143 Famous Proverbs That Share Important Life Advice
Living a life is not an easy task, especially if you want to live it well. There are things you have to learn from your own experience as you go, but there are also things that are universal and don’t change as centuries pass by. From time immemorial, people have tried to accumulate that knowledge and relay it to the coming generations. This is how proverbs came to exist.
A proverb is a short saying, usually just one or two sentences, that contains a piece of truth about life. They are very succinct and express a deep philosophical concept in just a few words. These old sayings come from the time when people still very much relied on oral communication and instead of writing things down, would just repeat them from one person to another until they became common knowledge.
As it often happens when things are disseminated by word of mouth, some parts of proverbs have been forgotten. Some of the common proverbs we use today initially had a different meaning, but parts of it got lost over time. That’s why if you want to know the full meaning of a particular proverb, it can be helpful to consult a scientific source.
Interestingly, some common sayings can be found in different cultures. Though worded in various ways, they essentially portray the same truth. This shows that some things are equally important for everyone, no matter where you come from.
For this article, we collected popular proverbs from all over the world. Which one do you like the most? Let us know in the comments if you have any favorite sayings that you live by.
Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows fall behind you.
It’s not enough to learn how to ride, you must also learn how to fall.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Actions speak louder than words.
Mind your own business.
There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
Better late than never.
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it.
Knowledge is power.
Even though you know a thousand things, ask the man who knows one.
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
Even from a foe a man may learn wisdom.
Curiosity killed the cat.
The forbidden fruit is always the sweetest.
It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Coffee and love taste best when hot.
People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
You can’t always get what you want.
Love is blind.
Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Those who wish to sing always find a song.
If you can walk you can dance. If you can talk you can sing.
A watched pot never boils.
Beggars can’t be choosers.
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
If you play with fire, you’ll get burned.
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Learn to walk before you run.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.
Time waits for no one.
Fall seven times, stand up eight.
The tree with most leaves will not necessarily produce juicy fruit.
A mother understands what a child does not say.
Cheese, wine, and friends must be old to be good.
Easy come, easy go.
God helps those who help themselves.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
There is no time like the present.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Many hands make light work.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
First things first.
Don’t make a mountain out of an anthill (or molehill).
Every cloud has a silver lining.
Every dog has its day.
Practice what you preach.
The calm (comes) before the storm.
Good things come to those who wait.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
The longest mile is the last mile home.
If you snooze, you lose.
Ignorance is bliss.
Some men go through a forest and see no firewood.
The grass is always greener on the other side.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
My hands are tied.
If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
All that glitters is not gold.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Cowards die many times before their deaths.
Beauty is only skin-deep.
It never rains, but it pours.
Don’t cross the bridge until you come to it.
You made your bed, now you have to lie in it.
No news is good news.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Fortune favors the bold.