Inspirational Quotes and Sayings
Everyone likes to browse a few inspirational quotes every now and again for some quick and easy motivation, but some quotes miss the mark. How is a long paragraph of confusing language going to inspire you to do anything but give up and go watch some TV?
Listed below are 25 of the best short and powerful inspirational quotes and sayings, along with a little description of the meaning of each of them so that you can get a quick fix of motivation for doing what you do.
1. "Don’t lose your present to your past." –Unknown
This is a short, simple, and meaningful quote, reminding you to live in the present. Learn from past mistakes and successes, but don’t let them take over the present tense.
2. "Once you choose hope, anything is possible." –Christopher Reeve
There are many statements about the importance of hope, but this one from actor and quadriplegic Christopher Reeve best encapsulates the idea.
3. "Pain makes people change." –Unknown
This one appeals to many because its meaning is not set in stone. Pain makes people change, but in what way? Does it make you change for the better, or does it make you bitter and cynical? The choice is up to you.
4. "Education is the most powerful weapon that you can use to change the world." –Nelson Mandela
If you think about it a little, the truth in this one is staggering. Education is the most powerful weapon, whether it be a Ph.D. in astrophysics or a chat with your friend about how to best lay a brick. Whatever your dream is, education is the only thing that’s guaranteed to help you achieve it.
5. "Creativity is contagious, pass it on." –Albert Einstein
People often think of science and creativity as being completely separate fields when in fact, creativity is an important element of even the most technical work. Einstein recognised this and understood the importance of creativity in general, and this quote exemplifies that understanding.
6. "It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves." –Edmund Hillary
In Hillary’s case, the mountain he was referring to was a literal mountain (Everest, at that). For those of us who aren’t rock climbers, however, the mountain could be symbolic of something else—a challenge we’ve faced or a goal we’ve set. The essence of this quote is that the obstacle isn’t an external challenge that we must conquer, but rather it is the part of ourselves that stop us from rising to the challenge.
7. "Sometimes it takes a good fall to know where you really stand." –Hayley Williams
This simple quote from Paramore singer Hayley Williams is a great one for people who’ve just suffered a setback or loss. Sometimes such an event is needed to remind you of your own resilience and to sort the supportive people in your life from the unsupportive ones.
8. "Everything you can imagine is real." –Pablo Picasso
This is a fantastic little quote about the power of imagination from one of the greatest creatives in history, Picasso.
9. "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." –Thomas Edison
This quote is a good one for people who look at others' success and think that they’ll never be able to achieve anything like it because they don’t have the right IQ score or talent. There are millions of smart, naturally talented people in the world who’ll never do anything with their lives because they don’t know how to work hard, and there are millions who weren't born "special" but gain incredible success because of their work ethic.
10. "Don’t count the days, make the days count." –Muhammad Ali
This quote from boxing legend Muhammed Ali is a nice reminder to live each day as it comes rather than sitting back and watching your life pass by.
11. "Success is falling nine times and getting up ten." –Jon Bon Jovi
From the mouth of singer Jon Bon Jovi, these are some wise, profound words. It is easy to doubt people who say that the only secret to success is to fail and try again, but coming from such a successful musician, you’re almost forced to take this quote seriously.
12. "Without darkness, there are no stars." –Unknown
A great little quote about perspective. Without periods of sadness and hopelessness, the times that you’re happy and motivated wouldn’t mean anything. Everything has its purpose, including darkness.
13. "Whatever you are, be a good one." –Abraham Lincoln
There are two key messages in this quote. The first is to be true to yourself: Be whatever you are, not whatever you wish you were or whatever your family and peers pressure you to be. The second is that you don’t have to be the best. Strive to do your best rather than beat out everyone in your chosen field or profession. If you try to be the best, you’ll quickly realise that there’s no real subjective way to measure who the best is and that you’re chasing a dream of perfection that can’t even be defined.
14. "Make the rest of your life the best of your life." –Unknown
This quote is so powerful because it applies to anyone of any age; whether you’re in your teens, thirties, or eighties, there’s still time left.
15. "Never regret anything that made you smile." –Mark Twain
Unless doing things that hurt other people make you smile, this is a great motto to live your life by. Looking back, you might cringe at some of the things you’ve done, but if getting that lame tattoo made you happy at the time, then you should never, ever regret it.
16. "Life is too short to spend it at war with yourself." –Unknown
'Life is too short’ quotes can sometimes be a little false and cliche-sounding, but this one is an exception. Internal conflict is good and helps you to grow as a person, but don't be your own worst enemy.
17. "Do what makes you happy." –Unknown
Simple, short, succinct, and yet a message that everyone could do with hearing at least once in their life. Strive to become something that makes you happy, not your parents, your friends, or society at large. Stop and ask yourself whether what you’re doing is actually fulfilling and brings (or will bring) you joy. If not, it’s time to make a change.
