I recently went through a deep dive into slow living, which is where my inspiration for this mega-list of slow living quotes came from. I checked out so many slow living books from the library that my husband was worried I was on a mission to make us move to a cabin in the woods with no electricity.
Of course, that’s not what slow living has to be. Instead, I was chasing the end of the rat race, looking for confirmation that it was OK to want to dial back my career and just be for a while.
Be with my kids who seem to grow leaps and bounds each day. Be with myself to attend to some personal needs that so often fall by the wayside.
I had gone through a whole-house decluttering and wondered if the freedom I felt from that exercise could be applied to other areas of life. What would that be like? Simple living was calling to me.
Were there others who felt the same way as me—exhausted by daily demands and all the stuff that seems to want to creep into life and take, take, take? Was there a way to be free of the things that seem to crowd out joy, such as endless to-do lists?
I got the inspiration I was looking for, and I want to share a slice of it with you.
I’ve scoured my hefty bag of library finds, as well as other helpful sources, for some of the best inspirational slow living quotes. I’ll link to a few of these helpful resources in the quotes list.
Whatever your reason for being drawn to slow living, I hope these slow living quotes are just what you need.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out 3 ways to be your best self.
Slow Living Quotes
These inspirational quotes encourage you to embrace simplicity and enjoy the little things in life. With practice, you can grow a conscious appreciation for the beauty of daily life.
Slow living and simple living go hand in hand. You can’t appreciate what’s in front of you if you’re surrounded by clutter. Fewer distractions can help you better enjoy your greatest treasures in life.
- “The greatest wealth is to live content with little.” –Plato
- “The best things in life aren’t things.” –Art Buchwald
- “Ask anyone what makes them truly happy, and they won’t say their stuff.” –Peter Walsh, Lighten Up
- “When you acquire less stuff you will actually get more of what you really want—more money, greater security, peace of mind, more time, more energy, and deeper relationships.” –Peter Walsh, Lighten Up
- “Once you learn to detach happiness from acquiring and owning things you can focus on what truly makes you happy—and actually achieve that.” –Peter Walsh, Lighten Up
- “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” –William Morris
- “While you are alive collect moments not things, earn respect not money and enjoy love not luxuries.” –Aarti Khurana
- “Live simply so that others may simply live.” –Mahatma Gandhi
- “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” –Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- “The aim should be to obtain the maximum of well-being with the minimum of consumption. The cultivation and expansion of needs, is the antithesis of wisdom. It is also the antithesis of freedom and peace…” –E.F. Schumacher
- “I think of all of us, weary in our suburban coffee shops, amassing everything my friends in Ethiopia need but having nothing they want. They have joy. Gratitude. Love. Community. Forgiveness. We have wicker basket organizers, SUVs, and backyard fire pits.” –Erin Loechner, Chasing Slow
- “Imagine your dog retching on your belongings, and if you wouldn’t find them worth salvaging, you might as well do everyone… a favor and donate them now.” –Erin Loechner, Chasing Slow
- “If your home is peaceful, then the other areas of your life, such as your finances, emotions, relationships, and a sense of well-being will reflect that.” –Peter Walsh, Lighten Up
- “Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it.” –Benjamin Franklin
- “Joy comes not through possession or ownership but through a wise and loving heart.” –Buddha
- “Material goods rarely alter our levels of happiness, unlike emotional experience. Having can never replace being.” –Ilsa Crawford
- “It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has.” –Henry Ward Beecher
- “The cost of a thing is the amount of life which is required to be exchanged for it.” –Henry David Thoreau
- “We need more. Not more stuff or money, opportunities or challenges. We need more authenticity. We need more peace.” –Meg Meeker, The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers
- “Minimalism is not that you should own nothing. But that nothing should own you.” –Joshua Becker, The More of Less
Our daily lives have gotten way out of control in terms of the number of commitments and constant activity. Great minds are often advocates for a simple life, which allows time for thinking and enjoying the little things.
