Change Quotes

Change Quotes

Want to respond to change with skill?  Here’s how.  Fill your quiver with some well-tipped words of wisdom on the art of change.

Here is a collection of change quotes to help you do just that.

I put together a hand-crafted collection of some of the best quotes about change.  This change quotes collection includes quotes about life change, business change, changes of heart, and more.

Change happens.  That’s the constant.  You can react to it, but the real trick is learning how to respond to change.   What do folks like Aristotle, Confucius, Mahatma Gandhi, Tony Robbins, and other sages of the ages teach us about change?  A lot.  Here are a few of the key insights:  If you don’t like the change, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your perspective.  If change isn’t working, change your approach.  If changing others, or changing the world doesn’t work, then try changing yourself.  If you want to change your future, then be the change.  When you don’t choose change, change chooses you.  And sometimes, you just have to laugh.

I put a lot of quotes about change at your finger tips.  Pick three you like and use them to help you embrace change, or ride the storm (or make one).

Top 10 Change Quotes

  1. “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” — Karen Lamb
  2. "All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward." — Ellen Glasgow
  3. "Be the change you want to see in the world." — Mahatma Gandhi
  4. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” — Tony Robbins
  5. “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” –- Anonymous
  6. "The best way to predict the future is to create it." — Peter F. Drucker
  7. “The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.” –- Chinese proverb
  8. "The question is not who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me." — Ayn Rand
  9. "When you are through changing, you are through." — Bruce Barton
  10. “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” –- Jim Rohn

A – Z Quotes About Change

"A good question is never answered.  It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea."

— John Ciardi

"A lot of people get impatient with the pace of change."

— James Levine

“A Quitter never wins, and a Winner never quits.”

–- Napoleon Hill

"A scholar who loves comfort is not fit to be called a scholar."

– Confucius

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.”

— Deepak Chopra

“All our dreams can come true –- if we have the courage to pursue them.”

–- Walt Disney

"Always remember that the future comes one day at a time."

— Dean Acheson

"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts."

— Arnold Bennett

"Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will require not just small adjustments in your way of living and thinking but a full-on metamorphosis."

— Martha Beck

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."

— Albert Einstein

"Anyone who thinks there’s safety in numbers hasn’t looked at the stock market pages."

— Irene Peter

“As soon as anyone starts telling you to be “realistic,” cross that person off your invitation list.”

–- John Eliot

“As soon as you truly commit to making something happen, the ‘how’ will reveal itself.”

–- Tony Robbins

"Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are."

— Bertolt Brecht

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind."

— Dr. Seuss

“By changing nothing, nothing changes.”

— Tony Robbins

"Change always comes bearing gifts."

— Price Pritchett

"Change before you have to."

— Jack Welch

"Change brings opportunity."

— Nido Qubein

"Change in all things is sweet."

– Aristotle

"Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine."

— Robert C. Gallagher

"Change is the constant, the signal for rebirth, the egg of the phoenix."

— Christina Baldwin

"Change your thoughts and you change your world."

— Norman Vincent Peale

“Confidence comes not from always being right but not fearing to be wrong.”

– Anonymous

"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights."

— Pauline R. Kezer

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”

— Mary Anne Radmacher

“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, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”

– Life’s Little Instruction Book

"Don’t wait. The time will never be just right."

— Napoleon Hill

“Each person’s task in life is to become an increasingly better person.”

— Leo Tolstoy

“Even if you stumble, you’re still moving forward.”

– Anonymous

“Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent success.”

–- Napoleon Hill

"Every possession and every happiness is but lent by chance for an uncertain time, and may therefore be demanded back the next hour."

— Arthur Schopenhauer

"Every single thing changes and is changing always in this world.  Yet with the same light the moon goes on shining."

– Saigyo

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

— Leo Tolstoy

"Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."

— John Kenneth Galbraith

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

–- Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Fear, uncertainty and discomfort are your compasses toward growth.”

– Anonymous

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation."

— Robert F. Kennedy

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”

— C.S. Lewis

"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me."

– Anomyous

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

— Reinhold Niebuhr

"Growth is the only evidence of life."

— John Henry Newman

"He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator."

— Francis Bacon

"He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery."

— Harold Wilson

“Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you’re alive, it isn’t.”

