By July 27, 2011 Read More →

Inspirational Quotes

inspirational quotes

Inspiration – to breathe life into.  Inspirational quotes and inspiring words can breathe life into anything and everything you do.

I’ve created a collection of some of the most inspirational quotes of all time.  The gang’s all here … Buddha, Lao-Tzu, Emerson, Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Twain, Franklin, Churchill and more.  That’s a powerful bunch to have in your corner.  Use their words of wisdom to lift you up and help you “stand on the shoulders of giants.”

(Note — If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my book on Getting Results the Agile Way!  It helps you think, feel, and be your best.)

Why Inspirational Quotes

Why are inspirational quotes so powerful?  For one thing, they can express in words, what you feel in your heart.  For another, sometimes it helps to know that you’re not alone, and others have been in the same shoes.  They can keep you going when you’re down, or they can help you on your climb to the top.  Sometimes you just need to hear the right words, said in a different way, to help you rise above the noise and take a balcony view.  And sometimes, people just say the thing that spark your heart, or puts your imagination in over-drive, or simply rekindles your possibilities.

One of my favorite inspirational quotes of all time is, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” It always reminds me to stand strong when tested, and that every bad situation, is an opportunity for growth. I’ve learned that life comes with problems, and wishing them away doesn’t work.  Instead, I’ve learned to expand myself and deal with bigger challenges, and respond more effectively.  As Maxwell puts it, “You don’t overcome challenges by making them smaller but by making yourself bigger.”

Picking “The Great Ones”

To help me figure out the top inspirational quotes of all time, I’ve asked many people what their favorite inspirational quote is.  From that set, I tried to pick both some classics and some inspirational quotes that you don’t hear every day.  I organized the rest of the collection into a set of relevant categories for inspiration so that you can easily browse or scan the full set, or just jump to the ones you need.

At the end of the day, the best inspirational quotes are the ones that work for you.  Only you know what lifts you up and which words of wisdom help you the most.   After all, you are ultimately your most important meaning maker and filter for this lifetime.  And you are the one that always holds the key to unlocking and unleashing what you’re capable of.

Please enjoy these inspirational quotes and may they help you flourish in ways you never dreamed possible.  This is a living, breathing collection of inspirational quotes, so feel free to share your best quotes, and help me make this a great collection of insight and inspiration.

The Best of the Best – Top 20 Inspirational Quotes

  1. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” — Mary Anne Radmacher
  2. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. “I want to be all used up when I die.” — George Bernard Shaw
  4. “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
  5. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” — Napoleon Hill
  6. “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” — George Bernard Shaw
  7. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill
  8. “It is never too late to be who you might have been.” — George Eliot
  9. “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” — Lao-Tzu
  10. “Let him who would move the world, first move himself.” – Socrates
  11. “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it.” — Danny Kaye
  12. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” — Maya Angelou
  13. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw
  14. “Smile, breathe and go slowly.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
  15. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
  16. “The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and objectionable.” – Plato
  17. “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” — Oprah Winfrey
  18. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things 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
  19. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  20. “Whatever you do, you should do it with feeling.” — Yogi Berra

Achievement

  • “A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men.” – Plato
  • “Achievement results from work realizing ambition.” — Adam Ant
  • “Big thinking precedes great achievement.” — Wilferd A. Peterson
  • “Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.” — Napoleon Hill
  • “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” — Charles F. Kettering
  • “I’m glad I did it, partly because it was worth it, but mostly because I shall never have to do it again.” — Mark Twain
  • It’s amazing what ordinary people can do if they set out without preconceived notions.” — Charles F. Kettering
  • “Never mistake activity for achievement.” — John Wooden
  • One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” — Anthony Robbins
  • “Success each day should be judged by the seeds sown, not the harvest reaped.” — John C. Maxwell
  • “That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “The results you achieve will be in direct proportion to the effort you apply.” — Denis Waitley
  • “If you’ll not settle for anything less than your best, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in your lives.” — Vince Lombardi
  • “Winners compare their achievements with their goals, while losers compare their achievements with those of other people.” — Nido Qubein
  • “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “You have to ‘be’’ before you can ‘do’, and do before you can ‘have’.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” — Albert Einstein

Action

  • “Action is the real measure of intelligence.” — Napoleon Hill
  • “Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.” — Mark Twain
  • An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what they do.” — Andrew Carnegie
  • “Don’t compare yourself negatively with the giants or anyone else, rather, use them as models. Then get on with whatever it is you can accomplish with your life, and give it everything you have.” — Dr. Irene Kassorla
  • “Don’t think, just do.” – Horace
  • “Experience is the child of thought, and thought is the child of action.” – Benjamin Disraeli
  • “If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.” — Lucy Larcom
  • “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” — John Quincy Adams
  • “It not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.” — Anthony Robbins
  • “Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it.” — Danny Kaye
  • “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” –  Benjamin Franklin
  • Speaking from my personal experiences, setting goals, along with a detailed action plan, has actually changed my life from one cast in frustration to one of purpose.” — Catherine Pulsifer
  • “The first man gets the oyster; the second man gets the shell.” — Andrew Carnegie
  • “The main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand.” — Thomas Carlyle
  • “The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret.” — Nido Qubein
  • “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” — Mark Twain
  • The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” – Confucius
  • “To move the world we must first move ourselves.” – Socrates
  • “Well done is better than well said.” — Benjamin Franklin

