Discover the top 25 most famous Benjamin Franklin quotes from sources such as his life, Poor Richard's Almanack, compiled by The Franklin Institute.
Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old wisdom quotes, wisdom sayings, and wisdom proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.
Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
Deal with the faults of others as gently as your own.
Justice is truth in action.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)
A new broom sweeps clean but an old broom knows the corners.
Virgin Islander (on friendship)
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll eat forever.
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.
Lost time is never found again.
Ben Franklin (1706-1790)
The wise understand by themselves; fools follow the reports of others.
Tibetan (on wisdom)
One should speak little with others and much with oneself.
Danish (on the conduct of life)
When you say one thing, the clever person understands three.
Chinese (on wisdom)
Plan your life like you will live forever, and live your life like you will die the next day.
unknown, courtesy of Bryan Sullivan
Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
A proverb is one man's wit and all men's wisdom.
Lord John Russell (1792-1878)
These German wisdom quotes will help you impress native speakers with your perfect language and sagely insights.
In this posting you will find my selection of the very best 60 quotes, from nearly a decade of collecting them. They range from the profound to the intriguing to the just plain funny.
One way or the other, you’ll surely find many of them to be thought-provoking and entertaining.
This selection is, of course, based solely on my personal taste (and even that varies largely from day to day according to my mood). You are welcome to browse the entire collection and look for your own favorite ones or contribute new quotes from your own personal collection.
1. You can do anything, but not everything.
2. Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
3. The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least.
4. You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.
5. Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.
6. You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
7. When hungry, eat your rice; when tired, close your eyes. Fools may laugh at me, but wise men will know what I mean.
8. The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.
—A. A. Milne
9. To the man who only has a hammer, everything he encounters begins to look like a nail.
10. We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
11. A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.
12. Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.
13. Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
14. Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
15. 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.
16. The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.
17. Work like you don’t need money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one’s watching
18. 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
19. Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.
20. People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
21. Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories.
22. What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left.
23. Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.
24. I’ve gone into hundreds of [fortune-teller’s parlors], and have been told thousands of things, but nobody ever told me I was a policewoman getting ready to arrest her.
—New York City detective
25. When you go into court you are putting your fate into the hands of twelve people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.
26. Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.
27. Just the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.
28. My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists.
29. Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.
30. I quit therapy because my analyst was trying to help me behind my back.
31. We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
32. If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions?
33. If the lessons of history teach us anything it is that nobody learns the lessons that history teaches us.
34. When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I’m beginning to believe it.
35. Laughing at our mistakes can lengthen our own life. Laughing at someone else’s can shorten it.
36. There are many who dare not kill themselves for fear of what the neighbors will say.
37. There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?
38. All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
—H. L. Mencken
39. I don’t mind what Congress does, as long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses.
40. I took a speed reading course and read ‘War and Peace’ in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.
41. The person who reads too much and uses his brain too little will fall into lazy habits of thinking.
42. Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.
43. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
44. I’d rather live with a good question than a bad answer.
45. We learn something every day, and lots of times it’s that what we learned the day before was wrong.
46. I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.
47. Don’t ever wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.
48. An inventor is simply a fellow who doesn’t take his education too seriously.
—Charles F. Kettering
49. Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.
50. Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
51. Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.
—Dame Edna Everage
52. I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it.
53. Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.
54. The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
55. Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.
56. Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it.
—Gordon R. Dickson
57. The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.
58. Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by incompetence.
—Napoleon (Hanlon’s Razor)
59. Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is.
60. When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him.
After I first published my favorite quotes collection (along with its companion article 5 Reasons to Collect Favorite Quotes), it grew faster than ever from 400 to over 500 quotes.
Nowadays, I’m much more demanding about which quotes to add to my collection. However — judging from the number of quotes I find on the web on a daily basis — I can only expect it to grow even faster than before.
Years ago, I faced the same situation with my browser bookmarks. Even being extremely conservative about adding them, after years they inevitably started adding up to the point of being unmanageable. Cleaning and categorizing those bookmarks was both time-consuming and inefficient.