— Richard Bach

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

–- Michael Jordan

"I put a dollar in one of those change machines.  Nothing changed."

— George Carlin

"If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door."

—-  Milton Berle

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress."

— Frederick Douglass

"If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living."

— Gail Sheehy

“If what you’re doing is not your passion, you have nothing to lose.”

– Anonymous

“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

— Steve Jobs

"If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude."

— Amy Tan

"If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude."

— Maya Angelou

"If you want change, you have to make it. If we want progress we have to drive it."

— Susan Rice

"If you want to change the culture, you will have to start by changing the organization."

— Mary Douglas

"If you want to make enemies, try to change something."

— Woodrow Wilson

"If you want to truly understand something, try to change it."

— Kurt Lewin

"If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change."

— John A. Simone, Sr.

“In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”

— Warren Buffett

"Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from."

-— Seth Godin

“It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.”

— Bob Proctor

“Never too old, never too bad, never too late, never too sick to start from scratch once again.”

— Bikram Choudhury

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

—- Theodore Roosevelt

"It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory."

— W. Edwards Deming

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."

— Charles Darwin

"It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not."

— James Gordon

"Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed."

— Irene Peter

"Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes."

— Hugh Prather

“Lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at you.”

— David Brinkley

"Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes."

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.”

–- Les Brown

“Life is either a daring adventure, or it is nothing.”

— Helen Keller

"Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change; where we are right, make us easy to live with."

— Peter Marshall

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.”

— Andre Gide

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

— Maria Robinson

"Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have."

— Margaret Mead

“Never, never, never, never give up.”

–- Winston Churchill

“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.”

— Walter Anderson

"Nothing endures but change."

– Heraclitus

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”

— Sydney Smith

“Obstacles can’t stop you. Problems can’t stop you. Most of all, other people can’t stop you. Only you can stop you.”

–- J. Gitomer

"Oh, would that my mind could let fall its dead ideas, as the tree does its withered leaves!"

— Andre Gide

"Once in a while it really hits people that they don’t have to experience the world in the way they have been told to."

—- Alan Keightley

"Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me."

— Carol Burnett

"Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change."

– Confucius

"Our only security is our ability to change."

— John Lilly

“Others can stop you temporarily – you are the only one who can do it permanently.”

–- Zig Ziglar

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”

– Heraclitus

"People don’t change.  Only their costumes do."

— Gene Moore

"Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator and change has its enemies."

— Robert F. Kennedy

"Relentless, repetitive self talk is what changes our self-image."

— Denis Waitley

“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

— Steve Jobs

“Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you… yet, someone survived… You can do anything you choose to do.”

– Maya Angelou

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”

— Marilyn Monroe

"Stubbornness does have its helpful features.  You always know what you are going to be thinking tomorrow."

— Glen Beaman

"The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists."

— Japanese Proverb

“The best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing; the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

— Theodore Roosevelt

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”

— Oprah Winfrey

"The birds are molting.  If only man could molt also – his mind once a year its errors, his heart once a year its useless passions."

— James Allen

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”

–- Elbert Hubbard

"The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind."

— William Blake

"The mind has exactly the same power as the hands; not merely to grasp the world, but to change it."

— Colin Wilson

"The more things change, the more they remain… insane."

— Michael Fry and T. Lewis

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."

— Alphonse Karr

“The only constant is change.”

— Heraclitus

"The only difference between a rut and a grave is their dimensions."

— Ellen Glasgow

"The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me.  The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them."

— George Bernard Shaw

"The only sense that is common in the long run, is the sense of change-and we all instinctively avoid it."

— E. B. White

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance."

— Alan Watts

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

— George Bernard Shaw

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.”

– Bill Copeland

"The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it."

— Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

"The wheel of change moves on, and those who were down go up and those who were up go down."

— Jawaharlal Nehru

"The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress."

— Charles Kettering

"The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow."

— Rupert Murdoch

“There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.”

–- Peter A. Cohen

"There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."

— Nelson Mandela

"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."

— Andy Warhol

"They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom."

– Confucius

"Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly."

— Francis Bacon

"Things do not change; we change."

— Henry David Thoreau

"This is your time and it feels normal to you, but really, there is no normal. There’s only change and resistance to it and then more change."

— Meryl Streep

"Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations."

