134 Real Life Quotes and Sayings

Where we are today, what we are doing right now, and who we communicate with make up our real life. And oftentimes, reality can either be stranger or simpler than fiction. But whatever the case may be, here are 134 real life quotes to read and think about.

Real Life Quotes

1. Real life is sometimes boring, rarely conclusive and boy, does the dialogue need work. – Sarah Rees Brennan

2. You don’t get explanations in real life. You just get moments that are absolutely, utterly, inexplicably odd. – Neil Gaiman

3. These problems are real, and you can’t turn off real life. So I won’t try. Instead, I’ll give you a set of tools to help you deal with real life. – Sean Covey

4. There are always loose ends in real life. – Robert Galbraith

5. But playing your music as loud as you want and coming home drunk aren’t real life. Real life, it turns out, is diapers and lawnmowers, decks that need painting, a wife that needs to be listened to, kids that need to be taught right from wrong, a checkbook, an oil change, a sunset behind a mountain, laughter at a kitchen table, too much wine, a chipped tooth, and a screaming child. – Donald Miller

6. The great thing about real life is that it belongs to you. You can make it up as you go along! – Victoria Ashton

7. Real life doesn’t grant us many of the more than useful possibilities people can come out with in fiction. – Camilo Gomes Jr.

8. Wake up to realities! Real life is all about real things! – Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

9. And naturally, everything they tell about in books can happen in real life, but not in the same way. It is to this way of happening that I clung so tightly. – Jean-Paul Sartre

10. In what we call “real life”–if you want to be successful, if you want to get on in the longterm–you always have to come to some kind of compromise with your own emotions: I can’t overreact NOW! I have to accept THIS! I have to ignore THAT!–You’re forever having to tailor your emotions to the circumstances, you go easy on the people you love, you slip into your hundred little daily roles, you juggle, you balance, you weigh things up so as not to jeopardize the entire structure, because you yourself have a stake in it. – Daniel Glattauer

11. I write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. – Orhan Pamuk

12. But by the time you’ve worked long enough, hard enough, Real Life (which insists on being capitalized as if it were a personage with a proper name and a right to barge into this rental unit called your life) begins to reveal itself as something other than effort, other than accomplishment. Real Life wishes to be left to its own purposeless devices. – Patricia Hampl

13. Slow and steady wins the race’ sounds good only in story books. In real life, aim to be the hare who does not stop to rest. – Ibn Jeem

14. Real life doesn’t always sound like it should. – Roshani Chokshi

15. There is a great deal of fantasy in real life and real in fantasy. – Donna Goddard

16. In real life we don’t know what’s going to happen next. So how can you be that way on a stage? Being alive to the possibility of not knowing exactly how everything is going to happen next – if you can find places to have that happen onstage, it can resonate with an experience of living. – Sam Shepard

17. The real life is not before you; the real life is not behind you; the real life, dear friend is where you are because where you are belongs to now, to this very moment and only this moment is real! – Mehmet Murat ildan

18. This is real life, Master Stephen. Happily ever after takes effort. – Julie Klassen

19. Real life, life finally uncovered and clarified, the only life in consequence lived to the full, is literature. Life in this sense dwells within all ordinary people as much as the artist. But they do not see it because they are not trying to shed light on it. – Marcel Proust

20. Fiction was fine, but real life was the true freak show. – Mary H.K. Choi

Real Life Quotes

21. For me, real life is hard work. Making movies is like a vacation for my soul. – Guillermo del Toro

22. I am completely fascinated by the differences and comparisons between real life and fairy tales because we’re raised as little girls to think that we’re a princess and that Prince Charming is going to sweep us off our feet. – Taylor Swift

23. The real enemies of our life are the ‘oughts’ and the ‘ifs.’ They pull us backward into the unalterable past and forward into the unpredictable future. But real life takes place in the here and now. – Henri Nouwen

