Eric Hoffer quotes

  • We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Inspirational #Life #Motivational

  • The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Future #Power #Shapes

  • Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Hype #People #Doe

  • To become different from what we are, we must have some awareness of what we are.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Inspirational #Change #Different

  • The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Thank You #Gratitude #Appreciation

  • To learn you need a certain degree of confidence, not too much and not too little. If you have too little confidence, you will think you can't learn. If you have too much, you will think you don't have to learn.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Thinking #Degrees #Needs

  • The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Happiness #Happy #Laughter

  • It is futile to judge a kind deed by its motives. Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Kindness #Judging #Literature

  • Our frustration is greater when we have much and want more than when we have nothing and want some. We are less dissatisfied when we lack many things than when we seem to lack but one thing.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Frustration #Confusion #Want

  • They who lack talent expect things to happen without effort. They ascribe failure to a lack of inspiration or ability, or to misfortune, rather than to insufficient application. At the core of every true talent there is an awareness of the difficulties inherent in any achievement, and the confidence that by persistence and patience something worthwhile will be realized. Thus talent is a species of vigor.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Inspiration #Persistence #Achievement

  • Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Inspirational #Faith #Atheism

  • There is no loneliness greater than the loneliness of a failure. The failure is a stranger in his own house.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Loneliness #Failure #Being Alone

  • Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Compassion #Soul #Impulse

  • A soul that is reluctant to share does not as a rule have much of its own. Miserliness is here a symptom of meagerness.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Soul #Doe #Misery

  • The misery of a child is interesting to a mother, the misery of a young man is interesting to a young woman, the misery of an old man is interesting to nobody.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Mother #Children #Sadness

  • No matter how noble the objectives of a government, if it blurs decency and kindness, cheapens human life, and breeds ill will and suspicion; it is an evil government.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Kindness #Government #Evil

  • We need not only a purpose in life to give meaning to our existence but also something to give meaning to our suffering. We need as much something to suffer for as something to live for.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Giving #Suffering #Purpose

  • What starts out here as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Movement #Corporations #Ends

  • The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Love #Forgiveness #Attitude

  • Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Life #Hate #Giving

  • It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Love #Meaningful #Pregnancy

  • A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #War #Men #People

  • Faith in a holy cause is to a considerable extent a substitute for lost faith in ourselves.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Faith #History #Literature

  • It almost seems that nobody can hate America as much as native Americans. America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Hate #Native American #Immigration

  • Power corrupts the few, while weakness corrupts the many.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Work #Weakness #Power Corrupts

  • We can be absolutely certain only about things we do not understand.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Thinking #Certain #Certainty

  • Add a few drops of venom to a half truth and you have an absolute truth.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Truth #Honesty #Add

  • Language was invented to ask questions. Answers may be given by grunts and gestures, but questions must be spoken. Humanness came of age when man asked the first question. Social stagnation results not from a lack of answers but from the absence of the impulse to ask questions.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Men #Age #May

  • A great man's greatest good luck is to die at the right time.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Time #Good Luck #Greatness

  • It is the individual only who is timeless. Societies, cultures, and civilizations -- past and present -- are often incomprehensible to outsiders, but the individual's hungers, anxieties, dreams, and preoccupations have remained unchanged through the millenia.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Dream #Past #Civilization

  • When we believe ourselves in possession of the only truth, we are likely to be indifferent to common everyday truths.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Believe #Everyday #Common

  • Self-righteousness is a loud din raised to drown the voice of guilt within us.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Humility #Self #Voice

  • There is in most passions a shrinking away from ourselves. The passionate pursuer has all the earmarks of a fugitive.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Passion #Shrinking #Literature

  • The weakness of a soul is proportionate to the number of truths that must be kept from it.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Numbers #Soul #Weakness

  • The savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Nature #Angel #Men

  • Men weary as much of not doing the things they want to do as of doing the things they do not want to do.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Being Yourself #Being Single #Men

