The Writing’s on the Wall—50 Inspirational Quotes to Keep Around You At Work



Aug. 26 2014, Published 12:14 a.m. ET

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I will embarrassingly admit: the first time I put together my favorite quotes was for the “About” page on my Facebook profile. The second time, I desperately looked for motivational words to help shed off the dreaded “freshman 20” and jotted them down in my fitness diary. For the third time around, I created a collage of quotes to get me through my college senior thesis project. And more recently, I wrote down nuggets of wisdom in my journal as I navigated through turbulent waters: determining what I wanted out of a career, where I wanted to go, and how to get there.

In the process of compiling quotes multiple times, I made an important realization: having them around you is powerful. When you put them in a place where you can see them everyday, you’ll notice that they have a way of holding you accountable for your actions, comforting you when you need it, compelling you to get your work done, motivating you to become the person you want to be, and making you realize that there are role models out there that were in your position.

Need inspiration on what to put on your wall, desk, or notebook? Here’s a list of motivational quotes that have helped me at different junctures of my life:

  1. “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson
  2. “…do your thing, and I shall know you. Do your work, and you shall reinforce yourself.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. “What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson
  4. “The years teach much which the days never know.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson
  5. “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity. I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand.” ―Henry David Thoreau
  6. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” ―Henry David Thoreau
  7. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” ―JK Rowling
  8. “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.” ―Thomas A. Edison
  9. “Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.” ―Thomas A. Edison
  10. “The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are: Hard work, Stick-to-itiveness, and Common sense.” ―Thomas A. Edison
  11. “Whatever you think, that you will be. If you think yourselves weak, weak you will be; if you think yourselves strong, strong you will be.” ―Swami Vivekananda
  12. “Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are men to rocks and mountains?” ―Jane Austen
  13. The Essence of Destiny: “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.” ―Unknown
  14. “Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments and know everything happens for a reason.” ―Albert Schweitzer
  15. “20 years from now you will be disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the one’s you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ―Mark Twain
  16. “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” ―Winston S. Churchill
  17. “Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination.  The best is yet to come.” ―Unknown
  18. “Decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it.” ―Bill Cosby
  19. “So many times I wish I could’ve lived my life without making mistakes. In reality, a path like that doesn’t exist. We fall. We get lost. We make mistakes. We get up and LIVE!” ―Unknown
  20. “If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.” ―Unknown
  21. “Things end. People leave. And you know what? Life goes on. Besides, if bad things didn’t happen, how would you be able to feel the good ones?” ―Elizabeth Scott
  22. “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making that impact last in your absence.” ―Sheryl Sandberg
  23. “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson
  24. “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” ―Guy Kawasaki
  25. “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” ―Max DePree
  26. “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” ―Stephen R. Covey
  27. “Life is a story: make yours the best seller.” ―Unknown
  28. We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will. ―Chuck Palahniuk
  29. “So this is the part where I’m supposed to tell you it’s not scary. Well, it is. But fear is natural, fear is good it just means you’re growing.”―Unknown
  30. “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” ―Steve Jobs
  31. “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. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.” ―Steve Jobs
  32. “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”―Steve Jobs
  33. “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
  34. “I had to make my own living and my own opportunity! But I made it! Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them.” ―Madam C.J. Walker
  35. “Success is about creating value.” ―Candice Carpenter
  36. “You have to be open-minded when those early opportunities present themselves; take advantage of them whether they’re going to make you a lot of money or not.” ―Rachael Ray
  37. “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” ―Eleanor Roosevelt
  38. “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” ―Ella Fitzgerald
  39. “Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” ―Harriet Beecher Stowe
  40. “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 opened for us.” ―Helen Keller
  41. “My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” ―Oprah Winfrey
  42. “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” ―Mae West 
  43. “Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.” ―Cher
  44. “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.” ―Madonna
  45. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” ―Mary Kay Ash
  46. “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” ―Gilda Radner
  47. “Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you; you only have to become quiet enough to hear them.” ―Debbie Ford
  48. “My will shall shape the future.  Whether I fail or succeed shall be no one’s doing but my own.  I am the force. I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice. My responsibility.  Win or lose; only I hold the key to my destiny.” ―Elaine Maxwell
  49. “In all realms of life it takes courage to stretch your limits, express your power, and fulfill your potential.” ―Suze Orman
  50. “Now, get out there and kick ass!” ―Stella McCartney 
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I would also love to hear from you, readers! What quotes have inspired you at different stages of your life? Please add your comments below.

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By: Anulekha Venkatram

Anulekha Venkatram is a Product Manager who enjoys partnering with professionals to build innovative products that solve customer problems. She is passionate about producing engaging content that fosters career-development and personal growth for millennial women. In her free time, she reads voraciously about technology trends and somehow finds time for grad school.

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