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Wisdom – Inspirational Quotes


Inspirational and Motivational Quotes

The English and Japanese version is here.
Download: Wisdom PDF – English
Download: Wisdom PDF – English & Japanese


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Our entire lives are spent trying to live better. We’re constantly searching for the secrets of life, those pieces of information that are the keys to living well. Life is a series of plateaus. We think we understand something, then we face new obstacles, and new challenges. In overcoming them, our understanding of ourselves and the world around us deepens.

Inspiration quote motivation poster 23There have been billions of people in history. Each life is different and special and contributes to the united human experience. Yet, there are many universal truths which we all share. Below is a small collection of this wisdom. Read it carefully. Read it many times. Read it again after time passes. Let it motivate and inspire you. The words here will help you become a better person. They will help you become more successful. They will help you achieve your dreams, and help you support the dreams of the people you care about.


  1. You become strong when you choose not to be weak.
  2. Repeat: I am my own greatest enemy. I am my own champion.
  3. Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It’s not your parents, your past relationship, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible for every decision and choice you make.
  4. All of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon, instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. – Dale Carnegie
  5. Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic. – Dale CarnegieInspiration quote motivation poster 1
  6. Put enthusiasm into everything you do. – Dale Carnegie
  7. Do the thing you fear to do and keep on doing it. That is the quickest and surest way ever yet discovered to conquer fear. – Dale Carnegie
  8. Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and start being positive about what could go right.
  9. The way you treat yourself sets the standards for others in how you want to be treated. Don’t settle for anything other than respect.
  10. Say to others: If you don’t know something about me, then ask me. If you don’t agree with my choices, then argue with me. If you don’t like something about me, then talk to me. Don’t start judging me silently.Inspiration quote motivation poster 2
  1. Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Don’t think too badly about yourself for making mistakes. You’re going to make mistakes all the time, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes, find the cause of your problems, and overcome them. Don’t be disappointed if you’re not perfect. Just try to be an excellent example of a human being. – Tony Robbins
  2. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength. – Corrie Ten Boom
  3. Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the people you can, in every place you can, all the time you can, as long as you can.
  4. Respect and trust are the two easiest things in life for someone to lose, and the hardest things to get back. Don’t risk losing them.
  5. Life is too short to be anything but happy. So kiss slowly, love deeply and forgive quickly. Take chances, give everything, have no regrets and learn from the challenges in your past. Remember what they taught you.Inspiration quote motivation poster 3
  6. Success isn’t always about ‘greatness’. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work gains success. Greatness will come. – Dwayne Johnson
  7. Let’s stop complaining about our country and do something to make it better. Because, WE are our country.
  8. A strong person is not someone who doesn’t cry. A strong person cries, then gets up and fights again.
  9. It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to chance and others are not. – James Gordon
  10. No matter how ‘busy’ a person is, if they really care, they will always find the time for you.

