Quotes about motivation

A collection of quotes on the topic of happiness, success, business, joy.

Best quotes about motivation

Nick Vujicic photo

„Motivation gets you through the day, but inspiration lasts a lifetime.“

—  Nick Vujicic Serbian Australian evangelist and motivational speaker 1982

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

Emil M. Cioran photo

„One cannot live without motives. I have no motives left, and I am living.“

—  Emil M. Cioran, book The Trouble With Being Born

The Trouble With Being Born (1973)

Mark Manson photo

„Action isn’t just the effect of motivation; it’s also the cause of it.“

—  Mark Manson American writer and blogger 1984

Source: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (2016), Chapter 7, “Failure Is the Way Forward” (p. 160)

Bill Hybels photo

„The greatest prayer motivator in existence is answered prayer.“

—  Bill Hybels American writer 1951

Too Busy Not to Pray (2008, InterVarsity Press)

Ellen DeGeneres photo

„Haters are my motivators“

—  Ellen DeGeneres American stand-up comedian, television host, and actress 1958

Elizabeth Gilbert photo

„All transformation appears to be motivated by desperation and emergency.“

—  Elizabeth Gilbert American writer 1969

Source: The Signature of All Things

Martin Luther King, Jr. photo

„Christ furnished the spirit and motivation while Gandhi furnished the method.“

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

Source: The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jane Austen photo

„The distance is nothing when one has a motive.“

—  Jane Austen, book Pride and Prejudice

Source: Pride and Prejudice

All quotes about motivation

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Nigel Cumberland photo

„Stress can be a killer and is far too prevalent in today’s workplaces. You may not die because of stress but stress can easily kill your energy levels, motivation, relationships, health and mindset.“

—  Nigel Cumberland British author and leadership coach 1967

Source: Your Job-Hunt Ltd – Advice from an Award-Winning Asian Headhunter (2003), Successful Recruitment in a Week (2012) https://books.google.ae/books?idp24GkAsgjGEC&printsecfrontcover&dqnigel+cumberland&hlen&saX&ved0ahUKEwjF75Xw0IHNAhULLcAKHazACBMQ6AEIGjAA#vonepage&qnigel%20cumberland&ffalse, Managing Teams in a Week (2013) https://books.google.ae/books?idqZjO9_ov74EC&printsecfrontcover&dqnigel+cumberland&hlen&saX&ved0ahUKEwjF75Xw0IHNAhULLcAKHazACBMQ6AEIIDAB#vonepage&qnigel%20cumberland&ffalse, Secrets of Success at Work – 50 techniques to excel (2014) https://books.google.ae/books?id4S7vAgAAQBAJ&printsecfrontcover&dqnigel+cumberland&hlen&saX&ved0ahUKEwjF75Xw0IHNAhULLcAKHazACBMQ6AEIJjAC#vonepage&qnigel%20cumberland&ffalse, p.107

Matka Tereza photo

„If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway!“

—  Matka Tereza Roman Catholic saint of Albanian origin 1910 - 1997

This is a variant or paraphrase of The Paradoxical Commandments, by Kent M. Keith, student activist, first composed in 1968 as part of a booklet for student leaders, which had hung on the wall of Mother Teresa's children's home in Calcutta, India, and have sometimes become misattributed to her. The version posted at his site http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com begins:
Misattributed
Context: People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Maryam Mirzakhani photo

„I think it's rarely about what you actually learn in class it's mostly about things that you stay motivated to go and continue to do on your own.“

—  Maryam Mirzakhani Iranian mathematician 1977 - 2017

Maryam Mirzakhani press conference after winning Field's Medal | august 2014

Mwanandeke Kindembo photo
Citát „Neither pleasure nor pain should enter as motives when one must do what must be done.“
Julius Evola photo

„Neither pleasure nor pain should enter as motives when one must do what must be done.“

—  Julius Evola Italian philosopher and esotericist 1898 - 1974

Source: Ride the Tiger: A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul

Osip Mandelstam photo

„Only in Russia poetry is respected – it gets people killed. Is there anywhere else where poetry is so common a motive for murder?“

—  Osip Mandelstam Russian poet and essayist 1891 - 1938

Quoted in Nadezhda Mandelstam, Hope Against Hope: A Memoir (1970), ch. 35

Kobe Bryant photo
Margaret Mead photo

„Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals.“

—  Margaret Mead American anthropologist 1901 - 1978

Attributed in Talent Development for English Language Learners: Identifying and Developing Potential (2013) by Michael S. Matthews, Ph.D. SBN-13:9781618211057
2000s
Variant: Never ever depend on governments or institutions to solve any major problems. All social change comes from the passion of individuals.

