The Philosopher's Guide to Self-Cultivation

(Greek Philosophers | Matt Neale)

(Greek Philosophers | Matt Neale)

"Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them."

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

A list of useful aphorisms from some of the best minds in history. Refine thyself.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
— Will Durant
Associate with those who will make a better man of you. Welcome those whom you yourself can improve. The process is mutual; for men learn while they teach.
— Seneca
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
— Saint Augustine
One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius.
— Simone de Beauvoir
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.
— Plato
The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of past centuries.
— René Descartes
Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.
— Chuang Tzu
No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.
— Heraclitus
Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.
— David Hume
Live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.
— Immanuel Kant
When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.
— Lao Tzu
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
— Søren Kierkegaard
Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.
— John Locke
What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.
— Confucius
I have learned to seek my happiness by limiting my desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy them.
— John Stuart Mill
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push it.
— Ludwig Wittgenstein
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
— Sun Tzu
In the case of archery, the hitter and the hit are no longer two opposing objects, but are one reality.
— Eugen Herrigel
The beginning is always today.
— Mary Wollstonecraft
He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
One is not likely to achieve understanding from the explanation of another.
— Takuan Soho
When one is writing a letter, he should think that the recipient will make it into a hanging scroll.
— Yamamoto Tsunetomo
Don’t be stupid. Read. A lot.
— Joon Yang

The last quote is an aphorism from my late father. It used to make me laugh, but somewhere along the way it became my guiding principle.

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