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  1. Always be willing to make an attitude adjustment.
  2. Repeat in the mirror: I am my problem, but also my solution.
  3. It’s not enough to love the children, it is necessary that they are aware that they are loved. – St John Bosco
  4. Good relationships don’t just happen. They take time, patience, and two people who really want to be together.
  5. I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. – Michael JordanInspiration quote motivation poster 4
  6. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it.
  7. Stand up for what is right, even if you’re standing alone!
  8. Haters don’t really hate you, they hate themselves, because you’re a reflection of what they wish to be.
  9. This is your life. Do what you love and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit it. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be there when you start doing the things you love. Stop making excuses, your life is made up of your own choices.
  10. Open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people, because we are united in our differences. Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them. Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come once, seize them. Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating. Life is SHORT. Don’t wait, live your dreams and share your passions now.Inspiration quote motivation poster 5
  1. Always tell the truth. Use kind words. Keep your promises. Giggle and laugh. Be positive. Love one another. Always be grateful. Forgive. Try new things. Say please and thank you. Smile.
  2. Too often we are scared. Scared of what we might not be able to do. Scared of what other people might think if we tried. We let our fears stand in the way of our hopes. We say no when we want to say yes. We sit quietly when we want to scream. And we shout along with others, when we should keep quiet. Why? After all, we only live once. There’s no time to be afraid, no time to give in to fear. So stop. Try something you have never tried. Risk yourself. Enter a competition. Write a book. Demand a salary raise. Throw away your television. Bicycle across the country. Learn an instrument. Try anything. Speak out against corruption. Travel to a place where you don’t speak the language. Invent something. Call someone you love. You have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain. Just do it. – Nike
  3. I am in charge of how I feel and today I am choosing happiness.
  4. A wise man told his grandson: “There’s a battle between two spirits inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness and truth.” The boy thought about it and asked: “Which spirit wins?” The wise man replied: “The one you feed.”
  5. Everything is practice.Inspiration quote motivation poster 6
  6. Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of brave people who are overcoming it.
  7. Listen carefully to how a person speaks about other people to you. This is how they will speak about you to other people. How do you speak about others when they are not present?
  8. Repeat in the mirror: I’m a positive person who wants to believe the best in others. I like to help, to encourage people, and to make them feel good.
  9. Never leave a great relationship for a few faults. Nobody is perfect, nobody is more correct. Including you. In the end, affection is more important than perfection.
  10. The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything. – Albert Einstein

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  1. How others see you is not important. How you see yourself means everything.
  2. You cannot control what happens to you, but you CAN control your attitude towards what happens to you. When you do that, you will control the change rather than allowing it to control you.
  3. Confidence is beautiful.
  4. Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality. Surround yourself with people who make you a better person.
  5. Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. – Mark TwainInspiration quote motivation poster 7
  6. It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are. – Roy E. Disney
  7. The best relationship is when your lover is also your best friend. You can be yourself with them, and they still love you for who you are.
  8. We should be thankful for the difficult people we meet. They show us exactly who we don’t want to be.
  9. Bodybuilding is an art. Your body is the canvas. Weights are your brush and nutrition your paint. We all have the ability to turn a self portrait into a masterpiece.
  10. You were born to be real, not to be perfect. You’re here to be you, not to be what someone else wants you to be. Stand up for yourself, look them in the eye and say “Don’t judge me until you know me. Don’t underestimate me until you’ve challenged me. Don’t talk about me until you’ve talked to me.


  1. You have exactly one life to do everything you’ll ever do. Act accordingly.
  2. Stop focusing on being skinny. If you clean up your eating habits and exercise regularly, your body will take care of itself.
  3. I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people. – Maya Angelou
  4. Failure isn’t falling down, it’s remaining where you’ve fallen.
  5. Nothing was ever achieved without enthusiasm.Inspiration quote motivation poster 8
  6. Happy girls are the prettiest! – Audrey Hepburn
  7. If you’re tired for starting over, stop giving up.
  8. Being classy is knowing what to say, when to say it, and when to say nothing.
  9. Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. – George Bernard Shaw
  10. Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.

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  1. Miracles start to happen when you give as much energy to your dreams as you do to your fears. – Richard Wilkins
  2. If it’s important, you’ll find a way. It it’s not, you’ll find an excuse. – Ryan Blair
  3. Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
  4. Good things come to those who work hard and never give up.
  5. Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t. – Rikki RogersInspiration quote motivation poster 9
  6. Reaching your dreams will hurt. It will take time. It will require dedication and willpower. You will need to make healthy decisions. It will require sacrifice. You will need to push yourself to your limits and beyond. There will be temptations and distractions. But, I promise you, when you reach your goal, it will be worth it.
  7. Exercise to be fit, not skinny. Eat to nourish your body and always ignore the doubters and unhealthy examples that were once feeding you. You are worth more than you realize.
  8. Start each day like it’s your birthday.
  9. The trouble is, you think you have time. – Buddha
  10. Always tell the truth. Work hard. Keep your promises. Try new things. Don’t complain. Laugh out loud. Always say I love you. Use kind words. Do your best. Be grateful. Be kind. Be proud of yourself, but not arrogant. Remember that you are loved.Inspiration quote motivation poster 10
  1. Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions. – Will Smith
  2. Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. Forgiving people doesn’t make you weak. We forgive them because we’re strong enough to know that everyone make mistakes.
  4. Be your own hero. Raise yourself up.
  5. Failure can destroy you or it can make you so determined that you work even harder to become the winner that you know you are.
  6. Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.
  7. Don’t let past relationships ruin your future happiness. Scars remind us of where we’ve been, not where we’re going.
  8. True leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.
  9. When we look back on our lives, we see pain, mistakes and heartache. When we look in the mirror, we see strength, learned lessons and pride in ourselves.
  10. Instead of giving yourself reasons why you can’t, give yourself reasons why you can.

