Alan Alda quotes

  • You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Inspirational #Motivational #Creativity

  • I'm very interested in the improvisation because one of the things I do is to help train scientists to communicate in a better way and more personal way when they're making a presentation, and I use improvisation to do that.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Use #Way #Helping

  • It makes it fun. When an actor plays a character, you want what that character wants. Otherwise it doesn't look authentic. So I really want to defeat Jimmy - I mean Jimmy as the character.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Fun #Character #Mean

  • How can I ever hope to communicate something to you unless I get signals back from you that I'm on the right track or that I've started at some place that you're familiar with?
    -- Alan Alda

    #Track #Signals #Familiar

  • Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Wise #Wisdom #Smart

  • Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in awhile, or the light won't come in.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Change #Teaching #Humility

  • Laugh at yourself, but don't ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don't leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Smile #Laughter #Self Confidence

  • Originality is unexplored territory. You get there by carrying a canoe - you can't take a taxi.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Inspirational #Territory #Originality

  • Be brave enough to live creatively.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Brave #Be Brave #Enough

  • As an artist, as an actor, as a writer, you have to use what's personal to you. You have to be personal about your work; otherwise, it doesn't ring true.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Artist #Use #Actors

  • I found I wasn't asking good enough questions because I assumed I knew something.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Asking #Good Enough #Enough

  • It isn't necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It's only necessary to be rich.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Funny #Happiness #Money

  • The difference between listening and pretending to listen, I discovered, is enormous. One is fluid, the other is rigid. One is alive, the other is stuffed. Eventually, I found a radical way of thinking about listening. Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you. When I’m willing to let them change me, something happens between us that’s more interesting than a pair of dueling monologues.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Real #Thinking #Differences

  • Laugh at yourself, but don't ever aim your doubt at yourself.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Laughter #Laughing #Doubt

  • Almost everybody that's well-known gets tagged with a nickname.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Nicknames #Well Known #Wells

  • If I can't get the girl, at least give me more money.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Love #Girl #Money

  • For a while in my teens, I was sure I had it. It was about getting to heaven. If heaven existed and lasted forever, then a mere lifetime spent scrupulously following orders was a small investment for an infinite payoff. One day, though, I realized I was no longer a believer, and realizing that, I couldn't go back.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Order #Forever #Heaven

  • Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Change #Real #Listening

  • No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle and good, without the world being better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Strong #Men #World

  • People who laugh together generally don't kill each other.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Positive Thinking #People #Laughing

  • Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Inspirational #Listening #Able

  • Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Life #Creativity #Bravery

  • In the midst of the sense of tragedy or loss, sometimes laughter is not only healing, it's a way of experiencing the person that you've lost again.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Laughter #Healing #Loss

  • I found I wasn't asking good enough questions because I assumed I knew something. I would box them into a corner with a badly formed question, and they didn't know how to get out of it. Now, I let them take me through it step by step, and I listen.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Asking #Steps #Good Enough

  • When your kids turn 13, an alien being invades their bodies and doesn't leave until they're 20.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Children #Kids #Body

  • We're highly social animals - I'm told by scientists that what makes us different from other animals is an acute social awareness, which is what has made us so successful.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Successful #Animal #Different

  • War is war and Hell is hell, and if you ask me, War is a lot worse.
    -- Alan Alda

    #War #Hell #Ask Me

  • Insanity is just a state of mind.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Insanity #Mind #States

  • Republicans are as capable of coming up with great ideas and moving this country along as anyone - they just don't do it.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Country #Moving #Ideas

  • I still don't like the word agnostic. It's too fancy. I'm simply not a believer. But, as simple as this notion is, it confuses some people. Someone wrote a Wikipedia entry about me, identifying me as an atheist because I'd said in a book I wrote that I wasn't a believer. I guess in a world uncomfortable with uncertainty, an unbeliever must be an atheist, and possibly an infidel. This gets us back to that most pressing of human questions: why do people worry so much about other people's holding beliefs other than their own?
    -- Alan Alda

