Motivation (quotes)


What is motivation?


Motivation is about desire and enthusiasm


Motivation is the mental equivalent of inspiration

  • Inspiration is the sense of being filled with spirit and passion. Having a burning desire to create and express. Motivation is the mental equivalent of inspiration. It is the will, and the drive, to take action that brings us in line with our goals and desires. Inspiration and motivation together are a formidable combination. If you are both inspired and motivated, then watch out world- you will be unstoppable! Amanda Harvey
  • Inspiration

The power of motivation


Motivation is a powerful force in helping us attain our dreams and goals

  • Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal. Business Dictionary
  • Being motivated comes from taking your dreams out of the realm of fantasy and starting to make them a concrete possibility. This is the first step in making them a reality. Amanda Harvey
  • Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. Lou Holtz
  • We all need some form of deeply rooted, powerful motivation — it empowers us to overcome obstacles so we can live our dreams. Les Brown  
  • DreamsGoal setting

Motivation provides the energy for us to get things done and achieve success

  • Hope is what motivates us to work hard and get things done. It’s the idea that something better will happen in the future because of what we do. George Anderton
  • Hard work is only a prison sentence when you lack motivation. Malcolm Gladwell
  • To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you. Tony Dorsett
  • If you can learn to motivate yourself, you can always tap into an abundance of energy that will drive you to the success you dream of. Rachael Bermingham
  • The world is moved by highly motivated people, by enthusiasts, by men and women who want something very much or believe very much. John Gardner
  • Energy management

Motivation is the key to a full and rich life

  • When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life. Greg Anderson

Self-motivation is a potent form of emotional intelligence

  • Emotional Intelligence refers to the capacity for recognsing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and our relationships. Daniel Goleman
  • Emotional intelligence is a different way of being smart. It includes knowing what your feelings are and using your feelings to make good decisions in life. It’s being able to manage distressing moods well and control impulses. It’s being motivated and remaining hopeful and optimistic when you have setbacks in working toward goals. It’s empathy; knowing what the people around you are feeling. And its social skill—getting along well with other people, managing emotions in relationships, being able to persuade or lead others. O’Neil, 1996
  • If we allow our negative emotions too much control over our lives, they can affect our choices, our happiness, and our motivation. Amanda Harvey
  • We develop emotional talent not by relying on motivation all the time but by applying our will no matter how we feel. Dan Millman
  • When feelings are experienced with equanimity, they assure their proper function as motivators and directors of behavior as opposed to driving and distorting behavior.  Shinzen Young
  • Emotional intelligence

Motivation is a fire that must be lit daily


Motivation is a fire that must be lit from within

  • Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly. Stephen Covey
  • Inspiration is external and motivation is internal. It is up to me to provide the switch and you to flip it on! Tricia Cunningham
  • The ones who want to acheive and win championships motivate themselves. Mike Ditka
  • I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn. John Wesley
  • One of the strongest characteristics of genius is the power of lighting its own fire. John W.Foster
  • We’re all on different paths, but action is hard work and you must drive your own soul. Terri Guillemets
  • Each of us has a fire in our hearts for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit. Mary Lou Retton
  • No matter who you are or what your age may be, if you want to achieve permanent, sustaining success, the motivation that will drive you toward that goal must come from within. Paul J. Meyer
  • People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents. Andrew Carnegie
  • You can motivate by fear, and you can motivate by reward. But both those methods are only temporary. The only lasting thing is self motivation. Homer Rice

You need to light that fire daily 

  • People say motivation doesn’t last, well neither does bathing, that is why we recommend both daily. Dave Ramsey
  • Motivation is like food for the brain. You cannot get enough in one sitting. It needs continual and regular top ups. Peter Davies
  • The mind, with its emotions, is composed of ideas and impressions, and it is healthy and vital when it is continually replenished with inspiration, confidence, hope, wisdom, and understanding. No man lives long without food of the spirit. Ervin Seale
  • Good people strengthen themselves endlessly. Confucius
  • To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it. Mother Theresa
  • Life has no auto-settings. No batteries. You gots to wind it up! Jeb Dickerson
  • The mind is like a clock that is constantly running down. It has to be wound up daily with good thoughts. Fulton J. Sheen
  • Motivation is like fire, unless you keep adding fuel to it, it dies. Shiv Khera

Here are some ways to light your inner fire 


Create a purpose for living 

  • Purpose is the most powerful motivator in the world. The secret of passion truly is purpose. Robin Sharma
  • Strong lives are motivated by dynamic purposes. Kenneth Hildebrand
  • If you’ve ever felt inspired by a purpose or calling, you know the feeling of spirit working through you. Wayne Dyer
  • When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it. W. Clement Stone
  • Nothing magnifies your creative powers more than a clear sense of mission. He who puts in four hours of want to will almost always outperform the person who puts in eight hours of have to. How can you convert your have to’s to can’t wait to’s?
  • A Creator is vision-focused and passion-motivated. To really live into your Creator self, you are called to do the inner work necessary to find your own sense of purpose—whatever touches your heart and holds meaning for you. David Emerald
  • A good personal mission statement should be highly motivational and inspiring. It should empower you to go onwards and upwards. It is never a static statement, but should be refined and enhanced as life moves forward. Stephen Covey
  • It is impossible to work with a definite sense of purpose and be depressed at the same time. Carefully planned work will motivate you to do more and worry less. Steve Chandler
  • Core values are those deep motivators that are the source of your passion and purpose. Values provide the ground of inner congruence and integrity. Eric Klein
  • Purpose

