Inspirational quotes

A collection of quotes on the topic of motivational, inspirational, deep, life.

Best inspirational quotes

Arthur Ashe photo
Theodore Roosevelt photo

„Believe you can and you're halfway there.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919

Stephen Hawking photo

„Life would be tragic if it weren't funny.“

—  Stephen Hawking British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author 1942 - 2018

As quoted in "The Science of Second-Guessing", The New York Times (12 December 2004)

Emile Zola photo

„I would rather die of passion than of boredom.“

—  Emile Zola, book Au Bonheur des Dames

Source: The Ladies' Paradise

George Eliot photo

„It is never too late to be what you might have been.“

—  George Eliot English novelist, journalist and translator 1819 - 1880

Mark Twain photo

„The secret to getting ahead is getting started.“

—  Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910

Martin Luther King, Jr. photo

„Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968

Source: I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

Ralph Waldo Emerson photo
Marilyn Monroe photo

„It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.“

—  Marilyn Monroe American actress, model, and singer 1926 - 1962

Variant: Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.

Bruce Lee photo

„Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one“

—  Bruce Lee Hong Kong-American actor, martial artist, philosopher and filmmaker 1940 - 1973

All inspirational quotes

Total 428 quotes inspirational, filter:

Marilyn Monroe photo
Dolly Parton photo
Ella Fitzgerald photo
John Lennon photo

„You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one.“

—  John Lennon English singer and songwriter 1940 - 1980

Lyrics, Imagine (1971 album)

Jane Goodall photo
Martin Luther King, Jr. photo

„Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968

'Where Do We Go From Here?" as published in Where Do We Go from Here : Chaos or Community? (1967), p. 62; many statements in this book, or slight variants of them, were also part of his address Where Do We Go From Here?" which has a section below. A common variant appearing at least as early as 1968 has "Returning violence for violence multiplies violence..." An early version of the speech as published in A Martin Luther King Treasury (1964), p. 173, has : "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate..."
1960s
Source: A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
Context: The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. … Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Dr. Seuss photo

„Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.“

—  Dr. Seuss American children's writer and illustrator, co-founder of Beginner Books 1904 - 1991

Georges Duhamel in THE HEART'S DOMAIN (1919). As it was composed in French, the wording in English may vary in translation. Theodore Geisel / Dr. Seuss was born in 1904, and would have been about 15 years old at the time that it was published. The full text can be found at the link below: We do not know the true value of our moments until they have undergone the test of memory. Like the images the photographer plunges into a golden bath, our sentiments take on color; and only then, after that recoil and that trans-figuration, do we understand their real meaning and enjoy them in all their tranquil splendor.
Misattributed

Rosa Parks photo
Emily Dickinson photo
Marilyn Monroe photo
John Lennon photo

„When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.“

—  John Lennon English singer and songwriter 1940 - 1980

Variant: When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.

Albert Einstein photo

„There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

As quoted in Journal of France and Germany (1942–1944) by Gilbert Fowler White, in excerpt published in Living with Nature's Extremes: The Life of Gilbert Fowler White (2006) by Robert E. Hinshaw, p. 62. From the context http://books.google.com/books?id=_2qfZRp9SeEC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA62#v=onepage&q&f=false it seems that White did not specify whether he had heard Einstein himself say this or whether he was repeating a quote that had been passed along by someone else, so without a primary source the validity of this quote should be considered questionable.
Some have argued that elsewhere Einstein defined a "miracle" as a type of event he did not believe was possible—Einstein on Religion by Max Jammer (1999) quotes on p. 89 from a 1931 conversation Einstein had with David Reichinstein, where Reichinstein brought up philosopher Arthur Liebert's argument that the indeterminism of quantum mechanics might allow for the possibility of miracles, and Einstein replied that Liebert's argument dealt "with a domain in which lawful rationality [determinism] does not exist. A 'miracle,' however, is an exception from lawfulness; hence, there where lawfulness does not exist, also its exception, i.e., a miracle, cannot exist." ("Dort, wo eine Gesetzmässigkeit nicht vorhanden ist, kann auch ihre Ausnahme, d.h. ein Wunder, nicht existieren." D. Reichenstein, Die Religion der Gebildeten (1941), p. 21). However, it is clear from the context that Einstein was stating only that miracles cannot exist in a domain (quantum mechanics) where lawful rationality does not exist. He did not claim that miracles could never exist in any domain. Indeed, Einstein clearly believed, as seen in many quotations above, that the universe was comprehensible and rational, but he also described this characteristic of the universe as a "miracle". In another example, he is quoted as claiming belief in a God, "Who reveals Himself in the lawful harmony of the world."
As quoted in From Yale to Jail: The Life Story of a Moral Dissenter (1993) by David T. Dellinger, p. 418
Disputed
Variant: 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.
Variant: 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.

