Article image

20 of the Most Popular Quotes of All Time

Philosophers, scientists, leaders, artists — all of these and more have spoken words that echo through the years. Whether we’re looking for encouragement or the strength to get through a tough day, the right advice can make all the difference. Of course, some words have more staying power than others, whether due to the inspiring figure behind them or how deeply they resonate with us on a personal level.

Though the internet has made it easier to stumble on quotes that are inaccurate, misattributed, or just plain made-up, the quotes gathered here are verified morsels of wisdom that have survived the test of time. Savor each piece of insight, and see which ones stay with you.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao Tzu

Share Quote

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Share Quote

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.
Henri Matisse

Share Quote

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Share Quote

Well-behaved women seldom make history.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Share Quote

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Wayne Gretzky

Share Quote

The time is always ripe to do right.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Share Quote

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
W.E. Hickson

Share Quote

Whatever you are, try to be a good one.
William Makepeace Thackeray

Share Quote

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
Friedrich Nietzsche

Share Quote

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
Helen Keller

Share Quote

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
Maya Angelou

Share Quote

Action is the antidote to despair.
Joan Baez

Share Quote

Speak your mind — even if your voice shakes.
Maggie Kuhn

Share Quote

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
Dolly Parton

Share Quote

The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.
Amelia Earhart

Share Quote

Fear is stupid. So are regrets.
Marilyn Monroe

Share Quote

Every moment is a fresh beginning.
T.S. Eliot

Share Quote

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Steve Jobs

Share Quote

Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.
Thomas Edison

Share Quote

Featured image credit: Theo Wargo/ Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

Author image
About the Author
Paola Bennet
Paola Bennet is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She writes a fortnightly newsletter that treasures the mundane, called Small Histories. Find her on Instagram @paolafbennet.
Play more header background
Play more icon
Daily Question
Fill in the blank: "The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and ___." - David Foster Wallace

More Inspiration

happiness theme icon

The beginning of wisdom is to do away with fear.

separator icon
Yohannes Gebregeorgis
motivation theme icon

Only the curious have something to find.

separator icon
Sean Watkins
hope theme icon

Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.

separator icon
Albert Camus
love theme icon

Genius, like humanity, rusts for want of use.

separator icon
William Hazlitt
wisdom theme icon

The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.

separator icon
Madeleine L'Engle
happiness theme icon

Chance favors only the prepared mind.

separator icon
Louis Pasteur
motivation theme icon

Success is sometimes the outcome of a whole string of failures.

separator icon
Vincent van Gogh
hope theme icon

Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance.

separator icon
Abigail Adams
love theme icon

The human mind always makes progress, but it is progress in spirals.

separator icon
Madame de Staël
wisdom theme icon

The one who plants trees, knowing that he will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life.

separator icon
Rabindranath Tagore
happiness theme icon

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.

separator icon
Vincent van Gogh