79 Of The Most Inspiring Life Is Short Quotes

You know life is short. And you hope you’ll have plenty of time to do all the things on your bucket list.

But it’s still too easy to get stuck in a life that doesn’t come close to the one you wanted.

And you tell yourself you’re just being realistic and making the best of things. But at some point, you recognize it's not enough.

You don't want to look back on your life with regret.

Life is for the living, and you should seize every adventure and opportunity you can. Don't settle for boring — get out there and really live!

How Can You Use These “Life is Short” Quotes to Inspire You?

Here are some ideas:

  • Have a mug created with a favorite “Life is Short” quote and use it often.
  • Write a favorite quote on your bathroom mirror with lipstick or a dry-erase marker.
  • Create a desktop wallpaper featuring a favorite quote and inspiring images.
  • Keep a note or a small rock in your pocket inscribed with a short quote.
  • Add a favorite “Life is Short” quote to your email signature.

Whatever you do, keep the phrase “Life is short. Enjoy it!” fresh in your mind and let it inspire you to look for new growth experiences and opportunities to contribute.

And allow the following quotes to help you enjoy your life more.

79 Life Is Short Quotes to Inspire You to Seize the Day

If you're having a day when you feel down or unmotivated, reading these “life is too short” quotes can energize you with the realization that you don't want to waste a minute.

1. “Why do they not teach you that time is a finger snap and an eye blink, and that you should not allow a moment to pass you by without taking joyous, ecstatic note of it, not wasting a single moment of its swift, breakneck circuit?” ― Pat Conroy

2. “You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk.” – Louise Smith

3. “While it is tempting to play it safe, the more we’re willing to risk, the more alive we are. In the end, what we regret most are the chances we never took.” – Kelsey Grammer

4. “Today is a brand new day; a day to heal, a day to love, a day to forgive, a day to encourage, a day to start afresh.” – Caroline Naoroji

5. “Every day is a good day to be alive, whether the sun’s shining or not.” – Marty Robbins

6. “Never leave ’till tomorrow which you can do today.” ― Benjamin Franklin

7. “Don't be afraid to make mistakes. But if you do, make new ones. Life is too short to make the wrong choice twice.” ― Joyce Rachelle

8. “Life is so transient and ephemeral; we will not be here after a breath. So think better, think deeply, think with kindness, and write it with love so that it may live a little longer.” ― Debasish Mridha

9. “Time expands, then contracts, and in tune with the stirrings of the heart.” ― Haruki Murakami

Joe Kelly quote life is short quotes

10. “Don’t waste your time in anger, regrets, worries, and grudges. Life is too short to be unhappy.” ― Roy T. Bennett

11. “All things that live, die. This is why you must find joy in the living, while the time is yours, and not fear the end. To deny this is to deny life. To fear this… is to fear life.” ― Joe Kelly

12. “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Teresa

13. “Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard

14. “Time flies, whether you’re wasting it or not.” ― Crystal Woods

15. “In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?” – Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book

16. “Life is too short as we all know it to be. So why dare to spend it trying to live up to other people's worldly expectations of you?” ― Edmond Mbiaka

17. “I wish you joy. To spend life's fleeting days mid joy that never meets an evil hour is to be blessed beyond compare.” ― Euripides

18. “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” ― Stephen R. Covey

19. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

20. “It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” ― Steve Jobs

21. “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.” ― Bruce Lee

22. “If you want to be happy, you have to be happy on purpose. When you wake up, you can’t just wait to see what kind of day you’ll have. You have to decide what kind of day you’ll have.” – Joel Osteen

23. “It’s not that we have little time, but more that we waste a good deal of it.” ― Seneca

Charles Darwin quote life is short quotes

24. “A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” ― Charles Darwin

25. “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.” ― Harvey Mackay

26. “Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.” ― Herb Magidson

27. “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru

28. “We are never more fully alive, more completely ourselves, or more deeply engrossed in anything, than when we are at play.” – Charles Schaefer

29. “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” ― Benjamin Franklin

30. “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” ― Carl Sandburg

31. “Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose.” ― Thomas A. Edison

32. “Enjoy every moment you have. Because in life, there are no rewinds, only flashbacks.” ― Anmol Andore

33. “I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” – Arthur Rubinstein

Carl Sandburg quote life is short quotes

34. “Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.” ― Francis Bacon

35. “Suspect each moment, for it is a thief, tiptoeing away with more than it brings.” ― John Updike

36. “And time is a dictator, as we know it. Where does it go? What does it do? Most of all, is it alive? Is it a thing that we cannot touch and is it alive? And then, one day, you look in the mirror – you’re old – and you say, ‘Where does the time go?’” ― Nina Simone

37. “Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.” ― Earl Nightingale

38. “Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh be swift to love, make haste to be kind.” ― Henri-Frederic Amiel

