222 Wise and Inspirational Quotes on Life, Work, Success and Hope
It could be the author behind it, the wittiness of the idea, or the inspiration; there are so many reasons why we love quotes. We like to memorise them, write them on walls, tattoo them and find in them values, signs and motivation.
In this article, you’ll take a tour of quotes on different aspects of life. Some of them tackle leadership, hope, daily life thoughts, politics, equality, philosophy and arts. Their authors may be political or literary figures, business leaders, philosophers, celebrities or public figures. You’ll get to explore many memorable quotes and learn the stories behind their authors, too!
5 Inspiration Quotes from Old Philosophers
1. “You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honour.” – Aristotle
Aristotle is a representation of ancient Greek culture and is ranked among the greatest philosophers of all time. He has had a huge influence on modern culture with his philosophies and art perspectives. His extant writings span a wide range of disciplines, from logic, metaphysics and philosophy of mind, through ethics, political theory, aesthetics and rhetoric, and even non-philosophical fields.
2. “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca
Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and satirist, Seneca is a one-man show. As a writer, Seneca is known for his philosophical works, and for his plays, which are all tragedies. Although he was born in 65 AD, his quote still resonates with us to this day. He stresses the importance of practice, preparation, and planning as the elements of success rather than luck.
3. “An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.” – Lao Tzu
Little is truly known about the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu who is a guiding figure in Taoism; a still popular spiritual practice. He is an appreciator of tiny steps; he believes those are what truly move the universe. He is the one who also wrote “A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.”
A Fun Fact about Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu is said to have tired of life in the Zhou court as it grew increasingly morally corrupt. So, he left and rode on a water buffalo to the western border of the Chinese empire.
Although he was dressed as a farmer, the border official recognised him and asked him to write down his wisdom. According to this legend, what Lao Tzu wrote became the sacred text called the Tao Te Ching. After writing this, Lao Tzu is said to have crossed the border and disappeared from history, perhaps to become a hermit.
In reality, the Tao Te Ching is likely to be the compilation of the works of many authors over time. But stories about Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching have passed down through different Chinese philosophical schools for over two thousand years and have become wondrously embellished in the process.
4. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius
Another wisdom from Eastern philosophy. It sounds like a quote from a Nike ad but in fact, this quote is an old Chinese proverb. For the perfectionists who do not accept failures, this quote keeps them grounded. For the disappointed and frustrated, this gives you hope to rise from the ashes like a phoenix.
5. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Another way to put it is: practice makes perfect. This is a philosophy of persistence and understanding that success or reaching a goal doesn’t come overnight. It’s a journey of consistency and building good habits.
50 Motivational Quotes for Work and Success
1. “Work hard in silence, let your success be the noise.” – Frank Ocean
2. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison
Thomas Edison was an American inventor and businessman who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures
3. “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo Da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
4. “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” – Alexander Graham Bell
Alexander Graham Bell is a Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer who is credited with inventing and patenting the first practical telephone. He also co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1885.
5. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Tim Notke
6. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
7. “Either you run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn
Emanuel James Rohn professionally known as Jim Rohn, was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.
8. “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” – Sheryl Sandberg
9. “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” – Marissa Mayer
Marissa Mayer is an American software engineer and businesswoman who greatly influenced the development of Google Inc., the world’s leading search engine company, in its early years. She later served as CEO and president of Yahoo! Inc.
10. “Smart people learn from everything and everyone, average people from their experiences, stupid people already have all the answers.” – Socrates
11. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett is an Irish author, critic, and playwright, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. He wrote in both French and English and is perhaps best known for his plays, especially Waiting for Godot.
12.“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi
13. “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”– Henry Ford
Henry Ford was an American automobile manufacturer who created the Model T in 1908 and went on to develop the assembly line mode of production, which revolutionized the automotive industry. As a result, Ford sold millions of cars and became a world-famous business leader. The company later lost its market dominance but had a lasting impact on other technological development, on labour issues and on U.S. infrastructure. Today, Ford is credited for helping to build America’s economy during the nation’s vulnerable early years and is considered one of America’s leading businessmen.
14. “We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.” – Virginia Satir
15. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
16. “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” – Dale Carnegie
17. “One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren’t enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.” – Viggo Mortensen
18. “Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” – Dalai Lama
19. “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King
Stephen King is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, crime, science-fiction, and fantasy novels. His books have sold more than 350 million copies, and many have been adapted into films, television series, miniseries, and comic books.
