inspirational quotes

72+ Inspirational Quotes [Updated 2017 w/ Tips + Images]

Inspirational Quotes and Sayings

Finding inspiration can lift our productivity and spirits on a gloomy day. We’ve put together a list of inspirational quotes along with motivational tips to help get you through a rough day!

If you’re stuck in a rut or having a bad day, don’t worry! It happens to all of us. Knowing that you’re not alone and having some encouraging insight can help get you through some of life’s challenges and set-backs. We’ve really tried to find motivational images and quotes to help you push past challenges and find success!

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Inspiring Quotes and Actionable Tips

1. “If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” – A.A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh)

inspirational quotes Winnie the Pooh

Wake up earlier:

There is an incredibly inspirational TED Talk on “How waking up everyday at 4:30 AM can change your life” by Filipe Castro Matos. He documents the many positive benefits of waking up before the world does. Being awake earlier than the rest of the world allows you to be more productive – working without interruptions such as phone calls or emails.

Productivity Hack Video:

2. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison

inspirational quotes Thomas A Edison

Write a to-do list:

Making a to-do list can help you prioritize your day and also help visualize getting those things done. Sometimes tasks can seem overwhelming and breaking them down into small to-do items can really help you get started and destroy procrastination. You can see a list of motivational quotes from business owners in our related post.

3. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

inspirational quotes Nelson Mandela

Start your day with 5 minutes of exercise:

I’ve felt a big difference throughout the day if I can get some exercise out in the morning. I’ve been able to stay better focused and motivated with less burnout. This is a personal experience so you may want to experiment yourself to see if it works.

4. “You will never have this day again, so make it count.” – unknown

good morning quotes you will never have this day


If you notice you have trouble waking up even to an alarm, try setting two. Set one alarm for the time you’d like to wake up and another five minutes later. You can see this and our list of good morning quotes with tips for waking up happier here.

5. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

inspirational quotes Confucius

Do your hardest work in your “prime time”:

Our prime time is the time of day where you do your best work. Once you find this period, always schedule time during this period to work uninterrupted. Experiment to see if you are more creative in the morning than the evening and plan your work accordingly.

6. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

inspirational quotes Mark Twain

Take away the visual distractions:

Our mind gets attracted to blinking lights on our phones, people passing by, and crowded places in general. Try not to do your most important work in the most crowded places. Turn off devices that can distract you such as phones and pop-up notifications.

Wish your friends a happy journey with this list of quotes and sayings! 

7. “Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile.” – Connor Franta

inspirational quotes Connor Franta

Pump up the (background) jams:

Try to find songs that don’t have any lyrics. These songs help you build your focus, block out pesky distractions, and could even enhance creativity. Our favorites include music from the Final Fantasy franchise and classic piano.

8. “Your past mistakes are meant to guide you, not define you.” – Ziad K. Abdelnour

inspirational quotes Ziad K Abdelnour

Turn off all notifications:

When you get notifications from your phone or computer, you can get easily distracted. Once you experience the initial distraction, it can take minutes or hours to get you back into your original working groove.

You can find more peace of mind quotes here.

9. “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.” – Pravinee Hurbungs

inspirational quotes Pravinee Hurbungs

Block Facebook and other distracting websites:

Block every site that easily distracts you while you’re working. Not only will this help with self-control, but it will also stop you from continuing a bad habit that is costing you productivity. We’ve definitely gone down the Facebook rabbit many times – you’re not alone.

10. “You have to be odd to be number one.” – Dr. Seuss

inspirational quotes Dr Seuss

While most of us are taught to blend in and make friends, remember that it’s the weird outcasts who usually come up with astonishing ideas and successes.

Try the Pomodoro Technique:

For 25 minutes, you will work on only one task. Once the 25 minutes are up, you take a 5-minute break, then repeat. After you do 3 sessions of the Pomodoro technique, take a break for a larger amount of time. You can use the free “tomato timer” here.

