Have there been times in your life when inspirational quotes provided the motivational boost you needed to keep going?
Words have power.
When life gets tough, sometimes all we need is to hear a few uplifting words. And when life brings great joy, we want to inspire others with positive messages.
As Robin Williams once said,
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
It Will Get Better strives to help you find the most inspiring quotes. Click on any link to find more quotes on a particular topic or category of inspirational quotes.
From quotes about hard times to quotes about new beginnings, we’ve compiled words of wisdom on just about any subject, including: fitness quotes, family quotes, quotes for women, quotes for work, quotes about change, quotes about life and struggles, quotes about success, quotes about inspiration, love quotes, sports quotes, spiritual quotes, even quotes about death and quotes about God.
You’ll also find famous inspirational quotes and the best motivational sayings for special occasions and holidays, from birthday quotes, wedding quotes and New Year’s quotes to Mother’s Day quotes and Father’s Day quotes.
Use the below table of contents to skip to the quote topic that interests you most, or scroll through to enjoy the variety of quotes included here.
Table of Contents
1. 43 All-Time Best Inspirational Quotes About Life
2. Most Popular Categories of Inspirational Quotes (with New Quotes)
3. Daily Inspirational Quotes for Every Day of the Week
4. How Inspirational Quotes Can Change Your Life
5. Why Inspiration Matters
6. Scientific Evidence of the Benefits of Daily Inspirational Quotes
7. Trends in Inspirational Quotes
8. The Power of Daily Inspirational Quotes
Many people find that reading daily inspirational quotes helps brighten their lives, tap into new insights, or even get through a rough day.
Whether you are dealing with work stress, deadlines, financial struggles, family or relationship challenges, or you need extra encouragement to reach a goal, we hope you’ll find motivation in these famous sayings.
Some of the best inspirational quotes for life have to do with following your dreams, even if they seem far-fetched and unachievable when you start out.
1. “When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go.” ― Carol Burnett
2. “Follow your bliss and the world will open doors where there were only walls.” ― Joseph Campbell
3. “The only way to discover the limit of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” ― Arthur C. Clarke
4. “Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you will still be among the stars.” ― Les Brown
The underlying message is clear: Picture how you want your life to be and focus your energy toward creating that reality for yourself. You deserve it!
On the other hand, positive thoughts aren’t enough, and dreaming alone won’t get you far in life. Success is a matter of habit ― by taking specific action, you can create the right frame of mind to succeed.
The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow. These inspirational life quotes show that it takes focus, planning, action, and persistence to turn your dreams into reality.
5. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” ― Jim Rohn
6. “Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love.” ― Bradley Whitford
7. “If what you are doing is not moving you toward your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals.” — Brian Tracy
8. “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”
― Anthony Robbins
The starting point of all achievement is desire. Strengthen your desire, and commit yourself daily to doing whatever it takes. You can’t wait until the time is “just right” to change your life. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. Great things come to those who DO!
9. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ― Lao Tzu
10. “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” ― Mark Twain
11. “Do not wait to stroke till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” ― William Butler Yeats
12. “Don’t worry about failures. Worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.” ― Jack Canfield
Of course, you also have to have confidence in your ability to achieve your goals and create the life you want. The voice inside your head that says you can’t reach your goals is a liar, and quieting that voice is essential to making your dreams a reality. That’s why so many daily quotes to live by focus on believing in yourself.
13. “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
14. “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.” – Henry Ford
15. “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
16. “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” ― Helen Keller
Making dreams come true isn’t easy. Nothing in life that’s worth doing ever is! There will always be challenges and obstacles. Accept them, and have confidence that with each day, you will grow stronger and move one step closer to the life you want.
These positive messages remind us that that challenge is a gift. Challenges show us how strong we really are and force us to tap into a strength we never knew we had.
17. “Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.” ― Alfred A. Montapert
18. “Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.” ― Norman Vincent Peale
19. “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” ― Henry Ford
20. “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.” ― William Arthur Ward
When you know what you want and you want it badly enough, you will find a way to get it. Challenges push you to discover your own power to overcome. You are a force of nature, the master of your own destiny, and too strong to let anything hold you back from creating the life you want.