Adversity

  • “A problem is a chance for you to do your best.” — Duke Ellington
  • “Accept challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” — George S. Patton
  • “Bad is never good until worse happens.” — Danish Proverb
  • “Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.” — Joshua J. Marine
  • “Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict.” — William Ellery Channing
  • “Everybody ought to do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.” — William James
  • “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” — Truman Capote
  • “How can something bother you if you won’t let it?” — Terri Guillemets
  • “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” — Maya Angelou
  • “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” — Frank A. Clark
  • “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” — Maya Angelou
  • “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill
  • “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.
  • “It’s not easy taking my problems one at a time when they refuse to get in line.” — Ashleigh Brilliant
  • “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” —Vince Lombardi
  • “Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, for wise men say it is the wisest course.” — William Shakespeare
  • “Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them.  The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.” – Voltaire
  • “Men’s best successes come after their disappointments.” – Henry Ward Beecher
  • Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is optional.” — M. Kathleen Casey
  • “Poverty, Frost, Famine, Rain, Disease, are the beadles and guardsmen that hold us to Common Sense.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” — African Proverb
  • “Sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “The beauty of the world has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.” — Virginia Woolf
  • “The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter.” – Unknown
  • “The gem cannot be polished without friction nor man without trials.” — Confucius
  • “The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.” — Harry Golden
  • “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” — Norman Vincent Peale
  • “This too will pass.” — Attar
  • “Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.” — Henry Ward Beecher
  • “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” — Oprah Winfrey
  • “We acquire the strength we have overcome.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” — Kenji Miyazawa
  • “We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.” — Winston Churchill
  • “When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.” –  Unknown
  • You can’t run away from trouble.  There ain’t no place that far.” — Uncle Remus
  • You don’t overcome challenges by making them smaller but by making yourself bigger.” —John C. Maxwell
  • “You’ll never find a better sparring partner than adversity.” — Walt Schmidt

Attitude and Gratitude

  • “A person’s worth in this world is estimated according to the value he puts on himself.” — Jean de la Bruyere
  • “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” — Mark Twain
  • “All the advice in the world will never help you until you help yourself.” — Fred Van Amburgh
  • “Count your blessings! Things can always get better and could always be worse.” — Donald Neviaser
  • “For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself. So always think positively.” — Norman Vincent Peale
  • “If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.” — George Bernard Shaw
  • “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” — Wayne Dyer
  • “In one minute you can change your attitude and in that minute you can change your entire day.” — Spencer Johnson
  • “It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” — William James
  • “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” — Mark Twain
  • “Life must be lived as play.” – Plato
  • “One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged.” — Lucille Ball
  • “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” — Denis Waitley
  • “There are two things a person should never be angry at, what they can help, and what they cannot.” – Plato
  • “The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “”There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein
  • We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.” –  Anais Nin
  • “You alone are the judge of your worth and your goal is to discover infinite worth in yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks.” — Deepak Chopra
  • “You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him.” — Leo Aikman
  • “You cannot tailor make your situation in life, but you can tailor make your attitudes to fit those situations.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” — Zig Ziglar

Beginnings

  • “A hard beginning maketh a good ending.” — John Heywood
  • “A lot of people seeking new beginnings have never finished with the past.” — Byron Pulsifer
  • “Beginnings are only difficult without any action.” — Byron Pulsifer
  • “Every day is a new beginning. Treat it that way. Stay away from what might have been, and look at what can be.” — Marsha Petrie Sue
  • “Every morning is a fresh beginning. Every day is the world made new. Today is a new day.” — Dan Custer
  • “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “The secret to a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings.” — Dave Weinbaum
  • “This moment, this day, is as good as any moment in all eternity. I shall make of this day, each moment of this day, a heaven on earth. This is my day of opportunity.” — Dan Custer
  • “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” — Joe Sabah

Belief

  • “Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief in denying them.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” — Theodore Roosevelt
  • “By believing passionately in something that does not yet exist, we create it.” – Nikos Kazantzakis
  • “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” — Norman Vincent Peale
  • “Faith is not belief. Belief is passive. Faith is active.” – Edith Hamilton
  • “I always try to believe the best of everybody — it saves so much trouble.” – Rudyard Kipling
  • “Live your beliefs and you can turn the world around.” — Henry David Thoreau
  • “Others believing in you is nice but worthless if not matched by your own thought.” — Scott Moore
  • “Seeing is not believing; believing is seeing! You see things, not as they are, but as you are.” –Eric Butterworth
  • “The eloquent man is he who is no beautiful speaker, but who is inwardly and desperately drunk with a certain belief.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.” — Ezra Pound

