Quotes About Life Lessons From Famous People

Beyond fame and fortune, these quotes about life lessons from famous people demonstrate that sometimes there’s more to a pretty face or a successful venture than simply luck or good timing, there’s some wisdom in these celebrities.

  1. “I'm not crazy about reality, but it's still the only place to get a decent meal.” Fans of “The Matrix” may disagree, since a good steak was only available to them via Mr. Smith, but for those of us not living a science fiction fantasy, reality is where it’s at, and Groucho Marx states that a good sandwich might just see us through the hard times.
  2. “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” John Lennon captures another life lesson in his 1980 song "Beautiful Boy." Planning may be a good instigator, but eventually it is what you do, not what you think, that makes a life.
  3. “When you're young you believe it when people tell you how good you are. And that's the danger, you inhale. Everyone will tell you you're a genius, which you are not, and if you understand that, you win.”  George Clooney has certainly kept his winning streak going for longer than most, and he has attributed that success to a life lesson passed on by his grandmother.
  4. “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”  Bill Cosby may be adapting Abraham Lincoln’s famous line about not being able to please all the people, all the time, but his life lesson has certainly served him well in a 50+ year career.
  5. “It's better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone – so far.” Marilyn Monroe had her share of romances, and tragedies in her short life, but in this life lesson quote she did understand that there was no Prince Charming out there.
  6. “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” Dale Carnegie, one of the most often quotes and successful American businessmen of the 20th century, understood the life lesson that perspective rather than benchmarks makes for a happy life.
  7. “You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.”  Winston Churchill won many battles, and lost plenty of political campaigns, but to win the war, one must stand up for your own beliefs rather than folding to popular opinions.
  8. “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Guitarist extraordinaire Jimi Hendrix usually let his musical instrument do the talking for him, but in this quote he demonstrates he was wise beyond his guitar licks.  
  9. “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”  Author Mark Twain was a man of many, many words, but he remains one of America’s most respected intellects for choosing those words wisely.
  10. “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” William Shakespeare understood that imagination rather than know how is what makes the difference between smart and genius.
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