101 Inspiring Quotes for 2024 to Help You in Life and Work

Written by Prabjit Chohan-Patel

The first SHE blog of 2024 brings you some feelgood factor in the form of superb quotes and mantras on dreams, success and life itself. 

Maybe you ended 2023 having already set crystal clear goals for the new year (GO YOU) but would benefit from some assurance you’re on the right track. Or are currently shaping your 2024 mission statement and could do with a fresh perspective to help you along. Or you just value the advice that comes from the experience of others. Whatever your scenario, this article aims to inspire, energise and motivate you for a great year ahead. 

Why 100 you may ask?  Well, just as success, happiness etc mean different things to different people, quotes resonate differently with different readers.  So we’ve sourced, sifted and curated as many as possible from captains of industry, motivational speakers, thought leaders, authors, athletes, entertainers and even politicians… All of them are undeniable proof that often, it only takes a few words to say a lot. (And as a special bonus, we’ve included some of our very own SHE community members’ personal favourites.) 

So grab a cuppa, pull up a chair and wrap your eyes and minds around these thought-provoking, uplifting gems!

I don’t run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet. – Nadia Comăneci (Olympic Gymnast) 

I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. – Marissa Mayer (Former CEO of Yahoo)

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage. – Anais Nin (diarist, essayist, novelist)

And the day came when to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – Anis Nin 

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear. – Franklin D. Roosevelt (former American president)

The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground. – Unknown.

You must do the things you think you cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt (former first lady, diplomat and activist)

The reality is: sometimes you lose. And you’re never too good to lose. You’re never too big to lose. You’re never too smart to lose. It happens. – Beyonce (Singer-songwriter, businesswoman)

You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute. – Tina Fey (writer, actress and producer)

I’ve learned that something constructive comes from every defeat. – Althea Gibson (first African American tennis player to win a Grand Slam)

I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I’ve been successful. – Michael Jordan (basketball player, businessman)

Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success. – Robert T. Kiyosaki (businessman, author)

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open. – John Barrymore (actor)

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. – Mohandas K Gandhi (lawyer, leader of India’s independence movement) 

When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy. – Samuel Goldwyn (film producer) 

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. – Jane Goodall (Primatologist and Anthropologist)

A candle loses nothing by lighting another. – James Keller (priest) 

Make a difference about something other than yourselves. – Toni Morrison (author)

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. – Douglas Adams (author).

Don’t count the days, make the days count. – Muhammad Ali (boxer, activist)

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. – Maya Angelou (poet, activist)

When someone leaves, it is because someone else is about to arrive. – Paolo Coelho (author)

The most wasted of days is one without laughter. – E. E. Cummings (poet)

Never regret a day in your life: good days give happiness, bad days give experience, worst days give lessons, and best days give memories. – Doris Day (actress, singer)

Life has two rules: number 1, never quit! Number 2, always remember rule number one. – Duke Ellington (pianist, composer)

We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here? – Steve Jobs (co-founder Apple, inventor)

Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye. – Helen Keller (author)

It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. – Jillian Michaels (fitness expert, businesswoman)

Travel far enough, you meet yourself. – David Mitchell (author)

The hard days are what make you stronger. – Aly Raisman (Olympian gymnast)

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. – JK Rowling (author)

If nothing changes, nothing changes. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to keep getting what you’re getting. You want change, make some. – Courtney Stevens (mystery writer)

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson (author).

It’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change. – Queen Elizabeth II (no explanation needed)

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain (author)

What doesn’t serve you doesn’t deserve you. – Unknown

No one is going to stand up at your funeral and say ‘She had a really expensive couch and great shoes’. Don’t make life about stuff. – Unknown

Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. – Unknown (but often linked with former British PM Margaret Thatcher)

If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. – Oprah Winfrey

She wasn’t looking for a knight. She was looking for a sword. – Atticus (poet)

Don’t try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you. – Beyonce

I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself. – Beyonce

Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else. – Sara Blakely (Founder of Spanx)

When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. – Wayne Dyer (motivational speaker)

Be careful how you talk to yourself because you are listening. – Lisa M. Hayes (life coach, writer) 

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. – Lou Holtz (football coach)

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. – William James (psychologist and philosopher)

Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up and turn. Figure out how to climb over it, go through it or work around it. – Michael Jordan (basketball player) 

If you don’t have confidence, you’ll always find a way not to win. – Carl Lewis (athlete)

The only limits for tomorrow are the doubts we have for today. – Pittacus Lore (writer)

