As if January could get any worse. To the standard mix of cold, grey days, further discoloured by abstinence and financial reckoning, the start of 2023 has added new, unpalatable ingredients. Widespread hardship, crippling strikes, commercial fragility, political inertia, fractures in core services plus the threat of a global recession to enrobe the whole darn collation. And that’s without mentioning Prince Harry. Doh!

Experts at the World Economic Forum have dubbed 2023 the “year of the polycrisis”. Great!

The context is not exactly conducive to the January ritual of reflection, recalibration, and resolution. For my inspiration, therefore, I have favoured some calming, evergreen wisdom from the past.

In my view what will get us through this year are resilience (it’s not going to be easy), kindness (we will need each other) and self-care (the importance of looking after ourselves).

Here are 15 of my favourite quotes that talk to these priorities. Apologies for a couple of instances of gender bias in the language and for a mostly male collection. The meaning is universal, I hope.


  • ‘In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on’ (Robert Frost)
  • ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going’ (Winston Churchill)
  • ‘The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall’ (Nelson Mandela)
  • ‘I never dreamed about success, I worked for it’ (Estée Lauder)
  • ‘We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing’ (George Bernard Shaw)


  • ‘The time is always right to do what is right’ (Martin Luther King)
  • ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’ (Maya Angelou)
  • ‘In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit’ (Anne Frank)
  • ‘There is no limit to what a man can do so long as he does not care a straw who gets the credit for it’ (Charles Edward Montague)
  • ‘A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open’ (Frank Zappa)


  • ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’ (Eleanor Roosevelt)
  • ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life’ (Steve Jobs)
  • ‘There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in’ (Leonard Cohen)
  • ‘Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life’ (Dolly Parton)
  • ‘This above all: to thine own self be true’ (William Shakespeare)

Overall, we will navigate 2023. If we keep pedalling it may turn out better than we fear. So, think positively and remember: ‘It’s never too late to be what you might have been’ (George Eliot). And if that’s too heavy: ‘Always look on the bright side of life’ (Eric Idle).

Enough quotes already…Happy New Year!