99 Short proverbs about life (you’ll just love No 54)

Short-proverbs-about-lifeTravel around the world and you’ll hear so many insightful, short proverbs about life and how best to deal with it.

Now I believe that the best education you can have is at the University of Life.

In my time at the University of Life, I’ve travelled to over 70 countries and I now have several journals of proverbs from around the world that I’ve collected along the way.

So, today I’ve put together another batch of those short proverbs about life that really appeal to me.

And in the era of COVID, in particular, No 54 definitely resonated with me.

So take a few minutes to reflect on them all and then see how many of these little bite-sized pieces of wisdom you can work into your day.

Short proverbs about life (1-20):

  1. Even silence speaks. ~Hausa Proverb
  2. A stumble is not a fall. ~Haitian Proverb
  3. As you teach you learn. ~Jewish Proverb
  4. Need is a bad negotiator. ~Icelandic Proverb
  5. Blame is a lazy man’s wages. ~Danish Proverb
  6. The bitter heart eats its owner. ~Bantu Proverb
  7. Mewing cats catch no mice. ~Georgian Proverb
  8. Nothing is easy to the unwilling. ~Gaelic Proverb
  9. All married women or not wives. ~Japanese Proverb
  10. A big chair does not make a king. ~Sudanese Proverb
  11. No road is long with good company. ~Turkish Proverb
  12. Prepare your proof before you argue. ~Jewish Proverb
  13. When deeds speak words are nothing. ~African Proverb
  14. Ask for advice then use your head. ~Norwegian Proverb
  15. Evil thoughts often come from idleness. ~Gaelic Proverb
  16. Fear an ignorant man more than a lion. ~Kurdish Proverb
  17. It’s easier to give orders than to work. ~Lithuanian Proverb
  18. A bad workman always blames his tools. ~Traditional Proverb
  19. Always tell the truth in the form of a joke. ~Armenian Proverb
  20. The noisiest drum has nothing but air inside. ~Filipino Proverb

Short proverbs about life (21-40):

  1. A disease known is half cured. ~Irish Proverb
  2. A contented man is always rich. ~Latin Proverb
  3. Locks keep out only the honest. ~Jewish Proverb
  4. Useful trees are cut down first. ~ Korean Proverb
  5. Gold glitters even in the mud. ~Lithuanian Proverb
  6. A dog with a bone knows no friend. ~Dutch Proverb
  7. As he thinks in his heart, so he is. ~Jewish Proverb
  8. A man dies when he stops working. ~Hebrew Proverb
  9. Promised berries will not fill the basket. ~Latvian Proverb
  10. He who puts up with insult invites injury. ~Jewish Proverb
  11. The wise man will be cheated only once. ~Finnish Proverb
  12. Examine what’s said not who is speaking. ~African Proverb
  13. A man is known by the company he keeps. ~Gaelic Proverb
  14. Put off for one day and ten days will pass. ~Korean Proverb
  15. For every wise man there’s one still wiser. ~Kurdish Proverb
  16. Bad is called good when worse happens. ~Norwegian Proverb
  17. If you can’t use your eyes, follow your nose. ~Latvian Proverb
  18. People show their character by what they laugh at. ~German Proverb
  19. Don’t insult the alligator until you’ve crossed the river. ~Haitian Proverb
  20. Calm water does not mean there are no crocodiles. ~Indonesian Proverb

Short proverbs about life (41-60):

  1. A fish gets bigger when it gets away. ~Japanese Proverb
  2. You cannot strike a face that is smiling. ~Korean Proverb
  3. The wise man will be cheated only once. ~Finnish Proverb
  4. He who knows nothing doubts nothing. ~Brazilian Proverb
  5. Five fingers are brothers, but not equals. ~Afghan Proverb
  6. Against stupidity, God himself is helpless. ~Jewish Proverb
  7. A kind word never broke anyone’s mouth. ~Irish Proverb
  8. Use your enemy’s hand to catch a snake. ~Persian Proverb
  9. Nothing is difficult if you’re used to it. ~Indonesian proverb
  10. Make a friend when you don’t need one. ~Jamaican Proverb
  11. Who finds a faithful friend finds a treasure. ~Jewish Proverb
  12. By getting angry, you show you’re wrong. ~Malagasy Proverb
  13. Eggs have no business dancing with stones. ~Haitian Proverb
  14. Do it today. Tomorrow it might be forbidden. ~Finnish Proverb
  15. A man grows most tired while standing still. ~Chinese Proverb
  16. Loose tongues are worse than wicked hands. ~Jewish Proverb
  17. Boil the water and the scum will rise to the top. ~Berber Proverb
  18. You can’t take the milk back from the coffee. ~Jamaican Proverb
  19. No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen. ~Jewish Proverb
  20. A mother understands what a child does not say. ~Jewish Proverb