It always seems impossible until it’s done. – Nelson Mandela (activist & former South African President)

The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt. – Sylvia Plath (poet and novelist)

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start. – Nido Qubein (motivational speaker and university president)

The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me. – Ayn Rand (philosopher and author)

Optimism is true moral courage. – Ernest Shackleton (polar explorer)

The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. – Charles R. Swindall (Christian educator, pastor)

If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If it isn’t, you’ll find an excuse. – Unknown

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. – Ralph Waldo Emerson (philosopher, poet, essayist)

Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself. – Oprah Winfrey

Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot, but make it hot by striking. – William Butler Yeats (poet, dramatist)

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. – Arthur Ashe (first African American male Grand Slam tennis champion)

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending – Carl Bard (Pulitzer prize-winning author)

The most effective way to do it is to do it. – Amelia Earhart (aviation pioneer and record breaker)

The best way to predict the future is to create it. – Peter Drucker (management consultant, educator)

Never be satisfied with less than your very best effort. If you strive for the top and miss, you’ll still beat the pack. – Gerald Ford (former U.S. president)

Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going. – Sam Levenson (humorist, writer, television host)

Perfection is not attainable but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence. – Vince Lombardi (American football coach)

A goal without a plan is just a wish. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (poet, aviator)

An hour of hard practice is worth five hours of foot-dragging. – Pancho Segura (tennis coach)

To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first. – William Shakespeare (playwright)

There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why. – William Barclay (Scottish author and television presenter)

When you have a dream, you’ve got to grab it and never let go. – Carol Burnett (comedienne and actress)

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. – Coco Chanel (fashion designer, businesswoman)

Do what you love. Love what you do. – Confucius (philosopher, teacher)

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C.S. Lewis (author)

I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay. – Madonna (singer, entertainment icon)

A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere. – Joyce Meyer (author and Christian teacher)

The goal isn’t to live forever. The goal is to create something that will. – Chuck Palahniuk (author)

Find your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life. – Mark Twain

When we think of our work as a gift, it radically changes what we create. – James Victoire (designer, activist, artist)

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. – Maya Angelou

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts. – Winston Churchill (former British PM) 

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out. – Robert Collier (self-help author)

Yesterday is not ours to recover but tomorrow is ours to win or lose. – Lyndon B Johnson (former U.S. president)

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. – Vidal Sassoon (Hairdressing innovator)

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. – Albert Schweitzer (polymath and Nobel Prizewinner)

Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live. – Anne Sweeney (former Co-Chair, Disney Media)

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. – Henry David Thoreau (naturalist, essayist)

Chosen by SHE members:

Marie-Claire Bartolo >> If you want something you have never had, you have to do something you have never done. – Thomas Jefferson (former U.S. president)

Daniela Azzopardi Bonnano >> progress over perfection. – Unknown

Vanessa Camenzuli >> It’s impossible to choose just one quote but this is a motto I REALLY live by: Everything happens for a reason.

Tamara Fenech >> We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give. – Winston Churchill 

Anthea Huber >> Under promise, over deliver. – Tom Peters (business author) 

Sarah Mifsud >> Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. – Henry Ford (business magnet, industrialist)

Fran Moisa >> Si ventus non est, remiga: If there is no wind, row. Explanation: Achieving success is a combination of privilege (even though a lot of people won’t admit it) such as the country you are born in, access to resources) and hard work. You can have a degree of influence over the first one such as relocating, for example, but you have full control over the second one. 

Mireille Pellegrini Petit >> It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again …. who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails whilst daring greatly. – Theodore Roosevelt (former U.S. president)

Kenzie Sammut >> You are as strong, as peaceful, as happy, as you allow yourself to be. – Unknown

A selection by our Co-founder, Sarah Woods:

One genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards. – Susan Cain (American writer & lecturer)

Do one thing every day that scares you. – Eleanor Roosevelt (American political figure, diplomat and activist)

If you get, give. If you learn, teach. – Maya Angelou (American poet & civil rights activist)

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. – Brene Brown (American professor & writer)

And finally, a few words of my own:

Stop waiting for the right time. In between it’s too soon and it’s too late, there’s now. Now is perfect. timing. 

There’s a famous saying: ‘don’t look back, you’re not going that way’…but if you don’t look back, you can’t see how far you’ve come.

Wishing our valued SHE community a 2024 that is everything you want it to be.  We hope this blog provides fuel for your engine and fresh perspectives on (as Mireille describes them) the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey and all the grit, resilience, perseverance and courage it takes to build a business!.

NOW, go do 2024!

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