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30+ quotes from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller

Quotes from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life

Donald Miller ·  255 pages

Rating: (21.4K votes)


“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“Fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can't see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the trees ahead are getting bigger. They take it out on their spouses, and they go looking for an easier story.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“I don't wonder anymore what I'll tell God when I go to heaven when we sit in the chairs under the tree, outside the city........I'll tell these things to God, and he'll laugh, I think and he'll remind me of the parts I forgot, the parts that were his favorite. We'll sit and remember my story together, and then he'll stand and put his arms around me and say, "well done," and that he liked my story. And my soul won't be thirsty anymore. Finally he'll turn and we'll walk toward the city, a city he will have spoken into existence a city built in a place where once there'd been nothing. ”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“The human body essentially recreates itself every six months. Nearly every cell of hair and skin and bone dies and another is directed to its former place. You are not who you were last November.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“If the point of life is the same as the point of a story, the point of life is character transformation. If I got any comfort as I set out on my first story, it was that in nearly every story, the protagonist is transformed. He's a jerk at the beginning and nice at the end, or a coward at the beginning and brave at the end. If the character doesn't change, the story hasn't happened yet. And if story is derived from real life, if story is just condensed version of life then life itself may be designed to change us so that we evolve from one kind of person to another. ”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“She knows who she is. She just forgot for a little while.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“A story is based on what people think is important, so when we live a story, we are telling people around us what we think is important.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“It wasn't necessary to win for the story to be great, it was only necessary to sacrifice everything.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“Sometimes when I watch my dog, I think about how good life can be, if we only lose ourselves in our stories. Lucy doesn't read self-help books about how to be a dog; she just IS a dog. All she wants to do is chase ducks and sticks and do other things that make both her and me happy. It makes me wonder if that was the intention for man, to chase sticks and ducks, to name animals, to create families, and to keep looking back at God to feed off his pleasure at our pleasure.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn't remember that movie a week later, except you’d feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.

But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to be meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won't make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“Fear isn’t only a guide to keep us safe; it’s also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life … the great stories go to those who don’t give in to fear.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“Every creative person, and I think probably every other person, faces resistance when they are trying to create something good...The harder the resistance, the more important the task must be.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn't mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It's a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“I've wondered, though, if one of the reasons we fail to acknowledge the brilliance of life is because we don't want the responsibility inherent in the acknowledgment. We don't want to be characters in a story because characters have to move and breathe and face conflict with courage. And if life isn't remarkable, then we don't have to do any of that; we can be unwilling victims instead of grateful participants.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“When something happens to you, you have two choices in how to deal with it. You can either get bitter, or get better.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“..[My friend Marco said]. essentially, humans are alive for the purpose of journey, a kind of three-act structure. They are born and spend several years discovering themselves and the world, then plod through a long middle in which they are compelled to search for a mate and reproduce and also create stability out of natural instability and then they find themselves at an ending tha seems to be designed for reflection. At the end, their bodies are slower, they are not as easily distracted, they do less work, and they think and feel about a life lived rather than look forward to a life getting started. He didn't know what the point of the journey was, but he did believe we were designed to search for and find something. And he wondered out loud if the point wasn't the search but the transformation the search creates. ...[I wondered] that we were designed to live through something rather than to attain something, and the thing we were meant to live through was designed to change us. The point of a story is the character arc, the change.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is 'Do not fear.' It's in there over two hundred times. That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn't let fear boss us around. Before I realized we were supposed to fight fear, I thought of fear as a subtle suggestion in our subconscious designed to keep us safe, or more important, keep us from getting humiliated. And I guess it serves that purpose. But fear isn't only a guide to keep us safe; it's also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“I asked God to help me understand the story of the forest and what it means to be a tree in that story.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“He thought about the story his daughter was living and the role she was playing inside that story. He realized he hadn't provided a better role for his daughter. He hadn't mapped out a story for his family. And so his daughter had chosen another story, a story in which she was wanted, even if she was only being used. In the absence of a family story, she'd chosen a story in which there was risk and adventure, rebellion and independence.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“He said to me I was a tree in a story about a forest, and that it was arrogant of me to believe any differently. And he told me the story of the forest is better than the story of the tree.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“Here's the truth about telling stories with your life. It's going to sound like a great idea, and you're going to get excited about it, and then when it comes time to do the work, you're not going to want to do it. It's like that with writing books, and it's like that with life. People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“Job found contentment and even joy, outside the context of comfort, health or stability. He understood the story was not about him, and he cared more about the story then he did about himself.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“Robert McKee says humans naturally seek comfort and stability. Without an inciting incident that disrupts their comfort, they won’t enter into a story. They have to get fired from their job or be forced to sign up for a marathon. A ring has to be purchased. A home has to be sold. The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“I think life is staggering and we're just too used to it.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“the times we worked harder to make the day stand out.

our story demanded that we change and so we did.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“It is when people do not allow God to show up through them ... that the world collapses in on itself.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“When you fly across the country in an airplane the country seems vast; but it isn't vast. It's all connected by roads one can ride a bike down. If you watch the news and there's a tragedy at a house in Kansas, that guy's driveway connects with yours, and you'd be surprised by how few roads it takes to get there.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


“We believe we will be made whole by our accomplishments, our possessions, or our social status. It's written in the fabric of our DNA that life used to be beautiful and now it isn't, and if only this and only that, it would be beautiful again.”
― Donald Miller, quote from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life


About the author

Donald Miller
Born place: in The United States
Born date August 12, 1971
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