I’m addicted to sayings and quotes. They are inspiring, motivating and they have the power to provoke new thought. They have the power to break down old beliefs and inject wisdom into your life.
I’ve always gained inspiration from quotes and sayings, which is why I’ve decided to gather some of my favorite ones into this post. Each comes with an elaboration from me.
The meanings will probably not be the same for you as they are for me, so use whatever I say however you like. I can only share my own experience. After that it is up to you.
1. “Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose.” – Tom Krause
There are no guarantees in life. Even the false security of having a house, a family and money in the bank will pass.
2. “The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.” – Sven Goran Eriksson
We all fear failure. It’s a learned habit. It is said that the only fears we are born with are the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises, the rest is learned. There’s nothing wrong with failure. In fact, if you never fail, you will never grow.
3. “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” – John Maxwell
I couldn’t agree more with this. The more comfortable I get with being uncomfortable, the faster I grow. When you’re moving forward and making progress, you will feel uncomfortable, and that’s okay.
4. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
We grow up with the idea that we have to look for others for answers. Instead of seeking approval, look inside of yourself and feel what is right. We are all unique, therefore we are all on our own path. No one can tell you exactly what to do, because their destination is different from yours.
5. “They can’t hurt you unless you let them.” – Unknown
When I read this, I think about our imagination and our fears. Almost all of us are suffering without a cause. The fear of fear is worse than fear itself. You’ve probably heard it many times, but that’s because it’s true.
The bottom line is that you can overcome your fears and live the life of your dreams.
6. “The key to change… is to let go of fear.” – Rosanne Cash
The more you can let go of fear, the faster you will grow. I’m not talking about eliminating fear or being fearless. When I think about letting go of fear, I think about acknowledging it and letting it be there. There’s nothing wrong with being afraid.
7. “If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” – Win Borden
I’ve gotten many e-mails from people asking me for advice. The common thread that runs through them all is that they want to make sure they’re doing it right. My answer is always the same: you have to try, fail and try again. There are no guarantees. There is only the path.
8. “Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” – Raymond Lindquist
What is familiar is comfortable. Even though the familiar might be worse than the unfamiliar, we still tend to hold on to it, because going into the unknown is uncomfortable. Having the courage to go into the unfamiliar can be tough, but not impossible. It requires a shift in perspective. Become curious. Become an explorer of life. This is an adventure.
9. “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
This is another good take on courage. What we have to remember is that definitions and perspectives are constantly in flux. There are no absolutes. Courage for me isn’t the same as courage for you, which is why, in the end, you have to trust yourself.
10. “There is far more opportunity than there is ability. “ – Thomas A. Edison
Most people are afraid to take action. Sure, they have ideas, but they don’t do anything about it. It’s scary to go down that path, which is why so few do. In the end, you have to determine what kind of life you want to live: one of mediocrity, or one of greatness?
If you have trouble procrastinating and taking action, I recommend you check out The Now Habit by Neil Fiore.
11. “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean
Dreams are important, but they do not come to fruition if you do not take action. Don’t procrastinate. Start living the life you want to live today. There is always a step you can take. There is always something you can do.
12. “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – Unknown
If you never start, you will never get anywhere. If you want to find your passion, it starts with trying. You will fail, you will make mistakes, but that’s a part of the journey.
If you’re like most people, you don’t know how to even begin living a passionate life. That’s normal, and there’s a way out. You may want to check out my premium course on that, Passionate Living, where I share my story of how I went from miserable to doing what I love.
13. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Brian Littrell
I’ve found that going after my goals rigidly only makes me unhappy. I now make goals, but I am flexible about them. I am open to new possibilities. Having a goal is essential, but use it as a guideline and not as something you have to reach.
14. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
Everything that you see around you will pass. Whatever success you may achieve will pass. Whatever failure you may run into will also pass. Depression comes and goes. Doesn’t that make you wonder if life is more than chasing success and avoiding failure?
15. “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar
Following your passion isn’t effortless. I know many who think it should be, which is another obstacle holding them back from taking action. This is not a walk in the park. It’s a path of rapid growth. It contains both joy and fear. But you can change your life.
16. “Never, never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill
Whatever you do—keep going. When I started playing poker professionally at the age of 18, I knew I was going to succeed. I was prepared to do anything. I knew that others were making money playing poker, so I thought “if they can, so can I.”
