Wisdom in few words: best motivational quotes

Throughout last couple of years I’ve been collecting my personal favorite quotations from various inspirational people in my Evernote. As a result I got quite a long list of sayings which I personally consider to be one of the smartest, wittiest, daring and positive at the same time.

Best smart, motivational, inspirational witty quotes/quotationsMoscow, 2008.

So, I thought why not to share them with you? Assuming I have a lot in common with my readers, you might enjoy them too. If you don’t then you might just skip the post and excuse me for wasting your time. Otherwise, here is the collection:

  • “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
  • “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.” ~ Mark Twain
  • “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” ~ Michelangelo Buonarroti
  • “Money is like gasoline during a road trip. You don’t want to run out of gas on your trip, but you’re not doing a tour of gas stations. You have to pay attention to money, but it shouldn’t be about the money.” ~ Tim O’Reilly
  • “Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.” ~ Frank Tyger

  • “In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away.“ ~ Shing Xiong
  • “We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.” ~ Albert Einstein
  • “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” ~ Albert Einstein
  • Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” ~ Albert Einstein
  • “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” ~ Albert Einstein
  • “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.” ~ Albert Einstein
  • “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” ~ Albert Einstein
  • “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” ~ Albert Einstein
  • “I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.” ~ Socrates
  • “People, who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~ Apple Inc.
  • “You got a dream, you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want something, go get it. Period.” ~ Pursuit of Happyness
  • “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom”. ~ Viktor Frankl
  • “Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you are right.” ~ Henry Ford
  • “Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” ~ Buddha
  • “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”  ~ Buddha
  • “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” ~ Elbert Hubbard
  • “I haven’t failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” ~ Thomas Edison
  • “But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” ~ Rocky Balbo
  • “Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your inner voice.” ~ Steve Jobs
  • “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” ~ Peter F. Drucker
  • “Interviews I conducted with more than 70 CEOs and other leaders point to 5 essentials for success — qualities that most of those C.E.O.’s share and look for in people they hire. They all shared five qualities: Passionate curiosity. Battle-hardened confidence. Team smarts. A simple mind-set. Fearlessness.” ~ New York Times
  • “Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team.” ~ Clayton Christensen
  • “Pause now to ask yourself the following question: “Am I dreaming or awake, right now?” Be serious, really try to answer the question to the best of your ability and be ready to justify your answer.” ~ Stephen Laberge
  • “It is not what we get. But who we become, what we contribute… that gives meaning to our lives.” ~ Anthony Robbins
  • “Those three things—autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward—are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.“ ~ Malcolm Gladwell
  • “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell
  • “One man has enthusiasm for 30 minutes, another for 30 days, but it is the man who has it for 30 years who makes a success of his life.” ~ Edward B. Butler
  • “A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” ~ Walter Gagehot
  • ”Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” ~ Oscar Wilde
  • “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” ~ Ayn Rand
  • “Three ingredients of luxury lifestyle design are time, income, and mobility.” ~ Tim Ferriss
  • “Doing the unrealistic is easier than doing the realistic.” ~ Tim Ferriss
  • The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?” ~ Tim Ferriss
  • “Tomorrow becomes never. No matter how small the task, take the first step now.” ~ Tim Ferriss
  • “The most important actions are never comfortable.” ~ Tim Ferriss
  • “Slow down and remember this: Most things make no difference.” ~ Tim Ferriss
  • “Lack of time is actually lack of priorities.” ~ Tim Ferriss
  • “It isn’t enough to think outside the box. Thinking is passive. Get used to acting outside the box.” ~ Tim Ferriss
  • “Being able to quit things that don’t work is integral to being a winner.” ~ Tim Ferriss
  • “Slowing down doesn’t mean accomplishing less; it means cutting out counterproductive distractions and the perception of being rushed.” ~ Tim Ferriss
  • “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” ~ Will Smith
  • “Avoid losers. If you hear someone use the words ‘impossible’, ‘never’, ‘too difficult’ too often, drop him or her from your social network.  ~ Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • “The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” ~ Nassim Taleb
  • “I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” ~ Ralph Nader
  • “So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it.” ~ Dale Carnegie
  • “People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.” ~ George Orwell
  • “Hard work is a prison sentence only if it does not have meaning. Once it does, it becomes the kind of thing that makes you grab your wife around the waist and dance a jig.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell
  • “The key to your happiness is to own your slippers, own who you are, own how you look, own your family, own the talents you have, and own the ones you don’t. If you keep saying your slippers aren’t yours, then you’ll die searching, you’ll die bitter, always feeling you were promised more. Not only our actions, but also our omissions, become our destiny.” ~ Abraham Verghese
  • “Envision, create & believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you.” ~ Tony Hsieh, Delivering Happiness
  • “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” ~ R. Buckminster Fuller
  • “It doesn’t matter how one was brought up. What determines the way one does anything is personal power.” ~ Carlos Castaneda
  • “Don’t Believe Everything You Think.” ~ Thomas Kida
  • “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt
  • “Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.” ~ Ayn Rand
  • “God, grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.”~ Reinhold Niebuhr
  • “Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.”~ Ayn Rand
  • “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they lead to actions. Watch your actions, they create habits. Watch your habits, they build your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” ~ Upanishads
  • “Think about what it feels like when you interact with someone who makes you notice what’s good about yourself (raising your status), who is clear with his expectations of you (increasing certainty), who lets you make decisions (increasing autonomy), who connects with you on a human level (increasing relatedness), and who treats you fairly.” ~ David Rock
  • “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” ~ Muhammad Ali
  • “Become one who is happy with that which you are and with that which you have – while at the same time being eager for more. That is the optimal creative vantage point. To stand on the brink of what is coming, feeling eager, optimistic anticipation – with no feeling of impatience, doubt, or unworthiness hindering the receiving of it.” ~ Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks.
  • “Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.” ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

