Inspirational Quotes

Most popular inspirational quotes

The world is before you, and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.

change the world

Trust your gut.
Onward and upward.
I can't die but once.

abolition African-Americans courage slavery

Books are for nothing but to inspire.
My greatest inspiration ... is memory.
Beauty arises out of human inspiration.
Inspiration comes very slowly and quietly.
It always seems impossible until its done.

famous

The time is always right to do what is right.

morals

Inspiration comes during work, not before it.
Thought is a form of love, if it be inspired.
Change your thoughts and you change your world.

attitude change

I will prepare and some day my chance will come.

hopeful

We may give advice, but we cannot inspire conduct.

advice

Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
I cannot summon up inspiration; I myself am summoned.
Once people were driven—someday they will be inspired.
Inspiration cannot be willed, although it can be wooed.
Anthony Storr (Churchill’s Black Dog, Kafka’s Mice, and Other Phenomena of the Human Mind)
It's lack that gives us inspiration. It's not fullness.
Courage is being scared to death—and saddling up anyway.

courage

My sole inspiration is a telephone call from a producer.
Inspiration never arrived when you were searching for it.
The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.

ambition

When inspiration does not come to me, I go halfway to meet it.
The arm of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

iconic morals

Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.

friendship

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
— Chinese proverb

Chinese proverbs perseverance proverbs

Inspiration is the richest nation I know, the most powerful on earth.
Let a joy keep you. Reach out your hands and take it when it runs by.

joy

I don't think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.

adversity attitude

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

genius hard work

Normal is not something to aspire to; it is something to get away from.

ambition normal

I am not concerned that you have fallen — I am concerned that you arise.

failure

When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. And swing!

adversity

Whatever a poet writes with enthusiasm and a divine inspiration is fine.
We're here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?

ambition dreams

Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.

entrepreneurship

Inspiration could be called inhaling the memory of an act never experienced.
Inspiration is a farce that poets have invented to give themselves importance.

poets

The work of the individual still remains the spark that moves mankind forward.
Don't ever let anyone build your world for you. They always build it too small.
If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it - then I can achieve it.
They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

change

Fill every glass, for wine inspires us,
And fires us
With courage, love, and joy.
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.

goals obstacles problems success

A deadline is negative inspiration.  Still, it's better than no inspiration at all.

deadlines

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

positive

Inspiration impels us to experience what has not yet occurred, but is already known.
You cannot be anything you want to be. But you can be everything God wants you to be.

religious

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

how to live life wisdom

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

change the world

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.
Life begets energy. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that we become rich.
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.

aging beauty

If you think you're too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.
I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning.
The ultimate inspiration is the deadline. That's when you have to do what needs to be done.

deadlines

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

future

Inspiration always comes when a man really wants it to, but it doesn't always go when he wants.
Charles Baudelaire (Poison and Vision: Poems and Prose of Baudelaire, Mallarmé, and Rimbaud)
When you do not know what you are doing and what you are doing is the best—that is inspiration.
The greatest value in the world is the difference between what we are and what we could become.

potential

That within the best of us, there is some evil, and within the worst of us, there is some good.
Martin Luther King Jr. (A Time to Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King, Jr., for Students)

good and evil hopeful positive

The most wonderful inspirations die with their subject, if he has no hand to paint them to the senses.
My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.

unity

Many a witty inspiration is like the surprising reunion of befriended thoughts after a long separation.
A great man is a torch in the darkness, a beacon in superstition's night, an inspiration and a prophecy.
I don't believe in writer's block or waiting for inspiration. If you're a writer, you sit down and write.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

experience spiritual spiritual experiences

If you can't find your inspiration by walking around the block one time, go around two blocks—but never three.
Never, never rest contented with any circle of ideas, but always be certain that a wider one is still possible.

ideas

The woman's place of power within each of us is neither white nor surface; it is dark, it is ancient, it is deep.

feminism women

Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning.

work

Real courage is when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.

courage

We have, in our hands, the responsibility and also the possibility of making this world much better for our children.
Use your uniqueness (what you do) to make a big deal out of God (why you do it) every day of your life (where you do it).

religious

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
So-called "inspiration" is no more than an extreme example of a process which constantly goes on in the minds of all of us.
Anthony Storr (Churchill’s Black Dog, Kafka’s Mice, and Other Phenomena of the Human Mind)
Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant; there is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.
Don't put limitations on yourself. Other people will do that for you. Don't do that to yourself. Don't bet against yourself.

risk-taking

We must wage a ceaseless battle against the forces of greed and hatred which are the foundations of all political inequality.
We all run the risk of declining, if somebody does not rise to tell us that life is on the heights, and not in the cesspools.

aspiration leadership life

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

service

If you wait for inspiration or that thing to hit you, you're dead.  Action breeds inspiration more than inspiration breeds action.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.
You can't always sit around and wait for inspiration to strike.  Amateurs wait for inspiration. The real pros get up and go to work.
Inspiration descends only in flashes, to clothe circumstances; it is not stored up in a barrel, like salt herrings, to be doled out.
In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.
Ninety eight per cent of genius is hard work. As for genius being inspired, inspiration is in most cases another word for perspiration.
Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
It is a fact often observed, that men have written good verses under the inspiration of passion who cannot write well under other circumstances.
The cynic says, "One man can't do anything." I say, "Only one man can do anything." One man interacting creatively with others can move the world.

