Top 88 Formative Quotes

Words matter. These are the best Formative Quotes from famous people such as Sendhil Mullainathan, Virgil Abloh, Jack Reynor, Jake Kasdan, Laura van den Berg, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.

If women's choices - such as taking time off to rear ch

If women’s choices – such as taking time off to rear children – make them less productive in the economy, does adolescent boys’ behavior in school make them even less so, because they are missing the educational potential of their formative years?
Sendhil Mullainathan
If you look at why people become wack as they get older, it’s because they stop doing the things they did that were formative to their work. You can’t mentally stay still. You can’t not challenge yourself.
Virgil Abloh
I was a huge fan of ‘Blade Runner.’ That was a pretty formative film for me growing up. It really got my sci-fi juices flowing, as it were.
Jack Reynor
My first pilot gig, in fact my first job in television, was ‘Freaks and Geeks,’ and the experience of directing that pilot was probably the single most formative of my directing life.
Jake Kasdan
As we know all too well, our early years are formative in ways it can takes us a lifetime to grasp. Those years leave deep marks; in that way, the stakes of childhood are inherently very high.
Laura van den Berg
While still in college, I started my first Internet company – American Information Systems – a dial-up Internet provider in the Internet’s formative years.
Jared Polis
Reading was such a formative part of my childhood (along with ‘Loony Tunes’), that it is difficult to pin point the most influential book. But, under an interrogation light I would probably have to say ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte.
Ann-Marie MacDonald
I think Woody Allen calls it ‘anxiety of influence.’ When you’re in your formative years and you watch a movie that makes you want to make movies… For Wes Anderson, it’s Truffaut. I’m sure for P.T. Anderson it was Scorsese and Jonathan Demme.
Max Winkler
I did go to Beijing, with a two-year assignment. I stayed four years. And those four years were the most formative four years in my life. What I learned was more than I would have learned in 10 years in America or Europe, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Dinesh Paliwal
I was raised in a group home for 14 years, so I was a beneficiary of philanthropy. I didn’t have a family. The nameless, faceless strangers were my family. They gave me an education, put food on the table and clothes on my back. I am who I am because of that formative experience. Now I am paying it forward.
Darell Hammond
A part of sexuality may go to research, and a much larger part must lead to aesthetic creation. The art of the future will, because of the very opportunities and materials it will have at its command, need an infinitely stronger formative impulse than it does now.
John Desmond Bernal
My formative years were in Houston. I was in middle school, and everyone was dropping the last half of their names and adding an ‘o’ to the end. My little crew that I had, we were an all-female rap group, and everyone had an ‘o’ at the end of their name. I was Lisso. Then this dude started getting lazy with it, saying Lizzo.
I say this as a young dad seeing children going into primary school: I don’t think we should underestimate the formative effect on a child of those first years in primary school.
Nick Clegg
Purcell is a composer who had a formative influence on British music – even The Who now cite him as an influence. There’s an intense, dirty harmony, but there’s a Louis XIV kind of elan and style, too. He had the melancholy DNA of our national folk heritage.
Charles Hazlewood
When I was a kid, my dad used to take me out to the race track, and so many formative experiences have to do with associations like that.
David Milch
My formative years would be in South Central Los Angeles. It was a really volatile environment, but, I always say, when you’re living in the hood, you don’t live this life where you’re crying every day, downtrodden every day.
John Singleton
There were never any doctors in my family. But my grandparents and my mother had a strong social conscience that was formative.
Robert Winston
As well as being a creative genius, Vidal Sassoon was a formative figure of the Sixties. Along with the Pill and the mini-skirt, his influence was truly liberating.
Mary Quant
I’d never been one for leaving the comforts of home. That person wasn’t me; I didn’t spend my formative years youth-hostelling round Rwanda or climbing Everest in a tie-dye playsuit to raise awareness of something or other.
