A year of quotes (2021)

On Facebook, Instagram and Twitter I shared a quote a day all year long, with images, here are those quotes.

David Allan
30 min readDec 31, 2021

By David G. Allan


1: “January opens
The box of the year
And brings out days
That are bright and clear.
And brings out days
That are cold and gray,
And shouts, “Come see
What I brought today!” — Leland B. Jacobs

2: You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” — C. S. Lewis

3: “The good thing about adversity is that it teaches one to learn how to handle more adversity.” — Isabel Martin Williams

4: “Your daily life is your temple and your religion. When you enter into it take with you your all.” ― Kahlil Gibran

5: “We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine.” ― H.L. Mencken

6: “Ring the bells that can still ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.” — Leonard Cohen

7: “In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.” — Paul Harvey, radio broadcaster

8: “Every storm runs out of rain.” — Maya Angelou

9: “Other seasons come abruptly but ask so little when they do. Winter is the only one that has to be relearned.” — Verlyn Klinkenborg, “The Rural Life”

10: “You either have faith or fear, not both.”― Marlo Morgan, “Mutant Message Down Under”

11: “Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, any anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” — George Carlin

12: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” — Samuel Johnson

13: “Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” — David Lloyd George

14: “Do not do great things, do small things in a great way.” — Colman McCarthy

15: “You live through the darkness from what you learned in the light.” — Hope McDonald

16: “Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.” — Obi-Wan Kenobi, “The Empire Strikes Back”

17: “First keep peace with yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.” — Thomas a Kempis

18: “Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

19: “A leader is a dealer in hope.” — Napoleon Bonaparte

20: “God give us leaders; a time like this demands great leaders; leaders whom the spoils of office cannot buy; leaders who have honor; leaders who will not lie.” — — Martin Luther King Jr.

21: “Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.” — Henry J. Kaiser

22: “The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it”
— Amanda Gorman, US youth poet laureate

23: “Always maintain a kind of summer, even in the middle of winter.” — Henry David Thoreau

24: “Where my verb at?” — Demitri Martin

25: “You see things; and you say “Why?” But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?” — George Bernard Shaw

26: “If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done.” — Mike Curran

27: “I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.” — Harry S. Truman

28: “When you feel helpless, help someone.” — Aung San Suu Kyi

29: “Laughter is inner jogging.” — Norman Cousins, editor

30: “What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between he does what he wants to do.” — Bob Dylan

31: “One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes


1: “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” — Anne Bradstreet

2: Groundhog Day — “Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today.” — DJ, “Groundhog Day”

3: “And Winter slumbering in the open air,
Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Work Without Hope”

4: “You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” — Ayn Rand

5: “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more things you can.” — Lucille Ball

6: “To me it seems as if when God conceived the world, that was Poetry; He formed it, and that was Sculpture; He colored it, and that was Painting; He peopled it with living beings, and that was the grand, divine, eternal Drama.” — Charlotte Saunders Cushman, actress

7: “This is winter, which nonetheless brings its own delights.” — Antonio Vivaldi

8: “Football combines the two worst features of modern life; it’s violence punctuated by committee meetings.” — George Will

9: “History says, don’t hope
On this side of the grave.
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme.” — Seamus Heaney, “The Cure at Troy”

10: “Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.” — Bob Goff

11: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill

12: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” — Annie Lamott

13: “Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” — Ursula Le Guin

14: “Love cures people, both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.” — Dr. Karl Menninger

15: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.” — Abraham Lincoln

16: “I drank the dregs of every cup
All institutions I drank up,
Athirst I quaffed Lifes’ flowing bowls
And smacked the liquor of all Souls
One sparkling cup remained for me:
The ever-brimming fount of family.” — Bronson Alcott

17: “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” — Confucius

18: “Sail forth — steer for the deep waters only,
Reckless O soul, exploring, I with thee, and thou with me,
For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared to go,
And we will risk the ship, ourselves and all.” — Walt Whitman, “Passage to India”

19: “All children are unique, each a fathomless universe of possibilities and feelings. Can we learn to listen carefully enough to hear the texture and resonances of their voices, their songs, their lives?…For there is only right now in which to do this work.” — Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Everyday Blessings”

