Robin McLaurin Williams was an American comedian and actor. He was best known for his frenzied stand-up comedy sessions and remarkable acting performances for various roles. His outstanding act in his movie Good Will Hunting earned him an Academy Award.
As a privileged child of a senior executive in an automobile company, and of a former model, Williams comforted his lonely childhood with his 2,000 miniature soldiers. He grew up defying the stereotype of a comedian as he was not just funny, but he was naturally brainy. He entertained the world with his ricochet riffs on social controversies and politics, spontaneous improvisations about anything thrown at him, and impromptu impersonations of various Hollywood actors, prime ministers, presidents, princes, and even popes. He was indeed a legendary entertainer.
While living his life making everyone laugh, he drew his strength from his three children. His endless longing for belonging was evident as he got married three times in his lifetime. He was an affectionate soul, as described by his circle of intimate friends. The world remembers him as a man with so much wisdom.
Some of his remarkable quotes that will truly inspire you are the following:
1. “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”
People tend to find happiness in other people. They are blinded by the idea that they need others to make them feel that they are not alone. When you think you’re in the worst place just because you are alone, imagine how terrible it will be to be with the ones who aren’t even happy to be with you. Know that being alone is way so much better than being with people who are with you physically but leave you mentally alone.
2. “But only in their dreams can men be truly free. It was always thus and always thus will be.”
Everyone has been convinced that we are all free. But the truth is, genuine freedom is something you cannot absolutely possess.
3. “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
Having been gifted with enthusiasm and positivity, you ought to live life to the fullest. It’s never wrong to get frenzied at times as long as you don’t lose your senses. You can be both wise and foolish at the same time.
4. “I’m sorry, if you were right, I’d agree with you.”
Sometimes, you have to be firm with your convictions. You gain people’s respect by showing unwavering ideas. Show them that you’re reliable and trustworthy.
5. “Comedy is acting out optimism.”
Life is not as perfect as you want it to be. But you still have the option to always look at the bright side of everything. That’s the power of comedy – it alleviates all negativities.
6. “I left school and couldn’t find acting work, so I started going to clubs where you could do stand-up. I’ve always improvised, and stand-up was this great release. All of a sudden, it was just me and the audience.”
No matter what challenges life may throw at you, you should always remain resilient. Never stop seeking other means that could help you out. One day, you will look back and realize that every struggle was worth it.
7. “Reality: What a concept!”
To survive this world of reality is what you should hope for. There is no easy way but to embrace this concept of continuity, even when faced with trials.
8. “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
Words and ideas are powerful as they can initiate an evolution. Whatever happens, practice prudence when speaking, for you can never underestimate what words are capable of.
9. “When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”
The people you truly love will forever be with you even after they die. They may no longer be physically there, but they live in your memory, and they can never be erased.
10. “I love kids, but they are a tough audience.”
Kids are sometimes so hard to please. If you are planning to have family on your own, you better brace yourself. Parenting is like a course that is not offered in any university.
11. “Being in the same room with people and creating something together is a good thing.”
Believe in the goodness of togetherness. You can always make something beautiful out of a simple bond.
12. “The idea of having a steady job is appealing.”
It can’t be denied that a person with an established career is very attractive. Job stability is far better than physical attractiveness.
13. “Comedy can be a cathartic way to deal with personal trauma.”
Laughter is the best medicine; therefore, comedy could be an excellent pacifier if you happened to be experiencing personal trauma.
14. “The things we fear the most have already happened to us.”
Most of the time, the things that you are scared of happening are actually the things that you have already experienced in the past. Your fear is somehow the product of the pain that destroyed you in the past.
15. “If Heaven exists, to know that there’s laughter, that would be a great thing.”
Laughter gives us a taste of heaven. It’s always been a great privilege to have the liberty to laugh your heart out whenever you can.
16. “Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'”
Spring symbolizes a lot of things that manifest positivity. When you feel down, take the spring season as a sign that you’ve got to get out and be the life of the party.
17. “The essential truth is that sometimes you’re worried that they’ll find out it’s a fluke, that you don’t really have it. You’ve lost the muse or – the worst dread – you never had it at all. I went through all that madness early on.”
Worrying too much would only cause you pain and disappointment. Whatever you do, your subconscious mind will always find a reason to feel worried. Don’t let such negativity affect you.
18. “Winning an Oscar is an honor, but, between you and me, it does not make things easier.”