Compassion and Connection

  • “At the end of the day, love and compassion will win.” — Terry Waite
  • “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” — Maya Angelou
  • “Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.” — Mason Cooley
  • “Compassion is a two way street.” — Frank Capra
  • “Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.” — Henry Ward Beecher
  • “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” — Lao Tzu
  • “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
  • “It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.” – Gandhi
  • “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” — Dalai Lama
  • “Make no judgments where you have no compassion.” – Anne McCaffrey
  • “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style” — Maya Angelou
  • “Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” — Albert Einstein
  • “The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart.” — Helen Keller
  • “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.” — Maya Angelou
  • “The dew of compassion is a tear.” — Lord Byron
  • “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” — Maya Angelou
  • “The greatest good we can do for others is not just to share our riches with them, but to reveal theirs.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.” — Deepak Chopra
  • “The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.” — G.K. Chesterton
  • “When there’s that forgiveness present and compassion, it just helps you live so much easier.” — Craig T. Nelson
  • “Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.” — Confucius

Courage

  • “A man of courage is also full of faith.” – Cicero
  • All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” — Walt Disney
  • “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “Be bold – and mighty forces will come to your aid.” — Basil King
  • “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” — Mary Anne Radmacher
  • “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill
  • “Courage is knowing what not to fear.” – Plato
  • “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” — Ambrose Redmoon
  • “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” — Mark Twain
  • “Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.” –  Tom Krause
  • “Courage: the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” — Maya Angelou
  • “Fortune favors the brave.” – Virgil
  • “The hero is no braver than the ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things 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 a man undertakes more than he possibly can do, he will never do all that he can.” — Henry Drummond
  • “When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “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 which you think you cannot do.”– Eleanor Roosevelt

Dreams and Vision

  • “A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” — Ralph Lauren
  • “A man’s dreams are an index to his greatness.” — Zadok Rabinwitz
  • “A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows.” — William James
  • “Anyone who thinks the sky is the limit, has limited imagination.” – Anonymous
  • “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul; the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.” — Napoleon Hill
  • Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.” — Dr. Dale Turner
  • “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” –  Henry David Thoreau
  • “I shut my eyes in order to see.” –  Paul Gauguin
  • “I dream, I test my dreams against my beliefs, I dare to take risks, and I execute my vision to make those dreams come true.” — Walt Disney
  • “I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
  • “If our thoughts and hopes are elsewhere, it is impossible to set our faces steadily toward the work required of us.” – Anonymous
  • “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” — Henry David Thoreau
  • “If you only look at what is, you might never attain what could be”. – Anonymous
  • If you’re not sure where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.” – Anonymous
  • “Nothing limits achievement like small thinking; nothing expands possibilities like unleashed imagination.” — William Arthur Ward
  • “Some men see things the way they are and ask, ‘Why?’ I dream things that never were, and ask ‘Why not?” — George Bernard Shaw
  • “Some make it happen, some watch it happen, and some say, ‘What happened?’” – Anonymous
  • The greatest dreams are always unrealistic.” — Will Smith
  • “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” — Edgar Allan Poe
  • “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” — Japanese Proverb
  • We will find only what we look for, nothing more and nothing less.” – Anonymous
  • “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” — John Lubbock
  • “Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow but a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day.” — Indian Proverb
  • “You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.” — Richard Bach
  • You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” — Buckminster Fuller

Failure, Setbacks, and Mistakes

  • “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernard Shaw
  • “Acknowledge that you failed, draw your lessons from it, and use it to your advantage to make sure it never happens again.” — Michael Johnson
  • “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” — Albert Einstein
  • Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement.” — Henry Ford
  • “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” — Oscar Wilde
  • “Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” — Maya Angelou
  • “I had to pick myself up and get on with it, do it all over again, only even better this time.” — Sam Walton
  • “I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.” — George Burns
  • Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.” — Anthony Robbins
  • Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.” — Al Franken
  • “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” — Napoleon Hill
  • No matter what happens, it is within my power to turn it to my advantage.” – Epictetus
  • “One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks.” — Jack Penn
  • “Only those who do nothing at all make no mistakes… but that would be a mistake.” – Anonymous
  • Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius
  • “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” — George Bernard Shaw
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
  • “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” — Elbert Hubbard
  • The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.” — Dale Carnegie
  • “There are no mistakes, save one: the failure to learn from a mistake.” — Robert Fripp
  • There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man’s lack of faith in his true Self.” – William James
  • “Try and fail, but don’t fail to try.” –  Stephen Kaggwa
  • “You haven’t failed until you quit trying.” — Anonymous

Fear

  • “A life lived in fear is half lived.” – Anonymous
  • “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Nelson Mandela
  • “Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated; you can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” — David Lloyd George
  • “Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Fear nothing, for every renewed effort raises all former failures into lessons, all sins into experience.” – Unknown
  • “He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.” — George Bernard Shaw
  • “It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, ‘Always do what you are afraid to do.’” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Necessity is the mother of taking chances.” — Mark Twain
  • “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” — Nelson Mandela
  • “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” — Paulo Coelho
  • “Risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.” — Leo Buscaglia
  • “You are going to let the fear of poverty govern your life and your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live.” — George Bernard Shaw