20: “The one way of tolerating existence it Is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy.” — Gustave Flaubert

21: “I wouldn’t recommend alcohol and drugs to anyone. But they have always worked for me.” — Hunter S. Thompson

22: “Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that day. Every other day of the week is fine, yeah. But whenever Monday comes … you can find me cryin´ all of the time.” — The Mamas and the Papas

23: “Never worry what the cool people think. Head for the warm people. Life is warmth. You’ll be cool when you’re dead.” — Matt Haig

24: “Think long thoughts in short sentences.” — Lawrence Ferlingheti

25: “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” — Susan Sontag

26: “You think too much, that is your trouble. Clever people and grocers, they weigh everything.” — “Zorba the Greek”

27: “The Zen commandments: 1. The following commandment is false. 2. The preceding commandment is true.” — Paul Sabourin, in the The Washington Post

28: “Worry is like a rocking chair: It gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” — Erma Bombeck


1: “March is the month of expectations.” — Emily Dickinson

2: “Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all.” — Ray Bradbury

3: “Your whole life passes in front of your eyes before you die. This is called living.” — Terry Pratchett

4: “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

5: “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” — Robert Byrne

6: “We have faith that the ‘meek shall inherit the earth.’ Of course, we also know that if they do, we can push them down and take it back.” — A. Whitney Brown, “The Big Picture: An American Commentary”

7: “Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.” — Joseph Roux

8: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” — Leo Tolstoy

9: “Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.” — Jonathan Kozol

10: “We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like.” — Jen Covleau

11: “The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” — Theodore Isaac Rubin

12: “Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.” — Samuel Butler, “Essays on Life, Art, and Science”

13: “The past is always tense, the future perfect.” — Zadie Smith

14: “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

15: “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.” — Wayne Gretsky

16: “Sing your song. Dance your dance. Tell your tale.” ― Frank McCourt

17: “Aromatic, charismatic, the pint is the stranger’s passport to this warm world.” — Guinness advertisement

18: “In hard times, beauty can seem frivolous — but take it away, and all you’re left with is hard times.” — Paul Madonna

19: “If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.” — David Carradine

20: “In the landscape of Spring there is neither better nor worse;
The flowering branches grow naturally, some long, some short.” — Alan Watts, “Beat Zen, Square Zen, and Zen”

21: “Go outside, to the country, enjoy the sun and all nature has to offer. Go outside and try to recapture the happiness within yourself; think of all the beauty in yourself and in everything around you and be happy.” — Anne Frank, “The Diary of a Young Girl”

22: “Ideas are like fish, if you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish you’ve got to go deeper.” — David Lynch

23: “You knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person had died for no reason.” ― Ernest Hemingway, “A Moveable Feast”

24: “Healthy discontent is the prelude to progress.” — Mohandas Gandhi

25: “Poor Thursday; tortured soul.
No matter what, invisible you stay.
You try, but they are cold
They wait through you for Friday.” — Sofia Fiona

26: “Talking about change is not going to bring it about.” — Cesar Chavez

27: “If you wait, all that happens is that you get older.” — Larry McMurtry

28: “How many people here believe in telekinetic powers? Raise my hand.” — Emo Philips

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

30: “Nothing’s ok. So it’s ok.” — “I Heart Huckabees”

31: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.” — Helen Keller


1: “The internet is replete with falsified quotations.” — Abraham Lincoln

2: “The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away!” ― William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”

3: “Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

4: “I must go down to the sea again,
For the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call
That may not be denied.” — John Masefield

5: “Love is like friendship caught on fire.” — Bruce Lee

6: “Take a rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” — Ovid, Roman poet

7: “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? — every, every minute?” — Thornton Wilder, “Our Town,” Emily

8: “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

9: “Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.” — H. Jackson Brown Jr.

