Inspirational Quotes

Often, a few powerful words suffice to lead to thought provoking moments and personal insight. I have always been a huge fan of quotes and proverbs. Here is a selection of some of my favourite divided by topic as well as some motivational poems. I hope you find them inspiring and useful.

Ability Communication Habits Opportunities Questions
Achievement Confidence Humour Past Relationships
Action Curiosity Inspiration Personal Development Results
Attitude Determination Knowledge Perspective Risk
Beliefs Direction Leadership Potential Self Esteem
Change Discipline Limitations Praise Success
Circumstances Dreams Mistakes Priorities Teamwork
Coaching Enthusiasm Motivation Procrastination Thoughts
Comfort Zone Goals Obstacles Purpose Vision

Ability

Ability Quotes

Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
Lou Holtz

We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.
Stevie Wonder

It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.
Elbert Hubbard

You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.
Zig Ziglar

Achievement

Achievement Quotes

We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.
C. Malesherbes

Some people dream of worthy accomplishments, whilst others stay awake to achieve them.
Author Unknown

Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?
Jim Rohn

Action

Action Quotes

Behold the turtle. He only makes progress when he sticks his neck out.
James Bryant Conant

Footprints on the sands of time are not made by sitting down.
Author Unknown

What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?
Robert Schuller

Thinking you can achieve your goals without decisive action is liking thinking you can win the lottery without buying the ticket.
Gary Ryan Blair

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.
Japanese Proverb

Attitude

Attitude Quotes

Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 per cent how you take it.
Irving Berlin

If you think you are too small to make a difference try spending a night in a room with a mosquito.
African Proverb

It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
Goethe

I am happy and content because I think I am.
Alain-Rene Lesage

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward

Beliefs

Belief Quotes Quotes

Aerodynamically a bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.
Mary Kay Ash

All that a belief is, is a thought that you keep practicing.
Abraham Hicks

Every time you let go of something limiting you create space for something better.
Steven C. Paul

Change

Change Quotes

The key to change is to let go of fear
Roseanne Cash

We cannot change what we do, until we change what we know.
R Cline

Be the change you want to see in the world.
Gandhi

There is nothing permanent except change.
Heraclitus

Quite often we change jobs, friends, spouses instead of ourselves.
Akbarali H. Jetha

Circumstances

Circumstances Quotes

Circumstances – what are circumstances? I make circumstances
Napoleon Bonaparte

Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him.
James Allen

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.
George Bernard Shaw

Coaching

Coaching Quotes

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
Maria Robinson

A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.
Tom Landry

I learn teaching from teachers. I learn golf from golfers. I learn winning from coaches.
Harvey Penick

We could all use a little coaching. When you’re playing the game it’s hard to think of everything.
Jim Rohn

Comfort Zone

Comfort Zone Quotes

If you try to measure the future, you will never risk the present. Playing it safe. A ghastly game.
Catherine Deneuve

The minute you settle for less than you deserve you get less than you settled for.
Maureen Dowd

The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.
Michelangelo

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.
Nelson Mandela

Communication

Communication Quotes

Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?
Sai Baba

The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said
Peter Drucker

People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves.
Dale Carnegie

To get your ideas across use small words, big ideas and short sentences.
John Henry Patterson

The goal of effective communication should be for listeners to say, “Me too!” versus “So what?”
Jim Rohn

Communication is never what is sent, only what is received.
Unknown Author

Confidence

Confidence Quotes

You can succeed if nobody else believes it, but you will never succeed if you don’t believe in yourself.
William J.H. Boetcker

If you think you can, or you think you can’t…you are most probably right.
Henry Ford

I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.
Anna Freud

Don’t say “If I could I would”. Say “If I can I will”.
Jim Rohn

We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.
Virginia Satir

They can because they think they can.
Virgil

Curiosity

Curiosity Quotes

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
Albert Einstein

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
Ellen Parr

Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning
William Arthur Ward

Determination

Determination Quotes

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Theodore Roosevelt

Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.
Zig Ziglar

Be like the postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.
Josh Billings

It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop.
Confucius

Direction

Direction Quotes

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
John F. Kennedy

Direction determines destination.
Jim Rohn

Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four-hour days.
Zig Ziglar

Make sure you know where you are going – as a man who is going nowhere usually gets there!
Unknown Author

Discipline

Discipline Quotes

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.
Jim Rohn

Do one thing every day you don’t want to do.
Mark Twain

The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.
William Arthur Ward

We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces whilst regret weighs tons.
Jim Rohn

