Survival Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old survival quotes, survival sayings, and survival proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with, a man is what he makes himself.

Alexander Graham Bell

Nobody is stronger, nobody is weaker than someone who came back. There is nothing you can do to such a person because whatever you could do is less than what has already been done to him. We have already paid the price.

Elie Wiesel

In spite of everything that was done to me and my race, in spite of the adversity and the bitter moments, again we rise.     

Maya Angelou

In a mad world, only the mad are sane.

Akiro Kurosawa

Peace is the one condition of survival in this nuclear age.     

Adlai Stevenson

All I'm trying to do is not join my ancestral spirits just yet.     

Joshua Nkomo

Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual's instinct for self preservation.     

Albert Einstein

If you live among wolves you have to act like a wolf.     

Nikita Khrushchev

To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself.

George Orwell

Once one determines that he or she has a mission in life, that's it's not going to be accomplished without a great deal of pain, and that the rewards in the end may not outweigh the pain --if you recognize historically that always happens, then when it comes, you survive it.     

Richard M. Nixon

Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.

Charles Darwin

Survival is nothing more than recovery.

Dianne Feinstein

The ability to delude yourself may be an important survival tool.

Jane Wagner

Through humor, you can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. And once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.     

Bill Cosby

In a world where change is inevitable and continuous, the need to achieve that change without violence is essential for survival.

Andrew Young

For Harmony. A chance at life. To fight on other days.

Janet Morris

The consciousness of being deemed dead, is next to the presumable unpleasantness of being so in reality. One feels like his own ghost unlawfully tenanting a defunct carcass.     

Herman Melville

Nature's stern discipline enjoins mutual help at least as often as warfare. The fittest may also be the gentlest.

Theodosius Dobzhansky

The faster you can signal for rescue, the faster you get out of that situation.     

Joseph Teti

You don't know if you're going to be rescued in a day or a month; gotta prepare for the long haul; gotta make the place your home.

Matt Graham

The man who goes afoot, prepared to camp anywhere and in any weather, is the most independent fellow on earth.     

Horace Kephart

Perhaps catastrophe is the natural human environment, and even though we spend a good deal of energy trying to get away from it, we are programmed for survival amid catastrophe.     

Germaine Greer

Tis the last rose of summer Left blooming alone; All her lovely companions Are faded and gone.     

Thomas More

Every day I run scared. That's the only way I can stay ahead.

John H. Johnson

The condition of man... is a condition of war of everyone against everyone.

Thomas Hobbes

And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.     

Andrew Carnegie

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change.     

Clarence Darrow

Resilience is the maintenance of high levels of positive affect and well-being in the face of adversity. It is not that resilient individuals never experience negative affect, but rather that the negative affect does not persist.

Richard J. Davidson

Self-preservation is the first principle of our nature.     

Alexander Hamilton

In truth, we exist and survive, not because of the ego, but in spite of it.     

David R. Hawkins