10: “If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton

11: “Some people have a way with words, and other people… oh, uh, not have way.” — Steve Martin

12: “Don’t compromise yourself. You’re all you got.” — Janis Joplin

13: “No fear. No envy. No meanness.” — Liam Clancy

14: “Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.” — Oscar Wilde, “Lady Windermere’s Fan,” 1892

15: “No. Come April, they’ll all be paying their taxes.” — Al Haig, on why he’s not angry at Vietnam protestors

16: “Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit.” — Eli Khamorov

17: “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” — Margaret Atwood

18: “I can resist everything except temptation.” — Oscar Wilde

19: “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for.” — John Shedd

20: “You just gotta keep livin’. L-I-V-I-N.” — Wooderson, “Dazed and Confused”

21: “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope… Those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” — Robert Kennedy, speech in South Africa, 1966

22: “There are no passengers on spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” — Marshall McLuhan

23:“Everybody’s working for the weekend
Everybody wants a little romance
Everybody’s goin’ off the deep end
Everybody needs a second chance, oh” — Loverboy

24: “The face of a child can say it all. Especially the mouth part of the face.” — Jack Handy

25: “You can do anything, but not everything.” — David Allen

26: “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” — Henry Miller

27: “Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.” — Maurice Chevalier, actor

28: “The ancestor of every action is thought.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

29: “What a big appetite fear has. What a succulent morsel I was last night.” — Sy Safransky, The Sun magazine

30: “All experience is great provided you live through it. If it kills you, you’ve gone too far.” — Alice Neel, painter


1: “Allow children to be happy their own way; for what better way will they ever find?” — Samuel Johnson

2: “Hope’s interesting, isn’t it? I can’t turn hope off, it’s hopeless.” — Jeff Bridges

3. “If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.” — Betty Reese

4: “My ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.” — Yoda

5: “Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino alandar.”
[“Travel, there is no road. You make the road as you go along.”]
— Antonio Machado

6: “You are amazing grace.
You are a precious jewel.
You — special, miraculous, unrepeatable, fragile, fearful, tender, lost, sparkling ruby emerald jewel rainbow spendor person.” — Joan Baez

7: “Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.” — Robert Frost

8. “I knew that everything good and bad left an emptiness when it stopped. But if it was bad, the emptiness filled up by itself. If it was good you could only fill it by finding something better.” — Ernest Hemingway, “A Moveable Feast”

9: “Even a great dad is a mediocre mom.” — Michelle Wolf

10: “The flower that follows the sun, does so even on cloudy days.” — Robert Leighton

11: “A friend is one who knows all about you and likes you anyway.” — Christi Mary Warner

12: “Give me truths, for I am weary of the surfaces.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

13: “You can no more win a war than an earthquake.” — Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin

14: “If you are used to living in a small room and suddenly discover a wide meadow, you might feel unsafe.” — John Tarrant

15: “In those vernal seasons of the year when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against nature not to go out.” — John Milton

16: “So the writer who breeds
more words than he needs
is making a chore
for the reader who reads.

That’s why my belief is
the briefer the brief is,
the greater the sigh
of the reader’s relief is.”— Dr. Suess

17: “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” — Ben Franklin

18: “To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides.” — David Viscott, psychiatrist

19: “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” — Mohandas Gandhi

20: “Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there.” ― Josh Billings

21: “Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.” — Ann Landers

22: “We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.” — Kurt Vonnegut

23: “He decided to live forever, or die in the attempt.” — Joseph Heller

24: “I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better.” — Henry David Thoreau

25: “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” — Frank A. Clark

26: “Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance, and none can say while some fields will blossom and others lay brown beneath the August sun. Care for those around you. Look past your differences. Their dreams are no less than yours, their choices in life no more easily made.” ― Kent Nerburn, “Letters to My Son”

27: “Whoso loves, believes the impossible.” — Elizabeth Barrett Browning

28: “Certainty is dead. Long live the flying leap.” — Anna Quindlen, 2011 commencement address, Grinnell College

29: “Bob Dylan once told me, ‘Never drop a name.” — Kevin Bacon

30: “Use what talents you possess: The woods would be very silent if no birds sing except those that sing best.” — Henry Van Dyke

31: Memorial Day “War does not determine who is right — only who is left.” — Bertrand Russell


1: “Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June.” — Al Bernstein

2: National Running Day FIRST WED IN JUNE: “All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.” — James Thurber

3. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” — Vivian Greene

4: “In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explode, and every sunset is different.” ―John Steinbeck