Erica Jong photo
Citát „Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.“
Peter F. Drucker photo
Michael Jordan photo

„Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.“

—  Michael Jordan American retired professional basketball player and businessman 1963

Variant: Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, and others make it happen.

Gertrude Stein photo

„Whenever you get there, there is no there there.“

—  Gertrude Stein American art collector and experimental writer of novels, poetry and plays 1874 - 1946

Barack Obama photo
Helen Keller photo

„The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart“

—  Helen Keller American author and political activist 1880 - 1968

Variant: The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.

Joseph Campbell photo

„We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.“

—  Joseph Campbell American mythologist, writer and lecturer 1904 - 1987

Variant: You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.

Zig Ziglar photo
Ella Fitzgerald photo
Bruce Lee photo
Jennifer Aniston photo

„There are no regrets in life, just lessons.“

—  Jennifer Aniston television and film actress from the United States 1969

Marcus Aurelius photo
Bill Cosby photo
Leo Tolstoy photo
Stephen Chbosky photo

„We accept the love we think we deserve.“

—  Stephen Chbosky, book The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Source: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Socrates photo

„The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.“

—  Socrates classical Greek Athenian philosopher -470 - -399 BC

This is actually a quotation http://books.google.com/books?id=FUIHmRHf8SUC&lpg=PA130&dq=%22not%20on%20fighting%20the%20old%20but%20on%20building%20the%20new%22&pg=PA130#v=onepage&q=%22not%20on%20fighting%20the%20old%20but%20on%20building%20the%20new%22&f=false from a character named Socrates in Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book that Changes Lives http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Way_of_the_Peaceful_Warrior, by Dan Millman.
Misattributed

Dr. Seuss photo

„Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting!“

—  Dr. Seuss American children's writer and illustrator, co-founder of Beginner Books 1904 - 1991

Variant: Today is your day, your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe photo
Zig Ziglar photo
Maya Angelou photo

„Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.“

—  Maya Angelou, book Letter to My Daughter

Variant: Be a rainbow in somebody else's cloud.
Source: Letter to My Daughter

Maya Angelou photo
Abraham Lincoln photo
Confucius photo

„Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.“

—  Confucius Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher -551 - -479 BC

Francis of Assisi photo
Ralph Waldo Emerson photo
Albert Einstein photo

„Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

Letter to his son Eduard (5 February 1930), as quoted in Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), p. 367
1930s

H. Jackson Brown, Jr. photo

„The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.“

—  H. Jackson Brown, Jr. American writer 1940

Source: P.S. I Love You

Johnny Cash photo
Jack Kornfield photo

„The trouble is, you think you have time.“

—  Jack Kornfield American writer 1945

Source: Buddha's Little Instruction Book

Les Brown photo

„Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.“

—  Les Brown American politician 1945

Variant: Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living out fears.

Walt Whitman photo

„Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.“

—  Walt Whitman American poet, essayist and journalist 1819 - 1892

This has become attributed to both Walt Whitman and Helen Keller, but has not been found in either of their published works, and variations of the quote are listed as a proverb commonly used in both the US and Canada in A Dictionary of American Proverbs (1992), edited by Wolfgang Mieder, Kelsie B. Harder and Stewart A. Kingsbury.
Misattributed

Rosa Parks photo

„I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.“

—  Rosa Parks African-American civil rights activist 1913 - 2005

Quiet Strength (2000)

Martin Luther King, Jr. photo

„Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968

Martin Luther
Misattributed

Eleanor Roosevelt photo

„You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.“

—  Eleanor Roosevelt American politician, diplomat, and activist, and First Lady of the United States 1884 - 1962

