Quotes About Change

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. If make a purchase through these links, we receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our disclosure for more info.

Change can come in many forms in our lives.

It might come forcefully like a tidal wave, or creep along incrementally like a glacier. It might come in the form of devastating tragedy, difficult choices, broken relationships, or even new opportunities.

Even though change can be difficult, many times it’s also for the best. Accomplishing anything great in life requires us to make significant changes that push us beyond our comfort zones.

Often, the only way to improve our lives is to force ourselves to undergo difficult changes.

That might mean breaking up and leaving a stale – but comfortable – relationship, leaving a mediocre – but stable – job, moving away from a nice – but uninspiring – location, or anything else that’s holding us back from accomplishing our dreams.

Of course, dealing with uninvited change in our lives is often difficult and painful. But whatever kind of change you’re dealing with, know that you will learn to cope, and that you have a unique opportunity to shape your future.

Whatever changes you’re going through, we’ve collected together all of the very best quotes about change to inspire you to keep moving forwards.

Top 10 Change Quotes

Leo Tolstoy change quote "True life is lived when tiny changes occur"
“True life is lived when tiny changes occur.” – Leo Tolstoy

By changing nothing, nothing changes.

Tony Robbins

All great changes are preceded by chaos.

Deepak Chopra

Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.

Arthur Shopenhauer
Lily Leung quote "When in doubt, choose change"
“When in doubt, choose change.” – Lily Leung

Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.

John C. Maxwell

Change your thinking, change your life

Ernest Holmes

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.

John Wooden

Nothing is forever except change.


Quotes about Changing the World

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead
Marian Wright Edelman quote "You really can change the world if you care enough"
“You really can change the world if you care enough.” – Marian Wright Edelman

The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.

Albert Einstein

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Barak Obama

We can have no progress without change, whether it be basketball or anything else.

John Wooden
Gandhi change quote "Be the change that you wish to see in the world"
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge.

Tuli Kupferberg

Things don’t have to change the world to be important.

Steve Jobs

Even if you cannot change all the people around you, you can change the people you choose to be around.

Roy T. Bennett

We change the world not by what we say or do, but as a consequence of what we have become.

Dr. David Hawkins
Norman Vincent Peale quote "Change your thoughts and you change your world"
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

Buckminster Fuller

The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways: the point, however, is to change it.

Karl Marx

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.

Aldous Huxley

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.

Mother Theresa
Martin Luther quote "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write"
“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” – Martin Luther

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.


Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Nelson Mandela

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs

In a progressive country change is constant; change is inevitable.

Benjamin Disraeli

Quotes about Changing Yourself

People do not change, they are merely revealed.

Anne Enright

If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Maya Angelou

If you don’t change your beliefs, your life will be like this forever. Is that good news?

W. Sommerset Maugham
Steve Maraboli quote "The power to change your life lies in the simplest of steps"
“The power to change your life lies in the simplest of steps.” – Steve Maraboli

Maturity is when you stop complaining and making excuses, and start making changes.

Roy T. Bennett

If you know what you want to achieve in life, then you are more inspired to change for the better.

Philip Vang

The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.

C. Joybell C.
Orrin Woodward quote "You must be willing to give up what you are, to become what you want to be"
“You must be willing to give up what you are, to become what you want to be.” – Orrin Woodward

We are all butterflies. Earth is our chrysalis.

LeeAnn Taylor

A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not why ships are built

John A. Shedd

Resistance is never the agent of change. You have to embrace the actions that are going to get you closer to your goal.

Ali Vincent

Rather than wishing for change, you first must be prepared to change.

Catherine Pulsifer

The great solution to all human problems is individual inner transformation.

Vernon Howard
Dalai Lama quote "Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values"
“Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.” – Dalai Lama

It’s never too late to be who you might have been.

George Eliot

Look at things from a different perspective, embrace change, look out for opportunities and you will feel much more in control.

