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21 Motivational Quotes to Keep You Inspired When Life Gets Tough

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Do you find yourself struggling to stay inspired when life seems to be conspiring against you? Everyone I speak to at the moment is facing numerous challenges and the current global events aren't helping either. It also doesn’t help that we’re hitting the “end of the year” sprint with low levels of endurance!

How do you find the energy to stay motivated and inspired to achieve your goals and dreams when your zest for life is zapped? It certainly helps to get a good night’s sleep, get in some exercise, and eat a healthy diet.

But, what I find inspires me is to read inspirational quotes from people who have been “there” and know what it’s like to hit a slump when life gets overwhelming.

Here’s my list of 21 motivational quotes that inspire me to keep going when life gets tough. I use them to remind me why I want to push through the challenges. They also help me to up my zest for life so I can sustain myself on the days when all I want to do is call it quits!

Motivational Quotes to Keep You Inspired

1. “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game's winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Professional Basketball Player, considered one of the greatest all-around players in the history of basketball.

2. “When one door of happiness closes, another opens: but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” – Helen Keller

At the age of two years old, Helen Keller became blind and deaf. She could have given up on life. Instead, she chose to fight and as a result, has achieved many amazing things.

3. “Impossible is just an opinion.” – Paulo Coelho

The author of the famous book, “The Alchemist”, Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian writer who continues to inspire others with his spiritual messages and writings.

4. “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of “Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,” and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” – Marissa Mayer

An American software engineer and businesswoman, Marissa Mayer played an instrumental role in developing Google Inc. in its early years. After a stint as CEO of Yahoo!, she’s recently launched a consumer apps start-up called Sunshine.

5. “If you believe it’ll work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you don’t believe it’ll work out, you’ll see obstacles.” – Wayne Dyer

Wayne Dyer was well-known self-help and spiritual writer who became an inspiring motivational speaker. His first book, “Your Erroneous Zones”, has sold over 100 million copies making it one of the best-selling books ever. He became known as the “Father of the modern self-help movement” and spent his first 10 years as a child living in various orphanages and children's homes.

6. “I now tried a new hypothesis: it was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be.” – Michelle Obama

An American attorney who served alongside President Barack Obama as First Lady for the United States from 2009 to 2017, Michelle Obama also wrote the inspiring book, “Becoming”, in 2018.

7. “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs

Recognized as one of the pioneers in the era of personal computers, Steve Jobs was a visionary who was raised by adoptive parents. He was passionate about Buddhism and raised his own funds to take a pilgrimage to India as a youngster. He was famous for launching groundbreaking products such as the iPhone and iPod.

8. “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go...” – Dr. Seuss from his delightful book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!”

9. “Be a fruitloop in a world of Cheerios!” - Unknown

Short and sweet but so thrilling at the same time!

10. ‘You could rattle the stars,” she whispered. “You could do anything, if only you dared. And, deep down, you know it too. That’s what scares you most.” – Sarah J. Maas

The author of the fantasy series “Throne of Glass”, Sarah J. Maas has also written “A Court of Thrones” and “Roses” series. Her latest books are the “Crescent Cities” series. The author has sold over 12 million copies of her books to date.

11. “Your Monday morning thoughts set the tone for your whole week. See yourself getting stronger, and living a fulfilling, happier & healthier life.” – Germany Kent

Born in 1975, Germany Kent went on to become an American print and broadcast journalist. She’s authored 10 non-fiction books including “You Are What You Tweet.”

12. “Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.” —Isabel Allende

A Chilean writer, Isabel Allende became well-known for her books that contain the magical realms genre. Her books, “The House of the Spirits” and “The City of the Beasts” have both been successful.

13. “If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.” - Jim Rohn

Mentor to Anthony Robbins, Jim Rohn was a self-made millionaire by the time he was 31 years old. He was an author and motivational speaker who believed in self-discipline being the key to success.

14. “Fear of what other people will think is the single most paralyzing dynamic in business and in life. The best moment of my life was the day I realized that I no longer give a damn what anybody thinks. That’s enormously liberating and freeing, and it’s the only way to live your life and do your business” — Cindy Gallop

Known for her radical and innovative approach to life, Cindy Gallop is a coach, business consultant, and keynote speaker. She’s all about changing the world for the better and was the founder of IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn.

15. "Worry is a misuse of imagination." —Unknown

16. "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” —Carl Sagan

While Carl Sagan contributed to the research of planetary atmospheres, he was well-known for popularizing astronomy. His interest in the possibility of life beyond Earth caused controversy in his circle. He was responsible for selecting the Mars landing sites for the Viking probes.

17. “I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”- Brene Brown

Read my article and learn more about what it takes to be vulnerable. Only then can you learn to embrace your own vulnerability while realizing it's your strength and NOT your weakness.

18. “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” - Eckhart Tolle

One of the shamanic principles is “NOW is the moment of power” and this message is reinforced constantly by the author of “The Power of Now”, Eckhart Tolle. Born in Germany, he is a spiritual teacher and author whose self-help books have inspired millions to grow themselves for the better.

19. “Train your conscious mind to think thoughts of success, happiness, health, prosperity, and to weed out fear and worry. Keep your conscious mind busy with the expectation of the best, and make sure the thoughts you habitually think are based upon what you want to see happen in your life.” – John Kehoe

After spending a long time alone in the woods of the Pacific Northwest, John Kehoe began to teach people the power of the mind. He developed his Mind Power program in 1978 and has also authored books such as “Mind Power into the 21st Century.”

20. ‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” – Helen Keller

21. ‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah Winfrey

An inspiring woman, Oprah Winfrey needs very little introduction. But, she continues to set an example for many women (and men) with her inspiring and motivational TV shows.

Final Thoughts

I’ve always believed life is an adventure and instead of getting mired down in the muck, we can choose to rise above it all and have fun. This is what I keep reminding myself every day when the muck does threaten to swallow me up.

And, then I remember all those who have gone before me and those who are never giving up today and I say to myself, over and over again, “Life is an adventure so you may as well have fun while you’re at it!”

This post was originally published on October 26th, 2021 and updated on November 21st, 2022.

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