Not achieving what others are achieving does not make you any less of a person. Keep striving at your own pace. Life is not a competition.
19. “It’s hard when you read an article saying bad things about you. It is as if someone is sticking a knife on your heart. But I am the harshest critic of my work.”
Being judged by others could happen to you all the time. It may hurt you so badly, but you must always remember that only you can assess yourself and decide whether you have already done enough or not.
20. “I loved running, but all of a sudden, everything hurt so much.”
You cannot keep doing what you love to do your whole life as you are only mortal. Learn to do everything you’ve been dying to do while you still can.
21. “Do I perform sometimes in a manic style? Yes. Am I manic all the time? No. Do I get sad? Oh yeah. Does it hit me hard? Oh yeah.”
Sometimes, you have to face the challenges in your life like a heartless man. You get to endure the pain as you’ve got no other choice but to keep going on.
22. “You have this idea that you’d better keep working otherwise people will forget. And that was dangerous. And then you realize, no, actually if you take a break people might be more interested in you. “
You always tend to do things you don’t really do just to please others. Be careful as you might lose yourself trying to gain the affection of others.
23. “Acting is different from stand-up. It gives you this ability to enter into another character, to create another person.”
There are moments in your life where you get to try to live differently. You should treasure that moment as it may not happen again.
24. “What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.”
It takes you a lot of mistakes before you realize you’re not doing the right thing. It’s okay as long as you turn those mistakes into lessons.
25. “I do believe in love; it’s wonderful – especially love third time around, it’s even more precious; it’s kind of amazing.”
You have to value the beauty of chances. There is nothing better than a love that endures even after facing trials and challenges.
26. “For me, comedy starts as a spew, a kind of explosion, and then you sculpt it from there, if at all. It comes out of a deeper, darker side. Maybe it comes from anger because I’m outraged by cruel absurdities, the hypocrisy that exists everywhere, even within yourself, where it’s hardest to see.”
How you act is just a reflection of what you truly feel inside your heart. You may not know it, but sometimes the negative side of you ends up bringing out the best in you.
27. “There’s a world out there. Open a window, and it’s there.”
The universe is filled with unlimited chances. Have no fear and believe that something out there is meant only for you.
28. “A woman would never make a nuclear bomb. They would never make a weapon that kills – no, no. They’d make a weapon that makes you feel bad for a while.”
Always understand how a woman reacts to different situations. You may not know this, but a woman is meant to make a man better. Being so sensitive and overreactive is just part of the process.
29. “Seize the day. Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing.”
Make the most out of every time that you have. Remember that you are not promised tomorrow.
30. “I was only a leading man for a minute; now I’m a character actor.”
You will never know what you’re capable of until you learn how to take a chance on something that you might fear.
31. “Carpe per diem – seize the check.”
Sometimes, you get so practical that you do your job not because of passion but because of financial reasons. And that is just fine.
32. “Tweets? That stuff kills conversation. And people taking pictures with their phone or recording you, sometimes surreptitiously, is creepy. They come up and just start talking to you, and you can see the red light on their phone.”
It’s always scary to be the center of people’s attention. You ought to embrace the fact that not everyone deserves your trust.
33. “I’ve had a lot of people tell me they watched ‘Old Dogs’ with their kids and had a good time.”
You can always count on the people you trust, especially when it comes to family matters. Stuff that worked on them may also work for you.
34. “I think it’s great when stories are dark and strange and weirdly personal.”
Appreciate the story of your life regardless if it’s full of happiness or packed with sadness. The fact that it’s genuine is all that matters the most.
35. “My mother’s idea of natural childbirth was giving birth without makeup. She was hyper-positive – the world is a wonderful place, rainbows, and unicorns. If you said anything contrary to her, you were basically exiled.”
Mothers are the true heroes in this world. They remain faithful and positive your whole life. When everything falls apart, look for your mother, and she will always give you the words you exactly needed.
36. “I’m much more open to being a supporting actor right now. At the age of 60, I’ll be second fiddle. Fine. I’m happy to do it.”
When you do something you love, positions and titles don’t matter to you anymore. You don’t need fame or power; you just need to keep satisfying your soul.
37. “There is still a lot to learn, and there is always great stuff out there. Even mistakes can be wonderful.”
Brace yourself for more marvelous things that will come your way. Whether it’s accompanied by laughter or heartache, know that it’s still beautiful.
