true. It’s all for a show, it’s all a facade, it’s all in hypocrisy. Show me the Hollywood star who moves into a small house to save energy, show me a star who rides a bicycle to work instead of an expensive limousine, show me a star who lives they way they preach and I will then believe that they are worth listening to. Of course, that’s just an example. You and I, we are often acting just like that. We say one thing and we do another, and when other people see it, especially children, they become very disappointed and disillusioned in us. So the challenge is to live a life of integrity where you do what’s right and you say what’s right both.

13. More choice doesn’t make us happy, and we understand that no one has infinite choices about how to live life. Naomi Alderman

If you have 57 different choices of cereal to eat in the morning, does it make you happier than if you only have two choices? Psychological Studies have shown that, in fact, that more choice leads to more confusion, more hesitation, less certainty, and naturally, less happiness. This is the problem of modern life; we have so many choices, so many different ways that we can live, and everybody is telling us that this will lead us to happiness. But, in fact, modern people with all of our choices are not happier than those of our parents and grandparents whose choices were limited. The difference for our grandparents was that they were able to accept their limited opportunities and live creatively within those choices to forge lives that were successful.

14. If you look at the beginning of children’s entertainment in literature, the first books that were written for kids were cautionary tales. They were books that were there to teach kids about growing up and how to live life. Lee Unkrich

As I mentioned earlier, children are not born with wisdom; they are not born with experience of what works and what doesn’t work. The vast amount of children’s education used to tell them, “Don’t do that because it’s bad, because it hurts, because it hurts other people”. We were we are always telling children that they couldn’t do things, intentionally limiting their choices because they lacked the understanding of what’s a good thing and what’s not a good thing. However, the modern world has decided children should not be faced with negative stories. Instead, they have filled children’s minds with a very simple and happy fantasy life. Unfortunately, that makes them completely unprepared for real life. Which is a big component of why young people remain immature for much longer than earlier generations.

15. The goal, I think, of American education, for decades, and across many, many scholars, was basically to teach people broad lessons in how to live life, how to engage life, how to essentially be effective citizens and effective people. James Heckman

The goals of modern education are completely different from those of the past. In the past, people were mostly concerned with taking raw, untrained minds and teaching them what they needed to do and to think in order to be successful. It assumed people had very limited choices and they had to make the best of the limited opportunities that came their way. They might not have a second chance, they might not have a rich Uncle who could bail them out. They might do something stupid and get hurt or sick and die because medical advances were limited and even if you had advances if you did not live near the hospital, or did you have money to pay, you could become just another sad warning for the rest. Unfortunately, modern education has turned away from practical, effective methods of education and instead decided to create cultural revolution where everything is turned upside down. What was once good and accepted has now become rejected and despised. And vice versa. Throughout history people have known what works and what doesn’t work and living creatively meant overcoming limitation and finding joy amidst trouble. Now we just tell people you can do anything you want, but that is not true creative living and more choice leads to less happiness. Yes, you can do anything, but not everything leads to love, peace, and joy. Major in the choices that do.

Do you have any thoughts on lving life? Leave a comment below.

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8 Responses

  1. I love this article! I really liked the idea of leading our lives like an adventure and that helps when you get too caught up by a grade or circumstance for example. Our life is bigger then that! We need problems to grow, adventure entails ups AND downs.
    Thanks so much for providing this inspiring article – I honestly feel a bit more relaxed after reading this 🙂

    • Peter Barban says:

      In my younger years, I was the world’s biggest complainer. Now, when I am getting uncomfortable, I take the long view and see how overcoming or just enduring this trial will make me a better person. The Life Adventure mentality really makes a difference.!

  2. Hi there, this is an excellent list of uplifting quotes, thanks so much! I also really appreciate your commentary about each quote.

    • Peter Barban says:

      Thank you, Tony. Please look around the site, I have more pages with quotes on Teamwork and Continuous Improvement. I hope to create more in the future as well. Just as they help me, I hope these quotes will help others as well.

  3. Tom says:

    This is an outrageously valuable site. I am at several forks in my life’s road and I found several of these quotes to be very helpful I particularly liked the variety of topics. The parenting and teaching quotes are most valuable to me, but that’s just pertinent today. I’m sure the “War” quote will help me through the next couple of years. I will definitely check your site out every morning. Thanks.

    • Peter Barban says:

      Thanks so much for your support. Obviously, I don’t know what decisions you should make, but in general, the more difficult choices lead to more love, joy and peace than the easy/convenient choices.

  4. Igor says:

    Hi Peter!
    It is a great post! It is a shame that so many people around the world can’t live the life they want to. You articles describe what should be possible for everyone to live around the globe. You have motivated me to write the post about it as well.
    This is a really wide topic and so essential for everybody!
    Thanks for sharing it!
    Best regards!

    • Peter Barban says:

      Thanks Igor. I would like to help people to live up to their potential and be the best they can be. Yes, that’s a cliche, but it is also a simple and beautiful truth. I hate to see wasted potential. I even walk by abandoned buildings and imagine what they could be used for and how they could be filled with life again.

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