  • Man is the only creature that strives to surpass himself, and yearns for the impossible.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Work #Ambition #Men

  • The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Freedom #Tests

  • It is the around-the-corner brand of hope that prompts people to action, while the distant hope acts as an opiate.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Hope #People #Opiates

  • Language was invented to ask questions.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Language

  • You can never get enough of what you don't need to make you happy.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Happiness #Simplicity #Needs

  • Friendship Never explain -- your friends do not need it, and your enemies will not believe it anyway. A real friend never gets in your way, unless you happen to be on the way down. A friend is someone you can do nothing with and enjoy it. However much we guard ourselves against it, we tend to shape ourselves in the image others have of us. It is not so much the example of others we imitate, as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Friends #Real #Believe

  • Our present addiction to pollsters and forecasters is a symptom of our chronic uncertainty about the future... We watch our experts read the entrails of statistical tables and graphs the way the ancients watched their soothsayers read the entrails of a chicken.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Addiction #Experts #Watches

  • When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else - we are the busiest people in the world.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Business #People #World

  • Death has but one terror, that it has no tomorrow.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Tomorrow #Terrorism #Terror

  • What monstrosities would walk the streets were some people's faces as unfinished as their minds.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #People #Mind #Faces

  • We do not usually look for allies when we love. Indeed, we often look on those who love with us as rivals and trespassers. But we always look for allies when we hate.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Love #Hate #Allies

  • Laughter to begin with was probably glee at the misfortunes of others. The baring of the teeth in laughter hints at its savage ancestry. Animals have no malice, hence also no laughter. They never savor the sudden glory of Schadenfreude. It was its infectious quality that made of laughter a medium of mutuality.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Laughter #Animal #Quality

  • Nonconformists travel as a rule in bunches. You rarely find a nonconformist who goes it alone. And woe to him inside a nonconformist clique who does not conform with nonconformity.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Doe #Woe #Clique

  • Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Humor #Deep Thought #Degenerates

  • Creativity is discontent translated into arts.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Art #Creativity #Discontent

  • Naivete in grownups is often charming; but when coupled with vanity it is indistinguishable from stupidity.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Ignorance #Vanity #Stupidity

  • We are made kind by being kind.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Kindness #Be Kind #Kind

  • The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Religious #Atheist #Opposites

  • Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy - the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Hope #Disappointment #Expectations

  • Nature is a self-made machine, more perfectly automated than any automated machine. To create something in the image of nature is to create a machine, and it was by learning the inner working of nature that man became a builder of machines.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Nature #Men #Self

  • The genuine artist is as much a dissatisfied person as the revolutionary, yet how diametrically opposed are the products each distills from his dissatisfaction.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Art #Revolutionary #Genuine

  • How frighteningly few are the persons whose death would spoil our appetite and make the world seem empty.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Death #Dying #World

  • The creative mind is the playful mind. Philosophy is the play and dance of ideas.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Philosophy #Writing #Play

  • The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time. It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life. When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else--we are the busiest people in the world.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Happiness #Time #Work

  • Youth itself is a talent, a perishable talent.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Time #Youth #Talent

  • The pre-human creature from which man evolved was unlike any other living thing in its malicious viciousness toward its own kind. Humanization was not a leap forward but a groping toward survival.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Men #Survival #Evolution

  • We lie loudest when we lie to ourselves.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Lying

  • Compassion alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Compassion #Evil #Literature

  • We are more prone to generalize the bad than the good. We assume that the bad is more potent and contagious.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Assuming #Contagious

  • Absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Sheep #People #Humanity

  • We used to think that revolutions are the cause of change. Actually it is the other way around: change prepares the ground for revolution.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Thinking #Literature #Way