- “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” –Lao Tzu
- “A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest.” –Albert Einstein
- “Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” –Socrates
- “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “A person must be selective with their time and energy because both elements of life are limited.” –Kilroy J. Oldster
- “There is only today, with holes in our pockets, with time spilling out. We cannot keep it for tomorrow.” –Erin Loechner, Chasing Slow
- “People no longer live by sun and moon, by wind and stars, but by some slyly contrived conventions known as clocks and calendars.” – Matthew Goldman
- “Take refuge in simple life! You will find three treasures there: Healthy body, peaceful mind and a life away from ambitious fools!” –Mehmet Murat ildan
- “Real luxury is not working like a maniac to take an expensive vacation—it is living a life you enjoy every day.” –Kathy Gottberg
- “The world is run by worn-out people, and our soul is often lost beneath the piles of our everyday life.” –Emily P. Freeman
- “We’re so caught up in trying to do everything, experience all the essential things, not miss out on anything important… Life is better when we don’t try to do everything. Learn to enjoy the slice of life you experience, and life turns out to be wonderful.” –Leo Babauta
- “One of the best things you can give your kids is actually free: your time.” –Peter Walsh, Lighten Up
Back to Basics
Great quotes advocating for voluntary simplicity to get greater fulfillment in life.
- “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.” –Coco Chanel
- “Cherish the things you love. Cherish yourself.” –Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- “Ask a bird how to fly, and it might tell you to remove the weight from your wings.” –Erin Loechner, Chasing Slow
- “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” –Leonardo Da Vinci
- “A person who knows who they are lives a simple life by eliminating from their orbit anything that does not align with his or her overriding purpose and values.” –Kilroy J. Oldster
- “One must learn to be simple, anyone can manage to be complex.” –Amit Kalantri
- “When the living gets unburdened with needs and desires, the life becomes simple and easy to carry.” –Shashi
- “It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” –Charles Haddon Spurgeon
We only get one life. Here’s some inspiration to make the most of it by practicing slow living.
- “The only wealth is life.” –Saint Francis of Assisi
- “That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.” –Emily Dickinson
- “Do the work of naming the highest, eulogy-worthy priorities in your life. Then do the work of putting them at the center of your life, every day.” –Brooke McAlary, Slow
- “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” –Emily Dickinson
- “When we are content, our daily actions are infused with a quiet satisfaction that we share with those around us. We become aware of and responsible for other people’s well-being and they, in turn, for ours.” –Louisa Thomsen Brits, The Book of Hygge
- “There’s no need to finish reading books that you only got halfway through. Their purpose was to be read halfway.” –Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
Slowness and simplicity allow one to admire the beauty of the natural world, one of life’s greatest gifts.
- “We roam this earthly, privileged soil directionless in a sea of more.” –Erin Loechner, Chasing Slow
- “I think of the homes we build like birdcages with garage doors.” –Erin Loechner, Chasing Slow
- “The troubles of modern life come from being divorced from nature.” –Isaac Asimov
- “I was rich, if not in money, in sunny hours and summer days, and spent them lavishly; nor do I regret that I did not waste more of them in the workshop or the teacher’s desk.” –Henry David Thoreau
What Is Slow Living?
Slow living is a philosophy about being more mindful and purposeful in your choices of how you spend your time and the things you acquire. It’s about going back to some of the basics of human connectedness and shedding the need to constantly be busy.
Slow living may look a little different for everyone. There are no hard and fast rules of having to disconnect from electronics completely, for instance. You don’t have to be a minimalist.
It’s more a shift in mindset to live more deeply and savor life. Mindfulness plays a big role. When living a slow life, you practice connecting to the present moment.
Slow Living Inspiration
Was there one of these slow living quotes that really resonated with you? I find they helped remind me to focus on what truly matters.
There’s a reason the slow movement is gaining momentum in recent years. As a society, we’re getting worn out by our attention being pulled in so many directions all the time.
Tape your favorite slow living quote on your bathroom mirror or make it your phone wallpaper.
If you feel like you’re drowning in excess and caught on the hamster wheel of keeping up with the Joneses, come back here to get inspiration for a simpler life.
What area of life do you need to simplify? How can you shift your choices to lower stress and live more intentionally?
For practical tips, see 9 Secrets to Living Intentionally That Will Transform Your Life
If you have a favorite slow living quote that reminds you to live your values, please share in the comments! Best wishes on your slow living journey.