    #Atheist #Book #Simple

  • The best things said come last. People will talk for hours saying nothing much and then linger at the door with words that come with a rush from the heart.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Goodbye #Farewell #Heart

  • I dont see we can have a separation of church and state in this government if you have to pass a religious test to get in this government. And I want to warn everyone in the press and all the voters out there: if you demand expressions of religious faith from politicians, you are just begging to be lied to. They wont all lie to you but a lot of them will. And itll be the easiest lie they ever had to tell to get your votes. So every day till the end of this campaign, Ill answer any question anyone has on government, but if you have a question on religion, please, go to church.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Religious #Lying #Government

  • Loneliness is everything it's cracked up to be.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Loneliness

  • When people are laughing, they're generally not killing one another.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Happiness #Peace #Laughter

  • For humans, flying isn't magic, it's physics.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Flying #Magic #Physics

  • When I studied how to think in school, I was taught that the first rule of logic was that a thing cannot both be and not be at the same time and in the same respect. That last note, “in the same respect,” says a lot. As soon as you change the frame of reference, you’ve changed the truthiness of a once immutable fact.
    -- Alan Alda

    #School #Thinking #Lasts

  • It's better to be wise than to be smart.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Wise #Smart #Being Wise

  • Never Have Your Dog Stuffed is really advice to myself, a reminder to myself not to avoid change or uncertainty, but to go with it, to surf into change.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Dog #Reality #Advice

  • Testosterone Poisoning: … Until now it has been thought that the level of testosterone in men is normal simply because they have it. But if you consider how abnormal their behavior is, then you are led to the hypothesis that almost all men are suffering from ‘testosterone poisoning.’
    -- Alan Alda

    #Men #Suffering #Abnormal

  • Jean Paul Sartre says in "No Exit" that hell is other people. Well, our task in life is to make it heaven. Or at least earth.
    -- Alan Alda

    #People #Heaven #Tasks

  • I have a final word of advice to our students. If you work very, very hard, this is the kind of actor, writer and director you may turn out to be, and if you work extra hard, this is the kind of person you may turn out to be.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Advice #Directors #Finals

  • life is meaningless unless you bring meaning to it; ... it is up to us to create our own existence. Unless you do something, unless you make something it's as though you aren't there.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Life Is #Existence #Meaningless

  • The good thing about being a hypocrite is that you get to keep your values.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Hypocrite #Good Things #Being A Hypocrite

  • And I think belief is one of those things that comes to people in their own way. And just because I believe in something doesn't mean I think that you should.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Believe #Mean #Thinking

  • Some of the greatest things, as I understand, they have come about by serendipity, the greatest discoveries
    -- Alan Alda

    #Discovery #Serendipity

  • Nothing important was ever accomplished without chutzpah. Columbus had chutzpah. The signers of the Declaration of Independence had chutzpah. Don't ever aim doubt at yourself. Laugh at yourself, but don't doubt yourself.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Laughing #Independence #Doubt

  • Awards can give you a tremendous amount of encouragement to keep getting better, no matter how young or old you are.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Encouragement #Awards #Giving

  • When does she do all this thinking? We're together all the time but she thinks deeply about things and with feeling and she can remember the facts. We've been married 48 years.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Thinking #Years #Feelings

  • After a while I started to think of that as an image of something that went a lot deeper than the dead dog, which is you can't bring back anything to life.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Dog #Thinking #Dead Dog

  • As I am becoming older, the only thing that speeds up is time.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Graduation #Becoming #Speed

  • You can't get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Being Yourself #Work #Knowing

  • Here's my Golden Rule for a tarnished age: Be fair with others, but keep after them until they're fair with you.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Age #Golden #Golden Rule

  • I find myself going to places where I really have no business, speaking to these people in a whole other field that I have no extensive knowledge of. But I do it very often because it scares me.
    -- Alan Alda

    #People #Scare #Fields

  • Really top-notch directors, I've often worked with them just to see how they work.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Directors #Notches #Top Notch

  • My mother didn't try to stab my father until I was six, but she must have shown signs of oddness before that.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Mother #Father #Trying

