One Line Philosophies On Life To Live By

Recently had a CEO blame other people for why he couldn't move things along in a transaction. Literally holding up a deal because he is not a good leader and trying to scapegoat everything.

Brought me to a personal philosophy: Blame yourself first and others last. 

What are some one-line philosophies you live by? 

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  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Nov 21, 2020 - 8:17pm

But what about when talent works hard? Doesn't it imply that no matter what, if you're not talented, you're always going to get beat by someone with talent + work ethic?

Nov 20, 2020 - 12:12pm

A big one for me is "we suffer more in imagination than reality" by Seneca. Another similar one by him is "the mind that is anxious about future events is miserable"

Nov 20, 2020 - 12:18pm

I paraphrase it a bit but "everyone's got a plan until they get punched in the face"

Monkey see. Monkey Doo [Doo].

  • 2
Nov 20, 2020 - 12:54pm

I have a few.

"Shit happens"

"Customer is always right even when they are wrong" 

"Treat others the way you would like to be treated"  The golden rule is probably the most important rule to live by in my opinion.

After covid I'll be making a small change in my life. I will start hugging people that matter in my life and show more affection. Currently I show zero affection to anyone, I don't kiss and I don't hug. This includes family. 

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 20, 2020 - 2:13pm

I found it from Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse V, but I'm sure he's not the only one

Nov 20, 2020 - 3:02pm

"Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself." -Harvey Specter

"I like to smile at people who don't like me." -Also Harvey Specter

"Goals so big you get uncomfortable telling small-minded people." - Guess who said this

"Let them hate. Just make sure they spell your name right." - ;)

"Kill them with success. Bury them with a smile." -You already know


  • 3
  • 2
Feb 11, 2021 - 12:07am

MS why

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Nov 20, 2020 - 5:46pm

good content in here, love this stuff. Few others (and some cliches) I haven't seen yet:

The grass is always greener where you water it

Don't sweat the small stuff

Talk less, say more

Rome wasn't built in a day

If this shit were easy everybody would be doing it

Winners never quit and quitters never win

Life begins outside your comfort zone

And my personal favorite one-line philosophy (that I don't necessarily live my life by but is fun to say): What the fuck's the point in making all this goddamn money if you can't fucking spend it?

Nov 23, 2020 - 7:54am

The grass is always greener where you piss on*

Been happening a lot with me since September. Talk shit about some stock and somehow it goes up.

GoldenCinderblock: "I keep spending all my money on exotic fish so my armor sucks. Is it possible to romance multiple females? I got with the blue chick so far but I am also interested in the electronic chick and the face mask chick."
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Nov 21, 2020 - 2:27am

« To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did » 

Nov 21, 2020 - 9:59am

Only those who try can succeed. 

If you want to meet quality people, you have to go through all the dicks first. 

Never discuss with idiots, first they drag you at their level, then they beat you with experience.

Nov 21, 2020 - 10:58am

When I'm pissed off:  "Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." ― H.L. Mencken.

The other 95% of the time: "Be humble, be grateful, be caring, be happy, be you."



  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 21, 2020 - 11:52am

It might take a year it might take a day but what's meant to be will always find a way.

Results take time, hard work is important, but sometimes things don't work out for you and that's just because they weren't meant to be I guess

Nov 21, 2020 - 12:23pm

Go to bed smarter than when you woke up

Instagram: @dickthesellsider | Substack:

Nov 21, 2020 - 4:40pm

+1 thanks for sharing. Excellent way to put things in perspective.

thots & prayers

Nov 21, 2020 - 8:48pm

A man must suffer if he is to remake himself, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

We judge others by their actions,but we judge ourselves by our intentions

"But he did not understand the price. Mortals never do. They only see the prize, their heart's desire, their dream... But the price of getting what you want, is getting what you once wanted." 
― Neil Gaiman, Dream Country

"You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness." 
― Jonathan Safran Foer

"Any fool can be happy. It takes a man with real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us weep." 
― Clive Barker, Days of Magic, Nights of War

"A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."

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

"Victory goes not for the most able, but the ambitious."

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.

  • 3
  • Associate 2 in PE - Growth
Nov 22, 2020 - 7:32am

"Don't talk to people about your problems.

 Did you know that 90% of people don't care?

 And the other 10% are glad that you've got them."

- Lou Holtz (former NCAA football coach and former ESPN analyst)

Nov 22, 2020 - 2:20pm

"discontent is the seed of progress", meaning improvement inherently means being dissatisfied with the current situation and the fortitude to strive for better.

"You are what the scoreboard says you are" nobody cares about the hurdles you have to overcome or the intentions you had, people only care about your accomplishments

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Nov 23, 2020 - 3:31pm

2nd one is very true. First one almost makes me think that is would be better to be more content now even if it means being less ambitious, since I think people often stay discontent forever

Nov 22, 2020 - 4:28pm

"Great achievements involve great risk."

"Out the garage is how you end up in charge It's how you end up in penthouses, end up in cars, it's how you Start off a curb servin', end up a boss"
Nov 22, 2020 - 7:26pm

- Treat others as they want to be treated.

