From former presidents and prime ministers to actresses and singers, the icons who introduced the 10 quotes on this list to the world will excite, inspire, and activate the ambitious parts of your soul.
Quote #1: William James, founder of the field of psychology
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does”
Whether you’re leading an important meeting at work or meeting a friend for coffee, aim to always do your best at whatever task you’re performing. How you do anything is how you do everything. So sloppiness in one area of your area will reveal other areas in need of improvement. While perfection isn’t possible, the best you can do on any given day is more than enough.
Quote #2: Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain During WWII
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”
All of us know someone who failed once or twice and then gave up on a dream. Many of these people aren’t pleasant to be around today. That’s because giving up on what’s important to you leaves you with no purpose.
We also know people who achieved one big goal and the people around them never hear the end of it. These people aren’t great party guests, either. It’s okay to be proud of yourself. But if the achievement of a big goal turns into decades of stagnation, then that’s nothing to be proud of, either.
It doesn’t matter whether you achieve a goal on the first try or the hundredth. Even if you never reach the finish line, always lining up at the starting line is what’s important. Yes, getting into Harvard Medical School is an amazing accomplishment and takes courage. But it takes even more courage to get rejected and apply three more times.
Quote #3: Theodore Roosevelt, Former President of the United States
“Believe you can and you’re halfway there”
That extraordinary quote is pretty self-explanatory. It’s hard to accomplish anything if you don’t believe that you can do it in the first place. Of course, you’ll have to do more than believe to make your dream come true. But like Roosevelt said, believing really is half the battle.
Quote #4: Albert Einstein, world-renowned mathematician and physicist
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving”
Life will knock everyone up, down, and around. During the times when we’re down, sometimes we need to stop and reassess things. But eventually, as the founder of the Theory of Relativity said, we have to get back up on the bicycle of life and ride to keep our balance.
Quote #5: Amy Poehler, award-winning actress, writer, comedian, and producer
“Limit your ‘always’ and your ‘nevers'”
The “always” and “nevers” of your life are rarely 100% true. Remember this quote from the former “Saturday Night Live” and “Parks and Recreation” star and you’ll do well in life.
Quote #6: Audrey Hepburn, award-winning actress
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible”
Entrepreneur and creator of the popular YouTube channel “Impact Theory” Tom Bilyeu often says that if a goal doesn’t violate the laws of physics, it’s possible. Take those quotes with you when you tackle a goal that you sometimes think is “impossible” and you’ll go a long way towards achieving that dream.
Quote #7: C.S. Lewis, author and theologian
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”
Whether you’re a 40-year-old single parent who has their eyes on medical school or a 50-something grandmother who wants to light up stages with her music, trust the words of the author of “The Screwtape Letters” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Know that you can always dream a new dream.
Quote #8: Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States
“You must do the things you think you cannot do”
There’s nothing wrong with going to that job you know how to do, taking the class you already know you’re going to ace, or asking out that person you know will say yes. But you won’t grow under these circumstances. To become the person you would be proud of, apply for the job that you’re not 100% qualified for. Take the class from that difficult professor. Ask out that crush that you suspect is above your league. You might be surprised at what happens.
Quote #9: Ella Fitzgerald, jazz singer and icon
“It isn’t where you came from. It’s where you’re going that counts”
In life, we don’t always start in the same place. If you think of life as a 400-meter sprint event in track and field, the start is staggered. That means that the athletes who ran the fastest times in previous races get the most advantageous starting places on the track in the final heat. By imagining a person’s parents as the “starting point” on the track, you can see how this metaphor works.
Those who start further back on the track of life must run like heck to catch up to those who had an advantage starting out in the race. But winning the race from this underdog position isn’t impossible. The most inspirational stories come from successful people who weren’t born into the best circumstances. Think about the life stories of Oprah Winfrey, Chris Gardner (the subject of the biopic “The Pursuit of Happyness”, starring Will Smith), or Starsbucks CEO Howard Schultz to fuel you on your race to achieving your goals.
Quote #10: George Eliot, author
“It is never too late to be what you might have been”
Whether you’re a senior citizen or a 21-year-old citizen of the world, you can be whatever you want to be at any point in your life. As long as you have breath in your body, you can be the person you’ve envisioned. Take the time to periodically reassess who you want to be in the world. Then take the steps to realize that personal vision.