Dreams

Dreams Quotes

Dreams come a size too big so that we can grow into them.
Josie Bisset

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

Some people live in a dream world and some face reality. But there is a third group-those who turn one into the other.
Kevin Eikenberry

I like the dreams for the future better than the history of the past.
Thomas Jeffereson

A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a deadline.
Harvey Mackay

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.
Henry David Thoreau

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.
Unknown Author

Dream of worthy accomplishments and stay awake to achieve them.
Unknown Author

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm Quotes

Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm.
Edward George Bulyer-Lytton

Enthusiasm finds the opportunities and energy makes the most of them.
Henry Hoskins

Colour in a picture is like enthusiasm in life.
Vincent Van Gogh

Goals

Goals Quotes

There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.
Napoleon Hill

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
Epictetus

The most important thing about goals is having one.
Geoffry F. Abert

Habits

Habits Quotes

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Aristotle

Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.
Unknown Author

The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
Samuel Johnson

Habit is habit, and not to be flung out the window, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
Mark Twain

Humour

Humour Quotes

Laughter is an instant vacation.
Milton Berle

(A smile) costs nothing, but creates much.
Dale Carnegie

Our five senses are incomplete without the sixth – a sense of humour.
Unknown Author

A keen sense of humour helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected and outlast the unbearable.
Billy Graham

Inspiration

Inspiration Quotes

When I’m inspired I get excited because I can’t wait to see what I’ll come up with next.
Dolly Parton

The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working.
Ernest Newman

The best inspiration is not to outdo others, but to outdo ourselves.
Unknown Author

A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all.
Rita Mae Brown

Knowledge

Knowledge Quotes

We cannot change what we do, until we change what we know.
R Cline

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.
Confucius

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
Benjamin Franklin

Knowledge becomes wisdom only after it has been put to practical use.
Author Unknown

Leadership

Leadership Quotes

The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.
Eric Hoffer

Remember that it is far better to follow well than to lead indifferently.
John G. Vance

The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been.
Henry Kissinger

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.
Lao Tzu

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
Theodore Roosevelt

The real leader has no need to lead, he is content to point the way.
Henry Miller

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
John Quincy Adams

The best example of leadership, is leadership by example
Jerry McClain

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
Peter F. Drucker

Limitations

Limitations Quotes

Limitation is a creation of the mind.
Hannah Bailly-Toye

Do just once what others say you can’t do, and you will never pay attention to their limitations again.
James R. Cook

We cannot rise higher than our thought of ourselves.
Orison Swett Marden

Mistakes

Mistakes Quotes

To swear off making mistakes is very easy. All you have to do is swear off having ideas.
Leo Burnett

All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.
Winston Churchill

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
Albert Einstein

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
Mahatma Gandhi

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.
Theodore Roosevelt

Motivation

Motivation Quotes

People do things for “their” reasons, not ours. So find their reasons.
Dale Carnegie

Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes
Ben Franklin

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

Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there. Make motivation a habit and you will get there more quickly and have more fun on the trip.
Zig Ziglar

Obstacles

Obstacles Quotes

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.
Hannah More

The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how we use them.
Susan Salisbury Richards

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.
Frank A Clark

Opportunities

Opportunities Quotes

You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend or not.
Isabel Allende

Even if you are on the right track you will get run over if you just sit there.
Will Rogers

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
Sun Tzu

People who wait for conditions to be perfect before they act, never act.
Unknown Author

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
Unknown Author

Past

Past Quotes

Everytime you are tempted to act in the same old way ask yourself if you want to be a prisoner of the past or the pioneer of the future.
Deepak Chopra

Live out of your imagination, not your history.
Stephen Covey

To embrace the future, let go of the past.
Peter de Jager

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they mereley determine where you start.
Nido Qubein

Personal Development

Personal Development Quotes

It is time for us to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever, the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.
Vince Lombardi

If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up, he needs education to turn him around.
Jim Rohn

Life goes by rapidly. Don’t delay. Don’t put it off. Don’t wait until you have some spare time. Don’t wait until the time’s ‘right’.
Ken Keyes

What comes out of you when you are squeezed is what is inside you.
Wayne Dyer

Perspective

Perspective Quotes

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.
Richard Bach

There’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes.
Billy Connolly

What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
John Lubbock

We don’t see things as they are, but rather as we are.
Anais Nin

One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
Henry Miller

No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides.
Baruch Spinoza

Potential

Potential Quotes

We are much better than we know.
Lance Armstrong

Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence- is the key to unlocking our potential-
Sir Winston Churchill

