128 Quotes to Live By For a Better Life

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Quotes spark our emotions in a way that can completely change our perspective of any situation. These quotes to live by do that and more.

The quotes below can be used for inspiration, as a pick me up, or a guide if your life seems off-track, or when you need to be true to yourself.

Benefit from these quotes by:

  1. Picking out specific quotes that resonate with you and write them down
  2. Re-reading the quotes you’ve written down and looking deeply to find the inner meaning
  3. Using these quotes as a theme for your next meditation sessions (if you haven’t started meditating, here’s how)
  4. Printing your list out to keep in your wallet or frame in your office for consistent inspiration

Quotes to Live By

If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased.

Katharine Hepburn

All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them.

Walt Disney

Always be true to your friends, just as you are to yourself.

Meg Cabot, Glitter Girls and the Great Fake-Out
Einstein quote "In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity"
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

Plant your garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

Jose Luis Borges

To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower, hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.

William Blake

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.

Paulo Coelho

Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.

Jonathan Lockwood Hule

Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each is to succeed.

Corita Kent

Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become.

Steve Jobs

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.

John Bunyan

To hide feelings when you are near crying is the secret of dignity.

Dejan Stojanovic
George Eliot quote "It is never too late to be what you might have been"
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

Don’t worry what others are doing. Do you!

Russell Simmons

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt

If you really want to do something you’ll find a way, if you don’t you’ll find an excuse.

Jim Rohn

The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.

Bill Copeland

Don’t allow your past or present condition to control you. It’s just a process that you’re going through to get you to the next level.

T.D Jakes

Never assume that the person you are dealing with is weaker or less important than you are.

Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

f you want to turn people down, it is best to do so politely and respectfully, even if you feel their request is impudent or their offer ridiculous.

Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

To risk life to save a smile on a face of a woman or a child is the secret of chivalry.

Dejan Stojanovic
Tony Robbins quote to live by "Your past does not equal your future"
“Your past does not equal your future.” – Tony Robbins

Happiness is not achieved by the conscious pursuit of happiness; it is generally the by-product of other activities.

Aldous Huxley

See the world as it is, not as you wish it would be.

E. Lockhart, We Were Liars

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

Milton Berle

Success requires no apologies. Failure permits no alibis.

Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

William Shakespeare

The greatest lesson of life is that you are responsible for your life.

Oprah Winfrey

A good plan is like a road map: It shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.

H. Stanley Judd

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
"If it isn’t a little scary it probably isn’t worth your time"
“If it isn’t a little scary it probably isn’t worth your time.” – Ted Murphy

Humor and joy contribute to my total well-being.

Louise L. Hay, Heal Your Body A-Z

Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.

George Carlin

Often what may appear as a detour in life is actually the most direct and empowering path to your destination.

James Arthur Ray

Knowing is better than wondering, waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure—even the worst—beats the hell out of not trying.

Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.

Oprah Winfrey

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

Aristotle

It’s not about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

Sylvester Stallone, Rocky Balboa

Our thoughts and imaginations are the only real limits to our possibilities.

Orison Swett Marden
"Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground"
“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” – Teddy Roosevelt

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Dr. Seuss

May I never be complete. May I never be content. May I never be perfect.

Chuck Palahniuk

What the mind can conceive, it can achieve.

Napoleon Hill

It is beautiful to express love and even more beautiful to feel it.

Dejan Stojanovic

Don’t be afraid of failure, be afraid of not trying in the first place.

Marie Forleo

You choose the life you live. If you don’t like it, it’s on you to change it because no one else is going to do it for you.

Kim Kiyosaki

Everything you want should be yours: the type of work you want; the relationships you need; the social, mental, and aesthetic stimulation that will make you happy and fulfilled; the money you require for the lifestyle that is appropriate to you; and any requirement that you may (or may not) have for achievement or service to others. If you don’t aim for it all, you’ll never get it all. To aim for it requires that you know what you want.

Richard Koch

It’s less about learning new things and more about letting go of old things.

Liza Miller
Henry Ford quote "Obstacles are those things you see when you take your eyes off the goal"
“Obstacles are those things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” – Henry Ford

The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just have to find the ones that are worth hurting for.

Bob Marley

It’s your unlimited power to care and to love that can make the biggest difference in the quality of your life.

Tony Robbins

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.

Seneca

Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, & character.

William Arthur Ward

Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.

Eleanor Roosevelt

The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.

Steven Furtick

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.

Gail Sheehy

One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, ‘What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?

Rachel Carson
Michelle Obama quote to live by "Choose people who lift you up"
“Choose people who lift you up.” – Michelle Obama

Run if you can. Walk if you can’t. Crawl if you have to.

