What is your motto in life?
Maybe you keep a few quotes handy that serve as good mottos to live by, but you haven’t really identified any one of them as a motto you personally identify with.
If you’re thinking, “Yep, that’s me,” why not consider the sampling of life mottos in this article and choose to create one that speaks to you and motivates you — more than the others — to take action?
What do you have to lose — other than those moments of paralysis and indecision that go with not remembering the kind of person you want to be?
When the stakes are high, you want to be able to make the right decisions.
You want your words and actions to agree with each other. You want to become more and more the best possible version of yourself.
A great life motto can help with that.
Get ready to choose a personal motto that will help you get close to your purpose and accelerate your growth in that direction.
What is a Personal Life Motto?
A motto uses few words to express — and remind you of — the person you want to be.
The best mottos have deep personal significance because they highlight the virtues or characteristics most important to you.
And in so doing, they help you make the best decisions when you’re faced with difficult choices.
You can also write your motto on a bathroom mirror, on your kitchen or home office window or somewhere you’ll see it every day.
The better you know yourself, the easier to spot the personal mottos that will do you the most good.
55 Mottos To Live By
The following examples of mottos give you a broad sampling of meaningful phrases, some of which will be more motivating to you than others.
Some are popular mottos that have been with us for decades, if not centuries. Some have even been around for millennia.
All are good life mottos to live by. As you read through them, ask yourself how you want your personal life motto to make you feel — stronger, more confident, unshakeable, creative, more powerful?
Use the following list of mottos to find some that make you feel more like yourself at your best.
You may also enjoy reading our ultimate list of life lessons to live by article.
Personal Mottos To Live By
1. There’s magic on the other side of fear.
2. I am strong, I am confident, and I am unstoppable.
3. Breathe in courage (or confidence, personal power, compassion, etc.); breathe out fear (tension, anxiety, anger).
4. Act or accept.
5. Progress, not perfection.
7. Take another step.
8. Your pain today will be your strength tomorrow.
9. Do all the good you can.
10. Go to bed with dreams; wake up with a purpose.
11. One thing at a time.
13. Greatness is measured by courage and heart.
14. I am enough / You are enough.
15. Opportunities don’t happen. You create them. — Chris Grosser
16. I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. — Groucho Marx
17. Have courage and be kind. — Kyle Boureston
Famous Mottos To Live By
These famous mottos have been around for a good long while.
If you’re looking for a life motto your ancestors from another century might have adopted, consider one of the following.
18. Seize the day (or Carpe Diem)
19. Do no harm. — Hippocratic oath.
20. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. — Chinese proverb
22. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. – Helen Keller
23. Vision without action is a daydream. — Japanese proverb
24. We are what we repeatedly do. — Aristotle
25. If you’re going through hell, keep going. — Winston Churchill
27. Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. – William Shakespeare
Life Mottos to Live By
28. My life is right now, and I keep my attention in the present moment.
29. Life is nothing without the people I care about.
30. I choose to live every day of my life like it's the last day of my life.
31. Every new day is a chance to start my life over.
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32. I live my life on my own terms.
33. The meaning of my life is what I make it.
34. Celebrate the small wins. Every win matters.
35. Mistakes are learning opportunities; don’t let any go to waste.
36. Choose your battles; some are more worth fighting than others.
37. Turn obstacles into opportunities.
38. Find ways to step out of your comfort zone. Focus on excitement rather than fear.
39. “I never lose. I either win or learn” (Nelson Mandela)
40. Love the body you have. It’s gotten you this far. Treat it well.
41. Don’t look to others for validation; find it within yourself.
42. You already have what it takes.
Mottos For Love and Compassion
43. Make time for others in your life and in every day you have.
44. Learn what you can from others. Their experiences can teach you something yours haven’t yet.
45. Show yourself the same compassion you show others.
46. Surround yourself with people who see the best in you. And return the favor.
47. Behind anyone’s irritating behavior is a person. Always be kind.
48. Disappointment is an opportunity to practice patience, gratitude, and flexibility.
49. Living in harmony with others involves compromise. Empathy helps.
50. Compassion is never wasted, even when it’s not reciprocated.
51. We are more than our mistakes. Surround yourself with people who see that.
52. Be the kind of listener you wish everyone was.
53. A life spent helping others is a life filled with purpose.
54. We are all a work in progress.
55. You cannot save other people. But you can love them.
How Personal Mottos Benefit You
Consider the ways an effective personal motto can make your life better than ever:
It reminds you of the person you want to be.
It reminds you of the qualities you want to develop or strengthen in yourself.
It helps you set goals – and the right kinds of goals.
It helps you pursue and make steady progress toward those goals.
It helps you make difficult decisions.
It helps you navigate your life when you reach a turning point
An effective life motto serves as a blueprint in miniature for your continued progress as a person.
Not only can it help you choose the right path and stay on it, but it can also strengthen your sense of connection with others, no matter how much their paths might differ from yours.
A good life motto reveals an important truth about the one who chooses it, and it serves as a compass for present and future decisions — even when the only decision to make is whether to get back up and take another step forward.
How Do I Choose My Personal Motto?
The best place to start when you’re choosing a personal motto is exactly where you are right now. The most effective mottos are the ones that feel personal—as if they came from someone who knows you to your core.
If you’re still not sure where to begin, keep the following tips in mind as you read the mottos listed in this post:
Take stock of your core values and personal goals;
Think about moments when you did something you’re proud of;
Think about a mistake from which you learned a valuable lesson;
Think about your most important relationships and what makes them so;
Think about the most meaningful gifts you’ve received;
Think about something you did for another that you put your whole heart into.
How to Write Your Life Motto
To write your own life motto, you really only need to remember two things:
Write a short life motto that you can easily remember.
Choose a motto that motivates you to take action.
You’ll also want to consider how you can make it easy to remember your motto throughout the day — where you can write it, when you’ll say it out loud, and whether you’ll use a smartphone app to remind you of it.
You can also test-drive a motto for a while, and if it’s not helping you as much as you hoped, spend some time with another one that feels more motivating to you.
Don’t feel that you have to pick the right motto right now and stick with it for the rest of your life.
As you grow, you’ll find that a cool motto that once served you well just doesn’t say what you most need to hear any more. So, don’t be afraid to change it up.
The important thing here is to adopt a meaningful motto and see what it can do for you. For many people, just having the phrase, “I am enough” written on their bathroom mirror has made a life-changing difference.
Others feel more drawn to mottos like, “Throw me to the wolves, and I’ll return leading the pack.”
Choose the motto that makes you feel like the strongest and most amazing version of yourself.
Has this helped you?
Have we helped you find or create a powerful life motto for yourself? If so, would you please pass this on to help others do the same?
There’s no telling whom or how many you’ll help with the content you share.
We hope this article made your day better and lit a fire in you to choose a motto that will brighten up your present moment as well as the moments that come.
And may your wisdom and thoughtfulness influence everything else you do today.