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  1. Once you become consciously aware of just how powerful your thoughts are, you will realize everything in your life is exactly how you allow it to be. – Melanie Mouchigian Koulouris
  2. Don’t complain about things you’re not willing to work hard to change. Don’t be upset with the results you didn’t get with the work that you didn’t do. If you change nothing, nothing will change. – Tim Baril
  3. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness make you sour. Take pride that no matter who may disagree, you still believe the world is a beautiful place to be. – Kurt Vonnegut
  4. Show up. Even when you don’t’ feel like showing up. – Utpal Vaishnar
  5. Trade your expectation for appreciation and the world changes instantly. – Tony RobbinsInspiration quote motivation poster 11
  6. Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world. – Nelson Mandela
  7. Wake up with determination. Go to bed with satisfaction.
  8. Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful. – Hazrat Inavat Khan
  9. Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t. – Bill Nye
  10. You cannot change your future, but you can change your habits, and surely your habits will change your future. – Dr APG Abdul Kalem

  1. Why do we try so hard? Because we can.
  2. Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – Albert Einstein
  3. Sometimes it’s not about how good you are, it’s about how bad you want something.
  4. Before you start something, learn how to finish it.
  5. Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. – Edward StanleyInspiration quote motivation poster 12
  6. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. – John Quincy Adams
  7. Be the type of person you want to meet.
  8. Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  9. A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing. – Laura Ingalls Wilder
  10. Believe it or not, you are in control of your own life. You are the reason why you are sad, and you’re the reason why you’re happy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. So don’t wait for happiness. Go out and find it, right now.

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  1. My father used to say, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
  2. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do something, just because they can’t or won’t.
  3. You create your own opportunities.
  4. Be the best version of you.
  5. Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.Inspiration quote motivation poster 13
  6. You can say sorry a million times, or say I love you as much as you want. You can say whatever you want, whenever you want. But if you’re going to prove that the things you say are true, then you need to turn words into action. Because if you can’t prove them, your words don’t mean a thing.
  7. If you’re single, focus on being a better you, instead of looking for someone better than your ex. A better you will attract a better person next time.
  8. To be kind is more important than to be right. Many times, what people need is not a brilliant mind that speaks but a special heart that listens.
  9. A leader cannot lead from the middle of the pack. You cannot help people by becoming one of them. If you love them, turn your back on them. You must run ahead. Become their beacon of possibility.
  10. Going in one more round when you don’t think you can – that’s what makes all the difference in your life. – Sylvester StalloneInspiration quote motivation poster 14
  11. Sometimes you need the bad days, because it helps you truly appreciate the good ones.
  12. You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be. – Marianne Williamson
  13. If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. – Bruce Lee
  14. Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumphs; a beginning, a struggle and a victory. – Mahatma Gandhi
  15. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. – Tim NotkeInspiration quote motivation poster 15
  16. Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your pride.
  17. When you’re struggling with something, look at all the people around you and realize that every single person you see is struggling with something, and to them, it’s just as difficult as what you’re going through.
  18. Never lie.
  19. Stop making excuses. Stop saying that you’ll do it tomorrow. Stop believing it will happen by itself. Begin working hard today. Begin being healthy today. Change your life today, and be proud tomorrow.
  20. The worst thing I could be is the same as everybody else. I’d hate that. – Arnold Schwarznegger