11. “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tiptoe if you must, but take a step.” – Naeem Callaway

inspirational quotes Naeem Callaway

Break a project down to small steps:

Sometimes a large task can feel overwhelming. Break a task down into smaller steps to make it more manageable. Furthermore you’re going to feel good as you progress since each step will be a small victory.

13. “We didn’t come this far to only come this far.” – unknown

inspirational quotes we didnt come this far

Invest in some good headphones:

When you wear headphones, you tell people that you are busy and do not want to be disturbed. Having a good pair of headphones can insulate you from the distractions of the world.

14. “If you stumble, make it part of the dance” – unknown

inspirational quotes if you stumble

Put up a do not disturb sign:

This technique simply involves locking your door and putting up a sign that says you’re not to be disturbed. Uninterrupted work could simply be a matter of telling people that you should not be disturbed for a certain period of time. This can save you a distraction in advance.

15. “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” – Brene Brown

inspirational quotes Brene Brown

Save articles for later:

During the course of work, you may come across articles that you want to read later. Save them with apps like Pocket so you can get back to work.

If you’re looking for love quotes and romantic ideas, we’ve got a great list of over 65 here.

16. “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

inspirational quotes Oprah Winfrey

Doodle strategically:

Most complex problems can be difficult to solve since we often think of things in a set, linear way. We’ve found that doodling often helps us get over mental blocks and find connections between problems. There are also online programs that offer a similar solution in forms of mind-mapping.

17. “Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.” – unknown

inspirational quotes falling apart

Make a “Do-Not” list:

Make a list of all your time-wasting habits. This way you can preemptively shut down bad habits and distractions in the future. Furthermore, you can work to replace those habits with activities that will be productive instead.

18. “Never let the sadness of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present.” – unknown

inspirational quotes never let your sadness

Make a list of possible distractions:

Make a list of the things, activities, and people that you think about while you’re trying to work. You can sometimes take care of some tasks quickly and prevent them from being a mental distraction. If you need to make a short phone-call, maybe its best to take care of it before you start on a project. If you need to tend to something more time consuming, write it down so that you will know to start on it after your more pressing tasks.

19. “Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” – Robert H. Schuller

inspirational quotes Robert H Schuller

Plan days with no meetings:

Have at least one day a week where you and your team don’t have any meetings. This allows everyone to have a good chunk of uninterrupted work time.

20. “Mistakes are proof that you are trying.” – Samantha Snyder

inspirational quotes Samantha Snyder

Sticky notes are your friends:

Sticky notes will give you a visual reminder of the things you need to remember and will keep your focus on the correct things. We often like to leave uplifting notes for each other too to help ourselves through the day. Small messages can help inspire and motivate others.

21. “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being excited of what could go right.” – Tony Robbins

inspirational quotes Tony Robbins

Unplug everything:

To avoid most distractions, turn off your mobile phone, stop checking your email, and route all of your calls to voicemail. You can download all research material needed and unplug your WiFi as a more extreme measure to protect yourself from distractions.

22. “When it rains, look for rainbows; when it’s dark, look for stars.” – unknown

inspirational quotes when it rains

Schedule email time:

Set a specific time to read your email and spend the rest of your day doing more efficient tasks. Most emails are never emergencies, let people call you if they need to.

23. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale

inspirational quotes Norman Vincent Peale

Eat a healthy breakfast:

It will give you energy, which will help you concentrate and stay positive. We like preparing something the night before (think breakfast tacos) so that we don’t make a mess of the kitchen first thing in the morning.

24. “Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.” – Barry Finley

inspirational quotes Barry Finley

Cross the worst task off your list first:

This will give you some much-needed energy for the rest of the day. Leaving a dreaded task in the back of your mind can really suck the energy and affect how you perform other projects.

25. “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.” – Barbara Haines Howett

inspirational quotes Barbara Haines Howett

Make a verbal commitment to your friends:

When you do this, you have an extra kick of motivation to actually get the job done. You will be socially accountable once you’ve told your friends you’re about to do something. Let your friends help support and keep you motivated through tough challenges.