20. “Think of many things; do one.” – Portuguese proverb
21. “Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.” –David Allen
22. “There is no traffic jam along the extra mile.” – Roger Staubach
23. “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” – Denis Waitley
24. “Show me a person who has never made a mistake and I’ll show you someone who has never achieved much.” – Joan Collins
25. “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis, born here in Belfast, is a scholar, novelist, and author of about 40 books, many of them on Christian apologetics. His works of greatest lasting fame may be The Chronicles of Narnia, a series of seven children’s books that have become classics of fantasy literature and have been made into movies.
26. If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my axe. – Abraham Lincoln
27. “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking
28. “Leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure.” – Stanley McChrystal
29. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T. S. Eliot
30. “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand
31. “Life is inherently risky. There is only one big risk you should avoid at all costs, and that is the risk of doing nothing.” – Denis Waitley
Denis Waitley is an American motivational speaker, writer and consultant. He has been recognized as the best-selling author of the audio series, The Psychology of Winning and books such as “Seeds of Greatness” and “The Winner’s Edge”. Waitley has been inducted into the International Speakers’ Hall of Fame.
32. “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
33. “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau
34. “I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” – Estee Lauder
Estée Lauder started her own beauty company in 1946. Her business, which includes such product lines as Estée Lauder, MAC Cosmetics and Clinique, continues to thrive to this day. Lauder was as innovative with her marketing strategies as her cosmetic products, eventually making her the richest self-made woman in the world.
35. “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit.” – Conrad Hilton
36. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell
37. “First, think. Second, believe. Third, dream. And finally, dare.” – Walt Disney
38. “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney
39. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
Walt Disney is an American motion-picture and television producer and showman, famous as a pioneer of animated cartoon films and as the creator of such cartoon characters as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. He also planned and built Disneyland, a huge amusement park that opened in 1955. The Disney Company he founded has become one of the world’s largest entertainment conglomerates.
40. “Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
41. “One of the most courageous things you can do is identify yourself, know who you are, what you believe in and where you want to go.” – Sheila Murray Bethel
Dr. Sheila Murray Bethel is recognised internationally as an expert in leadership and change. She is a successful entrepreneur, best-selling business author and a hall-of-fame keynote speaker.
42. “Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt those doing it.” – Chinese Proverb
43. “When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.” – Harley Davidson
44. “A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.” – Alistair Cook
45. “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” – Norman Vincent Peale
Norman Vincent Peale was an American minister and author who is best known for his work in popularising the concept of positive thinking, especially through his best-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking.
46. “Cultivate an optimistic mind, use your imagination, always consider alternatives, and dare to believe that you can make possible what others think is impossible.” – Rodolfo Costa
47. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
48. “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader
49. “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” – James Cameron
James Cameron is a Canadian film director, producer, screenwriter, editor, and environmentalist. He is best known for making science fiction and epic films. Cameron first gained recognition for directing The Terminator. He’s also the creator of two of the most successful movies in the history of cinema such as Titanic and Avatar.
50. “When placed in command, take charge.” – Norman Schwarzkopf
30 Quotes for the Anxious and Sad
1. “It is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it.” – Seneca
2. “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” — William James
3. “The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.” – Seneca
4. “We suffer more in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca
5. “Do one thing every day that scares you.”― Eleanor Roosevelt
6. “For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.” — T.S. Eliot
T.S. Eliot is an American-English poet, playwright, literary critic, and editor, a leader of the Modernist movement in poetry. Eliot exercised a strong influence on Anglo-American culture from the 1920s until late in the century. His experiments in diction, style, and versification revitalized English poetry, and in a series of critical essays, he shattered old orthodoxies and erected new ones. In 1948, he was awarded both the Order of Merit and the Nobel Prize for Literature.
7. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I want to be.” — Lao Tzu
8. Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu encourages transformational journeys where one needs to let go of the comfort zone and looking beyond personal limitations to discover the potential of becoming more of who you are. That, of course, resonates with Lao Tzu’s legend.