18. "There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever." –Dalai Lama
For the worriers of the world, this is an important message. Lying in bed at night and fretting about every stupid mistake you made that day has no benefit to you. It won’t help you grow as a person, it won’t help you to avoid mistakes in the future, and it’ll probably leave you feeling tired and drained. Healthy self-reflection is always a good thing, but not incessant worrying.
19. "The power of imagination makes us infinite." –Unknown
This is another nice quote that touches on the power of imagination. Creativity and imagination are skills that are often dismissed in today’s world, but if you think about it, the ability to vividly imagine does make you infinite. Forget the sky; it’s your imagination that’s the limit.
20. "Every mistake just adds to your story." –Unknown
If you view mistakes in a purely negative light, you’re going to be constantly terrified at the thought of making even the smallest error. But if you view them as being valuable learning opportunities, you’ll find you don’t fear them quite as much. Each mistake adds experience and richness to the story of your life, and someday you’ll look back and see how the mistakes and errors guided you to be the person you are now.
21. "Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life." –Steve Jobs
If Steve Jobs had wasted his time and energy pretending to be someone he wasn’t, do you think he ever would have attained the level of success that he did? Absolutely not. Life is too short to try and force yourself into someone else’s skin!
22. "Don’t stop until you’re proud." –Unknown
Keep working until you’re proud of the achievements you’ve made and the person that you’ve become!
23. "The best revenge is massive success." –Unknown
It can be hard not to lash out at the people who tell you that you’re never going to succeed. However, if you let anger and hatred consume you, you’re never going to get anywhere and you’ll just prove them right. Rather than shout and swear, why not watch their faces as you mount that last step and reach the top?
24. "Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." –Henry Ford
For being only nine words long, this is an incredibly powerful, thought-provoking quote. It’s also incredibly accurate if you take the time to think about it. With every failure, we learn and grow, meaning that when we start over, we’re almost guaranteed to do a better job. Failure isn’t a step back; it’s a step forward.
25. "It’s up to you." –Unknown
This one speaks for itself, really. No one is going to achieve your dream for you, and likewise, no one can stop you. It’s up to you.
More Motivating Quotes
And there we have it; 25 short, simple, inspirational quotes that will get you out of bed and achieve your goals and dreams. I hope you found a new favourite amongst these gems!
For more great motivational quotes:
- 50 Awesome, Inspirational, Motivational and Uplifting Quotes
- 30 Work Quotes to Motivate Young People
- Powerful Quotes for Inspiring Leadership and Taking Action
Questions & Answers
Question: Do you have any more quotes or sayings?
Answer: Absolutely! Here's a few that didn't make the cut:
- "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant." -Robert Louis Stevenson
- "Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear." -George Addair
- "Be the change you wish to see in the world." -Gandhi
- "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." -Eleanor Roosevelt.
- "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose." -Dr. Seuss.
© 2018 K S Lane
Prithviraj Shirole from India on August 31, 2020:
Thanks for the motivational quotes.
Ada on August 31, 2020:
Thank you so much this is very helpful
thoughtsprocess from Navsari (India) on August 15, 2020:
Inspiring thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing.
Sadie on June 28, 2020:
dfghjk on May 19, 2020:
Alyssa on April 11, 2020:
these are great!
John on February 28, 2020:
I like these
Anchal on December 22, 2019:
Quotes were nice
carlos on November 14, 2019:
This is great
Farrah Young from Lagos, Nigeria on November 09, 2019:
Good compilation. Anyone going through a hard time or wants to achieve a goal should meditate on these daily.
Pragya from india on September 01, 2019:
Very inspirational thoughts .lots of thanks
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on August 30, 2019:
I really like these quotes for inspiration. Particularly, many people do not realize Edison had dyslexia and dropped out of school. Yes, everyone has faults, but our goal is to rise above our own fault lines to build a steady foundation. Thank you.
Therese on May 01, 2019:
Very inspiring, I love to read anything that is uplifting these are really wonderful quotes.
lily on April 20, 2019:
i have one.
"One smile, can start a friendship.
One word, can end a fight.
One look, can save a relationship.
One person can change your life"
you see, I'm a quote collector. I know about 200 quotes. that one is my favorite. Thx!
Sally on April 07, 2019:
I have a few if you need more "When it rains look for rainbows" "Your heart is like a path follow it" "forget the mistake remember the lesson" "No one's the same so be different" I hope you liked them! Thx!
Hacicu Bogdan from Cluj-Napoca, Romania on March 26, 2019:
The thing with quotes is that in order for them to be effective we have to embrace them totally so they can inspire us to make the changes needed for achieving our goals.
Madycin on March 02, 2019:
These are all really great quotes.I love them!
Aditya on December 03, 2018:
Very good quotes and the book is very good also
K S Lane (author) from Melbourne, Australia on July 21, 2018:
Shaloo-- thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed them!
Shaloo Walia from India on July 21, 2018:
Lovely collection of quotes...very inspiring!!
K S Lane (author) from Melbourne, Australia on July 20, 2018:
Thanks Pamela- glad you found some that you like!
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 20, 2018:
I love all of these inspiration quotes, particularly the ones about education, imagination and futile worry.