Goals

  • “A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement.” — Bo Bennett
  • “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” — Napoleon Hill
  • “Begin with the end in mind.” — Stephen Covey
  • “Between the great things we cannot do and the small things we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing.” — Adolph Monod
  • “Establishing goals is all right if you don’t let them deprive you of interesting detours.” — Doug Larson
  • “First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” – Epictetus
  • “Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.” — J.C. Penney
  • “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” –  Vincent Van Gogh
  • “I love deadlines.  I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” — Douglas Adams
  • “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” — Unknown
  • “Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings.” — C.D. Jackson
  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” – Anonymous
  • “One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.” — Sidney Howard
  • “One may miss the mark by aiming too high as too low.” — Thomas Fuller
  • “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” — T.S. Eliot
  • “People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.” – Anthony Robbins
  • “Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” — Les Brown
  • “Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.” — Doug Larson
  • “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it.” – Michelangelo
  • The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going.” — Unknown
  • You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures.” — Charles C. Noble

Growth

  • “Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own.” — Bruce Lee
  • “Avoid problems, and you’ll never be the one who overcame them.” — Richard Bach
  • Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.” — George Bernard Shaw
  • Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best.” — Andrew Carnegie
  • Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend.” – Bruce Lee
  • “Every artist was first an amateur.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “Improvement begins with I.” — Arnold H. Glasgow
  • “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” — Edmund Hillary
  • “Learn the principle, abide by the principle, and dissolve the principle. In short, enter a mold without being caged in it. Obey the principle without being bound by it. Learn, master, and achieve.” – Bruce Lee
  • Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Man can climb to the highest summits, but he cannot dwell there long.” — George Bernard Shaw
  • “Nothing ever is, but is always becoming.” – Plato
  • “Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” — Albert Einstein
  • “Seeing yourself as you want to be is the key to personal growth.” – Anonymous
  • “Success is achieved by development of our strengths, not by elimination of our weakness.” — Marilyn Vos Savant
  • “The first and best victory is to conquer self. To be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and objectionable.” – Plato
  • “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are; for what we could become.” — Charles Dubois
  • The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.” — Deepak Chopra
  • “The most splendid achievement of all is the constant striving to surpass yourself and to be worthy of your own approval.” – Denis Waitley
  • “The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long term; it’s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles necessary to achieve your goals, that can give you the deepest and most long-lasting sense of fulfillment.” — Anthony Robbins
  • “There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” — Aldous Huxley
  • “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” — Maya Angelou
  • “When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style.” – Bruce Lee

Happiness

  • “Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.” — Ayn Rand
  • “Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.” — Mark Twain
  • “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” — Jim Rohn
  • “If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It’s very important to be aware of them every time they come up.” — Deepak Chopra
  • If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge.” – Deepak Chopra
  • “Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed.” — Storm Jameson
  • “Happiness comes when you believe in what you are doing, know what you are doing, and love what you are doing.” — Brian Tracy
  • “Happiness is a state of activity.” – Aristotle
  • “Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.” – Leon J. Suenes
  • “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” — Mark Twain
  • “The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.” — James Oppenheim
  • “The healthiest response to life is joy.” — Deepak Chopra
  • “The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depend upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily.” – Plato
  • “The secret to happiness is not in doing what one likes to do, but in liking what one has to do.” – Anonymous
  • To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.” — Mark Twain
  • “We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.” — George Bernard Shaw
  • “When we recall the past, we usually find that it is the simplest things – not the great occasions – that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness.” — Bob Hope
  • Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” — Mark Twain

Hope and Inspiration

  • “A whole stack of memories never equal one little hope.” — Charles Schulz
  • “Better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” — Chinese Proverb
  • “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt
  • “For a gallant spirit there can never be defeat.” — Wallis Simpson
  • “He who has never hoped can never despair.” — George Bernard Shaw
  • “Hope is a waking dream.” — Aristotle
  • “If it were not for hopes, the heart would break.” — Thomas Fuller
  • “He who has hope has everything.”—Arabian Proverb
  • “Hope is like a bird that senses the dawn and carefully starts to sing while it is still dark.” – Anonymous
  • “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.” — Emily Dickenson
  • “In life you need either inspiration or desperation.” — Anthony Robbins
  • “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” — Maya Angelou
  • “Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit.” — Bern Williams
  • “Motivation is the fuel necessary to keep the human engine running.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” — Maya Angelou
  • Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.” — John Heywood
  • “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great work at some moment every day.” – Thornton Wilder
  • “Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion.  You must set yourself on fire.” — Arnold H. Glasow
  • “Surround yourself with people who are going to motivate and inspire you.” — Charles M. Marcus
  • “The best motivation always comes from within.” — Michael Johnson
  • “The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” — Allan K. Chalmers
  • “The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.” — Richard Bach
  • “The question should be, is it worth trying to do, not can it be done.” — Allard Lowenstein
  • Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which has the potential to turn a life around.” — Leo Buscaglia
  • “To succeed… you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.” — Tony Dorsett

