A small sentence can be a powerful thing. Just a few words, fit together in the right way, can shift your understanding of life, work, or the universe. 

Sometimes, the wisest advice comes from ancient philosophers like Lao Tzu and Plato. Other times, it comes from celebrities like Selena Gomez and Jeff Bezos.

Allow us to present part two of Thrive’s lighthearted quiz series: “Who Said It: Celebrity or Ancient Philosopher?” Take the first quiz here!

See how many of the below you can attribute to their source — philosopher or celebrity? 

1) The best revenge is not to be like your enemy.

2) You make a choice: Continue living your life feeling muddled in this abyss of self-misunderstanding, or you find your identity independent of it.

3) Life is very short and anxious for those who forget the past, neglect the present, and fear the future.

4) A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.

5) I begin to speak only when I’m certain what I’ll say isn’t better left unsaid.

6) Invention is by its very nature disruptive. If you want to be understood at all times, then don’t do anything new.

7) Hope is a waking dream.

8) Never forget to dream.

9) If you are broken, you don’t have to stay broken.

10) Of all the means to insure happiness throughout the whole life, by far the most important is the acquisition of friends.

11) Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.

12) We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

13) What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

14) If you don’t come from a feeling place, you just end up with an enormous amount of technique.

15) The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

16) It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

17) The idea that you should be like everybody else genuinely breaks my heart.

18) Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.

1) Marcus Aurelius 2) Meghan Markle 3) Seneca 4) Steve Jobs 5) Cato 6) Jeff Bezos 7) Aristotle 8) Madonna 9) Selena Gomez 10) Epicurus 11) Princess Diana 12) Plato 13) Sheryl Sandberg 14) Nicole Kidman (she recently said her parents are Stoics, so kudos even if you got this one wrong!) 15) Lao Tzu 16) Confucius 17) Claire Foy 18) Oprah Winfrey


  • Nora Battelle

    Multimedia Staff Writer at Thrive

    Nora Battelle is a writer from New York City. Her work has been published on the Awl, the Hairpin, and the LARB blog, and she's written for podcast and film. At Swarthmore College, she studied English and French literature and graduated with Highest Honors. She's fascinated by language, culture, the internet, and all the small choices that can help us thrive.