motivational quotes

20 Inspirational Quotes To Live By

I love inspirational quotes. They are powerful nuggets of wisdom condensed into 1-2 lines. Whenever I read them, I am inspired to take action. I remember when I was a high school student, I would decorate the cover of my foolscap pads with quotes because they were so meaningful. Today, I have quotes plastered on the noticeboard in front of my work desk, which I change regularly to whichever quote resonates most with me at the point in time. Whenever I raise my head, I’ll see them in front of me, sort of like a little nod of affirmation.

Here, I’ll share 20 of my favorite inspirational quotes. I won’t include any commentary because the quotes speak for themselves.

“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.” – Albert Einstein

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” – Albert Ellis

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

“If what you’re doing is not your passion, you have nothing to lose.”

“The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.”

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

“What the mind can conceive, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.” – Seneca

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” -Albert Einstein.

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” -Milton Berle

“The sky has never been the limit. We are our own limits. It’s then about breaking our personal limits and outgrowing ourselves to live our best lives.”

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – Life’s Little Instruction Book, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“When you can’t change the direction of the wind — adjust your sails.” ~ H. Jackson Brown

“Everything you want should be yours: the type of work you want; the relationships you need; the social, mental, and aesthetic stimulation that will make you happy and fulfilled; the money you require for the lifestyle that is appropriate to you; and any requirement that you may (or may not) have for achievement or service to others. If you don’t aim for it all, you’ll never get it all. To aim for it requires that you know what you want” ~ Richard Koch

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” – Albert Ellis

“Confidence comes not from always being right but not fearing to be wrong”

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs


Celestine Chua writes at The Personal Excellence Blog, where she shares her best advice on how to achieve personal excellence and live your best life. Get her RSS feed directly and add her on Twitter @celestinechua. If you like this article, you will enjoy one of her top articles: 101 Most Inspiring Quotes of All Time.

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147 Responses to 20 Inspirational Quotes To Live By

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention 20 Inspirational Quotes To Live By - PickTheBrain | Motivation and Self Improvement --

  2. Aaron Pepper says:

    Great quotes! I agree, great quotes can be a powerful source of inspiration.

    Here’s one of my favorites.

    “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus

  3. Thanks Pick The Brain for this guest post opportunity and chance to reach out to other Pick The Brain readers. How all of you enjoy the quotes as much as I have 😀

    If you are interested in more quotes, I have compiled 101 quotes in one of my blog posts:
    (which has led to 2 other parts each with 101 quotes too.)
    Due to the overwhelming popularity, I have compiled a free ebook with over 300+ quotes which you can grab here: It’s entirely free for all your perusal so feel free to republish / share with others :)

  4. Farouk says:

    i love these Quotes
    thank you Celestine :)

  5. Thanks for these great quotes. I’ve been looking for inspirational blogs to blog about myself. I’ll add your blog to my blog roll and will be creating a future post about your site. Great work!

  6. Thanks Farouk 😀

  7. Thanks Aaron, that’s a great quote to add to my collection! 😀

  8. Pingback: Steve’s Sunday Selections – May 23rd, 2010 | Steve Scott Site

  9. Jeff says:

    One of my favorites.

    Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
    Mark Twain

  10. Thanks Yvette, I really appreciate it :) I just checked out your blog and it’s a great idea to share your lessons of love with others on your blog. Keep up the great work! 😀

  11. Thanks Jeff! That’s a favorite of mine too :) Very hard-hitting and true.

  12. Thanks Celectine!
    If I can…I’d like to add my favorite quote
    “Every facet, every compartment of your mind is to be programmed by you. If you don’t take your rightful responsibility and program your own mind, the world will program it for you.” – Unknown

  13. Frank says:

    Wow! Thank you Celectine. This is an awesome combination of quotes that put perspective on a lot of the things we go through throughout our lives. I always find it amazing on how much you can learn from the wisdom of others. Who would think that one statement could encourage and inspire so many people years after they made it.

    Thanks for sharing

  14. “Sometimes the best decisions you ever make are the decisions you don’t make.”
    Copyright Joseph P.Martino

  15. Phani says:

    “The best things in life are always FREE!!!”

  16. Kendra says:

    Love these quotes! I’m going to save these as daily reminders. Thanks for sharing!


    Count your blessings. Everyday. Everywhere.
    (mobile gratitude journal — free with promo “joy”)

  17. Hey Greg, that’s a fantastic quote! Thanks for sharing! 😀

  18. Julie says:

    in answer to
    “The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.”
    I rather like the subtle difference (and warning) in
    ” The man who says it can’t be done is interrupted by the man who is doing it “

  19. moe comeau says:

    I was astounded when I read the Steve Jobs “quote”:
    “Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice.”
    Could he have possibly made such a stupid blunder? (drown, not drowned). No, the typo is a MISquote. Duh.