  • The birth of the new constitutes a crisis, and its mastery calls for a crude and simple cast of mind -- the mind of a fighter -- in which the virtues of tribal cohesion and fierceness and infantile credulity and malleability are paramount. Thus every new beginning recapitulates in some degree man's first beginning.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Fashion #New Beginnings #Men

  • The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Games #History #Majority

  • There is no doubt that in exchanging a self-centered for a selfless life we gain enormously in self-esteem. The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Self Esteem #Humility #Vanity

  • To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Atheist #Religion #Atheism

  • The majority prove their worth by keeping busy. A busy life is the nearest thing to a purposeful life.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Majority #Life Is #Busy

  • Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Trust #Beauty #Math

  • People unfit for freedom - who cannot do much with it - are hungry for power. The desire for freedom is an attribute of a "have" type of self. It says: leave me alone and I shall grow, learn, and realize my capacities. The desire for power is basically an attribute of a "have not" type of self.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Self #People #Leave Me Alone

  • To the frustrated, freedom from responsibility is more attractive than freedom from restraint. They are eager to barter their independence for relief from the burdens of willing, deciding and being responsible for inevitable failure. They willingly abdicate the directing of their lives to those who want to plan, command and shoulder all responsibility.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Responsibility #Frustrated #Independence

  • The greatest weariness comes from work not done.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Work #Energy #Done

  • The real "haves" are they who can acquire freedom, self-confidence, and even riches without depriving others of them. They acquire all of these by developing and applying their potentialities. On the other hand, the real "have nots" are they who cannot have aught except by depriving others of it. They can feel free only by diminishing the freedom of others, self-confident by spreading fear and dependence among others, and rich by making others poor.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Fear #Real #Self Confidence

  • Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Creativity #Order #Chaos

  • We usually see only the things we are looking for- so much so that we sometimes see them where they are not.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Sometimes

  • Every new adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Inspirational #Self Esteem #Self Respect

  • Fair play is primarily not blaming others for anything that is wrong with us.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Sports #Play #Blame

  • The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Leadership #Coaching #Vision

  • It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Success #Opportunity #Men

  • You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Clever #Fear #Mean

  • No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Motivational #Book #Thinking

  • Children are the keys of paradise.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Children #Reality #Keys

  • Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Art #Philosophy #History

  • Someone who thinks the world is always cheating him is right. He is missing that wonderful feeling of trust in someone or something.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Trust #Cheating #Thinking

  • The capacity for getting along with our neighbor depends to a large extent on the capacity for getting along with ourselves. The self-respecting individual will try to be as tolerant of his neighbor's shortcomings as he is of his own.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Self #Trying #Ethics

  • Every intense desire is perhaps a desire to be different from what we are.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Desire #Different #Intense

  • The fear of becoming a 'has-been' keeps some people from becoming anything.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Inspirational #Fear #People

  • The wise learn from the experience of others, and the creative know how to make a crumb of experience go a long way.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Wise #Long #Creative

  • When people are bored it is primarily with themselves.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #People #Boredom #Bored

  • Our credulity is greatest concerning the things we know least about. And since we know least about ourselves, we are ready to believe all that is said about us. Hence the mysterious power of both flattery and calumny.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Believe #Anorexia #Eating Disorder

  • For many people, an excuse is better than an achievement because an achievement, no matter how great, leaves you having to prove yourself again in the future; but an excuse can last for life.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Failure #People #Achievement

  • A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Liberty #Majority #Minorities

  • A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Adversity #Past #Preoccupation

  • The real Antichrist is he who turns the wine of an original idea into the water of mediocrity.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Real #Wine #Ideas

  • It is the stretched soul that makes music, and souls are stretched by the pull of opposites-opposite bents, tastes, yearnings, loyalties. Where there is no polarity-where energies flow smoothly in one direction-there will be much doing but no music.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Music #Loyalty #One Direction

  • We feel free when we escape - even if it be but from the frying pan to the fire.
    -- Eric Hoffer

    #Freedom #Fire #Frying Pans