The problem was eventually solved not by tidying them up regularly, but by the smart use of tagging and searching technology. Now my bookmarks are online at del.icio.us, tagged and fully searchable — and I still have ways to own the data. (Call me paranoid, but I don’t feel comfortable relying entirely on a third party to hold years of data, no matter how much I like their service.)
Now I feel I need a similar solution for my quotes — having a long flat list isn’t working very well anymore. At first, Quotiki seemed like a perfect fit. Unfortunately, however, there’s currently no way to export my quotes or otherwise retain ownership of the data.
So, here’s the question to my smart readers: How do you think I should go with my quotes collection? Do you have any suggestions of online services I can use and still retain my collection while making it more useful to myself and to others?
Life is a gift that has been given to you. It is in your hands to make the best out of it--dare to believe that you can. Through the ups and downs, you'll find a lesson to learn that will make you a better person. Each experience--good and bad--makes you grow. Get along with life and surely, things will become easier for you. Live for today and enjoy every moment. Capture the best that life has to offer you.
Here's a collection of valuable quotes about life to inspire you to make the best out of it:
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Abraham Lincoln
"The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That's the day we truly grow up." John C. Maxwell
"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced." Soren Kierkegaard
"What we think determines what happens to us, so if we want to change our lives, we need to stretch our minds." Wayne Dyer
"Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it." Lou Holtz
"Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact." William James
"The only disability in life is a bad attitude." Scott Hamilton
"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." Leo Buscaglia
"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw
"There is more to life than increasing its speed." Mahatma Gandhi
"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." Confucius
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." Dalai Lama
"There are three constants in life...change, choice and principles." Stephen Covey
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?" Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them--that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." Lao Tzu
"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." John F. Kennedy
"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile." Albert Einstein
"When life is too easy for us, we must beware or we may not be ready to meet the blows which sooner or later come to everyone, rich or poor." Eleanor Roosevelt
"God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well." Voltaire
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill
"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." Ralph Waldo Emerson
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." Maya Angelou
"Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life." John F. Kennedy
"There is no passion to be found playing small--in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." Nelson Mandela
"If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." Jim Rohn
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed." Michael Jordan
"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah Winfrey
"Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become." C. S. Lewis
"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." Henry Ford
"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." Thomas A. Edison
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward." Amelia Earhart
"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built." Eleanor Roosevelt
"Remember your dreams and fight for them. You must know what you want from life. There is just one thing that makes your dream become impossible: the fear of failure." Paulo Coelho
"Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits." Thomas Jefferson
"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor." Vince Lombardi
"Communication is a skill that you can learn. It's like riding a bicycle or typing. If you're willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life." Brian Tracy
"Today is life--the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto." Dale Carnegie
"The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you." Tony Robbins
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." Robert Frost
"We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon." Franklin D. Roosevelt
"Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner." Les Brown
"Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all." Helen Keller
"The ultimate value of life depends upon awareness and the power of contemplation rather than upon mere survival." Aristotle
"Don't take life too seriously. You'll never get out of it alive." Elbert Hubbard
"Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent." Billy Graham
"Each person must live their life as a model for others." Rosa Parks
"My philosophy of life is that if we make up our mind what we are going to make of our lives, then work hard toward that goal, we never lose--somehow we win out." Ronald Reagan
"Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce." Vivian Komori
"Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It's a journey of discovery--there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair." Rick Warren
"Live life to the fullest, and focus on the positive." Matt Cameron
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
The powerful quotes in this section shows us the Famous Quotes on Sharing Knowledge - “A.
Last Updated on
Continuous learning is one of the keys to achieving success in life.
That's why learning, wisdom, and focusing on self-education are three things that fit together hand-in-glove.
With that in mind, you can draw a wealth of inspiration by reading and truly understanding famous knowledge quotes from some of the world's most famous people. From these words of wisdom, you can grow as a person and find out what it takes to better yourself.
In this post, we cover 73 knowledge quotes that will help you: understand the meaning behind each experience, embrace the importance of increasing your self knowledge, and learn to love learning. First, we'll cover the quotes that focus on the importance of being a lifelong learner.