- Be the change you wish to seek in the world. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Nov 22, 2020 - 7:33pm

Waste not, want not.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Nov 22, 2020 - 9:38pm

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are"

"The true test of a man's character is what he does when no one is watching"

Nov 22, 2020 - 9:50pm

- check yoself before you wreck yoself

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Nov 23, 2020 - 2:25pm

You have power over your mind not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. - Marcus Aurelius

failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be - John Wooden

an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. - Ben Franklin

as pride increases, fortune declines. - Ben Franklin

wise men learn by others' harms, fools by their own. - Ben Franklin

Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. - Einstein

doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd - Voltaire

come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance. - Virgil

kites rise highest against the wind, not with it. - Churchill

experience is what you get when you don't get what you want. - Randy Pausch

everything in excess is opposed to nature - Hippocrates

to do nothing is also a good remedy - Hippocrates

nobody can hurt me without my permission - Gandhi

fear has its use but cowardice has none - Gandhi

plenty of good one liners from other philosophers, in the middle of reading seneca right now and there's too much in there to just pick a couple. my aurelius quote pretty much encompasses my entire life's philosophy

Nov 23, 2020 - 3:48pm

Failure is never fatal, success is never final.  It's the courage to continue that counts. - Winston Churchill

The happiness of your life is determined by the quality of your thoughts - Marcus Aurelius 

Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, you're right. - Henry Ford

It isn't where you came from; its where you're going that counts. - Ella Fitzgerald

Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; fot tis better to be alone than in bad company. - George Washington

You can complain because rose bushes have throns, or you can rejoice because rose bushes have thorns - Abraham Lincoln

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. - Theodore Roosevelt

"A man can convince anyone he's somebody else, but never himself."
  • 2
Nov 24, 2020 - 5:51pm

Always down for the cause, never down for the count

Underpromise, overdeliver 

The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.

Nov 26, 2020 - 3:09pm

"Don't hookup where you VLOOKUP" ~ wise old man

"If it is on WSO, it must be true" ~ old Jewish proverb.

  • 1
  • Intern in RE - Comm
Dec 10, 2020 - 10:39pm

"Some poor, phoneless fool is probably sitting by a waterfall somewhere, completely unaware of how angry or scared he's supposed to be."

Dec 11, 2020 - 3:14am

Odog's axioms:

"Girls are poison"

"Two reasons why people get divorced, trouble with Money and trouble in the bedroom"

- my dad to me in high school (I dated anyways), but he had multiple marriages so had life experience; Money worries and erectile dysfunction Pre-viagra times (lucky you live today)

"Have power and people will seek your power,

Have wealth and people will seek your wealth,

Have fun and enjoy life with others and people will seek your company"

- I made this up in college, blessed with lots of friends and experiences; a bit long for an one liner but puts into perspective what it means to be rich

"Have compassion as well as ambition and you'll go far in life"

- this was from my fortune cookie when I had lunch at Univ of Washington (Firecracker); a lot of what I do is based on helping others while making money; most fortune cookie fortunes are generic but this one spoke to me

"When times are tough, work for the Money, that's how you get paid"

- my hustle mantra during a recession such as the one we are in

"you are chasing Rainbows, Unicorns and... Leprechauns"

- my wife during one of my lowest points in my marriage when I was starting a business (valley of death, before cash flow); Money worries 

"Odog why rush, why don't you take full advantage of the program, you have the rest of your career to benefit"

- the dean of the accounting department in talking me into doing a masters vs an accelerated certificate program - best decision because I ended up taking full advantage of everything that the business school had to offer; took me a little while longer but grand scheme, worth it

"want to go to Barnes and Nobles to study?"

- the line I said to ask my now wife to go out with me for the first time, almost 20 years ago; I hedged my downside risk with the study angle

"do you drink, fish and hunt?  Me: absolutely, I can do all that. I drink."

- what I said in my interview to a question from a rainmaker VP to get my big break in finance in an acquisitions role; I think the gist was do I have some moxie or can I develop it (even though I ended up pretty tame)

"Odog, let me tell you something about Private Equity and who gets paid the most in a deal: first the Management, then the Investment Bankers, then the Lawyers, and finally the Accountants"

- older guy who sold a global company who drove a Ducati to class and was my study partner in an accounting class that he was taking just for life long learning; we were at the library (accounting is a great background btw)

"I'm just keeping my options open"

- stupid me when my girlfriend, now wife, saw me and friends dancing with other girls in another part of the club in Caesar's Palace (she was pissed but I think deep down she liked it); anyways don't do that

"Older co-worker: what you got there Odog?  Me: it's a textbook about Construction... Should I get a MBA?  Older co-worker: Absolutely"

- the moment I realized all the self learning I was doing would probably not have the same effect as a top MBA on my bio

"Do you have any summer jobs?"

- an out of the blue question when my study partner in college, older guy, said after I asked him what he was doing in our class, and said that he was a partner of a law firm with 13 attorneys under him

Have compassion as well as ambition and you’ll go far in life
  • 1
  • Analyst 1 in S&T - FI
Dec 13, 2020 - 11:29pm

I was lucky enough to get a 30 min chat with a global head as a summer analyst and one of the best pieces of advice he gave me was "Be self aware. Know what you know (i.e strengths) and what you don't know(i.e weaknesses) and understand how to turn the latter into the former in a self-starting way" Something along those lines. But that always stuck with me since he said it.

Feb 10, 2021 - 9:36pm
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