Kafkaesque Quotes

7 Quotes by Kafka for Winning at Work and Life

Franz Kafka, the creator of the bizarre, writing at the confluence of reality and imagination. His imagination superseded the bounds of reality to put us into situations you would never imagine. His works are still revered as a must-read for book aficionados. He has got his own word in the Oxford dictionary, Kafkaesque. His achievements cross the barrier of time and space, much like his own writing that the superseded the meaning of existence for the protagonist of his own novels. Well, you would never want to wake in a big bug someday right!

People die, their words don’t.

So, let’s explore some pearls of wisdom dropped by this nonconformist novelist.

What are we if not rigid with our beliefs, our thoughts and our own being because it took so much time to build them, right? But, rather razing them, you can raise them, on a deeper level. We like being constant, despite knowing that change is the only constant.

Books are the gateway to a better and brilliant YOU. Through books will trickle down little pearlesque chunks of knowledge that will chisel your brain into a beautiful sculpture.

Anything that shatter the present fabric of knowledge inside you, makes you stronger. When you read ideas that go against what you have thought until now, you are forced to re-evaluate yourself, your ideas, your values, your morals and your very existence. This strengthens your belief system or betters it. It will be a great boost to your confidence. The more knowledge you have, the more confident you are to achieve success. It’s a win-win situation for you.

If you are not reading, then you are frozen mentally, books will thaw this frozen state of yours and send you Godspeed to the heights of what you can be.

Suffering is the positive element in this world, indeed it is the only link between this world and the positive.
Suffering is the positive element in this world, indeed it is the only link between this world and the positive.

Did I read that right? 😕

Suffering and positive in the same sentence.

Doesn’t seem right?

It’s confusing when you read it because nobody will say this. But, Kafka dared, he dared to do something nobody will ever do again in the same magnitude, with his books and his above words.

Suffering, sorrows, stress, sadness…

These all are words you won’t want yourself associated with ever.

But, let me ask you. Despite never wanting to associate yourself with these words, you still faced them. Running didn’t help you, never would.

Because the crux is you would never know:

What happiness, joy, bliss, delight, euphoria are without never ever experiencing suffering, sorrow, stress, sadness.

You can’t tell the good without the bad, you can’t tell hot from cold, you can’t tell sweet from sour, you can’t tell hell from heaven, without experiencing both.

You can’t eschew away from experiences you have not experienced.

Your experience of the negative forces you to seek the positive in every nook and cranny of your existence because the negative is not good, doesn’t feel comfortable, doesn’t make you happy.

Your definitions of these opposite elements are based on experience, you have gained. Without one, you can’t tell what the hell, the other thing is.

You won’t have an inkling about what is positive, if you never experienced the negative i.e. suffering.

Your suffering can successfully teach you about the positive, embrace it with open arms and infinite patience.

If I shall exist eternally, how shall I exist tomorrow?
If I shall exist eternally, how shall I exist tomorrow?

Here, Kafka very craftily, gives you some food for thought.

What if you were immortal?

Would you do the same things tomorrow you did today?

Would you keep on living like the way you are?

We are constantly running, fending for ourselves because time is running. It is a race against time to gather enough resources to settle down mentally.

You are running for peace from the perils of life. Food, clothing and shelter are those three perils. You want to ensure you have them every day.

Kafka gives you this option to just nudge you towards looking at the bigger picture of your life here.

Obviously, you are not immortal. The time you are going to be on this Earth is finite. But, are you utilizing it properly?

Does it get you where you want to end up?

It is a concealed wake-up call travelling from a century ago to you today.

Wake up and re-evaluate your actions and consequences?

See if they take you to your euphoric end. If not, then, change your actions for the better this time.

In the struggle between yourself and the world second the world.
In the struggle between yourself and the world second the world.

All stories of success, you hear have the common theme of the person going against the doubts that the world dared to have on the person and believed in themselves.

Kafka iterates this in his own Golden words.

Dreams become reality from the constant belief and determination you hold inside yourself.