Steve Backley

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

Henry Ford

Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

Michael Jordan
Norman Vincent Peale quote "Change yourself and your work will seem different"
“Change yourself and your work will seem different.” – Norman Vincent Peale

You can live your dreams if you can embrace change. It’s by taking chances that you’ll learn how to be brave.

Charles Darwin

Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.

Alain de Botton

Only God who made us can touch us and change us and save us from ourselves.

Rev. Billy Graham

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful.

Alan Cohen

You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.

Jim Rohn
"You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be"
“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.” – Marianne Williamson

To change one’s life; Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.

William James

No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Words are powerful; if you change your words, you can change your life.

Joyce Meyer

If you want things in your life to change, you have to change things in your life

Kevin Trudeau

Play to your strengths. If you aren’t great at something, do more of what you’re great at.

Jason Lemkin
Spanish Proverb "A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will"
“A wise man changes his mind, a fool never will.” – Spanish Proverb

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Victor Frankl

You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Roy T. Bennett

You cannot change what you are, only what you do.

Philip Pullman

You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

A.A. Milne

You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Neil Gaiman
Wayne Dyer quote "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change"
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne W. Dyer

No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.


Quotes about Changing Others

Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.

Carol Burnett

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.

Winston Churchill

You cannot change anyone, but you can be the reason someone changes.

Roy T. Bennett
Mignon McLaughlin quote "It’s the most unhappy people who most fear change"
“It’s the most unhappy people who most fear change.” – Mignon McLaughlin

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.

Isaac Asimov

Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.

Jacob M. Braude

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr
Katherine Hepburn quote "If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior"
“If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior.” – Katherine Hepburn

Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.

Stephen Chbosky

Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.

Mark Twain

There are two kinds of fools: those who can’t change their opinions and those who won’t.

Josh Billings

Quotes About Change

There is nothing permanent except change.


Change alone is unchanging.


Things do not change; we change.

Henry David Thoreau
Heraclitus quote "Nothing endures but change"
“Nothing endures but change.” – Heraclitus

You must welcome change as the rule, but not as your ruler.

Denis Waitley

Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable.

Denis Waitley

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

John F. Kennedy

Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.

J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in The Rye
Alphonse Karr quote "The more things change, the more they are the same"
“The more things change, the more they are the same.” – Alphonse Karr

Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.


Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Andre Gide

Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

Marilyn Monroe

Change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk.

William Arthur Ward

All things must change to something new, to something strange.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
George Will change quote"The future has a way of arriving unannounced"
“The future has a way of arriving unannounced.” – George Will

Change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

Mandy Hale

Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.

Hermann Hesse

Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.

Frank Herbert

Fashion changes, but style endures.

Coco Chanel

Perfection is immutable. But for things imperfect, change is the way to perfect them.

Owen Feltham
Hillary Clinton change quote "Dynamism is a function of change"
“Dynamism is a function of change.” – Hillary Clinton

Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream.

Debby Boone

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.

Hariet Tubman

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.


They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

Andy Warhol

It doesn’t matter where you are, you are nowhere compared to where you can go.

Bob Proctor
"If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down"
“If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.” – Roy T. Bennett

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

Lao Tzu

There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.

C.S. Lewis

Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

Terry Pratchett
Plato change quote "All is flux, nothing stays still"
“All is flux, nothing stays still.” – Plato

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

James Baldwin

Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are to your comfort zone.

Billy Cox

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.

Alfred North Whitehead

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

Henri Bergson

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.

Arnold Bennett
Ellen Glasgow change quote "All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward"
“All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.” – Ellen Glasgow

Few can accept happiness if it means change. We want the life we have now, only happier.

Robert Brault

We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.

Sheryl Sandberg

Opinions are made to be changed – or how is truth to be got at?

Lord Byron

Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor.

Robert Frost
Thomas Fuller quote "All things are difficult before they are easy"
“All things are difficult before they are easy.” – Thomas Fuller

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

Elbert Hubbard

Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.

Frida Kahlo

Advancement Quotes

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.

George Bernard Shaw

To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.

Winston Churchill

The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.