26. “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

inspirational quotes Maya Angelou

Reward yourself:

When you reward yourself, it gives you the motivational boost to keep going. People, especially driven people, can often be too hard and negative on themselves.

27. “The comeback is always stronger than the setback.” – unknown

inspirational quotes the comeback

Make your bed every morning:

Making your bed lets you have at least one win every single day. This motivates you and helps you develop good habits.

28. “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem

inspirational quotes Suzy Kassem

Do something fun this weekend:

When you have something fun that you can do during the weekend, it will give you more motivation for the week ahead. Trying something new and different can help increase your creativity and attention span. 

29. “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll

inspirational quotes Charles R Swindoll

Just Start:

For many people, starting is half the battle. Just tell yourself that you will work for 5 minutes only. You’ll often find that you’ll get a lot more done than you originally thought.

30. “It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars.” – Richard Evans

inspirational quotes Richard Evans

Get a mentor:

Look for someone who has already found success at what you are doing. Finding someone to look up to is highly motivating. It’s likely that successful people who are passionate about their craft will be happy to guide you if you can bring positive energy to the conversation.

31. “We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll

inspirational quotes Robert Ingersoll

Practice Positivity:

It will boost your energy level and make your performance levels rise at work. There are many ways you can exercise positivity including meditation, choosing good friend circles, and keeping positive reminders throughout the day.

32. “Your speed doesn’t matter, forward is forward.” – unknown

inspirational quotes your speed doesnt matter

Set a deadline:

When you set a deadline for each task, it gets you to focus and do your tasks at a faster pace.

33. “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

inspirational quotes H Jackson Brown

Weekly goals:

Setting a weekly goal keeps you focused and motivated throughout the week.

34. “Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” – Swami Sivananda

inspirational quotes Swami Sivananda

Plan the day ahead of time:

When you start the day with a concrete plan in mind, it not only reduces the stress in your life. It also helps you focus on the required things you need to think about during the week.

35. “Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman

inspirational quotes Walt Whitman

Set a specific end time for meetings:

By doing this, it forces your team to focus only on the important topics.

36. “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” – Warren Buffett

inspirational quotes Warren Buffett

Batch similar tasks together:

Instead of switching between similar tasks all day, do them all in one sitting to optimize time.

37. “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

inspirational quotes Vince Lombardi

Batch your email responses:

Select a time to answer your emails. Throughout the day, either erase spam or respond to urgent email.

38. “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale

inspirational quotes Norman Vincent Peale

Use Email autoresponders:

When you adopt an email autoresponder, you won’t get the temptation to immediately answer every email that comes to your inbox.

39. “Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.” – Malala Yousafzai

inspirational quotes Malala Yousafzai

Play brain games:

Playing brain games on your phone or laptop can help your memory and focus. While most games have not been proven scientifically, they can still give you a break and create a stimulating experience.

40. “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

inspirational quotes Robert Louis Stevenson

Inspirational Quote Reflection:

Sometimes we can be caught up with results and even worst, short term results. It’s best to remember that great things take time to build and it’s often better to focus on progress than outcomes. 

41. “Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein

inspirational quotes Nido Qubein

Inspirational Quote Reflection:

They say it’s not where you’ve been it’s where you’re going. You can’t change your current situation and often your environment is not something you can totally control. You are, however, in complete control of your decisions and next actions. Move in a positive direction no matter where you are.

42. “When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves.” – William Arthur Ward

inspirational quotes William Arthur Ward

Inspirational Quote Reflection:

In a competitive society, we often think that there must be a loser for there to be a winner. This doesn’t have to be the case at all. Building up those around you and giving your friends and co-workers a pat on the back can help improve your own morale and motivation. Build up others and they will often return the energy to you tenfold.

43. “Whoever is happy will make others happy too.” – Anne Frank

inspirational quotes Anne Frank

Inspirational Quote Reflection:

A positive attitude is infectious. We can’t count the times where we’ve come to work feeling down to have a co-worker or friend cheer us up. Staying optimistic can help bring the spirits of those around you up along with your own.

