What is a quote that captures something you've learnt through living your life?

submitted by SubArcticTundra edited

Edit: while I'm at it, does anyone know what I should do when I'm waiting for a coincidence/adventure to happen, but it never comes? I can't really go outside and arrange for it to happen because I don't know what I'm looking for.

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AFK BRB Chocolate

I don't know who originally said it, but "Everything in moderation, including moderation." That is, it's okay to go overboard on something as long as that's an exception, not a norm. Want to eat a whole carton of ice cream? It's not going to kill you if you do it, as long as you don't do it every weekend. Enjoy stuff, don't be excessive generally, but the rare occasion is just fine.

Note: there are, of course, exceptions. You probably don't want to try even a little black tar heroin unless you're okay with the risk of becoming an addict.


I've heard that quote attributed to Charles Bukowski. No idea if true though

worldwidewave , edited

“Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”

-Ron Swanson

SubArcticTundra [OP] , edited

This one really applies to me right now. It's just so hard to bring yourself to do the whole-hearted thing when the whole-hearted thing comes at a price


"You're imagining everyone in this story way more attractive than they actually were."\ - some reddit guy


Building self esteem requires esteemable acts.


"I'll take a weird person over a mean person any day."


Life's a bitch and then you die, that's why we get high 'Cause you never know when you're gonna go

Self explanatory


"Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky, they are people who say 'This is my community and it's my responsibility to make it better.'" - Tom McCall, Oregon Governor 1967-1974.

🇰 🔵 🇱 🇦 🇳 🇦 🇰 ℹ️ , edited

"Necessary? Is it necessary that I drink my own urine? No! I do it because it's sterile and I enjoy the taste!"

Meaning: It doesn't matter if it's necessary, you should still do things because you enjoy doing it.


dodge duck dip dive and dodge

Gnome Kat

sometimes people will really fuckin hurt you and you won't ever get an apology


Sometimes you'll never know why, sometimes you will, but you still won't get why.


The true mind can weather all the lies and illusions without being lost. The true heart can touch the poison of hatred without being harmed.

-Badass Lion Turtle


I neither have true mind nor true heart :(


Be angry at the sun for setting If these things anger you.

-Robinson Jeffers


*don't get angry on things that are out of your control.*

SubArcticTundra [OP]

This is a good one. People around me get angry about the stupidest things.

Nemo Wuming

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


That's much nicer than the way I used to put it: "Nobody likes assholes. So it doesn't matter if you are right, if you still are an asshole."

SubArcticTundra [OP]

Haha true. Yet they say the equivalent thing


Wisdom is the tendency to make decisions that turn out well. It’s got nothing to do with convincing others your ideas are right.


„Bees don’t waste their time explaining flies that honey tastes better than shit.“

SubArcticTundra [OP]

Haha this is a good one. I can see where it applies

SwingingTheLamp , edited

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be."

ETA, same thing a different way: "That's the thing. I don't think I believe in 'deep down'. I kind of think all you are is just the things that you do."


I like this. What are each of the quotes from?


The first one is from Kurt Vonnegut's *Mother Night*, which is the story of the American Nazi propagandist, Howard Campbell, who briefly appears in the more well-known book, *Slaughterhouse Five*. The second is from the show *BoJack Horseman*, specifically episode 12 of the first season.


Pretty sure the second one is from Bojack horseman

SubArcticTundra [OP]

I feel like your personality is largely the sum of what you communicate to others.


Oof, this feels unintentionally personal. The stories those quotes come from are about doing bad things while thinking of yourself as actually a good person "deep down." For me, though, it was realizing that people can like you for who you are only if you communicate to them who you are.

partial_accumen , edited

"The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is *right now.*"

Stop regretting what you didn't do in the past, and do it now. Time will continue to march into the future irrespective of whatever actions you take. In *another* 20 years from now would you like to arrive there having accomplished many of your goals or accomplishing nothing?


"I have the right to wipe my ass with a pinecone, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do."


I am wiser than this man; for neither of us really knows anything fine and good, but this man thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas I, as I do not know anything, do not think I do either. I seem, then, in just this little thing to be wiser than this man at any rate, that what I do not know I do not think I know either.

  • Socrates at the trial where he was sentenced to death, in Plato's *Apology*

Always have an exit plan.

Not sure it's really a quote, so maybe it doesn't count ... but it's such common wisdom that it probably should count.

