110+ Alain de Botton Quotes On Marriage, Success And Work

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Top 10 Alain De Botton Quotes (BEST)

  1. You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days.
  2. Do you love me enough that I may be weak with you? Everyone loves strength, but do you love me for my weakness? That is the real test.
  3. The challenge for a human now is to be more interesting to another than his or her smartphone.
  4. There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.
  5. Intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone - and finding that that's ok with them.
  6. One of the better guarantors of ending up in a good relationship: an advanced capacity to be alone.
  7. To one's enemies: "I hate myself more than you ever could.
  8. Forgiveness requires a sense that bad behaviour is a sign of suffering rather than malice.
  9. A good half of the art of living is resilience.
  10. Socrates, on being insulted in the marketplace, asked by a passerby, "Don't you worry about being called names?" retorted, "Why? Do you think I should resent it if an ass had kicked me?

Alain De Botton Short Quotes

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  • The difference between hope and despair is a different way of telling stories from the same facts.
  • Being content is perhaps no less easy than playing the violin well: and requires no less practice.
  • As adults, we try to develop the character traits that would have rescued our parents.
  • Mental health: having enough safe places in your mind for your thoughts to settle.
  • There's a whole category of people who miss out by not allowing themselves to be weird enough.
  • The blunt large questions become connected to smaller, apparently esoteric ones.
  • The good parent: someone who doesn't mind, for a time, being hated by their children.
  • Intuition is unconscious accumulated experience informing judgement in real time.
  • Most of what makes a book 'good' is that we are reading it at the right moment for us.
  • Let death find us as we are building up our matchstick protests against its waves.

Alain de Botton Quotes On Love

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We often lose our tempers not with those who are actually to blame; just with those who love us enough to forgive us our foul moods. — Alain de Botton

We need objects to remind us of the commitments we've made. That carpet from Morocco reminds us of the impulsive, freedom-loving side of ourselves we're in danger of losing touch with. Beautiful furniture gives us something to live up to. All designed objects are propaganda for a way of life. — Alain de Botton

Our capacity to draw happiness from aesthetic objects or material goods in fact seems critically dependent on our first satisfying a more important range of emotional or psychological needs, among them the need for understanding, for love, expression and respect. — Alain de Botton

Although I don't believe in God, Bach's music shows me what a love of God must feel like. — Alain de Botton

Must being in love always mean being in pain? — Alain de Botton

True love is a lack of desire to check one's smartphone in another's presence. — Alain de Botton

I'm also interested in the modern suggestion that you can have a combination of love and sex in a marriage - which no previous society has ever believed. — Alain de Botton

Love is an incurable disease. In love, there is permanent suffering. Those who love and those who are happy are not the same. — Alain de Botton

I was uncomfortable writing fiction. My love was the personal essay, rather than the novel. — Alain de Botton

It's hard loving those who don't much like themselves: "If you're so great, why would you think I'm so great. — Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton Quotes On Life

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Feeling lost, crazy and desperate belongs to a good life as much as optimism, certainty and reason. — Alain de Botton

A snob is anybody who takes a small part of you and uses that to come to a complete vision of who you are. — Alain de Botton

A virtuous, ordinary life, striving for wisdom but never far from folly, is achievement enough. — Alain de Botton

The longing for a destiny is no nowhere stronger than in our romantic life. All too often forced to share our bed with those who cannot fathom our soul, can we not be forgiven if we believe ourselves fated to stumble one day upon the man or woman of our dreams. — Alain de Botton

Pick up any newspaper or magazine, open the TV, and you'll be bombarded with suggestions of how to have a successful life. Some of these suggestions are deeply unhelpful to our own projects and priorities - and we should take care. — Alain de Botton

The inability to live in the present lies in the fear of leaving the sheltered position of anticipation or memory, and so of admitting that this is the only life that one is ever likely (heavenly intervention aside) to live. — Alain de Botton

Why does that sense of mystery, that sense of the dizzying scale of the universe, need to be accompanied by a mystical feeling? — Alain de Botton

Rage is caused by a conviction, almost comic in its optimistic origins (however tragic in its effects), that a given frustration has not been written into the contract of life. — Alain de Botton

In the works of Lucretius, we find two reasons why we shouldn't worry about death. If you have had a successful life, Lucretius tell us, there's no reason to mind its end. And, if you haven't had a good time, "Why do you seek to add more years, which would also pass but ill?" — Alain de Botton

It is not just nature that defies us. Human life is as overwhelming... If we spend time in it [the vast spaces of nature], they may help us to accept more graciously the great, unfathomable events that molest our lives and will inevitably return us to dust. — Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton Quotes On Success

