13 Timeless Quotes to Help You Navigate Life Joyfully

Image of a lighthouse on the edge of an ocean's cliff with the text overlay: I'll be your beacon.

Life can be challenging, but it’s also filled with joy and beauty. To help you navigate life joyfully, here are 13 timeless quotes that will inspire and motivate you on your journey.

1. Happiness depends upon ourselves. — Aristotle

Aristotle quote: Happiness depends upon ourselves.

Happiness is something everyone wants to have. Whatever country or society we live in, all of us share the same deep desire to be happy. Although happiness can mean different things to different people, one thing is certain — true happiness lies within each of us. 

It’s up to you to create your own happiness. You can make the decision to be happy by changing your outlook on life, doing things that give you a sense of fulfilment, and reminding yourself that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be happy and wonderful. Ultimately, you’re responsible for how you feel. No one else is.

2. Life itself is your teacher and you are in a state of constant learning. — Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee quote: Life itself is your teacher and you are in a state of constant learning.

Life consists of a series of lessons. We will encounter problems and make mistakes along the way. Some mistakes are small; others are costly and painful to bear. Keep your chin up. To err is part of the human experience. What’s important is that you learn from your mistakes and become a better version of yourself. Strive to be a good student and improve the way you respond to mistakes and setbacks. 

3. Beware the barrenness of a busy life. — Socrates

Socrates quote: Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

Modern life can be intensely hectic, and many of us have convinced ourselves that busyness is normal and even good. Nevertheless, a busy life doesn’t necessarily yield useful results. It also doesn’t necessarily lead to fulfilment. So don’t be too caught up in activities and neglect what truly matters. Pause, relax and reflect periodically. You will not only have less stress, but also greater clarity.

Check out: Why It’s Important to Enjoy Boredom

4. Health is not valued till sickness comes. — Thomas Fuller

Thomas Fuller quote: Health is not valued till sickness comes.

Don’t ignore your health because you’re too busy meeting the demands of life. You need a healthy body to fulfil your aspirations and enjoy the pleasures of life. Take good care of yourself. 

5. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. — H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You

H. Jackson Brown Jr. quote: Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines! Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover!

Twenty years ago, Mr Wow and I were called to adventure. We started a business together, but it failed in less than two years. The setback was hard to bear and we almost gave up our dream. I’m glad we didn’t. We found success in our next business and achieved financial independence in our early 40s. 

Everyone has something that they really hope to do or accomplish in life. But as we go through life’s cycle of highs and lows, there may be times when we feel like abandoning our aspirations. If you’re feeling this way now, try imagining yourself 10, 20 or 30 years down the road. Would you have any regrets because your younger self quit too easily? Don’t stop pursuing a dream just because it’s the easy way out.

6. Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. — Confucius

Confucius quote: Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.

There comes a point in life where we have to decide on what to do in order to make a living. It’s an important decision as most of us will spend a large part of our lives working. Would you let passion guide your decision? If you’re not sure, ask yourself if you can do something that you have absolutely no interest in for 40 years. I know I can’t. When work is a pleasure, life is a joy. But when work is a pain, life is a misery. 

7. Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. — Mark Twain

Mark Twain quote: Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

How do we make this world a better place? We can be kind to others, starting from the small interactions we have with those around us. 

Kindness is a language everyone speaks. An act of kindness engenders feelings of happiness, optimism and confidence, not just in the person receiving it, but also the person showing it. Kindness always goes a long way because it’s so contagious. Each time you’re kind to someone, he or she will be inspired to pay it forward. So if you want to be happy, start spreading kindness today.

8. A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short. — Andre Maurois

Image of a couple walking along a beach with the text overlay: A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short - Andre Maurois.

Marry your best friend. This way, you will always be able to share your thoughts and feelings freely, and you will never run out of things to talk about.

9. 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

John F. Kennedy quote: Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

I’m an Aspie, so I’ll admit that I don’t deal with change very well. But as much as I love structure and routine, life is full of surprises, so it’s been an ongoing effort for me to improve the way I handle change. 

As with the seasons, change is a certainty in life. Since it’s something that we can’t avoid, it doesn’t do us any good to resist it. Learning how to embrace change is crucial to our mental well-being. It’s also important that we adapt and move on with the times or risk becoming irrelevant. So change the way you look at change.

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

Zig Ziglar quote: Money isn't the most important thing in life, but it's reasonably close to oxygen on the "gotta have it" scale.

Money is not everything, but almost everything needs money in this day and age. Let’s face it. It’s difficult to be happy if you’re struggling to make ends meet. 

To gain control of your money, you need to learn the basics of financial management. You need to understand the importance of budgeting, saving and investing. You need to know how to create a financial plan and stick to it. You need to be aware of the different types of investments and know how to choose the right ones for your needs. You need to understand the concept of risk and learn how to mitigate it. By taking the time to understand how money works and staying on top of your finances, you can enjoy life without having to worry about survival.

11. Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life. — Michael LeBoeuf

Michael LeBoeuf quote: Waste your money and you're only out of money, but waste your time and you've lost a part of your life.

Your time = your life. It’s finite and it’s up to you to make the best of it. Manage the clock well or it will manage you. Don’t waste time on unimportant things because time truly flies, and the next thing you know, you’re in the twilight of your life.

12. Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. — Aristotle

Aristotle quote: Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

How well do you know yourself? The lack of self-awareness is probably the worst thing that can happen to a person. It’s so much harder to achieve success when you don’t even know your own strengths and weaknesses. You may overestimate your abilities. You may have trouble setting goals for yourself. One way to improve your self-awareness is to identify the values and beliefs that guide your life. You can also seek feedback from others by asking them how they perceive you. 

Check out: Why Being Knowledgeable is Important

13. Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. — Confucius

Confucius quote: Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

I’ll keep this really simple. Don’t make life unnecessarily complex. Simplify everything and you’ll be a happier person.

Live, laugh, love.  

More about life: 10 Motivational Quotes to Fuel Your Success | 10 Life Lessons from Clash of Clans | Taming Superstitious Beliefs: Is Bad Luck Just Coincidence?

Mrs Wow

Mrs Wow (aka Lynn) achieved Financial Independence with Mr Wow in 2019. She believes in staying invested even if there’s a level-5 shit storm. A homebody, she spends her free time reading, blogging and listening to music. Follow her on 𝕏 (@wowpursuits).

4 thoughts on “13 Timeless Quotes to Help You Navigate Life Joyfully

  1. Thanks for surfacing a lot of great timeless lessons above.

    IMO, wealthy and poor people share the most different viewpoints for #10.

    Money is not only like oxygen that enables you to have the basic necessities and quality of living, but the more you have, the more it can be used to buy convenience and time.

    Fundamentally, the different viewpoints are rooted in how they think of money and how it is used.

    1. Thanks, Rob. I couldn’t have said it better. As pointed out, the key difference lies in how people perceive money, which will determine how they use it.

      Money is obviously important, not only for survival, but also to create options for ourselves. However, I often come across people who say that money is not important and they’re usually the ones who are struggling financially.

      To control money and achieve financial success, I believe the first step is to acknowledge the vital role money plays in our lives. It’s not about worshipping money, but developing a healthy relationship with it.

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