Short proverbs about life (61-80):

  1. Don’t open a shop unless you know how to smile. ~Jewish Proverb
  2. If you’re not going to bite, don’t show your teeth. ~Ivorian Proverb
  3. Listen with one ear, be suspicious with the other. ~Laotian Proverb
  4. Bargain like a gypsy but pay like a gentleman. ~Hungarian Proverb
  5. A dog that barks all the time gets no attention. ~Argentine Proverb
  6. To a starving man, bread is sweeter than honey. ~Lithuanian Proverb
  7. Never beat a snake when you haven’t seen its head. ~Swazi Proverb
  8. The only truly dead are those who’ve been forgotten. ~Jewish Proverb
  9. Give a blind man eyes and he will ask for eyebrows. ~Georgian Proverb
  10. Don’t insult the alligator until you’ve crossed the river. ~Haitian Proverb
  11. Lower your voice and strengthen your argument. ~Lebanese Proverb
  12. Those who can’t dance say the music is no good. ~Jamaican Proverb
  13. A bad word whispered will echo one hundred miles. ~Chinese Proverb
  14. A fool and water will go the way they are directed. ~Ethiopian Proverb
  15. When a habit begins to cost money, it’s called a hobby. ~Jewish Proverb
  16. Only your friends will tell you when your face is dirty. ~Burmese Proverb
  17. He that is unkind to his own will not be kind to others. ~Galician Proverb
  18. A closed mouth and open eyes never did anyone harm. ~German Proverb
  19. The Sun does not forget a village just because it is small. ~African Proverb
  20. The good fellow to everyone is a good friend to know one. ~Jewish Proverb

Short proverbs about life (81-99):

  1. A good conversation is better than a good bed. ~Ethiopian proverb
  2. Romance without finance doesn’t stand a chance. African-American Proverb
  3. Be happy while you’re living for you’re a long time dead. ~Scottish Proverb
  4. A joke is often the hole through which the truth whistles. ~Japanese Proverb
  5. The coroner and the lawyer grow fat on the quarrels of fools. ~Gaelic Proverb
  6. Keep your eye on girls that don’t tell the mothers everything. ~Luxembourg Proverb.
  7. Never wrestle with a strong man, not bring a rich man to court. ~Latvian Proverb
  8. Don’t be so much in love that you can’t tell when it’s raining. ~Malagasy Proverb
  9. If there were no fools, how would we recognise the wise? ~Norwegian Proverb
  10. Offer the lazy man an egg and he’ll want you to peel it for him. ~Lithuanian Proverb
  11. A chameleon does not leave one tree until he’s sure of another. ~Arab Proverb
  12. What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your tongue. ~Jewish Proverb
  13. Even a fish wouldn’t get into trouble if it kept its mouth shut. ~Korean Proverb
  14. Consider the fact seven times before you suspect someone. ~Japanese Proverb
  15. Be sure that the candle is lit before you throw away the match. ~Creole Proverb
  16. Cold tea and cold rice are bearable, but cold looks and cold words are not. ~Japanese Proverb
  17. Offer the lazy man an egg and he will want you to peel it for him. ~Lithuanian Proverb
  18. If the rich could hire someone else to die, the poor would make a wonderful living. ~Jewish Proverb
  19. Better to have a thousand enemies outside the house than to have one single enemy inside it. ~Lebanese Proverb

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21 Wise sayings and quotes guaranteed to make you think

21-Wise-sayings-and-quotesIf you’re looking for some wise sayings and quotes, dear reader, then here are 21 excellent proverbs from around the world guaranteed to make you think.