change the world

Having thus chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear and with manly hearts.
To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.

hard work success wealth

Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will nonetheless get something that looks remarkably like it.
Better beware of notions like genius and inspiration; they are a sort of magic wand and should be used sparingly by anybody who wants to see things clearly.

genius

Inspiration may be a form of super-consciousness, or perhaps of subconsciousness—I wouldn't know; but I am sure that it is the antithesis of self-consciousness.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

change the world dreams

And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Inspiration is never genuine if it is known as inspiration at the time. True inspiration always steals on a person, its importance not being fully recognized for some time.
I've been to the mountaintop and I've seen the promised land ... I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.

civil rights movement

You can always pick yourself up again. It's always worth it starting from zero again, once, or a thousand times, as long as you're still alive. That's the biggest lesson in life.

adversity failure

Our moments of inspiration are not lost though we have no particular poem to show for them; for those experiences have left an indelible impression, and we are ever and anon reminded of them.
Inspiration is the greatest gift because it opens your life to many new possibilities. Each day becomes more meaningful and your life is enhanced when your actions are guided by what inspires you.
Dr. Bernie S. Siegel (101 Exercises for the Soul: Simple Practices for a Healthy Body, Mind, and Spirit)
Having the self-belief that you will be able to figure things out as you go along is critical to success at anything hard.

Get started and trust yourself. No one has all the answers at the beginning.

motivational success

Don't let the crisis paralyze you. Don't let the sadness overwhelm you. Don't let the fear intimidate you. To do nothing is the wrong thing. To do something is the right thing. And to believe is the highest thing.

adversity

You'll get through this. It won't be painless. It won't be quick. But God will use this mess for good. In the meantime don't be foolish or naive. But don't despair either. With God's help you will get through this.
Max Lucado (You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for your Turbulent Times)

adversity hopeful motivational religious

Do we not all agree to call rapid thought and noble impulse by the name of inspiration? After our subtlest analysis of the mental process, we must still say...that our highest thoughts and our best deeds are all given to us.
I could never tell where inspiration begins and impulse leaves off. I suppose the answer is in the outcome. If your hunch proves a good one, you were inspired; if it proves bad, you are guilty of yielding to thoughtless impulse.
To the artist is sometimes granted a sudden, transient insight which serves in this manner for experience.  A flash, and where previously the brain held a dead fact, the soul grasps a living truth!  At moments we are all artists.
I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.

principles

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird. It would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

hard work self-improvement

Inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.
If you will protest courageously, and yet with dignity and Christian love, when the history books are written in future generations, the historians will have to pause and say, "There lived a great people-a black people-who injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization."

African-Americans civil rights movement rebels

If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.

excellence

I believe in the flesh and the appetites; 
Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me is a miracle. 
Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am touch'd from;
The scent of these arm-pits, aroma finer than prayer; 
This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.

miracles

... a tradition [to politics] based on the simple idea that we have a stake in one another, and that what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and that if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)

politics

Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.

impossible

Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: - 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'

civil rights movement equality iconic

We all have the ability to walk in the Kingdom of God, to walk in the Pure Land of Buddha, every day. You have all you need — legs, lungs, eyes, and mind — and with a little bit of practice, you can generate the energy of mindfulness within you, just like lighting a lamp. Once you have become truly alive, take a step and you will enter the Kingdom of God.

buddhist spiritual

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.

American Civil War iconic unity

I would rather be ashes than dust!  I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.  I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.  The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.  I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.  I shall use my time.

personal credos

Life can set us a lot of snares, a lot of bumps, we can fail a thousand times, in life, in love, in the social struggle, but if we search for it we'll have the strength to get up again and start over. The most beautiful thing about the day is that it dawns. There is always a dawn after the night has passed. Don't forget it, kids. The only losers are the ones who stop fighting.

adversity graduation hopeful motivational positive

There are one-story intellects, two-story intellects, and three-story intellects with skylights. All fact collectors, who have no aim beyond their facts, are one-story men. Two-story men compare, reason, generalize, using the labors of the fact-collectors as well as their own. Three-story men idealize, imagine, predict; their best illumination comes from above, through the skylight.
Don't underestimate yourself. You have the ability to wake up. You have the ability to be compassionate. You just need a little bit of practice to be able to touch the best that is in you. Enlightenment, mindfulness, understanding, and compassion are in you. Very simple practices — such as meditative walking, mindful breathing, or washing dishes mindfully — make it possible for you to leave hell and touch the positive seeds that are within you.

buddhist spiritual

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.
Steve Jobs (Original "Think Different" Apple advertising campaign narrated by Jobs, 1997)

iconic

We ought to dance with rapture that we should be alive and in the flesh, and part of the living, incarnate cosmos. I am part of the sun as my eye is part of me. That I am part of the earth my feet know perfectly, and my blood is part of the sea. My soul knows that I am part of the human race, my soul is an organic part of the great human soul, as my spirit is part of my nation. In my own very self, I am part of my family. There is nothing of me that is alone and absolute except my mind, and we shall find that the mind has no existence by itself, it is only the glitter of the sun on the surface of the waters.