Sue Perkins
In my early formative years, back in the territory days, if a guy didn’t get along for whatever reason or didn’t get over or things didn’t work out, or he just wanted to relocate, he had other territories to go to to make, if not the same amount of money, substantially more or less.
Jeff Jarrett
The history of the Jews has been written overwhelmingly by scholars of texts – understandably given the formative nature of the Bible and the Talmud. Seeing Jewish history through artifacts, architecture and images is still a young but spectacularly flourishing discipline that’s changing the whole story.
Simon Schama
I can be a woodsman if need be. I grew up very close to some forest, and I spent a lot of my formative years up and down trees, fooling around in the woods. I’m no stranger to that sort of landscape.
Alex Turner
I came up during the formative years of TV.
Tom Braidwood
My mother was a politician in my formative years.
Antonia Fraser
The conscious imprinting that happens between, say, 10 and 16 is huge. I think it’s so important for me as a writer to stay open to the memories of that period because they were so formative.
Jacqueline Woodson
I think if I’d been born ten years earlier when Ma was at the height of ‘Avengers’ fame, it would have been a different kettle of fish altogether, but she was very much a ma first and an actress second for my formative years.
Rachael Stirling
Probably the most formative experience was reading the ‘Foundation’ trilogy when I was about twelve years old. That wasn’t the first science fiction I had ever read, but it’s something that stands out in my memory as having had a big impact on me.
Ted Chiang
I think music took hold of me and captured my imagination at such a formative age that I ascribe a mysteriousness to it, and I exalt it and take it seriously in a way that I think has just permeated my life ever since. And I’m less interested in music that is novelty or jokey or ironic.
Carrie Brownstein
During our formative years, it was all about, ‘What did Metallica do?’ and ‘How do we do that?’ and then you try and find an identity of your own, but they’re still… They were the pioneers and the trailblazers.
Synyster Gates
I have had my share of choices and temptations, too; I would not lie about that. And I would also like to confess that had it not been for my mother, I would probably have never been able to make the right decisions during those formative years of my life.
Karan Patel
I think most people read and re-read the things that they have liked. That’s certainly true in my case. I re-read Pound a great deal, I re-read Williams, I re-read Thomas, I re-read the people whom I cam to love when I was at what you might call a formative stage.
James Laughlin
Who'd have thought that living life like a dime store f

Who’d have thought that living life like a dime store floozy throughout your formative years could negatively affect your decision-making ability or long-term, future relationships?
Steven Crowder
That period, doing ‘Angels in America’ in ’94 and then filming with ‘Basquiat’ in ’95, those were gateway years for me as an artist. Two gateways, one into the film industry and one into the world of theater, each formative to me in different, equally essential ways.
Jeffrey Wright
It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character. Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness.
Ezra Taft Benson
During Manmohan Singh’s formative years, it was a matter of great pride to be called to the Indian Civil Service for serving the Empire.
Prashant Bhushan
Probably the most formative thing was at the age of four my Granddad took me fishing. That actually became a major part of the rest of my life.
Chris Tarrant
Certainly, my exposure in high school to writers like Flannery O’Connor, Shusaku Endo, Fyodor Dostoevsky and Graham Greene was formative.
Phil Klay
I love the Zucker brothers’ films – ‘Airplane!,’ ‘Top Secret’ and ‘Police Squad!’ – are my formative experiences.
Edgar Wright
We were teens in the Eighties, and that’s the kind of music that we all grew up on. When you’re in those really formative years, from, like, 13 to 19, what you listen to is so influential, and I think that’s just part of our being now.
Tony Kanal
I don’t think I have ever done anything for this age of children before, a pre-school audience. Generally speaking, we don’t have vivid memories of that age and what influenced us, yet clearly they are hugely formative years and it’s really important that we can create television of a high quality for that audience.
David Tennant
When you’re a child, and you’re growing up, and you’re mimicking a certain character, or you’re trying to live and breathe a certain character on set for eight years that are also your formative years, you oftentimes take a lot of who you’re playing into your real life and kind of become that thing.