Proverbs hold the wisdom of the ancients. They are filled with the hard-bitten experience of people who’ve endured the toughest lives and yet have managed to find a way to live life regardless.

So, take a few moments to reflect on these wise sayings and quotes and see how many of them you can work into your day, as you offer the benefit of your experience to others.

And don’t forget, please feel free to share them.

Wise sayings and quotes:

  1. Luck helps the audacious. ~German Proverb
  2. Gold, when beaten, shines. ~Peruvian Proverb
  3. Smoke never rises without fire. ~Haitian Proverb
  4. A tree doesn’t fall with one blow. ~Yiddish Proverb
  5. Every truth is not good to be told. ~Italian Proverb
  6. Examine what is said, not who is speaking. ~African Proverb
  7. Money is a good servant, but a bad master. ~French Proverb
  8. Worry gives a small thing a great shadow. ~Swedish Proverb
  9. There is no King who is not gossiped about. ~African Proverb
  10. Better an honest enemy than a false friend. ~German Proverb
  11. Cast no dirt into the well that gives you water. ~Korean Proverb
  12. The moon does not care if the dog barks at it. ~Czech Proverb
  13. The goat’s business is not the sheep’s business. ~Haitian Proverb
  14. If there’s a way into the wood, there’s also a way out. ~Irish Proverb
  15. If you believe everything you read, better not read. ~Japanese Proverb
  16. Don’t insult the alligator until you’ve crossed the river. ~Haitian Proverb
  17. You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind. ~Irish Proverb
  18. When you shoot an arrow of truth, dip its point in honey. ~Saudi Proverb
  19. When you go to a donkey’s house, don’t talk about ears. ~Jamaican Proverb
  20. A new broom sweeps clean but an old broom knows the corners. ~Irish Proverb
  21. Better to have one thousand enemies outside the house, than one single enemy inside it. ~Lebanese Proverb

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55 African proverbs reflecting the wisdom of the ancients

55 African ProverbsThere’s a world of wisdom reflected in all those common sayings we tend to take for granted. Take a look around the world and it’s not hard to find wisdom wherever you go. So today I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some African proverbs.

I’ve curated 55 proverbs credited with originating from various parts of Africa and I thought many of them were truly inspirational.

Take a look at them all and see what you think. See how many of them you can work into your conversations with people over the next few days.

African Proverbs (1-20):

  1. He who learns teaches.
  2. A tree is known for its fruit.
  3. A man’s ruin lies in his tongue.
  4. It’s not work that kills but worry.
  5. A thief does not like to be robbed.
  6. Rising early makes the road short.
  7. Hold a true friend with both hands.
  8. Seeing is different from being told.
  9. He who forgives ends the argument.
  10. Don’t set sail on someone else’s star.
  11. A horse has four legs, yet it often falls.
  12. The fool speaks. The wise man listens.
  13. A clear conscience makes a soft pillow.
  14. God is good but never dance with a lion.
  15. He who refuses to obey cannot command.
  16. Peace is costly but it’s worth the expense.
  17. A lie has many variations, the truth none.
  18. Examine what is said, not who is speaking.
  19. However long the night, the dawn will break.
  20. The teeth that laugh are also those that bite.

55 African ProverbsAfrican Proverbs (21-40):

  1. When spiders’ webs unite, they can tie up a lion.
  2. Not to know is bad. Not to wish to know is worse.
  3. If you’re not going to bite, don’t show your teeth.
  4. One who truly loves you loves you with your dirt.
  5. If you think education is expensive try ignorance.
  6. It’s the calm and silent water that drowns a man.
  7. If you and a fool have an argument, he succeeds.
  8. Do not try to fight a lion if you’re not one yourself.
  9. If you want to know the end, look at the beginning.
  10. Ashes fly back into the face of he who throws them.
  11. When an old man dies a library burns to the ground.
  12. For the beauty of the rose, we also water the thorns.
  13. Never beat a snake when you haven’t seen its head.
  14. The lion does not turn around when a small dog barks.
  15. Character is like pregnancy, it cannot be hidden forever.
  16. A wise man never knows all, only fools know everything.
  17. A friend who frowns is better than an enemy who smiles.
  18. If you’re filled with pride, you’ll have no room for wisdom.
  19. When the mouse laughs at the cat, there’s a hole nearby.
  20. As you do for your ancestors, your children will do for you.

