Alain De Botton Quotes
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Never too late to learn some embarrassingly basic, stupidly obvious things about oneself.
The feeling one has no time to get anything done provides the pressure that guarantees one does get some things done.
Forgiveness requires a sense that bad behaviour is a sign of suffering rather than malice.
The rich believe that their money will insulate them from setbacks and frustrations, and that's one of the absurdist expectations of all.
Curiosity takes ignorance seriously, and is confident enough to admit when it does not know. It is aware of not knowing, and it sets out to do something about it
Just be yourself' is about the worst advice you can give some people.
You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days.
Politics is so difficult, it's generally only people who aren't quite up to the task who feel convinced they are.
He feared that by leaving her he would ruin her life - so he stayed, and did just that.
Introspective reflections that might otherwise be liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape...
If one felt successful, there'd be so little incentive to be successful.
Everyone is extremely hard and troubled to be around. Everyone has something substantially wrong with them. Everyone is extremely hard to live with.
Most business meetings involve one party elaborately suppressing a wish to shout at the other: 'just give us the money'.
The media insists on taking what someone didn't mean to say as being far closer to the truth than what they did.
Anyone who isn't embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn't learning enough.
One rarely falls in love without being as much attracted to what is interestingly wrong with someone as what is objectively healthy.
I was relying on youth be loyal to the specific variety of compromise and unhappiness, which our hard-won marriage represents.
The arrogance that says analysing the relationship between reasons and causes is more important than writing a philosophy of shyness or sadness or friendship drives me nuts. I can't accept that.
If we were entirely sane, if madness did not have a serious grip on one side of us, other people's tragedies would hold a great deal less interest for us.
The most courageous act in politics is to try to understand your opponent.
As victims of hurt, we frequently don't bring up what ails us, because so many wounds look absurd in the light of day.
A world where a majority had imbibed the lessons implicit within tragic art would be one in which the consequences of our failures would necessarily cease to weigh upon us so heavily.
We are continuously challenged to discover new works of culture—and, in the process, we don’t allow any one of them to assume a weight in our minds.
We are humiliated by what is powerful and mean, but awed by what is powerful and noble.
Bitterness: anger that forgot where it came from.
we would not reliably assent to reproduce unless we first had lost our minds.
The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts.
I do think that travel can be part of a journey of inner maturation, but you've got to do it right.
Half the ingratitude and complacency in the world down to how slowly and imperceptibly most good and bad things unfold.
To look at the paper is to raise a seashell to one's ear and to be overwhelmed by the roar of humanity.
The price we have paid for expecting to be so much more than our ancestors is a perpetual anxiety that we are far from being all we might be.
The death of marriage has been announced so often and would seem so normal, in a sense. So what's surprising is the sheer longevity and tenacity of this institution.
We are properly ready for marriage when we are strong enough to embrace a life of frustration.
There's a whole category of people who miss out by not allowing themselves to be weird enough.
Intuition is unconscious accumulated experience informing judgement in real time.
I like the values associated with a medical family - common sense, being practical but also thoughtful.
Being snappy is a symptom of an argument we forgot to have some way back.
I feel that the great challenge of our time is the communication of ideas.
The Anxiety of Sunday afternoon: your unlived lives and infinite possibility pressing upon the constraints of reality.
When we suspect that we are appropriate targets for hurt, it does not take much for us to believe that someone or something is out to hurt us
We study biology, physics, movements of glaciers... Where are the classes on envy, feeling wronged, despair, bitterness...
There is an easy way to measure our inner levels of abjectness and friendliness to ourselves: we should examine how well we response to noise.
On paper, being good sounds great but a lot depends on the atmosphere of the workplace or community we live in. We tend to become good or bad depending on the cues sent out within a particular space.
In a secularising world, art has replaced religion as a touchstone of our reverence and devotion.
I like working with people. I believe change can only come through collaboration.
Distress at losing an object can be as much a frustration at the intellectual mystery of the disappearance as about the loss itself.
One of the best protections against disappointment is to have a lot going on.
It is perhaps when our lives are at their most problematic that we are likely to be most receptive to beautiful things.
Don't despair: despair suggests you are in total control and know what is coming. You don't - surrender to events with hope.
Feeling lost, crazy and desperate belongs to a good life as much as optimism, certainty and reason.