18+ Short Quotes That Say ‘The Road May Be Rough’


Need encouraging quotes? While you want to be positive, you also know that the road may be rough for many of your friends and family members. This is especially true for a person mourning the death of a loved one.

Certain uplifting quotes also admit to the harsh realities of life. Write these quotes in cards, text them to friends, or share them on your Facebook wall. If you’re the one in need of encouragement, write a quote on your mirror or reflect upon the quote’s meaning by writing a journal entry. 

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As much as possible, we need to encourage one another. Hopefully, some of these quotes will assist you in building up your friends. 

‘The Road May Be Rough’ Quotes to Share with Someone Starting a New Journey

Are you or a loved one getting a divorce or ending a relationship? Maybe you plan to start a new career or move to a different state. Regardless of the reason you need encouragement, here are some quotes to assist you on your new journey. 

You may pair these quotes with what to say when someone is stressed

1. “If the wind will not serve, take to the oars.” — Proverb

Perhaps your friend needs encouragement that he or she is making the right decision. If your “takes to the oars” instead of floating along with life, as usual, encourage it. It’s a lot harder to row than to float along in the breeze, but sometimes that hard work pays off in the long run. 

2 “I fling my past behind me like a robe... I have outgrown it.” — Ella Wheeler Wilcox

It takes a conscious decision to fling your old life away and walk toward your new relationship, career, or location. Some people choose to stay in an outgrown life, so encourage your friend to step forward.

3. “It is better to begin in the evening than not at all.” — Proverb

Sometimes people feel that they are too old to start something new. Encourage your friend to begin something later in life than never start at all.

4. “The obstacle is the path.” — Proverb

No one said that life would be easy. Life is full of obstacles, but how you react to those obstacles is critical.

5. “As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” — Seneca

Hopefully, you change how you do things as you grow older. Sometimes these changes may not be easy and others may question your choices. As you age, you become less concerned with other people’s reactions. 

6. “Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.” — Patti Smith

What is one benefit of going through bad times? You can help others who have similar experiences. Patti Smith is a punk poet and singer who won the National Book Award with “Just Kids.”

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‘The Road May Be Rough’ Quotes to Share With a Loved One Who Experienced Death or a Tragedy

It’s hard to know what to say to a friend in mourning. Your friend’s life has permanently changed, and things might not get better. 

Instead of taking the Pollyanna approach that life will be great again someday, tell your friend the reality of the situation. Your friend may grieve forever. Review these quotes about some of the harsh realities of grief. 

7. “One often calms one’s grief by recounting it.” — Pierre Corneille

Encourage your friend or companion to talk about her feelings. Make sure your friend knows that you are ready to listen without judgment or without offering unwanted advice.

8. “I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” — J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien, the author of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, says we should mourn when we lose someone we love. The tears that come with mourning are never evil. Sadness is part of life. 

9. “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” — C.S. Lewis

Your friend needs to know that many emotions can be related to grief. Some people feel anger or jealousy. Others feel deep sadness and desperation. Others experience fear. 

10. “All the art of living lies in the fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” — Henry Ellis

A person new to grief may find themselves facing this balancing act in years to come and may feel this push/pull forever. Your friend or loved one may feel guilt after experiencing periods of happiness.

11. “We learn as much from sorrow as from joy, as much from illness as from health, from handicap as from advantage — and indeed perhaps more.” — Pearl S. Buck

What have you learned from experiencing loss or grief? Unfortunately, others can’t learn from your experience.

Do you also need advice on what to say to someone who is going through poor health? Here are some encouraging lines to use when someone is sick

12. “She was no longer wrestling with the grief, but could sit down with it as a lasting companion and make it a sharer in her thoughts.” — George Eliot

This quote beautifully explains how grief never goes away. Instead, grief acts as a faithful companion, altering how you live life. 

» MORE: Everyone's wishes are different. Here's how to honor your unique loved one.

‘The Road May Be Rough’ Quotes to Share With Stressed-Out Loved One

Do you know someone who is struggling? Buy an encouraging gift to give your friend or loved one a boost, or you may want to take your friend out for coffee or a glass of wine. Here are some quotes to share with someone who is stressed out and needs pulling out of the dumps. 

13. “It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses, we must plant more trees.” — George Eliot

Sitting around and waiting for positive things to happen is futile. Instead, go out and do what you need to change your circumstances.

George Eliot is the pseudonym of a female Victorian writer. Tired of not being taken seriously in her career, Mary Anne Evans decided to publish under a masculine-sounding name. The result? There are two of her quotes on this list, and she wrote over 150 years ago. You could say that Evans planted more trees. 

14. “The chief cause of stress is reality.” — Lily Tomlin

Life is messy and complicated. Relationships are difficult and things break. Once you accept this reality, you can find ways to manage the stress of daily life. 

15. “Nothing is more destined to create deep-seated anxieties in people than the false assumption that life should be free from anxieties.” — Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Some of these quotes sound rather harsh. But the intended take-home message is that we need to accept the realities of life and learn how to deal with them. 

16. “If you can’t help it, don’t think about it.” — Carmel Myers

Do you have a friend who loves to spend hours talking about all her worries and fears? Are many of her concerns out of her control? If you dare interrupt her diatribe, consider sharing this quote with her. 

17. “If you bemoan your brief stay on earth, consider the mayfly which lives only for one day. If the weather were bad that day, your whole life could be rained out.” — Wes “Scoop” Nisker

Although you may experience your fair share of clouds in your life, you’ll find days of sunshine and happiness as well. 

18. “If we had no winter the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” — Anne Bradstreet

Anne Bradstreet was a Puritan poet. Even though she wrote in the 1600s, she was able to articulate the highs and lows of modern life. 

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Life is Short

One of the most surefire ways to manage stress is to consider the length of your life. Most of us will never hit 100. This means you may only have 50, 40, 30 more years.

The stress you feel about everyday life will seem petty when you are 90 years old. You will probably wonder why you were worried at all. 

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