Alain de Botton Quotes

On this page you can find the TOP of Alain de Botton's best quotes! We hope you will find some sayings from Writer Alain de Botton's in our collection, which will inspire you to new achievements! There are currently 372 quotes on this page collected since December 20, 1969! Share our collection of quotes with your friends on social media so that they can find something to inspire them!
  • Our minds are susceptible to the influence of external voices telling us what we require to be satisfied, voices that may drown out the faint sounds emitted by our souls and distract us from the careful, arduous task of accurately naming our priorities.

    Alain De Botton (2008). “Status Anxiety”, p.190, Vintage
  • Man seems merely dust postponed: the sublime as an encounter - pleasurable, intoxicating, even - with human weakness in the face of strength, age and size of the universe.

    Alain de Botton (2003). “The Art of Travel”, p.89, Penguin UK
  • We wanted to test each other's capacity for survival: only if we had tried in vain to destroy one another would we know we were safe.

    Alain de Botton (2015). “On Love: A Novel”, p.87, Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • 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.

  • 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 (2006). “On Love: A Novel”, p.126, Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Getting to the top has an unfortunate tendency to persuade people that the system is OK after all.

  • as the determinants of high status keep shifting, so, too, naturally, will the triggers of status anxiety be altered.

  • If one felt successful, there'd be so little incentive to be successful.

  • Rather than saying 'I hate mess', it might draw more compassion to say, 'mess terrifies me as a harbinger of catastrophe'.

    Twitter post from Feb 24, 2013
  • The attentions of others matter to us because we are afflicted by a congenital uncertainty as to our own value, as a result of which affliction we tend to allow others' appraisals to play a determining role in how we see ourselves. Our sense of identity is held captive by the judgements of those we live among.

    Alain De Botton (2008). “Status Anxiety”, p.8, Vintage
  • If optimism is important, it's because many outcomes are determined by how much of it we bring to the task. It is an important ingredient of success. This flies in the face of the elite view that talent is the primary requirement of a good life, but in many cases the difference between success and failure is determined by nothing more than our sense of what is possible and the energy we can muster to convince others of our due. We might be doomed not by a lack of skill, but by an absence of hope!

  • Her lie was symptomatic of a certain pride she took in mocking the romantic, in being unsentimental, matter-of-fact, stoic; yet at heart she was the oppo site: idealistic, dreamy, giving, and deeply attached to everything she liked verbally to dismiss as "mushy.

    Alain de Botton (2006). “On Love: A Novel”, p.42, Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • We study biology, physics, movements of glaciers... Where are the classes on envy, feeling wronged, despair, bitterness.

    Twitter post from Jan 05, 2013
  • You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days.

  • 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.

  • Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing, we cannot properly speak until there is someone who can understand what we are saying in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved.

    Alain de Botton (2015). “On Love: A Novel”, p.60, Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • 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 (2008). “Status Anxiety”, p.112, Vintage
  • We accept the need to train extensively to fly a plane; but think instinct should be enough for marrying and raising kids.

    Twitter post from Apr 28, 2013
  • So many complaints boil down to the belly ache of the fragile, mortal, ignored ego in a vast and indifferent universe.

    Twitter post from Sep 17, 2013
  • The best cure for one's bad tendencies is to see them in action in another person.

  • Endeavoring to purchase something we think beautiful may in fact be the most unimaginative way of dealing with the longing it excites in us, just as trying to sleep with someone may be the bluntest response to a feeling of love.

    Alain de Botton (2007). “The Architecture of Happiness”, p.73, Penguin UK
  • The problem with clichés is not that they contain false ideas, but rather that they are superficial articulations of very good ones...If...we are obliged to create our own language, it is because there are dimensions to ourselves absent from clichés, which require us to flout etiquette in order to convey with greater accuracy the distinctive timbre of our thought.

  • On paper, being good sounds great but a lot depends on the atmosphere of the workplace or community we live in. We tend to become good or bad depending on the cues sent out within a particular space.

  • We should keep a careful diary of our moments of envy: they are our covert guides to what we should try to do next.

    Twitter post from Dec 29, 2012
  • The arrogance that says analysing the relationship between reasons and causes is more important than writing a philosophy of shyness or sadness or friendship drives me nuts. I can't accept that.

    "Alain de Botton: a life in writing". Interview with Stuart Jeffries, January 20, 2012.
  • Our disrespect for thinking: someone sitting in a chair, gazing out of a window blankly, always described as 'doing nothing'.

  • Intuition is unconscious accumulated experience informing judgement in real time.

    Twitter post from Feb 05, 2013
  • Status Anxiety: A worry, so pernicious as to be capable of ruining extended stretches of our lives, that we are in danger of failing to conform to the ideals of success laid down by our society and that we may as a result be stripped of dignity and respect; a worry that we are currently occupying too modest a rung or are about to fall to a lower one.

  • We each appear to hold within ourselves a range of divergent views as to our native qualities.. And amid such uncertainty, we typically turn to the wider world to settle the question of our significance.. we seem beholden to affections of others to endure ourselves.

    Alain De Botton (2008). “Status Anxiety”, p.9, Vintage
  • It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, who may not be who we essentially are.

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  • We hope you have found the saying you were looking for in our collection! At the moment, we have collected 372 quotes from the Writer Alain de Botton, starting from December 20, 1969! We periodically replenish our collection so that visitors of our website can always find inspirational quotes by authors from all over the world! Come back to us again!