  20. petelim2410 says:

    Very impressive post. More power.

  21. ahmed316 says:

    thank you alot i realy enjoyed by reading your ideas

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  23. Angelee says:

    I love quotes cos they strike a reality in your life that is so true. They’re full of wisdom. I’ve read so many quotes ever since, though I don’t memorize all of ’em, but I remember them whenever I experience something related.

    Based on the list above,

    “All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

    .. this simple one has been guiding me ever since I decided to wake up from the wrong path I’ve been to before.

    Thanks for sharing! and reminding as well.

  24. Craig Thomas says:

    Nice post and an awesome selection of quotes! :)

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  26. blah says:

    this is a pretty good one too:

    In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip.

  27. “success may be the symphony in life’s sweet rhapsody,but love is the conductor that orchestrates life every note.” copyright joseph p.martino

    “life and success is a great big merry-go-round,love is the brass ring.”
    copyright joseph p.martino

  28. Carlos in Fabula says:

    I really don’t want to ruin your day, but you might want to notice that you compiled 19 quotes (one of them twice). And still, nobody seems to care… :)

  29. Sadeq says:

    this was great!

  30. Dan says:

    My favourite quote…

    ‘if you are stupid enough, you’ll never learn…’

  31. All kids are gifted; some just open their packages earlier than others.

  32. “it’s important to know what’s important ( in life ) and even
    more important to know what’s not.”
    copyright joseph p.martino

  33. haniya says:

    i relly like quotes… u know why? beceuse its make my life meaningful

  34. nen says:

    quotes inspire me to live life wisely

  35. ‘a respectful mouth kept in check and not allowed to expand beyond the size of one’s brain and ego will bring success to its user.
    copyright joseph p.martino

  36. ernie says:

    God know’s that I’m worth it =)

  37. Kyvi Hood says:

    Here’s one of my favs: “Never take life too seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.”
    (Author Unknown)

  38. Pingback: Rory Ellis » Blog Archive » Quote: Then you win

  39. meera says:

    great quotes thanks for sharing

  40. lively quotes to feel beter about life!

  41. “maintaining a modern infrastructure is the very lifeblood of a successful and vibrant national economy,
    as crucial as the arterial system is to life.”
    copyright joseph p.martino

  42. Tawny says:

    Love it so much I shared three!! (= Thank you

  43. “don’t attempt to gain success at any and all cost, the price may prove to high.”
    copyright joseph p.martino

  44. Anonymous says:

    “as important it is to believe in god,it is even more important that god should believe in you.” copyright joseph p.martino

  45. Sodowdy says:

    Thank you – I very much needed to know that.

  46. I really like the first one
    that Albert Einstein said about two ways of living life. It really enlightened

  47. Anonymous says:

    “the only thing we are guaranteed and assured besides life and death is the very moment.”
    copyright joseph p.martino

  48. Cod says:

    steve jobs you crazy ass

  49. Sanju250 says:

    piece of information, I had come to know about your web-page from my friend
    pramod, jaipur,i have read atleast eight posts of yours by now, and let me tell
    you, your blog gives the best and the most interesting information. This is
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    off to you! Thanks a million once again, Regards, quotes of


  50. John H says:

    Life is not measured by the amount of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away

  51. says:

    My life is written in pen so I can’t erase my mistakes

  52. Jordatech1 says:

    This is a great site, however the quote “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your
    problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the
    ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own
    destiny.” – Albert Ellis from section  is repeated in section 18.   I added your quotes to my archives thanks for the contributions.
    Ps. I am assuming that the quotes with no references are Unknown NOT written by you.



  53. Cyrus says:

    Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there’s footprints on the moon.

  54. Ben Winters says:

    Quotes! Quotes! Quotes! Quotes! Love these.. I really like the Ghandi one keeping that one handy!

  55. Ben Winters says:

    Quotes! Quotes! Quotes! Quotes! Love these.. I really like the Ghandi one keeping that one handy!

  56. Khadija eloudghiri says:

    ” Never say Never ”

                                              – Justin Bieber

  57. Gokdakrut says:

    “with patience you can even cook a stone”

  58. Anonymous says:

    Sports Analogy — The Third Quarter: Life truly is a great opportunity for those of us who start out with some advantages.  The poor and disadvantaged must have a lot more courage and a great deal of faith. Life really is a game. You know very little at the beginning. And  no matter what they tell you, you won’t realize life’s true promise until it’s late the Third Quarter. Unless you’re unusually lucky and successful and love comes to you early, you’re going to have to wake up and really push hard in the Third Quarter. Here’s where you have your chance. The Fourth Quarter can be a total bust or very rewarding and make you proud and happy. But remember, you have lived half your life. You need to work and communicate with those who you love and respect in the Third Quarter. So you see the game is not really won in the first half. It’s in the Third Quarter. And if you dedicate yourself to being a better person for that part of your life, you will have  everything you want before you leave the game. If you watch the great sports champions, you will see this and more. The great champions have the ability to win because they fought through the Third Quarter, and then fell briefly, and then regained their composure and won in the end.