Oprah Winfrey

Stop being afraid of what could go wrong, and start being excited about what could go right.

Tony Robbins
Leo Buscaglia quote "Change is the end result of all true learning"
“Change is the end result of all true learning.” – Leo Buscaglia

The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything or nothing.

Nancy Astor

Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.

Seth Godin

Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.

Walt Disney

Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.

Elon Musk

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
Bill Clinton quote "The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change"
“The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” – Bill Clinton

And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.

Libba Bray

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.

Lao Tzu

Change is slow and gradual. It requires hard work, a bit of luck, a fair amount of self-sacrifice, and a lot of patience.

Robert Greene

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.

Peter Drucker
Meir Liraz quote "If change is constant, then learning must also be continual"
“If change is constant, then learning must also be continual.” – Meir Liraz

To know and not to do, is not to know.

Leo Buscaglia

Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.

Khalil Gibran

I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is that they must change if they are to get better.

Georg Lichtenberg

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.

Raymond Lindquist

There can be no life without change, and to be afraid of what is different or unfamiliar is to be afraid of life.

Theodore Rooosevelt
Tony Robbins quote "For changes to be of any true value, they've got to be lasting and consistent"
“For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent.” – Tony Robbins

The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.

Charles Dubois

What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.

William S. Burroughs

Both tears and sweat are salty, but they render a different result. Tears will get you sympathy; sweat will get you change.

Rev. Jesse Jackson
Jim Rohn quote "Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change"
“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn

Every day of our lives, we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference.

Mignon McLaughlin

Step out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.

Oprah Winfrey

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.

Pauline R. Kezer

Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.

Francis Bacon
Machiavelli quote "I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it"
“I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.

Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.

Eckhart Tolle

Quotes about Adapting

Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change.

Sir Richard Branson

A year from now you will wish you had started today.

Karen Lamb
Martha Stewart quote "The more you adapt, the more interesting you are"
“The more you adapt, the more interesting you are.” – Martha Stewart

Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent.

Nolan Ryan

Transformation literally means going beyond your form.

Wayne W. Dyer

Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win.

Max McKeown

I’m adaptable.

Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises

The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings.

Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea

Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win.

Max McKeown
Raymond Lindquist change quote "Courage is the power to let go of the familiar"
“Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.” – Raymond Lindquist

Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation.

Mahatma Gandhi

The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.

Japanese Proverb

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

Charles Darwin

In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.

Abraham Maslow

Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots.

Victor Hugo
Stephen Hawking quote "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change"
“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking

He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator.

Francis Bacon

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

Allan Wilson Watts

Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.

Carl Jung
Gail Sheehy quote "If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living"
“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.” – Gail Sheehy

The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.

Friedrich Nietzsche

They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.


One must change one’s tactics every ten years if one wishes to maintain one’s superiority.

Napoleon Bonaparte

The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.

Nathaniel Branden
Jack Welsh quote "Change before you have to"
“Change before you have to.” – Jack Welch

Funny Change Quotes

You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind.

Timothy Leary
Funny change quote "Change is inevitable — except from a vending machine"
“Change is inevitable — except from a vending machine.” – Robert C. Gallagher

In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

Warren Buffett

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.

Benjamin Franklin

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

William Arthur Ward

Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.

Coco Chanel
Adlai Stephenson quote "Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job"
“Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job.” – Adlai Stephenson

If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change.

John A. Simone Sr

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.

Harold Wilson

If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.

Anita Roddick
Henry Rollins quote "I want to change things for the better, just like everybody else"
“I want to change things for the better, just like everybody else.” – Henry Rollins

We hope you enjoyed these quotes about change. Inspired by another quote that is missing from our list? Feel free to share it with us in the comments.

Update: This post was updated on April 23, 2020.

Photo of author

Quincy Seale

Quincy is KIM's lead editor and content writer, and has invested in online properties since 2009. Quincy holds an MBA from the University of Dundee and an MSc from the University of Edinburgh, and lives in San Antonio with his wife Natalie, son Alex, and his dog Oban.