101 Inspirational Quotes to Light Up Your Life

I love inspirational quotes.  Don’t you?

They have the power to inspire, guide, and bring entirely new insights.  The right quote can help you sail in a new direction, keep aligned with your focus, or transform a less than desirable habit.  Quotations can also be a perfect remedy for almost any emotional, mental, or spiritual woe, or at least an important part of your healing toolkit.

I’ve created a second collection of inspirational quotes to share with you today.  It’s a small way of expressing my appreciation for your readership and support.  They are arranged – more or less – in alphabetical order by author.

Please enjoy.  Let this bounty of wisdom infuse your life with joy and meaning, one moment at a time.

  • “It’s not what you call me, but what I answer to.”African proverb
  • “I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.”Louisa May Alcott
  • “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you’ll discover will be wonderful.  What you’ll discover is yourself.”  – Alan Alda
  • “There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.” – Maya Angelou
  • “We are repeatedly what we do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” -  Aristotle
  • “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.” - Marcus Aurelius
  • “Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’” – Marcus Aurelius
  • “Dig within. Within is the wellspring of good; and it is always ready to bubble up, if you just dig.” – Marcus Aurelius
  • “From the pine tree, learn of the pine tree; And from the bamboo, of the bamboo” – Basho
  • “All you need is love, love, love is all you need.” – The Beatles
  • “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you you’ve decided to look beyond imperfections.” – T. Bernard
  • “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.Charlotte Bronte
  • “Connection gives purpose and meaning to our lives.“ – Brene Brown
  • “Sometime, somewhere you take something to be the truth. But if you cling to it too strongly, then even when the truth comes in person and knocks on your door, you will not open it.” – Buddha
  • “Regardless of the shadows that cross the moon to make it appear less than it is, to the moon, it is always full. So it is with us.” – Buddha
  • “What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.” – Buddha
  • “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus
  • “Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.”  – Albert Camus
  • “We stand now where two roads diverge.  But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair.  The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster.  The other fork of the road—the one “less traveled by”—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.” – Rachel Carson

Summer Time for Inspirational Quotes

  • “If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.” – Pema Chodron
  • “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.”Agatha Christie
  • “It doesn’t really matter how fast you’re going if you’re heading in the wrong direction.” – Stephen Covey
  • “We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection. – Dalai Lama
  • “Happiness is not something ready made.” – Dalai Lama
  • “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.” – James Dean
  • “When we discover that the truth is already in us, we are all at once our original selves.” – Dogen
  • “The true opponent in a debate on emptiness is your own ego.” – Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
  • “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron
  • “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” – John Keating
  • “It’s never too late to be what you might have been” – George Eliot
  • “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.” – Epictetus
  • “What is to give light must endure the burning.” – Victor Frankl
  • “Diligence is the mother of good luck.” – Benjamin Franklin
  • “Don’t write because you want to say something, write because you have something to say.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • “Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts.” – Sigmund Freud

Japanese Flowering Cherry Tree - Inspiration

  • “People with clenched fists can not shake hands.” – Indira Gandhi
  • “The future depends on what we do in the present.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “To see the all-pervading Spirit of Truth, one must be able to love the meanest of all creation as oneself.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold or silver.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Prayer is not an old woman’s idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action.”  – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “A man is but the product of his thoughts, what he thinks, he becomes.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Things which mat­ter most must never be at the mercy of things which mat­ter least.” – Goethe
  • “Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” – Hafiz
  • “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Smile, breathe and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Only your compassion and your loving kindness are invincible, and without limit.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
  • “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Gustav Jung
  • “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” - Helen Keller
  • “When the mind goes beyond the thought of ‘the me,’ the experiencer, the observer, the thinker, then there is a possibility of a happiness that is incorruptible.”  – Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”Elizabeth Kübler-Ross
  • “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
  • “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao-Tzu
  • “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” – Lao Tzu