17. “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” – Abraham Lincoln
You determine your happiness. There are several studies out there that show that even if you win the lottery, your state of happiness will return to its previous level in about a year. What happens outside of you is of little importance, as long as you have the basic necessities.
18. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn
Motivation ebbs and flows. When I started blogging, the first few months were easy, but then I started bumping into periods of low energy. Habit and a focus on helping people is what kept me going. I constantly reminded myself that this was what I wanted to do.
And remember, you probably don’t know what motivates you. If you want to dive deeper, check out the book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink.
19. “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer
You are responsible for how you feel. You can blame external things if you want to, but it will never change how things are. It is only when you accept your own responsibility that you can take action.
20. “There’s always a way – if you’re committed.” – Tony Robbins
If you’re passionate enough and if you care enough, you will overcome any obstacles. Excuses will be a thing of the past, but if you’re not determined, you will let the smallest excuse hold you back. It’s time to Awaken the Giant Within.
21. “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” – Confucius
If you’ve been trying to make your passion a reality, do not quit. If something doesn’t work, all you have to do is change your approach. Look at people who are already doing what you want to do, and learn from them. Set your goals high and achieve them.
22. “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney
Everything that has been invented has at one time or another been thought of as impossible. Don’t let other people hold you down when it comes to going after your dreams. Trust your heart and follow your highest excitement.
23. “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” – Benjamin Spock
I know you may doubt yourself when it comes to following to your heart, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. The sooner you embrace an attitude of curiosity, the sooner you will start trusting yourself. So what if you make mistakes? Who cares?
24. “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
The people that can do the things they think they cannot do are the ones who succeed. Following your passion and living your purpose is not always easy.
25. “Action will remove the doubt that theory cannot solve.” – Petryl Hsieh
You can spend your whole life thinking and theorizing, but it is only through action that you gain clarity. I’ve noticed that theory can only take me so far. When I actually start taking action, things are much different than in theory.
26. “Using no way as a way, using no limitation as limitation.” – Bruce Lee
Sometimes you have to be the pioneer. The only limitations you have are the ones you impose on yourself.
27. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius
If you want a better, happier life, all you have to do is get started. It doesn’t matter if you believe yourself to be a slow learner, because if you never start, you never get anywhere. It’s better to start than to live a life of regret.
28. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius
This is an excellent follow up to #27. You can try to learn as much as you want, but if you do not take action, you won’t get any results. You cannot know everything before you start, so don’t even try. Just begin and expect mistakes. Learn from them and keep going.
29. “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” – Buddha
It can take a while to find your passion, but when you do find it, it’s your duty to give it your all. It’s not enough to find your passion; it takes hard work to make it a reality.
If you need help finding your passion, I recommend you check out my book, Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself. Unlike other books on the subject, it’ll help you dive into your inner wisdom, and uncover what’s already under your nose.
30. “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson
Dwelling on past mistakes does you no good. You can change everything today if you want to, or you can keep living the life you’ve always lived. It’s up to you, but remember this: every moment is an opportunity to change your life.
31. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” – Buddha
Your thought patterns and beliefs determine your life. If you are not happy with where you are, take a look at what beliefs are holding you back from having the life you want.
32. “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” – Aristotle
Find your passion and purpose in life. Love what you do and the end result will reflect it. If you do the work with joy, you will have no trouble perfecting every detail.
33. “God helps those who help themselves.” – Benjamin Franklin
This is an excellent way of saying that once you start taking action, the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place. I’ve experienced this first-hand. It wasn’t until I showed the universe I was serious that I started getting “lucky”.
34. “That some achieve great success is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” – Abraham Lincoln
You can do what you love. There are people just like you, doing what you want to do. I may have different strengths than you, but in the end that doesn’t matter. If I am more tech-savvy than you doesn’t matter. We all have to find our own path.
35. “A jug fills drop by drop.” – Buddha
You do not need a crystal ball. Knowing what steps to take makes life boring. Take life one day at a time. Enjoy the surprises life throws at you.
36. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Don’t look at successful people and feel like you are not enough. You are comparing yourself to someone who has worked hard at perfecting his craft. All you can do is start. If you want to get good at something, go do it.
37. “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” – Bruce Lee
Keep an open mind when you are following your passion. There will be surprises and obstacles on your path. What impact they have is determined by you. You have the ability to choose if they are positive or negative. Be flexible. Be like bamboo, and you will lead a successful life.
38. “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” – Bruce Lee
What your goal is doesn’t matter, as long as it is something that inspires you to take action. There are is no reason to be overly serious about what you do. Think back to your childhood years and your playfulness. Emulate it and your life becomes effortless.