Give your dreams all you’ve got 

  • Give your dreams all you’ve got and you’ll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you. William James
  • Dreams get you into the future and add excitement to the present. Robert Conklin
  • Get excited and enthusiastic about you own dream. This excitement is like a forest fire – you can smell it, taste it, and see it from a mile away. Denis Waitley
  • Dreams make you click, juice you, turn you on, excite the living daylights out of you. You cannot wait to get out of bed to continue pursuing your dream. The kind of dream I’m talking about gives meaning to your life. It is the ultimate motivator. Jim Collins
  • The more you can dream, the more you can do. Michael Korda
  • Dreams are logs that feed the fire of our souls. Marcela Bennett
  • Dreams

Be clear on what you really, really want 

  • To be successful, you must decide exactly what you want to accomplish, then resolve to pay the price to get it. Bunker Hunt
  • Am I motivated by what I really want out of life — or am I mass-motivated? Earl Nightingale
  • Consider what you want, then work enthusiastically on all levels to create it. James Arthur Ray
  • The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want. Ben Stein
  • You must form a clear and definite mental picture of what you want. Wallace D. Wattles
  • Your work is to simply determine what you want. Esther and Jerry Hicks
  • Every heart has a hidden treasure. A secret wish. A silent dream. A special goal to long for. Jill Wolf
  • Become clear about what you want

Be conscious of the reasons why you want what you want – and remind yourself of these reasons regularly 

  • Strong reasons make strong actions. William Shakespeare
  • God made man to go by motives, and he will not go without them, any more than a boat without steam or a balloon without gas. Henry Ward Beecher
  • No one does anything from a single motive. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Getting down to the nitty-gritty, most people are motivated by unconscious motives most of the time. Richard J. Mayer

Create a strong belief that you can attain what you really want 

  • We need to develop a sense of empowerment- a feeling that we have the strength and capability to achieve whatever we want in our lives. It is very important to believe that our goals are possible to achieve.  Amanda Harvey
  • Whether you believe you can do a thing or believe you cannot, you are right. Henry Ford
  • They can because they think they can. Virgil
  • What wonderful power, what a newness of life and of power of expression, is waiting for those who really believe. Ernest Holmes
  • BeliefSelf-belief

Harness the pulling power of your desire 

  • A burning desire is the greatest motivator of every human action. The desire for success implants ‘success consciousness’ which, in turn, creates a vigorous and ever-increasing ‘habit of success’. Paul J. Meyer
  • Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way. Les Brown
  • Desire is the key to motivation. Mario Andretti
  • When you know what you want, and you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to get it. Jim Rohn
  • Burning desire to be or do something gives us staying power – a reason to get up every morning or to pick ourselves up and start in again after a disappointment. Marsha Sinetar
  • Desire creates the power. Raymond Hollingwell
  • The inner thought coming from the heart represents the real motives and desires. These are the cause of action. Raymond Holliwell
  • Motivation starts with a sense of desire…. When you want something, you become motivated to get it. Denis Waitley
  • The electric energy which motivates us is not within our bodies at all. It is a part of the universal supply which flows through us from the Universal Source with an intensity set by our desires and our will. Walter Russell
  • Desire

Make sure that what you want involves what you love doing

  • Activities we love fill us with energy even when we are physically exhausted. Activities we don’t like drain us in minutes, even if we approach them at our physical peak of fitness. Sir Ken Robinson
  • Being in your element is not only about aptitude, it’s about passion: it is about loving what you do…tapping into your natural energy and your most authentic self. Sir Ken Robinson
  • Unlock your natural drives by doing what you enjoy. Hand Selye
  • Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity. Bo Bennett
  • Let yourself be silently drawn by the pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. Rumi
  • What comes from the heart, goes to the heart. Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • If you stay true to the spark of enthusiasm that makes you feel happiest and most alive, life will reward you in miraculous ways. Alan Cohen
  • On the new earth, enjoyment will replace wanting as the motivating power behind people’s actions. Wanting arises from the ego’s delusion that you are a separate fragment that is disconnected from the power that lies behind all creation. Through enjoyment, you link into that universal creative power itself. Eckhart Tolle
  • Do what you love

Use your imagination to create an inspiring vision of yourself attaining what you want 