Cole Sprouse
I wasn’t prepared for the environment I encountered trying to break into television news. In the world of music, where I spent my formative years, we were judged solely on our talent, and gender wasn’t a factor.
Gretchen Carlson
I’m a child of the ’80s, so like everyone else, I love all those classic, formative movies – ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’ ‘Pretty in Pink,’ ‘Sixteen Candles,’ ‘Dirty Dancing,’ etc., with ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ and ‘The Breakfast Club’ existing on a separate, slightly higher plane.
Lauren Weisberger
When I was nine, I found a copy of ‘Doctor Who: the Making of a Television Series’ in the school library. It had a picture of Peter Davison on the front, and it was a formative book for me. It explained all the different departments like the script, cameras, and sets and explained how a television show is put together.
Mike Bartlett
My formative years were in Jersey and I’m kind of Jersey at heart.
Dana Bash
‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ had a formative effect on me. I think it’s one of those works that if you encounter it very early you’re doubly enchanted by the beauty of the language and the strangeness of the vision. It stays with you.
Ben Okri
In many ways, I consider those to be my formative years, because when you’re in school, you have a distant relationship to the world in that most of what you’re learning is from books and lectures. But at Amnesty, I came face to face with realities in a very direct and harsh way.
Lynn Nottage
Leonard Bernstein was probably the most significant formative influence on me – he was such an encompassing musician. I spent my teenage years absorbing him, and my other interests stemmed off of that. Bernstein led me to Sondheim and to Gershwin, and Sondheim led me to listening to Joni Mitchell.
Jason Robert Brown
Most of my formative years were in Chandigarh.
Poonam Dhillon
It’s not a deliberate thing. It’s not like I was rejecting the UK, which is what the papers said. It’s just that when you spend a lot of time in your formative years around an accent, you’re going to pick it up. I had been living in LA for a bit and that’s what happened.
Joss Stone
A formative cookbook for me was Nigella Lawson’s ‘How to Eat.’ Its warm, conversational tone is wonderful.
Sophie Dahl
My mother’s records were formative for me, but when I became a teenager, I wanted to find songs that she wasn’t hip to. She was so hip, though, that I had to go outside rock n’ roll – so for about 10 years, I only listened to hip-hop, house and techno.
Jenny Lewis
When I was growing up, everybody in charge, my parents and teachers, had all survived the war, and they talked about the war like it was the Kraken – you know, this huge beast that roamed the earth during their formative years.
Tom Hanks
The time for me in the Peace Corps was easily the most formative experience I’ve had in my life.
Joe Kennedy III
My Methodist upbringing was very formative in my politics. I was born in 1969, and there was all this ecumenical ‘we’re in this together’ sensitivity that was part of the United Methodist Church in the 1970s.
Joel Burns
My dad was very fun and very adventurous, and from a formative age I learned to value men who would do things on a whim.
Rachel Hunter
Everyone has an idea over time of what the business should be, and during the formative period, too many opinions could be disruptive.
Nick Woodman
What I can say, categorically, is that working with Sarah Paulson and Kathy Bates will have been the most formative experience for me, as an actor, for the rest of my life.
Cody Fern
My formative years were all about ‘Star Wars’ – the first three, not the last crap, obviously. I understood ‘Star Trek’ but it was too caricatured for me.
Nick Frost
I was involved in music, acting, and some running, but my firm wish was to become a doctor. That was the formative age when I had decided on the pattern of my career.
Roger Bannister
I’ve bought clothes based on record covers. Particularly from the formative music that turned me onto it in the first place when I was a kid, with the Beatles and the Small Faces. A lot of those Sixties soul artists were in really sharp sharkskin or mohair suits, and Motown artists looked amazing.
Paul Weller
I would have been about seven years old when the formative years of my competitive football education began. I was playing in the local leagues around Manchester, playing against lads from tough areas who had been taught they had to fight for everything.
