“If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people.”~ Virginia Woolf
Step into Virginia Woolf’s captivating world as you explore the transformative wisdom she imparts through her works to millions of people all over the world, even to this day.
She may not be here anymore, but her words will live on for centuries to come as one of the most celebrated literary figures of all times.
33 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from Virginia Woolf
“But I don’t think of the future, or the past, I feast on the moment. This is the secret of happiness, but only reached now in middle age.”~ Virginia Woolf
2. Learn to experience every emotion not from the past, but from the present moment it’s taking place in.
“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” ~ Virginia Woolf
3. How can you grasp the beauty of life when you can’t even see it in a flower?
“Until we can comprehend the beguiling beauty of a single flower, we are woefully unable to grasp the meaning and potential of life itself.” ~ Virginia Woolf
4. “When you consider things like the stars, our affairs don’t seem to matter very much, do they?”~ Virginia Woolf
5. Welcome life as it is.
“Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.” ~ Virginia Woolf
6. Does someone really have to die for the rest of us to value life more?
“Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more.”~ Virginia Woolf
7. Our hearts are divided by the two edges of the world: laughter and anguish.
“The beauty of the world, which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.”
“Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by his heart, and his friends can only read the title.”~ Virginia Woolf
9. “The eyes of others our prisons; their thoughts our cages.”~ Virginia Woolf
10. There is freedom in obscurity.
“While fame impedes and constricts, obscurity wraps about a man like a mist; obscurity is dark, ample, and free; obscurity lets the mind take its way unimpeded. Over the obscure man is poured the merciful suffusion of darkness. None knows where he goes or comes. He may seek the truth and speak it; he alone is free; he alone is truthful, he alone is at peace.” ~ Virginia Woolf
11. The freedom of your mind can never be locked up.
“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”
12. Go within and experience the delights of doing so.
“I feel so intensely the delights of shutting oneself up in a little world of one’s own, with pictures and music and everything beautiful.” ~ Virginia Woolf
13. “In solitude we give passionate attention to our lives, to our memories, to the details around us.” ~ Virginia Woolf
14. Amazing results come from being truthful.
“Be truthful, and the result is bound to be amazingly interesting.” ~ Virginia Woolf
15. Always strive for more beyond the daily life.
“I have a deeply hidden and inarticulate desire for something beyond the daily life.” ~ Virginia Woolf
16. “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” ~ Virginia Woolf
17. Follow your own instincts, use your own reason, come to your own conclusions.
“The only advice … that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions.”~ Virginia Woolf
18. How can you tell the truth about others when you can’t tell the truth about yourself?
“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.”
19. Be aware of yourself and you will experience profound and constant happiness.
“The man who is aware of himself is henceforward independent; and he is never bored, and life is only too short, and he is steeped through and through with a profound yet temperate happiness.”~ Virginia Woolf
20. When the mind is bigger than everything else, everything else slowly shrivels.
“Where the Mind is biggest, the Heart, the Senses, Magnanimity, Charity, Tolerance, Kindliness, and the rest of them scarcely have room to breathe.”~ Virginia Woolf
21. To escape this world is the greatest of adventures.
“What greater delight and wonder can there be than to leave the straight lines of personality and deviate into these footpaths that lead beneath brambles and thick tree trunks into the heart of the forest where live those wild beasts, our fellow men? That is true: to escape is the greatest of pleasures; street haunting in winter the greatest of adventures.”~ Virginia Woolf
“How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.”~ Virginia Woolf
“These are the soul’s changes. I don’t believe in ageing. I believe in forever altering one’s aspect to the sun. Hence my optimism.”~ Virginia Woolf
24. Masterpiece are the result of years and years of collective experiences.
“Masterpieces are not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice.”~ Virginia Woolf
25. There is nothing useful in the constant noise of the mind.
“My own brain is to me the most unaccountable of machinery – always buzzing, humming, soaring roaring diving, and then buried in mud. And why? What’s this passion for?”~ Virginia Woolf
26. “Never pretend that the things you haven’t got are not worth having.”~ Virginia Woolf
27. Look around you and your belief in magic might just be restored.
“In the 18th century we knew how everything was done, but here I rise through the air, I listen to voices in America, I see men flying- but how is it done? I can’t even begin to wonder. So my belief in magic returns.”~ Virginia Woolf
28. Ask books for everything and you will be given everything.
“Few people ask from books what books can give us. Most commonly we come to books with blurred and divided minds, asking of fiction that it shall be true, of poetry that it shall be false, of biography that it shall be flattering, of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices. If we could banish all such preconceptions when we read, that would be an admirable beginning.”~ Virginia Woolf
29. “Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us.”~ Virginia Woolf
30. Communication is truth and happiness.
“Communication is truth; communication is happiness. To share is our duty; to go down boldly and bring to light those hidden thoughts which are the most diseased; to conceal nothing; to pretend nothing; if we are ignorant to say so; if we love our friends to let them know it.”~ Virginia Woolf
31. When communication is established there is nothing more to be said.
“For it is probable that when people talk aloud, the selves (of which there may be more than two thousand) are conscious of disserverment, and are trying to communicate but when communication is established there is nothing more to be said.”~ Virginia Woolf
32. “Human beings have neither kindness, nor faith, nor charity beyond what serves to increase the pleasure of the moment.”~ Virginia Woolf
33. Learn to communicate wisely.
“For it is a curious fact that though human beings have such imperfect means of communication, that they can only say ‘good to eat’ when they mean ‘beautiful’ and the other way about, they will yet endure ridicule and misunderstanding rather than keep any experience to themselves.”~ Virginia Woolf