39. “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

40. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist.” – Oscar Wilde

Eleanor Roosevelt quote life is short quotes

41. “Life happens too fast for you ever to think about it. If you could just persuade people of this, but they insist on amassing information.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

42. “We ask for long life, but ’tis deep life, or grand moments that signify. Let the measure of time be spiritual, not mechanical.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

43. “Happiness, not in another place but this place… not for another hour, but this hour.” – Walt Whitman

44. “Life is short, and we should respect every moment of it.” ― Orhan Pamuk

45. “Although time seems to fly by, it never travels faster than one day at a time. Each day is a new opportunity to live your life to the fullest.” – Steve Maraboli

46. “There is one kind of robber whom the law does not strike at, and who steals what is most precious to men: time.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte

47. “Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.” ― Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek)

48. “Short as life is, we make it still shorter by the careless waste of time.” ― Victor Hugo

49. “The time for action is now. It's never too late to do something.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupery

50. “Success is loving life and daring to live it.” – Maya Angelou

51. “It looks like a waste of life, that mowing down of our best years by a relentless passion which itself falls dead on the top of them. But it is not so. Every year I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence which will risk nothing, and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well. No one ever yet was the poorer in the long run for having once in a lifetime ‘let out all the length of the reins.'” ― Mary Cholmondeley

52. “Life is short. You have to be able to laugh at our pain or we never move on.” ― Jeff Ross

53. “There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.” ― Leo Christopher

Michael landon quote life is short quotes

54. “Living life to the fullest means continually reaching out for newer, richer, deeper, life-changing experiences. It means using those experiences as a means for personal growth and pushing the boundaries of yourself mentally, spiritually, and intellectually for the betterment of yourself and the world at large.” – Zero Dean

55. “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” ― Nelson Mandela

56. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

57. “Live life for the moment because everything else is uncertain!” ― Louis Tomlinson

58. “Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” ― Michael Landon Jr.

59. “We have to live life with a sense of urgency so not a minute is wasted.” ― Les Brown

60. “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

61. “Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are.” – Don Miguel Ruiz

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62. “You know, you only get to live life once, so there are two things that yields. One is that there's no point in crying over spilt milk, but secondly, you hate wasting time, energy, and whatever talent you've got.” ― David Miliband

63. “Live life to the fullest, for the future is scarce.” ― Nick Carter

64. “There are some people who don't want to deal with the fact that we are not forever. Some people decide to live life to the fullest.” ― Tessa Thompson

65. “There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” ― Bill Watterson

66. “Your time is way too valuable to be wasting on people that can't accept who you are.” ― Turcois Ominek

67. “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” — Mark Twain

68. “Your hand can seize today, but not tomorrow; and thoughts of your tomorrow are nothing but desire. Don’t waste this breath, if your heart isn’t crazy, since “the rest of your life” won’t last forever.” ― Omar Khayyám

69. “Life is short, and if we enjoy every moment of every day, then we will be happy no matter what happens or what changes along the way.” ― Gretchen Bleiler

70. “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ” ― Coco Chanel

71. “I wish for a world where people understand that life is short. So today's the time to do big things.” ― Robin S. Sharma

72. “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.” ― Lao Tzu

Charles Richards quote life is short quotes

73. “Life is short. Don't do the same thing everyone else is doing – that's such a herd mentality. And don't do something that's two percent better than the other person. Do something that changes the world.” ― Oren Etzioni

74. “What you have to decide… is how you want your life to be. If your forever was ending tomorrow, would this be how you'd want to have spent it? Listen, the truth is, nothing is guaranteed. You know that more than anybody. So don't be afraid. Be alive.” ― Sarah Dessen

75. “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.” ― Gerard Way

76. “Life is too short not to say how you feel to the people you love.” ― Kristina McMorris

77. “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.” ― Charles Richards

78. “There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who do not. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” ― José N. Harris

79. “Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Final thoughts

Did these quotes inspire you?

I hope the quotes in this article have inspired you to take action on something today.

Life is too short to spend it stuck in one place (figuratively, at least), and if you don’t already have a bucket list, may the words you just read help you create one and make some plans.

You were made to learn, to grow, and to contribute in a unique way.

The more you live your life, the less you’ll worry about how short it is. You’ll be too busy enjoying it.

Who knows what you’ll do next!

  • Travel to a new place that interests you or someone you love.
  • Reach out to an old friend or to someone you’ve hurt.
  • Face a long-standing fear and overcome it.
  • Try something you’ve always been curious about.
  • Start training for a job you’d love to do.

Whatever you do first, may your courage and resourcefulness influence everything you do today.

You know there's limited time to do the things you want to do. Read these 79 life is short quotes to inspire you to act on your bucket list and enjoy life.