  • Kids are natural scientists.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Kids #Scientist #Natural

  • In 2003, I almost died of an intestinal blockage when I was on a mountain in Chile, filming a segment for 'Scientific American Frontiers.'
    -- Alan Alda

    #Mountain #Chile #Blockage

  • I've never tried to manipulate my image.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Manipulation #Manipulate

  • I'm most at home on the stage. I was carried onstage for the first time when I was six months old.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Home #Months #Firsts

  • I wouldn't live in California. All that sun makes you sterile.
    -- Alan Alda

    #California #Sun

  • It's really clear to me that you can't hang onto something longer than its time. Ideas lose certain freshness, ideas have a shelf life, and sometimes they have to be replaced by other ideas.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Ideas #Sometimes #Shelves

  • I'm in the real world, some people try to steal from me, and I stop them, frequently, take them to court. I love a good lawsuit. It's fun.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Fun #Real #People

  • It's too bad I'm not as wonderful a person as people say I am, because the world could use a few people like that.
    -- Alan Alda

    #People #Genius #Use

  • I'm greedy for that satisfaction of doing something hard and knowing that, even though I was afraid I couldn't do it, that somehow I can deliver.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Knowing #Satisfaction #Greedy

  • You wouldn't want to be called a sell-out by selling a product. Selling out was frowned on, whereas now you can major in it at business school.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Business #School #Want

  • I don't really worry about the size of the part much any more. It's nice to have more time to work on the character, and to have big scenes to play. But if there's something playable there, and if it's interesting to do, then that's nice.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Nice #Character #Play

  • I'll carry on, carry over, carry forward, Cary Grant, cash and carry, carry me back to Old Virginia, I'll even 'hari-kari' if you show me how, but I will not carry a gun!
    -- Alan Alda

    #Gun #Virginia #Cash

  • If you know what you're looking for, that's all you'll get - what's previously known. But when you're open to what's possible, you get something new - that's creativity.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Creativity #Something New

  • During the first day, curious at having outsiders among them, a long stream of inmates came over and talked with me. Remarkably, according to what they told me, nearly every inmate in the prison didn't do it. Several thousand people had been locked up unjustly and, by an incredible coincidence, all in the same prison. On the other hand, they knew an awful lot about how to knife somebody.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Hands #Knives #Long

  • What then are doing if not creating a better place together? I think, for me the key has to be, what do I want to create? What is it I want to leave behind?
    -- Alan Alda

    #Thinking #Keys #Creating

  • What I always wanted to get seen as was as a good actor, when it was the acting I was doing. When I'm writing, I want to try to be seen as a good writer.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Writing #Trying #Acting

  • It's not an epitaph. I felt I could look back at my life and get a good story out of it. It's a picture of somebody trying to figure things out. I'm not trying to create some impression about myself. That doesn't interest me.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Trying #Looks #Stories

  • I've sat looking down into a volcano that could blow at any moment; I've helped catch a shark and several rattlesnakes; I let a tarantula walk across my hand, and I ate rat soup.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Blow #Volcanoes #Sharks

  • I've been nominated twice before as actor in a leading part. Now I'm nominated as actor in a supporting part. If I don't win, I'll just wait until I'm nominated for being in the theater during the show. Do they have one like that?
    -- Alan Alda

    #Winning #Waiting #Actors

  • I was always interested in figuring things out. I'd do experiments, like combining things I found around the house to see what would happen if I put them together.
    -- Alan Alda

    #House #Together #Figuring Things

  • I was a child, and my mother was psychotic. She loved me, but I didn't really feel I had a mother. And when you live with somebody who is paranoid and thinks you're trying to kill them all the time, you tend to feel a little betrayed.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Mother #Children #Thinking

  • I used to be a Catholic. I left because I object to conversion by concussion. If you don't agree with what they teach, you get clobbered over the head until you do. All that does is change the shape of the head.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Catholic #Doe #Shapes

  • I'm an angry person, angrier than most people would imagine, I get flashes of anger. What works for me is working out when it's useful to use that anger.
    -- Alan Alda

    #Anger #People #Work Out