21. “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” ― Sir Edmund Hillary
22. “Our greatest battles are that with our own minds.” ― Jameson Frank
23. “Put all excuses aside and remember this: YOU are capable.” – Zig Ziglar
24. “Either I will find a way, or I will make one.” ― Phillip Sidney
You’ll have to face your fears to get what you truly want in life. These inspirational quotes remind us that fear is the starting point of courage.
25. “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” ― Pope John XXIII
26. “Don’t do what you want. Do what you don’t want. Do what you’re trained not to want. Do the things that scare you the most.” ― Chuck Palahniuk
27. “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” ― Unknown
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! These inspirational quotes unveil an uplifting thought ― that “failures” are opportunities to learn and are necessary steps on the road to success. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been knocked down as long as you get back up again.
28. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
29. “Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.” ― Wilma Rudolf
30. “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou
31. “I’d rather attempt to do something and fail than attempt to do nothing and succeed.” ― Robert H. Schuller
32. “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” ― Babe Ruth
Resist the temptation to compare yourself to others. As these words of wisdom attest, you don’t have to be better than anyone else. You just have to be better than you were yesterday.
33. “I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. You have to be better than you ever thought you could be.” ― Ken Venturi
34. “Winning isn’t getting ahead of others. It’s getting ahead of yourself.” ― Roger Staubach
35. “We’re our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.” ― Tom Robbins
The road to reaching your goals may be a long and winding one. These inspiring words remind you that every step, however small, brings you one step closer to your dream. Don’t set out to build a wall; set out to lay one brick at a time. When you do all the small things right, BIG THINGS HAPPEN. Keep going, and don’t ever give up!
36. “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you never stop.” ― Confucius
37. “There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.” — Peter A. Cohen
38. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.” ― Thomas A. Edison
39. “You have failed only when you quit trying. Until then, you’re still in the act of progression. So, never quit trying and you’ll never be a failure.” – Tommy Kelley
Along the way, you may find the road you take toward your dreams leads you in unexpected and wonderful directions. These inspirational quotes are about the joy of discovery ― including the greatest discovery of all: who you really are and what is truly important to you in life. Sometimes we even find that the most important journey is the one within.
40. “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ― Douglas Adams
41. “If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” – Jack Dixon
42. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ― George Eliot
Above all else, always remember: In order to succeed at anything, you have to KNOW you can do it. “I can do this.” Four simple words. Say it out loud whenever you can. Sounds silly, but wait till you try it.
43. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
There’s no one-size-fits all when it comes to inspirational quotes. The closer an inspiring phrase relates to your specific situation, the more the words will move you emotionally and have a positive impact on your life.
Here’s a look at 36 of the most popular categories of inspirational quotes (with new quotes). Click to read more inspirational quotes in each of the below categories (links to sections located below).
Table of Contents
1. Quotes for Hard Times
2. New Beginnings Quotes
3. Quotes for Work
4. Business Quotes
5. Entrepreneur Quotes
6. Quotes to Live By
7. Quotes About Change
8. Quotes About Life and Struggles
9. Quotes About Success
10. Inspirational Quotes
11. Short Motivational Quotes
12. Family Quotes
13. Quotes for Women
14. Mother’s Day Quotes
15. Father’s Day Quotes
16. Quotes for Kids
17. Quotes for Students
18. Graduation Quotes
19. Words of Wisdom Quotes
20. Love Quotes
21. Inspirational Sayings
22. Quotes About Inspiration
23. Wedding Quotes
24. Spiritual Quotes
25. Quotes about Death
26. Quotes about God
27. Birthday Quotes
28. Holiday Quotes
29. New Year’s Quotes
30. Sports Quotes
31. Funny Inspirational Quotes
32. Fitness Quotes
33. Workout Quotes
34. Weight Loss Quotes
35. Positive Quotes
36. Uplifting Quotes
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” ― Unknown
Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Adversity is a natural part of life. We can’t avoid hard times, but we can control our reaction, and the choices we make will determine whether we overcome hard times or surrender to them. An uplifting quote that inspires a positive mindset can make all the difference in the world.
“The future is always beginning now.” ― Mark Strand
There are 365 days in a year, and every day represents a chance for a fresh start, a new beginning, an opportunity to overcome past failures and embrace the wonderful, limitless possibilities of tomorrow. Motivational quotes about new beginnings can help you look toward the future with hope and confidence.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to do what you love.” ― Steve Jobs
One of the great challenges of life is finding motivation to work ― to show up, day after day, and put in the effort. It certainly helps if you can find purpose and meaning in your work, and if you truly love the work you do.