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  1. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. – Stephen R Covey
  2. All that anger, all that fear, all that negative energy you have inside you, take it to the gym and spend it there. Let these things be your fuel, don’t fuel them instead.
  3. Live out of your imagination, not your history. – Stephen R Covey
  4. What ever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when other people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will bring others and show them how well you do what you do. – Walt Disney
  5. You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the way to do that is by have a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside. – Stephen R CoveyInspiration quote motivation poster 16
  6. He who has a why can deal with any what or how. – Stephen R Covey
  7. He who understands why something should be done, can then find out what to do and how to do it.
  8. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply. – Stephen R Covey
  9. Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant. – Stephen R Covey
  10. If you are not consciously focused on what is important, then you are unconsciously focused on what’s not important.


  1. If you are not actively thinking about what is important, then you are passively thinking about what’s not important.
  2. Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic. – Stephen R Covey
  3. If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster. – Stephen R Covey
  4. I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk. – Tony Robbins
  5. Love is a verb. Love pro-actively, don’t wait until someone else loves you first. Affirm another person’s choices, listen to them, sacrifice for them. Only then are you worthy of feeling love for someone, and being loved by them in return. – Tim BarilInspiration quote motivation poster 17
  6. If you believe in yourself, you can make yourself whatever you want to be.
  7. Life is a series of millions of tiny miracles. Notice them.
  8. When you are comfortable with who you are, not everyone will like you, but you won’t care.
  9. It’s ok to lose your pride over someone you love. Don’t lose someone you love over your pride.
  10. Take pride in how far you have come and have faith in how far you can go. Don’t wait until you’ve reached your goal to be proud of yourself. Be proud every step of the way.

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  1. People will hate you, rate you, shake you, and break you, but how strong you stand is what makes you!
  2. It’s easy to stand with the crowd. It takes courage to stand alone.
  3. Practice being kind to yourself. Don’t put yourself down. Say nice things to and about yourself. You are a wonderful person and you deserve to have amazing things happen in your life.
  4. If you are absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success. – Will Smith
  5. You are only worth what you are willing to give.Inspiration quote motivation poster 18
  6. Spend your life making other people happy, and the world a better place. Don’t waste your time trying to impress people who don’t matter.
  7. Before you criticize somebody, make sure you are better than him. – Lazar Angelov
  8. The only people with whom you should try to get even with are those who have helped you. – John E. Southard
  9. We learn to give not when we have everything, but because we know what it’s like to have nothing.
  10. The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. – Alice WalkerInspiration quote motivation poster 19
  11. People give up their power when they think they don’t have any.
  12. Respect people who find time for you in their busy schedule. Love people who never look at their schedule when you need them.
  13. To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
  14. If you succeed in cheating someone, don’t think that the person is a fool. Realize that the person trusted you more than you deserved.
  15. Happiness doesn’t depend on external conditions. It is governed by our mental attitude. – Dale Carnegie
  16. Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.
  17. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. – Marianne Williamson

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The above list was originally compiled as a year-end package for graduating students for English as a Second Language (ESL) in Japan. The goal is to give them something deeper to think about that grammar rules and math equations, something that’s actually useful and builds character.

Giving this package out to students always got them thinking and appreciative. It’s one of the few handouts they got during the year which they actually fully immersed themselves in. Perhaps the only handout I never saw crumpled up in classroom corners and in trash bins. They’d sit for half of a class reading and highlighting the things they liked best. When I asked them to stand up and read their favourite passages, there were always plenty of volunteers.

I think we all need a little inspiration and motivation on a regular basis. We can do it for ourselves by reading lists like the one above, posters like this, and videos like this. But what a wonderful world it is when we make an effort to inspire others too. We don’t have to be teachers to do it. A little encouragement to any friend, family, even a stranger can go a long way towards brightening their spirits and giving them the will to succeed.

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The English and Japanese version is here.

Download: Wisdom PDF – English

Download: Wisdom PDF – English & Japanese

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