I also wanted to include few things from The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (funny & sarcastic) as well as the text of If by Rudyard Kipling (idealistic & inspirational) and a Charlie Chaplin’s Declaration about Life on his 70th Birthday (wise & inspirational). I’m sure they totally deserve to be quoted in full. But I decided against it not to make this post too long. However, I strongly advise to take a couple of minutes and enjoy reading those if you haven’t before. Basically, that’s all I wanted to share, hope you enjoyed. Do you want to share anything of the similar kind? 😉


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  1. I couldn’t enter the link when I clicked it on the tweet, but I was curious so I looked at your profile and came to your website. Thanks for sharing all these great quotes.

  2. I loved “The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?” ~ Tim Ferriss

    Thank you for posting sooo many of them. 🙂

    “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” ~ Will Smith was also fascinating. I realized that I do this at times…

  3. “Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.” ~ Thomas H. Huxley

  4. You posted the Stephen Laberge quote about dreaming twice. Otherwise it’s a great list to get you thinking 🙂

  5. Love these quotes – Here is one you might love !It is not difficult to rebuild a life. It is enough to be aware we go on with the same strength we had before. And to use that in our favor. If you have a past that dissatisfies you, forget it now. Imagine a new story of your life, and belive in it. Concentrate only on those moments in which you achieved what you desired, and this strength will help you accomplish what you want.

  6. Great collection, love how a few spoken words can be so powerful and motivating. Here are a few of my favorites…

    “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service for others.” Ghandi
    “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss
    “Never allow someone else to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.” unknown
    “Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting their own battle.” Plato
    “There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

  7. Great post! “I am thankful for all those who have told me No. It is because of them that I did it myself” If you love inspirational stories, pictures, and news as much as I do, visit sunnyskyz.com!  There is a lot of good in this world happening every day that we never hear about, but you can find it there.

  8. “Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they lead to
    actions. Watch your actions, they create habits. Watch your habits, they
    build your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.” ~

    One of my all time favorite quotes.

  9. These are some great quotes.  I think more than anything, people should take a little time every day to get inspired.  Having a list of quotes like this is a great way to start.  Thanks for sharing!

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