The best inspiring quotes about work help you to see that working hard can be its own reward. Just look at these uplifting words from the great Tony Bennett, “I’ve never worked a day in my life because I love what I do. I just love the fact that I’m getting away with it!”
“When you get right down to the root of the meaning of the word succeed, you find that it simply means to follow through.” ― F. W. Nichol
“Business” is a broad term, and there are many different types of business. But no matter which business you’re in, success often boils down to showing up and working hard. The best inspirational business quotes remind you of the value of persistence and positivity.
“If you lack the iron and the fuzz to take control of your own life, if you insist on leaving your fate to the gods, then the gods will repay your weakness by having a grin or two at your expense. Should you fail to pilot your own ship, don’t be surprised at what inappropriate port you find yourself docked.” ― Tom Robbins
Entrepreneurship requires risk-taking. The best inspirational entrepreneur quotes help stiffen the spine and prepare your mind to take risks without fear, even in the face of failure. Along the same lines, you can find some great inspirational startup quotes to inspire your startup ambitions.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ― Arthur Ashe
Life is full of challenges. It’s easier to overcome these challenges if you have a life mantra to live by ― a positive life quote you can turn to when you need to be reminded of the good in the world, and why you’re chasing your dreams.
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living.” — Gail Sheehy
You may be familiar with the famous saying, “Change is the only constant in life.” You may not realize that the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said it well over 2,000 years ago! What he was saying then is still true today ― you cannot avoid change, so a wise person accepts the change and learns to embrace it!
“If you are going through hell, keep going.” ― Winston Churchill
There are going to be times in your life when it feels as though the cards are stacked against you. Life is full of struggles ― relationship struggles, financial struggles, family struggles. You never need uplifting words more than when you are going through these rough patches. The right inspirational quotes can help you find the courage to carry on.
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” ― Og Mandino
It shouldn’t be surprising that there are so many famous inspirational quotes about success. Not everyone has the same passion, but we do all share a desire for success in whatever we are passionate about, whether it’s art or sports or business. Quotes about success show us that even if we define success in different ways, the desire for success is something that ties us all together.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” — Walt Disney
Keep things short and sweet with short inspirational quotes. When it comes to feeling a spark ignite within you, the length of a quote doesn’t matter! Reading succinct words of encouragement and inspiration is a great way to brighten your day — plus you may find yourself memorizing these bite-size nuggets of inspiration without even trying.
“Never, never, never give up.” — Winston Churchill
Just like short inspirational quotes are the perfect way to find inspiration in your day, short motivational quotes are a great go-to for getting you into the right headspace for attacking your goals. Dwell on these short but effective quotes anytime you need a motivational boost to get you going.
“Family is a unique gift that needs to be appreciated and treasured, even when they’re driving you crazy. As much as they make you mad, interrupt you, annoy you, curse at you, try to control you, these are the people who know you the best and who love you.” ― Jenna Morasca
Family is the center of life. Family provides comfort and security, but family also comes with challenges. Relationships are complex, and we may struggle with being the type of child, sibling, partner, or parent we aspire to be. Inspiring quotes about family can help us focus on the positive, let go of petty squabbles, and forgive.
If you’re looking for something more specific, there are also great inspirational mom quotes and inspirational dad quotes.
“I think that young women and little girls need to see that they don’t have to be the damsel in distress. They don’t have to not show their strength. They don’t have to be whatever the stereotype is or the tropes that we go to in our minds.” ― Octavia Spencer
For much of human history, the contributions of women have been ignored, or women have been discouraged and excluded from making contributions in the first place. Strong women will no longer tolerate being marginalized and disrespected ― and now, you can find many great inspiring quotes from (and about) women who changed the world.
“To the world you are a mother, but to your family you are the world.” ― Unknown
Mother’s Day is the go-to day to show your love for the wonderful women who sacrificed for you. If you’re looking for a way to show your mother, grandmother, wife, or mother-figure how special you think they are, an uplifting Mother’s Day quote is a great place to start.
