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130 wise phrases to reflect on life

130 wise phrases to reflect on life

July 23, 2024

Do you need wise phrases about life to think about? Today, listening to the song of James Blunt call "Wisemen" (wise men) I began to reflect on how wise people are .

Who has never met one of those people who seem to be a walking encyclopedia? Those people who always have the right answer, who stay away from greed and materialism, from envy, rivalry, hatred, pride, anger, and about any interesting aspect of life.

What characterizes wise people?

The wise person is happy, he is kind, he is sincere when he expresses himself and is balanced. Treat others equally, regardless of their social status, race or sex . The wise man keeps quiet when he has to shut up and speaks to say what he has to say and nothing more. He is modest, humble, always upright and his presence is a source of endless information.


The wise man has a great knowledge about himself, and his goal is to self-conquer and not to conquer others. The wise person is contemplated with respect because he respects others. His words are poetry and he always gives life phrases to remember.

Wise phrases of life to reflect

In today's article I present a collection of wise phrases: phrases that make you think and that make you smarter . I must mention, before starting, other articles of Psychology and Mind which are very interesting compilations of famous quotes and quotes. I leave you below:

  • 110 positive phrases to live day to day with optimism
  • 20 phrases about life that will help you be happy
  • 64 Buddhist phrases to find inner peace
  • 75 philosophical phrases pronounced by great thinkers
  • The 55 best sentences about Psychology ... and its meaning

I hope you like this collection of quotes on different topics, such as happiness, personal relationships, ambition, hatred or pride; well these express human wisdom and have been said or written by famous novelists, philosophers, artists, thinkers, poets or have a popular or unknown origin . These phrases have been passed down from generation to generation and, to this day, they are still alive.


1. In life sometimes you win, sometimes you learn (John Maxwell)

This phrase that can be said by any parent, grandparent or friend, and it makes us see the defeats from a positive perspective . You have to learn from those unpleasant moments, in order to continue growing as individuals. In other words, it does not matter how you fall, but how you get up.

2. Do not measure your wealth for the money you have, measure it for those things you have that you would not exchange for money (Paulo Coelho)

In a materialistic society it is easy to self-evaluate according to the possessions we have, and this type of valuations are very negative for the self esteem. In addition, what will really make you happy on a day-to-day basis, are those little things and those pleasant moments.

3. Asking for forgiveness is smart, forgiving is for nobles and forgiving is for wise (Anonymous)

Forgiveness is one of the best emotional therapies . If you ask for forgiveness and if you forgive, show your greatness as an individual. But you are bigger, and better you are going to be emotionally, if you also forgive yourself. Something that seems easy in theory, but that becomes complicated in practice. If you identify with this phrase because it is difficult for you to forgive yourself, Mindfulness can be very useful for you. There is also a Hawaiian philosophy called Ho'oponopono that bases its effectiveness on spiritual forgiveness.


4. An intelligent man would never be irritated if he always had a mirror in front of him and would see himself when he argues (Anonymous)

This phrase makes mention of self-management and emotional control. Letting yourself be carried away by anger, envy or hatred may seem right at a certain time, but in the long run it can bring negative consequences for oneself . The wise person knows this and that is why he warns about it. If one could see himself in that situation (out of control) he would see the mistake he is making.

5. If you want something you never had, you must do something you never did (Anonymous)

If you always do the same, surely you will always have the same consequences . If what you want is to have new experiences, meet interesting people or grow up at work, you better start thinking about new activities and doing things you do not usually do.

6. The one who looks for a friend without defects remains without friends (Turkish Proverb)

The intention of this phrase is to make us notice that we all have shortcomings and we make many mistakes , there is no perfect person in this world.If you want to know more about perfectionism, I invite you to read this article "Perfectionist personality: the disadvantages of perfectionism", because being a person too perfectionist causes negative consequences for oneself.

7. Smile costs less than electricity and gives more light (Scottish Proverb)

This phrase is one of those inspiring phrases, but it is also a wise phrase. Smiling helps maintain good humor, beautifies the face and awakens good thoughts . It is not the same to ask someone something coldly, than to ask with a smile, because the smile not only produces a very positive effect on ourselves, also on the other person.