44. “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” – Vince Lombardi

motivational quotes - Vince Lombardi

Inspirational Quote Reflection:

It’s easy to count all the set-backs and lack of resources we may have. However, successful people can often make the best out of a bad situation and turn the tides when failure seems inevitable. Being resourceful and creating your own opportunity is often the only path to success.

45. “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton

motivational quotes - Isaac Newton

Inspirational Quote Reflection:

Remember that we are often given the opportunities in the present from the countless sacrifices of those before us. Stay humble and remember that the path available to us have likely been paved by the effort of others.

46. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

motivational quotes - Mahatma Gandhi

Inspirational Quote Reflection:

There’s no reason to stay a bystander when much of the world affects your quality of life. Be a positive change in the life of your friends and family. It really doesn’t take much to nudge the world to a happier plane – just call up a friend and wish them a happy day.

47. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

motivational quotes - Anne Frank

One Small Act of Kindness:

Try something new today by doing a random act of kindness. It can be something small like an anonymous donation, calling up a friend and wishing them well, or supporting someone on Facebook with their endeavors.

48. “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

motivational quotes - Winston Churchill

Fail at something:

Try something new that you might not be good at. Learning how to fail will let you push your limits with more comfort. Step out of your comfort-zone and learn something new!

49. “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” – Pablo Picasso

motivational quotes - Pablo Picasso

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone:

Call up a friend who enjoys a hobby that you know you’re bad at. Being terrible at something just means you have the most potential to improve. It’s OK to look silly from time to time – don’t be so hard on yourself!

50. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

motivational quotes - Benjamin Franklin

Try different ways of learning:

We all learn in very different ways. Some of us learn best through prepared study and methodology while others learn very well by doing. Some people are visual learners while others much prefer audio lectures. Be sure to experiment and find out what works for you.

51. “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” – Dr. Robert Schuller

motivational quotes - Dr Robert Schuller

Positive quote reflection:

It’s amazing when we hear countless stories of champions persevering through difficult times. Tom Brady was passed up on the draft and picked up late as a back up. FedEx was nearly on the brick of going broke when the owner took the last of their money to Vegas to gamble for their survivor. Steve Jobs was fired from the very company he founded and came back years later to help develop the iPod.

52. “Once you choose hope, anything’s possible.” – Christopher Reeve

motivational quotes - Christopher Reeve

Positive Quote Reflection:

Sometimes it’s good to get some perspective on our problems. Remember that however bad your day is, its likely that there’s someone else out there in much worse condition than you. Be thankful for the opportunities that you have and make the best of your situation.

53. “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali

motivational quotes - Muhammad Ali

Inspirational video clip:

Here is an amazing YouTube clip of Muhammad Ali to get you fired up.

54. “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth

inspirational quotes - babe ruth

Focus on success rather than failure:

Our brains are wired to focus on danger and negative consequences in order to protect us. However, we can often be too negative and let fear paralyze us from making any decision at all. Try to balance out negative thoughts with some warm memories.

55. “Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.” – Steve Maraboli

motivational quotes - Steve Maraboli

Positive Outlook:

Failure is just a part of success. If we are to do anything great, we’re bound to have setbacks and roadblocks along the way. Understand that setbacks are hard but will make you stronger for future challenges.

56. “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” – Arthur C. Clarke

motivational quotes - Arthur C Clarke

Try something new:

For just 5 minutes a week, try something completely new. Getting use to failing at a new skill will allow you to better face setbacks in general. Additionally, trying something new will likely lead you to interacting with new people and groups that you usually wouldn’t connect with.

57. “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz

motivational quotes - Lou Holtz

Let go of your past mistakes:

Learn from your past mistakes and don’t let them control you. Just because you’ve failed or done badly in the past doesn’t mean you’re bound by failure. Take failure as a well earned lesson and move on stronger. 

58. “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill

motivational quotes - optimist Winston Churchill

Quote Reflection:

It’s often easy to be confident and composed when things are going well, but it’s perhaps a better measure of character to see how someone reacts when things fall apart. Really great entrepreneurs, like Steve Jobs for example, have found greatness through horrible setbacks (like getting fired from your own company.)

59. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

motivational quotes - henry ford

Motivational quote reflection:

How you you view a situation will be a big factor on whether or not it will end in a win. Often our perspective on a situation will determine it’s very outcome. Stay positive and fight on!

60. “If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.” – Walt Disney Company

motivational quotes - walt disney

Doodle for Fun:

Take a break from your difficult task and doodle something. Our minds can wander onto solutions from time to time if we let it relax. Try drawing something for fun to give your brain some rest.

61.”Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. – Mahatma Gandhi

motivational quotes - learning gandhi

Accumulating useful knowledge allows us to make the most of our time here. Embrace each day to the fullest because you’ll never know when it will be your last. Hold on to your experiences and lessons dearly though as they will guide you on a long journey.

62. “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” – Oscar Wilde

motivational quotes - stars oscar wilde

Just because you’re in bad shape today doesn’t mean that’s going to last forever. Keep your chin up and understand that things will usually get better. Don’t stop believing!

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

motivational quotes - George Eliot

You’re never too old to be happy. Keep chasing after your dreams and don’t let people or circumstances so you from trying. Keep learning and striving towards your goals.

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

motivational quotes - George Bernard Shaw

Stop waiting for the world to tell you who you are or what you should be. Take some time to decide what you do and don’t like and be yourself. Everyone is a work in progress and we hope that you’re working hard towards your goals.

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

tuesday motivational quote churchill

Don’t be afraid to fail. Remember that life is long and there’s going to be a lot of bumps along the way. Have the courage and ambition to keep moving forward to what’s important in your life.

66. “Some people make your laugh a little louder, your smile a little brighter and your life a little better. Try to be one of those people.” – Unknown

We all have a choice to nudge the universe to a happier, healthier place.

67. “Stay hungry, stay foolish” – Steve Jobs

steve jobs quote stay hungry

Remain a beginner

Try your best to stay humble and let your mind be ready for new experiences. It’s easy to build yourself in the image of the expert and a wall of protection to defend your status. Let go of titles and remain a beginner so that you can adapt to the ever-changing world.

68. “I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Steve Jobs

steve jobs quotes ding in the universe

Aim high

Life is full of people that will want you to bend to convention. As long as you’re safe and happy, why not shoot for the moon?

69. “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.” – Tommy Lasorda

focus on yourself quotes Tommy Lasorda

A little effort goes a long way

Remember that great things are built over long periods of time and your daily efforts will add up. We didn’t get to the moon in one day, it took years of determination and hurdles of failure for us to push the boundaries on what is and isn’t “possible”.

70. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

focus on yourself quotes Aristotle

The small things matter

What we do on a daily basis will be an accumulation of who we are in a lifetime. Take care of how you conduct yourself as you are likely nudging your entire life in that direction. You can see more quotes about focusing on yourself and your development in our article.

71. “Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up.” – Rocky Balboa

focus on yourself quotes Rocky Balboa

Face your failures

Almost no champion has a flawless record. Hopefully we can take heart that significant victories often become legend while failures are often forgotten. Individually we often focus on our failures and overweight their importance in our progress.

72.  “Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen.” – Wayne Huizenga

good morning quotes Wayne Huizenga

Hard work is irreplaceable

There will always be people who are smarter than you or prettier than you but you can work hard to ensure that no one puts forth more effort than you. Plan out your day and give it your best no matter what you current situation is.

73. “Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.” – Clint Eastwood

focus on yourself quotes Clint Eastwood

Respect your effort

Remember that everything until you reach your goal is progress. That includes both small victories as well as major failures. Respect your hustle and push on!

Stay Positive and Motivated

We know that staying motivated can be a challenge with all of the negative forces present in everyday life. We hope that even more than being productive, that you can keep these positive quotes in mind to happy.

This will be an on-going and ever growing list of inspirational quotes from innovators, leaders, and visionaries. We will continue to add motivational quotes, reflections and action items continually.


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