Gary Neville
When I was young, I ran to see Astaire and Rogers, Hust

When I was young, I ran to see Astaire and Rogers, Huston, Lubitsch – they were formative for me. I also read ‘Flash Gordon’ when I was 6, but if I were still reading it when I was 16, I’d have been an imbecile.
Lina Wertmuller
Everything I do will always be compared to ‘Love Song’ in terms of success or the way it’s written or whatever, but it was a really formative moment in my life and in my career.
Sara Bareilles
High school and college were my punk, formative years. I was playing hardcore, learning to be a musician. In bands, you tour, but you’re paid nothing; you’re playing to 50 people in a basement, sleeping in a van, and you love it.
Steve Aoki
I’ve had such an inspiring and formative journey in my career.
Emily Weiss
I grew up in Louisiana and spent my formative years there. There’s a contradictory nature to the place and a sort of sinister quality underneath it all.
Nic Pizzolatto
I do come alive in front of a camera. The first video I ever made was a formative moment for me.
Roisin Murphy
Middle school students are at a critical time in their lives when making good choices matters – the decisions they make in these formative years have an impact on their future success.
Danny K. Davis
What drew me to both study and activism was the formative experience of the civil rights movement.
David Price
A more important reason is that the bands will intuitively trust someone they think is a peer, and who speaks fondly of the same formative rock and roll experiences.
Steve Albini
People of Maharashtra are close to my heart, and this is where I became who I am, and this has been instrumental in my formative years.
R. Madhavan
A big reason why I’m not a big TV watcher is that in my formative years as a viewer, there wasn’t that much great television on, or at least, television that appealed to me.
Jack Falahee
I read a lot of the ‘Pern books’ growing up – basically up through ‘All the Weyrs of Pern,’ maybe a couple after that. As far as formative dragon influences are concerned, she’s probably one of the top ones; I know I read other fantasy novels that had them, but none particularly stick in mind.
Marie Brennan
That experience of being at Mt. St. Helen’s was really formative. I don’t even know if I’d be a photographer. It was an essential moment for me.
David Maisel
The biographies of the great rarely report much about the nanny, but for many, she will have played a crucial role in their formative years.
Jacob Rees-Mogg
The combination of Federalism and Republicanism which formed the substance of the system, did not constitute a progressive and formative political principle, but it pointed in the direction of a constructive formula.
Herbert Croly
I grew up watching his movies; I know everyone did, but I really feel that a lot of my formative years were informed by Woody Allen films.
Rebecca Hall
It is in the province of home and society that woman has fashioned the customs. Here, women’s approval and disapproval, wishes and wants, have been quite as formative and reformative as the action of the sea on the mainland.
Ellen Key
Some novelists are luckier than others in the eras of their formative intellectual years, but all Weltanschauungs return, which means that most novelists have at least a chance of a revival.
Jane Smiley
My formative years were not spent in Hyderabad, so I can only understand Telugu, but I love the culture.
Aditi Rao Hydari
Fiction was a massive, massive part of my formative years, far more so than television ever was, and I always hoped that my future would lie with writing.
Steve Backshall
The funniest thing is not who influenced me positively, but who influenced me negatively. I had such an aversion to what Busby Berkeley did; in my early formative years, I thought it was terrible. Now, I think it’s wonderful. But then, I wanted to do anything but what Busby Berkeley did.
Stanley Donen
I spent most of my formative years in rural Oregon.
Ty Burrell
When I look back, I can say that the summer when I was 19 was a formative time for me. But at the time I just thought I was making tofu every night for dinner and going to work.
Zoe Kazan
The things you encounter in your formative years always stay with you.
Jane Goldman
It was strange, especially because all of the projects I did when I was young, I was always the youngest on set or the only child, so I spent my formative years hanging out with 24-year-olds when I was 13.
Lucy Boynton
My doctor felt that the main contributing factor was so many years of malnutrition, especially during my formative years, even before I got into modeling.
Carre Otis