It may have been a while since Mad Men wound up, but many still remember Jon Hamm as the guy who played Don Draper. Today, Jon Hamm celebrates his 45th birthday while Don Draper remains the most successful fictional ad man ever. He had a way with words. He lied through his teeth, but he could convince anyone to do anything. He lived life by a code, which might have been morally ambiguous, but was a practical one. While Don Draper was known for being a manly man, these quotes from him will inspire anyone to be the best person they can be.
"If you don't like what is being said, then change the conversation."
Don Draper used this line multiple times in the show, and it quickly became one of his most famous lines. It's applicable in pretty much any context. Gossiping students in school? Coworkers in the office? Nosy family members? It's a given people are going to talk about you and it remains up to you to give them something else to talk about if you don't like what's being said.
"I hate to break it to you but there is no big lie. There is no system. The universe is indifferent."
On the surface, it appears pessimistic but it's actually a realistic view of life. Don's remark was directed to hippies who blame the status quo but it is a wake-up call for anyone who keeps waiting for universal signs instead of taking in charge of their lives and making something of themselves.
"I have a life, and it only goes in one direction: forward."
Don wasn't giving advice when it said it, but it still makes for a quote worthy of living by. It's nothing that hasn't been said before by others, but this is one of the most succinct and apt ways to frame it. The past is the past, and until someone invents a time machine life only moves forward.
"But what is happiness? It's a moment before you need more happiness."
Don defines happiness to a pitch for their clients. He was easily at his best when he was presenting work. Being happy is momentary, and you will always be looking for more. It's better to accept that you want more than to be complacent and settle for what you have, even if it isn't the best.
"People tell you who they are but we ignore it because we want them to be who we want them to be."
This wordy quote from Don accurately sums up the mistake we often end up trusting in people even though their previous actions tell us not to repeat the mistake again. Be wary of people, in love and in life, and don't put expectations on them before they've proven themselves to you.
Have these Jon Hamm quotes from Mad Men inspired you? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.