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We envy only those whom we feel ourselves to be like; we envy only members of our reference group. There are few successes more unendurable than those of our close friends. — Alain de Botton

It's perhaps easier now than ever before to make a good living; it's perhaps harder than ever before to stay calm, to be free of career anxiety. — Alain de Botton

If one felt successful, there'd be so little incentive to be successful. — Alain de Botton

The problem is if you really believe in a society where those who merit to get to the top, get to the top, you'll also, by implication ... believe in a society where those who deserve to get to the bottom also get to the bottom and stay there. — Alain de Botton

One of the unexpectedly important things that art can do for us is to teach us how to suffer more successfully. — Alain de Botton

I passionately believe that's it's not just what you say that counts, it's also how you say it - that the success of your argument critically depends on your manner of presenting it. — Alain de Botton

A successful work will draw out the features capable of exciting a sense of beauty and interest in the spectator. — Alain de Botton

The most unbearable thing about many successful people is not - as we flatteringly think - how lazy they are, but how hard they work. — Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton Quotes On Work

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Work finally begins when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly. — Alain de Botton

I am conscious of trying to stretch the boundaries of non-fiction writing. It's always surprised me how little attention many non-fiction writers pay to the formal aspects of their work. — Alain de Botton

In the works of Lucretius, we find two reasons why we shouldn — Alain de Botton

If we are inclined to forget how much there is in the world besides that which we anticipate, then works of art are perhaps a little to blame, for in them we find at work the same process of simplification or selection as in the imagination. — Alain de Botton

It would scarcely be acceptable, for example, to ask in the course of an ordinary conversation what our society holds to be the purpose of work. — Alain de Botton

When work is not going well, it's useful to remember that our identities stretch beyond what is on the business card, that we were people long before we became workers - and will continue to be human once we have put our tools down forever. — Alain de Botton

Work is most fulfilling when you're at the comfortable, exciting edge of not quite knowing what you are doing. — Alain de Botton

People who readily accept the need for a gym will resist that their personalities might need some work too. — Alain de Botton

In Britain, because I live here, I can also run into problems of envy and competition. But all this is just in a day's work for a writer. You can't put stuff out there without someone calling you a complete fool. Oh, well. — Alain de Botton

You need a long hard day's work to reveal the logic of the craving for very bad tv and alcohol. — Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton Quotes On Religion

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The secular world is full of holes. We have secularized badly. — Alain de Botton

The universe is large and we are tiny, without the need for further religious superstructure. One can have so-called spiritual moments without belief in the spirit. — Alain de Botton

We may not agree with what religions are trying to teach us, but we can admire the institutional way in which they're doing it. — Alain de Botton

It is no coincidence that the Western attraction to sublime landscapes developed at precisely the moment when traditional beliefs in God began to wane. — Alain de Botton

As an atheist, I think there are lots of things religions get up to which are of value to non-believers - and one of those things is trying to be a bit better than we normally manage to be. — Alain de Botton

Social media has lots of benefits, but compared to Christianity, it tends to group people by interests. Religion puts you with people who have nothing in common except that you're human. — Alain de Botton

It's as though either you accept [religious] doctrine and then you can have all the nice stuff, or you reject the doctrine and you're living in some kind of spiritual wasteland under the guidance of CNN and Walmart. — Alain de Botton

In a secularising world, art has replaced religion as a touchstone of our reverence and devotion. — Alain de Botton

Religions are so subtle, so complicated, so intelligent in many ways that they're not fit to be abandoned to the religious alone; they're for all of us. — Alain de Botton

The genius of religions is that they structure the inner life. — Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton Famous Quotes And Sayings

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Sweetness is the opposite of machismo, which is everywhere-and I really don't get on with machismo. I'm interested in sensitivity, and weakness, and fear, and anxiety, because I think that, at the end of the day, behind our masks, that's what we are. — Alain de Botton

The happiness that may emerge from taking a second look is central to Proust's therapeutic conception. It reveals the extent to which our dissatisfactions may be the result of failing to look properly at our lives rather than the result of anything inherently deficient about them. — Alain de Botton

The largest part of what we call 'personality' is determined by how we've opted to defend ourselves against anxiety and sadness". — Alain de Botton

Most of us still caged within careers chosen for us by our not entirely worldly 18-22 year old selves. — Alain de Botton

When you look at the Moon, you think, 'I'm really small. What are my problems?' It sets things into perspective. We should all look at the Moon a bit more often. — Alain de Botton

Most anger stems from feelings of weakness, sadness and fear: hard to remember when one is at the receiving end of its defiant roar. — Alain de Botton

