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12 Quotes About Creating Meaningful Change

For many of us, the start of a new year, season, or chapter in life is motivation to set goals and intentions for the time ahead. But we don’t have to wait for a milestone to hit the reset button on our lives or facilitate change in our communities.

We can make a commitment to change at any time we choose. What’s important is that we are ready to take that first step, even when it seems difficult or scary to move beyond our comfort zone. An anonymous proverb offers this wisdom: “The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, and the second best time to plant a tree is now.”

These quotes, from artists and writers, great thinkers and world leaders, reflect on what it takes to make meaningful change — in ourselves, our lives, and the world around us.

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.
Mary Pickford, actress

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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for.
Barack Obama

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The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
Dan Millman, motivational author

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One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution.
Malala Yousafzai

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You can make things happen. You’re in control of change.
Dyllan McGee, filmmaker

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Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
L.M. Montgomery, author

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No star is ever lost we once have seen,We always may be what we might have been.
Adelaide Anne Procter, poet

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A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism

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What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.
Jane Goodall, primatologist

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If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.
Mahatma Gandhi

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If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.
Dolly Parton

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I keep on making what I can’t do yet in order to learn to be able to do it.
Vincent van Gogh

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Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images News via Getty Images

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About the Author
Kristina Wright
Kristina is a coffee-fueled writer living happily ever after with her family in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia.
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