Limits

  • Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.” — Richard Bach
  • “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Hitch your wagon to a star.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “I want to be all used up when I die.” — George Bernard Shaw
  • “If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” — Isaac Newton
  • “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” — Napoleon Hill
  • “It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you use that makes a difference.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “It is never too late to be who you might have been.” — George Eliot
  • “Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.” — Mark Twain
  • Life is full of obstacle illusions.” — Grant Frazier
  • “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” — Andre Gide
  • Men do less than they ought, unless they do all they can.” — Thomas Carlyle
  • Never tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.” – Unknown
  • “Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” — Karen Ravn
  • “Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.” — Maya Angelou
  • The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” — Ayn Rand
  • “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “When you set goals, something inside of you starts saying, “Let’s go, let’s go,” and ceilings start to move up.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “You are not the drop in the ocean, but the ocean in the drop.” — Deepak Chopra

Opportunity and Choice

  • “All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.” — Lao-Tzu
  • “All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination; Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.” — Napoleon Hill
  • “Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.” – Horace
  • “Chance favors the prepared mind.” — Louis Pasteur
  • Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” — Napoleon Hill
  • “Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” — Deepak Chopra
  • “Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalize on what comes.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “For of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these ‘It might have been’” — John Greenleaf Whittie
  • “He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.” — William James
  • “Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident.” — Mark Twain
  • “No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “One hundred percent of the shots you don’t take don’t go in.” — Wayne Gretzky
  • “Seize the day, and put the least possible trust in tomorrow.” – Horace
  • The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.” — Orison Sweet Marden
  • “The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.” — Benjamin Disraeli
  • There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” — Maya Angelou
  • We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • We are still masters of our fate. We are still captains of our souls.” — Winston Churchill
  • “What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn’t come every day.” — George Bernard Shaw
  • “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell
  • “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.” — Deepak Chopra
  • Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.” — Napoleon Hill

Passion and Desire

  • Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great was ever achieved.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” — Benjamin Franklin
  • “Love and desire are the spirit’s wings to great deeds.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.” —Benjamin Franklin
  • “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “One of the most difficult things everyone has to learn is that for your entire life you must keep fighting and adjusting if you hope to survive. No matter who you are or what your position is you must keep fighting for whatever it is you desire to achieve.” — George Allen
  • “Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” — Swami Sivananda
  • “The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.” — Napoleon Hill
  • “To desire is to obtain; to aspire is to achieve.” — James Allen
  • Whatever you do, you should do it with feeling.” — Yogi Berra
  • “You change your life by changing your heart.” — Max Lucado

Persistence

  • “A big shot is a little shot that kept shooting.” – Anonymous
  • “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” — Lao-tzu
  • “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.” — Mark Twain
  • “Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit.” — Napoleon Hill
  • “Energy and persistence conquer all things.” — Benjamin Franklin
  • “Fall seven times. Stand up eight.” —Japanese Proverb
  • Get a good idea and stay with it. Do it, and work at it until it’s done right.” — Walt Disney
  • It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.” — Zig Ziglar
  • “It’s not what you start in life, it’s what you finish.” – Katharine Hepburn
  • “Never giving up and pushing forward will unlock all the potential we are capable of.” — Christy Borgeld
  • “Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.” — Napoleon Hill
  • Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish. A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.” — John Quincy Adams
  • “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” — Napoleon Hill
  • “Smile, breathe and go slowly.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” – Anthony Robbins
  • “Success is steady progress toward one’s personal goals.” — Jim Rohn
  • “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.” — Mark Twain
  • “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “The only job where you start at the top, is digging a hole.” – Anonymous
  • “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” — Anatole France
  • “What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

Purpose, Meaning, Fulfillment

  • “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” — Maya Angelou
  • “A creation of importance can only be produced when its author isolates himself, it is a child of solitude.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • “A man is not old until regrets start taking place of dreams.” – Anonymous
  • “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” — William Shedd
  • And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • Be not simply good; be good for something.”– Henry David Thoreau
  • “Everyone has a purpose in life… a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.” — Deepak Chopra
  • “Great minds have purposes; others have wishes.” — Washington Irving
  • “He who has a ‘why’ to live can bear almost any ‘how’.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
  • “I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” — Henry David Thoreau
  • “It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going.” — Brian Tracy
  • It is not length of life, but depth of life.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives.” — Anthony Robbins
  • “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.” — Tom Brokaw
  • “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” — George Bernard Shaw
  • “Many men go fishing all their lives not knowing it is not fish they are after.” — Henry David Thoreau
  • “May you live all the days of your life.” — Jonathan Swift
  • “More than anything else, people will always remember you for how you made them feel.” — Shadonna Richards
  • “My life is my message.” — Mahatma Ghandi
  • “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.” – Anthony Robbins
  • “The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” — Carl Rogers
  • The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” — Steven Covey
  • The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved; it is a reality to be experienced.” — Aart van der Leenw
  • “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • There are no extra pieces in the universe. Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill, and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.” — Deepak Chopra
  • To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.” — Kahlil Gibran
  • “Try not to become a man of success but a man of value.” — Albert Einstein
  • We do not remember days; we remember moments.” — Cesare Pavese
  • “Where you end up isn’t the most important thing. It’s the road you take to get there. The road you take is what you’ll look back on and call your life.” — Tim Wiley
  • “You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Forget your past. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don’t think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully.” – Anthony Robbins
  • “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” — Maya Angelou
  • “Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself.” — Bach, Richard