“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.” ― Clarence Budington Kelland
Let’s not forget about dear old dad. Father’s Day is the ideal excuse (as if you need one) to celebrate the man who inspired you. It’s a day to thank your dad for teaching you right from wrong and always being there. If you’re looking for a way to show your father how much he means to you, share some inspirational Father’s Day quotes.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
Kids are balls of clay. Sharing inspirational life quotes for kids can help the kids in your life develop a sense of purpose and hope, and give them the strength to overcome obstacles. You can even get more specific with inspirational quotes for girls, inspirational quotes for boys, and inspirational quotes for teens.
“It’s not about how bad you want it. It’s about how hard you’re willing to work for it.” ― Unknown
Let’s face it; school is hard, and studying is the last thing most students want to be doing at any given moment. They’d rather be playing video games, hanging out with their friends, or scrolling social media. Motivational quotes for students can help boost their enthusiasm for school, and remind them why a good education should be a top priority in their life.
“That diploma you hold in your hands today is really just your learner’s permit for the rest of the drive through life. Remember, you don’t have to be smarter than the next person, all you have to do is be willing to work harder than the next person.” ― Jimmy Iovine
Graduation is a time of limitless possibilities ― but with so much freedom and so many choices comes great fear. Inspirational graduation quotes can help recent grads look to their futures with confidence and optimism rather than nerves and uncertainty.
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” — Thomas Jefferson
While inspiration can be found in quotes of any length and by any author, sometimes reading tried-and-true words of wisdom brings the biggest benefits. Reading a quote by someone you respect or someone who greatly impacted the world can add a new level of inspiration to your daily meditations.
“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” ― Franklin P. Jones
Is there any topic more inspiring, more uplifting, and more worthy of great quotes than love? Love brings beauty and meaning to life. Many famous poets, novelists, screenwriters, and songwriters have made careers writing about the soaring joy of romantic love and the crushing heartbreak of love lost. Their work makes for some of the best inspirational quotes out there.
“Do what is right, even if you’re flying solo.” — Unknown
Many of the most famous inspirational quotes aren’t really quotes at all, but rather inspirational sayings of unknown origins. Not knowing the author doesn’t make them any less inspiring, though! If you’re looking for the right inspirational phrase, you may find the right one amongst our collection of inspirational sayings.
“I feel so free and open to ideas, and I get inspired by everything.” — Amy Sedaris
Learn more about what motivates others and how they use inspiration to achieve success when you read quotes about inspiration. Not everyone is inspired in the same way, and taking a look at others’ thoughts on inspiration may unlock new doors for you to find new sources of motivation and creativity.
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” ― Mignon McLaughlin
If you’ve ever had to make a wedding toast to the bride and groom, you know how handy a heartfelt and inspirational wedding quote can be when crafting your touching remarks! Wedding quotes are the perfect addition to any wedding card, toast, or keepsake, and will bring the bride and groom happiness for years to come.
“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ― Buddha
Spirituality is an extremely personal matter for most people. Inspirational spiritual quotes can help reinforce what we feel and express a connection to something greater than ourselves. Spiritual quotes can even open our minds and hearts to new ways of thinking about ourselves and how we relate to the universe.
“Death is simple. Life is messy. Give me life, the more complicated the better.” ― Tom Robbins
For most of us, the mere word death is charged with emotion. Words of wisdom about death can offer comfort in a time of loss, or help us find the courage to face our own mortality.
“Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” ― Leo Buscaglia
More words and inspirational phrases have been written about God than any other subject, and there is no shortage of inspiring quotes about God, as well as inspirational Christian quotes.
“You know you’re getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It’s like, ‘See if you can blow this out.’” ― Jerry Seinfeld
The best inspirational birthday quotes help take the sting out of turning a year older. Some are humorous, but others remind us that with maturity comes great wisdom, security, self-assurance, and the freedom to speak your mind!
Maybe Einstein summed it up best when he said,
“I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don’t have to.”
Holidays are a great time for expressing our feelings, sharing positive messages, and dwelling on inspirational thoughts. You’ll find plenty of great inspirational holiday quotes on our site to share with family and friends or use in your own meditation.
Want more holiday quotes? Here are some of the best quotes for Christmas and most inspiring Thanksgiving quotes.
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.” ― Neil Gaiman
Ah, New Year’s Eve ― the only holiday where you don’t have to buy anything, wrap anything, send anything, or do anything … except celebrate a fresh start with some inspirational New Year’s quotes.
“Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.” ― Dan Gable
Athletes know the power of a great sports quote. Inspiring phrases from inspiring people can be the voice you hear in your head that tells you, “Push through the pain; keep going.”
There are many great motivational sayings for every sport, and wise words from a huge selection of successful and inspiring athletes.
Inspirational basketball quotes can get you psyched up for a big game.
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” ― Michael Jordan
Inspirational baseball quotes can help you keep your eyes on the ball.
“My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging.” ― Hank Aaron
Motivational soccer quotes can put you in a winning mindset for a championship match.
“I am building a fire, and every day I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.” ― Mia Hamm
Not all sports quotes have to be purely motivational; you’ll find plenty of funny sports quotes to go along with the inspirational ones!
“I never did say that you can’t be a nice guy and win. I said that if I was playing third base and my mother rounded third with the winning run, I’d trip her up.” ― Leo Derocher
And always remember the best motivational sports quote of all time, from Grantland Rice:
“It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”
“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” — Elbert Hubbard
Speaking of funny quotes, don’t forget that some of the best inspiration comes from wit. Looking at life with a sense of humor makes the hard times easier and the good times even better.
“I always believed fitness is an entry point to help you build that happier, healthier life. When your health is strong, you’re capable of taking risks. You’ll feel more confident to ask for the promotion. You’ll have more energy to be a better mom. You’ll feel more deserving of love.” ― Jillian Michaels
Physical fitness is an incredibly important aspect to a happy life. Finding the motivation to stay fit isn’t always easy, but the rewards are worth the sweat and pain of exercise. Reading a few encouraging words can help you stay focused on fitness. As this inspiring fitness quote from an unknown author attests, “The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow.”
“I hated every minute of the training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’” ― Muhammad Ali
Workouts challenge us to push ourselves beyond our comfort zone. Giving up is always a temptation, which is exactly why we sometimes need extra motivation to get off our butts and get moving. Fortunately, there are tons of great quotes to help power you through the toughest workouts.
“Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands ― and then eat just one of the pieces.” ― Judith Viorst
There are few challenges in life that require more sustained motivation than weight loss. Losing weight requires a long-term commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Inspirational weight loss quotes can provide subtle reminders that help us make smart, healthy choices and remember that the best way to avoid the pain of starting over is to never give up.
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.” — Willie Nelson
The power of positive thinking has been proven time and again to be an effective tool against self-pity, negativity, and feeling stalled in your life. Incorporating positive quotes into your daily routine is one of the easiest first steps you can take toward having a more positive mindset in every area of your life.
“Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” — Christopher Reeve
In times of trouble or when you’re feeling down, the right uplifting quote can make all the difference. Knowing that others have shared similar struggles can help you feel more able to take on your personal challenges and face them with renewed strength.
The workweek can be long, and filled with stress and challenges that make you think twice about getting out of bed. Fortunately, there’s an easy antidote ― start every day with a positive message or motivational saying!
From “okay, let’s do this” Monday quotes to “I’m ready to party” Friday quotes, every day is a perfect day for inspiring words to live by.
Don’t believe us? Check out these perfect daily quotes for yourself:
- Psych yourself up for Monday with inspiring Monday quotes
- Get through “second Monday” with inspiring Tuesday quotes
- Celebrate hump day with inspiring Wednesday quotes
- Start the weekend early with inspiring Thursday quotes
- Shout, “Thank God it’s Friday!” with inspiring Friday quotes
- Enjoy your hard-earned weekend with inspiring Saturday quotes
- Add to your lazy Sunday with inspiring Sunday quotes
If you’re in need of a quote for any day of the week, look no further than good morning quotes. They’re the perfect way to greet a friend or loved one, or for adding to an encouraging message meant for someone far away. Good morning quotes are also a perfect way to start your own day off on the right foot.
You probably remember the childhood rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” As you grow up, you realize that’s simply not true. Words can hurt, especially the words you tell yourself.
We all talk to ourselves throughout the day. Usually, we don’t even notice we’re doing it. But our self-talk has a huge impact on our emotions. In fact, scientist believe that up to 95 percent of our emotions are determined by the way we “talk to ourselves” throughout the day.
Think about that. Positivity is a state of mind. What difference might it make to your sense of happiness if you could arm yourself with positive messages and self-motivational quotes?