  59. C_lawrence10 says:

    “You can do anything and everthing, “Being human” is an understatement.”-Chris Lawrence

  60. Brionnanunes says:

    i need one about a love life gone wrong

  61. jazmin says:

    they make special erasers for that

  62. peepee face says:


  63. Anonymous says:

    If it has tits, tires or testicles, you’re bound to have trouble with it.

  64. Phenomenal007 says:

    “Life is like quicksand, the more you struggle the deeper you sink.
    Thank God for quicksand, the greater the struggles the deeper you think.”- Sean A. Nesbitt

  65. Ruthchebet says:

    The mind can’t achieve what it hasn’t conceived.I wanted to know that

  66. Omarkiam1 says:

    if you like these types of quotes, join to get a daily quote and the meaning of the quote

  67. Skelton Tammy says:

    Ahhh….but the truth about quicksand is….if you stop struggling and just let go, you will float to the top…..Think about it ;).


  68. PL2000 says:

    “When I’m sad I stop being sad and be awesome instead”

                                                                                                     – Barney Stinson

  69. PL2000 says:

    “Never Say Never”

                                   – Charles Dickens, the first person who use never say never

  70. Dave says:

    dead skunks stink

  71. THats REally Great Collection.

    This is my own quote.
    Love is difficult when there is no reward.

  72. to be frank, Thats really nice collection,

    Life is difficult, when you make things complicated.(Jay Aar)

  73. corsojr says:

     Great list quotes you have listed here.  I have found and truly believe that everyone needs inspirational and motivational quotes to read on a daily basis to live “a higher quality of life.”  Our self-confidence and self-esteem will be elevated by this information fed into our brain’s on a daily basis.  By one’s daily reading, you will gain the inspiration and motivation to set goals for yourself to achieve.  In achieving your goals, you will be living and experiencing  what you have set out to achieve in your life. 

  74. Gucci Mane says:

    the life is so amazing when you believe allah and trust allah………. 

  75. says:

    This post are really helps to improve my emotional aspects. 

  76. says:

    This post are really helps to improve my emotional aspects. 

  77. Callahan325 says:

    ah man, ruin it

  78. Alice says:

    great minds clearly do think alike then… :s

  79. Rogers Cleveland says:

    Never say Never* The Fray

  80. Naomi Rajput says:

    inspirational quotes

    inspirational quotes about life,
    inspirational life quotes,
    inspirational quotes on life,
    life inspirational quotes,

  81. Natalia86pl says:

    “…nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward…”

  82. Marialeelabai says:

    Good one who is human will be inspired & will work on it .

  83. SHUBHAM JOSHI says:

    it is true that” I am not perfect in many things but even this is true that
    many things are not perfect without me…..


    Speak only when you feel that your words are better than your silence…….
    -shubham joshi

  85. Randy says:

    Enjoyed the quotes!~ thank you very much!~


  86. Americanspeakersbureau says:

    Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote I have to say is amazing, I wish people still talked that way.

  87. Xxmysassyxx says:

    Its not completely ruined bc those special pens dont always erase everything. What youve done is still there for everyone to see.

  88. Kaakakkakakakakk says:

    well you want best poem?

  89. Premasankaran51 says:

    Real good ones you have here! May I add some more?
    1. Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. Goethe
    2.The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor. Dennis Conner.
    3. Stand for something, otherwise you will fall for anything. 
    4. It is attitude and not aptitude that determine one’s altitude in life.
    5. Fortune knocks at every man’s door once in a lifetime but in a good many cases, the man is in a neighboring saloon and does not hear her. Mark Twain.

  90. RMD says:

    I very much like the quote ‘That which doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger’ – Friedrich Nietzsche

  91. Jason Harvey says:

    I really like the 5th quote, it reminds me of one of my favorites from Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible
    until its done.”

  92. Mally says:

    I love these qoutes they inspire me to love and live unconditionally
    Continue the good job

  93. Mally says:

    The feeling is mutual. Great.

  94. Lilly_rose91 says:


  95. Malcolmmccowan says:

    Go Rocky!!!!

  96. Aasdasdasd says:

    either this is the original and you have been copied, or vice versa.

  97. Brianna says:

    “The sky is not the end, your choice to stop reaching is.”
    copyright: Brianna Cantu

  98. hihihihihi says:

     If you look at the author of both, it says its written by the same person…its just doubled:/

  99. Finn says:

    When the bar is set too high, don’t lower the bar. Find a ladder.

  100. Finn says:

    When somebody says,”never say never” call them a hypocrite.