8. Do not find the fault, find the remedy (Henry Ford)

This phrase reminds me of one that a good friend always told me: " If you are not part of the solution, you become part of the problem ". Both sentences do not mean that we should not look for the origin of the problem, because it is necessary to do so. But instead of staying regretting the failure in an eternal way, we must solve as soon as possible what has gone wrong . This is the key to improve.

9. The pessimist complains about the wind; The optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the candles (William George Ward)

Both being a pessimist and being too optimistic can have negative consequences for oneself. The pessimist will see everything wrong and there will be nothing for that evil to change. The optimist will see everything well and distort reality to fit his thoughts. Instead, a realistic person tries to solve the problems in spite of knowing that it is complicated in many occasions . That is, he keeps his feet on the ground and acts sensibly.

10. Sometimes we feel that what we do is just a drop in the sea, but the sea would be much less if it lacked a drop (Mother Teresa of Calcutta)

It means that Although we feel that what we do is useless, everything we do has a consequence . Sometimes we are not able to see that consequence immediately, or sometimes it is just one more step in a path we are going through. It's about building and in the end the reward will come.

11. When a fool takes a road, the road ends and the fool follows (Anonymous)

This phrase refers to When a fool takes a road, nothing stops him . The fool continues no matter what happens: it does not matter that those of neighbors protest, that people die of hunger, etc., the fool goes on blinded by ignorance, without reflecting on anything.

12. Reflection is the path to immortality; the lack of reflection, the way to death (Buddha)

This phrase extracted from the Buddhist philosophy make reference to the importance of reflection in personal development and in learning by and for life . We have all learned from mistakes, but each one experiences experiences in a unique way. In order to retain these experiences, a process of active thinking about what we live is necessary, in order to question the meaning of these experiences for us. Without doing this, learning, on many occasions, will not occur. To know more about self-reflection, I invite you to read this article called "Personal Development: 5 reasons for self-reflection", so that you know the benefits of this practice.

13. The occasion must be created, not wait for it to arrive (Francis Bacon)

This phrase refers to the opportunities have to be sought, they are not going to come alone . That is, if we want something, we have to fight for it. An antidote to the "Paralysis of the analysis".

14. The wise are those who seek wisdom; the fools think they have found it (Napoleon)

The wise are humble, and this humility allows them to keep growing because they are constantly looking for learning . They never think they know too much or know everything, so they always have their eyes wide open to observe, ears uncovered to listen and the active mind to think and learn. On the other hand, fools believe themselves superior to others, even though they are not. They think they know everything and, with this attitude, they never progress. This is what is known as the "Dunning-Kruger Effect".

15. He who has little, but he who desires much is poor (Seneca)

This phrase is the same as the phrase "It is not richer who has more, but the one who needs less"and refers to the people that less material things want or need, are the ones that will definitely be happiest in life . Having a lot does not mean being happier, because if you are content with little, you do not need to have much wealth.

16. A man who does not feed on his dreams soon ages (William Shakespeare)

Having dreams to pursue and goals to fight for is the engine that keeps us alive. So, work every day to get it is the best way to stay young . One of life's most beautiful and inspiring phrases.

17. If you do not remember the slightest madness in which love made you fall, you have not loved (William Shakespeare)

This sentence of the author of Romeo and Juliet reminds us that falling in love is one of the most extraordinary sensations that human beings can enjoy . Love is like a drug that can make you feel full and can make you commit incredible crazy things you've never thought. Love can make us lose our reason, and if in the end it all ends, one will at least remember with satisfaction having lived those intimate moments, and having experienced those intense emotions and those unexplainable feelings.

18. When the sage points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger (Anonymous)

Fools do not want to see beyond what their eyes can see. Instead, the wise expand their mind, are creative and reflect . While the wise man is an explorer, the fool is conformist.

19. A friend is a person with whom one can think aloud (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

A true friend is that person who is not going to fail you and to whom you can entrust your greatest secrets. This phrase defines the meaning of friendship and highlights the importance of full trust in someone. Without a doubt, whoever has a friend has a treasure and we should value this connection with other people.

20. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional (Buddha)

We can all live experiences that make us suffer and have a bad time, and this has a process to overcome it because it is part of life . But we have the possibility of doing things so we do not remain stuck in suffering. Therefore, it is our decision to overcome bad experiences as soon as possible.

21. You can kill the dreamer, but not the dream (David Abernathy)

A phrase that explains that meat is finite, but not so the ideas .

22. Whoever has patience will get what he wants (Benjamin Franklin)

One of the first presidents of the United States informs us about the great virtue that is patience .

23. Educate children, and it will not be necessary to punish men (Pythagoras)

Pythagoras the Greek about the great importance of education in a society

24. People offend before those who love that those who fear (Machiavelli)

People who are stubborn can cause us some fear, That is why we are going to lead when it comes to dealing with them .

25. To learn without reflecting is to waste energy (Confucius)

The wise Chinese thinker Confucius, on the need to carry out a style of learning based on reflection.

26. Friendship doubles the joys and divides the anguish in half (Francis Bacon)

An undeniable truth: life is less raw when we spend it close to people who genuinely love us .

27. Only the one who builds the future has the right to judge the past (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Nietzsche left us many famous quotes, such as this, that it indicates the relevance of taking control of our lives .

28. A man is willing to believe what he would like to be true (Francis Bacon)

Another famous quote by Francis Bacon, who teaches us the influence of our desires and desires in our thinking . A subtle criticism of religion?

29. If you want to be wise, learn to question reasonably, to listen carefully, to respond calmly and to be silent when you have nothing to say (Johann Kaspar Lavater)

Some practical advice to reach high levels of intelligence and wisdom .

30. What we know is a drop of water; what we ignore is the ocean (Isaac Newton)

Newton, in his immense wisdom, It makes us notice that we do not stop being very ignorant about the reality that surrounds us .

31. The ignorant affirm, the wise doubt and reflect (Aristotle)

The Greek philosopher Aristotle, about the foolishness of the ignorant .

32. I have committed the worst sin that one can commit. I have not been happy (Jorge Luis Borges)

Borges left us this reflection, which shows that he was not careful enough to enjoy life .

33. Freedom is in being masters of our own life (Plato)

Freedom is one of the concepts most widely studied by philosophers. Here, Plato explains what is the key to be free .

34. I would give everything I know, for half of what I do not know (René Descartes)

The French René Descartes was also fully aware that, despite being one of the most brilliant modern thinkers, I did not know much more than I knew .

35. Knowing and knowing how to prove is worth twice (Baltasar Gracián)

One of the differences between superficial knowledge and deep knowledge , according to Baltasar Gracián.

36. The reward of a good deed is in having done it (Seneca)

Seneca talks about ethics: Do we move only to obtain rewards and incentives?

37. Knowing that you do not know, that's humility. To think that one knows what one does not know, that is disease (Lao-tsé)

Lao-tzu delves into the matter of ignorance and the perception of wisdom , in the line of other thinkers who uttered similar phrases.

38. In the end, they will not ask you what you have known, but what you have done (Jean de Gerson)

Jean de Gerson on the need for action over the need for reflection. In the end, we are what we do, and not what we intend to do .

39Taking advantage of good advice requires more wisdom than giving it (John Churton Collins)

The tips are useless if there is not a thinking mind willing to carry out the necessary actions. A phrase of life to take it with more wisdom.

40. The wise man should not abstain from participating in the government of the State, since it is a crime to renounce being useful to the needy and a cowardice to give way to the unworthy (Epictetus of Phrygia)

A reflection of a political nature: wise citizens should try to participate in the management of the polis , to contribute its bit to an administration that should be fair to everyone.

41. Life is very simple, but we insist on making it complicated (Confucius)

The philosopher Confucius believed that life is governed by simple principles that we must adopt as standards for our day to day.

42. In the end, it is not the years in our life that count, but life in our years (Abraham Lincoln)

Lincoln, about the quality criterion that, according to him, we should apply when evaluating our lives .

43. Our life always expresses the result of our dominant thoughts (Søren Kierkegaard)

The Danish philosopher s related our way of life to those ideas and fundamental principles that lead our way of thinking .

