“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”~ Leo Tolstoy
Let yourself be guided and inspired by one of history’s greatest literary minds. From the pursuit of truth and love to the significance of simplicity and self-reflection Tolstoy’s teachings illuminate the path towards a more fulfilling and meaningful existence.
Embark on a journey of personal growth as we uncover the many life-changing lessons that Tolstoy’s timeless words have to offer.
31 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from Leo Tolstoy
“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
2. The highest degree of human wisdom is knowing that we know nothing.
“We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
3. “Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.”~ Leo Tolstoy
4. People are not to judge what’s right or wrong.
“It’s not given to people to judge what’s right or wrong. People have eternally been mistaken and will be mistaken, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong.”~ Leo Tolstoy
5. Take responsibility for everything in life and love will flourish in your soul.
“If you make it a habit not to blame others, you will feel the growth of the ability to love in your soul, and you will see the growth of goodness in your life.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
6. “In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”~ Leo Tolstoy
7. Talk only about the things you understand.
“I often think that men don’t understand what is noble and what is ignorant, though they always talk about it.”~ Leo Tolstoy
8. Everything around us is made up of light and shadow.
“All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.”~ Leo Tolstoy
9. Only those capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow.
“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”~ Leo Tolstoy
10. Love empowers you to seek the happiness of thers.
”Love alone is the only reasonable activity or pursuit of humankind….Fo r Love not only annihilates our fear of meaninglessness but empowers us to seek the happiness of others. And this indeed is our greatest happiness.”~ Leo Tolstoy
11. “Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
12. To love and be love, that is the only reality in this world.
“Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.”~ Leo Tolstoy
13. Respect covers the empty place where love should be.
“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.”~ Leo Tolstoy
14. Loving a dear person and an enemy requires to different types of love.
“You can love a person dear to you with a human love, but an enemy can only be loved with divine love.”~ Leo Tolstoy
“If one loves anyone, one loves the whole person, just as they are and not as one would like them to be.”~ Leo Tolstoy
16. To be patient is to keep going.
“Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience. The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
17. “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”~ Leo Tolstoy
“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
18. Just as corrupt people united constitute a force, so must the honest.
“Since corrupt people unite amongst themselves to constitute a force, then honest people must do the same.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
19. All possibility of life is destroyed when you admit life can be ruled by reason.
“If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed.”
20. The best stories come from good vs good.
“The best stories don’t come from ‘good vs. bad’ but ‘good vs. good’.”~ Leo Tolstoy
21. “Whatever our fate is or may be, we have made it and do not complain of it.”
22. Real wisdom is not knowing everything.
“Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.”~ Leo Tolstoy
24. “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”~ Leo Tolstoy
25.Whatever you do, do it happily.
“If you’re not enjoying your work, you should either change your attitude, or change your job.”~ Leo Tolstoy
26. One heart can illuminate thousands of other hearts.
“Just as one candle lights another and can light thousands of other candles, so one heart illuminates another heart and can illuminate thousands of other hearts.”~ Leo Tolstoy
27. “Much unhappiness has come from things left unsaid”~ Leo Tolstoy
28. In our preparations for living, we forget to really live.
“Our whole life is taken up with anxiety for personal security, with preparations for living, so that we really never live at all.”~ Leo Tolstoy
29. The meaning of life is to grow spiritually yourself and help others do the same.
“Grow spiritually and help others to do so. It is the meaning of life.”~ Leo Tolstoy
30. “It’s much better to do good in a way that no one knows anything about it.”~ Leo Tolstoy
31. Only the truth is safe. Everything else is poison.
“Every lie is a poison; there are no harmless lies. Only the truth is safe. Only the truth gives me consolation – it is the one unbreakable diamond.”~ Leo Tolstoy
“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”
“The great tragedy of atheists is that they walk through this world and have no one to thank.”
“Each person’s task in life is to become an increasingly better person.”
“If you see that some aspect of your society is bad, and you want to improve it, there is only one way to do so: you have to improve people. And in order to improve people, you begin with only ONE thing: you can become better yourself.”
“My piece of bread only belongs to me when I know that everyone else has a share, and that no one starves while I eat.”
“The only purpose of education is freedom; the only method is experience.”
“Memento mori – remember death! These are important words. If we kept in mind that we will soon inevitably die, our lives would be completely different. If a person knows that he will die in a half hour, he certainly will not bother doing trivial, stupid, or, especially, bad things during this half hour. Perhaps you have half a century before you die-what makes this any different from a half hour?”
“The most important knowledge is that which guides the way you lead your life.”
“Don’t seek God in temples. He is close to you. He is within you. Only you should surrender to Him and you will rise above happiness and unhappiness.”
“Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.”
“People try to do all sorts of clever and difficult things to improve life instead of doing the simplest, easiest thing-refusing to participate in activities that make life bad.”
“An arrogant person considers himself perfect. This is the chief harm of arrogance. It interferes with a person’s main task in life—becoming a better person.”
“The kinder and the more thoughtful a person is, the more kindness he can find in other people.”
“The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow- witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.”
“I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. On the whole I think knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure human sympathy is more valuable than ideology.”
“The kinder and more intelligent a person is, the more kindness he can find in other people. Kindness enriches our life; with kindness mysterious things become clear, difficult things become easy and dull things become cheerful.”
“And you know, there’s less charm in life when you think about death–but it’s more peaceful.”
“…the majority of men do not think in order to know the truth, but in order to assure themselves that the life which they lead, and which is agreeable and habitual to them, is the one which coincides with the truth.”
“There are no conditions to which a person cannot grow accustomed, especially if he sees that everyone around him lives in the same way.”