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Quotations about Experience



Quotations about Experience


Learn all you can from the mistakes of others.  You won’t have time to make them all yourself.  ~Alfred Sheinwold

Experience is not what happens to a man.  It is what a man does with what happens to him.  ~Aldous Leonard Huxley, Texts and Pretexts, 1932

Experience is a comb which nature gives us when we are bald.  ~Proverb

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.  ~Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it – and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid.  She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again – and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.  ~Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar, Following the Equator, 1897

The trouble with using experience as a guide is that the final exam often comes first and then the lesson.  ~Author Unknown

No physician is really good before he has killed one or two patients.  ~Hindu Proverb

Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.  ~Auguste Rodin

God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars.  ~Elbert Hubbard

Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes along.  ~Samuel Butler, “Speech at the Somerville Club,” 27 February 1895

Experience is what you got by not having it when you need it.  ~Author Unknown

Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.  ~Rita Mae Brown

If experience was so important, we’d never have had anyone walk on the moon.  ~Doug Rader

Axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proved upon our pulses:  We read fine things but never feel them to the full until we have gone the same steps as the Author.  ~John Keats

If you want to understand democracy, spend less time in the library with Plato, and more time in the buses with people.  ~Simeon Strunsky

You cannot help but learn more as you take the world into your hands.  Take it up reverently, for it is an old piece of clay, with millions of thumbprints on it.  ~John Updike

Experience is the name everyone gives to his mistakes.  ~Oscar Wilde, Lady Windemere’s Fan, 1896

Do you know the difference between education and experience?  Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t.  ~Pete Seeger

Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.  ~Soren Kierkegaard

Looking back, you realize that everything would have explained itself if you had only stopped interrupting.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.  ~Mark Twain


Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.  ~Chinese Proverb

Experience makes more timid men than it does wise ones.  ~Josh Billings

Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows.  ~David T. Wolf

A happy childhood is poor preparation for human contacts.  ~Colette

Many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl.  ~Stephen Leacock, Literary Lapses, 1910

Experience is what causes a person to make new mistakes instead of old ones.  ~Author Unknown

The problem is that when you get it, you’re too damned old to do anything about it.  ~Jimmy Connors, on experience

In youth we learn; in age we understand.  ~Marie Ebner-Eschenbach

A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.  ~Herb Caen

Wisdom before experience is only words; wisdom after experience is of no avail.  ~Mark van Doren

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.  ~John Gardner

Life, not the parson, teaches conduct.  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

I learned more about economics from one South Dakota dust storm than I did in all my years in college.  ~Hubert Humphrey, speech, 1960

The experience I gained at age 21 would be useful if I were ever 21 again. But I’m 71 and new at it and keep making age 71 mistakes.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

All that I know I learned after I was thirty.  ~Georges Clemenceau

There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience.  ~Laurence J. Peter

You couldn’t get hold of the things you’d done and turn them right again.  Such a power might be given to the gods, but it was not given to women and men, and that was probably a good thing.  Had it been otherwise, people would probably die of old age still trying to rewrite their teens.  ~Stephen King, The Stand

The road to wisdom?
– Well, it’s plain
and simple to express:
and err
and err again
but less
and less
and less.
~Piet Hein, “The Road to Wisdom,” Grooks, 1966

We have two lives – the one we learn with and the life we live after that.  ~Bernard Malamud, The Natural

The world is your school.  ~Martin H. Fischer

We receive three educations, one from our parents, one from our schoolmasters, and one from the world.  The third contradicts all that the first two teach us.  ~Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu

Anything we tell our kids about life is a placemarker until they figure it out for themselves.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

If we could sell our experiences for what they cost us, we’d all be millionaires.  ~Abigail Van Buren

Information’s pretty thin stuff unless mixed with experience.  ~Clarence Day, The Crow’s Nest

Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again.  ~Andre Gide, Le traite du Narcisse, 1891


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