44. Chaos is rejecting everything you have learned. Chaos is being yourself (Emil Cioran)

The philosopher Cioran believed that identity built through learning it is something futile and banal.

45. Every man is a creature of the time in which he lives (Voltaire)

Voltaire believed that we can not consider ourselves beings independent of the historical context that we have to live. Our ideas and our way of life are always conditioned by the date of our birth.

46. ​​We are what we do repeatedly (Aristotle)

Aristotle distanced himself from Plato's idealism: for him, the facts and the environment mattered more , and this is clear in this phrase of eminently philosophical life.

47. The things we love tell us who we are (Thomas Aquinas)

This important philosopher found in love one of the defining facts of the person .

48. Life is a tragedy picture is seen in the foreground, but in general shot becomes a comedy (Charlie Chaplin)

Chaplin, as a film director, knew that the same event, or even the life of a person, It changes depending on the way it is presented .

49. You always admire what is not really understood (Blaise Pascal)

This philosopher speaks about the long range of curiosity in our lives .

50. Man is the only creature that refuses to be who he is (Albert Camus)

Albert Camus, in one of his philosophical phrases about the struggle that the human being maintains with creation of a meaning for its existence.

51. The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook (William James)

This is one of the wise phrases of one of the references in the history of psychology.

52. Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens (Jimi Hendrix)

Hendrix, about an important differentiating nuance .

53. What is proven once could only be imagined (William Blake)

This quote refers to the perspective with which we should take what seems impossible .

54. Only the educated are free (Epictetus)

Education as an engine of freedom and autonomy.

55. All knowledge is hurtful (Cassandra Clare)

A wise phrase referring to the way in which each new piece of knowledge upsets the foundations of what we thought we knew.

56. Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom (Thomas Jefferson)

For Thomas Jefferson , these two values ​​are closely related .

57. Every society is three meals of chaos (Lenin)

The Soviet politician and revolutionary, on the fragility of the cohesions formed within a country .

58. It takes a long time to become young (Pablo Picasso)

The renowned painter reverses the temporal order in which the youth is located to make it understood that it is, rather than a biological phase, something learned.

59. Time is what we love most and also what we use the most (William Penn)

A paradox posed by the English philosopher William Penn. To be aware that life is to know how to make the most of it.

60. Freedom is never given; it is always won (Asa Philip Randolph)

About the effort and sacrifices necessary to gain freedom.

61. Do not be afraid of perfection; you will never reach it (Salvador Dalí)

Dalí, about perfectionism that can sometimes paralyze.

62. We are never as vulnerable to suffering as when we love (Sigmund Freud)

Freud, about the risks of love.

63. When you make peace with authority, you become the authority (Jim Morrison)

One of the wise phrases of Jim Morrison, in that case talking about the pacts with the authorities .

64. Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent (Isaac Asimov)

The writer Isaac Asimov, about the nature of violence.

65. Those who do not move do not notice their chains (Rosa Luxemburg)

This thinker talk about conformism and immobility in situations of disguised domination.

66. The most violent element in society is ignorance (Emma Goldman)

Emma Goldman, on the emancipating power of education and learning .

67. Hatred is won by good deeds as well as by bad ones (Machiavelli)

The Italian thinker speaks here about the ambiguities of goodness in our actions.

68. It always seems impossible until it's done (Nelson Mandela)

A paradox on the line that separates the possible from the impossible.

69. True friends stab you in the face (Oscar Wilde)

Oscar Wilde speaks with his refined sense of irony about friendship and honesty .

70. A human being is a being who decides (Viktor Frankl)

In this quote, Viktor Frankl drinks from existentialist philosophy to define his way of understanding the nature of the human being.

71. Health is not valued until the disease arrives (Thomas Fuller)

Thomas Fuller, about health and the absence of it .

72. Metaphors have a way of containing the truth in the minimum space (Orson Scott Card)

A definition of the power of metaphor.

73. Loneliness is independence (Hermann Hesse)

Hermann Hesse he turns the idea of ​​loneliness .

74. Reserve the right to think, since thinking badly is better than not thinking at all (Hypatia)

One of the first philosophers in history, about the value that reflection has for itself.