9. “No need to hurry. No need to sparkle. No need to be anybody but oneself.” – Virginia Woolf
10. “A combination of fine tea, enchanting objects and soothing surroundings exerts a therapeutic effect by washing away the corrosive strains and stress of modern life.” – John Blofeld
11. “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”― Amit Ray
12. “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott
13. “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” – Marcus Aurelius
14. “Stress is the inability to decide what’s important.” – Anonymous
15. “A calm and modest life brings more happiness than the pursuit of success combined with constant restlessness.” – Albert Einstein
16. “Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” – Oprah Winfrey
17. “Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.” – Hermann Hesse
18. “We should always be asking ourselves: “Is this something that is, or is not, in my control?” – Epictetus
19. “When you feel overwhelmed, start eliminating all the non-essential things from your life. Clarity brings calm.” – Darius Foroux
20. “Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.” – Natalie Goldberg
21. “If something is wrong, fix it now. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing.” – Ernest Hemingway
22. “In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus
23. “There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” – John Green
24. “I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” – Charles Dickens
25. “Healing is not linear.” – Anonymous
26. “We must understand that sadness is an ocean, and sometimes we drown, while other days we are forced to swim.” – R.M. Drake
27. “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
28. “The fear of being laughed at makes coward of us all.” – Mignon McLaughlin
29. “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” – Louisa May Alcott
30. “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.” – Glenn Turner
30 Quotes Reflecting on Life by Public Figures, Artists and Celebrities
1. “The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” – Auguste Rodin
2. “We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery.” – Charlie Chaplin
3. “The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.” – Charlie Chaplin
4. “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” – Bob Ross
5. “Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe is an American painter who was among the most influential figures in Modernism, best known for her large-format paintings of natural forms, especially flowers and bones, and for her depictions of New York City skyscrapers and architectural and landscape forms unique to northern New Mexico.
6. “Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.” – Vincent Van Gogh
7. “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” – Coco Chanel
8. “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” – Sheryl Sandberg
9. “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” – Oprah Winfrey
10. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
11. “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” – John A. Shedd
12. “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn
13. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
14. “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” – Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps is an American former competitive swimmer and the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals, Olympic gold medals in individual events, and Olympic medals in individual events.
15. “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” – Oprah Winfrey
16. “I’ve grown most not from victories, but setbacks. If winning is God’s reward, then losing is how he teaches us.” – Serena Williams
Serena Williams is a legendary American professional tennis player and former world No. 1 in women’s singles tennis. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the second-most of all-time behind Margaret Court.
17. “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” – Diana, Princess of Wales
18. “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon
19. “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!” – Dolly Parton
20. “You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served.” – Nina Simone
21.“To feel fulfilment and have a deeper level of understanding, personally, this is the most important thing.” – Alicia Keys
22.“Everyone is a complicated human being, and everyone is strong and weak and funny and scared.” – Laverne Cox
23. “I realized that I don’t have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect and beautiful journey of my life.” – Kerry Washington
24. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs
25. “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin
26. “Someone once told me that ‘time’ is a predator that stalks us all our lives. But I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because it will never come again.” – Jean Luc Picard
27. “The Pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” – John Maxwell
28. “Greatness is not this wonderful, esoteric, elusive, God-like, feature that only the special among us will ever taste. It’s something that truly exists in all of us. It’s very simple. This is what I believe, and I’m willing to die for it.” – Will Smith
29. “Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.” – Bill Cosby
30. “I really don’t think life is about the I-could-have-beens. Life is only about the I-tried-to-do. I don’t mind the failure but I can’t imagine that I’d forgive myself if I didn’t try.” – Nikki Giovanni
Nikki Giovanni is one of America’s foremost poets. Over the course of a long career, Giovanni has published numerous collections of poetry. “Writing is … what I do to justify the air I breathe,” Giovanni once wrote in Contemporary Authors. “I have been considered a writer who writes from rage and it confuses me. What else do writers write from? A poem has to say something. It has to make some sort of sense; be lyrical; to the point; and still able to be read by whatever reader is kind enough to pick up the book.”
25 Quotes by Famous Political Leaders
1. “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”― Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States. He’s probably one of the most popular US presidents. Lincoln led the nation through its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis in the American Civil War. He succeeded in preserving the Union, abolishing slavery, bolstering the federal government, and modernising the U.S. economy. On a personal level, Lincoln’s greatest leadership traits were his sense of integrity and his strong belief in his principles.
