51 Ancient Wisdoms that Will Change the Way You Think

51 Ancient Wisdoms that Will Change the Way You Think

wisdom quotesBetter Life


They say that time is the best teacher, which it may indeed be. However, considering some of the great words that have been spoken from long ago, we can benefit from heeding the ancient advice from some of history’s great minds.

So we’ve compiled a list of 51 of the greatest quotes ever on various topics – from action to work – these words will forever be a great source of knowledge and inspiration to us all.


Enjoy this A to Z list of quotes of life’s important topics.

1 – Action

“Actions speak louder than words.” – Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865

The Great Emancipator also happened to think that it’s our own actions that define us.

2 – Adversity

“Every adversity carries with it the seed of equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill, 1883-1970

3 – Ambition

“First say to yourself what would you be; and then do what you need to do.” – Epictetus, Greek Philosopher, c. 55-135

The ancient Greeks had many wise sayings, this ancient quote on ambition being one of them.


4 – Anger

“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” – Ancient Chinese Proverb

5 – Beauty

“Beauty is only skin deep.” – Sir Thomas Overbury, 1581-1613

The originator of this quote is an English poet, which makes sense given the short but thoughtful quote on beauty.

6 – Change

“A rolling stone gathers no moss.” – John Heywood, 1947-1580

Yet another great English writer and poet delivering a message on change.

7 – Consequences

“A guilty conscience needs no accuser.” – English Proverb

8 – Courage

“Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the conquest of it.” – William Danforth, 1870-1955

A great quote from another writer on mastering fear.

9 – Creativity

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein, 1879-1955

Yet, many still label the creative among us as “weird”. The smartest person in history certainly didn’t think so.

10 – Criticism

“The worst enemy you have is right in your head.” – Unknown

11 – Death

“Death never takes a wise man by surprise; he is always ready to go.” ­– Jean de Lafontaine, 1621-1695

Lafontaine, a French poet, sums up death by being ready for it.

12 – Differences

“Different strokes for different folks.” – Clarence Darrow, 1857-1938

The lawyer and once-leading member of the ACLU recognized and appreciated differences.

13 – Experience

“Experience teaches slowly and at the cost of mistakes.” – James Anthony Froude, 1818-1894


Mistakes are part of the experience, according to this English historian.

14 – Family

“A father’s a treasure; a brother’s a comfort; a friend is both.” – Benjamin Franklin

15 – Foolishness

“Fools and scissors require good handling.” – Japanese Proverb

16 – Forgiveness

“Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.” – Henry Ellis, 1721-1805

This famous quote brought to you by an ancient Irish explorer.

17 – Fortune

“It is possible to have too much of a good thing.” – Aesop, c. 620-560 B.C.

Another ancient Greek, another famous quote; this one on fortune.

18 – Friendship

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”­ – Unknown

19 – Generosity

“What you do to others will bear fruit in you.” – Sinhalese

The largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka has some words on giving generously.

20- Gossip

“Not everything you hear is good for talk.” – Japanese Proverb

Those Japanese are pretty smart, I hear…that’s good gossip.

21 – Gratitude

“Since we cannot get what we like, let us like what we can get.” – Spanish Proverb

22 – Habit

“Character is habit long continued.” – Greek Proverb

23 – Health

“Eat to live, not live to eat.” – Socrates, 469-399 B.C.

The infamous Greek philosopher had some words on indulgence.


24 – Honesty

“Honesty is the best policy.” – Aesop

25 – Hope

“The darkest hours are just before the dawn.” – English Proverb

26 – Humility

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

This wouldn’t be a complete list without the great Indian leader’s words on humility.

27  – Identity

“If the shoe fits, wear it.” – Nicholas Breton, c. 1545-1626

Another English poet makes an appearance, taking credit for this old adage on identity.

28 – Joy

“Out of the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks.” – Chaucer, c. 1343-1400

Perhaps the greatest English poet in history shows us why with this terrific quote on joy.

29 – Justice

“The end doesn’t justify the means.” – Ovid, c. 43 B.C. – 18 AD

Ovid was a brilliant Roman poet who also gave us this notorious quote on justice.

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