  • Make sure you visualize what you really want, not what someone else wants for you. Jerry Gillies
  • Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death but to inspire yourself to life. Adele Brookman
  • One method of finding motivation is to use creative visualization. This means creating a mental picture of the outcome you wish to achieve. Amanda Harvey
  • Vision animates, inspires, transforms purpose into action. Warren Bennis  
  • All I know, is that the first step is to create the vision, because when you see the vision there—the beautiful vision—that creates the ‘want power.’ For example, my wanting to be Mr. Universe came about because I saw myself so clearly, being up there on stage and winning. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • In my experience, there’s only one thing that will always steer you toward success: That’s to have a vision and to stick with it… Once I have a vision for a new venture, I’m going to ride that vision until the wheels come off. Russell Simmons
  • One of the most powerful wellsprings of creative energy, outstanding accomplishment, and self- fulfillment seems to be falling in love with something – your dreams, your image of the future. E. Paul Torrance
  • Imagination

Use your vision to create goals that excite you 

  • The most important thing about motivation is goal setting. You should always have a goal. Francie Larrieu Smith
  • Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. Les Brown
  • The secret of unleashing your true power is setting goals that are exciting enough that they inspire your creativity and ignite your passion. Tony Robbins
  • If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hope. Andrew Carnegie
  • Goals are not only absolutely necessary to motivate us. They are essential to really keep us alive. Robert H. Schuller
  • Again and again, studies show that the greatest motivation and most personal satisfaction comes from those goals that we choose for ourselves. Self-chosen goals create a special kind of motivation called intrinsic motivation – the desire to do something for its own sake.   Heidi Grant Halvorson
  • VisionExcitement

Focus on one goal at a time 

  • For most of us, though, the problem is not a lack of goals but rather too many of them. Roy Baumeister & John Tierney
  • Focus on one project at a time. If you set more than one self-improvement goal, you may succeed for a while by drawing on reserves to power through, but that just leaves you more depleted and more prone to serious mistakes later. Roy Baumeister & John Tierney
  • Focus! True direction is being woken up at 3 am and knowing exactly what your one goal is. Tony Robbins
  • Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives. Tony Robbins
  • Every great man has become great, every successful man has succeeded, in proportion as he has confined his powers to one particular channel. Orison Swett Marden
  • Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all of your energies on a limited set of targets. Nido Qubein
  • He who attempts too much seldom succeeds. Dutch proverb
  • Focus

Commit yourself 100% to your goal 

  • Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek. Mario Andretti
  • When there is no turning back, then we should concern ourselves only with the best way of going forward. Paulo Coelho
  • If you don’t make a total commitment to whatever you’re doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It’s tough enough getting that boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his life jacket on. Lou Holtz
  • Successful people adhere to the ‘no exceptions rule’ when it comes to their daily disciplines. Once you make a 100% commitment to something, there are no exceptions. It’s a done deal. Nonnegotiable. Case closed! Over and out. Jack Canfield
  • 99% is a bitch. 100% is a breeze. Jack Canfield
  • Commitment

Create a little social pressure for yourself by telling others about your goal 

  • Use positive public pressure to motivate yourself. Tell all your co-workers you’re going to achieve a goal. Email your family and friends and tell them about your goal and ask them to keep you accountable.  Post your goal on your blog and post regular updates.  Join an online forum related to your goal.  Leo Babauta
  • Not surprisingly, commitment is especially potent when made in front of other people. A University of Scranton study found that people who made public New Year’s resolutions were a remarkable ten times more likely to succeed at their goal.  Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • Tell others of your commitments, since they’ll help hold you accountable. Steve Pavlina

Break your goals and projects into small action steps and ask “What’s the very next action?” 

  • The near cousin of optimism is hope: knowing the steps needed to get to a goal and having the energy to pursue those steps. It is a primal motivating force, and its absence is paralyzing. Daniel Goleman
  • The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting with the first one. Mark Twain
  • Great acts are made up of small deeds. Lao Tzu
  • Don’t be a time manager, be a priority manager. Cut your major goals into bite- sized pieces. Each small priority or requirement on the way to ultimate goal become a mini goal in itself. Denis Waitley
  • Try breaking a bigger goal into smaller steps. That will not only make your first goal more quickly and easily achievable, but we can generally picture ourselves on the first rung of a ladder more effortlessly than we can imagine ourselves at the top. Amanda Harvey
  • Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs. Henry Ford
  • Break things down into small tasks that can be accomplished in an hour or less – even better would be twenty to thirty minutes, or even ten to fifteen minutes. The smaller, the better, because then we’re more likely to actually get them done. Leo Babauta
  • A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules. Anthony Trollope
  • Until you know what the next physical action is, there’s still more thinking required before anything can happen. David Allen
  • By asking myself, “What’s the next action on this?” I have generated more creative thinking, tough decision- making, critical conversations, innovative ideas, clarity, and motivation than by using any other specific technique I’m aware of. David Allen
  • Without a next action, there remains a potentially infinite gap between current reality and what you need to do. David Allen
  • Wisdom is knowing what to do next. Skill is knowing how to do it. Virtue is doing it. Thomas Jefferson
  • ActionHarness the power of small, consistent action steps