(Side note: One way to increase your knowledge is to start your morning on the “right foot” by learning something new. So join over 1 million others and start your day with the latest news from Wall St. to Silicon Valley. This newsletter is a 5-minute read that's informative, witty and FREE!)
What You Will Learn
I find it hard to find a topic more compelling and important than continuous learning. It has been proven to be one of the most essential skills that the most successful people in the world have embraced.
These days learning new skills and gaining knowledge is a lifetime gig. Not something set aside for a few years of advanced education.
The quotes about knowledge above give us some wise looks at why knowledge, education and learning are important. But as with any simple quotes, they don’t teach us how to find the time and energy to keep continuous learning going on.
After all, they are just knowledge quotes. They are only meant to inspire, not teach.
If you want to new skills, first you will want to decide on what skills you want to learn and then make a plan to go get them.
Many skills are job-specific or represent something you have wanted to be able to do for a long time. But that does not always need to be the case… you may want to investigate skills that simply help you do better in life.
For example, this massive list of 101 new skills to learn shows some great places to give a little bit extra effort toward making a better version of yourself. And this article on 135 soft skills can help you get a promotion or nail that next job interview.
More important than the desire to learn is understanding your best possible learning style.
We all learn differently. The problems some people have with learning new knowledge is often not lack of intelligence, but that the information is given to them in a sub-optimal manner.
Now, before we get to these quotes on increasing self knowledge, I recommend checking out theSkillshare website which provides a variety of courses that can help you learn any skill. (You can also read our review of Skillshare here.)
“Knowledge rests not upon truth alone, but upon error also.”― Carl Gustav Jung
“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”― Ronald E. Osborn
“The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.”― Sir William Bragg
“To know that you do not know is best. To think you know when you do not is a disease. Recognizing this disease as a disease is to be free of it.”-Lao Tzu
“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.”― Socrates
“The great aim of education is not knowledge but action.”― Herbert Spencer
“If we would have new knowledge, we must get a whole world of new questions.”― Susanne K. Langer
“The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.”― John F. Kennedy
“In your thirst for knowledge, be sure not to drown in all the information.” – Anthony J. D'Angelo
“Knowledge is a weapon. I intend to be formidably armed.”― Terry Goodkind
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”― Benjamin Franklin
“If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?”― Thomas Henry Huxley
“Fill thy mind with useful knowledge and thou shalt avoid empty words.”― James Lendall Basford
“Knowledge, like air, is vital to life. Like air, no one should be denied it.” – Alan Moore
“No thief, however skillful, can rob one of knowledge, and that is why knowledge is the best and safest treasure to acquire.”― L. Frank Baum
“Not to know is bad; not to wish to know is worse.”― African Proverb
“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or self-confidence.”― Robert Frost
“Knowledge has a beginning but no end.”― Geeta S. Iyengar
“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.”― John Naisbitt
The powerful quotes in this section shows us the value and importance of sharing your knowledge with others.
After all, success these days takes more than just a college education. Far more important is to keep learning new skills and increasing your knowledge base.
(Side bar: If you'd like to learn how to master the skill of self-education and learn how to master any new skill, then I recommend checking the book Novice to Expert.)
Many people desire or even need to increase their knowledge and improve their skills.
But find they lack the time to follow through on their education and skill development, and often quit in frustration after beginning to learn something new.
We all want to expand on our existing knowledge. But sometimes it's impossible to stay consistent with a new skill or habit. It's easy to fall into the trap where you focus only on learning and never get around to implementing the information.
The truth is: You can learn anything… without spending lots of money… without dedicating thousands of hours to the process… and often without leaving the comfort of your home.
So, with that in mind, let's dive into the quotes related to sharing your knowledge with others.
