The Tolstoy Therapy Calendar of Wisdom: Quotes and Sayings to Nourish the Soul

I’d like to thank all of you who contributed such wonderful quotes for the giveaway at the start of this month, and I’ll be using this post as a round-up of the contributions I most enjoyed.

Some of the quotations which you shared with me would certainly be worthy of a place in Tolstoy’s own A Calendar of Wisdom, so I’ve decided to create the blog’s own version. I hope you enjoy the choices as much as I have!

Tolstoy The Last Station
Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy in The Last Station.

A Selection of Your Quotes

To find mindfulness, as chosen by Paige:

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” – A Man Without a Country, Kurt Vonnegut

To get to know ourselves, as chosen by Syed

” I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by all possible means except by getting off his back. ” – Writings on Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence, Leo Tolstoy

On finding your way, as chosen by Adrienne

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” – Dr Seuss


To find joy, as chosen by Camilla:

All this time
The Sun never says
To the Earth:
“You owe me.”

What happens
With a love like that.
It lights the

– Hafiz

For self-improvement, as chosen by Felicia

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

Facing the unknown, as chosen by Natalie

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” – Albert Einstein

Facing low-mood and despair, as chosen by Alexandra

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men, I think, have great sadness on earth.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

To help make the world a better place, as chosen by John

“History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” – Winston Churchill

On authenticity, as chosen by Arjun

“Don’t be afraid of talking nonsense- only don’t fail to pay attention to it.” – Wittgenstein

On living well, as chosen by Praveen

“There is no greatness, where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth.” – Leo Tolstoy

Creating our Calendar of Wisdom

Do you have a small notebook of quotes, a few snippets learned by heart, or even a published anthology which you make use of during difficult times? I think we should all start working on one, and the great choices above should help get us started.

Like more of the same? Subscribe to the Tolstoy Therapy Newsletter and receive a round-up of the week’s articles every Sunday to enjoy with your coffee. Click here to subscribe or take a look at an example copy here.


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It's good to meet you! I started Tolstoy Therapy back in 2012 to share my healing journey through anxiety and PTSD with books. I also climb mountains, go on solo adventures, and write over at

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