Sometimes, life can be overwhelming. The good news is that you can be sure someone, somewhere has faced the same challenges you do today. The situation may be new to you, but ultimately, there’s nothing new under the sun. Wisdom quotes from across time and cultures prove that someone, somewhere has already been through whatever you’re dealing with today.

We all need a little bit of good advice from time to time. Luckily, people have been sharing their advice and insights about their own journeys through life. Read on for some of the best wisdom quotes from writers, intellectuals and anonymous thinkers.

These wisdom quotes will give you the strength to keep going, no matter what challenges you face.

wisdom quotes

The Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With One Step

This famous quote from Lao Tzu reminds us that big things are just a combination of all the little actions you take from day to day. Journey metaphors are a great way to think about life. Many advice-givers, and even organizations like AA, have made use of these. It’s a great way to look at life, because it’s true. Any marathon is made up of a series of strides. Making a list, stating your goal, or dialing a phone number are all small things you can do to work toward something big. Don’t write off the small steps you take as being insignificant. Each small step is bringing you closer to achieving your goal.

Nothing Will Work Unless You Do

Award-winning poet Maya Angelou is the source of this thoughtful statement. It’s one of the great wisdom quotes to keep in mind when you feel overwhelmed and at the end of your rope. You make your own luck, and the way you work will determine the luck you have. Working, even in jobs that seem silly, can help you make effective connections and refine your skill set. Working also typically feels better than standing or sitting still. And, hey, when you’re working, at least life moves by a little faster. You won’t feel time hanging on your hands.

Life Rewards Action

Punk icon Henry Rollins uses wisdom quotes like this one almost as a mantra. A role model for many people, Rollins toiled in working class service jobs before making it big as a musician, actor and writer. His story and work ethic have inspired thousands of people, many of them working class men like himself. This is one of the best wisdom quotes because it reminds you that you always have options. You can stay still, or you can take a step in a direction. You always have a choice, even when things seem really bleak, and your choices will ultimately determine what successes you see.

wisdom quotes

Strive For Progress Not Perfection

Perfectionism can be a big problem for some people, and this is one of the best wisdom quotes to address that issue. The steps you take along the journey of life won’t be perfect. Perfect is just an ideal that doesn’t exist in the real world. If you expect that, it can be a recipe for disappointment. Reframing your goals and making it a point to do a little bit better each day is a much healthier option. Tracking your progress, whether it’s toward a weight loss goal or a new career, is so satisfying, so don’t use black-and-white thinking. Don’t look at things as either success or failure. Most of life happens in the middle ground while we work, and ultimately, it’s a great place to be.

Any fool can know. The point is to understand.

Famed scientist and thinker Albert Einstein is the source of this little nugget. It’s one of the sharpest wisdom quotes out there. This statement deals with the formation of wisdom itself. Understanding is, at the end of the day, the source of all wisdom. Being able to rattle off facts, figures, names and dates can be meaningless. Sometimes, it can be tempting to hide behind an avalanche of information and data points. Don’t let yourself fool yourself. It’s important to always try to find the meaning behind the information. That’s where real wisdom lies.