Strength

  • “A chain is as strong as its weakest link.” — Danish Proverb
  • “A powerful idea communicates some of its strength to him who challenges it.” — Marcel Proust
  • A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • All our talents increase in the using, and the every faculty, both good and bad, strengthen by exercise.” — Anne Bronte
  • Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” — Lao Tzu
  • “Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.” — Liane Cordes
  • Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.” – Plato
  • Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” — Samuel Johnson
  • “Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come.” — Victor Hugo
  • He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity.” — Ben Jonson
  • Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What’s a sun-dial in the shade?” — Benjamin Franklin
  • “If you haven’t the strength to impose your own terms upon life, you must accept the terms it offers you.” — T.S. Eliot
  • “Inward calm cannot be maintained unless physical strength is constantly and intelligently replenished.” – Buddha
  • Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” — Lao-Tzu
  • “Knowledge is power.” — Francis Bacon
  • “Let him who would move the world, first move himself.” – Socrates
  • “Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” — Louis Pasteur
  • “My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure.” — Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • “Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason mastery demands all of a person.” –  Albert Einstein
  • “Rule your mind or it will rule you.” – Horace
  • Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses.” — Marilyn vos Savant
  • “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
  • The world breaks everyone and afterwards many are strong at the broken places.” — Ernest Hemingway
  • There is no strength without unity.” — Irish Proverb
  • There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.” — Han Suyin
  • To keep our faces toward chance and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” — Helen Keller

Looking for more inspiration? Read my book on Getting Results!

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78 Comments on "Inspirational Quotes"

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  1. John Sherry says:

    OMG! JD, this must be THE definitive inspirational quotation list on the internet. I tell no lie. Sometimes you see them and you like the odd few but all these ignite the imagination, animate the enthusiasm, uplift the heart, and touch the soul. Truly magical stuff, I congratulate your massive contribution to humankind!

  2. Lisa H. says:

    WHEW!!! I agree; a definitive list for sure. Quotes always turn my attention inward and inspire me to do/be better.

    Some of my favorites are:

    When people tell you who they are, believe them the first time – Maya Angelou

    Leap and the net will appear -John Burroughs

    Feel the fear and do it anyway

    A bend in the road is the end of the road if only you fail to make the turn. – ~Author Unknown

    Thanks for such a comprehensive list.
    Lisa

  3. David Zinger says:

    From Adam Ant to Zig Ziglar, what a great collection of quotations.

  4. Lance says:

    JD,
    What a great list of inspirational quotes – I’m bookmarking this, as I often use quotes and this will be an excellent resource. Thanks!!

  5. Patrick says:

    J.D., you just rock !!!
    Thanks for this amazing compilation !
    It’s just refreshing and full of powerful words.
    Thanks !
    - We don’t have to be great to start, but start to be great ;-)

  6. Hey JD, truly awesome collection, this must’ve taken you ages to gather…a resource I’ll be passing onto people for a very long time to come!!

  7. David says:

    Hi J.D
    What can I say. Mate,that’s a pretty extensive list. Just Imagine if people put them into pracice…….
    I’ll ‘bookmark’ for future reference, great job.
    be good to yourself
    David

  8. JD says:

    @ John — Thank you!

    It felt good to consolidate my favoriate inspirational quotes and organize in them a more definitive way. Now everybody can have inspirational wisdom at their fingertips.

    @ Lisa — I’m a fan of the inner-inspirational power of quotes.

    > “Leap and the net will appear.” -John Burroughs
    I like that a lot, and it’s been mostly true for me.

    @ David — Thank you.

    @ Lance — Thank you. There should be plenty to draw from, and I’ll continue to add inspirational quotes as I come across more goodness.

    @ Patrick — Thank you! That’s a one-liner gem.

    @ Amit — Thank you. It took longer than I wanted it too, but I’m happy to have it out now where people can benefit from it.

    @ David — Thank you. This is the batch that survived my cutting room floor.

    You reminded me that I left out a key quote from Robbins ….
    “It not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.”

  9. vishal says:

    This is very helpfull and one can get inspired ever by just reading your blog JD
    Even i guess thnak you will be less for your work !!
    Great !! Hats of for this as well as your thinking Quotes !!

  10. Alik Levin says:

    That’s quite a list… aren’t you in the-rule-of-three business? – LOL

    The Achievement section no doubt is my favourite and Mark Twain is undisputed the-best-of-the-best:

    “I’m glad I did it, partly because it was worth it, but mostly because I shall never have to do it again.”

  11. Mechele Gruhn says:

    Hi J.D.

    That is an amazing list.

    We have heard some of these quotes our whole lives, but they take on different meanings based on where we are in the journey of life and what we have experienced.

    Thanks for posting them!

  12. Patricia says:

    Thank you – what a great post and I have to figure out how to book mark this…
    my eyes are getting better…I did not have to copy, paste and make it bigger to read any of it – but I did need to come by 3 times…

  13. JD says:

    @ Vishal — Thank you, on multiple levels!

    @ Alik — Absolutely — this is “three times” sweeter than the original.

    Twain is a master marksmen with his words.