38. “I think the saddest people always try their hardest to make people happy. Because they know what it’s like to feel absolutely worthless, and they don’t want anybody else to feel like that.”
Having experienced being in the worst situations before makes you a living saint. You tend to lift other people merely because you know exactly how traumatic it was to reach the rock bottom.
39. “With film roles, it just has to be a character either I haven’t done before, or a role with somebody really interesting or with an interesting person or group of people.”
You’ve got to be ready for every role life would ask you to play. You could be a happy person, a hard-working one, a depressed one, or a strong one. Whatever role you choose, make sure it’s the one that makes you better.
40. “The improv, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but when it does, it’s like open-field running.”
The processes that we have to follow may not always be the best, but they are meant to give us experiences no words can ever describe.
41. “To be free. Such a thing would be greater than all the magic and all the treasures in all the world.”
Freedom is so precious that you can consider it as something more important than your wealth.
42. “I basically started performing for my mother, going, ‘Love me!’ What drives you to perform is the need for that primal connection. When I was little, my mother was funny with me, and I started to be charming and funny for her, and I learned that by being entertaining, you make a connection with another person.”
We often ignore the fact that real appreciation starts at home. You need to learn how to appreciate the people in your life. Stay close with them and aim to make them happy, for that is the secret to keeping them forever.
43. “You must strive to find your own voice because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all.”
Don’t waste too much time trying to figure out what you really want. Go out there and keep exploring. What truly matters the most is the journey, not the destination.
44. “Good people end up in Hell because they can’t forgive themselves.”
No matter how good you are to other people, you still end up being sad if you fail to be good to yourself.
45. “I met Nelson Mandela, and I really didn’t know what to say. It was years ago at a benefit. I was just in awe of this man because of what he’d done.”
Just like Robin Williams, there will come a time that you meet someone you used to look up to. Everything will seem like magic. You will remember every reason why you adore the person.
46. “I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.”
When you were younger, you may have believed that going to school would teach you how to take good care of yourself. Now, you come to understand that education also makes you realize that you were born for others.
47. “Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs.”
Drugs are only meant to give you temporary relief of everything that’s hurting you. Even if you take all available drugs in the world, you still need to face reality. There is no escape when it comes to dealing with your trials in life. The only sure thing is that it has an end.
48. “Our job is improving the quality of life, not just delaying death.”
You shouldn’t live just for the sake of existing. You live to understand life deeper and to master how to experience it to the fullest.
49. “As an alcoholic, you will violate your standards quicker than you can lower them.”
When you got hooked into a bad habit, you tend to forget what is wrong and what is right.
50. “But if there’s love, dear, those are the ties that bind, and you’ll have a family in your heart, forever.”
Love is all you need to create your own family. Love is such a strong element that it can work as a strong tie that creates a home.
51. “Don’t associate yourself with toxic people. It’s better to be alone and love yourself than surrounded by people that make you hate yourself.”
Don’t be afraid to detach yourself from people who are unhealthy for your growth. Learn how to fight alone when everyone seems to bring you down. Choose only the people who can make you love yourself more.
52. “Sometimes, over things that I did, movies that didn’t turn out very well – you go, ‘Why did you do that?’ But in the end, I can’t regret them because I met amazing people. There was always something that was worth it.”
There is no bad experience. You have to learn to always seek positivity in every experience that has happened to you.
53. “The idea of Juilliard was that it would give you this toolbox full of skills that you could take with you and apply to anything.”
Throughout your lifetime, you will meet a person or will get into a situation where you get to gain an important lesson that could change you drastically.
54. “Crying never helped anybody do anything, okay? You have a problem you face it like a man.”
Crying is just an expression, not a solution. You are allowed to show weakness, but you are not allowed to give up. Be brave enough to face the challenges. Until then, you’ll realize how strong you are.
55. “Real loss is only possible when you love something more than you love yourself.”
You can never say that you lost something or someone unless deep down in your heart, you know you value that thing or that person more than your life.
56. “Time is the best teacher; unfortunately, it kills all of its students.”
Time is the greatest teacher we could ever have. The sad thing is, time is also a reminder that our days here on earth are numbered.
57. “Never say goodbye because saying goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting.”
Train yourself to always look forward to another encounter with the people you value. Parting ways should not mean forgetting. It should rather signify the hope of seeing each other again.