  101. Ray M says:

    now are you gunna tell the song you ripped that off of?

  102. Spawnshark says:

    that my friend, is ignorant fallacy. god doesn’t need to “believe” in you, because if he did then he would get constantly let down. he wants to you to come to the end of yourself and count on him. then you won’t have to worry about believing in yourself.

  103. Garytdest says:

    nah, still ruined it

  104. Karma Hicks says:

    Not Everybody Feels That Way So By You Saying That Is Crazy

  105. Ayoung9093 says:

    No he WAS exactly right.. seek to learn what you shouuld know and not jus what you wanna hear.

  106. Bertilla Joe says:

    “Life is like a game of cards. the hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.” Jawaharalal Nehru


  107. Elise says:

    I am the president of my freshman class. I need to chose 4 for the class to vote on. I cant decided which are the best/most inspiring. Any suggestions?

  108. Oliver says:

    I love quotes! Thank You!

  109. Elaine says:

    Can anyone quote the story of a man floating in the ocean, waiting for God to save him and he refuses the help God sent his way cause he did not recognize the 3 things were sent to save him?  Please send it or tell me where to find it…thanks!

  110. Rajeev Kumar says:

    Nice quote Sir,..

  111. ♥grace♥ says:

    “when you are physically strong you have no physical fear but when you are mentally strong you have no fear at all”

  112. earth being says:

    Thank you for making the list!   Great revelations and reminders! Know thyself :)

  113. Thank you for making the list!   Great reminders! Know thyself :)

  114. Jamescarredo says:

    I would defenitely agree with the quote from Walt Disney.

    From the Philippines..

  115. anonymous says:

    it doesn’t matter in who else we believe in if we don’t believe in ourselves.  if God is present and if He has created us then respect Him and thank Him for our existence. but what is important is that we believe in ourselves and only after that do we believe in any other force.

  116. Eswar says:

    I really liked following Albert Ellis quote

    “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your
    problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the
    ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own
    destiny.” – Albert Ellis

    And the one I always remember myself is “Dictionary is the only place where success comes before work”

  117. jake canoy says:

    tnx a lot!

  118. Ddesyboy says:

    nice its really inspirational, i love it.
    check out my blog ……

  119. Sierra says:

    Justin Bieber : Never say never.
    Taylor Swift: Never say never
    Me: OMG, where do you come up with these amazing lyrics?

  120. Damon Bervoets says:

    “The higher you climb the better the view.” Damon Bervoets

  121. Chinenye25 says:

    very inspiring

  122. IRONY@itsFiNEST says:

    I agreed with this quote as well:) I liked her stating that “small minds dicuss people” .
    I make effort to stay out of conversations that involve gossiping so I think I was really touched by it too :”)

  123. Allan Kenyon says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. You truly become what you think about all day long.
    Allan Kenyon

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  125. Dougcartwright says:

    I agree. God would have given up and gone home if he had to ‘believe in us’. That’s just self-centred ‘I am really God’ talk. I always say that when people say: If there was a God then… ‘ – what they mean is: If I were God then…

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  127. BlaqRoze333 says:

    My life is written in Sharpie so I can’t erase my mistakes for they make me more colorful in the end. <3

  128. Joshua Nelson says:

    Albert Ellis is in there twice. Good quote, but worthy of a double printing?

  129. Fan says:

    “Confidence comes not from always being right but not fearing to be wrong” – very true indeed. Thanks for sharing!

  130. Motivated says:

    Now this all is pretty anti motivational don’t you think?

  131. Min Arkd Detty says:


  132. AMfree says:

    with patience you can even cook a stone -lol i can’t stop i love your quotes. You can check out my collection at

  133. DPK says:


  134. “If what you’re doing is not your passion, you have nothing to lose.” – Quiet inspirational..!

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  136. John says:

    Since when does stress and worry help? Never in fact they both increase the problem. Problems are to be met with solutions.

  137. aryannatimothy says:

    I always love Albert Einstein. He is one of the most inspiring people for me.

  138. Kahanu Kahoonei says:

    What a wonderful set of quotes!

  139. yourinnerworld says:

    This is my favorite and so true!! “The person who says something is impossible should not interrupt the person who is doing it.”

  140. connz92 says:

    god doesnt believe in humanity any more thats y the day of judgment is coming have u actualy read the bible

  141. Bruno says:

    He who knows not,and knows not that he knows not is a fool-ignore him

  142. Carina Servante says:

    Quotes that are very much positive and uplifting as these
    are my favorite. At least, it gives a little comfort and hope. These are also
    very helpful when you like to send to your loved ones and friends who are under
    unpleasant circumstances. Thanks for sharing, I would love to add some of these
    to my personal favorite.

    God bless always!



    Inspirational Quotes

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  144. Manoj Prasad says:

    My fav is,
    Work hard in silence let success make the noise.

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