is a collection of the 1000 best quotes of all time. What makes a quote the ‘best’? Many of the quotes you may have heard, others you may have not. Most of the ones below will do some or all of the following: they will be wise, in that they might make you think about things differently than before you heard it. They will be pithy and short – not a word will be wasted, two words will never be used when one will do. They will be funny, very often. And more often than not they will be kind – in the sense that the world would be better off if more people acted as it advised.

This collection has taken a better part of a decade to collate. What is your favorite short quote? Please leave them in the comment box. Adding a new quote to this list – be it on love, success, business, family, goals, money, children or anything else – will help improve this archive. And why not look through the covers of some of our favorite books – Tweet This Book (perfect for tweeters! Each quote is under 140 characters), or Write Start – an inspiring collection of quotes to get every job, essay, or day off to a great start. And don’t forget to share or email this collection to others you know will like something within it.

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“I am always doing things I can’t do. That is how I get to do them.” -Pablo Picasso


It is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich. – Henry Ward Beecher


You can do anything, but not everything. —David Allen


Thinking will not overcome fear but action will. -W. Clement Stone


“I think that much of the advice given to young men about saving money is wrong. I never saved a cent until I was forty years old. I invested in myself – in study, in mastering my tools, in preparation. Many a man who is putting a few dollars a week into the bank would do much better to put it into himself.” – Henry Ford


We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us. – Rabindranth Tagore


You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. —Wayne Gretzky


He is the happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


“Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.” – Buddha


In order to be effective truth must penetrate like an arrow – and that is likely to hurt. – Wei Wu Wei


You must be the change you wish to see in the world. —Gandhi


“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.” – Henry Ford


“As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.” – Donald Trump


Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it. -Bill Cosby


“The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


What may be done at any time will be done at no time. – Scottish Proverb


“If you don’t have a competitive advantage, don’t compete.” – Jack Welch


“If your business keeps you so busy that you have no time for anything else, there must be something wrong either with you or with your business.” – William J. H. Boetcker


“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it!” – Jonathan Winters


A happy family is but an earlier heaven. -John Bowring


“In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are.” – Arnold H. Glasgow


The only thing that saves us from bureaucracy is its inefficiency. – Eugene McCarthy


“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.” – Albert Camus


We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. —Aristotle


“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison


“You will not do incredible things without an incredible dream.” – John Eliot


Courage is a kind of salvation. -Plato


“I’ve been blessed to find people who are smarter than I am, and they help me to execute the vision I have.” Russell Simmons


Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. —André Gide


It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are. – e.e. cummings


“Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.” – Napoleon Bonaparte


On Short Cuts:

“There ain’t no easy way out” – Tom Petty


On Work

“The diligent find freedom in their work;
the lazy are oppressed by work.” – Biblical proverb


Emerson on Work

“Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself.”
- Emerson


On Following Your Heart and Intuition

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers


Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. -Marcus Aurelius


“I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs


“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs, on Trusting Your Gut.


“It is possible to make a living thing, not a diagram of what I have been thinking: to posit with paint something living, something that changes each day.” – Philip Guston (Art: On Painting)


“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney


“The more you loose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” – Norman Vincent Peale


“He who has no patience has nothing.” Italian Proverb


A soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone. -Johann von Goethe


What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do. —John Ruskin


“Do what you love and the money will follow.” – Marsha Sinetar


Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein


Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Howard Thurman


“Love is friendship, set on fire.”- Jeremy Taylor


“Failure defeats losers, failure inspires winners.” – Robert T. Kiyosaki


“One person with a belief is equal to a force of 99 who have only interests.” – John Stuart Mill


Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. – Carl Jung


Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories. —John Wilmot


“The secret of business is to know something that nobody else knows.” – Aristotle Onassis


“My life is my message.” – Gandhi


Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not. —Virgil Garnett Thomson


“Identify your problems but give your power and energy to solutions.” Tony Robbins


“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.” – Leonardo da Vinci


What may be done at any time will be done at no time. – Scottish Proverb


“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” – Mark Twain


“Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.” – Vinnie Rege


If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be too cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down. – Annie Dillard


“Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.” – Zig Ziglar


People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. —Zig Ziglar


“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs


“There’s no next time. It’s now or never.” Unknown


Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it. – Albert Einstein


“People are not lazy. They simply have important goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.” – Tony Robbins


“At first dreams seem impossible, then improbable, then inevitable.” – Christopher Reeve


“It is the wretchedness of being rich that you have to live with rich people.” – Logan Pearsall Smith


‘Dig the well before you are thirsty” Old Proverb


Short Quotes: Be Original

“Be yourself – everyone else is taken.”

– Anonymous.


Wise Quotes: Process

“If you want to have a long career then you must first and
foremost love process. All else should pale in front of the
love of what you are doing as you make your work.”

– Elizabeth Hoff


Playing it safe

“Playing it safe is the most popular way to fail.”
- Elliott Smith


Make Things Happen: Bill Callahan


“The bottle gives birth to the cup.” – Bill Callahan


On Originality

“He…retained the kind of understanding of the main qualification required to remain in (the ranks of comic heroes) that often eludes the less bright. It has little to do with art or ambition. It simply demands a readiness to be seen over and over again in the same situations, wearing the same masks…never let the goodwill slip through your fingers.” – Article on Clark, comic book artist


Wisdom Quotes: Old Age

“As I grow older I find that though I think I’m saying the same things as I always did, people listen to me more.” – Peter Ustinov



“No man, for any considerable time, can show one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally becoming bewildered as to which may be the true on.” -Nathaniel Hawthorne



“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic.”
- Goethe



“Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
Heaven probes for what is good.” – Biblical Proverb


On Love Vs. Admiration

“To love is to admire with the heart; to admire is to love with the mind.” – Theophile Gautier


What are your favorite short quotes to add to this collection?