Dean Karnazes

Bones heal, pain is temporary, and chicks dig scars.

Evil Kinevil

Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.

Roy Goodman

When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.

Eric Thomas

A man who flies from his fear may find that he has only taken a shortcut to meet it.

Sador, Children of Húrin

I’m the one that has to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.

Jimi Hendrix

Everyone has inside him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!

Anne Frank

The only wealth which you will keep forever is the wealth you have given away.

Marcus Aurelius
Queen Latifah quote "Dreams become reality when we put our minds to it"
“Dreams become reality when we put our minds to it.” – Queen Latifah

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Your mind is like water, when agitated it becomes difficult to see but if allowed to settle, the answer becomes clear.

Tsem Tulku Rinpoche

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.

Harvey Fierstein

If you’re never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances.

Julia Sorel

Just breathing can be such a luxury sometimes.

Walter Kirn

Failure is a prerequisite for great success. If you want to succeed faster, double your rate of failure.

Brian Tracy

Play keeps us vital and alive. It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable. Without it, life just doesn’t taste good.

Lucia Capacchione

Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration’s shove or society’s kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.

Susan Sontag
"Be who you are and let everyone love that person"
“Be who you are and let everyone love that person.” – Wiz Khalifa

I say luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.

Denzel Washington

I think best in a hot bath, with my head tilted back and my feet up high.

Elizabeth Jane Howard

If you are honest, truthful, and transparent, people trust you. If people trust you, you have no grounds for fear, suspicion or jealousy.

Dalai Lama

Silence your critics. Ignore your haters. Delete your cynics.

Robin Sharma

Money is only a human invention.

Vanna Bonta, Degrees: Thought Capsules

Great people, no matter their field, have similar habits. Learn them and use them in your own quest for greatness.

Paula Andress

You were born with the ability to change someone’s life – don’t ever waste it.

Dale Partridge

You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from an ocean. You are not a stranger here.

Alan Watts
"Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there’s footprints on the moon"
“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there’s footprints on the moon.” – Paul Brandt

People are going to tell you who you are your whole life. You just got to punch back and say ‘No, this is who I am.’ You want people to look at you differently? Make them. You want to change things? You’re going to have to go out there and change them yourself—because there are no fairy godmothers in this world.

Emma Swan, Once Upon a Time

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

Mother Teresa

Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.

Helen Keller

Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.

C.S. Lewis

Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less.

Marie Curie

I am not the girl the guy gets at the end of the movie. I am not a fairytale. If you want me, earn me.

Olivia Pope, Scandal

It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.

Tony Robbins

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.

Kahlil Gibran
DH Lawrence quote to live by "Life is ours to be spent not to be saved"
“Life is ours to be spent, not to be saved.” – D. H. Lawrence

If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results.

Tony Robbins

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.

Nelson Mandela

Whenever you feel like criticizing any one, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Martin Luther King Jr.

I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. That is when I start counting, because then it really counts. That’s what makes you a champion.

Muhammed Ali

More Words to Live By

Every moment of light and dark is a miracle.

Walt Whitman

Think big.

Doug

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. Most people listen with the intent to reply.

Stephen Covey
Peale quote "Change your thoughts and you change your world"
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

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

C. S. Lewis

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill

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

When you can’t change the direction of the wind — adjust your sails.

H. Jackson Brown

Kiss slowly, laugh insanely, live truly and forgive quickly.

Paolo Coelho

The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.

Mark Zuckerberg

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.

Colin Powell
Mastin Kipp words to live by "If you want it become it"
“If you want it, become it.” – Mastin Kipp

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know everything happens for a reason.

Albert Schweitzer

Infinity is present in each part. A loving smile contains all art. The motes of starlight spark and dart. A grain of sand holds power and might.

Madeline L’ Engle

Life’s too mysterious to take too serious.

Mary Engelbreit

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Mae West

Critical feedback is the breakfast of champions. Defensiveness is the dinner of losers.

Dharmesh Shah

Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.

William James

A heart without dreams is like a bird without feathers.

Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
FDR quote "We have nothing to fear but fear itself"
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

If you’re going through hell, keep going.

Winston Churchill

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.

Robert Brault

Men who say it cannot be done should not interrupt men doing it.

Confucius

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

Confucius

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

Jimmy Dean

The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.

Dennis Brown
Babe Ruth quote "Every strike brings me closer to the next home run"
“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth

We hope you enjoyed these quotes to live by and found a few new favorites.

No matter which words to live by you choose, the important part is getting out there and living!

Updated June 1, 2021.

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.