Apple Blossom

  • “If we could read the secret histories of our enemies we should find sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.” – Longfellow
  • “I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.“ – Golda Meir
  • “Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.” – Thomas Merton
  • “The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.” – Henry Miller
  • “The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven.”  – John Milton
  • “Never permit me to disgrace my high vocation by giving way to coldness, unkindness, or impatience.” – Mother Teresa
  • “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say but what we are unable to say.” – Anaïs Nin
  • “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” – Anais Nin
  • “Don’t let one cloud obliterate the whole sky.” – Anais Nin
  • “My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.” – Anais Nin
  • “I want to live my life, not record it.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
  • “Chance favors the prepared mind.“ – Louis Pasteur
  • ”Body on your seat, mind in your body, mind in relaxation.” – Patrul Rinpoche
  • “Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity.” – Plato
  • “Friendship with ones self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • “For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. And if you go to draw at the true fountainhead, the more water you draw, the more abundant is its flow.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • “There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.” – George Sand
  • “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
  • “We need 4 hugs a day for survival.  We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance.  We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”Virginia Satir
  • “In this complex world, the best way to survive is to be genuine.”  – Sogyal Rinpoche
  • “Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness.” – Sophocles
  • “Silent gratitude isn’t very much use to anyone.- Gertrude B. Stein

  • “Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy – because we will always want to have something else or something more.” – Brother David Steindl-Rast
  • “Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.” – Shunryu Suzuki
  • “Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.” – Sun Tzu
  • “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain
  • “Don’t get it right, just get it written.” – James Thurber
    “The best index to a person’s character is: a) how he treats people who can’t do him any good and b) how he treats people who can’t fight back.” – Abigail Van Buren
  • “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” - Alice Walker
  • “I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.” – Martha Washington
  • “Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.” – Alan Watts
  • “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” – Alan Watts
  • “The future is made of the same stuff as the present” – Simone Weil
  • “I believe we would be happier to have a personal revolution in our individual lives and go back to simpler living and more direct thinking. It is the simple things of life that make living worthwhile, the sweet fundamental things such as love and duty, work and rest, and living close to nature.” – Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • There are two ways of spreading light…To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it. – Edith Wharton
  • “There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” – Ben Williams
  • “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde
  • “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” – Oscar Wilde
  • “Learn to be calm and you will always be happy.”  – Yogananda
  • “You can tell how high a society is by how much of its garbage is recycled.” – Dhyani Ywahoo

Do you use inspirational quotes in your life?  Is there one from this collection that especially resonated for you?

You might also like my first collection 100 Inspirational Quotes to Celebrate 100 Blog Posts.

Thank you for reading and sharing!  If you enjoyed this article please subscribe for free updates by email.  With love, Sandra

53 thoughts on “101 Inspirational Quotes to Light Up Your Life

    • Hi Alex,

      I’ve been thinking about generosity lately and this was once small way for me to share. It brings me joy too. There are a few kindness quotes in there, which you might especially enjoy. I will love seeing some familiar quotes are your wonderful blog posts.

  1. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker
    I didn’t know that, but it struck a chord in me – it is so true! Another quote I like very much is
    “Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best”. Henry Van Dyke

    Thanks for gathering all these wonderful quotes together – bookmarked!

    • Cristina,

      That’s a very special quote from Henry Van Dyke. Thanks for sharing it here. I was struck by the Alice Walker quote too. Glad you enjoyed these!

  2. These are being printed as I type to be posted near my writing desk. The Alan Alda quote will appear in my next post on creativity.

    Thanks for your work on this, Sandra. Quotes like these are perfect to brighten and enlighten.

  3. Wow Sandra! These are all so good. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I like to write down quotes on sticky notes and place them around the house. They sometimes give me the smile I need. Thanks again Sandra!

  4. Hi Sandra,

    We could all use some inspirational quotes in our lives. I have always found them to be great reminders of the mindset I need to adopt to handle a challenge. In fact, I was writing an article on inspiration myself, but from a different perspective haha! Of all the lovely quotes you have put together, the following stand out for me.

    “We are repeatedly what we do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

    This quote reminds me that I can become good at anything as long as I practice hard at it.

    “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein
    “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein

    Lovely quotes by Einstein. I think simplicity is vital since we tend to overcomplicate our lives. Also, we should be clear about what is important and what is not. Life is too short to have a lack of clarity in these areas. All that is unimportant should be discarded to lighten the burdens we carry.

    “What is to give light must endure the burning.” – Victor Frankl

    One of my favourite quotes. It always reminds me why we have to endure the adversities we face in life.

    “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” – Lao Tzu

    I doubt anyone could sum it up better.

    Thank you for sharing this article! :)

    Irving the Vizier

    • Irving,

      Your perspective on simplicity resonates with me as well. Simplicity crosses into so many areas of our life, including simplicity of mind ~ letting be and giving mind a rest from over thinking.

      I too found the Lao Tzu quote special – simplicity, patience, and compassion, marvelous keywords for life.

      Thank you for your essential thoughts.

