The 19th century Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen is known throughout the world for his fairy tales and stories.

Andersen went from being a poor working class lad to a world famous artist. His mother was a washer woman and his father a shoemaker. While his family didn’t have much, they still made sure their son received proper education.

Hans began writing poems when he was a teenager, but started to make a name for himself as a short story writer. Published in 1829, his short story called “A Journey on Foot from Holmen’s Canal to the East Point of Amager” became a runaway success.

Hans would then become a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems, but he is particularly remembered for his books on fairy tales that are enjoyed by people of all ages to this day. Stories like “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “Thumbelina”, “The Snow Queen”, “The Little Mermaid” and “The Wild Swans” are just a few of Andersen’s most adored fairy tales.

A lot of his work has been translated into more than a 100 languages and became a part of popular culture in many countries.

Here are 23 Hans Christian Andersen quotes that will change your outlook on life:

Life is like a beautiful melody, only the lyrics are messed up.

To be of use to the world is the only way to be happy.

Every man’s life is a fairy tale, written by God’s fingers.

Everything you look at can become a fairy tale and you can get a story from everything you touch.

When the bird of the heart begins to sing, too often will reason stop up her ears.

The whole world is a series of miracles, but we’re so used to them we call them ordinary things.

Life itself is the most Wonderful fairy tale.

‘Just living is not enough’, said the butterfly, ‘one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.’

But a mermaid has no tears, and therefore she suffers so much more

To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.

Where words fail, music speaks.

It doesn’t matter if you’re born in a duck yard, so long as you are hatched from a swan’s egg!

The good and the beautiful is not forgotten; it lives in legend and in song.

Every town, like every man, has its own countenance; they have a common likeness and yet are different; one keeps in his mind all their peculiar touches.

You are a dreamer, and that is your misfortune.

He now felt glad at having suffered sorrow and trouble, because it enabled him to enjoy so much better all the pleasure and happiness around him.

Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead.

Most of the people who will walk after me will be children, so make the beat keep time with short steps.

Nothing is too high for a man to reach, but he must climb with care and confidence.

I will bow myself before him who is influenced by a noble conviction, and who only desires that which is conducive to good, be he prince or man of the people.

When we get to the end of the story, you will know more than you do now…

Death walks faster than the wind and never returns what he has taken.

But shouldn’t all of us on earth give the best we have to others and offer whatever is in our power?