4.“Forbidden fruit creates many jams.” — church sign, Hagerstown, Maryland

5: “Take the work seriously but don’t take yourself seriously and if you keep that in mind you’ll do well the rest of your life.” — Clint Eastwood

6: “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean. If a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” — Mohandes Gandhi

7: “The great use of a life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” — William James

8: “Friends are God’s apology for relatives.” — Hugh Kingsmill

11: “A quest for self-respect is proof of its lack.” — Ayn Rand

12: “Fate rarely calls upon us at a time of our choosing.” — Optimus Prime

13: “It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” — Maud Hart Lovelace

14: “To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.” — Brandon Stanton, “Humans of New York”

15: “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” — L. P. Hartley, “The Go-Between”

16: “Hope is like the sun. If you only believe it when you see it, you’ll never make it through the night.” — Leia Organa, “The Last Jedi”

17: “What worries you, masters you.” — John Locke

18: “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” — Abraham Lincoln

19: “Saturday belongs to the Devil. It is the only night of the week when he gives out free passes to the late show at the Too Much Fun Club.” — Hunter S. Thompson

20: “We pay our children what we owe our parents.” — Colman McCarthy

21: “He who knows does not speak;
He who speaks does not know.” — Lao Tzu

22: “I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June.” — L.M. Montgomery

23: “Never let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” — John Wooden

24: “Thursday is perhaps the worst day of the week. It’s nothing in itself. It just reminds you that the week has been going on too long.” — Nicci French, “Thursday’s Child.”

25: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.” — “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

26: “Never compare your insides to someone else’s outsides.” — Rob Lowe, “Love Life”

27: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

28: “If work was a good thing the rich would have it all and not let you do it.” — Elmore Leonard

29: “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”
— Benjamin Franklin

30: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” — Les Brown


1: “The season in which leisure swells like a slow tomato, until it’s round and red and ripe.” — Verlyn Klinkenborg

2: “Our success as a society…depends not on what happens at the White House, but on what happens inside your house.” — Barbara Bush

3: “You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” — Tina Fey

4: “America is a country in search of the story of itself, a country looking for its own explanation.” — Lance Morrow, Time magazine

5: “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” — Groucho Marx

6: “Goonies never say die!” — Mikey

7: “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” — A.A. Milne

8: “Statistics is the science according to which if one man eats two chickens daily and another man eats none, then each has eaten one chicken.” — Umberto Eco

9: “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” — Fred Rogers

10: “Washington is that wonderful town with the efficiency of the South and the charm of the North.” — John F. Kennedy

11: “What is happiness? It’s the moment before you need more happiness.” — “Mad Men,” Don Draper

12: “Live in each season as it passes; breath the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influences of each.” — Henry David Thoreau

13: “Work, love, courage and hope,
Make me good and help me cope!” — Anne Frank, “The Diary of a Young Girl”

14: “We must believe in free will. We have no choice.” — Isaac Bashevis Singer

15: “Success is getting what you want; happiness is wanting what you get.” — Dale Carnegie

16: “Even if you win the rat race, you’re still a rat.” — Colman McCarthy

17: “Most of the time, I feel entirely unqualified to be a parent. I call these times being awake.” — Jim Gaffigan

18: “Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life.” — Mary Oliver, from the poem “The Summer Day”

19: Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant. — William A. Ward

20: “This is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” — Neil Armstrong

21: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” — Mark Twain

22: “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

23: “Our true nationality is mankind.” — H.G. Wells, “The Outline of History”

24: “It all begins and ends in diapers, if you’re lucky.” — Drew Barrymore, “Wildflower”

25: “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

26: “Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency.” — Maya Angelou

27: “We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” — Anaïs Nin

28: “Like a muscle, courage is strengthened by use.” — Ruth Gordon

29: “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” ― Dom Helder Camara

30: “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.” — Dr. Michael McGriffy

31: “When you’re as great as I am, it’s hard to be humble.” — Mohammed Ali


1: “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability” — Sam Keen, philosopher

2: “Better to be busy than to be busy worrying.” — Angela Lansbury

3: “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” — Plutarch

4: “Our life is frittered away by detail…Simplify, simplify.” — Henry David Thoreau

5: “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself.” — Herman Hesse, “Demian”

