15 Unforgettable Haruki Murakami Quotes For Dealing With Adversity

By Paula Hicks

January 20, 2017   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

murakami haruki quotes

Haruki Murakami is an internationally renowned Japanese writer, probably best known for his novel, Norwegian Wood. If you need to rebuild your strength when you’ve been through tough times, the wisdom in these quotes by Haruki Murakami will show you the way.

“Life is not like water. Things in life don’t necessarily flow over the shortest possible route.” – 1Q84

1q84 quotes

When it seems as though everything is complicated, that’s perfectly normal. Accept that there will be difficulties as you try to get through life. Don’t fight against it, and you’ll find things far less stressful.

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” — What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can choose how you react to it. Attitude can influence how well you cope with adversity.

“Listen, every object’s in flux … They don’t stay in one form or another or in one place forever.” – Kafka on the Shore

quotes by haruki murakami

Change can be difficult for many people. But it’s a natural part of life. So go with the flow. Embrace change. Seize the opportunities it brings. Ask yourself what you can learn from these new situations and what you can gain.

“Even castles in the sky can do with a fresh coat of paint.” – South of the Border, West of the Sun

From the outside, the lives of others can seem perfect. But you don’t see everything. Perfection isn’t always desirable.

“Two people can sleep in the same bed and still be alone when they close their eyes” – Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

haruki murakami quote

A relationship is often seen as the ultimate goal. Isn’t it lonely to be on your own? But you have to be happy within yourself to be happy in a relationship. Be cautious of assuming that having a partner will solve all your worries.

“Hatred is like a two-edged sword. When you cut the other person you cut yourself.” – Norwegian Wood

It’s inevitable that some people will treat you badly. You can’t change them or the past. What you can change is how you view their actions. Forgiving them allows you to move on. You may not forget what they did. But it’s healthier for you to move on and not be angry at them.

“If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.” – Kafka on the Shore

quotes by murakami

Few of us will make an impact on the world. But we can make a difference to a few people.

“One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds.” – Colorless TsukuruTazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Love can be painful. That’s part of the price we pay for having this joy. People will hurt you, and you may hurt them.

“Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up back where we started.” – 1Q84

1q84 murakami

If only we could change the past! Things would be different. But we can’t go back. Focus on the present and the future instead. What can we do differently from now on?

“You can’t run away from your life. So deal with it. The end.” – The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

People often change their environment, thinking they can get away from unhappiness. But you can’t escape yourself. Your problems will go with you if you don’t address them. Learn to face things that scare you. Change your attitude. Work on yourself.

“If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there’s salvation in life. Even if you can’t get together with that person.” –1Q84

haruki murakami quotes love

It’s heartbreaking if you can’t be with someone you love. But at least you have that love, even if you can’t do much about it. Some people never even have that much. It shows you have the capacity to love.

“And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.” – Kafka on the Shore

Most of us are stronger than we think. We need to have faith in ourselves. We may look back and wonder how we coped with adversity. But we do. Every time. We have inner strengths that we’re unaware of.

“I happen to like the strange ones. People who look normal and leads normal lives – they’re the ones you have to watch out for.” – Kafka on the Shore

quote haruki murakami

Have you been ridiculed for being ‘different’ or ‘strange’? Perhaps people secretly envy you. But you’re unique, you’re yourself. Love yourself for who you are. What other people think doesn’t matter.

“Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting.” – Dance Dance Dance

Time spent in regrets is time wasted. You can’t change anything. Enjoy your life. Make the most of it from now on. But don’t have regrets. You did the best you could at the time. Don’t criticize yourself.

“Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.” – Kafka on the Shore

murakami quotes

Life can be a wonderful experience. But there has to be balanced. It can’t be amazing all the time. There has to be loss and pain as well. It’s all part of the cycle of life.


Paula Hicks

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