Andrew Carnegie photo
Hannah Arendt photo
Ayn Rand photo
Elizabeth Cady Stanton photo
Aristotle photo

„Any one can get angry — that is easy — or give or spend money; but to do this to the right person, to the right extent, at the right time, with the right motive, and in the right way, that is not for every one, nor is it easy.“

—  Aristotle, book Nicomachean Ethics

Book II, 1109a.27.
Variant translation: Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.
As quoted in The Child: At Home and School (1944) by Edith M. Leonard, Lillian E. Miles, and Catherine S. Van der Kar, p. 203
Nicomachean Ethics
Original: (el) οὕτω δὲ καὶ τὸ μὲν ὀργισθῆναι παντὸς καὶ ῥᾴδιον, καὶ τὸ δοῦναι ἀργύριον καὶ δαπανῆσαι· τὸ δ᾽ ᾧ καὶ ὅσον καὶ ὅτε καὶ οὗ ἕνεκα καὶ ὥς, οὐκέτι παντὸς οὐδὲ ῥᾴδιον

Philip G. Zimbardo photo
P.G. Wodehouse photo
B.F. Skinner photo
Hans-Hermann Hoppe photo
Emil M. Cioran photo
Julian Assange photo

„It is the media that controls the boundaries of what is politically permissible, so better to change the media. Profit motives work against it, but if we can have the audience understand that most other forms of journalism are not credible, then it may be a forced move.“

—  Julian Assange Australian editor, activist, publisher and journalist 1971

Source: [Peter, Farquhar, http://www.news.com.au/technology/ipad/wikileaks-founder-julian-assange-adamant-his-site-broke-collateral-murder-encryption/story-fn5knrwy-1225868870785, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange adamant his site broke Collateral Murder encryption, News.com.au, May 19, 2010, 2010-06-17]

Emil M. Cioran photo
Tupac Shakur photo
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam photo
Franz Kafka photo
Mahavatar Babaji photo

„Even in the world, the yogi who faithfully discharges his responsibilities, without personal motive or attachment, treads the sure path of enlightenment.“

—  Mahavatar Babaji Hindu Yogi

Source: Autobiography of a Yogi (1946), Ch. 34 : Materializing a Palace in the Himalayas

Harry G. Frankfurt photo
Kim Il-sung photo

„In a nutshell, the idea of Juche means that the masters of the revolution and the work of construction are the masses of the people and that they are also the motive force of the revolution and the work of construction. In other words, one is responsible for one's own destiny and one has also the capacity for hewing out one's own destiny.“

—  Kim Il-sung President of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea 1912 - 1994

Mainichi Shimbun (17 September 1972) "On Some Problems of Our Party's Juche Idea and the Government of the Republic's Internal and External Policies"

Malala Yousafzai photo
Ayrton Senna photo
Rudolf Clausius photo
John Tyndall photo

„Discussion, therefore, is one of the motive powers of life, and, as such, is not to be deprecated.“

—  John Tyndall British scientist 1820 - 1893

p, 125
New Fragments (1892)

