I’ve had a love affair with quotes for almost 15 years now, and over that time I have collected over 1500 individual quotes.

Here are my ten favorite quotes of all time.

In addition to the quote, I’ve added a little description of the insight I’ve gained from each quote.


“Life is too short to have anything but delusional notions about yourself.” – Gene Simmons

Why not be your own cheerleader? Why not believe in your abilities to do incredible things? We’re only here once, so why choose the existence of a quiet little mouse? Have fun. Be confident. Attempt mighty things. Stand for something.

“Everyone has a plan ‘till they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson

Life is full of adversity and every plan needs to be readjusted. That six pack you wanted for the summer? Ironically, there are several ice cold, delicious six-packs in your way to make it harder for you to achieve it. Adversity is just behind the corner, so plan for it, and then defeat that sucker.

“When you walk up to opportunity’s door, don’t knock on it… kick that bitch in, smile and introduce yourself.” – Dwayne Johnson

Attitude is the one thing you truly control in life, so you might as well choose a positive, constructive, kick-ass attitude. There really isn’t a better alternative for such an attitude, but we still need the occasional reminder.

“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem” – Captain Jack Sparrow

Possibly my favorite quote of all time. The problem is not that our goals are hard to reach or that life isn’t easy. The problem often is that we expect things to be easy or someone else’s responsibility. We need to have the right attitude that we are going to work hard and overcome any challenge that stands between us and our goal.

Things are never going to go smoothly all the time. Regardless of the situation, without the right attitude you’ll never be happy or satisfied/content.

“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” – Grandmother of legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight

Many don’t seem to understand the difference between a hope and a plan. We hope things will go fine. We hope the exam goes well. We hope we’ll play well in the big game. But just as hoping is easy and free, it’s also a total waste of time. The only way to get what you want is to stop wishing and take concrete steps towards your goal.

“A ship is safe in a harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” – William Shedd

We were born to take risks and live life to its fullest. So why are we cocooning ourselves to dull, safe lives that we think are going to last forever? Get out there, take risks, and live a little.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

Perhaps you should have started that business several years ago. But you didn’t. You’re so far behind the curve now. But does that mean starting now is useless? Of course not. Hindsight is always 20-20. Focusing on where you could have been by now is futile. Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve – they’re all bullshit. Stop second-guessing yourself and do what is in your power today.

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.” – Seneca

The way you look at the world is the way the world reveals itself to you. Attitude is everything, and the feelings you choose color your perception of reality. Choose them wisely.

“Every time we choose safety, we reinforce fear.” – Cheri Huber

What fear usually does is make us want to avoid its source, but avoiding fear only makes it stronger. It communicates to ourselves that we’re incapable of dealing with the cause of the fear. Choosing safety is a good short-term strategy but a terrible long-term one.

“We all have our limitations, but when we listen to our critics, we also have theirs.” – Robert Brault

Almost all of us doubt ourselves way too much already. Why add to it the doubts of others? If the others really knew any better, wouldn’t they be a lot more successful and happy themselves? Learn to see that there are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must push yourself beyond them.

Bonus Quote: “Don’t fear failure. Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” – Bruce Lee

There is no safe way to live a fulfilling life. So dream big and aim high. Yes, big goals are scary, but they also motivate you in ways that small goals never can.

Got a favorite quote of your own? Share it below.

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