Many of my favorite quotes are by Goethe.
Here is a collection of them I found.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Great quotes to inspire, empower and motivate you to live the life of your dreams and become the person you've always wanted to be!
Our work is the presentation of our capabilities. *
The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.
The people who are absent are the ideal; those who are present seem to be quite commonplace.
Before you can do something you must first be something.
Fresh activity is the only means of overcoming adversity.
Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
The deed is everything, the glory is naught.
Age and Aging
Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children.
One can be very happy without demanding that others agree with them.
Arts and Artists
One of the most striking signs of the decay of art is when we see its separate forms jumbled together.
Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest.
Oh how sweet it is to hear one's own convictions from another's lips.
Mountains cannot be surmounted except by winding paths.
Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.
Human beings, by change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.
Character develops itself in the stream of life.
Men show their character in nothing more clearly than what they think laughable.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.
No one would talk much in society if they knew how often they misunderstood others.
Where there is much light, the shadow is deep.
Rest not. Life is sweeping by; go and dare before you die. Something mighty and sublime, leave behind to conquer time.
Coward and Cowardice
The coward threatens when he is safe.
Critics and Criticism
The person of analytic or critical intellect finds something ridiculous in everything. The person of synthetic or constructive intellect, in almost nothing.
Death and Dying
Death is a commingling of eternity with time; in the death of a good man, eternity is seen looking through time.
Deeds and Good Deeds
Ambition and love are the wings to great deeds.
Deny yourself! You must deny yourself! That is the song that never ends.
While man's desires and aspirations stir he cannot choose but err.
It is only in misery that we recognize the hand of God leading good men to good.
Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men. *
They teach in academies far too many things, and far too much that is useless.
Correction does much, but encouragement does more. Encouragement after censure is as the sun after a shower.
Enjoy what thou has inherited from thy sires if thou wouldn't really possess it. What we employ and use is never an oppressive burden; what the moment brings forth, that only can it profit by.
He who enjoys doing and enjoys what he has done is happy.
Every situation, every moment -- is of infinite worth; for it is the representative of a whole eternity.
Excellence is rarely found, more rarely valued.
If a good person does you wrong, act as though you had not noticed it. They will make note of this and not remain in your debt long.
Only law can give us freedom.
The greatest genius will never be worth much if he pretends to draw exclusively from his own resources.
A distracted existence leads us to no goal.
Difficulties increase the nearer we approach the goal.
A person is never happy till their vague strivings has itself marked out its proper limitations.
What makes people happy is activity; changing evil itself into good by power, working in a God like manner.
Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.
History and Historians
The history of mankind is his character.
Those who hope for no other life are dead even for this.
Whenever I hear people talking about liberal ideas, I am always astounded that men should love to fool themselves with empty sounds. An idea should never be liberal; it must be vigorous, positive, and without loose ends so that it may fulfill its divine mission and be productive. The proper place for liberality is in the realm of the emotions.
Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
Intelligence and Intellectuals
The intelligent man finds almost everything ridiculous, the sensible man hardly anything.
Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.
Those who know nothing of foreign languages, knows nothing of their own.
In the end we retain from our studies only that which we practically apply.
Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them.
Life and Living
What is important in life is life, and not the result of life.
The decline in literature indicates a decline in the nation. The two keep pace in their downward tendency.
If I love you, what business is it of yours?
We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.
Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.
The effects of good music are not just because it's new; on the contrary music strikes us more the more familiar we are with it.
Nature goes her own way and all that to us seems an exception is really according to order.
To hard necessity ones will and fancy must conform.
Passions are vices or virtues to their highest powers.
If a man or woman is born ten years sooner or later, their whole aspect and performance shall be different.
People have a peculiar pleasure in making converts, that is, in causing others to enjoy what they enjoy, thus finding their own likeness represented and reflected back to them.
Every man has enough power left to carry out that of which he is convinced.
Nothing is worth more than this day. You cannot relive yesterday. Tomorrow is still beyond your reach
Upon the creatures we have made, we are, ourselves, at last, dependent.
A purpose you impart is no longer your own.
Be above it! Make the world serve your purpose, but do not serve it.
Reason can never be popular. Passions and feelings may become popular, but reason will always remain the sole property of a few eminent individuals.
A person can stand almost anything except a succession of ordinary days.
No one has ever learned fully to know themselves.
Self-knowledge comes from knowing other men.
Taste is only to be educated by contemplation, not of the tolerably good but of the truly excellent. I therefore show you only the best works; and when you are grounded in these, you will have a standard for the rest, which you will know how to value, without overrating them.
There is repetition everywhere, and nothing is found only once in the world. *
Speakers and Speaking
I do not speak of what I cannot praise.
On the pinnacle of success man does not stand firm long.
A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.
Thoughts and Thinking
All truly wise thoughts have been thoughts already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience. *
Travel and Tourism
Traveling is like gambling: it is always connected with winning and losing, and generally where it is least expected we receive, more or less than what we hoped for.
To know someone here or there with whom you can feel there is understanding in spite of distances or thoughts expressed -- That can make life a garden.
No one should be rich except those who understand it.
This is the highest wisdom that I own; freedom and life are earned by those alone who conquer them each day anew.
The Woman-Soul leadeth us upward and on!
The world remains ever the same.
Writers and Writing
He who does not expect a million readers should not write a line.