Top 10 Quotes from Sir Terry Pratchett's "Thief of Time" To Guide You Through Life's Struggles

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Peony Hill

Last updated:  2023-05-11 18:00:08

In case you're not familiar with Terry Pratchett's work like "Morth", let us do the honors of introducing you to it in a spoiler-free way. He is quite the wordsmith, and he has a way with words as no other author has. In his "Discworld" series, he does an excellent job bringing mundane and utterly human elements to high fantasy. And alongside all of that, he gives the most excellent advice in a humoristic way. Let's prove that with our top ten list!

10. "Against One Perfect Moment, Centuries Beat in Vain"

Discworld books are a treasure to this world

True, you may need to work through many complications in life. You need to pay the bills, cut the grass, do a million little things that need doing. Hence, it can all be incredibly tedious. But, it all falls away when you come across a perfect moment. The breeze is flowing just right, the temperature is perfect, and the sun is hitting your face in a way that tells you that life can be gentle indeed.

What else is life, if not these moments? Every little worry fades away when you hear your friends laugh and when a cat is purring in your lap. The struggles don't become meaningless, but they are next to nothing compared to the simple joie de vivre. Go through life deliberately, and you will find yourself catching these moments, reminding you why you're still here, despite and in spite of everything.

9. "One of Life's Little Certainties [...] Is That There is Generally a Last Chocolate Hidden in All Those Empty Wrappers"

Keep looking, and you will find the chocolate

Not every bit of advice needs to be profound. Not every philosophy has to be pretentious. And why should every quote be deep? But if you like to overthink, you sure as hell can make anything philosophical and pretentious. This quote here, for example. It may be just a random little funny quote, but if you look hard enough, you can find the meaning of life in the littlest of things.

The last chocolate hidden in all the wrappers may as well hold all the beauty life can offer. No matter how convinced you are that there's nothing left around you, you can still find one more chocolate. One more friendly smile, one more dog to pet. There will always be sweetness hidden among life's trash. Never give up on looking for it, and eventually, you'll find it.

8. "Perhaps it Was Boredom, Not Intelligence, That Propelled [Humans] up the Evolutionary Ladder"

Just don't go banging rocks on any heads, okay?

"Oh, the same as yesterday, how dull. I wonder what happens if I bang this rock on that head?" While some god-awful ideas sprang out from boredom, one too many hold-my-beer-moments, there are so many incredible things that boredom created as well. After all, how many other species are known to complain about normalcy and dullness?

No matter how back in time you go, you will always find that humans tried to make their lives a little brighter. In cave paintings, you can see that the grown-ups were teaching the children how to paint. There was graffiti in Pompeii. We invent a thousand little gadgets just to make mundane tasks a little bit easier. How, then, are we not proud of our boredom and subsequent imagination?

7. "Yes, It Had All Been So Clear in the Dream. By Daylight, It Needed a Bit More Work"

Put in the effort to see your dreams come true

The context of the book is quite literal. The character saw something in a dream, and upon waking up, decided to bring it to life. With the strange way that dreams work, the plan was evident, and he understood everything that needed to be done. But upon waking up, he realized that he needed to work out kinks in his plan to see the light of day.

Of course, this could apply that we need to work through our literal dreams to bring them to life (looking at you, Stephenie Meyer). It can also be taken metaphorically. None of us are immune to daydreaming. In daydreams, we may see our future quite clearly. But it's one thing to dream about the future and entirely different from actually taking steps to see it through. Whatever you want your future to be, take the time to go through the steps required for achieving it.

6. "Everything That Happens Stays Happened"

Never get too stuck in the past

"What kind of philosophy is that? The only one that works." Not even Death himself could bring someone back to life, even if they went out too early. We can rage, curse, and scream at the past all we want, but we cannot change it in the end. No matter what, you will never go back to a summer when you were twelve, and you had no grand worries on your mind.

The only thing we are capable of, though, is moving forward. You can't change what happened to you, no matter how cruel it was. No matter if you deserved it or not. But in us all, there is strength to move on, even if it's not apparent at first. The only philosophy that works no matter what is that you can't change the past. But you can still move around in the present.

