Motivation Quotes


This is a comprehensive roundup of the best of the best motivational quotes of all time.

Motivational quotes move us.

Whether you need to defeat procrastination or inspire your inner fire, motivational quotes can help you get your mojo going again.

This is a very special hand-crafted collection of motivational quotes.

It includes motivational quotes organized by topics, and motivational quotes organized by some of the world’s best motivational masters including Brian Tracy, Bruce Lee, Tony Robbins, Zig Zigglar and more.

By the way, I don’t know who anonymous is, but he or she sure has some great one-liners on motivation 😉

Top 10 Best Motivational Quotes

Let’s start this list off right, with the top 10 best motivational quotes:

  1. “Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” – William B. Sprague
  2. “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” — Howard Thurman
  3. “I get knocked down. But I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down.” – Chumbawamba
  4. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” — Winston Churchill
  5. “Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose– a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.” – Mary Shelley
  6. “There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.” – Tony Robbins
  7. “Time is the coin of life. Only you can determine how it will be spent.” – Carl Sandburg
  8. “To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  9. “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.” – Bruce Lee
  10. “When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.” -Henry David Thoreau

Getting Started

What do motivational quotes teach us about getting started? Just start.

“Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”

— John R. Wooden

“Just do it.”

— Nike

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

— Arthur Ashe

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

— Mark Twain

“The wise does at once what the fool does at last.”

—  Baltasar Gracian

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.”

— Ralph Marston

“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”

— Henry Ford


What do motivation quotes teach us about action?  Do more of it.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.””

— William James

“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.”

— Albert Schweitzer

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”

— Jim Rohn

“Experience is the child of thought, and thought is the child of action.”

— Benjamin Disraeli

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

— Anne Frank

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost. That is where they should be. Now put the foundation under them.”

— Henry David Thoreau

“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.”

— Peter Marshall

“Step by step and the thing is done.”

— Charles Atlas

“The more we do the more we can do.”

— William Hazlitt

“Time is the coin of life. Only you can determine how it will be spent.”

— Carl Sandburg

“To talk goodness is not good… only to do it is.”

— Chinese proverb

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”

— Will Durant

“Well done is better than well said.”

— Benjamin Franklin

“Words are plentiful; deeds are precious.”

– – Lech Walesa

“Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.”

— Voltaire


What do motivation quotes teach us about attitude?  Express the best of you.

“A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”

— Oscar Wilde

“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.”

– – Earl Nightingale

“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”

— Lou Holtz

“Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.”

– – Charles Swindoll

“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”

— Wayne Dyer

“Character is the result of two things: mental attitude and the way we spend our time.”

– – Elbert Green Hubbard

“Don’t take yourself too seriously. And don’t be too serious about not taking yourself too seriously.”

– – Howard Ogden

“Eagles come in all shapes and sizes, but you will recognize them chiefly by their attitudes.”

– – Charles Prestwich Scott

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”

— Martin Luther King Jr.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

– – Victor E. Frankl

“Funny is an attitude.”

— Flip Wilson

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

— Maya Angelou

“It is not the position, but the disposition.”

— J. E. Dinger

“Mental attitude is more important than mental capacity.”

— Walter Dill Scott

“Minds are like parachutes – they only function when open.”

– – Thomas Dewar

“Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.”

— Earl Nightingale

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in making new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

— Marcel Proust

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.”

— Plato


What do motivation quotes teach us about boldness?  Go for it and don’t hold back.

“Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.”

— W. Clement Stone

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.”

— William James

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”

— Theodore Roosevelt

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

— George Adair

“Fortune favors the brave.”

– – Publius Terence

“Fortune sides with him who dares.”

— Virgil

“Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.”

— Wayne Dyer

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

— Albert Einstein

“He who hesitates is lost.”

– – Proverb

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

— Walt Disney

“Leap, and the net will appear.”

— John Burroughs

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.”

— Chris Grosser

“Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.”

— George S. Patton

“We are still masters of our fate.  We are still captains of our souls.”