John Locke photo
Max Scheler photo

„There are two fundamentally different ways for the strong to bend down to the weak, for the rich to help the poor, for the more perfect life to help the “less perfect.” This action can be motivated by a powerful feeling of security, strength, and inner salvation, of the invincible fullness of one’s own life and existence. All this unites into the clear awareness that one is rich enough to share one’s being and possessions. Love, sacrifice, help, the descent to the small and the weak, here spring from a spontaneous overflow of force, accompanied by bliss and deep inner calm. Compared to this natural readiness for love and sacrifice, all specific “egoism,” the concern for oneself and one’s interest, and even the instinct of “self-preservation” are signs of a blocked and weakened life. Life is essentially expansion, development, growth in plenitude, and not “self-preservation,” as a false doctrine has it. Development, expansion, and growth are not epiphenomena of mere preservative forces and cannot be reduced to the preservation of the “better adapted.” … There is a form of sacrifice which is a free renunciation of one’s own vital abundance, a beautiful and natural overflow of one’s forces. Every living being has a natural instinct of sympathy for other living beings, which increases with their proximity and similarity to himself. Thus we sacrifice ourselves for beings with whom we feel united and solidary, in contrast to everything “dead.” This sacrificial impulse is by no means a later acquisition of life, derived from originally egoistic urges. It is an original component of life and precedes all those particular “aims” and “goals” which calculation, intelligence, and reflection impose upon it later. We have an urge to sacrifice before we ever know why, for what, and for whom! Jesus’ view of nature and life, which sometimes shines through his speeches and parables in fragments and hidden allusions, shows quite clearly that he understood this fact. When he tells us not to worry about eating and drinking, it is not because he is indifferent to life and its preservation, but because he sees also a vital weakness in all “worrying” about the next day, in all concentration on one’s own physical well-being. … all voluntary concentration on one’s own bodily wellbeing, all worry and anxiety, hampers rather than furthers the creative force which instinctively and beneficently governs all life. … This kind of indifference to the external means of life (food, clothing, etc.) is not a sign of indifference to life and its value, but rather of a profound and secret confidence in life’s own vigor and of an inner security from the mechanical accidents which may befall it. A gay, light, bold, knightly indifference to external circumstances, drawn from the depth of life itself—that is the feeling which inspires these words! Egoism and fear of death are signs of a declining, sick, and broken life. …
This attitude is completely different from that of recent modern realism in art and literature, the exposure of social misery, the description of little people, the wallowing in the morbid—a typical ressentiment phenomenon. Those people saw something bug-like in everything that lives, whereas Francis sees the holiness of “life” even in a bug.“

—  Max Scheler German philosopher 1874 - 1928

Source: Das Ressentiment im Aufbau der Moralen (1912), L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 88-92

Josefa Iloilo photo
Rafael Nadal photo

„In your career you have a lot of good moments and bad ones. The important thing is to have enough motivation to keep working all the days with humility and trying to be a better player than before. I am going to try to continue doing this.“

—  Rafael Nadal Spanish tennis player 1986

http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/articles/2010-06-19/201006191276967412350.html?promo=sl_toparticles

Stanley Kubrick photo

„I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation.“

—  Stanley Kubrick American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and editor 1928 - 1999

Quoted in Stanley Kubrick at Look Magazine (2013) by Phillipe Mather, p. 46
Context: I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything, and by using fear as the basic motivation. Fear of getting failing grades, fear of not staying with your class, etc. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker.

William S. Burroughs photo

„You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. Junk wins by default.“

—  William S. Burroughs, book Junkie

Prologue
Junkie (1953)
Context: The questions, of course, could be asked: Why did you ever try narcotics? Why did you continue using it long enough to become an addict? You become a narcotics addict because you do not have strong motivations in the other direction. Junk wins by default. I tried it as a matter of curiosity.

Aga Khan IV photo

„There are those… who enter the world in such poverty that they are deprived of both the means and the motivation to improve their lot.“

—  Aga Khan IV 49th and current Imam of Nizari Ismailism 1936

Speech at the Innauguration of the Aga Khan Baug, Versova, India (17 January 1983) http://ismaili.net/speech/s830117.html <!-- ***Source: Selection of Speeches: 1976-1984
Source: Africa Ismaili, XIV, 2 (July 1983), pp. 20-22
Source: American Ismaili, (July 11, 1983), pp. 15-16 -->
Context: There are those... who enter the world in such poverty that they are deprived of both the means and the motivation to improve their lot. Unless these unfortunates can be touched with the spark which ignites the spirit of individual enterprise and determination, they will only sink back into renewed apathy, degradation and despair. It is for us, who are more fortunate, to provide that spark.

