When I was a young teenager, my father pulled out a file he kept in his office to share with me. One of the things he liked to collect were quotes written by famous people from around the world. After reading through the various slips of paper, magazine cutouts, and sticky notes, I was truly inspired.  All of these quotes really left me with a sense of awe and gave me different perspectives to consider. I have to admit that I didn’t really get some of them at the time, but most of them made me really think and challenge myself. Over the years I’ve always had a fondness for the deep insight that comes from other people’s hard work, failure, loss, etc. – perspectives that come from experience.

Below is a list of my all-time favorite quotes – maybe one of them will inspire you!

“The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, he answered “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
Dali Lama

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
John Lennon

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Ghandi

 “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Albert Einstein

 “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas Edison

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
George Eliot

“Everything you can imagine is real.”
Pablo Picasso

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill

“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”
Maya Angelou

“I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.”
Herbert Bayard Swope

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“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, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
Dale Carnegie

“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.”
Leonardo da Vinci

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
Louis L’Amour

“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.”
Jackson Brown Jr.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.”
John A. Shedd

Photo Credit: Copyright © 2018 BBC.

What quotes have inspired you?