    @ Mechele — Thank you.

    Speaking of which, one of my favorite sayings about how things take on different meanings based on where we are in the journey is … “When the student is ready, the master appears.”

    @ Patricia — I’m glad your eyes are getting better — three times is a charm.

  14. Hilary says:

    Hi JD .. what a great list and divided into those categories too – thank you.

    I love your reply to Mechele .. re “When the student is ready, the master appears” – so true .. thanks – Hilary

  15. Hey J.D.,

    This could be a book! Have you noticed the thirst we have for inspiration? It’s palpable. Quotes saved my life.

    My favs – anything by Thoreau. Such a genius. He said we should all walk/saunter through the woods for four hours a day. What a peaceful world that would be.

    So,

    He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    And Emerson, too.

    “Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

    These Concord, Mass, dudes really had it together. I grew up a few miles from Walden Pond and Concord Center. Wish my schools had taken us to field trips around the pond and let us read his words there in the beauty of that place. If schools were about eduction they would.

    Many thanks!

    G.

  16. JD says:

    @ Hilary — Thank you. I figured categories would make it a lot easier to jump to relevant inspirational quotes.

    @ Guiulietta — I did a little SEO checking and I’m amazed by how hot inspiration is.

    I really like Emerson’s precision with insight.

  17. Sibyl says:

    J.D. Wow…this is a post that everyone should bookmark. I know I already have :) Thanks for passing this along. I am continually looking for great quotes and you have them all right here to enjoy. Really, really great post.

  18. JD says:

    @ Sibyl — Thank you. I’ve always been a fan of quotes, but I think this was the first time that I actually tried to tackle the topic of “Inspirational Quotes” and actually organize them in a more meaningful way.

  19. Walter says:

    Such a wealth of quotes you have shared here JD. Frankly, when I’m down or when I’m confused, quotes from great men helps me get back my sanity. :-)

  20. JD says:

    @ Walter — Thank you. There truly are quotes for all occasions … the ups, the downs, and all the spaces in between.

    I truly enjoy how some people can make such precise and profound points with skill.

  21. Holy cow — I’ll have to show Kelly this list. She will come up for a melody for any of these she reads, I’m sure. She was doing that for Maya Angelou’s wisdom last week, and it totally cracked me UP!

    Lots of repeated themes here about doors opening instead of there being “failures.” Agreed!

    xoox

  22. JD says:

    @ Jannie — I’m looking forward to her melodies, and wisdom always makes for a great tune.

    Opportunity really is a state of mind, and it’s one of those timeless truths.

  23. Frank says:

    J.D.

    That is one serious list of inspirational quotes. I thank you for taking so much time and putting these together.

  24. farouk says:

    quite an inspiring collection JD
    i wonder how much time you spent collecting them
    keep it up :)

  25. JD says:

    @ Frank — Thank you. In my experience, quotes are one of the best ways to have better days. They are great nudges in the right direction.

    @ Farouk — Thank you. It’s been a little effort over a long time. The beauty is I rarely mind spending time on timeless things.

  26. Awesome list!

    Here is one of my faves:

    May the sun always shine on your windowpane; May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain; May the hand of a friend always be near you; May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. — Irish Blessing

  27. JD says:

    @ Rebecca — Thank you. I like the rainbows that follow the rain.

  28. lorilynn says:

    wow what an awesome collaboration of wise words!!!! i put you on my blog roll as one of the best blogs out there. thanks for being who you are. LL

  29. JD says:

    @ Lorilynn — Thank you! I wanted to have a seriously empowering set of inspirational quotes to help folks onward and upward.

  30. Estelle says:

    A friend sent me this website article of yours tonight. I ABsolutely LUV quotes that inspire, comfort and motivate me .. and I HAVE to tell you that after reading your opening paragraph about Inspiration meaning “to breathe life into”; that “inspirational quotes and inspiring words can breathe life into anything and everything you do”, I just knew this was for ME! There have been SO many quotes that have carried me, driven me and encouraged me over the years since I fell in love with Quotes, and they continue to ‘drive me forward’. They definitely DO, as you say, express in words what I feel in my heart, and make me realize that I’m not alone on the planet with some of my life experiences, joys or struggles – past OR present!
    They continually expand my understanding of the purposes of my life, and they’re making me a better and more understanding human being.
    Since tonight, I have subscribed to your site.
    THANK YOU for adding value to MY life, and to so many other lives!
    SO “keep on keeping on” … you’re making a difference!!

  31. Chowrichzy says:

    Amazing.. I visit this website everyday.. :D

  32. Ankur says:

    Thank you for doing the world a favor. You’ve helped me in tough times.

  33. Roy Sharples says:

    What a well consolidated and articulated source for ispiration JD! “Keep True to the Dreams of Your Youth!” Friedrich Schiller

  34. JD says:

    @ Estelle — Thank you!

    The right words really can lift us.

    @ Chowrichzy — Thank you.

    @ Ankur — Tough times don’t last, but the right words do.

    @ Roy — Thank you.

