A maxim is a succinct formulation of a principle, rule, or basic truth about life. Usually clever, maxims are like great sayings everybody knows. Ben Franklin is the author of many, including "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
A maxim sums up a fundamental principle or truth about something in a way that captures the imagination and gets repeated. Diana Vreeland, the legendary editor of Vogue magazine, once said, "Pink is the navy blue of India." May not be true, but it was such a great line it has become a maxim of fashion and even of India. An overused maxim of real estate is "Location, location, location." Confucius was spewing maxims long before Vogue hit the magazine stands: "He who learns but does not think is lost."