67 Most Inspirational Quotes EVER

Here at Switch and Shift, we’re all about “actionable inspiration” (as opposed to that fleeting, vapid tripe that too often passes for motivation.)

Still, even the most inspired and active among us keep our fuel tanks filled with the wisdom of those who have come before. Throughout my life, I’ve collected quotes that mean something special to me – sometimes in my head, sometimes on scraps of paper at the bottom of my sock drawer, and sometimes bookmarked on my favorite websites or triple-underlined in my favorite books.

With this list, I’d like to share my favorite 67 quotes of all time. Starting with the mother of all motivational quotes, from the father of all motivators:

Keeping the Fire Stoked (and the bathtub full)

People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.  That’s why we recommend it daily. –Zig Ziglar

 

The Most Helpful Advice I Know

 

Don’t Lose Perspective

 (a statistician!)

 

The Urgency of Action!

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. – Mark Twain

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. –Anne Frank

 

Making a Difference

We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will. – Chuck Palahniuk

Do Work That Matters … to You!

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. – Howard Thurman

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.  – Robert Frost

 

Take Pleasure in Hard Work

Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it. ― Margaret Thatcher

Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. – Joshua J. Marine

Choose Your Attitude

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass… it’s about learning to dance in the rain. – Vivian Greene

 

Believe in YOU

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. – Vincent Van Gogh

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me. –Erma Bombeck

 

Make Your Destiny

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. – Mark Twain

 

What Really Matters

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou

 

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

 

Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.  – Booker T. Washington

 

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. –Maya Angelou

 

The Power of an Unfettered Mind

Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. –Pablo Picasso

 

Sports as a Metaphor for Life

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan

 

And Other Truly Inspiring Wisdom

There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. – Aristotle

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it. – Chinese Proverb

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear. –Rosa Parks

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you’ll never have enough. –Oprah Winfrey

When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. – Henry Ford

Watch your thoughts for they become words. Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits. Watch your habits for they become your character. And watch your character for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become. – Margaret Thatcher

 

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Copyright: rastudio / 123RF Stock Photo

Ted Coiné is a Forbes Top 10 Social Media Power Influencer and an Inc. Top 100 Leadership and Management Expert. This stance at the crossroads of social and leadership put him in a unique perspective to identify the demise of Industrial Age management and the birth of the Social Age. The result, after five years of trend watching, interviewing and intensive research, is his latest book, A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive, which he co-authored with Mark Babbitt. An inspirational speaker and popular blogger, Ted is a pioneer of the Human Side of Business (#humanbiz) movement. He is also a serial business founder and three-time CEO. When not speaking at conferences and corporate functions, Ted advises CEOs on how to become Truly Social Leaders, or “Blue Unicorns” as they put it in A World Gone Social, in order to bring their companies into the Social Age. Ted’s advice: “Change is only scary if it’s happening to you. Instead, bring the change your competitors dread. That is something only a Social Age business leader can accomplish.”

  • Mark Hauler

    My favorite is a stanza by the British poet John Dryden: “Although I may be wounded, I am not finished yet; I’ll lay me down and bleed a while, then rise to fight again.”

    We all face challenges and occasional defeats in our lives, but the winners are those who are able to rise up and continue to fight for their cause – whatever that may be.

  • What a great resource! Thanks for taking the time to compile this.

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