39 Leo Tolstoy Timeless Quotes for Reflection and Inspiration


Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a Russian writer and philosopher who is widely regarded as one of the greatest novelists in history. Born into an aristocratic family, Tolstoy experienced a transformation in his beliefs and lifestyle later in life. His literary works, including “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina,” are renowned for their profound exploration of human nature, social issues, and moral dilemmas. Tolstoy’s writing style is characterized by his attention to detail, psychological depth, and his ability to capture the complexities of human emotions and relationships. He also embraced a philosophy of nonviolence, pacifism, and simple living, which greatly influenced his later writings and activism. Tolstoy’s contributions to literature and his enduring legacy continue to captivate and inspire readers worldwide. So, Without further ado, let’s delve into some of Leo’s famous quotes.

39 Leo Tolstoy Quotes

#1.“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” -Leo Tolstoy

#2.“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.” -Leo Tolstoy

#3.“When you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you’d like them to be.” -Leo Tolstoy

#4.“All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.” -Leo Tolstoy

#5.“Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait.” -Leo Tolstoy

#6.“If everyone fought for their own convictions there would be no war.” -Leo Tolstoy

#7.“The only thing that we know is that we know nothing, and that is the highest flight of human wisdom.” -Leo Tolstoy

#8.“Rummaging in our souls, we often dig up something that ought to have lain there unnoticed.” -Leo Tolstoy

#9.“There are no conditions to which a person cannot grow accustomed, especially if he sees that everyone around him lives in the same way.” -Leo Tolstoy

#10.“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.” -Leo Tolstoy

#11.“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” -Leo Tolstoy

#12.“Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.” -Leo Tolstoy

#13.“In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.” -Leo Tolstoy

#14.“Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking…” -Leo Tolstoy

#15.“Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.” -Leo Tolstoy

#16.“People try to do all sorts of clever and difficult things to improve life instead of doing the simplest, easiest thing-refusing to participate in activities that make life bad.” -Leo Tolstoy

#17.“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” -Leo Tolstoy

#18.“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.” -Leo Tolstoy

#19.“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” -Leo Tolstoy

#20.“All the variety, all the charm, all the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow.” -Leo Tolstoy

#21.“All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” -Leo Tolstoy

#22.“The best stories don’t come from “good vs. bad” but “good vs. good.” -Leo Tolstoy

#23.“We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.” -Leo Tolstoy

#24.“Be bad, but at least don’t be a liar, a deceiver!” -Leo Tolstoy

#25.There is something in the human spirit that will survive and prevail, there is a tiny and brilliant light burning in the heart of man that will not go out no matter how dark the world becomes. -Leo Tolstoy

#26.“In the best, the friendliest and simplest relations flattery or praise is necessary, just as grease is necessary to keep wheels turning.” -Leo Tolstoy

#27.“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” -Leo Tolstoy

#28.“Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them.” -Leo Tolstoy

#29.“Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.” -Leo Tolstoy

#30.“I often think that men don’t understand what is noble and what is ignorant, though they always talk about it.” -Leo Tolstoy

#31.“If you’re not enjoying your work, you should either change your attitude or change your job.” -Leo Tolstoy

#32.“Have a goal in life. A goal for a certain time, for a year, for a month, for a week, for a day or for an hour and for a minute, sacrificing lower goals to highest.” -Leo Tolstoy

#33.“The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life.” -Leo Tolstoy

#34.“To love life is to love God. Harder and more blessed than all else is to love this life in one’s sufferings, in undeserved sufferings.” -Leo Tolstoy

#35.“Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.” -Leo Tolstoy

#36.“An arrogant person considers himself perfect. This is the chief harm of arrogance. It interferes with a person’s main task in life – becoming a better person.” -Leo Tolstoy

#37.“Faith is the sense of life, that sense by virtue of which man does not destroy himself, but continues to live on. It is the force whereby we live.” -Leo Tolstoy

#38.“There is one evident, indubitable manifestation of the Divinity, and that is the laws of right which are made known to the world through Revelation.” -Leo Tolstoy

#39.“One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between Man and Nature shall not be broken.” -Leo Tolstoy


We hope that these quotes by Leo Tolstoy have inspired you to taking wise decisions in your personal and professional life. We would love to know your favorite quote of Leo Tolstoy, let us know in the comment section.