60 quotes about 60 things I’ve learned in 60 years

Matthew Arnold Stern
9 min readJul 12, 2021

My big divisible-by-five birthday has arrived! At past milestone birthdays and events, I’ve written lists of things I’ve learned during that time. For my 60th birthday, I’m doing something different. Here are 60 quotes from my speeches and books that reflect things I’ve learned in life.

  1. I need coffee to deal with this, and I’m not getting decaf. — Offline
  2. I learned that when I feel powerless…I could summon my faith and courage, not only to survive, but to triumph. — “Bound
  3. You read the textbooks, and it would seem that history is made by great men while you the people — supposedly a nameless, faceless force — follow blindly. That’s not true. Quite often, you the people take the lead while we leaders scramble to catch up. — Doria
  4. [Y]ou can’t reboot your life. There are no take-backs and do-overs. You make your choices and live with them! — Amiga
  5. Something that seems worthless can still have value. — The Remainders
  6. You have to learn to get your idea across in a short period of time — and encourage that listener to grant you more time to speak. — Mastering Table Topics
  7. Whenever people ask you to speak, it’s because they believe you have something of value to offer. — “The Power of Your Words
  8. Those seven words are verbal habanero pepper sauce. Put just a tiny drop on your eggs, and you’ll say, “Hmmm. That has some kick.” Pour in the whole bottle. Arrrrrgh! And you want to swear to express your pain, but you can’t because your tongue has evaporated from your mouth. Or worst, the nerves in the insides of your mouth will be deadened so that you can’t taste anything at all. — “The Seven Words Revisited
  9. A winner never quits? Sometimes, you have to quit. You may be in a no-win situation or circumstances may force you to quit. A quitter never wins? Every time I quit, it freed space in my life for something better and helped me regain passion that I had lost. — “A Winner Never Quits?
  10. I know nothing about writing books, but I know you can’t copy something someone else wrote and not give that person credit. — The Remainders
  11. You say you want to know me. Now, you do. This is what it’s really like…



Matthew Arnold Stern

A novelist and award-winning public speaker and technical writer. My novels Amiga and The Remainders are available now.