Set deadlines for yourself 

  • There’s no motivation like a deadline. Giving yourself real deadlines is a great way to stay motivated and focused on the task. Given the fact that we human are natural procrastinators, it’s no surprise that we’ll take as long as we’re allowed to finish something. Glen Stansberry
  • Empower your dreams with deadlines. Jackson Brown
  • A goal is a dream with a deadline. Napolean Hill
  • A deadline is, simply put, optimism in its most kick-ass form. It’s a potent force that, when wielded with respect, will level any obstacle in its path. This is especially true when it comes to creative pursuits. Chris Baty
  • Set time limits for tasks. There’s no motivation like a deadline. Giving yourself real deadlines is a great way to stay motivated and focused on the task. Given the fact that we human are natural procrastinators, it’s no surprise that we’ll take as long as we’re allowed to finish something. Glen Stansberry

Take action each day for action fuels motivation rather than the reverse 

  • Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it. Zig Ziglar
  • The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it. John C. Maxwell
  • It becomes easier and easier to be motivated and to stay enthusiastic when you see the concrete results of your actions. The action-result-motivation snowball begins to build, and gain momentum. However, to get the snowball rolling, we must take action. Amanda Harvey
  • The common conception is that motivation leads to action, but the reverse is true — action precedes motivation. You have to “prime the pump” and get the juice flowing, which motivates you to work on your goals. Getting momentum going is the most difficult part of the job, and often taking the first step is enough to prompt you to make the best of your day. Robert J. McKain
  • The thrust of continuous action is the firewood which fuels motivation. Steve Backley
  • The ordinary wait for the energy to do a task. The exceptional do the task because that’s how they get the energy.  Robin Sharma
  • Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.
  • And if you start small, you don’t need a lot of motivation to get started either. The simple act of getting started and doing something will give you the momentum you need, and soon you’ll find yourself in a positive spiral of changes – one building on the other.  Marc and Angel Chernoff
  • Motivation follows action instead of the other way around. When we make ourselves face the task ahead of us, it usually isn’t as bad as we think, and we begin to feel good about the progress we start making. Richard O’Connor
  • The good news is that inspiration and motivation can be created. We don’t need to wait for a bolt of lightning from the heavens. Inspiration and motivation come from action, and action can be taken as a purely mechanical physical activity. Amanda Harvey
  • There is vitality, a lifeforce, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique…You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. Martha Graham

When you feel motivated, act immediately while the iron is hot 

  • We talk on principal, but act on motivation. Walter Savage Landor
  • Motivation without mobilization means only frustration. Nido Qubein
  • Energy is an eternal delight, and he who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence. William Blake
  • Make the iron hot by striking it. Oliver Cromwell

If you don’t feel motivated, act anyway using the power of your will …

  • The mature human being goes about doing what needs to be done regardless of whether that person feels great or terrible. Knowing that you are the kind of person with that kind of self- control brings all the satisfaction and confidence you will ever need. David Reynolds
  • Emotional talent is the capacity to stimulate and draw upon our natural fountain of energy—to learn to blow into our own sails. We develop emotional talent not by relying on motivation all the time but by applying our will no matter how we feel. Dan Millman
  • Discipline really means our ability to get ourselves to do things when we don’t want. Arden Mahlberg
  • Will power

… for motivation and will power together create a potent combination 

  • The secret of discipline is motivation. When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself. Sir Alexander Paterson
  • The development and use of willpower is the most direct access to happiness and motivation that I’ll ever have. Steve Chandler
  • We develop emotional talent not by relying on motivation all the time but by applying our will no matter how we feel. Dan Millman

Monitor your progress and celebrate every little success 

  • Celebrate every little success. Leo Babauta
  • Celebrate any progress. Don’t wait to get perfect. Ann McGee Cooper
  • Celebrate how far you’ve come, and not how much you have yet to achieve. The former will empower you to greatness, while the latter is rooted in fear and only serves to hold you back from greatness. Celestine Chua
  • Happiness is made up of those tiny successes. The big ones come too infrequently. And if you don’t collect all these tiny successes, the big ones don’t really mean anything. Norman Lear
  • To establish true self esteem we must concentrate on our successes and forget about the failures and the negatives in our lives. Denis Waitley
  • Make a list of your accomplishments—even the small ones— and add to it daily. Lori Deschene
  • ProgressSuccess

