General Question

AstroChuck's avatar

What's a good motto for you to live by?

Asked by AstroChuck (37438points) May 13th, 2008 from iPhone

My favorite is “question everything – or believe anything.”

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62 Answers

0o_Niques_o0's avatar

my favourite is…
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…its learning to dance in the rain.”

iwamoto's avatar

my personal motto is “shut up and work, or at least shut up!”

psyla's avatar

My motto is “There Is No Motto”. When you set up rules for yourself, you limit your potential

occ's avatar

I have this taped to my work-station-

Three things are necessary for progress:
Great faith
Great doubt
Great effort

judochop's avatar

luck favors the prepared.

psyla's avatar

Wisdom is having the experience and foresight to make effective choices. A motto is a blind rule to follow regardless of whether or not it is appropriate to the situation.

laudermale's avatar

“do the things today that others won’t so tomorrow you can do the things that others can’t”

mirza's avatar

None. I don’ think that your life should be based on some principle or motto. It should be based on one’s own judgments and choices. As psyla said, mottos limit your potential. Mottos can be great for people who want a completely disciplined lifestyle but I refuse to base my life on one thing and choose to focus my life differently as I come across new things and live it the way i want to. As for having a motto, maybe I’ll get one when I am really old and look back at my life to sum up all my actions.

On a side note, a lot of people I know seem to go by this motto: Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

psyla's avatar

I agree with mirza. There is no spirituality in blind mottos.

LunaFemme's avatar

Mine is, “Today is a good day to die.” It reminds me to confront fear & not let fear stop me.

psyla's avatar

A Klingon attitude! I love it! I prefer my cool rational Vulcan ways.

Gruz06's avatar

You may not have the power to choose where you come from, but you do have the power to choose where you go from there.

xyzzy's avatar

“We’re [the] grown-ups now, and It’s our turn to decide what that means.”—XKCD

psyla's avatar

Don’t be quoting The Wiccan Rede.

judochop's avatar

my motto is not blind nor is it empty nor does it limit potential or choice.

psyla's avatar

My motto is “Live Long And Prosper”, this is the most logical motto to adopt.

gailcalled's avatar

I also have no mottos, but these aphorisms resonate.

“Breathe with unconditioned breath the unconditioned air. Shun electric wire. Communicate slowly. Live a three-dimensioned life; stay away from screens.” Wendell Berry

“Thanks for this day, for all the birds safe in their nests, for whatever this is, for life.” 
Barbara Kingsolver

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver

ljs22's avatar

I like Sarah Vowell’s “It could be worse,” and the Dalai Lama’s “my religion is kindness.”

I don’t really have a motto, but I do find myself quoting—a lot—“amateurs borrow, professionals steal.” Not sure how that jives with the other two…but it certainly amuses me.

psyla's avatar

According to SuperString theory, we actually live in eighteen dimensions, not three, but our human brains, in an attempt to survive, focus only on 3 dimensions. My motto would be to try to become aware of these additional dimensions.

laxdude9216's avatar

You get what you get and you don’t get upset.

psyla's avatar

Be tolerant of others who are strange and unusual.

psyla's avatar

I like judochop’s “Luck Favors The Prepared”. Until the scientists figure it all out, “Luck” is an excellent way to describe the unknowable!

AstroChuck's avatar

@payla- superstring theory dictates 10 dimensions. Or if you prefer M theory (which combines the 5 string theories together) tells us there are eleven.

loser's avatar

don’t spit into the wind

psyla's avatar

Oh! I haven’t read the new research! Back in the mid-nineties, Michio Kaku was suggesting eighteen. Ten or eleven seems more realistic.

St.George's avatar

My motto du jour: It is what it is.

nagilum's avatar

“Que sera, sera”, “C’est la vie” and my favorite, “Merde”

ninjaxmarc's avatar

live everyday like its your last

mcbealer's avatar

Ithuteng ~ never stop learning or self-teaching in the Sotho language.

delirium's avatar

I live by the affirmations of humanism. Its long, but its something that almost makes me cry every time I read it. I remember when I first found it, it explained what was in my head and my heart more than anything else ever had.

The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles and Values

We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems.

We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation.

We believe that scientific discovery and technology can contribute to the betterment of human life.

We believe in an open and pluralistic society and that democracy is the best guarantee of protecting human rights from authoritarian elites and repressive majorities.

We are committed to the principle of the separation of church and state.

We cultivate the arts of negotiation and compromise as a means of resolving differences and achieving mutual understanding.

We are concerned with securing justice and fairness in society and with eliminating discrimination and intolerance.

We believe in supporting the disadvantaged and the handicapped, so that they will be able to help themselves.