24. Real life is messy, and drama is a shaped version of real life. – Simon Beaufoy

25. Often real life is boring and problematic. I love the edited version of it. – Terry Gross

26. What a wee little part of a person’s life are his acts and his words! His real life is led in his head, and is known to none but himself. – Mark Twain

27. In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be. – Hubert H. Humphrey

28. Man’s real life is happy, chiefly because he is ever expecting that it soon will be so. – Edgar Allan Poe

29. All I know is real life. I don’t know how to act. I don’t know how to pretend. – Sasha Lane

30. People love video games because they do things they obviously can’t do in real life. That’s especially true with sports games because fans love to step into the shoes of their favorite athletes. – Ralph H. Baer

31. You get annoyed about things in real life, and then the tragic thing is that while you are moaning on the awful injustice and suffering of something, something grimly comic will then strike you about it, like a parasite feeding off the misery of the world. – Stewart Lee

32. If you’re a cartoon character or most TV characters, sure, you’ll fight, because the punches are juicy-sounding and they don’t leave marks. But in real life, if somebody punches you in the eye, it doesn’t make any noise and your eye is swollen for, like, six months. It’s a nightmare to get punched in the eye. – Louis C. K.

33. If you look in real life, it is very hard to describe people as good people, bad people, heroes or villains. People aren’t bad people. They all have their justifications. – Lennie James

34. I paint mostly from real life. It has to start with that. Real people, real street scenes, behind the curtain scenes, live models, paintings, photographs, staged setups, architecture, grids, graphic design. Whatever it takes to make it work. – Bob Dylan

35. Here is a secret that no one has told you: Real life is junior high. – Tom Brokaw

36. I can’t remember any dreams in my life. There’s so much strange in real life that it often seems like a dream. – Tim Burton

37. I do some kind of work, whether writing or painting or recording, on a daily basis. And it’s so essential that when I’m involved in the actual process, my so-called ‘real life’ becomes almost incidental, which becomes worrying. – David Bowie

38. Being really likeable all the time is just not real life, so it’s your duty to make a well-rounded character. – Claire Foy

39. I don’t care what people think of me, unless they think I’m mean or something, but I don’t care if they think I’m like someone else because I know I’m not – I’m a total weirdo. I’m not selling a dream; I’m not selling fame like it is some sort of fantastic thing. I’m just trying to sell music and get on with my real life. – Sia

40. Real life is not like what you see on TV. – Bryant A. Loney

Real Life Quotes

41. Real life is the life that’s in you, not your circumstances, like where you live or what job you have or who you’re in relationship with. – Joyce Meyer

42. The drive toward Life is protective, thoughtful, vulnerable, and invested in immaculate love. It is this last that marks the difference between a wise heart muddy with real life experiences in the trenches and a dry heart that functions on rote concepts alone. – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

43. Truth be told, I hear stories every day that would make you say, ‘If you put that in a movie, you wouldn’t believe it.’ Real life really is kinda incredible; the stories from people’s actual lives defy credibility. People’s lives are messy, humans are messy, and they’re flawed. – Lynn Shelton

44. More than once, I’ve wished my real life had a delete key. – Harlan Coben

45. Coincidence is a recognized element in ‘real life.’ All of us have anecdotes about those times when, by the merest coincidence, we avoided some disaster or stumbled onto some wonderful experience. – Jane Lindskold

46. Stand firm in your refusal to remain conscious during algebra. In real life, I assure you, there is no such thing as algebra. – Fran Lebowitz

47. Pleasure has ever more been represented by poets and by painters as clothed in perpetual smiles and adorned with the richest jewels; and in real life, we have known many who, allured by her deceptions, blandishments, and hollow but showy temptations, have followed as she pointed until ruin has befallen them. – John Tyler

