Outside of writing some of the most influential literature of our time, Ernest Hemingway also accumulated a long list of “quotable” sayings during his lifetime. Many are still poignant today.
Here are 12 Hemingway quotes that every man should know, memorize, and live by:
1. “The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without.”
Translation: Don’t get hung up on the small things in life.
Life is too short to worry about the small things. Don’t get wrapped up in things that are unimportant.
2. “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
Translation: Learn to trust others.
Yes, it’s hard to trust. But isolation is no way to live life — life is hard enough as it is.
3. “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”
Translation: Learn to listen to other people.
If someone is taking the time and effort to tell you something, the least you can do is devote the time and effort to listening to what they are saying.
4. “No one you love is ever truly lost.”
Translation: People will come and go, but their impact will stay with you forever.
Whether it was a family member, a mentor, or a woman you loved long ago — the impact that love makes on you no matter how big or strong will last forever.
5. “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”
Translation: Learn to find strength through the tough times.
After all the trials and tribulations that life has to offer, take advantage of these challenges to become a stronger person. Use the lessons learned to mold yourself into the perfect, ideal self so you’ll never repeat the same mistakes twice.
6. “Cowardice … is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.”
Translation: Don’t let your imagination hold you back.
If you’re not careful your imagination can really play tricks on you. There are no monsters under your bed. The monsters you construct in your mind rarely come into life.
7. “The first draft of anything is shit.”
Translation: Do. Fail. Learn. Do.
Nothing is perfect the first time. There is always going to be something that can be improved. And how do you improve at anything? Only through the second, third, and ten-thousandth try do you become a master. Even then, there’s room for growth.
8. “The writer’s job is not to judge, but to seek to understand.”
Translation: Don’t judge people.
This is not just a great piece of advice for writers but for anyone. Seeking to understand someone rather than judging them is hard but it’s something that can help you and the people around you. Instead of going through life making judgments about people — try acceptance.
9. “All things truly wicked start from innocence.”
Translation: A good, healthy upbringing is vital.
Even if you don’t believe that everyone is born innocent, you can’t deny the impact of environmental factors and the effects of parents in their upbringing.
10. “Never mistake motion for action.”
Translation: Keep your eyes on where you are going.
It’s very easy to get lost. And just because you’re moving doesn’t mean that you are moving in the right direction. To do that you have to do the things that you know are really important and in alignment with your personal goals.
11. “I drink to make other people more amusing.”
Translation: Sometimes alcohol is not wanted, but necessary.
Drinking is public is not a bad thing — just make sure you keep yourself within the boundaries of social acceptability when doing so.
12. “Develop a built-in bullshit detector.”
Translation: Learn to read between the lines.
Learn to filter out the nonsense. There are just as many fabricated résumés on Wall Street as there are fake watches on the subway.
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