6: “My God, what have we done?” — Captain Robert Lewis, in the logbook of the Enola Gay after the bombing of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

7: “Actually it only takes one drink to get me loaded. Trouble is, I can’t remember if it’s the thirteenth or the fourteenth.” — George Burns

8: “You don’t want to bring your adversaries to their knees, you want to bring them to their senses.” — Mohandas Gandhi

9: Fezzik: “Why do you wear a mask? Were you burned by acid, or something like that?”
Westley: “Oh no. It’s just they’re terribly comfortable. I think everyone will be wearing them in the future.” ― William Goldman, “The Princess Bride”

10: “Some people change when they see the light, others when they feel the heat.” — Caroline Schoeder

11: “Petrified trees maintain the status quo but they build no houses.” — Henry Warner

12: “What’s mentionable is manageable.” — Fred Rogers

13: “Our faith in our ability to control the future might be touching if it weren’t so absurd.” — Marjorie Kelly

14: “The fundamental things apply
As time goes by” — Herman Hupfeld, “As Time Goes By”

15: “Cherish all your happy moments, they make a fine cushion for old age.” — Booth Tarkington

16: “I like to think of life as an adventure, like a roller coaster. It helps with the ups and downs.” — Eddie Izzard, in concert, Atlanta

17: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” — George Bernard Shaw

18: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” — Reverend H. K. Williams

19: “O life! thou art a galling load,
Along a rough, a weary road” — Robert Burns

20: “I kept asking Clarence why our world seemed to be collapsing…and he’d say, ‘That’s the way it goes, but don’t forget, it goes the other way too’.” — Alabama, “True Romance”

21: “If you step on people in this life, you’re going to come back as a cockroach.” — Willie Davis

22: “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” — Albert Einstein

23: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” — Mike Tyson

24: “Trouble always comes and no use wishing it didn’t. Thing is, to get through it — and out the other side.” — Sebastian Barry, “A Thousand Moons”

25: “If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” ― Benjamin Franklin

26: “My belt holds my pants up, but the belt loops hold my belt up. I don’t really know what’s happening down there. Who is the real hero?” — Mitch Hedberg

27: “It isn’t the rebels who cause the troubles of the world, it’s the troubles that cause the rebels.” — Carl Oglesby

28: “There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore.” — Steven Wright

29: “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.” — Helen Keller

30: “We are all in the same storm. But we are not all in the same boats.” — Dr. Bonnie Henry

31: “Hope is a thing with feathers and away you go.” — William Goldman, “Marathon Man”


1: “Today’s goals: Coffee and kindness. Maybe two coffees, and then kindness.” — Nanea Hoffman

2: “The year before you were born looks like Eden, and the year after your children were born looks like Mad Max.” — Alison Gopnick, “The Gardener and the Carpenter”

3: “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.” — Coach Taylor, “Friday Night Lights”

4: “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” — Charles Swindoll

5: “Nature gave us one tongue and two ears so we could hear twice as much as we speak.” — Epictetus

6: “By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.” — Robert Frost

7: “An intellectual is a man who says a simple thing in a difficult way; an artist is a man who says a difficult thing in a simple way.” — Charles Bukowski, “Notes of a Dirty Old Man”

8: “The earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” — Mohandes Gandhi

9: “That’s what.” — She

10: “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” — Simone Weil, philosopher

11:“Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.” — Sir Peter Ustinov

12: “Wisdom is like frequent-flier miles and scar tissue; it does accumulate.” — Barbara Kingsolver

13: “The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion.” — Abraham Lincoln

14: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

15: “You can observe a lot by watching.” — Yogi Berra

16: “Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness.” — Eckhart Tolle (he’s on twitter)

17: “As the crickets’ soft autumn hum
Is to us
So are we to the trees
As are they
To the rocks and the hills” — Gary Snyder

18: “Go, go, go!” — Neal Cassady

19: “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.” — G. K. Chesterton

20: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” — Mark Twain

21: Bill Murray’s Birthday: “It’s hard to be an artist. It’s hard to be anything. It’s hard to be.” — Bill Murray

22: “Autumn, are you dreaming of new clothes?” — Jon Muth

23: “Work. Relaxation. Don’t think.” — Ray Bradbury

24: “The only difference between saints and sinners is that every saint has a past while every sinner has a future.” — Oscar Wilde