55 African ProverbsAfrican Proverbs (41-55):

  1. A man does not wander far from where his corn is roasting.
  2. When the roots are deep there’s no reason to fear the wind.
  3. The rain wets the leopard’s spots but does not wash them off.
  4. Those who pray for rain should be ready to deal with the mud.
  5. Every closed eye is not sleeping and every open eye is not seeing.
  6. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
  7. When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.
  8. A child who is carried on the back will not know how far the journey is.
  9. In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build dams.
  10. An army of sheep led by a lion can defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.
  11. The man may be the head of the home but his wife is the heart of the home.
  12. True teaching is not an accumulation of knowledge it’s an awakening of consciousness.
  13. People who drink to drown their sorrows should be told that sorrow knows how to swim.
  14. A family is like a forest. When you’re outside, it’s dense. When you’re inside you see that each tree has its place.
  15. You can out-distance that which is running after you, but you cannot out-distance that which is running inside you.

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11 wise sayings about life lessons and what they mean

11 wise sayings about life lessonsToday dear reader, I offer you 11 wise sayings about life lessons and some observations about what I think they really mean for your life.

I hope you find this interesting.

Wise sayings about life lessons:

1. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. ~English Proverb

If you visit a foreign country, with a different culture to that found in your own, then the best way to get along with local people is to respect their culture and their way of doing things.

Essentially it’s all about respecting and adhering to their way of life, as far as reasonably possible.

Respect people and they’ll appreciate it.

Learn a little bit of their language and you’ll really connect with them. They won’t mind if you don’t get all the words and pronunciation completely correct. It’ll probably make them smile a little and they’ll really appreciate you making the effort.

Treat people with respect and they’ll treat you with respect. It’s that simple.

2. Be contrary and be known. ~Arab Proverb

If you want to get yourself noticed then a ‘me too’ approach to life is unlikely to get you very far. When you’re just like everyone else then how can you stand out in the crowd?

If you really want to get noticed then you need to offer something a bit different, surely?

To stand out in the crowd then you’ll need to dress differently, have an unusual hairstyle or offer something new.

Go against the accepted thinking of the day and you’ll get noticed.

Suggest something which goes against the received wisdom of the day and people might just listen if you back up your observation with a reasoned argument.

Be different, be contrary and you’ll get noticed.

Back it up with real substance and you will make a permanent impression on public consciousness.

Elvis Presley was like nothing that went before him; neither were The Beatles.

These were people who had a look, style and approach all of their own. They made a genuine impact and they changed peoples’ outlook on life permanently.

In other words, they made their mark and you can too.

3. A beautiful thing is never perfect. ~Egyptian Proverb

There’s no such thing as perfect; certainly not when we are talking about people.

We’re all imperfect in some way.

However, that’s what makes us interesting as individuals. And it’s also what makes it easier for other people to live with us because no matter how good we are in some way, there are also ways in which we are not quite so good.

So accept your imperfections. Work to your strengths and minimise your weaknesses and do the best you can with whatever you have at your disposal. If you do that you can succeed.

4. There’s no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out. ~Russian Proverb

How often do people refrain from asking a question for fear that they might look a little stupid? Does that ring a bell with you dear reader?

We’ve probably all done it at some point in our lives, wouldn’t you agree?

However, it’s rather silly if you think about it.

None of us can know everything, can we? There will always be gaps in our knowledge, that’s for sure.

So if you don’t know something, surely it’s better to find out? Better to ask a question, even if you appear foolish momentarily.

People might laugh but so what?

Intelligent people ask questions and it’s better to look a fool momentarily than proceed in ignorance. You may look a fool for not knowing but you’ll look an even bigger fool if you screw up because you didn’t ask.

