Over the years I have collected quotes that I have found inspiring and motivating, and, in some cases, they’ve provided me a more enlightened perspective on life. Following are some of my favorites. I hope you find inspiration in them as well. (And sometimes I don’t always know the author of the quote. If you do, please email me and let me know. Thanks.)

“Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” – Mark Twain

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall at last unveil.”
– John Ruskin

“When one door closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
– Helen Keller

“Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another.”
– Elizabeth Cady Stanton

“If you can change your mind, you can change your life. What you believe creates the actual fact. The greatest revolution of my generation is the discovery that individuals, by changing their inner attitudes of mind, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”
– William James, 1897

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
– Mark Twain

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
– Will Rogers

“To strive for excellence is admirable. To strive for perfection is a character defect.”
-Tony O’Brien

“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

“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 failure. Keep Believing. Keep Trying. PERSISTENCE and DETERMINATION alone are omnipotent.”
– Calvin Coolidge

“Power is standing strongly in your own center and living from your heart.”

“The greatest good you can do another is not just share your riches, but to reveal him his own.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“A leader is one who… Has more faith in people than they do, and . . . who holds opportunities open long enough for their competence to re-emerge.”
– Margaret Wheatley

“We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success; we often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.”
– Samuel Smiles

“I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you look at it the right way, did not become still more complicated.”
– Poul Anderson

“We must assume our existence as broadly as we in any way can: Everything, even the unheard-of, must be possible in it. That is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us; To have courage for the most strange, the most singular, and The most inexplicable that we may encounter.

Only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, Not even the most enigmatical, will draw exhaustively from His or her own existence.”
– Maria Rilke, 1904

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
– Viktor E. Frankl, Nazi concentration camp survivor in “Man’s Search for Meaning”

“Goals create direction and pace; goals help us achieve a meaningful life that is directed in the course we choose for ourselves.” A study conducted
by Cornell University indicates that when we look back over our lives we regret actions and risks not taken far more than the mistakes – even the big ones – that we made. In a study of several hundred people of varying age groups, Thomas Gilovich, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Cornell, found that when we make decisions to do things and they go badly, we suffer intense pain, but for a brief period of time. “Then we begin to adapt to the situation,” he explains. “But when we don’t take the risk, we suffer the pain of inaction, and the regret is much longer lasting.”  The most common regrets?  The study showed that mother was right:  number one was not getting a good education, following closely by not “seizing the moment,” whether in romance or career. Perhaps we should all adopt the Nike slogan:  Just do it.

“Are you strong enough to handle critics?  It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcomings, who knows the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows in the end the high achievement of triumph and who at worst, if he fails while daring greatly, knows his place shall never be with those timid and cold souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

“In the end we can never be given knowledge by others; we can only be stimulated. We must develop our own knowledge.”
– Charles T. Tart

“As we grow in maturity and wisdom, we learn that although we cannot choose what life will deliver to us we can choose how we will respond. As we begin to live our lives more consciously – going back and sifting through the events that helped shape our lives, examining how and why different emotions are triggered in our hearts – we can begin to build an entirely new framework for who we want to be, instead of simply accepting who we ended up being. Through this deep understanding of the events that have influenced our lives, of the values we hold most dear, and of the things we need to be happy, we can begin the exciting process of taking control of our lives. From that solid foundation, we can act freely and fearlessly, knowing that our actions will reflect our being out in the world.”
– From the editors of Random Acts of Kindness

“It isn’t the thing you do, dear, it’s the thing you leave undone which gives you a bit of heartache at the setting at the setting of the sun.”
– Margaret E. Sangster

“Aspirations are the greatest predictor of results.”
– Carl Larson

“The forest is a quiet place if only the best birds sing.”
– Kay Johnson

“All we are given is possibilities – to make of ourselves one thing or another.”
– Jose Ortega y Gasset

“We will be better & braver if we engage & inquire than if we indulge in the idle fancy that we already know.”
– Plato

“The fastest way to succeed is to double your failure rate.”
– Thomas J. Watson

“Results?  Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.”
– Thomas Edison

“Error is only the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.”
– Henry Ford

“Most of my advances were by mistake. You uncover what is when you get rid of what isn’t.”
– Buckminster Fuller

“Your work is to discover your work, and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”
– Buddha

“When you feel like you don’t have time to relax or reflect on your life is EXACTLY when you gain the most from doing so!”
– Michael Arloski

“Temper is what gets most of us into trouble. Pride is what keeps us there.”

“Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
– Yoda, the Jedi Master, from Star Wars

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit, and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”
– Brian Dyson – CEO Coca Cola Enterprises

“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.”
– Friedrich Engels (1820-95)

“Anger is what happens when you don’t express your truth as it comes along.”

“At least half the troubles in life can be traced to saying yes too quickly and not saying no soon enough.”