75. The ideas of men are the most direct emanations of their material state (Karl Marx)

One of the most important philosophers in history, referring to his materialist approach, according to which our mentality and way of thinking are explained in the first place by the context in which we live .

76. Time takes everything and everything gives (Giordano Bruno)

The determining role of time, expressed in a sentence.

77. I am not able to conceive infinity, but I do not accept the finite (Simone de Beauvoir)

The philosopher and feminist theorist Simone de Beauvoir, s in a paradox that traps our way of thinking in an uncomfortable space .

78. Let's be realistic and do the impossible (Ernesto Che Guevara)

One of the best-known Latin American revolutionaries, about the power to believe in options that at first might seem crazy .

79. Extremists believe that "communication" means to agree with them (Leo Rosten)

About closed mentalities and the way they understand communication and relationships.

80. There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking is, in itself, something dangerous (Hannah Arendt)

The philosopher Hannah Arendt, about the risk that comes with the simple activity of thinking .

81. The word "happiness" would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness (Carl Gustav Jung)

Carl Gustav Jung, one of the references of psychodynamics talks here about the dialectic between happiness and sadness.

82. No man can think clearly when his fists are closed (George Jean Nathan)

George Jean Nathan contrasts in a very lyrical way reason and feelings . One of the most cited phrases in literature.

83. A man who is a teacher in patience is a teacher in everything else (George Savile)

The power of patience and the ability to manage time well, in a wise phrase.

84. Someone who does not believe in miracles is not realistic (David Ben-Gurion)

About the anomalies and inexplicable facts contained in reality.

85. There is no sadder vision than that of a young pessimist (Mark Twain)

Mark Twain refers here to the value associated with youth and the possibility that we despise it .

86. Hope is a good breakfast, but a bad dinner (Francis Bacon)

Hope as something that has a double edge: it is positive when a whole world of possibilities opens before us, but not so much when it is the last resort.

87. Education is the movement from darkness to light (Allan Bloom)

A powerful image to explain what education is.

88. The risk of a bad decision is preferable to the terror of indecision (Maimonides)

This philosopher of the Muslim Cordoba speaks about the negative of the indecision and the paralysis of the analysis.

89. Nothing reinforces authority as much as silence (Leonardo da Vinci)

The prolific inventor leaves us one of his wise phrases referring to the mechanisms that legitimize authority.

90. Creativity requires courage to be detached from certainties (Erich Fromm)

The father of humanistic psychoanalysis, about the relationship between courage and uncertainty .

91. The best part of beauty is that which no image can express (Francis Bacon)

Francis Bacon, about that part of beauty that can not be shown.

92. Those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it (Edmund Burke)

The conservative philosopher Edmund Burke, about the need to know the past .

93. Nothing is so incredible that oratory can not transform it into an acceptable one (Cicero)

Cicero talks about the power of well-designed discourses.

94. From a small spark can ignite a flame (Dante)

A wise phrase in which one glimpses, through a poetic image, unsuspected ways in which very important and significant phenomena can appear .

95. Leadership does not depend on being right (Iván Illich)

One of the most important thinkers on education talk here about the way we have to interpret the legitimacy of leadership .

96. The environment shapes the actions of the individual (B. F. Skinner)

The most important referent of behavioral psychology talks about the relative of that line that separates individual and environment.

97. Youth is a rule of nature, but age is a work of art (Stanislaw Jerzy Lec)

An optimistic way of assessing age and the step towards old age.

98. Nobody can hurt me without my permission (Gandhi)

The influential pacifist leader refers in this wise phrase to power of one's own will .

99. If you can not be a poet, be the poem (David Carradine)

A different perspective to see the way in which our life can have artistic character .

100. Nothing has more strength than extreme need (Euripides)

The Greek poet Euripides talks about how, ultimately, , the power of our actions is born when our freedom and situation to make decisions are reduced .

101. If we do good for interest, we will be cunning, but never good (Cicero)

Goodness, in the eyes of the great Roman orator.

102. Pride is not greatness but swelling; and what is swollen seems large but is not healthy (St. Augustine)

One of the problems of pride is that, behind the appearance, it hides someone hurt and insecure .

