Motivational Quotes: 100 Inspiring Quotes to Start Your Day

Motivational quotes to inspire you

What is it about motivational quotes that make them so endearing? Every driven person eventually figures out that there's a whole lot of feel-good time wasters out there that consume our attention because they feel like work, and browsing endless lists of motivational quotes is no exception. And yet, there's hidden value in finding a concise expression that perfectly captures one of our own beliefs.

Quotes often feel like our own opinions making a return visit, just heightened by someone with writing talent. And the right quote at the right time can change things—words matter, and motivating phrases can encourage us to get up, take action, ditch the excuses, escape our comfort zone, and do the hard work that needs doing.

Even genuinely successful people show some reverence to a favorite inspirational quote or two—to get through hard times, to remember an important personal principle, or even just to get ready to face the day. In business and life, quotes are short bits of wit and wisdom that are easy to revisit when we need them.

That said, here are a few of our favorite quotes from a wide variety of sources. We hope you find a few you like and can revisit often.

Motivational quotes to start your day

  1. “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” —Zig Ziglar
  2. “Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.” —Pablo Picasso
  3. “Don't settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave all you had.” —Angela Bassett
  4. “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.” —Isabel Allende
  5. “Don't bunt. Aim out of the ballpark. Aim for the company of immortals.” ―David Ogilvy
  6. “I have stood on a mountain of no’s for one yes.” —Barbara Elaine Smith
  7. “If you believe something needs to exist, if it's something you want to use yourself, don't let anyone ever stop you from doing it.” —Tobias Lütke

The best motivational quotes to inspire action

8. “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice.” ―Octavia Butler

9. “The best way out is always through.” ―Robert Frost

10. “The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself—the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us—that's where it's at." —Jesse Owens

11. “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” —Frederick Douglass

12. “Someone will declare, “I am the leader!” and expect everyone to get in line and follow him or her to the gates of heaven or hell. My experience is that it doesn’t happen that way. Others follow you based on the quality of your actions rather than the magnitude of your declarations.” ―Bill Walsh

13. “Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it by use.” —Ruth Gordo

14. “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” —Dale Carnegie

15. “Relentlessly prune bullshit, don't wait to do things that matter, and savor the time you have. That's what you do when life is short.” —Paul Graham

16. "More is lost by indecision than wrong decision.” —Marcus Tullius Cicero

17. "If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever." —Thomas Aquinas

18. "You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches." —Dita Von Teese

19. “Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.” ―Cormac McCarthy

20. "Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." —Calvin Coolidge

21. “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” ―Arthur C. Clarke

22. "Worry is a misuse of imagination." —Unknown

23. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.” ―Maya Angelou

24. "I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now." —Edna Mode

25. "A year from now you will wish you had started today." —Unknown

26. "The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel." —Steve Furtick

27. "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” —Carl Sagan

28. “Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” —Drew Houston

29. “You carry the passport to your own happiness.” —Diane von Furstenberg

30. “Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart.” —Drake

31. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” —Amelia Earhart

32. “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.” —Lucille Ball

33. “I will not lose, for even in defeat, there’s a valuable lesson learned, so it evens up for me.” —Jay-Z

34. “I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.” —Arianna Huffington

35. “If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” —Erica Jong

36. “I think it’s intoxicating when somebody is so unapologetically who they are.” —Don Cheadle

37. “You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe.” —Leymah Gbowee

38. “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.” —Dolly Parton

39. “If it makes you nervous, you’re doing it right.” —Childish Gambino

40. “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall

41. “I choose to make the rest of my life the best of my life.” —Louise Hay

42. “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” —Coco Chanel

43. “Anything can make me stop and look and wonder, and sometimes learn.” —Kurt Vonnegut

44. “People's passion and desire for authenticity is strong.” —Constance Wu

45. “A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.” —Sonia Sotomayor

46. “Doubt is a killer. You just have to know who you are and what you stand for.” —Jennifer Lopez

47. “There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” —Mister Rogers

48 “No one changes the world who isn’t obsessed.” —Billie Jean King

49. “I learned a long time ago that there is something worse than missing the goal, and that’s not pulling the trigger.” —Mia Hamm

50. “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” —Michael Jordan

51. “It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.” —Charlie Munger

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52. “You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.” —Tina Fey

53. “When I believe in something, I’m like a dog with a bone.” —Melissa McCarthy

54. “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” —Anaïs Nin

55. “The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept.” —David Hurley

56. “I've searched all the parks in all the cities and found no statues of committees.” —Gilbert K. Chesterton

57. “Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.” —Steve Jobs

58. “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” ―Winston Churchill

59. “Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” ―Theodore Roosevelt

60. “Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.” ―Eleanor Roosevelt

61. “Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” —Vince Lombardi

62. “Get a good idea and stay with it. Dog it, and work at it until it’s done right.” —Walt Disney

63. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” —Helen Keller

64. “Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it… Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again.” —Steve Jobs

65. “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” —Albert Einstein

66. “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

67. “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” —Mark Twain

68. “If you can't yet do great things, do small things in a great way.” ―Napoleon Hill

69. “If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.” ―Jim Rohn

70. “Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.” —Augustine Og Mandino

71. “Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” —John Wooden

72. “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” ―Abraham Lincoln

73. “Live out of your imagination, not your history.” —Stephen Covey

74. “Do not wait for the perfect time and place to enter, for you are already onstage.” —Unknown

75. “The greater the difficulty, the more the glory in surmounting it.” ―Epicurus

76. Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is a quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." —Mary Anne Radmacher

77. “If the decisions you make about where you invest your blood, sweat, and tears are not consistent with the person you aspire to be, you’ll never become that person.” ―Clayton M. Christensen

78. ““Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.” —Laird Hamilton

78. “It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.” —Lucius Annaeus Seneca

79. “For the great doesn’t happen through impulse alone, and is a succession of little things that are brought together.” —Vincent van Gogh

80. “If we take care of the moments, the years will take care of themselves.” —Maria Edgeworth

81. “Resilience is when you address uncertainty with flexibility.” —Unknown

82. “Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect.” —Raymond Joseph Teller

83. “It’s not the will to win that matters—everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” —Paul Bryant

83. “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” —Henry David Thoreau

84. “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” —Earl Nightingale

85. “You’ll find that education is just about the only thing lying around loose in this world, and it’s about the only thing a fellow can have as much of as he’s willing to haul away.” —John Graham

86. “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.” ―Vernon Sanders Law

87. “I never dreamed about success. I worked for it.” —Estée Lauder

88. “To know how much there is to know is the beginning of learning to live.” —Dorothy West

89. “Don't look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.” ―Anne Lamott

90. “Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” —Warren Buffet

91. “True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.” ―Mortimer J. Adler

92. “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” ―A.A. Milne

93. “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” ―Martha Graham

94. “Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get.” ―W. P. Kinsella

95. “Small is not just a stepping-stone. Small is a great destination itself.” ―Jason Fried

96. “He that can have patience can have what he will.” ―Benjamin Franklin

97. “The only one who can tell you “you can’t win” is you and you don’t have to listen.” —Jessica Ennis

98. "You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind. To begin, begin." ―Gordon B. Hinckley

99. “Set your goals high, and don’t stop till you get there.” —Bo Jackson

100. “Take your victories, whatever they may be, cherish them, use them, but don’t settle for them.” —Mia Hamm

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