Source: You Learn by Living (1960), p. 29–30
Context: You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." … You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Benjamin Franklin photo

„Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late. “

—  Benjamin Franklin American author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, a… 1706 - 1790

Marie Curie photo

„Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.“

—  Marie Curie French-Polish physicist and chemist 1867 - 1934

As quoted in Our Precarious Habitat (1973) by Melvin A. Benarde, p. v

Anne Frank photo

„Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!“

—  Anne Frank victim of the Holocaust and author of a diary 1929 - 1945

As quoted in Networking the Kingdom: A Practical Strategy for Maximum Church Growth (1990) by O. J. Bryson, p. 187; this is the earliest source yet found for this attribution.
Disputed

Theodore Roosevelt photo

„Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919

Ch. IX : Outdoors and Indoors, p. 336; the final statement "quoted by Squire Bill Widener" as well as variants of it, are often misattributed to Roosevelt himself.
Variant: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Attributed to Roosevelt in Conquering an Enemy Called Average (1996) by John L. Mason, Nugget # 8 : The Only Place to Start is Where You Are. <!-- The Military Quotation Book, Revised and Expanded: More than 1,200 of the Best Quotations About War, Leadership, Courage, Victory, and Defeat (2002) by James Charlton -->
Variant: Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
Context: There are many kinds of success in life worth having. It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man, or railroad man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor; or a writer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison. It may be true that he travels farthest who travels alone; but the goal thus reached is not worth reaching. And as for a life deliberately devoted to pleasure as an end — why, the greatest happiness is the happiness that comes as a by-product of striving to do what must be done, even though sorrow is met in the doing. There is a bit of homely philosophy, quoted by Squire Bill Widener, of Widener's Valley, Virginia, which sums up one's duty in life: "Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are."

E.E. Cummings photo
Vincent Van Gogh photo
Pablo Picasso photo

„Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.“

—  Pablo Picasso Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer 1881 - 1973

Quote attributed to Picasso in TIME, October 4, 1976, Modern Living: Ozmosis in Central Park http://quoteinvestigator.com/2015/03/07/child-art/ http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,918412,00.html
Disputed

John Muir photo

„The power of imagination makes us infinite.“

—  John Muir Scottish-born American naturalist and author 1838 - 1914

1 September 1875, page 226
John of the Mountains, 1938
Context: How infinitely superior to our physical senses are those of the mind! The spiritual eye sees not only rivers of water but of air. It sees the crystals of the rock in rapid sympathetic motion, giving enthusiastic obedience to the sun's rays, then sinking back to rest in the night. The whole world is in motion to the center. So also sounds. We hear only woodpeckers and squirrels and the rush of turbulent streams. But imagination gives us the sweet music of tiniest insect wings, enables us to hear, all round the world, the vibration of every needle, the waving of every bole and branch, the sound of stars in circulation like particles in the blood. The Sierra canyons are full of avalanche debris — we hear them boom again, for we read past sounds from present conditions. Again we hear the earthquake rock-falls. Imagination is usually regarded as a synonym for the unreal. Yet is true imagination healthful and real, no more likely to mislead than the coarser senses. Indeed, the power of imagination makes us infinite.

Citát „The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The
willingness to learn is a choice.“
Brian Herbert photo

„Success is getting what you want..
Happiness is wanting what you get.“

—  Dale Carnegie American writer and lecturer 1888 - 1955

Variant: Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.

Winston S. Churchill photo

„Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.“

—  Winston S. Churchill Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 1874 - 1965

Attributed to Winston Churchill in The Prodigal Project : Book I : Genesis (2003) by Ken Abraham and Daniel Hart, p. 224 and other places, though no source attribution is given. It actually derives from an advertising campaign for Budweiser beer in the late 1930s.
Misattributed
Variant: Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
Source: http://quoteinvestigator.com/2013/09/03/success-final/

Eleanor Roosevelt photo

„Do one thing every day that scares you.“

—  Eleanor Roosevelt American politician, diplomat, and activist, and First Lady of the United States 1884 - 1962

Hazrat Inayat Khan photo
Helen Keller photo
Eleanor Roosevelt photo

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

—  Eleanor Roosevelt American politician, diplomat, and activist, and First Lady of the United States 1884 - 1962