I never really appreciated it until I went through something where the wisdom of it would have made the difference. The slightly more precise version, IMO, is that whenever you're in a position where something beyond your control can have a substantial influence on the outcome, you need an exit plan before you commit to that position, where that plan includes the definition of the conditions which trigger both the preparation of the execution of the plan and the time to actually exit.

The whole idea is to be prepared to not get fucked by other people or bad luck. And half of the benefit of having the plan is in the perspective it gives you. Instead of having Stockholm syndrome or suffering from the sunk cost fallacy, you naturally assess your situation as the set of trade offs that it is and more naturally perceive the toxic people that are essentially stuck in their worlds and either hold others back or propagate the culture that holds others back.

Make sure you have the plan, including the trigger conditions, formulated ahead of time, and regularly think back on the plan as you're going along, adjusting or reassessing as necessary.

SubArcticTundra [OP]

This is game-changingly good advice. I just wish it was easier to come up with exit plans. I have often found myself stuck in situations where there was no clear or realizable exit plan opportunity, which meant I wasted a lot of time being stuck in the Stockholm syndrome situation, and resenting it.

maegul , edited

Yea, sometimes you don't have many options and that's just kinda life. But if you don't have to commit to a situation, project, job etc ... I think it will always help to at least try to come up with an exit plan, because even if there isn't a good one, it helps you frame everything in terms of trade offs and understand that most things, at some point, just aren't worth it because there are always other options (at least that's how I see things now, as someone who hasn't valued being flexible and agile in life nearly enough).


Part of the reason why various philosophies dictate you should do A *before* B is to avoid the situation where you have a B without an A.

“Do A before you B” is a common way of saying “A is a dependency of B”.

It’s a way of saying “Don’t B unless you know you can A”, but it de-abstracts the knowing down to proving, by trying and either succeeding or failing.


Can confirm. I was an employee at a pizza place - and thus allowed to use the staff exit - for just one night.

Exit was used.

shani66 , edited

"the dude abides"

That's literally all life right there.


“Easy things tend to become hard, and hard things tend to become easy.”

This was said to me by my mentor when I was contemplating a very difficult career choice. I have found a lot of truth in it through various areas of my life. The most striking has been watching people I knew when I was much younger who always look for the easy way out of whatever life throws at them. Over time I’ve watched how this catches up to people and makes life much harder for them because they never plan, never save, never deny themselves in the moment.


The most-predictable method I know-of, for producing inability-to-plan, is chaotic/incomprehensible parenting or home-situation:

The child learns that there *is no* cause-effect relationship, that *no* planning is going to produce any results, & this lesson alters their unconscious brain-wiring .. by the age of 7?

Possibly younger.

WHEN life is irrational & chaotic, THEN planning is wasted-effort, & *only* immediate-gratification produces any worthwhile results.

That sabotage-of-a-life isn't undoable.

Worse, it's self-perpetuating, generation on generation.

Breaking the cycle .. how could it happen?

You'd need to break the brokenness in the parenting, itself, & you'd need to do it *consistently*, for the next-generation, so they grew-up with *stable & trustworthy* parenting, through years of young-childhood..

how could such result be created.

No population would tolerate such alteration of their family-process, would they?

SacralPlexus , edited

Not sure why you were downvoted. In some instances I think this may absolutely be a factor and the generational perpetuation of such an environment is hard to overstate. My spouse and I refer to it as “One Hundred Years of Solitude” after the amazing novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. If you haven’t read it, it follows this family in Columbia through multiple generations showing how self-destructive behaviors can be passed through generations in a self-perpetuating way. That’s an aside to say that I agree that yes I suspect that for some folks this is a part of the story.


Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

Practice the basics, get it right. Don't try to go faster for the sake of going faster, you'll hit your limit and get sloppy and pickup bad habits. Test your limits to learn them, but don't hit them every time. Get comfortable within them and the goal posts will move.

SubArcticTundra [OP]

This is good


"Tell one lie, and you end up saying 1000 more lies to protect that lie" - My math teacher


a hippy dippy one:

"whatever time it happened was the right time, whoever was there were the right people, whatever happened was the only thing that could have happened. It is always your time to do it, and same for everyone else."

The Stoned Hacker

This one resonates with me a lot. I go with the flow for almost everything and while it's unpredictable and chaotic at times, i'm often much better for it. I'm attuned to myself and what i need so in any given situation i can get myself together and figure out a way to keep moving forward.


"It's amazing how far some people will come to have a bad time."

After seeing an argument between a couple at a large EDM show (Sasha and Digweed) in the chillout lounge.

"Just imagine what it's like inside his head."

After getting verbally assaulted by an angry guy.