2. “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt Jr was an American statesman, politician, conservationist, naturalist, and writer, who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909.
3. “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Gandhi was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, who employed nonviolent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule, and in turn, inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.
4. “If only political leaders would allow themselves to feel, as well as to think, the world might be a happier place.” – Golda Meir
Golda Meir was an Israeli stateswoman, politician, teacher who served as the fourth Prime Minister of Israel. Born in Kiev, she immigrated to the United States as a child with her family in 1906 and was educated there, becoming a teacher.
5. “If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing.” – Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading writer, printer, political philosopher, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.
6. “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
7. “If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American political figure, diplomat and activist. She served as the First Lady of the United States from 1933, to 1945, during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four terms in office, making her the longest-serving First Lady of the United States.
8. “My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.” – Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi was an Indian politician and a central figure of the Indian National Congress. She was the first and, to date, only female Prime Minister of India. Despite the identical last name with Mahatma Gandhi, she is not Mahatma Gandhi’s wife.
9. “The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.” – Tony Blair
Tony Blair is a British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. After his resignation, he was appointed Special Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East, an office which he held until 2015. He currently serves as the Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change.
10. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King
11. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King
12. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” – Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King Jr. was a phenomenally inspiring social activist and Baptist minister who played a key role in the American civil rights movement from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and is remembered each year on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday since 1986. King sought equality and human rights for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and all victims of injustice through peaceful protest. He was the driving force that helped bring about such landmark legislation as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.
13. “To me, leadership is not about necessarily being the loudest in the room, but instead being the bridge, or the thing that is missing in the discussion and trying to build a consensus from there.” – Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern is a New Zealand politician who has been serving as the 40th prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. Entering office aged 37, Ardern is the youngest individual to become New Zealand’s head of government since Edward Stafford in 1856.
14. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
John Quincy Adams was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, and diarist who served as the sixth president of the United States, from 1825 to 1829.
15. “The price of greatness is responsibility.” – Winston Churchill
16. “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.” – Winston Churchill
17. “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” – Winston Churchill
18. “Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference.” – Winston Churchill
19. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill was a British statesman, army officer, and writer. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945, when he led the country to victory in the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955. He’s one of the most recognised politicians. In his lifetime, Churchill published more than forty books in sixty volumes, as well as hundreds of articles. In 1953 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for his contribution to the written and spoken word. While he is celebrated for his wit and colourful quotations, it is for the impact of his speeches and broadcasts that he is now justly remembered.
20. “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.” – Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes called “the father of modern linguistics”, Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science.
21. “Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you.” – Malcolm Forbes
Malcolm Forbes, born in 1919, New York City, is an American business leader, owner-publisher of Forbes magazine, and promoter of capitalism known for his opulent lifestyle and lively self-promotion.
22. “Focus your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little life of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.” – Barack Obama
Barack Obama made history in 2009 as the first African American president to the United States. He is an American politician, an attorney and a member of the Democratic Party. Obama is also an eloquent writer and biographer.
23. “The first resistance to social change is to say it’s not necessary.” – Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem is an American feminist journalist and social-political activist who became nationally recognised as a leader and a spokeswoman for the American feminist movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Steinem was a columnist for New York magazine and a co-founder of Ms Magazine.
24. “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” – George Orwell
George Orwell is an English novelist, essayist, and critic famous for his novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-four; the latter a profound anti-utopian novel that examines the dangers of totalitarian rule. Orwell went through a profound shift in lifestyle in which he changed from a pillar of the British imperial establishment into a literary and political rebel.
25. “Remember, openness always means risks. To begin something new, you need to get rid of the old. And most of all, nothing should be taken for granted, everything is possible.” – Angela Merkel
Angela Merkel is a German politician who has been Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She served as Leader of the Opposition and as Leader of the Christian Democratic Union from 2000 to 2018. Merkel is the first female chancellor of Germany. Additionally, she also obtained a doctorate in quantum chemistry in 1986 and worked as a research scientist until 1989. She continues to inspire young girls by being one of the most powerful women in the world. Her story is a German fairy-tale that is laced with plenty of obstacles, fateful encounters, and lessons learned.