Most of our childhood is stored not in photos, but in certain biscuits, lights of day, smells, textures of carpet. — Alain de Botton

The more familiar two people become, the more the language they speak together departs from that of the ordinary, dictionary-defined discourse. Familiarity creates a new language, an in-house language of intimacy that carries reference to the story the two lovers are weaving together and that cannot be readily understood by others. — Alain de Botton

Maturity: knowing where you're crazy, trying to warn others of the fact and striving to keep yourself under control. — Alain de Botton

Literature deserves its prestige for one reason above all others - because it's a tool to help us live and die with a little bit more wisdom, goodness, and sanity. — Alain de Botton

The true nature of bureaucracy may be nowhere more obvious to the observer than in a developing country, for only there will it still be made manifest by the full complement of documents, files, veneered desks and cabinets - which convey the strict and inverse relationship between productivity and paperwork. — Alain de Botton

Paying tax should be framed as a glorious civic duty worthy of gratitude - not a punishment for making money. — Alain de Botton

The Arab-Israeli conflict is also in many ways a conflict about status: it's a war between two peoples who feel deeply humiliated by the other, who want the other to respect them. Battles over status can be even more intractable than those over land or water or oil. — Alain de Botton

Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by the company we keep, for we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others. — Alain de Botton

Arguments are like eels: however logical, they may slip from the minds weak grasp unless fixed there by imagery and style. — Alain de Botton

There is real danger of a disconnect between what's on your business card and who you are deep inside, and it's not a disconnect that the world is ready to be patient with. — Alain de Botton

It's clear to me that there is no good reason for many philosophy books to sound as complicated as they do. — Alain de Botton

Literature deeply stands opposed to the dominant value system-the one that rewards money and power. Writers are on the other side-they make us sympathetic to ideas and feelings that are of deep importance but can’t afford airtime in a commercialized, status-consciou s, and cynical world. — Alain de Botton

Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than moving planes, ships or trains. — Alain de Botton

Never too late to learn some embarrassingly basic, stupidly obvious things about oneself. — Alain de Botton

Reputation matters so much only because people so seldom think for themselves. — Alain de Botton

Once I began to consider everything as being of potential interest, objects released latent layers of value. — Alain de Botton

The real issue is not whether baking biscuits is meaningful, but the extent to which the activity can seem to be so after it has been continuously stretched and subdivided across five thousand lives. — Alain de Botton

We need a home in the psychological sense as much as we need one in the physical: to compensate for a vulnerability. We need a refuge to shore up our states of mind, because so much of the world is opposed to our allegiances. We need our rooms to align us to desirable versions of ourselves and to keep alive the important, evanescent sides of us. — Alain de Botton

One of the best protections against disappointment is to have a lot going on. — Alain de Botton

Our disrespect for thinking: someone sitting in a chair, gazing out of a window blankly, always described as 'doing nothing'. — Alain de Botton

Our homes do not have to offer us permanent occupancy or store our clothes to merit the name. To speak of home in relation to a building is simply to recognise its harmony with our own prized internal song. Home can be an airport or a library, a garden or a motorway diner. — Alain de Botton

Without sex, we would be dangerously invulnerable. We might believe we were not ridiculous. We wouldn't know rejection and humiliation so intimately. — Alain de Botton

There may be significant things to learn about people by looking at what annoys them most. — Alain de Botton

Status anxiety definitely exists at a political level. Many Iraqis were annoyed with the US essentially for reasons of status: for not showing them respect, for humiliating them. — Alain de Botton

A notorious inability to express emotions makes human beings the only animals capable of suicide. — Alain de Botton

One's doing well if age improves even slightly one's capacity to hold on to that vital truism: "This too shall pass. — Alain de Botton

There is psychological pleasure in this takeoff, too, for the swiftness of the plane’s ascent is an exemplary symbol of transformation. The display of power can inspire us to imagine analogous, decisive shifts in our own lives, to imagine that we, too, might one day surge above much that now looms over us.” P. 38-39 — Alain de Botton

It would be foolish to describe the logistics hub as merely ugly, for it has the horrifying, soulless, immaculate beauty characteristic of many of the workplaces of the modern world. — Alain de Botton

Serious journalists often imagine society is adrift because people don't know certain things. Yet often, they know but just don't care. So the task of serious journalism isn't just to lay out truths. It is to make vital truths compelling to a big audience. — Alain de Botton

Newspapers are being read all around. The point is not, of course, to glean new information, but rather to coax the mind out of its sleep-induced introspective temper. — Alain de Botton

The company of certain people may excite our generosity and sensitivity, while that of others awakens our competitiveness and envy. — Alain de Botton

