7 Oscar Wilde Quotes that Will Inspire You

7 Oscar Wilde Quotes that Will Inspire You

Last update: 20 November, 2016

Oscar Wilde was characterized by his sharp sense of humor. Convinced that people never listen, he recounted how one time he arrived late to a dinner party, so he made the excuse that he had to bury an aunt of hers who he had just murdered. The hostess responded: “Don’t worry about it, all that matters is that you came.”

He was the son of a writer and a surgeon, and was made famous by his plays, like the popular The Importance of Being Earnest, and by the only novel he wrote, called  The Picture of Dorian Gray He was also known for the things he said that showed his way of thinking. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Live life to the fullest

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

Distractions existed during Oscar Wilde’s time, but today they’ve multiplied. It isn’t strange to pass someone walking down the street, engrossed in their smartphone screen like a zombie, without looking at or seeing anything around them. We’re not capable of looking up and observing life.

Life can’t be written or seen on a computer or cellphone screen. Life is what we touch, smell, and feel when we see the real world.

The importance of making mistakes

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.”

Throughout our lives, we make many mistakes, and it’s precisely these mistakes that teach us about what shouldn’t happen again. These lessons that life teaches us are what we call experience.

hands crumpling paper

The true strength of each person lies in learning from each experience, whether it’s positive or negative. It’s getting up every time you’re thrown to the ground with hope for the future, rejecting the idea that the past is the best predictor of what’s to come.

The rules of writing, according to Oscar Wilde

“There are no more than two rules for writing: having something to say, and saying it.”

Oscar Wilde wrote many plays, stories, and poems, and in the end he found that the important thing is having something to say, and simply saying it. Many writers have thought up countless rules for writing, and other writers have followed them or invented their own new rules.

In reality, when it comes to writing or stumbling through life, only two things are important: having an idea, and executing it. You can read rules and follow them, but it’s fundamental to foster your own creativity, the creation of your own ideas, and the implementation of each one. Dreams are beautiful, but it’s essential to have the courage to make them reality.

Love the most important person in your life

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”

Having a good self-esteem and loving yourself is the basis of a healthy life. Other people’s opinions affect us too much, and we say too many negative things to ourselves. It’s important to limit this and reflect on all the good and beautiful things that you have in your life.

pawn looking in the mirror

Stop for a second and think about the things you tell yourself each day. Substitute every “I can’t” for an “I’m going to.” Willpower is the first step towards being able to do what you want. Don’t let your mind tell you negative things, don’t put up walls against your own existence.

Celebrate your friends’ successes

“Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.”

In our society, envy of other people’s success prevails. Many people pretend that they’re happy when things are going well for someone else, but they’re not really capable of accepting that person’s success and being happy for them, because inside they’re being corroded by envy.

Oscar Wilde was an important person during his time. He was born into a family with plenty of resources and lived a comfortable life. But at one point, he made a mistake and was imprisoned for two years. When he got out, he moved to Paris, changed his name, and died at age 46 in complete destitution.

Learn to be truly happy for your friends’ successes. The sensitivity that this requires is necessary to have healthy and lasting relationships with other people. And find people who will be happy for your success and who will celebrate with you sincerely.

Take action now

“When we have fully discovered the scientific laws that govern life, we shall realize that the one person who has more illusions than the dreamer is the man of action.”

We spend a lot of time dreaming, thinking about what we want to do, and getting absorbed by daily chores. This forces us to lose hope because we feel further and further away from our dreams, and we don’t do anything to achieve them, to take a risk and leave our comfort zone.

Oscar Wilde was a dreamer, but it’s not enough to just be a dreamer; you also have to get down to business. Find something you’re passionate about and make it a part of your life. You only live once, and your time is limited, so throw yourself into your passion and enjoy every minute, every heartbeat, as much as possible.

Follow your heart and do crazy things

“The world was made by the insane for the sane.”

In this life, you have to do crazy things and follow your heart and your intuitionYour heart already knows what you want, so even if your mind denies it, listen to your heart. Remember that many of the people who have achieved great things in the history of humanity were seen as crazy during their time.

woman holding flower

If you want to take a trip, just take it. If you want to kiss someone you’re attracted to, just kiss them. If you don’t like your job, just leave it and find another one. If you want to paint, buy a canvas and oils and start to paint. It’s your life, nobody is going to live it for you. Nobody is going to give it back to you so that you can live it again.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.