25: “Every wall is a door.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

26: “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” — Walt Disney

27: “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

28: “It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterward.” — Baltasar Gracián

29: “I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.” — Lloyd Dobler, “Say Anything”

30: “It’s chaos. Be kind.” — Michelle McNamara


1: “October proved a riot to the senses and climaxed those giddy last weeks before Halloween.” — Keith Donohue

2: “The difference between what we are doing and what we are capable of doing would solve most of the world’s problems.” — Mohandas Gandhi

3: “Luck affects everything. Let your hook always be cast; in the stream where you least expect it there will be a fish.” — Ovid

4: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” — Teddy Roosevelt

5: “You only go around once, but if you play your cards right, once is enough.” — Frank Sinatra

6: “Tolerance of intolerance…allows the intolerance to persist.” — John Irving, “The Imaginary Girlfriend”

7: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” — Henry David Thoreau

8: “Give me chastity and self-restraint, but do not give it yet.” — St. Augustine

9: “People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” — Winnie-th-Pooh (film “Christopher Robin”)

10: “You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” — Franklin P. Jones

11: “Every step that we take upon you should be done in a sacred manner
Each step should be as a prayer”
— Black Elk, “Prayer to Mother Earth”

12: “Without you my life would be a disaster.
With you, my heart beats a little bit faster.” — Roz Chast, “Valentines for Coffee”

13: “Be careful: The toes you step on today may be connected to the ass you’ll be kissin’ tomorrow.” — Ving Rhames

14: “You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light.“ ― Ernest Hemingway, “A Moveable Feast”

15: “I avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward.” — Charlotte Bronte

16: “The trick … is not minding that it hurts.” — T.E. Lawrence, “Lawrence of Arabia”

17: “I’m looking for a dare-to-be-great situation.” — Lloyd Dobler, “Say Anything”

18: “Success is a great deodorant. It takes away all your past smells.” — Elizabeth Taylor

19: “I’m sick of following my dreams. I’m just going to ask them where they’re goin’, and hook up with them later.” — Mitch Hedburg

20: “Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.” — Cicero

21: “Don’t be so open-minded that your brains fall out.” — Lawrence Ferlinghetti

22: “The robbed who smiles steals something from the thief.” — William Shakespeare, “Othello”

23: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” — Albert Camus

24: “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua J. Marne

25: “I wish it was Sunday, ’cause that’s my fun day, my I don’t have to run day” — The Bangles, “Manic Monday.”

26: “Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.” — Marie Curie

27: “There is only one thing about which I am certain, and this is that there is very little about which one can be certain.” — W. Somerset Maugham

28: “You just can’t beat the person who won’t give up.” — Babe Ruth

29: “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

30: “Be good.” — E.T.

31: “It costs me never a stab nor squirm
To tread by chance upon a worm.
Aha, my little dear, I say,
Your clan will pay me back one day.”― Dorothy Parker


1: “Your deeds are your monuments.” ― R.J. Palacio, “Wonder”

2: “I’m not a politician. I’ve only got one face.” ― Brendan Behan

3: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” — James Baldwin

4: “The crosses all men and women
Must carry through life
Even more visible
On the dark and rainy night.” — Charles Simic, poem “November”

5: “Once you know the difference between right and wrong, you have lots fewer decisions to make.” — Joseph Campbell

6: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”― Margaret Mead, anthropologist

7: “Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” ― William Goldman, “The Princess Bride”

8: “Speak only if it improves on the silence.” — Mohandas Gandhi

9: “Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” — Oscar Wilde

10: “If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you got a problem. Everything else is inconvenience.” — Robert Fulghum

11: “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” — Winston Churchill

12: “Earth’s crammed with heaven.” — Elizabeth Barret Browning

13: World Kindness Day: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” — Dalai Lama

14: “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” — Lord Chesterfield

15: “Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.”― Benjamin Disraeli

16: “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” — Albert Camus

17: “Follow your bliss.” — Joseph Campbell

18: “Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark.” — Kate DiCamillo, “The Tale of Despereaux”

19: “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” — Seneca

20: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

21: “Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier.” ― Kathleen Norris