— Faith Baldwin

“To be successful you don’t need to do extraordinary things, you just need to do ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

–- Jim Rohn

“To create more positive results in your life, replace ‘if only’ with ‘next time.’”

– Anonymous

"To change the world, begin with yourself."

– Anonymous

"To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly."

— Henri Bergson

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that’s all."

— Oscar Wilde

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

– Anonymous

"Turbulence is life force. It is opportunity. Let’s love turbulence and use it for change."

— Ramsay Clark

"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 the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

— Mark Twain

“Unless you’re willing to have a go, fail miserably, and have another go, success won’t happen.”

— Phillip Adams

“Use what talents you possess, the woods will be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.”

— Henry van Dyke

"We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance."

— Harrison Ford

“We can have more than we’ve got because we can become more than we are.”

–- Jim Rohn

“We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.”

— J.K. Rowling

"We spend our time searching for security and hate it when we get it."

— John Steinbeck

"What we call progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another nuisance."

— Havelock Ellis

"What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want."

— Mignon McLaughlin

“When in doubt, choose change.”

— Lily Leung

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."

— Victor Frankl

"When you jump for joy, beware that no one moves the ground from beneath your feet."

— Stanislaw Lec

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”

— Mark Twain

"Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken."

— Frank Herbert

"Yeah! May the bridges I burn light the way!"

— Dylan McKay

"You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,. Know when to walk away, know when to run."

— The Gambler

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”

— Wayne Gretzy

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt

"You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler."

— Denis Waitley

"You never have a friend all figured out. Just when you think you know what makes them tick, they tock."

— Robert Brault

Feel free to share your favorite quotes about change.

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Posted in: Change, Quotes, Success

12 Comments on "Change Quotes"

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  1. Alik Levin says:

    I like Ghadhi’s “be the change you want to see in the world” – helps me both at work and with the family, especially kids.
    I love Ayn Rand’s “… who’s going to stop me” a lot – resonates ton with what’s going on in the US and the rest of the world.
    I made a significant change in my life and I am constantly looking back trying to answer the question “was it worth it?” – Jack Welch helps me here with his “Change before you have to”, that’s what I did and I am not looking back anymore.
    But I think the most moving is this “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching” – this one really hooked me.

  2. JD says:

    @ Alik — I’ve had my life flash before my eyes, so that one really hits home for me.

  3. Kimbundance says:

    Very thorough list. I really like a lot of them as they resonate with me on my own spiritual journey.

  4. JD says:

    @ Kimbundance — Thank you.

    I am both a pack rat and a lightening rod when it comes to quotes. People send me their favorite quotes all the time and I stuff them away in my personal knowledge base, and then periodically I create an organized collection on a topic to share with the world.

    I think the right words seriously lift us in ways we can’t even predict.

  5. Barry Dunne says:

    Great list, as always, JD! I’ve often used the following quote with a suitable photo: “The only person that likes change is a wet baby”, which seems to be attributed to Mark Twain.

  6. JD says:

    @ Barry — Thank you.

    That’s a perfect quote, and it does sound like something that good ol’ Twain would say 😉

  7. Catherina Chia says:

    Nice collection! I am collecting mine too :)
    ? Catherina

  8. JD says:

    @ Catherina — Thank you!

    I’ve found Evernote to be my best friend when it comes to collecting quotes. Another trick is to sort them in alphabetical so you can easily spot duplicates in your collection.

  9. Terry O says:

    These are all awesome quotes! I utilize this page in order to find quotes to motivate my employees, a wealth of knowledge here! Thanks for putting it together!

  10. maria says:

    Thank You for such a thurough list. I’m writing an Essay on a single word for my college english class. I decided to use the word, “change.” In doing so has again encouraged personal-inventory. Something we should all do periodically, yet is seen rarely. Again, Thank You. Sincerely, Maria

  11. Sarah says:

    Thanksss 4 a great collection of quotes. I love quotes about change and I really enjoyed..
    whoever has collected them, wish u the greatest changesss 😉

  12. Charles Dsouza says:

    Thanks J.D, For these wonderful quotes and literally life changing blog. I have read so many blogs before on self help but there is something about your blog that keeps me getting back for more every single day. I like the first and fifth quote in top 10. It gives me the dopamine kick!

    Thank you once again god bless!
    Charles D’Souza