50 Inspirational Quotes to Live By
Powerful words of wisdom about holding onto hope, persevering through tough times, and ultimately overcoming life's obstacles.
Quotes to Live By
Seek the brighter side
“And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.” —Gilbert K. Chesterton, writer
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.” —Rabindranath Tagore, poet
The joy of learning
“The more you find out about the world, the more opportunities there are to laugh at it.” —Bill Nye, mechanical engineer and television presenter
Living in the moment
“If you have wonderful moments, don’t second guess them. Just enjoy them.” —Martin Short, actor and comedian
Laugh it off
“If you can choose one characteristic to get you through life, choose a sense of humour.” —Jennifer Jones, actress
Could you use a good laugh yourself? Don’t miss our roundup of the best Canadian jokes of all time.
Inspirational quotes on embracing change
“Thank goodness for the first snow, it was a reminder—no matter how old you became and how much you’d seen, things could still be new if you were willing to believe they still mattered.” —Candace Bushnell, author of Lipstick Jungle
Finding your voice
“As you experiment with your voice—a high note, a low note—it’s a dance between your heart, your mind, your voice, and your experiences.” —Shania Twain, singer and songwriter
Mixing it up
“Life would be dull if we had to look up at cloudless monotony day after day.” —Gavin Pretor-Pinney, author
Endless fresh starts
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” —Albert Camus, author
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Going with the flow
“A cloud does not know why it moves in just such a direction and at such a speed. It feels an impulsion—this is the place to go now.” —Richard Bach, writer
Persistence pays off
“Truth is a seed planted deep. If you want to get it, you have to dig.” —Katherena Vermette, poet
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“Everybody’s a mad scientist, and life is their lab. We’re all trying to experiment to find a way to live, to solve problems, to fend off madness and chaos.” —David Cronenberg, director
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“I can’t play bridge. I don’t play tennis. All those things that people learn, and I admire, there hasn’t seemed time for. But what there is time for is looking out the window.” —Alice Munro, writer
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Inspirational quotes on achieving your potential
“I am not a person who reaches for the moon as long as I have the stars.” —Gertrude Ederle, first woman to swim across English Channel
The gift of time
“Aging is the extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been.” —David Bowie, singer and actor
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“It may be those who do most, dream most.” —Stephen Leacock, humourist
“Unless you come up against obstacles, you’re not going to learn something new. ‘What did you learn today?’ is a better line than ‘What did you do today?’” —Farhan Thawar, VP of Engineering at Shopify
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“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” —Bill Gates, software developer and philanthropist
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On never giving up
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” —Thomas Edison, inventor
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Creating a legacy
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree long ago.” —Warren Buffet, businessman and philanthropist
“The web as I envisaged it, we have not seen it yet. The future is still so much bigger than the past.” —Tim Berners-Lee, computer scientist and inventor of the World Wide Web
Rising to the occasion
“In any new situation, you will be viewed in one of three ways. As a minus one: actively harmful, someone who creates problems. As a zero: your impact is neutral and doesn’t tip the balance one way or the other. Or as a plus one: someone who actively adds value.” —Chris Hadfield, astronaut
Check out this collection of our favourite Canadian quotes of all time.
The secret to success
“Most of the successful people I’ve known are the ones who do more listening than talking.” —Bernard Baruch, financier
Inspirational quotes on facing your fears
“Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. Nothing could vanquish me.” —Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild
Here’s expert advice on how to embrace your fears and live a more courageous life.
“What would you do…”
“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” —Erica Jong, novelist
Show yourself kindness
“It’s really important not to be so judgmental and not to be so fearful. Try to have confidence in yourself. Don’t depend on so much on what others say about you or want you to be.” —Deepa Mehta, director and screenwriter
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Talking it through
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable.” —Fred Rogers, television host and author
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Inspirational quotes about hope
“Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.” —Cormac McCarthy, author of The Road
Courage can be contagious
“History has shown us that courage can be contagious, and hope can take on a life of its own.” —Michelle Obama, attorney and former First Lady of the United States
Here are more hope quotes that will lift you up.
Building a community
“We have to inspire people and give them a sense of hope. We have to bring people along, not ridicule and tear them down.” —Masai Ujiri, president of the Toronto Raptors
“’Love wins’ isn’t some fairytale saying; it’s instructions for life.” —Arlene Dickinson, businesswoman and investor
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Picking yourself up
“It’s what we do when we don’t succeed that determines whether we will succeed.” —Dave Williams, astronaut
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Act with a purpose
“Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all.” —Mikhail Chigorin, Russian chess master
Let it go
“Always focus on the front windshield and not the rearview mirror.” —Colin Powell, politician and diplomat
These powerful quotes about forgiveness will inspire you to let go of your grudges.
“Chess is life in miniature. Trust is struggle. Chess is battles.” —Garry Kasparov, chess grandmaster
What will you be remembered for?
“I would rather be kind than anything else.” —Jann Arden, singer and songwriter
These heartwarming acts of kindness will inspire you to pass it on.
Inspirational quotes on finding happiness
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” —Dalai Lama
Check out more insightful quotes from the Dalai Lama.
The philosophy of Dumbledore
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” —Steve Kloves, screenwriter
Looking for more quotes to live by from the Wizarding World? Check out the best Harry Potter movie (according to Rotten Tomatoes).
The joy trail
“You have to sniff out joy. Keep your nose to the joy trail.” —Buffy Sainte-Marie, singer and songwriter
“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” —Anne Morrow Lindbergh, author and aviator
“I’m not content to be content.” —Neil Young, singer and songwriter
“A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.” —William Arthur Ward, writer
These good news stories will restore your faith in humanity.
“We all fight a fight nobody knows about.” —Jordin Tootoo, former professional hockey player
For more quotes to live by, check out these great feel-good movies on Netflix.