A P H O R I S M S
As many truths in as few words as possible
October 12, 2023 | Last Updated: October 25, 2023
What is an aphorism? It’s a tool for deep thinking — a compass that points you toward a universal truth.
This is an organic library of aphorisms (with some maxims mixed in), written and curated by me, and it doubles as a crude map of my personal philosophy. I’ll add to and cut from this list regularly. Hopefully, it will become more compressed and more compelling over time.
- A P H O R I S M S
- As many truths in as few words as possible
- Mindset and Autonomy
- Humanity and Me
- Society and Community
- Life and Death
- Faith and Morality
- Writing and Creativity
- Success and Expectations
- Conversations and Relationships
Mindset and Autonomy
There is no best way to go, but there is a worst way: to follow.
Be an intellectual nomad; don’t dwell in dogma.
Clarity is knowing what you must do. Congruence is having the will to follow through.
When I delude myself, I elude my Self.
My thoughts are not me.
Expect nothing of the world and the world of yourself.
You guarantee your fate by believing it; every prophesy that comes true is self-fulfilling.
Stagnation is evil, but stillness is essential.
Love your home not for what it gives you but for where it dares you to go.
Humanity and Me
Human: a mortal, self-aware being concerned with the future
It’s unnatural to be unchanging.
I dream because I am human. I am human because I dream.
Endeavor to understand, not to be understood.
Take pride in being illegible.
Change is the only certainty. To be certain of anything else is to be in denial of change.
Society and Community
Capitalism works when money is a metric of value; it falters when money is the object of value.
Stereotypes are not truths, but they are tools.
Find the notes in the noise, then start composing.
“Casual sex” is an oxymoron.
Life and Death
We humans have these infinite concepts of what could be, yet we are stuck in the finite concrete of reality.
In the course of my life, I will spend hours contemplating suicide, so that I don’t consider it for a second.
What you spend your days doing is what you will have spent your life doing.
Today is heavy because it’s all you’re guaranteed. Today is light because you have the freedom to determine tomorrow.
A life lived in pursuit of Truth is one lived unreconciled.
Faith and Morality
God is the self idealized, and I am God unrealized.
It’s funny how far certainty catapults us from the truth.
Go to church for the sermon, not for salvation.
Writing and Creativity
The heart holds your darlings. The head hunts them.
Stillness is a prerequisite for creativity.
If you want your message to be remembered, edit it for meter as much as for meaning.
Only drafts can haunt you. Publish an idea to bury it. You can always resurrect it.
Success and Expectations
Satisfaction is relative to expectation.
The only path to greener grass is to tend to your lawn.
Venture to the mountain tops, but live in the valley.
Success comes from repeated failure. If you want fertile soil, mix in manure.
There are enough mountains to spend a lifetime climbing. Don’t stagnate on the summit; descend and climb again.
If you don’t know what you want to do, find something to do. If you know, find the freedom to do what you want.
Before you decide what you want to get, determine what you’re willing to give.
This too shall pass, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Raise your floor, not just your ceiling.
Conversations and Relationships
Give unsolicited praise and criticism upon request.
Sacrifice is a vice.
Relationships are meant to supplement your individuality, not supplant it.
Love is not “all you need.” It’s just one thing you can’t do without.
Nice is not a virtue. It’s a tactic.
It’s okay that people come and go because the alternative is that you lose yourself.
Pass no judgement, give only feedback.
Say what you know is unsaid.
Express gratitude, and don’t expect it.