Enjoy the journey of getting to your goals, not just the attainment 

  • It turns out that the process of working toward a goal, participating in a valued and challenging activity, is as important to well-being as its attainment. Sonja Lyubomirsky
  • Enjoyment is not meant to be the final end state of a long and arduous process of attainment. It is meant to be woven through the tapestry of our lives now. In the present. And throughout the process along the way. Tom Morris
  • We get more pleasure from making progress toward our goals than we do from achieving them because, as Shakespeare said, “Joy’s soul lies in the doing.” Jonathan Haidt
  • In the end the great truth will have been learned: that the quest is greater than what is sought, the effort finer than the prize, the victory cheap and hollow were it not for the rigor of the game. Benjamin Cordozo
  • In our obsessive wish to arrive, we often forget the most important thing, which is the journey. Paulo Coelho
  • Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey. Alex Noble
  • I have been running so sweaty my whole life, urgent for a finish line, and I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete. Alanis Morissette
  • The rat racer’s illusion is that reaching some future destination will bring him lasting happiness; he does not recognize the significance of the journey. Tal Ben-Shahar
  • If you are not enjoying the journey, you probably won’t enjoy the destination.
  • I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it. Andy Rooney
  • It makes no difference how many peaks you reach if there was no pleasure in the climb. Oprah Winfrey
  • Enjoy the process of a goal

Do not allow yourself to be demoralised by failures and mistakes along the way for they provide some of life’s most valuable lessons 

  • Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success. Denis Waitley
  • Failure is success if we learn from it. Malcolm Forbes
  • In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time. Anthony D’Angelo
  • A man’s errors are his portals of discovery. James Joyce
  • There are no mistakes or failures, only lessons. Denis Waitley
  • Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. Albert Einstein
  • Your most important lessons in life will come from what you don’t achieve. Take time to understand where you fell short. Geoffrey James
  • FailureMistakes

Be a coach, not a critic 

  • Fire your inner critic and reinstate your inner fan club. Alan Cohen
  • Being overly concerned with your faults is worse for your spiritual condition than the fault itself. Jeanne Guyon
  • Translate all self-judgments into self-empathy. Marshall B. Rosenberg

Build momentum by making decisions 

  • Nothing builds momentum like decisive action. Similarly, nothing kills momentum like confusion and a lack of clarity. Just decide. J.D. Meier
  • You will find that decisions are liberating. The paradox is that some of the most stressed people on the planet are people who are frozen by indecision. There is a tremendous energy and peace that decision making brings. Dave Ramsey
  • Indecision leads to inaction, which leads to low energy, depression, despair. George Leonard
  • Momentum

Look for opportunities to stretch your comfort zone and grow 

  • A feeling of continuous growth is a wonderful source of motivation and self- confidence. Brian Tracy
  • Whenever you feel uncomfortable, instead of retreating back into your old comfort zone, pat yourself on the back and say, “I must be growing,” and continue moving forward. Harv Eker
  • Every now and then bite off more than you can chew. Kobi Yamada
  • If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone. John Maxwell
  • A good life is one where you develop your strengths, realize your potential, and become what it is in your nature to become. Jonathan Haidt
  • Growth itself contains the germ of happiness. Pearl S. Buck
  • Stretch your comfort zone

Challenge yourself to break your own records 

  • Don’t try to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. Faulkner
  • True nobility isn’t about being better than someone else. It’s about being better than you used to be. Wayne Dyer
  • When you have high self-esteem you are in competition with the only person it makes sense to compete with—yourself. Life then becomes a game, and all the things in life that were bothersome become challenges and part of the game. Josè Silva and Burt Goldman
  • Yes, there are times when the gold medal only goes to the winner. But not in the race of life, where the winners are those who are superior not to others but to their former selves. Robert K. Cooper
  • You are not in competition with anybody except yourself; plan to outdo your past not other people. Jaachynma N.E. Agu
  • Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves — to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today. Stewart B Johnson
  • I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be. Ken Venturi

Make use of your creativity 

  • Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting. Edward de Bono
  • One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity. Edward De Bono
  • Creativity

Entice yourself with rewards 

  • It is not the horse that draws the cart, but the oats.
  • Give yourself rewards for achievements. The best bribes are ones that expire. Stever Robbins

Use pleasure and pain to motivate you, instead of having them use you 

  • Remember, we will all do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. Tony Robbins
  • The pain of discipline is far less than the pain of regret. Sarah Bombell
  • The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you. Tony Robbins
  • Sense the huge benefits in changing your behaviour. Imagine the price (pain) you’ll pay for not changing. Tony Robbins
  • PleasurePain

Harness the power of habit to keep you going if and when motivation fades 

  • Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. Jim Ryun
  • Motivation gets you going and habit gets you there. Make motivation a habit and you will get thee more quickly and have more fun on the trip. Zig Ziglar
  • Habit

Strive for excellence but shun perfectionism 

  • Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. Harriet Braiker
  • Perfectionists are the losers in the game of life. Strive for excellence rather than the unachievable.  Geoffrey James
  • Any man’s life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day. Booker T. Washington
  • ExcellencePerfectionism

Read books 

  • Read books. Not just self-help or motivational books, but any book that has new ideas. New ideas get your mental gears turning and can build motivation. Geoffrey James
  • Most of my inspiration, if that’s the word, came from books themselves. Shelby Foote
  • Reading