The right words can change everything! Words inspire us. Words spark creativity. Words give us hope. Words move us to tears. Words challenge our thinking and beliefs. Words lead us to new insights and the truth.
Studies show that inspiration helps nurture well-being. Psychologists have identified five dimensions of personality, one of which is called Openness to Experience that is directly related to production of the dopamine, the neurotransmitter that is responsible for happiness. Research shows inspiration, such as the inspiring effect of positive life messages, helps facilitate dopamine production. So now you know why reading daily inspiring words makes us feel happy!
As Psychology Today points out, “Similar findings were observed when comparing inspiration to the experience of positive affect, defined as “being enthusiastic, interested, determined, and excited.”
There is even growing scientific evidence that inspirational quotes can help nurture genius! Dean Keith Simonton writes in “The Science of Genius” that “exposure to unfamiliar ideas” such as the positive messages in this post can “play essential roles in shaping creativity.”
Similarly, Scientific American published an article called “Inspired! The Science of Creativity,” that details a variety of ways to “fire up neurons that give you access to ideas and solutions hovering below the surface of your consciousness,” such as reading famous words of wisdom.
We’ll talk much more about scientific evidence of the power of inspirational quotes in the following sections of this post.
For most of us, we don’t give a lot of thought as to why we like to read famous inspirational quotes about life, other than, “It just makes me feel good.”
But what makes some inspiring words and phrases connect with us so deeply? Is there real science behind the power of positive messages?
According to psychologist Jonathan Fader, the answer is yes, and there are specific reasons to explain it. Here’s a look at the science behind why inspiration matters, and how reading inspirational words can change your life.
The Coaching Factor
In a report in Fast Company, Fader, who has a psychology practice in New York City, states that one psychological factor that gives strength and resonance to inspirational quotes is what he calls the “coaching factor.”
You’ve probably experienced the coaching factor in your own life. It’s when you’re having doubts about your own ability to achieve something, but a mentor, coach, teacher, parent, or other respected figure in your life assures you of their belief in you.
In the case of inspirational quotes, the reassurance of belief is coming from the author or speaker, who is similarly seen as a sort of coach or mentor. The fact that someone, somewhere has shared your struggle or experience helps you feel a sense of camaraderie and belief that your goals are possible.
The Power of Language
Another scientific reason for our love of inspiring words is the power of language itself.
This is according to Ward Farnsworth, dean of the University of Texas School of Law and author of Farnsworth’s Classical English Rhetoric.
Farnsworth says that people are drawn to “well-expressed wisdom, motivational or otherwise,” adding that the phrases that resonate most feature “some keen insight put into memorable wording.”
Farnsworth points to a 2000 study by cognitive scientists at Lafayette College that found “the way an idea is expressed can affect judgments about its merit.”
The key is to have words that are attractively balanced. As an example, he points to John F. Kennedy’s famous patriotic quote, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Strong words said so beautifully that they have lasted for generations.
The Primal Aspect
A third reason we are so drawn to inspirational messages is what media psychology expert and communications consultant Scott Sobel calls the “primal aspect.” This is simply a way of saying that humans are biologically wired to look to our role models and leaders for wisdom.
“Leaders and their words ― inspirational quotes ― affect us on a primal level,” Sobel says.
What’s more, the words of famous and successful people ― presidents, CEOs, award-winning artists and musicians ― have more strength and sway because we see these people as exceptional. Their accomplishments give them credibility. The assumption is that they have wisdom that can benefit us, and their words will provide useful insights.
We’ve seen some of the science and psychology behind why we like to read inspirational quotes about life. Now, we’ll look at some scientific evidence into the positive and meaningful impact motivational phrases can have on our daily lives.
Pyschologists Todd M. Thrash and Andrew J. Elliot developed a questionnaire to measure inspiration called the Inspiration Scale. Among their many interesting observations over the course of many years administering the questionnaire, Thrash and Elliot found that:
- Inspired people reported belief in their own abilities, self-esteem, and optimism.
- Inspired people are more self-motivated and driven to be good at their work, not for the sake of competitiveness, but because they find being good at their work is rewarding in and of itself.
- Inspired people reported feeling more purpose and gratitude in life.
All of these outcomes of inspiration are considered indicators of well-being. As we’ve seen, reading inspiring quotes truly does increase one’s own level of inspiration. Therefore, reading daily inspirational quotes can truly improve daily life!