Tenzin Gyatso photo

„The Great Vehicle path requires the vast motivation of a Bodhisattva, who, not seeking just his or her welfare, takes on the burden of bringing about the welfare of all sentient beings.“

—  Tenzin Gyatso spiritual leader of Tibet 1935

The Dalai Lama at Harvard: Lectures on the Buddhist Path to Peace (1988) by Jeffrey Hopkins.
Context: What is the Great Vehicle? What is the mode of procedure of the Bodhisattva path? We begin with the topic of the altruistic intention to achieve enlightenment in which one values others more than oneself. The Great Vehicle path requires the vast motivation of a Bodhisattva, who, not seeking just his or her welfare, takes on the burden of bringing about the welfare of all sentient beings. When a person generate this attitude, they enter within the Great Vehicle, and as long as it has not been generated, one cannot be counted among those of the Great Vehicle. This attitude really has great power; it, of course, is helpful for people practicing religion, but it also is helpful for those who are just concerned with the affairs of this lifetime. The root of happiness is altruism — the wish to be of service to others.

John Locke photo

„Much less are children capable of reasonings from remote principles. They cannot conceive the force of long deductions. The reasons that move them must be obvious, and level to their thoughts, and such as may be felt and touched. But yet, if their age, temper, and inclination be consider'd, they will never want such motives as may be sufficient to convince them.“

—  John Locke, book Some Thoughts Concerning Education

Sec. 81
Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693)
Context: The foundations on which several duties are built, and the foundations of right and wrong from which they spring, are not perhaps easily to be let into the minds of grown men, not us'd to abstract their thoughts from common received opinions. Much less are children capable of reasonings from remote principles. They cannot conceive the force of long deductions. The reasons that move them must be obvious, and level to their thoughts, and such as may be felt and touched. But yet, if their age, temper, and inclination be consider'd, they will never want such motives as may be sufficient to convince them.

Alfred Percy Sinnett photo
Chris Evans (actor) photo
Simon Sinek photo

„There are many ways to motivate people to do things, but loyalty comes from the ability to inspire people.“

—  Simon Sinek British/American author and motivational speaker 1973

Source: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Michelle Wu photo
Neal Shusterman photo
Jess Walter photo
Oscar Wilde photo
George Eliot photo

„Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings — much harder than to say something fine about them which is not the exact truth.“

—  George Eliot, book Adam Bede

Source: Adam Bede (1859)
Context: These fellow-mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are: you can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wit, nor rectify their dispositions; and it is these people — amongst whom your life is passed — that it is needful you should tolerate, pity, and love: it is these more or less ugly, stupid, inconsistent people whose movements of goodness you should be able to admire — for whom you should cherish all possible hopes, all possible patience. And I would not, even if I had the choice, be the clever novelist who could create a world so much better than this, in which we get up in the morning to do our daily work, that you would be likely to turn a harder, colder eye on the dusty streets and the common green fields — on the real breathing men and women, who can be chilled by your indifference or injured by your prejudice; who can be cheered and helped onward by your fellow-feeling, your forbearance, your outspoken, brave justice.
So I am content to tell my simple story, without trying to make things seem better than they were; dreading nothing, indeed, but falsity, which, in spite of one's best efforts, there is reason to dread. Falsehood is so easy, truth so difficult. The pencil is conscious of a delightful facility in drawing a griffin — the longer the claws, and the larger the wings, the better; but that marvellous facility which we mistook for genius is apt to forsake us when we want to draw a real unexaggerated lion. Examine your words well, and you will find that even when you have no motive to be false, it is a very hard thing to say the exact truth, even about your own immediate feelings — much harder than to say something fine about them which is not the exact truth.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi photo

„… It is when we act freely, for the sake of the action itself rather than for ulterior motives, that we learn to become more than what we were.“

—  Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Hungarian American psychologist 1934

Source: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

Ayn Rand photo
Harper Lee photo
Rick Riordan photo

„Love is the most powerful motivator in the world. It spurs mortals to greatness. Their noblest and bravest acts are done for love.“

—  Rick Riordan, book The Lost Hero

Variant: My point is that love is the most powerful motivator in the world. It spurs mortals to greatness. Their noblest, bravest acts are done for love.
Source: The Lost Hero

Terry Goodkind photo
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar photo
Milton Friedman photo
Philip Yancey photo
Mark Twain photo
Wayne W. Dyer photo
Margaret Atwood photo
Rick Riordan photo
Jodi Picoult photo
Julio Cortázar photo
John F. Kennedy photo
Malcolm Gladwell photo

