≡ Menu

Lily Tomlin Quotes

Mary Jean Tomlin

Lily Tomlin quotes: witty remarks from the star comedian.

“Success is a ladder that cannot be climbed with your hands in your pocket.  The road to success is always under construction.”

“Don’t be afraid of missing opportunities.  Behind every failure is an opportunity somebody wishes they had missed.”

“There’s nothing sadder than getting to the end of your life and saying, ‘I didn’t do it right.'”

“Live your life so that when you are being honored for your achievements, the people called upon to make laudatory remarks can feel reasonably honest about their comments.”

“If trying harder doesn’t work, try softer.”

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you’re still a rat.”

“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.”

“You are what you think.  Jeez, that’s frightening.”

“No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.”

“You can’t expect insights, even the big ones, to make you suddenly understand everything.  But I figure: hey it’s a step in the right direction if they leave you confused in a deeper way.”

“The best mind-altering drug is the truth.”

“I guess that’s one of the reasons that you do it – work all the time – because it’s sort of a high to find something that really works.”

“Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.”

“Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it.”

“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.”

“The start to a better world is the belief that it is possible.”

“At the moment you are most in awe of all there is about life that you don’t understand, you are closer to understanding it all than at any other time.”

“I have always felt that humor was a wonderful vehicle to let us become connected with each other and ourselves.  I try to portray the similarities and polarities in men and women, so that we can acknowledge and embrace our collective consciousness.”

“Sometimes I worry about being a success in a mediocre world.”

“I have always wanted to be somebody, but I see now I should have been more specific.”

“I offered to do odd jobs for our neighbors, such as walking dogs, emptying garbage cans or running errands to the store.  It was like an explosion of entrepreneurial insight.  I made a big list of what I could do and what it would cost, 10 cents or 15 cents.  I see now how motivating it was, having this great concept, implementing it, seeing it work and then reaping the rewards.  It was a very big lesson for me.”

“I was lucky in the sense that all those settings are like performances, but that could be true for everybody.  Doing your job is a kind of performance.”

“By the time I got well-known, I had an act, I would go up at the improv or wherever I could get a spot.  I could create specials for myself.  I was lucky I recognized what it was that was possible: with not a lot of forethought I found a way to work all the time.  I wasn’t competing for traditional kinds of roles.”

“If I had known what it would be like to have it all, I might have been willing to settle for less.”

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that.  Then I realized I was somebody.”

“I’m not a religious person.  I don’t have any desire.  To me it’s imitative of a conventional culture.  I’m all for it for anybody.  I totally have a free and open feeling about how other humans want to live their lives.  It’s just not something that has any real significance for me.”

“I’ve been getting more than one ‘lifetime achievement’ at this stage in my life.  The honor is pre-eminent in the industry, for sure, but receiving ‘lifetime achievement’ awards… feels creaky and it makes me a bit cranky.  It’s great to be acknowledged, of course.  And I’m grateful for the honor.”

“I’m just really grateful.  As long as I don’t have to audition, I may be back.”

“Many times I sit back and say, ‘I can’t believe that this is my life!’  Other times, I feel self-satisfied.  I mean, there’s a lot to be proud and thankful for but, nonetheless, it’s just a life!”

“Remember we’re all in this alone.  We are all in this together, by ourselves.”

Related: Martin Sheen quotes.

Cory Johnson: CEO of a business he has yet to launch. As seen on your mom’s phone. Scaled to 7-figures in seven seconds selling a course on selling courses. Kidding. Watch this.