Source: You Learn by Living (1960), p. 29–30
Context: You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." … You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Theodore Roosevelt photo

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

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919

Variant: Look Toward the stars but keep your feet firmly on the ground.
Source: The Greatest American President: The Autobiography of Theodore Roosevelt

Florence Nightingale photo

„I attribute my success to this — I never gave or took any excuse.“

—  Florence Nightingale English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing 1820 - 1910

As quoted in The Gigantic Book of Teachers' Wisdom (2007) by Frank McCourt and Erin Gruwell, p. 410

Leo Tolstoy photo
Napoleon Hill photo
Maya Angelou photo

„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 American author and poet 1928 - 2014

Shared on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MayaAngelou/posts/10150251846629796, July 4, 2011

Byron Katie photo
Neale Donald Walsch photo
Marie Curie photo

„Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.“

—  Marie Curie French-Polish physicist and chemist 1867 - 1934

As quoted in Our Precarious Habitat (1973) by Melvin A. Benarde, p. v
Context: Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

Dolly Parton photo
Dr. Seuss photo

„you'll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut“

—  Dr. Seuss American children's writer and illustrator, co-founder of Beginner Books 1904 - 1991

Source: I Can Read With My Eyes Shut! (1978)

Eleanor Roosevelt photo

„Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.“

—  Eleanor Roosevelt American politician, diplomat, and activist, and First Lady of the United States 1884 - 1962

Nathaniel Hawthorne photo

„To do nothing is the way to be nothing.“

—  Nathaniel Hawthorne American novelist and short story writer (1804 – 1879) 1804 - 1864

Johnny Cash photo

„You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.“

—  Johnny Cash American singer-songwriter 1932 - 2003

Variant: You build on failure. You use it as a stepping sone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.

George Bernard Shaw photo

„Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.“

—  George Bernard Shaw Irish playwright 1856 - 1950

Variant: Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

William Faulkner photo
Agatha Christie photo
Aristotle photo

„Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.“

—  Aristotle Classical Greek philosopher, student of Plato and founder of Western philosophy -384 - -321 BC

Carl R. Rogers photo
Confucius photo

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

—  Confucius Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher -551 - -479 BC

Coco Chanel photo

„In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.“

—  Coco Chanel French fashion designer 1883 - 1971

As quoted in Coco Chanel : Her Life, Her Secrets (1971) by Marcel Haedrich

Red Symons photo

„No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent.“

—  Red Symons Australian broadcaster and musician 1949

Attributed quotes

Вивиан Грин photo
LeBron James photo
Maya Angelou photo
Khalil Gibran photo
Jesse Owens photo

„The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself — the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us — that's where it's at.“

—  Jesse Owens American track and field athlete 1913 - 1980

As quoted in Blackthink: My Life as Black Man and White Man https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/0688011632 (1970)
1970s

Pablo Picasso photo

„Action is the foundational key to all success.“

—  Pablo Picasso Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer 1881 - 1973

Lewis Carroll photo
Anne Frank photo
Herman Melville photo

„It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.“

—  Herman Melville American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet 1818 - 1891

Hawthorne and His Mosses (1850)
Context: It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness.
Context: It is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness. And if it be said, that continual success is a proof that a man wisely knows his powers, — it is only to be added, that, in that case, he knows them to be small. Let us believe it, then, once for all, that there is no hope for us in these smooth pleasing writers that know their powers.

Harriet Tubman photo
Robert Frost photo
Maya Angelou photo

„There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.“

—  Maya Angelou, book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Misattributed
Source: This is actually from Zora Neale Hurston, <i>Dust Tracks On the Road,</i> though it is widely attributed to Ms. Angelou's book, <i>I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.</i>

Rosa Parks photo

„Each person must live their life as a model for others.“

—  Rosa Parks African-American civil rights activist 1913 - 2005

Harper Lee photo

„Most people are real nice, when you finally see them.“

—  Harper Lee, book To Kill a Mockingbird

Pt. 2, ch. 31
Jean Louise (Scout) Finch & Atticus Finch
Source: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Context: "An' they chased him 'n' never could catch him 'cause they didn't know what he looked like, an' Atticus, when they finally saw him, why he hadn't done any of those things... Atticus, he was real nice..."
"Most people are, Scout, when you finally see them."