“The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself.”― Oscar Wilde
“In today's environment, hoarding knowledge ultimately erodes your power. If you know something very important, the way to get power is by actually sharing it.”― Joseph Badaracco
“Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.”-Thomas H. Huxley
“We owe almost all our knowledge not to those who have agreed but to those who have differed.”― Charles Caleb Colton
“All knowledge is connected to all other knowledge. The fun is in making the connections.”― Arthur C. Aufderheide
“Sharing your knowledge with others does not make you less important.”― Unknown
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”― Margaret Fuller
“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”― Dalai Lama XIV
“Everyone is ignorant only on different subjects.” – Will Rogers
“It is nothing for one to know something unless another knows you know it.”― Persian Proverb
“Educate a boy, and you educate an individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community.”― Adelaide Hoodless
“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes.”― Peter F. Drucker
“Knowledge increases by sharing but not by saving.”― Kamari aka Lyrikal
“It is good to rub, and polish our brain against that of others.” – Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
My favorite quote about knowledge acknowledges that fact: “The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.”
While you might strive to learn as much as you can about the world, it is impossible to know everything. At a certain point, you have to recognize when you aren't an expert about a topic. And more importantly, you should be humble enough to look back at your mistakes (and challenges) to evaluate the lessons that you learned from them.
With that in mind, here are a variety of quotes about wisdom…
“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”― Miles Kington
“One can resist the invasion of an army but one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.”― Victor Hugo
“The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend.”― Robertson Davies
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”― John 8:32
“Sometimes it’s necessary to go a long distance out of the way in order to come back a short distance correctly.”― Edward Albee
“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.”― Confucius
“Knowledge becomes evil if the aim be not virtuous.”― Plato
“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”― Carl R. Rogers
“One part of knowledge consists in being ignorant of such things as are not worthy to be known.” Socrates
“People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.”― Theodore Roosevelt
“The ability to perceive or think differently is more important than the knowledge gained.”― David Bohm
“Example is the best precept.”― Aesop
“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”― John Locke
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”― Socrates
“A true knowledge of ourselves is knowledge of our power.”― Mark Rutherford
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” – Albert Einstein
“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”― Will Durant
“Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before.”― Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
“As I grow to understand life less and less I grow to love it more and more.”― Jules Renard
People who lack knowledge or just don’t care about self-education can be amusing. Some of the quotes about the lack of knowledge are a bit funny.
But ignorance is only funny in the abstract. In reality, there is nothing funny about this.
People who lack knowledge will fall further and further behind in their chosen fields. In fact, this is one of the biggest lessons I've learned in life.
No single knowledge quote is going to make you go out and bust your butt to learn. (That has to come from within)
But hopefully, some of these knowledge quotes have given you a tiny bit of inspiration to put forth some effort to improve yourself and continue your self-education.
REMINDER: If you want to increase your knowledge, then join over 1 million others and start your day with the latest news from Wall St. to Silicon Valley. This newsletter is a 5-minute read that's informative, witty and FREE!
“Lack of knowledge is the source of all pains and sorrows whether dormant, attenuated, interrupted or fully active.”― B.K.S. Iyengar
“People love answers, but only as long as they are the ones who came up with them.”― Criss Jami
“Problems often become worse if incompetent people try to solve them.”― Eraldo Banovac
“There is no wealth like knowledge, and no poverty like ignorance.”― Buddha
“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw
“A lack of knowledge creates fear. Seeking knowledge creates courage.”― Candice Swanepoel
“The highest form of ignorance is to reject something you know nothing about.”― Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
“Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”― Solomon
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”― Daniel J. Boorstin
“Ignorance is not a simple lack of knowledge but an active aversion to knowledge, the refusal to know, issuing from cowardice, pride, or laziness of mind.” – Karl Popper
“Some students drink at the fountain of knowledge. Others just gargle.”― Unknown
“You can't know too much, but you can say too much.”― Calvin Coolidge
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.”― Isaac Asimov
“Talk sense to a fool and he calls you foolish.”― Euripides
“Small minds have always lashed out at what they don't understand.”– Dan Brown
“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.”― Anthony de Mello
“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”― Aldous Huxley
“Every mind was made for growth, for knowledge, and its nature is sinned against when it is doomed to ignorance.”― William Ellery Channing
Have your own great quotes about knowledge? Why not share them, or your thoughts in the comments below
If you enjoyed this collection of knowledge quotes please be sure to share them on your favorite social media channel!
Finally, if you'd like to discover other great quotes related to increasing your knowledge, then I recommend checking out these articles:
These German wisdom quotes will help you impress native speakers with your perfect language and sagely insights.