Quotation Aggregation Appreciation

bison quotations

I’m a big fan of motivational quotes. When I lived in my first apartment, I had a “quote wall.” Every time I took note of a quote that floated my boat, I printed it on a rectangular strip of paper and pinned it to the wall opposite my bed. I had no choice but to face those words of wisdom head-on every morning when I woke up. More often than not, one would pop out at me and I’d repeat it to myself throughout the day.

I disassembled the quote wall when I moved out (I may or may not have used a travel size tube of toothpaste to spackle all the pin holes, which may or may not have created a minty fresh wall that never has to worry about gingivitis). These days, the quote wall lives on in a virtual state. I emailed the quotes to myself many moons ago and continually update the list every time I find another one that speaks to me. The list has essentially become a snowball rolling down a mountain; it can only grow bigger and pick up speed.

Here for your catalystic needs are 78 of my favorite motivational quotes. I hope some of these give you a kick start like they do for me.

1. “There is no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.” – George Burton Adams

2. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop

3. “However tall the mountain is, there’s a road to the top of it.” – Afghanistan Proverb

4. “Understand that most problems are a good sign. Problems indicate that progress is being made, wheels are turning, you are moving toward your goals. Problems are like landmarks of progress.” – Scott Alexander

5. “For true success, ask yourself these four questions: Why? Why not? Why not me? Why not now?” – James Allen

6. “You can’t steal third base if you never take your foot off second.” – American Proverb

7. “You may not think you can reach it; climb anyway. You may not think you’ll be heard; speak anyway. You may not think you can change things; try anyway.” – Maya Angelou

8. “Impossible is an opinion, not a fact.” – Anonymous

9. “Risk nothing, and you risk everything.” – Anonymous

10. “Some people dream of success, while others wake up and work hard at it.” – Anonymous

11. “The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going.” – Anonymous

12. “The less people speak of their greatness, the more we think of it.” – Lord Bacon

13. “The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” – Walter Bagehot

14. “There are two great days in a person’s life: the day we are born and the day we discover why.” – William Barclay

15. “It’s easier to go down a hill than up it, but the view is much better at the top.” – Henry Ward Beecher

16. “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

17. “I do not pray for a lighter load, but for a stronger back.” – Phillips Brooks

18. “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, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

19. “Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.” – Les Brown

20. “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” – Robert Byrne

21. “Live it up, the meter’s running.” – Harry Caray

22. “Every noble work is at first impossible.” – Thomas Carlyle

23. “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.” – Dale Carnegie

24. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Chinese Proverb

25. “Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” – Chinese Proverb

26. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

27. “Times of great calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm.” – Charles Caleb Colton

28. “Live out of your imagination, not your history.” – Stephen Covey

29. “Defeat never comes to any man until he admits it.” – Josephus Daniels

30. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

31. “A ship is always safe at the shore – but that is NOT what it is built for.” – Albert Einstein

32. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Albert Einstein

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

34. “Men succeed when they realize that their failures are the preparation for their victories.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

35. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

36. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

37. “Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

39. “The only way around is through.” – Robert Frost

40. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

41. “Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Oliver Goldsmith

42. “Why wait? Life is not a dress rehearsal. Quit practicing what you’re going to do, and just do it. In one bold stroke, you can transform today.” – Marilyn Grey

43. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.” – Archie Griffin

44. “Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.” – George Halas

45. “To do nothing is the way to be nothing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

46. “I hope that my achievements in life shall be these – that I will have fought for what was right and fair, that I will have risked for that which mattered, that I will have given help to those who were in need, and that I will have left the earth a better place for what I’ve done and who I’ve been.” – C. Hoppe

47. “Fall seven times, stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb

48. “Every home and neighborhood and the entire world needs and appreciates a good man.” – Jennie Manly Jones (March 21, 1921 letter to my grandpa, Floyd Siver – read the story behind that quote here).

49. “One cannot consent to creep when one has an impulse to soar.” – Helen Keller

50. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

51. “The time is always right to do what is right.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

52. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

53. “There are no ordinary people.” – C.S. Lewis

54. “People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

55. “The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist.” – Jack London

56. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

57. “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” – George Horace Lorimer

58. “Judge me if you want, but at the end of my life, I choose to have memories, not regrets.” – Dr. Steve Maraboli

59. “A will finds a way.” – Orison Swett Marden

60. “The people who are trying to make this world worse are not taking a day off. How can I? Light up the darkness.” – Bob Marley

61. “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” – John Pierpont Morgan

62. “Each person must live their life as a model for others.” – Rosa Parks

63. “It’s always too early to quit.” – Norman Vincent Peale

64. “Courage is knowing what not to fear.” – Plato

65. “Most people tip-toe through life, hoping they make it safely to death.” – Bob Proctor

66. “To whom much is given, much is required.” – Eddie Robinson

67. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

68. “Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action.” – Theodore Roosevelt

69. “Life is a great adventure… accept it in such a spirit.” – Theodore Roosevelt

70. “Don’t let the fear of striking out hold you back.” – Babe Ruth

71. “I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.” – Dr. Jonas Salk

72. “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” – Dr. Loretta Scott

73. “Fools look to tomorrow. Wise men use tonight.” – Scottish Proverb

74. “Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.” – Mark Twain

75. “Never underestimate the power of short people.” – Upper Iowa University 1st Floor Proverb

76. “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” – William Arthur Ward

77. “I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today.” – William Allen White

78. “The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B.” – James Yorke


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