A 2014 scientific study published by Frontiers in Human Neurology looked at the impact of inspiration in the creative process.
Conducted by psychologists at the College of William and Mary and supported by the National Science Foundation, the study examined the ties between inspiration, insight and creativity.
They concluded that,
“Inspiration has the power to effect change not just for individuals, but also for societies. Technological advancements, cures for diseases, and solutions to environmental problems first emerge as promising ideas. It is difficult to overstate the importance of figuring out why, how, and for whom creative ideas to societal problems fire the soul and inspire the idea actualization process.”
In a more individual sense, the Harvard Business Review synopsizes a scientific review of several studies on “inspiration and the actualization of creative ideas,” published by the American Psychology Association, saying,
“The link between inspiration and creativity is consistent with the transcendent aspect of inspiration, since creativity involves seeing possibility beyond existing constraints.”
In other words, if you’re staring at a blank page and need to get your creative juices flowing, try reading a few inspirational quotes! Those inspiring words really can give your brain the boost it needs to start working.
Similar to its conclusions regarding the link between inspiration and creativity, the Harvard Business Review also cites studies which show that inspiration fuels achievement, noting that the results of one study verify
“… inspired writers are more efficient and productive, and spend less time pausing and more time writing.”
The review goes on to cite another study in which
“… college students were asked to report three goals they intended to accomplish throughout the course of the semester. They then reported on their progress three times a month. Those who scored higher on the Inspiration Scale displayed increased goal progress, and their progress was a result of setting more inspired goals. Therefore, people who were generally more inspired in their daily lives also tended to set inspired goals, which were then more likely to be successfully attained.”
In the same study cited above, the researchers also measured the neurological effects of inspiration by using “inspiring stimulus” to track electrical activity of the brain.
They found that inspiration actually affects brain wave patterns in a positive way.
Similarly, Eric Ravenscraft from LifeHacker wrote an article documenting how inspiration can improve neuroplasticity ― your brain’s ability to “form new connections and neural pathways even into adulthood.” The more “plastic” your brain is, he says, “the more you’re able to form creative or inspirational thoughts” and “the more … ‘Aha!’ moments you’ll be able to generate.”
The key to increasing neuroplasticity, he says, is to “exercise” your brain. One of the best ways to fire up your neurons is to tap into an “idea pool.”
So, in a very real way, the inspirational life quotes in this post can create “a positive feedback loop of more ideas.”
Or, as Roger Sperry put it:
“Ideas cause ideas and help evolve new ideas. They interact with each other and with other mental forces in the same brain, in neighboring brains, and thanks to global communication, in far distant, foreign brains.”
The Five W’s of Inspirational Quotes
We’ve already covered many of the reasons why inspiring words move us and how they benefit our lives, but here’s a closer look to help us understand the power of positive thoughts and the weight of inspirational messages. Here’s the who, what, where, why, and when of inspirational quotes:
Who benefits from inspirational quotes?
Anyone can benefit from a great quote about life. Inspirational quotes can take the shape of anything from daily affirmations to well-timed words that help us through a brief hardship. In the simplest terms, inspiring words make us feel good about ourselves and about life — who couldn’t benefit from that?
Uplifting thoughts can give comfort to those going through hard times, like after the loss of a job or the death of a loved one. Words of wisdom can provide a motivational boost to someone facing a challenge ― an athlete preparing for a big game, a salesperson preparing to give a presentation, or even a politician preparing to make a speech.
Beyond these tough situations, there are simpler times when we just want a break from work or routine. Instead of browsing Facebook, it’s far more beneficial to take a few minutes from our day to enjoy a well-crafted phrase that puts us in a positive frame of mind to get back to life with renewed inspiration.
What are the benefits of inspirational quotes?
As mentioned previously, there are significant, proven benefits to reading daily positive messages about life.
Inspirational quotes can help you believe that if life is rough today, tomorrow is sure to be better, which reshapes both today and tomorrow in one fell swoop. Motivational sayings can help you understand that struggles challenge us to become better versions of ourselves, to tap into our inner strength, and to bring about positive changes.
Encouraging sayings and inspiring words can help you turn your inner critic into an inner cheerleader, conquer anxiety and depression, and embrace the notion that “life is good … life is beautiful.”
Where can I find the best inspirational quotes?