The world offers resistance because the world itself lives in the fear of change, while knowing, Change is the only constant.

It projects its own fear onto us, stopping us from changing to conserve its constant, decadent state.

When you face the YOU VS THE WORLD situation thinking who is right, Kafka hands you the answer wrapped neatly inside a 3-lettered word, YOU.

The world won’t live your life for you, fend for you, feed you, find happiness for you, then, why give it a priority when you are finally finding your own path.


Kafka says it, I am reiterating it, and it is my heartiest hope that you shall follow it.

Don’t despair, not even over the fact that you don’t despair.
Don’t despair, not even over the fact that you don’t despair.

This is a doctrine laid by Kafka for the definition of despairing we have become.

How many times have you heard people saying it, “I am getting bored because nothing is happening.”

We despair so much about the state of inaction that it seems like death.

Complete inaction of mind and body will put you in the deepest trenches of the meditative state.

Rather than saying life is boring, we should count the blessing we have.

One man’s trash is other’s treasure. Let’s put this into perspective. You don’t have to struggle to make ends meet like the dirt poor.

When counting your blessings look down, when dreaming look up.

Kafka says to never despair. It means to accept what you are getting and being happy with it.

He, then, takes it up a notch, because when everything is suddenly going right in our lives, some cherophobic thoughts creep into our minds playing the drums of doom in our mind. The abundance of happiness seems like a ticking clock to the storm of sorrow.

Kafka reminds us to not give in to those thoughts and maintaining your state of mind in the present. Living every moment with merriment. Take each and every breath with the elation of being alive.

Live in the present, because it is never constant.

You miss it, you missed it. No backsies. Sorry.

From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.
From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.

Kafka in these worthy words defines the pinnacle of one’s pursuit of one’s dreams.

If you desire something, that it would decimate you to death, then, pursue it so hard, so determinately, that you reach the point of no return.

Dream and determination decide the destiny.

To achieve any place in this world, you have to pursue something to the point of no return. Those points of no return can be the position of the President, the pinnacle of your chosen field, anything.

You define it, you delve into it, you dedicate to it, you make your own destiny dual-wielding dream and determination.

You must reach the point of no return.

That is the point that your mind, body and soul wants you to reach it.

Make dream your reality, your determination your weapon and this world your battlefield.

Rise victoriously and bask in your own earned glory standing on the pinnacle you achieved.

The bounds of how much effort you can put is something you can never imagine. People are able to work for 18 hours a day while some laze around the whole day.

Productivity is how effectively are you using your time to do something important.

Productivity, REAL productivity, is really what Kafka says:

When shatter the bounds of your notion of productivity, when you are a superhuman at accomplishing impossible tasks.

Kafka defines the acme of what you should achieve when you start pursuing productivity in your life.

When you start, obviously you won’t be so productive in your OWN EYES. But, with the passage of time, you will stop noticing how productive you are, you will just be productive. Because, even thinking about how much productive you are, takes some moments of your very precious time that you can utilize somewhere else for a far more pertinent task than despairing about your productivity.

“The state of just being productive without even thinking about it”, is what we should aim.

This happens when productivity becomes a habit; when it is regurgitated into your subconscious as a very important part of yourself; when it has started residing in the very marrow of your bones; when your each living breathing moment oozes out pearls of productivity.

Kafka shows us very beautifully the promised land of pure productivity.

The road to that promised land is wrought with obstacles, but I am sure, we will be able to get past them.

Be persistent in your pursuit of productivity.

Pursue it every day, until it becomes a part of you.

Take these pearls of wisdom that have weathered the trials of time and incorporate them into your life for being the best you.

Abhishek Verma is a researcher in the field of deep learning and artificial intelligence. He likes to write about the logical way of self-improvement. Spurred by emotions, he also likes to write poetry. Stay in touch by joining his newsletter. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Mix.

Human Being | Writes about Personal Development | Pens Poetry Posthaste | Subscribe at https://seizetheday.substack.com

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