Nelson Mandela Quotes That Will Inspire You to Change

9 Nelson Mandela Quotes That Will Inspire You to Change

I recently watched the film created about Nelson Mandela’s life for the first time last week, even though it came out back in 2013, and I found it incredibly inspirational. Those type of films always inspire me because they have such a powerful way of delivering an overview of amazing true stories.

Nelson Mandela was a great man, and inspired an amount of change that no man should ever have to inspire people with in the first place. The things he went through in order to change the standard of living for his people are astounding.

Here are some of the greatest Nelson Mandela quotes that will inspire you to change the way you think, and how you live your life, for the better.


1. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

It not about having no fear to begin with, it’s about being able to face your fears and get over them.

We gain our strength and courage through overcoming our fears, so whenever you see someone who may not have any fear to begin with, that doesn’t necessarily mean those people have a lot of courage within them.

2. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

This quote more than any other, is a clear representation of Nelson Mandela. Everybody thought that his fight for equality was impossible, until he did it.

People are often too scared or pessimistic to attempt things that are generally considered impossible, but the definition of impossible is ever-changing due to those who believe it can be done.

So they make the impossible possible, whilst the non-believers are now telling themselves that the next level up is definitely impossible though.

3. “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.”

The time to do whatever you want is now! There are no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’ when it comes to time. You may not a second chance at an opportunity, so always use your time wisely and take the opportunities when you get them.

Just think, what would have happened if Mandela had started standing up for his people 10, maybe 20 years later.

Would he have still succeeded?

4. “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”

Success is often measured by the amount of wealth someone has amounted, but it’s far from that. Everyone’s entitled to their own definition of success, yet money always leaves people becoming greedy for more.

You should redefine your definition of success, to more measurable and life-worthy things such as having a career you love and enjoy, being able to surround yourself by family, living freely and wherever you want to.

5. “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.”

Anyone who has a good mind and a good heart can have the power to change the world in such a positive way.

Nelson Mandela had this combination of head and heart, and used it to do right by his people, rather than just think of himself as his number one priority.

6. “When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace.”

Mandela felt that he’d be able to rest in peace on he’d done his duty to his people. That was his priority in life, and his process of thought was that until he’d done his duty he wouldn’t be able to rest peacefully.

Will you be able to rest peacefully? Have you helped those closest around you?

7. “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

When it all comes down to it, the dedication and passion you bring to what you do every day determines whether you will succeed at it or not.

Anything is possible if you love what you do and you commit yourself to it entirely. This statement is backed up highly by the passion that Nelson Mandela showed and the success he managed to achieve because of it.

8. “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

It’s in human nature to want to help others, for most of us anyway. So we should live in a way that is helping other people, in order to truly be happy with ourselves and our own lives.

9. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

People are often judged purely because of their success, as that’s normally the only thing that most people see. What they don’t see is all the times before that someone fell down and kept getting back up again.

That attitude is what should be judged, not by the final result.


Thank you for reading this great list of 9 Nelson Mandela quotes that have hopefully inspired you to change the way you think about life for the better.

Nelson Mandela was a true inspiration and what he has done for others during his lifetime will never be forgotten.

What’s your favorite Mandela quote?


Dan Western is the Founder of Wealthy Gorilla, an ever growing community dedicated to inspiring others to live the life they’ve always wanted. Dan is an aspiring personal trainer, life coach and entrepreneur, who can’t wait to help others fulfill their true potential. Join him on Facebook, or follow him on Twitter.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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