Never, ever be afraid to ask a question if you don’t know.

That way you’ll learn. Any other way and you’ll never learn.

5. Experience is not always the kindest of teachers but it’s surely the best. ~Spanish Proverb

Education is a wonderful thing, I’m sure you’ll agree.

However, the best teacher by a country mile is the School of Hard Knocks at the University of Life.

Making mistakes and getting your fingers burned teaches you lessons you’ll never forget. And those lessons are invaluable.

That’s what they call experience and experience is a valuable commodity indeed.

Experience is the basis of all wisdom.

It’s also an essential element in finding out what you’re good at and what you enjoy.

And if you can find that sweet spot where what you’re good at coincides with what you enjoy doing then you really will begin to shine. So shine on my friend.

6. Having two ears and one tongue, we should listen twice as much as we speak. ~Turkish Proverb

How often are we so keen to get our point across that we don’t really listen to what the other person has to say? That’s a mistake.

Listening is one of the most important skills you can develop.

To quote Stephen R. Covey, Seek first to understand and then to be understood.”

In order to understand someone else’s point, you must listen first.

Listening is not the same as hearing.

Hearing is simply being aware of sounds going on around you.

Listening is absorbing what is being said and considering it carefully.

Listening requires both your ears and your brain to be engaged in the process simultaneously.

Naturally, you want to feel that your point of view matters.

If you listen to people first not only will they appreciate it but they’ll also start listening to you. If you’re showing them respect then they’ll do the same to you.

By listening to each other we can begin to understand each other.

And if we understand each other we have the basis for getting along together.

So listen more and talk less.

In this way, the world might just become a better place. Let’s hope so anyway.

7. Better to die than to live on with a bad reputation. ~Vietnamese Proverb

Some time ago, a friend of mine was working for a retailer and foolishly did something dishonest. The result was that he lost his job and damaged his reputation in the process.

Only when he began to realise how much damage he’d done to his reputation did he begin to realise how foolish he’d been.

Damaging your reputation can have serious consequences and you can often feel the impact of that for many years after the original indiscretion.

So, protect and value your reputation.

It’s one of the most important commodities you have to offer.

Whether you’re in employment or self-employed you’ll always be judged on your reputation. Gain a bad reputation and you’ll be judged harshly.

8. A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. ~Greek Proverb

Your legacy in life will be based on what you’ve done for other people, regardless of whether you’ve benefitted from it yourself.

That’s how you’ll be remembered.

A civilised society depends on each of us making a contribution towards the greater good. We cannot just leave it all to someone else.

If you want your grandchildren and their children to enjoy a well-ordered and civilised society then you must be prepared to do something the result of which you may never see. The payoff for you will simply be the knowledge that future generations will benefit from your altruism.

Leaving something that enriches the lives of future generations would be a real and genuine legacy, wouldn’t you agree?

9. God gives the nuts but he doesn’t crack them. ~German proverb

You can’t expect everything to be done for you.

At some point, you have to do something for yourself.

If everything is done for you, you’ll never learn; you’ll never develop new skills, and you’ll never be able to deal with life.

So don’t try to avoid the chore, embrace it with enthusiasm and recognise that it’s in your own best interests to act.

10. A wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows public opinion. ~Chinese Proverb

Criticism can be uncomfortable, so it’s easy to be swayed by the majority view. However, how can we be sure that the majority view is correct? Perhaps they’re all wrong.

Just because a lot of people think something is so, it doesn’t mean that they have a monopoly on knowledge and common sense.

Rather than simply following the herd, it’s much better to consider a situation carefully, weighing up the various possibilities, and then forming your own opinion or making your own decision.

Think for yourself; don’t allow the herd to impose their thinking on you.

11. Every ass loves to hear himself bray. ~Proverb of Unknown Origin

As the old saying goes, empty vessels make the most sound.

However just because someone can talk a good game doesn’t mean they can play a good game.

People who are really good at something will demonstrate it by their actions not by their words. They’ll leave the talking to other people.

You’ll never impress anyone by singing your own praises.

However, you’ll win them over if you can demonstrate how good you are by the results you deliver.

So go on, start showing people what you can do.

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