“The greatest problem with communication is the illusion it’s been achieved.”

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of ones critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If I will calm myself my world will quiet down.”

“He who blows his top loses all his thinking matter.”

“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

“Learn to say ‘No’ — it will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin.
– Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Leadership is a concept we often resist. It seems immodest, even self-aggrandizing, to think of ourselves as leaders. But if it is true that we are part of a community, then leadership is everyone’s vocation, and it can be an evasion to insist that it is not. When we live in the close-knit ecosystem called community, everyone follows and everyone leads.”
– Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition
inspired, and success achieved.”
-Helen Keller

“Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.”
-Dale Carnegie

“I would never have amounted to anything were it not for adversity. I was forced to come up the hard way.”
-J.C. Penney

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.”
-Dale Carnegie

“Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.”
-Lou Holtz

“If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.”
-John D. Rockefeller

“One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”
-Andre’ Gide

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those who neither enjoy much or suffer much,
because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
-Theodore Roosevelt

“A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.”
– English Proverb

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”
– Wayne Gretzky, Pro Hockey Player

“A year from now you will wish you had started today.”
– Karen Lamb

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather to become a person of value.
– Albert Einstein

“The greatest crime in the world is not developing your potential. When you
do what you do best, you are helping not only yourself, but the world.”
– Roger Williams

“There has never been another you. With no effort on your part you were born to be something very special and set apart. What you are going to do in appreciation of that gift is a decision only you can make.”
– Dan Zadra

“You have to think anyway, so why not think big?”
– Donald Trump  (I can’t believe I’m using a quote from Donald Trump…)

“Leaders are pioneers. They are people who venture into unexplored territory. They guide us to new and often unfamiliar destinations. People who take the lead are the foot soldiers in the campaigns for change . . . The unique reason for having leaders – their differentiating function – is
to move us forward. Leaders get us going someplace.”
– Kouzes & Posner, 1987

“Well done is better than well said.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“If we study the lives of great men and women carefully and unemotionally we find that, invariably, greatness was developed, tested and revealed
through the darker periods of their lives. One of the largest tributaries of the RIVER OF GREATNESS is always the STREAM OF ADVERSITY.”
– Cavett Robert 1908-1997

“Doing what you like is freedom. Liking what you do is happiness.”
– Seen on Poster

“Leaders attract the voluntary commitment of followers, energize them, and transform organizations into new entities with greater potential for
survival, growth and excellence. Effective leadership empowers an organization to maximize its contribution to the well-being of its
members and the larger society of which it is a part.”
– Burt Nanus

“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.”
– Robert Schuller

“Nothing splendid was ever created in cold blood. Heat is required to forge anything. Every great accomplishment is the story of a flaming heart.”
– Arnold Glasow

“Have the courage to say no.
Have the courage to face the truth.
Do the right thing because it is right.
These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.”
– W. Clement Stone

“Love cures people–both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.”
– Dr. Carl Menninger

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit
of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”
– Woodrow Wilson

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“High expectations are the key to everything.”
– Sam Walton, Founder of WAL-MART

“Achievement is always preceded by spectacular preparation.”
– Robert Schuller

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’
Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’
Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’
But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’
There comes a time when one must take
a position that is neither safe, nor politic,
nor popular, but one must take it because
one’s conscience tells one that it is right.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works.
You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it.
Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.”
– Tom Peters

“If I had thought about it, I wouldn’t have done the experiment.
The literature was full of examples that said you can’t do this.”
– Spencer Silver, Inventor of Post-It Notes

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an
uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”
– Helen Keller

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family:  Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
– Jane Howard

“To every person there comes that special moment when they are tapped on the should to do a very special thing unique to them. What a tragedy if
that moment finds them unprepared for the work that would be their
finest hour.”
– Winston Churchill

“Don’t give up at half time. Concentrate on winning the second half.”
– Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant

“It is in quiet that our best ideas occur to us. Don’t make the mistake of
believing that by a frantic kind of dashing around you are being your
most effective and efficient self.   Don’t assume that you are wasting
time when you take time out for thought.”
– Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone

“In a recent survey, 73 percent of Americans described their lives as ‘very busy’ or ‘insanely busy.'”
– Wired Magazine

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo,
Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
– H. Jackson Brown

“An unfulfilled vocation drains the colour from a person’s entire existence.”
– Balzac

“Yes, risk taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise, it would be called sure-thing-taking.”
– Tim McMahon

“Change favors the prepared mind.”
– Louis Pasteur

“Pay no attention to what the critics say; no statue has ever been erected to a critic.”
– Jean Sibelius

“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 harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.”
– Mark Twain

“It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters in the end.”
– Ursula K. LeGuin

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purposed recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
– George Bernard Shaw

“At the point of commitment, the universe conspires to support you.”