„Hard work is only a prison sentence when you lack motivation“

—  Malcolm Gladwell journalist and science writer 1963

Source: Outliers: The Story of Success

Rick Riordan photo
Graham Greene photo
Isaac Asimov photo
Kim Harrison photo

„You think Ivy's a planner? She has nothing on a motivated elf with too much money.“

—  Kim Harrison Pseudonym 1966

Source: Pale Demon

Arthur Conan Doyle photo
Zig Ziglar photo

„Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.“

—  Zig Ziglar American motivational speaker 1926 - 2012

Source: Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World

Robert A. Heinlein photo
Louis-ferdinand Céline photo

„When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.“

—  Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Variant: When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.
Source: How to Win Friends and Influence People

Ayn Rand photo
Albert Einstein photo

„I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research.“

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

Wording in Ideas and Opinions: It is therefore easy to see why the churches have always fought science and persecuted its devotees. On the other hand, I maintain that the cosmic religious feeling is the strongest and noblest motive for scientific research. Only those who realize the immense efforts and, above all, the devotion without which pioneer work in theoretical science cannot be achieved are able to grasp the strength of the emotion out of which alone such work, remote as it is from the immediate realities of life, can issue. What a deep conviction of the rationality of the universe and what a yearning to understand, were it but a feeble reflection of the mind revealed in this world, Kepler and Newton must have had to enable them to spend years of solitary labor in disentangling the principles of celestial mechanics! Those whose acquaintance with scientific research is derived chiefly from its practical results easily develop a completely false notion of the mentality of the men who, surrounded by a skeptical world, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered wide through the world and through the centuries. Only one who has devoted his life to similar ends can have a vivid realization of what has inspired these men and given them the strength to remain true to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is cosmic religious feeling that gives a man such strength. A contemporary has said, not unjustly, that in this materialistic age of ours the serious scientific workers are the only profoundly religious people.
1930s, Religion and Science (1930)
Variant: I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest driving force behind scientific research.
Source: The World As I See It
Context: It is, therefore, quite natural that the churches have always fought against science and have persecuted its supporters. But, on the other hand, I assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest driving force behind scientific research. No one who does not appreciate the terrific exertions, and, above all, the devotion without which pioneer creations in scientific thought cannot come into being, can judge the strength of the feeling out of which alone such work, turned away as it is from immediate practical life, can grow. What a deep faith in the rationality of the structure of the world and what a longing to understand even a small glimpse of the reason revealed in the world there must have been in Kepler and Newton to enable them to unravel the mechanism of the heavens in long years of lonely work! Any one who only knows scientific research in its practical applications may easily come to a wrong interpretation of the state of mind of the men who, surrounded by skeptical contemporaries, have shown the way to kindred spirits scattered over all countries in all centuries. Only those who have dedicated their lives to similar ends can have a living conception of the inspiration which gave these men the power to remain loyal to their purpose in spite of countless failures. It is the cosmic religious sense which grants this power. A contemporary has rightly said that the only deeply religious people of our largely materialistic age are the earnest men of research.

Bertrand Russell photo
Robin Hobb photo
Zig Ziglar photo
Walter Isaacson photo
Carrie Fisher photo
Robert M. Pirsig photo

„If you ever decide on a career change, I’d avoid motivational speaking.“

—  Ilona Andrews American husband-and-wife novelist duo

Source: Magic Breaks

Richard Dawkins photo
Paulo Coelho photo
Bertrand Russell photo

„There are two motives for reading a book: one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.“

—  Bertrand Russell logician, one of the first analytic philosophers and political activist 1872 - 1970

1930s, The Conquest of Happiness (1930)

Greta Christina photo
Michael Ondaatje photo
Christopher Hitchens photo
Janet Fitch photo
George Eliot photo
Scarlett Thomas photo

„Some writers, notably Anton Chekov, argue that all characters must be admirable, because once we've looked at anyone deeply enough and understood their motivation we must identify with them rather than judge them.“

—  Scarlett Thomas British writer 1972

Source: Monkeys with Typewriters: How to Write Fiction and Unlock the Secret Power of Stories