SubArcticTundra [OP]

Haha that is a funny one


Sasha and Digweed, that must have been a hell of a show


“The more you tell the truth, the more your life becomes an adventure”.

My favorite psychology professor told me this, and it rings true. I’m autistic, and have an obsession with never saying anything inaccurate or untruthful, even if it’s a common way to phrase things.

I’ve also had a ridiculously interesting bunch of adventures in my life, and it just keeps getting more interesting.

I think that my unwillingness to bend the truth in order to fit in or smooth things over or ignore things, has led to a lot of those adventures happening.

We tend to use lies, as a culture, to stabilize our lives into predictable, known shapes. Once you stop that, it goes off the rails very quickly.

SubArcticTundra [OP]

Same here! Life is so much easier if you just tell the truth. This is a great quote.


“The best thing you can do as you grow older is to do it gracefully.”

SubArcticTundra [OP]

Ooh. I wonder what they mean by doing so gracefully.


Exercise routinely, eat in a healthy way, take care of your teeth.


“After everything is said and done, there’s a lot more said than done.”

— my old man

Nomecks , edited

"A mind changed against its will is of the same opinion still."

You can't argue your way to winning people over with your ideas/opinions.


Not unless they respect argumentation


"No good deed goes unpunished."

Septimaeus , edited

Don’t avoid being good to others, as this truism suggests, just ensure you’re being good to yourself as well.


I’ve heard this truism my whole life, and glibly repeated it myself at least a few times. But we must acknowledge that it expresses a morally defeatist attitude that poisons the person who actually lives by it.

Instead you can reconcile kindness by being more observant. Some “good deeds” aren’t actually that good, since their extended effects amount to an unkindness to yourself or those you love.

For example, let’s say someone asks you to donate to a just cause, or loan them some money in a difficult time. If doing so means your family goes hungry or can’t afford clothes, it might not be such a good deed after all.

More subtle examples involve your time, such as helping someone by staying late at work, or spending hours listening to someone who really should get professional help instead.

Ultimately, it’s not true that “no good deed goes unpunished,” but even if it were, it doesn’t matter, because helping people is its own reward.


you meant "bad deed" ?

sp3tr4l , edited


Nearly every single time in my life that I have expended a significant or even massive amount of time, money, attention, intellectual or emotional capacity toward someone, solved their problems for them, it has been taken for granted, become expected, never reciprocated, and most of the people I helped went on to rope me into situations where I was even more on the hook, or they'd abuse me verbally or physically.

I finally concluded that none of the idiots in my life actually cared about me at all and just left.


that sad. now I understand what this quote means :(

sp3tr4l , edited

Assuming your name is a pun on Thoreau, I could sure go for a cabin in the woods.

But yeah. I have been promised so many times oh trust me bro this plan will work and then no it doesn't and if I get mad about it the other person has an emotional breakdown aaannnd a year later i still haven't been paid back.

Or even more fun, doing things to help people that cost me money, with no pay, only to find out a year or two later oh well I paid other person to do the same fucking thing.

Then they promise to make it up to me down the line and whoops that thing they promised? Oh they sold it to someone else, so sorry.

Gaslighting. So much gaslighting. I never said that. I already paid you back why are you still bringing this up? Im starting to get worried about your memory!

Its left me with extreme loner syndrome as I am so very used to every one I ever care for abusing my trust and betraying me.


Hey, if all the idiots left I’d say that’s a win.


Well, I had to leave.

At, of course, great personal expense.


Nope. That's the (sad) joke of it.


Don't sweat the small stuff. Just let it go.


Misery is not a currency.

Meaning you cannot pay off grief, sadness, guilt, or remorse by forcing yourself to be miserable. It’s not a penance. Fell your feelings, and get on with life.


"you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you find you get what you need". - the great philosopher Jagger

I may not always get exactly what I want, but if I put in the effort and do my best, I find that sometimes what I want is not what I needed in the end.


"Everything you want in life has teeth".

It means no matter what you think you want that'll surely make you perfectly happy, it'll never quite be what you want.


Don’t set yourself on fire just to keep others warm.


“Hey, hey.. don't be mean; we don't have to be mean; remember, no matter where you go, there you are.”


"I've learned that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead"

-Homer Simpson


They build their own cages. - The Pigman

SubArcticTundra [OP]

Ugh, how do you avoid building your own cage?


Meditate to ensure fresh data is constantly entered into the system


Something always happens.


"Nothing moves faster than the hands of time"


Another way of saying that *c* represents the maximum speed at which entropy can accumulate