103. It is better to be king of your silence than slave of your words (William Shakespeare)

Never say things that you may regret in the future.

104. Beauty is power; a smile is his sword (Charles Reade)

A reflection on beauty and its main attributes.

105. Adulthood is when you have met so many people that each new person reminds you of another (Ogden Nash)

The wisdom of adulthood involves certain problems, such as this one portrayed by Ogden Nash.

106. Reason is also a passion (Eugeni d'Ors)

The passion to learn can also be considered one of the great passions of life.

107. In principle, the investigation needs more heads than means (Severo Ochoa)

A phrase from life and science that shows us the importance of human talent .

108. He who is elected prince with popular favor must keep the people as a friend (Machiavelli)

A reflection of political cut according to the mythical Italian historian.

109. The man who has lost the ability to erase his hatreds is old, irreparably (José Ingenieros)

One of the virtues of maturity is to be able to forgive the old enemies.

110. It is better to be examined than ignored (Mae West)

When nobody pays attention to us, it's because we probably do not contribute much.

111. There is always a place at the summits for the brave and courageous man (Thomas Carlyle)

Boldness usually has a prize, and allows us to achieve goals that we would never have thought .

112. Passions momentarily alter the nature of men, but they do not destroy it (Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos)

Another phrase about human passions, from the hand of the Spanish enlightened.

113. History teaches us two things: that the powerful never coincided with the best, and that politics was never woven by politicians (Camilo José Cela)

On politics and hegemony, the great writer Camilo José Cela.

114. With morality we correct the errors of our instincts, and with love the errors of our morals (José Ortega y Gasset)

The Spanish essayist makes a disquisition that each one must interpret.

115. Demagogy is the ability to dress minor ideas with the older words (Abraham Lincoln)

Public speaking can be used for very different purposes. In this case Lincoln warns us of the existence of demagoguery .

116. Love of neighbor knows no ideological or confessional limits (Martin Niemoeller)

Love knows no borders or obstacles, when it is authentic.

117. Doubt is one of the names of intelligence (Jorge Luis Borges)

Who knows everything, does not really know anything.

118. Everything turns out well to people of sweet and cheerful character (Voltaire)

A reflection of the French philosopher. Do you agree?

119. Have blind faith, not in your capacity for triumph, but in the ardor with which you desire it (Horacio Quiroga)

You can only achieve your goals if you trust your possibilities.

120. When you see a giant, examine beforehand the position of the sun; is not going to be the shadow of a pygmy (Novalis)

Our perception can deceive us, therefore Take your time to reflect on the little things in life .

121. Poverty does not come by the diminution of riches, but by the multiplication of desires (Plato)

A reflection of the Greek philosopher in which the vice of greed stands out.

122. Do not give yourself too much to anger; a prolonged anger breeds hate (Ovidio)

The rage can bring us dire consequences in our life.

123Education is the development in man of all the perfection of which his nature is capable (Kant)

To conclude the selection of phrases, this reflection of the German philosopher to show the importance of education .

124. The important thing is not the events, but how we link our emotions to these (Jonathan García-Allen)

Phrase of the Spanish psychologist.

125. You have to give 125 percent. Put your heart and soul into it; Learn to have a positive and winning attitude. Do not accept defeat, but learn from it (Magic Johnson)

One of the deepest reflections of the legendary NBA player of the 80s.

126. The problem with words is that, once cast, they can not go back to their owner alone. So sometimes they turn them on the tip of a steel (Arturo Pérez-Reverte)

The Spanish writer, about the cruelty of what has been said.

127. Constant effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential (Winston Churchill)

Mythical reflection on constancy and perseverance.

128. To be original is in a certain way to be showing the mediocrity of others (Ernesto Sábato)

One of those wise phrases not suitable for closed minds.

129. It's a pity that when you start learning the trade of living, you have to die (Ernesto Sábato)

When wisdom and experience is reached ... it's time to leave the ship.

130. Imagination is the key to discovery (Anonymous)

Without the one, the second would not exist.


209 Seconds That Will Make You Question Your Entire Existence (July 2024).


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