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

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be , and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Every human being possess all 88 keys on the piano, but most of us restrict our melodies to the middle octave.
Gottesman and Mauro

Life is a promise; fulfil it.
Mother Teresa

When you were a kid you thought you could be anything you wanted when you grew up. You were right.
Unknown Author

Praise

Praise Quotes

Everyone wears an invisible sign around his or her neck that says “Make me feel important”.
Mary Kay Ash

You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged.
Dale Carnegie

The best way to knock the chip off your neighbour’s shoulder is to pat him on the back.
Unknown Author

Priorities

Priorities Quotes

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
Stephen Covey

Learn how to separate the majors from the minors. A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.
Jim Rohn

Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to do what they want to do.
Kathleen Winsor

Procrastination

Procrastination Quotes

Talk does not cook rice.
Chinese Proverb

Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing!
Donald Gardner

How soon not now, becomes never.
Martin Luther

Procrastination is the thief of time.
Edward Young

If you have to eat a toad, don’t look at it for too long.
Unknown Author

Purpose

Purpose Quotes

The secret of man’s being is not only to live but to have something to live for.
Dostoyevsky

Great minds have purposes, little minds have wishes.
Washington Irving

The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.
Richard Leider

More men fail through lack of purpose than lack of talent.
William Ashley Sunday

If you don’t know what you’re doing you don’t know when to stop.
Unknown Author

Questions

Questions Quotes

Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the only one who asked why.
Bernard Baruch

He who asks a question is a fool for a minute; he who does not remains a fool forever.
Chinese proverb

It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.
Eugene Ionesco

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether he is wise by his questions.
Naguib Mahfouz

It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.
James Thurber

Relationships

Relationship Quotes

All relationships are your mirrors and all people are your teachers.
Barbara de Angelis

If you make it plain you like people, it’s hard for them to resist liking you back.
Lois McMaster Bujould

It’s the things in common that make relationships enjoyable, but it’s the little differences that make them interesting.
Todd Ruthman

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Author Unknown

Results

Results Quotes

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.
W.L.Bateman

We will either find a way or make one.
Hannibal

I always take the same perspective with each new adventure. I put myself in the position of being at the end of my life looking back. Then I ask myself if what I am doing is important to me.
Reinhold Messner

Risk

Risk Quotes

Playing it safe is the riskiest choice we can ever make.
Sarah Ban Breathnach

All life is a chance. So take it! The person who goes furthest is the one who is willing to do and dare.
Dale Carnegie

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Elliot

If I had to live my life over again, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
Natine Sanger

What you risk reveals what you value.
Jeanette Winterson

Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down.
Kobi Yamada

Don’t be afraid to attempt something new. Remember, it was amateurs who built the ark. It was professionals who built the Titanic.
Unknown Author

Self Esteem

Self Esteem Quotes

Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire within ourselves.
Nathaniel Branden

You cannot be lonely if you like the person you are alone with.
Wayne Dyer

Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your handbrake on.
Maxwell Maltz

Increasing your self-esteem is easy. Simply do good things and remember that you did them.
John Roger

Success

Success Quotes

That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.
Abraham Lincoln

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
Bill Cosby

Winners have simply formed the habit of doing things losers don’t like to do.
Albert Gray

Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.
Ghandi

For every person who climbs the ladder of success, there are a dozen waiting for the elevator.
K Griffith

Teamwork

Teamwork Quotes

In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.
Mark Sanborn

Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.
Vesta M Kelly

Problems can become opportunities when the right people come together.
Robert Redford

Thoughts

Thoughts Quotes

You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts (and actions) take you.
James Allen

Whatever the conscious mind thinks and believes, the subconscious identically creates.
Brian Adams

Most of the mistakes in Thinking are inadequacies of perception rather than mistakes of logic.
Edward de Bono

What we think, we become.
Buddha

Thought is action in rehearsal.
Sigmund Freud

You don’t have to control your thoughts; you just have to stop letting them control you.
Dan Millman

Thinking creates an image. Images control feelings. Feelings cause actions. Actions create results.
Leland Val Vandewall

Vision

Vision Quotes

If you don’t have a vision for the future, then your future is threatened to be a repeat of the past.
A.R. Bernard

Throughout the centuries there were men who tool first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.
Ayn Rand

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.
George Bernard Shaw

Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.
Jonathan Swift

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