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14 Fascinating Jean-Paul Sartre Quotes About Life

Jean-Paul Sartre had a very special view of life. For this reason, or because he was a philosopher, he also wrote down some of them. In this article we will take a closer look at the most famous, the most beautiful and the smartest of them.

"If you are lonely, if you are alone, you are in bad company".

Jean-Paul Sartre

Why is it so difficult to spend time with yourself? By this I don't mean spending an afternoon just playing video games or bingewatching a series. It's more about actually spending time with yourself, taking a walk or doing some other activity. Why is it so hard to spend time with yourself?

If you want to know more about the content or the meaning of this quotation, then have a look at Simons or my Interpretation on this.

"Do you think I am counting the days? There is only one day left, which always starts over again: it is given to us at dawn and taken away at dusk."

Jean-Paul Sartre

We often live in our heads. Whether we think about the past or fantasize about the future: We tend to forget that we are living now and that we need to make the most of today. But how exactly do we manage to live more actively in the now?

You can find some answers to this question in this article.

"Man is nothing but what he makes of himself."

Jean-Paul Sartre

As already mentioned, we as human beings are the sum of all our deeds, no more and no less. So it is our own responsibility what we make of ourselves. Do we live according to our ideas and principles or do we let the cruelty of the world and our fellow human beings bring us to our knees. Do we manage to become the person we want to be or not?

Albert Camus once said that a good reason to die is also a good reason to live. Looking at it from this angle, it might be a little easier to do the right thing.

"We've figured out everything but how to live."

Jean-Paul Sartre

In times of big search engines it is possible to find an answer to almost any question with just a few clicks. No matter how complex or insignificant the topic. How much does a mosquito weigh, how fast can you drive a Bobby Car, who is the president of Djibouti or what are boogers made of? There is hardly a question that can't be found out in seconds.

The question of how we should live best, however, is not so easy to answer, since it is not factual. But there are some approaches that can be applied more or less universally. Some of them you can find in thisem article again.

"Freedom is what we make of what is done to us."

Jean-Paul Sartre

Often we cannot choose what happens to us or how other people treat us. What we can influence, however, is how we deal with the situation. This idea is one of the building blocks of Stoicism and can be an invaluable tool in building a happier life. Marcus Aurelius already knew, that our life is what our thoughts make of it (the link will take you to a separate article on this topic).

"Hell is - other people!"

Jean-Paul Sartre

Whether it's someone slamming the car door too hard, not clearing their dirty dishes away from the dining table, or pulling a chair across the floor instead of carrying it. All of this can bother you more than you might think, but why does such behavior in others bother us so much? And why are we blind to our own bad habits? The famous psychologist Carl Gustav Jung had this to say about it exciting approaches.

"Man is condemned to be free, because once he is thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.
It is up to you to give meaning to [life]."

Jean-Paul Sartre

Probably no other quote packs into so few words what the exact meaning of existentialism is. No man is born with a destiny into which he must grow (this is the idea of essentialism, which applied from Aristotle until the 19th century), it is much more the case that every man gives meaning to his own life.

"We are our choices".

Jean-Paul Sartre

If we stop for a moment and reflect on what we have already lived through, how we are doing in our situation and then consider what kind of life we want to live - there is no getting around the point that we are the sum of all our decisions. And that we will also be "only" the sum of all our decisions in the future.

To live the life we think is worth living, we need to adjust our choices and start taking responsibility for them.

"Better to die on your feet than live on your knees".

Jean-Paul Sartre

It is better to stand up for what you think is right than to abstain and be unfaithful to yourself. Often it is uncomfortable to do what you think is right, but that is the way we should go. Would you rather be remembered as the person who abstained everywhere and never said anything, or as the one who spoke his mind even if it ticked off here and there?

"Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Is it really too early or too late to start something when the clock strikes three, or is this just a very welcome excuse not to have to start at all? After all, you could still start, if you don't get the task done, you could still finish it the following day.

"There may be finer times, but this is ours."

Jean-Paul Sartre

You often hear people say, "I was born at the wrong time." or "Everything used to be better."

Maybe these people are right, maybe everything was better in the past (although I highly doubt this and can even prove it factually - however, these are highly subjective statements, so back to the text). The point is this: you cannot live in another time. You only have this one life and we should play the absolute most beautiful game we are capable of.

"You are - your life and nothing else."

Jean-Paul Sartre

We often fantasize about what we could be or who we could be. However, these are only fantasies and we must face the truth. We are only this one life, even if this seems very restrictive at first glance, it also offers endless potential. You yourself are in control of what you do with your time here on earth. You alone can create your heaven or your hell on earth.

"Life begins on the other side of despair".

Jean-Paul Sartre

You can't always just make heads or tails of things. Whether it's about the climate crisis, the war, the suffering from hunger or anything else that we get drummed into us all day. Life is about seeing the beauty in all the suffering that exists in the world. That which is worth living for. If you just open your eyes and know where to look, you will find that beauty.

"We don't know what we want, and yet we are responsible for what we are - that's the fact. "

Jean-Paul Sartre

How on earth could we possibly know what we want? After all, there is an endless number of things we could be. We are only limited by how we think. From garbage man to playboy, from philosopher to astronaut, we can be anything. We can lie in bed all day or run a marathon. We can play video games or go hiking. There is more to do in this world than a human life can ever live out. It is our responsibility to find out what it is that we want.

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