  5. Oh my this is big!

    “Most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquility. Ask yourself at every moment, ‘Is this necessary?’” – Marcus

    The key to all relationships!

    ◦“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you you’ve decided to look beyond imperfections.” – T. Bernard

    I’m practicing more of this…

    ◦“Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.” – Alan Watts

    Thanks so much for the link love. I love and appreciate you. xoxo

    • Tess,

      I wish I could remember to always ask myself “Is this necessary?” before I speak! It certainly takes practice but it is such a worthwhile endeavor.

      Being willing to look beyond the imperfections – and even to see the perfection in the imperfections – is a gift indeed.

      Thanks for your wonderful thoughts, Tess. Sending you love and appreciation right back.

  6. What a gift you’ve given to all of us! Thanks so much, Sandra.

    I like many of these, but I’ve never seen the one from Martha Washington and I will remember it happily.

    (“You can’t deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.” ~Stephen King)

    • Who knew that Martha Washington was so wise? Guess I need to bone up on my woman’s history.

      Glad you enjoyed these and thanks for sharing back with this great Stephen King quote.

  7. Quotes are wonderful shorthand for reminding us what matters.

    I did a 26 post series on SLTW ~ Aphorisms from A to Z, filled with my favorite quotes, adages, and aphorisms.

    I’ve also shared quotes for writers, and readers, and lovers of books.

    I often end my posts with quotes to ponder.

    Thanks for giving me a few new ones to add to my quote bank, Sandra.

    • I love the idea of inspirational “shorthand”, Nancy.

      Using the alphabet is a great way to inspire a post! I might need to try that one on!

      I will definitely be taking a walk around your quote banks.

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  9. I love (almost all of) these quotes. I collect them. I have hundreds. (Does anybody read Dutch?) These I will translate for us over here! Thank you.

  10. Pingback: Quotes, Quotes, and Quips « Spirit Lights The Way

  11. Sandra,
    What a wonderful set of quotes – so much wisdom on this page. Thank you for putting this together, and in that – sharing your spirit more deeply with us…

    Peace,
    Lance

  12. Thanks Sandra I enjoyed the quotes and I also read your article on chronic pain reduction and feel very inspired to manage my arthritis better through increasing exercise which at the moment is nil. I am also challenging myself to write a tip a day to help myself and others stay on a path to recovery and find your quotes an inspiration that I hope to pass onto others. Robyn

    • Welcome Robyn,

      I’m so happy your found the article on arthritis and exercise. I know it’s easy to let go of exercise. I hope exercise will help your pain. Increasing gradually is the secret. I’ve found that all types of food allergies and sensitivities can also increase arthritis. Not just the immediate type allergies but the delayed food sensitivities too. Good luck.

      Thanks for your efforts to help yourself and others stay on the path to recovery. A wonderful mission!

  13. Glad you loved this! That’s a good one for sure…if you can only make it through the first three stages. :) Thanks so much for the tweet and bookmark. I really appreciate it.

  14. Hi Sandra .. what an amazingly detailed set of quotes – wonderful …. “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” – Agatha Christie

    Then the two Dalai Lama ones:
    “We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection. – Dalai Lama
    “Happiness is not something ready made.” – Dalai Lama

    So true .. brilliant list – thank you – Hilary

    • Hi Hilary,

      Those are good ones indeed. The Agatha Christie one struck me in particular too. And the Dalai Lama is a special role model for me. I love being able to light up someone’s life with a little inspiration. All the best.

  15. WOW!! Sandra, This is an astounding resource and collection. I am bookmarking this one. AMAZING!!

    So many good ones here. My favorite is this one.

    ““You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” – Alan Alda

    That brought tears to my eyes dear Sandra. So so moving and timely for me. I just love the raw beauty and empowering nature of it.

    Thank you SO much.
    Much love to you,
    Robin

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  20. These are just all so wonderful! Thank you Sandra! I shall return to these often and carry them around like the proverbial jewel in my pocket.

    • Hi Edith,

      I’m so glad you are enjoying these quotes. I so amazed every time I read them. It’s nice to “hear” from you!

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    • Thanks for sharing your quotes page, Marci and this great resource. I’m always looking for the bet way to catalog my quotes so they are actually accessible. BE well!

  22. Hi There Alwayswellwithin,
    This question may be a little off-topic, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But to rejuvenate one’s life every day, an “inspirational quote” is the answer. These quotes are words of motivation and wisdom.
    Good Job!
    I may be disabled but I will never be Diss-Abled

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