40 Inspirational Quotes About Life

Do you ever find yourself wondering about the meaning of life?

Have you had those days when you're consumed by the nihilistic feeling that your particular life has no purpose?

I think we all go through times when we question our reason for being — when we wonder why we must endure suffering or unhappiness. Sometimes it feels as though our experience of life is out of our control. We simply endure, waiting for the next shoe to drop. Or we assume uninterrupted happiness is our birthright, and when something bad happens, we're thrown for a loop.

One of the greatest gifts I've ever received was the realization that I alone have control over my experience of life. Good and bad things will continue to happen, but it is my choice how I wish to respond and the attitude I decide to foster. This realization was a slow awakening that developed after reading the inspiration and wisdom of many great thinkers like Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Rumi.

Here are 40 inspirational quotes about life from some deep thinkers:

1. “Life is beautiful, as long as it consumes you. When it is rushing through you, destroying you, life is gorgeous, glorious. It’s when you burn a slow fire and save fuel, that life’s not worth having.” D. H. Lawrence


2. “Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.” ~Rumi



3. “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” ~Lao Tzu


inspirational quotes about life4. “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


5. “It is possible to live happily in the here and now. So many conditions of happiness are available—more than enough for you to be happy right now. You don't have to run into the future in order to get more.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh


6. “Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.” ~William James


7. “Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?” ~Bob Marley


8. “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


9. “We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” ~Joseph Campbell


Inspirational quotes about life10. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” ~T.S. Eliot


11. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~Thomas A. Edison


12. “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ~Pablo Picasso


13. “Go where you are celebrated – not tolerated. If they can’t see the real value of you, it’s time for a new start.” ~Unknown


14. “You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.” ~William W. Purkey


15. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ~Oscar Wilde


16. “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.” ~Alexander Graham Bell


17. “Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.” ~Mother Teresa


18. “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


Inspirational quotes about life19. “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” ~Dr. Seuss


20. “Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~George Bernard Shaw


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


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22. “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ~Gilda Radner


23. “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” ~John Lennon


24. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” ~Helen Keller 


25. “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.” ~Eckhart Tolle


26. “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” ~Jimmy Dean


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


28. “The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” – Marcel Pagnol.


29. “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” ~Will Rogers.


30. “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.”  ~John Allen Paulos


inspirational quotes about life31. “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.” ~Marcus Aurelius


32. “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key.” ~The Eagles


33. “Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” ~Dalai Lama


34. “So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things.” ~Morrie Schwartz 


35. “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different.” ~C.S. Lewis


36. “Let life be an adventure. Live your life to the fullest, unfettered by fear of the ghosts and goblins of what might occur. Calamity and death happen as well to those who hide from life as to those who squeeze every drop of zest from it.” ~Jonathan Lockwood Huie 


37. “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting HOLY CRAP… WHAT A RIDE!” ~Anonymous


38. “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” ~Albert Ellis 


39. “I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald


40. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out 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. Everything else is secondary.” ~Steve Jobs

What are some of your favorite quotes about life and the meaning of life? Please share in the comments below.

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Photo credit: Tammy Williams

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  • Jeremy

    10, 21, 23, 26, and 40 are my favourite from this list! Great quotes, always love them. I just recently blogged on my top 40 inspirational quotes too, heh.

    I’d like to add my favourite quote that I really think should be in the list. I live by it.

    “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  • Ron Clendenin

    Love the Oscar Wilde quote. Very true and inspiring.

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  • Great Photos

    yes that’s very inspiring quote Rom

  • Gathered Again

    I really liked this one:

    “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains, and we never even know we have the key.” ~The Eagles

    Thank you for an awesome pick me up. It’s been kind of a rough week, so this is just what I needed for heading into the weekend. 🙂

    All the best,

  • Allan Kenyon

    “Life is either an exciting adventure or nothing at all.”
    –Helen Keller

  • Michael Osborne

    The real and all out winner is number 40 by Steve Jobs. I am trying to be myself and trust my inner voice but it is difficult to have the courage but it is giving me a lot of peace and joy.I agree with Laura the Eagles one is good and also Allan with Helen Keller.
    Thanks to Barrie for sharing these great quote with us.

  • Mojtaba

    All are inspiring. My favorite is number 28.

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  • Daniel Partners

    Nice collection,

    There are no mistakes in life, just lessons.

    Thank you,

  • Comments are closed