Seven of the Best Ernest Hemingway Quotes

Seven of the Best Ernest Hemingway Quotes

Last update: 06 January, 2019

Ernest Hemingway’s quotes have inspired many of his readers. He was an American writer and journalist. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for The Old Man and the Sea. Later on, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature for his complete work in 1954.

It was said that Hemingway didn’t plan his writing since he loved discovering things while he wrote. However, he liked to retrace his steps in order to learn. Another peculiar thing about him that he himself confessed to a journalist of The Paris Review, is that he liked to write standing up. Thus, he placed his typewriter and some notebooks on a very high table. Additionally, he wrote down the number of words he wrote every day to know how his work days went. His goal was to reach 500 to 600 words per day.

As we can see, Hemingway was a man of simple routines who was really committed to writing. So much so that he considered it a private act. He didn’t show his works to anyone until he considered them finished. In addition, he thought that writing required solitude and concentration.

Ernest Hemingway.

The ability to surpass oneself

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”

This quote states that true greatness isn’t found in surpassing others, but in surpassing oneself. It’s about continuing to grow, despite storms, obstacles, or challenges. In fact, we grow thanks to storms, obstacles, and challenges. What challenges us the most is perhaps what can help us grow the most.

The importance of listening

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”

Ernest Hemingway believed that few people really know how to listen. Most only hear, lending their ears but not paying any attention. Indeed, listening is one of the best tools that can help us build solid and intimate bonds.

When we listen, we pay closer attention because we turn all of our senses towards the other person. We stop focusing on ourselves and instead focus on the other person. Furthermore, it helps us connect deeply with another person on an emotional level.


“The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.”

This is another great Ernest Hemingway quote we should remember forever. Losing yourself by loving another is one of the greatest losses we can experience because we become invisible to our eyes.

To truly love others, we need to have solid self-esteem that’s founded on valuing ourselves beyond all things. We’ll only be able to give the best of ourselves if we love ourselves first. Otherwise, we’ll give ourselves half-heartedly and expect others to meet our emotional needs.

The importance of self-esteem is in one of the quotes by Ernest Hemingway.

Inner strength

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”

We all break at some point. When this happens, we fall apart and believe that it’s impossible to get up again and rebuild. But that’s when we have to take hold of our inner strength, that which remains dormant and asleep when all is well.

We can recover from any misfortune, breakup, loss, and bad moment and even grow from them.

Cowardice as an illusion

“Cowardice, as distinguished from panic, is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.”

The ghosts that give rise to fear are often only illusions that live in our mind. Therefore, many of the people whom we consider brave aren’t people who have actually possess a higher virtue. Instead, they’re people who are intelligent enough to manage their thoughts in positive ways.

Useless worrying

“Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry. Worry never fixes anything.”

This is another great Ernest Hemingway quote that we have to remember every day. Worrying is a waste of time, a waste of life. What’s the use of going around in circles instead of acting?

If there’s a possibility to take a step to solve a problem, it’s better to just act than fill ourselves up with fears and concerns. Immobility has never led to success. Therefore, we should act more and worry less.

A worried woman by the sea.

Trying is the best option

“Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try.”

This is a powerful quote that tells us to control our impulses and listen to reasonIt’s better to calm our nerves and the instant rage of any given moment than to do things we’ll regret later on. 

As we can see, these Ernest Hemingway quotes are wonderful ways to reflect on life, relationships, and self-esteem.

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