5. "Humans Weren't Individuals, They Were, Each One, a Committee!"

Trust in your body

While it's phrased as a funny thing in the book, these words hold advice if you look into them. While we tend to think of ourselves as a singular blob of consciousness, we are more complex. We're amassed from different organs that are made of different tissues that are of different cells. Each of those cells live their own lives, unaware that they make something bigger yet still exist in perfect harmony.

So, we should listen to them when they are telling us something. How long have you been ignoring your body's cries for rest? How long have you been sitting, dehydrated? Our body knows what it needs, whether food, rest, or water. So, next time you feel dizzy, lay down and sleep. In case your body keeps crying out for food, don't deny it because you're on a diet for pure aesthetics. The best look a person can wear is a healthy glow, not a fickle beauty standard.

4. "The Perfect Moment Is Now. Be Glad of It"

There truly is nothing like the present

Rephrasing the ancient Discworld philosopher Wen, who studied the nature of time, the universe is born anew in every moment. Therefore, every second is a new beginning. With every second rises a new opportunity. The past second is in the past, and the future seconds are yet to come. Hence, we should focus on the now and regard the universe with a gentle surprise.

While these words shouldn't be taken too literally, there is wisdom in them. Too many portions of our lives are spent in waiting, living as though we're living in a prequel. When we're kids, we wait to grow up, go to college, get a job, and wait for a pension. How long are we willing to live weekend to weekend? Aren't Mondays beautiful just because you exist in them? Aren't Tuesdays lovely because you get to see birds flying from rooftop to rooftop?

3. "Personalities Define Themselves in Terms of Other Personalities"

There is something beautiful about knowing we're all mosaics of people around us

Not a single one of us would be the person we are today if it weren't for the people around us. Maybe it's in the small thing: you wouldn't drink your coffee the way you do today if you didn't go out with that one friend that one time or you like your ways done in a particular way because of that one ex. Perhaps, it's in the grand, life-changing things: you wouldn't pick your major if it weren't for the encouraging words of that one professor. Or you wouldn't do the job you're doing if your friends didn't encourage you. 

Whatever your situation is, remember that you are influenced by the people around you, even if you don't notice it at first. Surround yourself with good, supportive people, and you will take on their qualities. You may only notice that you've started to laugh in the exact way your friend does or that you've adapted their pattern of speech. Still, over time you'll notice your core personality has changed as well. After all, we don't exist as individuals.

2. "Well, What About You"

Truly, what about you?

"The thing is, I mean, there's times when you look at the universe and you think, 'What about me?' and you can just hear the universe replying, "Well, what about you?" Ah, the good ole' existential crises. Where would we be without them? Every one of us faces the question of what the hell we are going to do with our limited time on Earth. 

No one comes up with all the answers immediately. Trust in yourself; you will find it eventually. Remember, it is normal to feel lost and unmoored. Take time to get to know yourself. Try out different hobbies like you would try out clothes. Eventually, you find something you would like to commit to full-time. It's always a winding road, and it's never easy, but we all get there in the end.

1. "When in Doubt, Choose to Live"

Wise words

This is definitely the most crucial quote that could exist. It doesn't matter if every single book in the world repeats the message. It still wouldn't be enough to showcase how important it is. Put it on your wall, tape it on your mirror, tattoo it on your body, if you must. Just don't ever forget it. Far too many times, people do.

This life truly is worth living, despite not having enough adventures to some - not enough dragons, swords, and knights in shining armors. To others, it may have too many difficulties - too many bills, rent, debts. Maybe to you, it's a mixture of both. No matter what, the worth of life is found in friends' smiles and strangers' kindness. And most of the time, you don't need a mystical journey to achieve a great adventure.

Hopefully, by now, you've decided to read "Thief of Time." Trust us, you won't regret it! All of these beautiful messages are hidden in a humorous package, and you won't notice the time fly by you. Although, we advise you to take a weekend off to read it. We're afraid that you won't be able to stop once you start it.

What did you think of these top ten quotes? Have you read, or do you plan to read any of his books? Let us know in the comments!

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