Thanks to the Internet, finding motivational quotes is as easy as Googling, “quotes about…,” and then narrowing your search by adding whatever topic interests you most, from spirituality to self-motivation.
You’ll find many great inspirational quotes right here on this page! There are many more famous quotes about life on the deeper pages of this site, and we’re constantly adding more as we continue serving up motivational quotes on every topic imaginable. Just click any of the links on this page to get more inspirational quotes on the subjects you want.
Why do people like inspirational quotes?
In a sense, people enjoy reading inspiring words for many of the same reasons they love reading a good novel.
Reading daily inspirational quotes about life provides a form of spiritual enrichment. It expands our knowledge and understanding of humanity, the world, and even ourselves. It helps us feel connected to other humans, and may even help to reduce stress about life by helping you feel motivated to tackle the day.
But the best motivational sayings have additional benefits. In times of hardship or self-doubt, encouraging sayings can show us a path forward through struggles. They reassure us of our own value. They give us drive to reach our goals.
Positive quotes give us mantras to live by. Daily inspirational quotes can be a welcome pick-me-up that gets you motivated to get through daily challenges of life, work, workouts, parenting and more.
Words of wisdom offer new perspectives and ideas. One of the biggest benefits of facing a challenge is gathering new wisdom to offer others. Along those same lines, turning to the hard-earned wisdom of others is the perfect way to work through your own challenges.
Many great inspiring quotes reveal universal truths that help us realize we are not alone. In a way, reading daily inspirational quotes is sort of like having an uplifting conversation with yourself. And funny quotes on life give us a good laugh when we sorely need one!
When can inspirational quotes help me?
We’ve covered many of the benefits of inspiring quotes above, but each of us is unique, so the benefits you find will depend on your personal circumstances.
If you’re a parent of a teenager, you may find words of wisdom to help you understand your child better or see them through the challenges of growing up.
“It’s not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves, that will make them successful human beings.” ― Ann Landers
If you’re stuck in a rut, the right motivational saying may open up a new way of thinking that helps you move ahead.
“If you keep on doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.” — W.L. Bateman
If you’re struggling to complete a creative project, an inspirational quote could strengthen your resolve to persevere, see it through, and hit your deadline.
“Most people fail, not because of lack of desire, but, because of lack of commitment.” ― Vince Lombardi
When everything seems to be going the wrong way, a great positive message can help you see that setbacks are only temporary and things will get better.
“Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything.” ― Chuck Palahniuk
In a way, great inspirational quotes are immune to trends because they speak universal, timeless truths. It is exactly for that reason that the best inspiring sayings may sound trendy — they are so relevant to the times we are living in that it seems impossible for the quotes to come from any time other than now, when in reality many of the most popular inspirational quotes come from decades ago!
Many of us work long hours, stressed to the point of breaking. We struggle to juggle work and family, and then to navigate an increasingly complex world. There’s so much negativity surrounding us that the temptation to give in and give up can be overwhelming. But then we read a quote that seems as if it was written just for us and the pain of the moment is lifted.
That is the beauty of quotes — their ability to lessen the burden of hard times or enhance the joy of happy times. “Trendy quotes” may be just that, but they’re more often words from years ago that still resonate today because, really, we are all simply humans sharing variations of the same experiences.
“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” ― Iain S. Thomas
When we become frustrated by injustice, the right quote can reassure us that love and kindness have great power.
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr.
And when we worry for the future, a good quote can provide hope.
“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it ― always.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
We’ve seen that people love reading inspirational quotes for a variety of reasons. Some people simply like uplifted feeling they get from reading positive messages, or the burst of motivation they get from using a daily affirmation.
Others have much more substantial reasons for reading inspirational quotes. They may look to inspiring quotes to help lift their mood from the depths of depression or seek comfort in a time of loss. They may read motivational phrases to fire up their competitive spirit or bolster their will to achieve a goal.
And we’ve seen that there is scientific validity to the benefits of reading inspirational quotes. Positive messages help turn self-doubt into self-belief. They help adjust our inner voice from critic to cheerleader. When we take in positive messages, we create a reservoir of positive thoughts to draw from as we go through our daily lives.
In the words of singer Willie Nelson, “Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading the inspirational quotes on this page. Be sure to check back often, as we will continually be adding more famous quotes about life.
Remember, your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change in wonderful ways you never imagined!