22: “Success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.” — John F. Kennedy (assassinated 11/22/63)

23: “No metaphysician ever felt the deficiency of language so much as the grateful.” — Charles Colton

24: “Animals are my friends…and I don’t eat my friends.” — George Bernard Shaw

25: Thanksgiving “Thanksgiving [has] become the holiday that defines this bare season. By the end of the eleventh month, the year is ancient enough to have shown us its wisdom. We know what to be grateful for by now, or gratitude is simply beyond us.” — Verlyn Klinkenborg, “The Rural Life”

26: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” — Charles Darwin

27: “I got an ant farm; them fellas didn’t grow shit.” — Mitch Hedburg

28: “Now I understand that every day I’m given is as real as life will ever get. Now I understand that we are guaranteed nothing, that our days are always running out. That they have always, always been running out.” — Margaret Renkl, The New York Times

29: “Stories are like genes. They keep part of us alive after the end of our story.” — A.S. Byatt

30: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” - — Albert Einstein


1: “Music is simply decorated time.” — Sparrow, poet (on twitter, maybe Instagram)

2: “No victor believes in chance.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

3: “Experience is a good teacher, but her fees are very high.” — William R. Inge

4: “If you can’t beat them, arrange to have them beaten.” — George Carlin

5: “Mystery is not the absence of meaning, but the presence of more meaning than we can comprehend.” — Eugene Peterson, theologian

6: “You don’t really own anything until you can give it away.” — Ernest Hemingway

7: “The only unfortunate people are the glib ones, immediately satisfied with their work. To them the ocean is only knee-deep.” ― Brenda Ueland

8: Lennon killed: “Everything is going to be ok in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” — John Lennon

9: “We are all in the same storm. But we are not all in the same boats.” — Dr. Bonnie Henry, Canadian health official

10: “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” — Beverly Sills

11: “No one can love his neighbor on an empty stomach.” — Woodrow Wilson

12: “The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The work of life is to develop it. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.” — David Viscott

13: “Stories only happen to people who can tell them.” — Allen Gurganus

14: “Laughter is a protest scream against death.” — Mel Brooks

15: “Ah beer. The cause of, and the solution to, all of life’s problems.” — Homer Simpson

16: “A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.” — Helen Keller

17: “The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four and sometimes you get 22.” — Dashiell Hammet

18: “Why grab possessions like thieves, or divide them like socialists, when you can ignore them like wise men?” — Natalie Clifford Barney

19: “Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” — Dylan Thomas

20: “Happy Holidays. Enjoy the anniversary of whatever crazy magical thing you people think happened around this time of year.” — Comedy Central

21: “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” — John Steinbeck

22: “A very Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear” — John Lennon, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”

23: “A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.” — Garrison Keillor

24: “I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.” ― Joan Didion

25: “May you have the gladness of Christmas, which is hope,
The spirit of Christmas, which is peace.
The heart of Christmas, which is love.” — Ada V. Hendricks

26: “I’d like to spend next Christmas in Tibet,
Or any place where folks cannot remember
That there is something special in December
Tibet’s about as far as you can get.” — Calvin Trillen, The New Yorker, 1994

27: “Without forgiveness there is no future.” — Archbishop Desmond Tutu

28: “I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” — Diane Ackerman

29: “Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.” — Bernard Berenson

30: “We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.” — John O’Donohue, from “At the End of the Year,” in “To Bless the Space Between Us”

31: “The year is going. Let it go.
It hasn’t brought us much but woe–
… plagues from Pandora’s box.
But are we therefore on the rocks?
Not so my hearties! With cautious tread
We’ll enter the year that lies ahead,
Not elated, not downcast,
Glad to be rid of the year that’s past,
Hoping the coming year of grace
Will bring Peace on Earth and Peace in Space.” — Frank Sullivan, The New Yorker, 1957

David G. Allan is CNN’s editorial director of Features overseeing CNN Travel, Style, Space + Science and Wellness. He writes a column for CNN called The Wisdom Project that can be subscribed to here.



David Allan

CNN’s Executive Editor of Enterprise and Features (Travel, Style, Wellness, Science). This account represents my personal views, not CNN’s.