48. I think in real life most of us don’t know how to communicate our deepest feelings very well. – Linda Cardellini

49. The oldest theory of art belongs to the Greeks, who regarded art as an imitation (mimesis) of reality. The strength of that theory is that it explains the way in which art takes its materials from real life. – Leland Ryken

50. In real life, we do things out of character, constantly. A couple of days ago, my shoes were hurting, so I walked barefoot through New York. Someone who has known me my whole life would think that was so out of character. But I did it because of the circumstances. – Allison Williams

51. Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it. – Charles Swindoll

52. Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. – Forrest Gump

53. Get busy living or get busy dying. – Stephen King

54. Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of. – Benjamin Franklin

55. In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on. – Robert Frost

56. Life is trying things to see if they work. – Ray Bradbury

57. Keep smiling, because life is a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about. – Marilyn Monroe

58. In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love. – Mother Teresa

59. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. – Dr. Seuss

60. Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved. – D. H. Lawrence

61. You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated. – Maya Angelou

62. Life is a long lesson in humility. – James M. Barrie

63. Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not. – Oscar Wilde

64. Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be. – Grandma Moses

65. If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Real Life Quotes

66. Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. – Søren Kierkegaard

67. Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

68. Life is made of ever so many partings welded together. – Charles Dickens

69. Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. – John Lennon

70. Keep calm and carry on. – Winston Churchill

71. Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. – Martin Luther King Jr.

72. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. – Anaïs Nin

73. Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live. – Natalie Babbitt

74. Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. – Stephen Hawking

75. It was not the feeling of completeness I so needed, but the feeling of not being empty. – Jonathan Safran Foer

76. Don’t waste your time chasing butterflies. Mend your garden, and the butterflies will come. – Mario Quintana

77. Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got. – Janis Joplin

78. Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a ride!” – Hunter S. Thompson

79. If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. – Jim Rohn

80. One’s real life is so often the life that one does not lead. – Oscar Wilde

Real Life Quotes

81. A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. – George Bernard Shaw

82. Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot. – Charlie Chaplin

83. The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases. – Carl Jung

84. Maturing is realizing how many things don’t require your comment. – Rachel Wolchin

85. We ask 18-year-olds to make huge decisions about their career and financial future, when a month ago they had to ask to go to the bathroom. – Adam Kotsko

86. No man is a failure who is enjoying life. – William Feather

87. Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you’re a good person is like expecting a bull not to attack you because you’re a vegetarian. – Dennis Wholey

88. Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. – Helen Keller

89. Growth begins when we start to accept our own weakness. – Jean Vanier

90. Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness. – Deborah Day

91. The individual is reminded that in him, no less than in the Archetypal Universe, real life must be born if real life is to be lived. – Evelyn Underhill

92. Happy Endings are an illusion. Real life is filled with brief moments of fleeting happiness, but ultimately every life is a tragedy that ends in death and grief. – Oliver Gaspirtz

93. In real life, you don’t get a reset, and you don’t get extra lives, and I got the crap pounded out of me. – Rachel Caine

94. The filmmaking process taught me that I need to be authentic—in my scripts and in real life. – John Grooters

95. The real world reveals itself like surprise gifts on our doorstep, special moments that seem above and beyond the reality of others. These times are full, beautiful and meaningful beyond words, even when wrapped in pain. – Christopher Hawke

96. Real life is not quite as it is in stories. In the old tales, bad things happen, and when the tale has unfolded and come to its triumphant conclusion, it is as if the bad things had never been. Life is not as simple as that, not quite. – Juliet Marillier

Real Life Quotes

97. “You learn to get by from day to day,” Sam Regan said sympathetically to him. “You never think in longer terms. Just until dinner or until time for bed; very finite intervals and tasks and pleasures. Escapes.” – Philip K. Dick

98. Dreams are different than real life but important too. – Audrey Niffenegger

99. However, at fourteen years old, she didn’t understand that all those terrible troubles the heroines in her books went through in real life hurt. That the words were just words on a page, but in real life, the pain was immense. Trials and tribulations to prove your love were exactly that, trials and tribulations. – Kristen Ashley

