George Carlin? Maya Angelou? Vicki Corona? boy name Cooper? Kevin Bisch? will certainly Smith? Philip James Bailey?

Dear Quote Investigator: The complying with inspirational quotation has actually been attributed to a wide selection of people:

Life is not measured by the variety of breaths us take, yet by the moments that take our breath away.

You are watching: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away

I doubt the this to be coined by George Carlin or Maya Angelou though I have actually seen those ascriptions. Who perform you think need to be credited?

Quote Investigator: The earliest proof known come QI showed up in 1989 in a book for dancers titled “Tahitian Choreographies” through Vicki Corona: 1

Yes, there are so numerous grueling details and rehearsals come agonize over, but the dances and music the Tahiti add a happy, healthy dimension to ours lives! Remember that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, yet by the moments that take our breath away! Dancing can do the for you!

The over citation to be uncovered by the author Phil Bolsta that was creating a publication which contained a big number the quotations. Bolsta admirably performed extensive research attempting come pin down the resources for the quotations in his book. Bolsta declared on his blog that he contacted Vicki Corona directly to discover the beginning of the saying in her book: 2

I was shocked to find this famous quote in a 1989 thirty-two-page booklet top top Tahitian dance. I dubbed Vicki Corona top top April 17, 2012, and also she stated that, to the best of she knowledge, the quote to be hers because she constantly wrote original material for the series of dance booklets she produced. However, she identified in a follow-up e-mail: “While ns doubt it, there is a opportunity that i may have heard the verbiage before and simply went v it, or maybe it just came out from the labyrinths of my mind. Due to the fact that you’re a writer, also, friend know just how that works as soon as you’re in the ‘zone’.”

Hence, over there is some uncertainty about the origin of this quotation in the psychic of the human being who employed that in 1989.

Here are extr selected citations in chronological order.

The poet Philip James Bailey first released his magnum opus “Festus” in 1839. Later on Bailey began to expand his poem. In 1853 a version was released in the United claims that consisted of the adhering to passage i beg your pardon QI believes display screens some point out of theoretical similarity through the quotation under investigation: 3

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;In feelings, not in numbers on a dial.We have to count time through heart-throbs. He many livesWho think most—feels the noblest—acts the best.

The native of Bailey to be echoed in a remembrance written in 1904 about a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Pennsylvania: 4

It does it seems ~ to united state that his life was all also short. However a life can not be measured by that length. Because that “we live in deeds, no years, in thoughts, not breaths; in feelings, no in figures on a dial. We need to count time through heart-throbs.”

A version of this poetic i ascribed come Bailey appeared in the 1968 compendium “The Forbes Scrapbook of thoughts on the organization of Life” 5 and the words continue to circulate, e.g., the contemporary reference work-related “The Oxford thesaurus of Quotations” included a memorable line: 6

We have to count time by heart-throbs.Festus (1839) sc. 5

In 1989 “Tahitian Choreographies” by Vicki Corona to be published, and it had the questioner’s quotation as noted previously. The recurrence that “take” and “breath(s)” point out this expression as distinctive:

Remember the life is not measured by the variety of breaths us take, yet by the moments that take our breath away! Dancing have the right to do that for you!

Over the years other names have actually been attached come the quotation. Because that example, a posting in the Usenet newsgroup nz.tech in 2004 assigned the saying to the comedian George Carlin: , Subject: Re: Panasonic ST-CH7 Amplifier Cooling fan Resistor Help. (Google groups Search; Accessed Decembers 17, 2013)" id="return-note-7850-7" href="#note-7850-7">7

Life is no measured by the variety of breaths we take, but by the moments the take our breath away. (George Carlin)

In 2005 the movie “Hitch” written Kevin Bisch and starring will Smith was released. The location character was played through Smith, and also he yielded the following line which was a an extremely close variant of the saying: 8 9

After that you’re on her own, but constantly remember life is not the quantity of breaths girlfriend take. It’s the moments the take her breath away.

In 2007 an advertising for a dating business in the “Princeton Alumni Weekly” attributed the saying to hilary Cooper: 10

“Life is not Measured through The number of Breaths we Take. Yet By The Moments the Take our Breath Away. Boy name Cooper

By 2009 the saying had actually been reassigned come the notable author Maya Angelou. A newspaper in Manchester, Connecticut reported on a redecorated café the prominently displayed the quotation: 11

The inner of the cafe has been entirely redone — new carpeting, a brand-new paint scheme that has some wall surfaces buttercup yellow and others a bluish green, and framed inspirational sayings top top the walls to gain patrons thinking about what’s most crucial in life. Molina’s favourite is the one through poet Maya Angelou that reads, “Life is no measured through the variety of breaths us take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Participants in discussion forums have readily available different ideas around the beginning of the expression. One commentator suggested it was from a greeting card company. QI has actually located no assistance for this ide at this time.

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In conclusion, this entry represents a picture of salient pieces of proof QI has located. Currently, Vicki Corona is the leading challenger for originator, yet she laudably admitted to some uncertainty.

(Great thanks to Phil Bolsta for his pioneering efforts examining this quotation. Special many thanks to EllAnon who query gave added impetus to QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration.)