39. “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.” – Chinese Proverb
In order for you to be successful, you will have to go through trials. You will make mistakes, you will screw up and you will be scared. It’s a part of life, so stop running away from it and start running towards it.
40. “Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was.” – Robert Louis Stevenson
It’s easy to look at someone who’s already rocking it when you yourself haven’t even gotten started. It’s easy to forget that the one you admire has been where you are. It’s easy to forget, so remind yourself of the fact that we are all the same, and if that is true, you can do this as well, even if you doubt yourself.
41. “Fall seven times, Stand up eight.” – Japanese Proverb
The most successful people are the most persistent. When I began my journey with making my passion a reality, I didn’t succeed right away. I spent years and thousands of dollars trying to learn. I didn’t give up, which is why I am here today.
42. “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” – Tony Robbins
Take action. Take Action. Take action. I can’t say it enough. If you want something, you have to take action. Plan, learn and absorb as much as you want, but without action, you will never get to where you want to be.
43. “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. “ – Thomas A. Edison
This is another good saying illustrating the importance of action. How many ideas you have doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that you take action!
44. “When the solution is simple, God is answering.” – Albert Einstein
The human mind has a funny tendency of trying to make everything complex. It takes effort to keep things simple. The more stuff you can eliminate from your plate, the more you get done. Focus on simplicity. A great book on the same vein is Conversations with God Vol.1.
45. “Know thyself.” – Plato
We are all different. You have to find how you work and what makes you happy. Stop looking at others for answers and find your own. It takes time, but there’s no rush anywhere. Enjoy the process, because that’s what life is about.
46. “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu
If you’re unhappy, you can’t expect something or someone outside of yourself to fix it. You are the only one responsible for your life. If you want to change and start living with passion, you are the one that has to act.
47. “Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?” – Confucius
There is so much war going on in the world. We need to start treating each other with respect. We are the same species. We are brothers and sisters living on the same planet. We are in this together. Everything that separates us from each other should be reconsidered.
48. “Only the shallow know themselves.” – Oscar Wilde
There is always more you can learn about yourself. Personal development is a never-ending journey. Once you think you know what you’re all about, life will throw a curve-ball at you and you’ll discover new, subtle facets.
49. “Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast.” – William Shakespeare
Take it easy. Once you’ve rushed enough in your life, you will realize that there is nowhere to go. The need to go fast comes from a feeling of lack. This feeling can only be remedied from where it originates—the inside.
50. “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” – Abraham Lincoln
This should be the religion of all people on earth. What good is a religion if it separates us? Who cares if your god is better than mine if all it leads to is hatred and war? It’s time to sit down and think about what we’re doing.
51. “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha
You may think that being successful or having something will make you happy, but do you really believe that? Once you have strived enough, you may start questioning what society has taught you. We do need the basics, but no more. If you want to be happy and at peace, look inward.
52. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
Do not overanalyze. Err on the side of taking too much action, rather than thinking too much. Most people are thinkers, because it is easy, but few are doers. It’s hard, frustrating and sometimes painful, but it works.
53. “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” – Thomas Jefferson
You have to beat this point into your head: take action, and do it now! The stars will never align. Circumstances will never be perfect. The sooner you get started, the better off you will be. You will have to make mistakes, because it is the only way.
54. “Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” – Bruce Lee
The human mind wants to complicate. It takes awareness to keep things simple. It is only when you embrace simplicity that you start to realize how much you are capable of.
Another great book on this, by a friend of mine, is Simplicity. It’s a very short kindle book, but definitely worth the read.
55. “Be Content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu
You already have everything you need. Be grateful for the things you already have. It’s easy to get caught up in the drama of life. Focusing on negativity is easy, but focusing on the positive is what makes a difference and spurs you into action.
56. “The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.” – Confucius
Instead of telling people what to do, go and do it first and then speak. I have had more than a few people tell me that they were going to do something, and they never did. It doesn’t leave a good impression.
57. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw
Always maintain the beginner’s mind. Whenever you think you’ve got it, you’re mistaken. You are never too old to play. You are never too old to have fun. It all comes down to your perspective.
58. “We acquire the strength we have overcome.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you face your fears, you grow stronger. Each time you do something you’re afraid of, it becomes easier. This has been true in my life, so I have no doubt that the same will be true for you. When you start out, it’s hard, but it gets easier. Trust me.