50 Life Reflections and Quotes by Authors, Writers, and Poets
1. “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath
2. “As those move easiest who have learned to dance.” – Alexander Pope
3. “When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you’re not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” – Paulo Coelho
4. “If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.” – Peter Handke
Peter Handke is a Nobel laureate novelist, playwright, translator, poet, film director, and screenwriter from Austria. Handke was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2019.
5. “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.” – Robert Frost
6. “The best way out is always through.” – Robert Frost
7. “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – William Shakespeare
8. “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” – Maya Angelou
9. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
10. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou
11. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou
12. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou
13. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.” – Maya Angelou
14. “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.” – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights, activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. Angelou had a difficult childhood. Her parents split up when she was very young and was a victim of sexual assault when she was only seven. Angelou’s uncles killed the assaulter which resulted in a shock for Angelou that made her stop talking for five years. As an African American, Angelou experienced firsthand racial prejudices and discrimination in Arkansas. Despite that, Angelou’s writings were full of soul and an open outlook for life and kindness that is indeed inspirational.
15. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller
16. “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller
17. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Helen Keller
Helen Keller was an American educator, advocate for the blind and deaf and co-founder of the ACLU. Stricken by an illness at the age of two, Keller was left blind and deaf. Beginning in 1887, Keller’s teacher, Anne Sullivan, helped her make tremendous progress with her ability to communicate, and Keller went on to college, graduating in 1904. During her lifetime, she received many honours in recognition of her accomplishments.
18. “Life without liberty is like a body without spirit” – Khalil Gibran
19. “The sun himself is weak when he first rises, and gathers strength and courage as the day gets on.” – Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
20. “A loving heart is the truest wisdom.” – Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens was a British novelist, journalist, editor, illustrator and social commentator who wrote such beloved classic novels as Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens is remembered as one of the most important and influential writers of the 19th century. Among his accomplishments, he has been lauded for providing a stark portrait of the Victorian-era underclass, helping to bring about social change.
21. “There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.” – Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
22. “One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.” ― Stephen Hawking
23.“However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”― Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking, one of the most brilliant minds that stepped foot on our planet. The famous English theoretical physicist whose theory of exploding black holes drew upon both relativity theory and quantum mechanics. He also worked with space-time singularities. When Hawking was only twenty-one years old, his life ahead of him, he contracted amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, an incurable degenerative neuromuscular disease. He continued to work despite the disease’s progressively disabling effects. So, besides being a brilliant scientist, Hawking’s life is an inspiration and an amazing example of persistence and hope against adversity.
24. “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington
25. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank
26. “No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank
Anne Frank was a German-Dutch diarist of Jewish heritage. One of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust, she gained fame posthumously with the publication of The Diary of a Young Girl in which she documents her life in hiding from 1942 to 1944, during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II. It is one of the world’s best-known books and has been the basis for several plays and films.
27. “To do great things is difficult, but to command great things is more difficult.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
28. “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
29. “Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
30. “There are no facts, only interpretations.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote that some men are born posthumously, and that is certainly true in his case. The history of philosophy, theology, and psychology since the early twentieth century is unintelligible without him. He was a German classical scholar, philosopher, and critic of culture. His attempts to unmask the motives that underlie traditional Western religion, morality, and philosophy deeply affected generations of theologians, philosophers, psychologists, poets, novelists, and playwrights.
31. “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.” – Spinoza
32. “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” – Søren Kierkegaard
33.“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde
34. “Life is never fair, and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not.” – Oscar Wilde
35. “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” – Mae West
36. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
37. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau
38. “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
39. “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain
40. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain
Mark Twain is an American humorist, journalist, lecturer, and novelist who acquired international fame for his travel narratives. A gifted raconteur, distinctive humorist, and irascible moralist, he transcended the apparent limitations of his origins to become a popular public figure and one of America’s best and most beloved writers.
41.“You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time; all else is grandiose romanticism or politics.” – Charles Bukowski
42. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
43. “Saying it is impossible to live without failing at something is impossible. Unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J.K. Rowling
44. “We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction.” – Malcolm Gladwell
45. “The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.” – Stephen King
46. “One doesn’t recognize the really important moments in one’s life until it’s too late.” – Agatha Christie
47. “Our heritage and ideals, our code and standards – the things we live by and teach our children – are preserved or diminished by how freely we exchange ideas and feelings.” – Walt Disney
48. “There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” – Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf is a brilliant modern writer and is one of the celebrated female figures of the twentieth century. While she is best known for her novels, Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927), Woolf also wrote pioneering essays on artistic theory, literary history, women’s writing, and the politics of power.
49. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
50. “If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.” – Michael Jackson
32 Quotes on Women Empowerment and Gender Equality
1.“Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong, it’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” – G.D Anderson
2. “All the sacred rights of humanity are violated by insisting on blind obedience.” – Mary Wollstonecraft
3. “I do not wish them [women] to have power over men; but over themselves.” – Mary Wollstonecraft
Mary Wollstonecraft is an English writer and sometimes known as the first feminist. She was a passionate advocate of educational and social equality for women. She outlined her beliefs in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), considered a classic of feminism. Wollstonecraft’s work argued that the educational system of her time deliberately trained women to be frivolous and incapable. She posited that an educational system that allowed girls the same advantages as boys would result in women who would be not only exceptional wives and mothers but also capable workers in many professions.
4. “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” – Melinda Gates
5. “In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” – Sheryl Sandberg
6. “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in our absence.” – Sheryl Sandberg
Sheryl Sandberg is an American business executive, billionaire and philanthropist. Sandberg serves as the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and the founder of LeanIn.Org. In June 2012, she was elected to Facebook’s Board of Directors, becoming the first woman to serve on its board.
7. “Women have discovered that they cannot rely on men’s chivalry to give them justice.” – Helen Keller
8. “Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, often times, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
9. “I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard… We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai
10. “I don’t want to be thought of as the ‘girl who was shot by the Taliban’ but the ‘girl who fought for education. This is the cause I want to devote my life.” – Malala Yousefzai
11. “The Taliban could take our pens and books, but they couldn’t stop our minds from thinking.” – Malala Yousefzai
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani education advocate who, at the age of 17 in 2014, became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban. She survived and has continued to speak out on the importance of education.
12. “A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” – Coco Chanel
13. “With each generation, women’s ability to live the lives they choose reaches a place their grandmothers never thought possible. But that doesn’t mean everything is perfect or that our work is finished.” – Cathy McMorris Rodgers
14. “There is a stubbornness about me that can never bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” – Jane Austen
Jane Austen was an English novelist known primarily for her six major novels, which interpret, critique and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favourable social standing and economic security.
15. “We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” – J.K. Rowling
16. “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall
17. “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem
18. “The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn but to unlearn. We are filled with popular wisdom of several centuries just past, and we are terrified to give it up.” – Gloria Steinem
19. “Don’t think about making women fit the world – think about making the world fit women.” – Gloria Steinem
20. “A strong woman understands that gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” – Nancy Rathburn
21. “Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me.” – Arianna Huffington
Arianna Huffington is a Greek-American author, syndicated columnist, and businesswoman. She is a co-founder of The Huffington Post, the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and the author of fifteen books.
22. “A strong woman looks a challenge dead in the eye and gives it a wink.” – Gina Carey
23. “Half woman, half warrior. Delicate and strong.” – R.H. Sin
24. “The world needs strong women. Women who will lift and build others, who will love and be loved. Women who live bravely, both tender and fierce. Women of indomitable will.” – Amy Tenney
25. “And you, you scare people because you are whole all by yourself.” – Lauren Alex Hooper
26. “I tore myself away from the safe comfort of certainties through my love for truth – and truth rewarded me.” – Simone de Beauvoir
Simone de Beauvoir is a French writer and feminist, a member of the intellectual fellowship of philosopher-writers who have given a literary transcription to the themes of existentialism. She is known primarily for her treatise The Second Sex, a scholarly and passionate plea for the abolition of what she called the myth of the “eternal feminine.” It became a classic of feminist literature.
27. “[My mother] told me that fear was not an option. I was always told that women are stronger, so I believed it.” – Diane Von Furstenberg
28. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” – Dr Seuss
29. “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” – Charlotte Bronte
30. “A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everybody else.” – Anonymous
31. “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.” – Anne Sexton
32. “You could certainly say that I’ve never underestimated myself, there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious.” – Angela Merkel
Applying Quotes to Your Life
Learning from the wisdom of others and the greats who have gone before us helps us plot direction for our own lives and businesses. We gain clarity and begin to create plans for our future. If you liked this blog, you might also enjoy, Stage Fright and How to Overcome It.
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