— Winston Churchill

“When it’s time to die, let us not discover that we have never lived.”

– -Henry David Thoreau

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

— Wayne Gretzky

Challenge and Change

What do motivation quotes teach us about challenge and change? Make the most of it.

“Change is not merely necessary to life – it is life.”

— Alvin Toffler

“Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.”

— Alfred A. Montapert

“Kites rise highest against the wind; not with it.”

— Winston Churchill

“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.”

– – Samuel Johnson

“Only I can change my life. No one else can do it for me.”

— Carol Burnett

“The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity.”

— Winston Churchill

“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

— George Bernard Shaw

Determination and Persistence

What do motivation quotes teach us about determination and effort?  That’s what it takes to succeed.

“Always look at what you have left.  Never look at what you have lost.”

— Robert H. Schuller

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”

— Thomas Jefferson

“Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.”

— Sam Levenson

“Either I will find a way, or I will make one.”

— Philip Sidney

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

— Samuel Beckett

“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”

— Og Mandino

“I’ve failed over and over and over again. And that is why I succeed.”

— Michael Jordan

“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.”

— H. G. Wells

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

— Confucius

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”

— Jim Ryun

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

— Harriet Beecher Stowe

“Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose– a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.”

— Mary Shelley

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”

— Confucius

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

— Thomas A. Edison

“Pursue one great decisive aim with force and determination.”

— Carl von Clausewitz

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

— Robert Collier

“The best way out is always through.”

— Robert Frost

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

— Babe Ruth

“Your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”

— Abraham Lincoln


What do motivation quotes teach us about greatness?   Don’t set limits.  Act in limitless ways.

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”

— Og Mandino

“Don’t put a limit on what can be accomplished.”

– – Christopher Reeve

“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail, than to attempt nothing and succeed.”

— Robert H. Schuller

“It’s great to be great, but its greater to be human.”

— Will Rogers

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.”

— Theodore Roosevelt

“The first key to greatness is to be in reality what we appear to be.”

— Socrates

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”

— William James

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.”

— Arthur C. Clarke

“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”

— Confucius

“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you’re not, pretend you are.”

– – Muhammad Ali

“Try not to be a person of success, but rather a person of virtue.”

— Albert Einstein

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”

— Albert Einstein


What do motivation quotes teach us about optimism?  Look for the bright side until you find one.

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

— Herm Albright

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.”

– – Hans Selye

“An optimist is a person who sees a green light everywhere. The pessimist sees only the red light. But the truly wise person is color blind.”

— Dr. Albert Schweitzer

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow.”

– – Helen Adams Keller

“Optimism means expecting the best, but confidence means knowing how to handle the worst. Never make a move if you are merely optimistic.”

— The Zurich Axioms

“The best way to cheer yourself up: Cheer everybody else up.”

— Mark Twain

“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.”

— Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

— John Wooden

“To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anonymous on Motivation

What does “anonymous” or “unknown” teach us through their motivational quotes?   We help motivate our self and others through our attitude.

“Sometimes we are limited more by attitude than by opportunities.”

— Anonymous

“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”

— Anonymous

“Although fate presents the circumstances, how you react depends on your character.”

— Anonymous

“Attitude determines altitude.”

— Anonymous

“Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.”

– – Anonymous

“Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?”

— Anonymous

“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

— Anonymous

Brian Tracy on Motivation

What does Brian Tracy teach us about motivation through his motivation quotes?  We shape our motivation through our thoughts and actions.

“Your attitude is an expression of your values,beliefs and expectations.”

— Brain Tracy

“Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other.”

— Brain Tracy

“If you did not care at all what anyone else thought about you, what would you do differently or change in your life?”

— Brain Tracy

“Make a game of finding something positive in every situation.Ninety-five percent of your emotions are determined by how you interpret events to yourself.”

— Brain Tracy

“Whatever is expressed is impressed. Whatever you say to yourself, with emotion, generates thoughts, ideas and behaviors consistent with those words.”