Spend time with inspiring people and avoid negative people 

  • It is amazingly empowering to have the support of a strong, motivated, and inspirational group of people. Susan Jeffers
  • Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. Oprah Winfrey
  • Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames. Rumi
  • Delete the energy vampires from your life – those people who suck your energy versus elevate it. Robin Sharma
  • Avoid negative people. They drain your energy and waste your time, so hanging with them is like shooting yourself in the foot. Geoffrey James
  • Surround yourself with positive people

Simplify and focus your life 

  • When you simplify your life, it gathers focus. The more you can focus your life, the more motivated it gets. Steve Chandler
  • Simplifying isn’t meant to leave your life empty – it’s meant to leave space in your life for what you really want to do. Know what those things are before you start simplifying. Leo Babauta
  • Simplicity, clarity, singleness: these are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy. Richard Halloway
  • The irony is that the real power comes when you narrow it. D. Meier
  • Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you’re going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus. Oprah Winfrey
  • SimplicityFocus

Renew yourself regularly and make time to nurture inner stillness 

  • A peaceful mind is a springboard to positive transformation, for by cleansing the mind we inspire the spirit and motivate the soul. Micheal Teal
  • If we ignore our emotional and physical fuel gauge and just keep driving and driving and driving, sooner or later we’re going to run out of gas. Brian Johnson
  • When you allow your mind to take a break, it comes back stronger, sharper, more focused and creative. Richard Carlson
  • There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence. Deepak Chopra
  • Find time for silence – it’s more inspiring than you might think. Unfortunately, not enough of us do it. Leo Babauta
  • Rest and renewal

Stop and have some fun along the way 

  • You should work hard to achieve your dreams but you must never forget to stop and have fun along the way. Deb Ivarsson
  • Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it. Eileen Caddy
  • If you know life is supposed to be fun, you know more than almost anybody else knows. Abraham-Hicks
  • If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right. Bob Basso
  • In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured. Gordon B. Hinckley
  • Every normal function of life holds some delight. Will Durant
  • We don’t stop having fun when we’re old; we’re old when we stop having fun.
  • I’ve explored and rejected every other possibility. Life after all must be for having fun. Ashleigh Brilliant
  • FunEnjoyment

Keep reminding yourself how short life is 

  • Life is brief—a flash of lightning, a snap of eternity’s fingers. Dan Millman
  • Thus should you think of all this fleeting world; a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream; a flash of lightening in a summer cloud, a flickering lamp, a phantom and a dream. Diamond Sutra
  • We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever. Carl Sagan
  • After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with color, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Richard Dawkins
  • Life is short, God’s way of encouraging a bit of focus. Robert Brault
  • Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand- and melting like a snowflake. Marie Beyon Ray
  • It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life. Terry Pratchett
  • Life goes by in a flicker, and then you’re gone. We are all pilgrims passing through on our way to enternity. John Wooden
  • Life is fleeting

Therefore, seize each day and make it count 

  • It is when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. Elizabeth Kubler- Ross
  • Make each day your masterpiece. John Wooden
  • Every day brings a chance for you to draw in a breath, kick off your shoes and dance. Oprah Winfrey
  • Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. James Dean
  • The secret to living the life of your dreams is to start living the life of your dreams today, in every little way you possibly can. Mike Dooley
  • Live each day as if it be your last. Marcus Aurelius
  • No yesterdays are ever wasted for those who give themselves to today. Brendan Francis
  • Today is a gift I honor by fully living it. Mary Anne Radmacher  
  • A life lived for tomorrow never comes, a life lived for yesterday never changes but a life lived for today is full of wonder, mystery and the choice to live happily ever after moment by moment. Jackson Kiddard
  • What I do today is important because I’m exchanging a day of my life for it. Thomas Simmons 
  • Get busy living or get busy dying. Stephen King 
  • Embrace today

Prevent yourself from procrastinating 

  • The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They’re full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too. Norman Vincent Peale
  • Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday. Napoleon Hill
  • Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy. Wayne Dyer
  • Procrastination is the thief of time. Edward Young
  • Procrastination

See obstacles along the way as tests of your commitment 

  • If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably does not lead anywhere. Frank A. Clark
  • Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. Joshua J. Marine
  • Brick walls are there for a reason: they let us prove how badly we want things. Randy Pausch
  • The obstacles that lie between you and your goals are not there to stop you from reaching your goals. They are there to stop the people who don’t want them enough. Randy Pausch
  • ObstaclesCommitment

If something doesn’t work, change your approach 

  • If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. Tony Robbins
  • Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results. Albert Einstein
  • Doing more of what doesn’t work won’t make it work any better. Charles J. Givens
  • It’s impossible to make real improvements to our lives unless we do things differently. Brian Tracy
  • If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done. Thomas Jefferson
  • When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge. Tuli Kupferberg
  • Try a new approach

