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 is what you are capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.
It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.
You are the only person on earth who can use your ability.
We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.
Some people dream of worthy accomplishments, whilst others stay awake to achieve them.
Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?
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.
What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?
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.
Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 per cent how you take it.
If you think you are too small to make a difference try spending a night in a room with a mosquito.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I am happy and content because I think I am.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward
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.
Every time you let go of something limiting you create space for something better.
Steven C. Paul
The key to change is to let go of fear
We cannot change what we do, until we change what we know.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
There is nothing permanent except change.
Quite often we change jobs, friends, spouses instead of ourselves.
Akbarali H. Jetha
Circumstances – what are circumstances? I make circumstances
Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him.
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
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
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.
I learn teaching from teachers. I learn golf from golfers. I learn winning from coaches.
We could all use a little coaching. When you’re playing the game it’s hard to think of everything.
If you try to measure the future, you will never risk the present. Playing it safe. A ghastly game.
The minute you settle for less than you deserve you get less than you settled for.
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.
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.
Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?
The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said
People who talk only of themselves think only of themselves.
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?”
Communication is never what is sent, only what is received.
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.
I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time.
Don’t say “If I could I would”. Say “If I can I will”.
We must not allow other people’s limited perceptions to define us.
They can because they think they can.
I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.
Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning
William Arthur Ward
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.
Be like the postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there.
It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop.
Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
John F. Kennedy
Direction determines destination.
Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four-hour days.
Make sure you know where you are going – as a man who is going nowhere usually gets there!
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.
Do one thing every day you don’t want to do.
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.
Dreams come a size too big so that we can grow into them.
All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
Some people live in a dream world and some face reality. But there is a third group-those who turn one into the other.
I like the dreams for the future better than the history of the past.
A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a deadline.
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.
Dream of worthy accomplishments and stay awake to achieve them.
Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm.
Edward George Bulyer-Lytton
Enthusiasm finds the opportunities and energy makes the most of them.
Colour in a picture is like enthusiasm in life.
Vincent Van Gogh
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.
First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.
The most important thing about goals is having one.
Geoffry F. Abert
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of.
The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.
Habit is habit, and not to be flung out the window, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
Laughter is an instant vacation.
(A smile) costs nothing, but creates much.
Our five senses are incomplete without the sixth – a sense of humour.
A keen sense of humour helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected and outlast the unbearable.
When I’m inspired I get excited because I can’t wait to see what I’ll come up with next.
The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired, but becomes inspired because he is working.
The best inspiration is not to outdo others, but to outdo ourselves.
A deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it’s better than no inspiration at all.
Rita Mae Brown
We cannot change what we do, until we change what we know.
Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
Knowledge becomes wisdom only after it has been put to practical use.
The leader has to be practical and a realist, yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.
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.
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.
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.
The real leader has no need to lead, he is content to point the way.
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
Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
Peter F. Drucker
Limitation is a creation of the mind.
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
To swear off making mistakes is very easy. All you have to do is swear off having ideas.
All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.
People do things for “their” reasons, not ours. So find their reasons.
Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes
People say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing; that’s why we recommend it daily.
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.
Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.
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
You are the storyteller of your own life, and you can create your own legend or not.
Even if you are on the right track you will get run over if you just sit there.
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.
Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
People who wait for conditions to be perfect before they act, never act.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take
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.
Live out of your imagination, not your history.
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.
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.
If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up, he needs education to turn him around.
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’.
What comes out of you when you are squeezed is what is inside you.
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.
There’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes.
What we see depends mainly on what we look for.
We don’t see things as they are, but rather as we are.
One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.
No matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides.
We are much better than we know.
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.
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.
When you were a kid you thought you could be anything you wanted when you grew up. You were right.
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.
The best way to knock the chip off your neighbour’s shoulder is to pat him on the back.
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.
Learn how to separate the majors from the minors. A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.
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.
Talk does not cook rice.
Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing!
How soon not now, becomes never.
Procrastination is the thief of time.
If you have to eat a toad, don’t look at it for too long.
The secret of man’s being is not only to live but to have something to live for.
Great minds have purposes, little minds have wishes.
The purpose of life is to live a life of purpose.
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.
Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the only one who asked why.
He who asks a question is a fool for a minute; he who does not remains a fool forever.
It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.
You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether he is wise by his questions.
It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.
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.
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got.
We will either find a way or make one.
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.
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.
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
If I had to live my life over again, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
What you risk reveals what you value.
Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down.
Don’t be afraid to attempt something new. Remember, it was amateurs who built the ark. It was professionals who built the Titanic.
Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire within ourselves.
You cannot be lonely if you like the person you are alone with.
Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your handbrake on.
Increasing your self-esteem is easy. Simply do good things and remember that you did them.
That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.
In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
Winners have simply formed the habit of doing things losers don’t like to do.
Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory.
For every person who climbs the ladder of success, there are a dozen waiting for the elevator.
In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.
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.
You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts (and actions) take you.
Whatever the conscious mind thinks and believes, the subconscious identically creates.
Most of the mistakes in Thinking are inadequacies of perception rather than mistakes of logic.
Edward de Bono
What we think, we become.
Thought is action in rehearsal.
You don’t have to control your thoughts; you just have to stop letting them control you.
Thinking creates an image. Images control feelings. Feelings cause actions. Actions create results.
Leland Val Vandewall
If you don’t have a vision for the future, then your future is threatened to be a repeat of the past.
Throughout the centuries there were men who tool first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.
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.