100. Real life is messy and hard and never turns out like I’ve imagined. Usually it’s better. So, I try not to dream but rather to pray. If there is one thing I know, it’s that I have no clue what I want. I’m fickle. I’m picky. And I’m scared of a lot of things. Especially commitment. – Katie Kiesler

101. In the morning you beg to sleep more, in the afternoon you are dying to sleep, and at night you refuse to sleep. – Anonymous

102. You come into the world with nothing, and the purpose of your life is to make something out of nothing. – Henry Louis Mencken

103. Son, if you really want something in this life, you have to work for it. Now quiet! They’re about to announce the lottery numbers. – Simpsons

104. Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got. – Art Buchwald

105. Sometimes you succeed…. and other times you learn. – Robert Kiyosaki

106. Learn from the mistakes of others, you can never live long enough to make them all yourself. – Groucho Marx

107. It can make life much easier to be able to learn from people who have already mastered what you want to learn. – Rachel Rofe

108. Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. – Bill Gates

109. The feelings we live through in love and in loneliness are simply, for us, what high tide and low tide are to the sea. – Kahlil Gibran

110. Life is a learning process, and you have the opportunity to make a change right here and now. – Lori Hill

111. Life is defined more by its risks than by its samenesses. – Mary Anne Radmacher

112. Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce. – Vivian Komori

113. If the truth be told, small amounts of stress are actually helpful in our everyday life. – Robert Gallagher

114. Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else. – Les Brown

115. Heroes in real life don’t wear masks and capes. Sometimes they don’t stand out at all. But real heroes can save a life – or many lives – just by answering the call in their heart. – Victoria Arlen

Real Life Quotes

116. Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well. – Jack London

117. Life is like a riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. – Albert Einstein

118. Embrace your struggles. They are making you the person you were meant to be. – Avijeet Das

119. Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody. – Stephen Chbosky

120. Do what is right, not what is easy nor what is popular. – Roy. T. Bennett

121. At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanation, no regrets. – Steve Maraboli

122. The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

123. In my real life, I see people who are really enjoying their lives – I mean, really enjoying their lives – and they take joy in their daily obligations; they just do. And I believe that at a certain point, you’ve got to choose to be that way. You choose to approach your life that way. Or it’s all kind of a drag until Friday. – Holly Hunter

124. In real life, the most important decision you ever make is, where does reality leave off and make-believe begin? If you make a mistake about that, you’re dead. You know, you’re out on the street corner. You think there’s no bus coming. You step out, you’re dead. – Teller

125. In real life, people are integrated into society. That’s what happens in my books as well. Minor characters don’t just walk in and spout lines, they interact and have an effect on the events. It’s not an isolated universe. – Stieg Larsson

126. When you don’t get what you want, it just makes you accept real life. – Bai Ling

127. The unformed is not worse than the over-formed. The former is nothing; the latter is mere appearance. Real form presupposes real life. – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

128. For work, I wear art; in real life, I wear clothes. – Meghan Markle

129. I think school is so much harder than real life. People are so much more accepting when they are adults. – Natalie Portman

130. If you are watching a fairy tale, that’s why you go to fairy tales: you want these uncomplicated stories and uncomplicated characters. But if it’s meant to be real life, you want there to be some reflection of your experience and have something you can hook into. – Clare-Hope Ashitey

131. You know what’s better than building things up in your imagination? Building things up in real life. – Ryan Holiday

132. I mean, I find things that happened in real life to be the funniest – things that you observe instead of crazy abstract things, you know. – Jonah Hill

133. Being irrational and out of control is what happens in real life. Not cautiously choreographing your anger or your emotions, losing yourself in them is what happens in real life. – Margot Robbie

134. Transformation in real life is extraordinarily incremental, and that’s all I’m going to say. – Jillian Michaels

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