40 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from Voltaire

Voltaire, was a French historian, public activist and one of France’s greatest writers from the Age of Enlightenment period. A man of genius, he wrote over 20 000 letters and more than 2000 books and pamphlets, many of his writings being directed against the philosophical pretensions of famous philosophers like Descartes, Leibniz, and Malebranche.

“The pursuit of what is true and the practice of what is good are the two most important objects of philosophy.” ~ Voltaire

Because of his religiously and politically charged works and his repulse for fanaticism, superstition, idolatry and this idea that human beings are capable of killing each other in the name of a God and a religious doctrine that most of them don’t even understand, he was twice sent to prison and spent many years in exile. 

“Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.” ~ Voltaire

Voltaire’s work brought freedom and liberation to some, and anger and frustration to others. And it is my hope that the lessons I will share with you today will bring you nothing but contentment, freedom, and liberation from all that is erroneous, false and unworthy of your love, time, and energy.

Enjoy 🙂

40 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from Voltaire

1. Life is too short, time too valuable, to spend it on what is useless. ~ Voltaire

2. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.

“Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.”

40 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from Voltaire

3. The perfect is the enemy of the good. ~ Voltaire

4. It is said that the present is pregnant with the future. ~ Voltaire

5. One day everything will be well.

“One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything’s fine today, that is our illusion.”

6. There is nothing solid but virtue.

“My friend, you see how perishable are the riches of this world; there is nothing solid but virtue.”

“Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.”

7. Doubt is an uncomfortable condition.

“… but certainty is a ridiculous one.”

8. Don’t think money does everything.

“… or you are going to end up doing everything for money.”

9. Paradise is where I am. ~ Voltaire

“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”

10. He who thinks himself wise, O heavens! is a great fool. ~ Voltaire

“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”

Sculpture of Moses by Michelangelo, housed in the church of San Pietro in Vincoli in Rome 🙂

11. He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked. ~ Voltaire

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything. ~ Voltaire

12. The more a man knows, the less he talks. ~ Voltaire

“The more you read without thinking, the more you think you know a lot but the more you meditate, the more you see that you know very little.”

13. Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~ Voltaire

14. Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.

“The pursuit of what is true and the practice of what is good are the two most important objects of philosophy.”

15. To hold a pen is to be at war. ~ Voltaire

“We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk, and hazard.” ~ Voltaire

16. No opinion is worth burning your neighbor for.

“Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.” ~ Voltaire

17. Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. ~ Voltaire

“It is hard to free fools from the chains they revere.” ~ Voltaire

18. God is a comedian playing to an audience that is too afraid to laugh. ~ Voltaire

19. Dare to think for yourself. ~ Voltaire

“Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.”

20. Appreciation is a wonderful thing

“It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” ~ Voltaire

21. We are all formed of frailty and error.

Life lessons Voltaire
Trevi Fountain in Rome 🙂

“… Let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.” ~ Voltaire

22. Love truth, but pardon error. ~ Voltaire

23. The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient

“… while nature cures the disease.”

24. All the reasonings of men are not worth one sentiment of women. ~ Voltaire

25. What is history? The lie that everyone agrees on…

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”

“It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.”

26. Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives.

“… and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time.”

27. The mirror is a worthless invention.

“… The only way to truly see yourself is in the reflection of someone else’s eyes.”

28. Common sense is not so common.

“Common sense is both rarer and more desirable in leaders than mere intelligence.”

29. In every province, the chief occupations, in order of importance, are lovemaking, malicious gossip, and talking nonsense.” laugh. ~ Voltaire

30. Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read!


“… And if one reads profitably, one would realize how much stupid stuff the vulgar herd is content to swallow every day.”

“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part, I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.”

31. Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts.

“Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in Eternal awareness or Pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.”

32. We are rarely proud when we are alone. ~ Voltaire

33. Democracy is just a filler for textbooks!

“… Do you actually believe that public opinion influences the government?”

“It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.”

34. Beware of the words “internal security,” for they are the eternal cry of the oppressor.

“If you want to know who controls you, look at who you are not allowed to criticize.

35. Faith consists in believing what reason cannot. ~ Voltaire

36. Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes.

“… but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed.”

40 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from Voltaire

37. There is nothing solid but virtue.

“My friend, you see how perishable are the riches of this world; there is nothing solid but virtue.”

“Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference.”

38. Verses which do not teach men new and moving truths do not deserve to be read. ~ Voltaire

39. If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. ~ Voltaire

“In the beginning, God created man in His own image and man has been trying to repay the favor ever since.” 

40. Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. ~ Voltaire

40 Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from Voltaire
That’s the Sea of Galilee 🙂

Bonus: Voltaire Quotes

“I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.”

“The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of human stupidity.”

“When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.”

“The more often a stupidity is repeated, the more it gets the appearance of wisdom.”

“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”

“It is not love that should be depicted as blind, but self-love.”

~ Love, Luminita 💫


Luminita D. Saviuc

Luminita is the Founder and Editor in Chief of PurposeFairy.com and also the author of 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy: An Inspiring Guide to Discovering Effortless Joy. For more details check out the 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy Book Page.

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