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Matt Haig quotes Showing 1-30 of 1,718

“How to stop time: kiss.
How to travel in time: read.
How to escape time: music.
How to feel time: write.
How to release time: breathe.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“THE WORLD IS increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more? How do you sell an anti-ageing moisturiser? You make someone worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything. How do you get them to have plastic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind. To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“It is easy to mourn the lives we aren't living. Easy to wish we'd developed other other talents, said yes to different offers. Easy to wish we'd worked harder, loved better, handled our finances more astutely, been more popular, stayed in the band, gone to Australia, said yes to the coffee or done more bloody yoga.
It takes no effort to miss the friends we didn't make and the work we didn't do the people we didn't do and the people we didn't marry and the children we didn't have. It is not difficult to see yourself through the lens of other people, and to wish you were all the different kaleidoscopic versions of you they wanted you to be. It is easy to regret, and keep regretting, ad infinitum, until our time runs out.
But it is not lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It's the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people's worst enemy.
We can't tell if any of those other versions would of been better or worse. Those lives are happening, it is true, but you are happening as well, and that is the happening we have to focus on.”
Matt Haig, The Midnight Library
“Wherever you are, at any moment, try and find something beautiful. A face, a line out of a poem, the clouds out of a window, some graffiti, a wind farm. Beauty cleans the mind.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“Humans, as a rule, don't like mad people unless they are good at painting, and only then once they are dead. But the definition of mad, on Earth, seems to be very unclear and inconsistent. What is perfectly sane in one era turns out to be insane in another. The earliest humans walked around naked with no problem. Certain humans, in humid rainforests mainly, still do so. So, we must conclude that madness is sometimes a question of time, and sometimes of postcode.

Basically, the key rule is, if you want to appear sane on Earth you have to be in the right place, wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and only stepping on the right kind of grass.”
Matt Haig, The Humans
“And most of all, books. They were, in and of themselves, reasons to stay alive. Every book written is the product of a human mind in a particular state. Add all the books together and you get the end sum of humanity. Every time I read a great book I felt I was reading a kind of map, a treasure map, and the treasure I was being directed to was in actual fact myself.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“If you aim to be something you are not, you will always fail. Aim to be you. Aim to look and act and think like you. Aim to be the truest version of you. Embrace that you-ness. Endorse it. Love it. Work hard at it. And don't give a second thought when people mock it or ridicule it. Most gossip is envy in disguise.”
Matt Haig, The Midnight Library
“There is no standard normal. Normal is subjective. There are seven billion versions of normal on this planet.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“Make sure, as often as possible, you are doing something you’d be happy to die doing.”
Matt Haig, The Humans
“No one will understand you. It is not, ultimately, that important. What is important is that you understand you.”
Matt Haig, The Humans
“Maybe love is just about finding the person you can be your weird self with.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“The only way to learn is to live.”
Matt Haig, The Midnight Library
“A paradox: The things you don’t need to live—books, art, cinema, wine, and so on—are the things you need to live.”
Matt Haig, The Humans
“To other people, it sometimes seems like nothing at all. You are walking around with your head on fire and no one can see the flames.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“You will one day experience joy that matches this pain. You will cry euphoric tears at the Beach Boys, you will stare down at a baby’s face as she lies asleep in your lap, you will make great friends, you will eat delicious foods you haven’t tried yet, you will be able to look at a view from a high place and not assess the likelihood of dying from falling. There are books you haven’t read yet that will enrich you, films you will watch while eating extra-large buckets of popcorn, and you will dance and laugh and have sex and go for runs by the river and have late-night conversations and laugh until it hurts. Life is waiting for you. You might be stuck here for a while, but the world isn’t going anywhere. Hang on in there if you can. Life is always worth it.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“Advice for a human.

81. You can't find happiness looking for the meaning of life. Meaning is only the third most important thing. It comes after loving and being.

82. If you think something is ugly, look harder. Ugliness is just a failure of seeing.”
Matt Haig, The Humans
“There is this idea that you either read to escape or you read to find yourself.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“And, just as it only takes a moment to die, it only takes a moment to live. You just close your eyes and let every futile fear slip away. And then, in this new state, free from fear, you ask yourself: who am I? If I could live without doubt what would I do? If I could be kind without the fear of being fucked over? If I could love without fear of being hurt? If I could taste the sweetness of today without thinking of how I will miss that taste tomorrow? If I could not fear the passing of time and the people it will steal? Yes. What would I do? Who would I care for? What battle would I fight? Which paths would I step down? What joys would I allow myself? What internal mysteries would I solve? How, in short, would I live?”
Matt Haig, How to Stop Time
“Whenever I see someone reading a book, especially if it is someone I don't expect, I feel civilisation has become a little safer.”
Matt Haig, How to Stop Time
“A person was like a city. You couldn't let a few less desirable parts put you off the whole. There may be bits you don't like, a few dodgy side streets and suburbs, but the good stuff makes it worthwhile.”
Matt Haig, The Midnight Library
“I am you and you are me. We are alone, but not alone. We are trapped by time, but also infinite. Made of flesh, but also stars.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“That's the thing with time, isn't it? It's not all the same. Some days - some years - some decades - are empty. There is nothing to them. It's just flat water. And then you come across a year, or even a day, or an afternoon. And it is everything. It is the whole thing.”
Matt Haig, How to Stop Time
“If getting drunk was how people forgot they were mortal, then hangovers were how they remembered.”
Matt Haig, The Humans
“If you are the type of person who thinks too much about stuff then there is nothing lonelier in the world than being surrounded by a load of people on a different wavelength.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“This was, I would later realise, a planet of things wrapped inside things. Food inside wrappers. Bodies inside clothes. Contempt inside smiles. Everything was hidden away.”
Matt Haig, The Humans
“We only need to be one person.
We only need to feel one existence.
We don't have to do everything in order to be everything, because we are already infinite. While we are alive we always contain a future of multifarious possibility.”
Matt Haig, The Midnight Library
“The key is in accepting your thoughts, all of them, even the bad ones. Accept thoughts, but don’t become them. Understand, for instance, that having a sad thought, even having a continual succession of sad thoughts, is not the same as being a sad person. You can walk through a storm and feel the wind but you know you are not the wind.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“Life is waiting for you. You might be stuck here for a while, but the world isn’t going anywhere. Hang on in there if you can. Life is always worth it.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“Depression is also smaller than you. Always, it is smaller than you, even when it feels vast. It operates within you, you do not operate within it. It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky but - if that is the metaphor - you are the sky. You were there before it. And the cloud can't exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.”
Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“As Thoreau wrote, ‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
Matt Haig, The Midnight Library

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Matt Haig
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