— Brain Tracy

Bruce Lee on Motivation

What does Bruce Lee teach us about motivation through his motivational quotes?  Live with zest and be your best.

To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”

— Bruce Lee

“As you think, so shall you become.”

— Bruce Lee

“Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”

— Bruce Lee

“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

— Bruce Lee

“All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.”

— Bruce Lee

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

— Bruce Lee

“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.”

— Bruce Lee

“If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

— Bruce Lee

“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”

— Bruce Lee

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

— Bruce Lee

“It’s not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.”

— Bruce Lee

“Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.”

– – Bruce Lee

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”

– – Bruce Lee

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”

— Bruce Lee

“Real living is living for others.”

— Bruce Lee

“Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick.”

– – Bruce Lee

“The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

— Bruce Lee

Jim Rohn on Motivation

What does Jim Rohn teach us about motivation through his motivation quotes?  Start your motivation from the inside out.

“Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.”

— Jim Rohn

“Humans have the remarkable ability to get exactly what they must have. But there is a difference between a ‘must’ and ‘want.'”

— Jim Rohn

“Motivation alone is not enough.If you have an idiot and you motivate him,now you have a motivated idiot.”

— Jim Rohn

“My suggestion would be to walk away from the 90% who don’t and join the 10% who do.”

— Jim Rohn

“The best motivating is self-motivating.The guy says,”I wish someone would come by and turn me on.”What if they don’t show up?You’ve got to have a better plan for your life.”

— Jim Rohn

“When you know what you want,and you want it badly enough,you’ll find a way to get it.”

— Jim Rohn

“Without a sense of urgency,dersire loses its value.”

– – Jim Rohn

Ralph Waldo Emerson on Motivation

What does Ralph Waldo Emerson teach us about motivation from this motivation quotes?   Get out of the way of your own greatness.


“Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain.”

– – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A chief event of life is the day in which we have encountered a mind that startled us.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“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

“A good indignation brings out all one’s powers.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A man is what he thinks about all day long.”

– – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.”

– – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As long as a man stands in his own way, everything seems to be in his way.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey.”

– – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“As soon as there is life there is danger.”

– – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Beauty without expression is boring.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Before we acquire great power we must acquire wisdom to use it well.”

– – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.”

– – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.”

– – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

– – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Each age, it is found, must write its own books; or rather, each generation for the next succeeding.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Enthusiasm is the mother of effort, and without it nothing great ever achieved.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Ever artist was first an amateur.”

– – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tony Robbins on Motivation

What does Tony Robbins teach us about motivation through his motivation quotes?  Do what makes your heart sing.

“Live with passion.”

— Tony Robbins

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”

— Tony Robbins quote

“It not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.”

— Tony Robbins

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”

— Tony Robbins

“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.”

– – Tony Robbins

“There is no such thing as failure. There are only results.”

– – Tony Robbins

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

– – Tony Robbins

Zig Ziglar on Motivation

What does Zig Ziglar teach us about motivation through his motivation quotes?   Focus on the positive, and you’ll catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar.

“Positive thinking won’t let you do anything but it will let you do everything better than negative thinking will.”

– – Zig Ziglar

“To respond is positive, to react is negative.”

– – Zig Ziglar

“Of all the ‘attitudes’ we can acquire, surely the attitude of gratitude is the most important and by far the most life-changing.”

— Zig Ziglar

“When you choose to be pleasant and positive in the way you treat others, you have also chosen, in most cases,how you are going to be treated by others.”

– – Zig Ziglar

“You can disagree without being disagreeable.”

— Zig Ziglar

“I’ve go to say ‘no’ to the good to say ‘yes’ to the best.”

– – Zig Ziglar

“You cannot tailor make the situations in life, but you can tailor make the attitudes to fit those situations before they arise.”

— Zig Ziglar

Looking for more insights and actions on the art and science of motivation?  Check out 25 Inspirational Movies.

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