Don’t let yourself be demoralised by worries 

  • If the problem can be solved why worry? If the problem cannot be solved worrying will do you no good. Santideva
  • It makes no sense to worry about things you have no control over because there’s nothing you can do about them, and why worry about things you do control? The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized. Wayne Dyer
  • Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries. Astrid Alauda
  • A man who suffers or stresses before it is necessary, suffers more than is necessary. Seneca
  • Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Benjamin Franklin
  • I’m an old man and I’ve had many troubles, most of which never happened”. Mark Twain
  • We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality. Marcus Annaeus Seneca
  • Temperamentally anxious people can have a hard time staying motivated, period, because their intense focus on their worries distracts them from their goals. Winifred Gallagher
  • Worry

Resolve not to give up 

  • Most people who succeed in the face of seemingly impossible conditions are people who simply don’t know how to quit. Robert Schuller
  • Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Thomas Edison
  • Energy and persistence conquer all things. Benjamin Franklin
  • With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable. Thomas Fowell Buxton
  • Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you. Denis Waitley
  • Effort only fully releases its reward after a person refuses to quit. Napoleon Hill 
  • Perseverance

Think positive thoughts that serve and motivate you and banish negative ones that don’t 

  • You’ll surprise yourself. Optimism is by nature expansive—it opens door after door to what’s possible. Pessimism is just the opposite—it is constrictive. It shuts the door on possibility. If you really want to open up your life and motivate yourself to succeed, become an optimistic thinker. Steve Chandler
  • You’re picky about the car you drive. You’re picky about what you wear. You’re picky about what you put in your mouth. We want you to be pickier about what you think. Abraham-Hicks
  • To find your freedom, stand at the doorway of your mind and monitor your thoughts. Notice which ones lift you and which ones drag you down. Then, like a bouncer at an exclusive party, admit only those on the invitation list and send the others back where they came from. Alan Cohen 
  • Positive thinkingOptimism

Learn how best to manage your energy levels

  • If we think we are tired or ill, it is only because we have done something to unbalance the bodily conductivity of the universal electric current which motivates it. Walter Russell
  • If you can learn to motivate yourself, you can always tap into an abundance of energy that will drive you to the success you dream of. Rachael Bermingham
  • We, too, must learn to live our own lives as a series of sprints—fully engaging for periods of time, and then fully disengaging and seeking renewal before jumping back into the fray to face whatever challenges confront us. Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
  • Energy is simply the capacity to do work. Our most fundamental need as human beings is to spend and recover energy. Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
  • To maintain a powerful pulse in our lives, we must learn how to rhythmically spend and renew energy. Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
  • Energy management

Increase your energy through healthy food and exercise 

  • Condition your body. It takes physical energy to take action. Get your food and exercise budget in place and follow it like a business plan.  Geoffrey James
  • If you tell yourself that you are too tired or don’t have the time to exercise, start thinking of exercise as something that restores, not drains, your energy and willpower. Kelly McGonigal Ph.D.
  • DietExercise

Find role models and mentors who inspire and motivate you 

  • Another great way to find inspiration and motivation is to read the stories of other people who have overcome obstacles and made their dreams come true. These motivational stories remind us that there is always a way to create what we want in our lives- we just need to believe it! Amanda Harvey
  • A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. Oprah Winfrey
  • Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be. Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • The men who have furnished me with my greatest inspiration have not been men of wealth, but men of deeds. James Cash Penney
  • InspirationMotivation

Avoid self-criticism; being self-compassionate instead

  • Study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self- control. In contrast, self- compassion—being supportive and kind to yourself, especially in the face of stress and failure—is associated with more motivation and better self- Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.
  • People are often very hard on themselves when they notice something they want to change because they think they can shame themselves into action – the self-flagellation approach. However, this approach often backfires if you can’t face difficult truths about yourself because you are so afraid of hating yourself if you do.  Thus, weaknesses may remain unacknowledged in an unconscious attempt to avoid self-censure. In contrast, the care intrinsic to compassion provides a powerful motivating force for growth and change, while also providing the safety needed to see the self clearly without fear of self-condemnation. Dr. Kristin Neff
  • Self-compassion

Love and fear as motivators


At their deepest level, all human actions are motivated by love or fear 

  • All human actions are motivated at their deepest level by two emotions–fear or love. In truth there are only two emotions– only two words in the language of the soul…. Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends. Neale Donald Walsch
  • LoveFear

When your actions are motivated by love, your energy multiplies and accumulates 

  • Least effort is expended when my motivations are motivated by love, because nature is held together by love. When my actions are motivated by love, my energy multiplies and accumulates. Deepak Chopra
  • When your actions are motivated by love, your energy multiplies and accumulates — and the surplus energy you gather and enjoy can be channeled to create anything that you want, including unlimited wealth. Deepak Chopra
  • It was apparent that all of mankind is actually motivated by inner love but has simply become unaware; most people live their lives as though they’re sleepers unawakened to the perception of who they really are. David R. Hawkins
  • Love is the spirit that motivates the artist’s journey. Eric Maisel
  • The more you are motivated by Love, the more fearless and free your action will be. The Dalai Lama
  • There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life. John Lennon