We attempt to transcend divisive parochial loyalties based on race, religion, gender, nationality, creed, class, sexual orientation, or ethnicity, and strive to work together for the common good of humanity.

We want to protect and enhance the earth, to preserve it for future generations, and to avoid inflicting needless suffering on other species.

We believe in enjoying life here and now and in developing our creative talents to their fullest.

We believe in the cultivation of moral excellence.

We respect the right to privacy. Mature adults should be allowed to fulfill their aspirations, to express their sexual preferences, to exercise reproductive freedom, to have access to comprehensive and informed health-care, and to die with dignity.

We believe in the common moral decencies: altruism, integrity, honesty, truthfulness, and responsibility. Humanist ethics is amenable to critical, rational guidance. There are normative standards that we discover together. Moral principles are tested by their consequences.

We are deeply concerned with the moral education of our children. We want to nourish reason and compassion.

We are engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences.

We are citizens of the universe and are excited by discoveries still to be made in the cosmos.

We are skeptical of untested claims to knowledge, and we are open to novel ideas and seek new departures in our thinking.

We affirm humanism as a realistic alternative to theologies of despair and ideologies of violence and as a source of rich personal significance and genuine satisfaction in the service of others.

We believe in optimism rather than pessimism, hope rather than despair, learning in the place of dogma, truth instead of ignorance, joy rather than guilt or sin, tolerance in the place of fear, love instead of hatred, compassion over selfishness, beauty instead of ugliness, and reason rather than blind faith or irrationality.

We believe in the fullest realization of the best and noblest that we are capable of as human beings.

Fpyre's avatar

Life – is – good.

If not today, maybe tomorrow.

If not then, sometime soon…

peedub's avatar

I don’t have one to live by but there are many I find useful for different situations.

I’ve always liked: “Perdurabo”—“I shall endure to the end.”

mzgator's avatar

Do unto others as you would have done to you. That about says it all. If people stepped back and really believed this one and truly lived this one, the world would be a better place.

Donato's avatar

I think dilirium’s answer would be great on a t-shirt. It’s a catch phrase all the kids will be saying.

My motto is “trample the weak. Hurdle the dead. But be nice doing it. ”

phoenyx's avatar

Don’t Panic

Response moderated
NVOldGuy's avatar

Do unto others pretty much covers it.

Bub's avatar

Do what you will but harm none.

AstroChuck's avatar

@Bub-Isn’t that the Wiccan Rede?

goldilocks's avatar

“theres nothing you can do if your too scared to try”

Bub's avatar

@astrochuck: It surely is!

nagilum's avatar

Life is a breeze, of course some breezes are 120 miles an hour.

omfgTALIjustIMDu's avatar

Always remember there comes a point where all you can do is laugh.

^^^this phrase has helped me laugh off countless seemingly impossible moments.

susanc's avatar


Calalily1120's avatar

I don’t think mottos limit what a person can do or narrows their field of vision at all. It’s not a set of rules or some sort of restriction…..A motto is most often used to inspire oneself and as a way of dealing with some of life’s short comings and hard times. I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who lives their life strictly according to their personal motto.

Mine is “I am the lizard king. I can do anything.” Jim Morrison

kruger_d's avatar

Not really a motto, just a line from a sermon that touched me enough that I wrote it down:
We are meant to mend the world.

sealwish's avatar

“there is a fine line between insanity and genius…
i have erased this line…
be mischievious, it feels good!<(^_^)>

Ari17's avatar

I like antisiption of death is worse than death itself

gailcalled's avatar

@Ari17: Do you mean “Anticipation” or “Antiseptic”?

Here’s one of my many adages; “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Mary Oliver.

snakeskineye's avatar

“Be prepared”- motto of the Boy Scouts of America

gailcalled's avatar

@snakeskineye: See what Tom Lehrer, the famous satirist of the 1960’s, does with that motto in 1 minute and 32 seconds. (And welcome to Fluther,)

Be prepared

Gruz06's avatar

The world is a playground and life is pushing my swing.—Natalie Kocsis

NerdyMcGeek's avatar

good one: “why fart and waste, when you can burn and taste??”

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Follow the logic it usually always leads back to the truth.

yeaman2011's avatar

this motto is so true…...How we spend our days is how we spend our life

liku's avatar

My motto is——life is made of problems and we should simply accept that,that is life and we should live it fully and courageously…..........

liku's avatar

life -is song sing it till the end
life-is game be a player
life-is present

liku's avatar

NO honor is like knowledge,no power is like forbearance,and no support is morereliable than consultation….............................

Staalesen's avatar


There are no sutch tings as a free lunch.

Jukkiz's avatar

My motto is : there’s only 2 ways life could end, but in both of them you die

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

(addition) Life is about dollars and cents; if it ain’t making dollars then it don’t make sense.

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