59. “Every choice you make has an end result.” – Zig Ziglar
Be aware of the actions you take and the consequences they have. It’s easy to act in haste. It’s easy to do selfish things. They may look good in the short-term, but in the long-term you’ll be digging your own grave. The same goes for going after your passion. It may be hard in the short-term, but it is more than worth it.
60. “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
When Michael Jordan was a kid, he was horrible at basketball, but he kept failing, practicing and trying, which is why he became great. If you want to make something happen in your life, you have to start failing, trying and moving forward.
61. “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” – Unknown
Everything around you and inside you is constantly changing. The people that resist this process are the ones constantly whining and complaining. They are in constant internal agony. Keep going, be curious, ask the right questions and remember to breathe.
62. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
There is no rush anywhere. The perfection of life lies in the ability to accept the perceived imperfection. This is why I recommend you find your passion, because life is a process that never ends. If you find something you love doing, you will be at peace. If you strive for a big payday, you will be striving even when you hit your goal.
63. “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu
Have plans, but do not be rigid. Be present and focus on each task. Thinking about an end goal will cause stress, because your mind is focusing on the future, on lack, instead of focusing on what’s in front of you.
64. “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” – Confucius
This is such a simple quote, yet so powerful. If everyone lived by this, the world would be a better place. Treat others with respect and kindness, because that is how you would like to be treated, right?
65. “One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” – Unknown
One day you will die. Why not make your life worth it? Every fear you have will disappear. They only exist because you have given credence to them. They exist because you allow them to.
66. “Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason” – Jerry Seinfeld
You don’t have to re-invent the wheel if you’re starting something new. It’s perfectly okay to learn from someone who’s already been where you want to be.
67. “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other” – Abraham Lincoln
You determine your success. No tools, strategies or courses can do it for you. If someone has resolution, but bad tools, he will succeed. But it someone has poor resolution and the best tools in the world, I certainly wouldn’t bet on him or her.
68. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Plato
We’re all going through this journey together, and we all have our own problems. Remember to be kind. Remember others, because you are not the only one that has problems. Focus your energy on being kind and helping. You will see a difference in your life.
69. “People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.” – Romana L. Anderson
There is nowhere to go. There is nowhere you have to be. Happiness comes from within and looking for it outside of yourself will only lead you deeper down the rabbit hole.
Read the Power of Now for more on this. It’s one of my absolute favorite books.
It changed my life. And I don’t say that lightly.
70. “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” – Muhammed Ali
You have to be willing to take risks. I’m not talking about going for broke with a slim chance of success. I am talking about jumping into the unknown and going after the things that excite you, even if you are afraid.
71. “Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.” – Napoleon Hill
Take whatever you’re procrastinating on and do it right now. Get into the habit of using your awareness of procrastination as a trigger to take action. When you make it a habit, you are no longer slave to that which we call procrastination.
72. “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein
Time is an interesting beast, because it is relative. Put your hand on a stove and time moves slowly. Watch an excellent movie with someone you love and time flies by.
73. “Beware the barrenness of a busy life. “ – Socrates
You can do a lot of busy work. Actually doing the work is when you get results, but it’s hard and we tend to procrastinate a lot. If you’re just going to be busy, you might as well do something else. Do something that matters or nothing at all.
74. “Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste. “ – Benjamin Franklin
Remind yourself to be present with whatever you are doing. Keep your focus on one thing. Avoid multi-tasking. It doesn’t allow you to get into the flow and dip your soul into the eternal nature of all that is.
75. “Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time.” – T.S. Elliot
There is nothing wrong with wasting time. I tend to force myself to work, so I’ve had to learn that wasting some time and having fun isn’t a deadly sin. It’s essential to a happy life.
76. “Don’t let the past steal your present” – Cherralea Morgen
We all dwell on the past too much. I know I do. Don’t let your past determine your future. Focus on what you want to do, and go do it. Release the past and step into your potential. Remember who you really are.
77. “Time spent laughing is time spent with the gods.” – Japanese Proverb
Last, but not least, remember to enjoy your life. Remember to be grateful for the little things. Remember to be kind to the people around you and remember to follow your heart. And of course, remember to read inspiring quotes on a daily basis!
To me, life comes down to doing what you love and living a life that makes you grateful to be alive.
For me it all started with finding my passion and then relentlessly making it a reality.
It took time, I made mistakes, and I wasted a lot of money, but today I get paid to do what I love.
It sounds cliché, but it’s true.