When your actions are motivated by fear, you cease to be fully alive 

  • We are motivated more by aversion to the unpleasant than by a will toward truth, freedom, or healing. We are constantly attempting to escape our life, to avoid rather than enter our pain and we wonder why it is so difficult to be fully alive. Stephen Levine
  • Fear is the enemy. I distrust it. Any feeling or decision I make that might be motivated by fear I quickly reassess. Andrea Riseborough

Motivating others


Learn how to motivate others as well as yourself 

  • The key to all motivation is desire, and the master key to creating desire is responsiveness to the needs, desires, and interests of the people you would lead. John R. Noe
  • Until we know what motivates the hearts and minds of men we can understand nothing outside ourselves, nor will we ever reach fulfillment as that greatest miracle of all, the human being. Marya Mannes

The highest forms of human motivation are trust, love, kindness and encouragement 

  • The greatest motivational act one person can do for another is to listen. Roy E. Moody
  • Love has been called the most effective motivational force in all the world. When love is at work in us, it is remarkable how giving and forgiving, understanding and tolerant we can be. Charles R. Swindoll
  • Instruction does much, but encouragement does everything. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  • Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia
  • LoveKindnessEncouragement

Motivate others by clarifying their expectations, outcomes and rewards 

  • Another mistake is making your expectations unclear. When people aren’t quite sure what it is they are trying to do, the outcome they are striving for, and how they are going to be accountable for it, they’re not motivated or inspired. Stephen Covey
  • The more that people understand the value of what they are doing, the more motivated they are to do it well. Similarly, the better they understand what their individual rewards will be, that is, “what’s in it for them,” the more motivated they will be. David Campbell
  • ManagementLeadership

Motivate others by enabling them to motivate themselves 

  • Nobody motivates today’s workers. If it doesn’t come from within, it doesn’t come. Fun helps remove the barriers that allow people to motivate themselves. Herman Cain 
  • It’s not my job to motivate players. They bring extraordinary motivation to our program. It’s my job not to de- motivate them. Lou Holtz

Motivate others by giving them full responsibility

  • Delegate the entire job. One hundred percent responsibility for a task is a major performance motivator. The more often you assign responsibilities to the right people, the more competent they become. Brian Tracy
  • Responsibility is the most powerful internal motivator for problem solving. When you remove it, all that remains is the lesser drive of self- preservation. If necessity is the mother of invention then responsibility is its father. Mark A. Crouch
  • ResponsibilityAccountability

Motivate others through trust

  • Nothing engages someone like having trust placed in them. They want to prove the trust is justified and rise to the occasion. Trust motivates and inspires.  Trust is the most compelling form of human motivation, and delegation is a practice that demonstrates trust.  Stephen Covey
  • Trust is the highest form of human motivation. Stephen Covey
  • Trust

Motivate others through your own enthusiasm

  • The world is moved by highly motivated people, by enthusiasts, by men and women who want something very much or believe very much. John Gardner
  • Enthusiasm

The best way to get people to do something is to make them want to do it 

  • Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • There is only one way… to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it. Dale Carnegie

Leadership is all about motivating others

  • I think leadership is service and there is power in that giving: to help people, to inspire and motivate them to reach their fullest potential. Denise Morrison
  • Developing excellent communication skills is absolutely essential to effective leadership. The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others. If a leader can’t get a message across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then having a message doesn’t even matter. Gilbert Amelio
  • Knowledge alone is not enough to get desired results. You must have the more elusive ability to teach and to motivate. This defines a leader; if you can’t teach and you can’t motivate, you can’t lead. John Wooden
  • Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them. John C. Maxwell
  • Leadership is about tapping the wellsprings of human motivation. Tom Peters
  • Management is nothing more than motivating other people. Lee Iacocca
  • Leadership

Money should not be a primary motivation 

  • My experience indicates that most people who’ve accumulated a great deal of wealth haven’t had that as their goal at all. Wealth is only a by-product, not the original motivation. Michael Milken
  • Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game. Donald Trump

On a lighter note

  • I’ll bet what motivated the British to colonize so much of the world is that they were just looking for a decent meal. Martha Harrison
  • Way down deep, we’re all motivated by the same urges. Cats have the courage to live by them.  Jim Davis
  • I think they picked me for my motivational skills. Everyone always says they have to work twice as hard when I’m around!
  • If an actor says ‘But what’s my motivation? ‘I say ‘Your salary.’   Alfred Hitchcock
  • Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes.
  • The hypothalamus is one of the most important parts of the brain, involved in many kinds of motivation, among other functions. The hypothalamus controls the “Four F’s”: fighting, fleeing, feeding, and mating.  
  • We got new advice as to what motivated man to walk upright to free his hands for masturbation. Jane Wagner