58. “Change is not popular; we are creatures of habit as human beings. “I want it to be the way it was.” But if you continue the way it was, there will be no “is.”
Be adaptive to change. The past may have made you great, but that should not be the reason for you not to trust the mystery of the present.
59. “On stage, you’re free. You can say and do things that, if you said and did any place else, you’d be arrested.”
There are moments in your life when you feel like you have the liberty to do whatever you want. You deserve to be carefree at least once in your life.
60. “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
Always be considerate to others. You have no idea what everyone is going through. Always show kindness. A simple affection could mean a lot to them.
61. “You’re still young. Being a true loser takes years of inaptitude.”
You can’t be a loser. You’ve got a lifetime to prove your worth. As long as you are using your skills right, you can never go wrong.
62. “Most of all, I want to thank my father, up there, the man who when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said, “Wonderful. Just have a back-up profession like welding.”
It’s good to be bold when chasing your dreams, but always make sure to have a fallback. Not everything goes out as planned, but you can always compromise.
63. “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.”
Being kind to others brings you nothing but goodness. Just imagine how wonderful it is to be the reason why someone feels better.
64. “There are no rules. Just follow your heart.”
Life set no rules for you to follow. All you need to do is to be yourself and do what makes you happy.
65. “Death is nature’s way of saying, “Your table is ready.”
Your life will come to an end someday. You won’t know when it will be. What you need to know is that your time is limited and you have to make the most out every moment you have.
66. “Sometimes you got to specifically go out of your way to get into trouble. It’s called fun.”
Life is too short to be boring. Sometimes, you have to go out there, make mistakes, and get yourself into trouble. Don’t try to make your life perfect. Make it fun instead.
67. “You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe; harmonic connection between all living beings, everywhere, even the stars.”
Music is such a beautiful thing. It is food for your soul. So many moments in your life could be lifted by music.
68. “You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”
Sometimes, challenges need to happen for you to realize things you thought didn’t matter.
69. “When you have a great audience, you can just keep going and finding new things.”
Most of the time, what could really inspire you to strive harder, are the people who never cease to appreciate you. How wonderful it is to do what you love to do while the people who love you cheer you up.
70. “Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness turning night into day. Make a wish and think of me. Make your life spectacular.”
Don’t let anxiety and doubt dwell in your mind. Remember that you only have one life to live. Make sure you spend it more on being cheerful and lighthearted.
71. “Sometimes, you can have a whole lifetime in a day and never notice that this is as beautiful as it gets.”
There will be that one perfect day that you will never forget. It’s as if you’ve been waiting for that day your whole life, and it’s just so perfect that you don’t want it to end.
72. “You’re not perfect, sport. And let me save you the suspense. This girl you met, she isn’t perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other. That’s the whole deal. That’s what intimacy is all about.”
You don’t need to be perfect to find the perfect soul that matches yours. Just because each one of you is not perfect, doesn’t mean you’re not perfect together. It only takes courage to accept your imperfections and work on making your relationship a good one.
73. “I’m a very tolerant man, except when it comes to holding a grudge.”
It’s okay not to tolerate behaviors that went out of hand. You are only human. You are not obliged to condone other people’s wrongdoings.
74. “There’s no shame in failing. The only shame is not giving things your best shot.”
Failing doesn’t define who you really are. Whether you succeed or fail, what matters the most is the effort you exerted when trying to achieve what you desire.
75. “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.”
You can never underestimate what poetry can do to you. People, even your loved ones, may fail you sometimes, but poetry never will.
76. “A human life is just a heartbeat in heaven.”
No matter how dignified you are while you are still alive, at the end of your time, you will just be a part of a great memory. Thus, choose to live well.
77. “I try to make sense of things. Which is why, I guess, I believe in destiny. There must be a reason that I am as I am. There must be.”
Whatever it is that you’re going through, believe that you can overcome it. You won’t be in the situation that you are in right now for nothing. There is something great, and you just have to wait for it to unfold in front of your eyes.
Williams imparted his wisdom through his sayings. He taught us to find zeal even in the loneliest point of our lives. He made it known that being alone is never about the physical absence of the people. You can always be in control of how you feel and take that opportunity to create an atmosphere that gives no space for solitude even when you’re physically alone.
He may have left this world too soon, but his chuckles and giggles will continue to echo in the memories of the people who were deeply moved by his humor and sophistication. His quotes shall continue to inspire everyone, even beyond Neverland.