    I dreamed a lot of dreams … I need to get busy ;)

  35. Ladyluck WI says:

    wonderful quotes, I bookmarked it until I have time to read through all of them. Thank you so much I really value these

  36. Oaktree says:

    Thank you for making such a great list of quotes. :)

  37. crucis says:

    i love this list, it really helps me out in my life, please continue your good work

  38. Princess Ann says:

    great ever!!

  39. Cynthia Enweonwu says:

    This is Awesome!

  40. ashar says:

    the best bucket of quotes i’ve ever seen and read…… I’d like to thank the website…..
    ”the more you go. The more you explore…!”

  41. Gary says:

    Hey JD … It is great work done by you for humanity … It will help every one to face troubles , be brave and confident In life … Thanks bro

  42. Grace Karen Wakaba says:

    You are an awesome person to have taken so much time to benefit everyone who reads, even here where I am in Kenya. Thank you.

  43. CabbyJ says:

    Thank you for putting together such an extensive and inspirational listing of quotes.

  44. sean breslin says:

    I’m glad I found this site, I was looking for a quote to include in a video and almost straight away there was the perfect one!

    Thank you.

  45. Terry says:

    Thanks for this awesome collection – love it!

  46. profit moses says:

    Always the best web to be. they never take chances……………………………………..

  47. Maxwell Itambi says:

    Words from these “GIANTS” are really therapeutic!

  48. Pauline says:

    Hi JD,
    you are a *! That’s a star of course!
    What a wonderful list of quotes to inspire and comfort those of us who are in need of some support. That applies to most of us at some time in our lives.
    I was searching for some inspirational quotes to send to my Brother in Law who has suffered a near fatal car crash at the age of 80.
    Plenty to go for here! In fact so many that instead of being without one, I now have the dilemma of having too many1
    Seriously, keep up the good work, and thanks again for your sterling work. I really like the idea that if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time! Truth with humour, always a good combination, making it easy for folks to remember
    God bless you,

    Pauline

  49. JD says:

    @ Pauline — Thank you.

    I’m very sorry to hear about your brother in law. Life really can throw us some wicked curve balls. The right words have always helped me deal with the worst downs, of life’s ups and downs.

  50. emmanuel says:

    those words were really motivating well done and keep it coming

  51. Genie says:

    Thanks for sharing these quotes. Sometimes all we need is a little inspiration! Bookmarking now :-)

  52. sadiq60 says:

    If there are words through which I could show my impression and appreciation in respect of this educative, impressive and inspiring site, I would have certainly used them.

  53. Adulis says:

    Amazing inspirational quotes. I like all of them.

  54. Hey. Awesome quotes. I have learned that in life, sometimes all I need to feel better is read a great quote. I really enjoyed this one from the list that you put up.

    A lot of people seeking new beginnings have never finished with the past.” — Byron Pulsifer

    Either way, all of them are awesome.

    Thanks for sharing

    -Omar

  55. Arnaud says:

    Dear JD,

    Wow, awesome list! You have put a lot of love into it!

    You might also be interested by the work of an author I personally admire: Roxana Jones. She has a great collection of fresh and beautiful Inspirational Quotes between other things.

    Again, thank you very much for this wonderful article.

    Arnaud

  56. Vishal says:

    Thank you for having such a list of inspirational quotes. Made my day.

  57. salem says:

    A sincere Thank You. You are an Angel .
    In Peace & Gratitude
    Salem

  58. supreeth s desai says:

    thank you very much……JD

  59. Cesar says:

    I visit this site daily and just want to thank you for such a great list of inspiration!

  60. Naresh says:

    Excellent collection dude. I am heavily charged with great inspiration.
    Thanks a lot for your efforts to gather all these jewels and sharing with all of us.

    Naresh

  61. Rich Prince London says:

    Thanks alot for uplifting spiritually,,verbally and otherwise ….Mr Bawdman say stay focus and remain bless .stilll on meditation to elevate..cheeers

    Irie Don.

  62. Stephen says:

    Thanks for such a great job with inspirational quotes. Been to many sites, but I believe yours to be the best. Be back often, when I need some encouragement.

  63. Gavin says:

    Great list of quotes, there’s a lot of work been put into that. I’ve heard my wife use this one when we were going through a tough time:

    “Fall seven times. Stand up eight.” —Japanese Proverb

  64. sundar says:

    Really Amazing and worth it.

  65. ADEDEJI SOLOMON says:

    THE WORLD WILL BE A GREAT PLACE SOMEDAY, A PLACE WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE.

  66. Jay says:

    “Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will.” – Gandhi

  67. Jay says:

    What we do in life, echoes in eternity – unknown

  68. “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”? Vince Lombardi

    - Awesomely inspiring!

  69. I am very thankful to you by my heart.I really enjoyed all your quotes and will definately follow some of them… thanks :)

  70. JJ Wong says:

    So much quotes so much greatness. Putting selected one into my collection. Awesome :)

    Thanks JD. =D

  71. connie norwood says:

    all the quotes are awesome i really like this one
    nothing is impossible to a willing heart ~ John Heywood
    i also like this one though its not on your page
    Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair but manifestations of strength and resolution ~ Kahlil Gibran

  72. What a great collection, this is very inspiration, keep doing well!