Insomnia is a glamorous term for thoughts you forgot to have in the day. — Alain de Botton

Only by declaring a book completely finished can one start to see how much remains to be done on it. — Alain de Botton

There is always the option of being emotionally lazy, that is, of quoting. — Alain de Botton

I thought about societies where exceptional fortunes are built up in industries with very little connection to out sincere and significant needs, industries where it is difficult to escape from the disparity between a seriousness of means and a triviality of ends. — Alain de Botton

Philosophy had supplied Socrates with convictions in which he had been able to have rational, as opposed to hysterical, confidence when faced with disapproval. — Alain de Botton

The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to. — Alain de Botton

Curiosity might be pictured as being made up of chains of small questions extending outwards, sometimes over huge distances, from a central hub composed of a few blunt, large questions. — Alain de Botton

We are certainly influenced by role models, and if we are surrounded by images of beautiful rich people, we will start to think that to be beautiful and rich is very important - just as in the Middle Ages, people were surrounded by images of religious piety. — Alain de Botton

Those who divorce aren't necessarily the most unhappy, just those neatly able to believe their misery is caused by one other person. — Alain de Botton

Memory is... similar to anticipation: an instrument of simplification and selection. — Alain de Botton

Rather than employing it as a supplement to active, conscious seeing, they used the medium as a substitute, paying less attention to the world than they had done previously, taking it on faith that photography automatically assured them possession of it. — Alain de Botton

Art cannot single-handedly create enthusiasm... it merely contributes to enthusiasm and guides us to be more conscious of feelings that we might previously have experienced only tentatively or hurriedly. — Alain de Botton

Our bodies hold our minds hostage to their whims and rhythms. — Alain de Botton

Every realistic picture represents a choice as to which features of reality should be given prominence; no painting ever captures the whole. — Alain de Botton

The activities of drawing, eating and drinking, all involve assimilations by the self of desirable elements from the world, a transfer of goodness from without to within. — Alain de Botton

It is perhaps sad books that best console us when we are sad. — Alain de Botton

Artistic accounts involve severe abbreviations of what reality will force upon us. — Alain de Botton

Writing isn’t a career choice. It’s self-medication that over time precipitates the madness it was meant to ward off. — Alain de Botton

Taking photographs can assuage the itch for possession sparked by the beauty of a place; our anxiety over losing a precious scene can decline with every click of the shutter. — Alain de Botton

Good books put a finger on emotions that are deeply our own - but that we could never have described on our own. — Alain de Botton

The fear of saying something stupid (which stupid people never have) has censored far more good ideas than bad ones. — Alain de Botton

Bad art might be defined as a series of bad choices about what to show and what to leave out. — Alain de Botton

There are selections so acute that they come to define a place, with the result that we can no longer travel through that landscape without being reminded of what a great artist noticed there. — Alain de Botton

When Proust urges us to evaluate the world properly, he repeatedly reminds us of the value of modest scenes. — Alain de Botton

The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do; the task can be as paralysing as having to tell a joke or mimic an accent on demand. — Alain de Botton

At the beginning of human history, as we struggled to light fires and to chisel fallen trees into rudimentary canoes, who could have predicted that long after we had managed to send men to the moon and areoplanes to Australasia, we would still have such trouble knowing how to tolerate ourselves, forgive our loved ones, and apologise for our tantrums? — Alain de Botton

to design means forcing ourselves to unlearn what we believe we already know, patiently to take apart the mechanisms behind our reflexes and to acknowledge the mystery and stupefying complexity of everyday gestures like switching off a light of turning on a tap — Alain de Botton

The finest proof of our loyalty toward one another was our monstrous disloyalties towards everyone else. — Alain de Botton

He did not mean to depress us, rather to free us from expectations which inspire bitterness. It is consoling, when love has let us down, to hear that happiness was never part of the plan. — Alain de Botton

In the gap between who we wish one day to be and who we are at present, must come pain, anxiety, envy and humiliation. — Alain de Botton

The telephone becomes an instrument of torture in the demonic hands of a beloved who doesn't call. — Alain de Botton

Kant and Hegel are interesting thinkers. But I am happy to insist that they are also terrible writers. — Alain de Botton

Life Lessons by Alain de Botton

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  1. Alain de Botton emphasizes the importance of self-reflection and understanding our own emotions in order to make meaningful connections with others.
  2. He encourages us to accept our imperfections and to be kind to ourselves, so that we can lead more fulfilling lives.
  3. He also encourages us to be mindful of our relationships, and to seek out meaningful conversations and activities that bring us joy.

In Conclusion

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