70 Goethe Quotes on Love, Education and Friendship

Goethe quotes on Everyday Power!!!


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is widely considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era.

Here are our favorite Goethe sayings on love and friendship, along with insightful quotes about education.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Read more related content on our inspirational quotes category page.

Goethe Quotes on Love, Education and Friendship

1. “I love those who yearn for the impossible.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about impossibilities

2. “Character develops itself in the stream of life.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about character

3. “Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about behavior

4. “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes and sayings

5. “Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

encouraging Goethe Quotes

6. “By seeking and blundering we learn.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about learning

You will also enjoy our article on Rudolf Steiner quotes.

7. “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about trust

8. “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about ignorance

9. “One becomes older in order to become kinder.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about kindness

10. “Life is the childhood of our immortality.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about life

11. “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

12. “The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

13. “In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about love

14. “He who does not think much of himself is much more esteemed than he imagines.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

15. “Ignorant men raise questions that wise men answered a thousand years ago.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

16. “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about death

17. One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

18. “A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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19. “Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

20. “I have possessed that heart, that noble soul, in whose presence I seemed to be more than I really was, because I was all that I could be.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

21. “We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

22. “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of education quotes about learning and success.

Goethe Quotes about friendship

23. “There are two things children should get from their parents: roots and wings.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

24. “A man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

25. “Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about music

26. “Age does not make us childish, as some say; it finds us true children.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

27. “To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

28. “Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about love

29. “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

30. “The greater part of all the mischief in the world arises from the fact that men do not sufficiently understand their own aims.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

31. “Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

32. “If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse; however, if I treat you as though you are what you are capable of becoming, I help you become that.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about friendship

33. “The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

34. “Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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Goethe Quotes about death

35. “Nothing should be prized more highly than the value of each day.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

36. “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about education

37. “Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

38. “Love and desire are the spirit’s wings to great deeds.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

39. “Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about love

40. “Everyone believes in his youth that the world really began with him, and that all merely exists for his sake.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

41. “The best fortune that can fall to a man is that which corrects his defects and makes up for his failings.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

42. “Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

43. “Let’s plunge ourselves into the roar of time, the whirl of accident; may pain and pleasure, success and failure, shift as they will – it’s only action that can make a man.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about death

44. “The day of fortune is like a harvest day, we must be busy when the corn is ripe.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

45. “Fortune rarely accompanies anyone to the door.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

46. “Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

47. “Leap and the net will appear.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Goethe Quotes about music

48. “One never goes so far as when one doesn’t know where one is going.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

49. “Every day I observe more and more the folly of judging of others by ourselves; and I have so much trouble with myself, and my own heart is in such constant agitation, that I am well content to let others pursue their own course, if they only allow me the same privilege.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thought-provoking Goethe quotes

50. “One never goes so far as when one doesn’t know where one is going.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

51. “All extraordinary men, who have accomplished great and astonishing actions, have ever been decried by the world as drunken or insane.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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52. “Misunderstandings and neglect occasion more mischief in the world than even malice and wickedness.”– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

53. “Words are mere sound and smoke, dimming the heavenly light.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

54. “It’s true that nothing in this world makes us so necessary to others as the affection we have for them.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

55. “Everybody wants to be somebody, but nobody wants to grow… ”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

56. “What is uttered from the heart alone will win the heart of others to your own.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

57. “He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

58. “Misunderstandings and neglect occasion more mischief in the world than malice and wickedness.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

59. “For a man to achieve all that is demanded of him, he must regard himself as greater than he is.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

60. “The deed is everything; the fame is nothing.”― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

More Goethe quotes and sayings

61. “A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

62. “I have so much in me, and the feeling for her absorbs it all; I have so much, and without her it all comes to nothing.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

63. “It is not doing the thing we like to do, but liking the thing we have to do, that makes life blessed.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

64. “Difficulties increase the nearer we get to the goal.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

65. “We know accurately only when we know little; doubt grows with knowledge.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

66. “To be loved for what one is, that is the greatest exception. The great majority love in others only what they lend him; their own selves, their version of him.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

67. “Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

68. “Love grants in a moment what toil can hardly achieve in an age.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

69. “Those only obtain love who seek it not.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

70. “That is the true season of love, when we believe that we alone can love, that no one could ever have loved so before us and that no one will love in the same way as us.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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