10 Quotes to Provide Instant Motivation

by Tracy · 41 comments

You’re not alone if you sometimes feel like you’re just going through the motions. We all sometimes feel dispirited and unmotivated; it’s just that some of us are better at re-finding our enthusiasm than others.

I know I’m not the only one who has a stash of wise quotes, like Warren Buffett, filed away for those days when I’m just not feeling it. Reading words that say beautifully what we need to hear can remind us of what we hold dear, the values we espouse and the rewards of our hard work (or the dangers of slacking!) and give us just the push we need to stay on track.

It might seem contradictory, but I find that it’s easier for me to meet my financial goals when I remember to keep money in perspective and focus more on the things that really matter. These quotes remind us that money on it’s own is not our true motivation. Our ultimate goal is to live long, happy lives doing what we love, and surrounded by the people that matter to us. Now what could be more motivating than knowing you are working towards such a worthy goal?

“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” – Jim Rohn

We need to be at least as aware of how we spend our time as how we spend our money. I’ve known too many people who put off doing the things that they loved until it was too late. Do save your money, but not at the expense of time to do the things that fill you with a zest for life.

“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.” – Benjamin Franklin

If the only way that you have to measure your success in life is money, you’re never going to be fulfilled. Find out what you really want to accomplish with your life, so that your money can be a tool to accomplish that and not the goal in and of itself.

“You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” – Ruth Smeltzer

Every one of us has the power to make a positive difference in the lives of those around us. No matter how rich or poor we are, how articulate or smart or strong or kind, we can all make a difference. Remind yourself every day that you have the power to help others and look for ways to make it so.

“It’s good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it’s good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven’t lost the things that money can’t buy.” – George Lorimer

I wouldn’t be writing for MoneyNing if I didn’t believe that money is important and should be handled with care, but at the end of the day, we need to make sure that we have balance in our lives.

“Money will buy you a fine dog, but only love can make it wag its tail” – Richard Friedman

Money is a wonderful tool, but there are very real limits to what it can buy. It can’t buy you real respect or love or self esteem if you don’t have other qualities to earn it.

“Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are.” – James W. Frick

This quote always reminds me that my children are watching me. They notice if mom and dad are resourceful in finding ways for them to get a good education and life experiences and conversely they’ll notice if I say the art museum is too expensive but I have money for a pack of cigarettes.

“Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A lot of these quotes might seem to send the message that money should not be a consideration at all, but I think that the idea is more that you keep it in the proper perspective. To me, that means knowing that it’s not more important than love and happiness, but also knowing that it’s a valuable commodity and should be treated with careful respect.

“There are people who have money and people who are rich.” – Coco Chanel

There are two ways you could interpret this. One could be that there are people who have a lot of money for a little while but never build any real wealth because they squander it by being flashy and foolish. The other is that all of the money in the world can’t buy you a feeling of being truly content in your own skin and happy with what you do have, no matter how grand or modest.

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” – Charles R. Swindoll

It’s only natural to get upset, angry and frustrated when we face adversity. The problem is, those emotions alone don’t change anything. The more you can get into the habit of reframing situations to look for the hidden opportunities, the happier you’ll be and yes, you’ll always find new ways to be happy and successful, too.

“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Don’t judge yourself by where you are today but by whether or not you are making an honest effort to move in the direction you want to be. Applaud yourself for your efforts and you’ll be even more inspired to continue to work hard and stay focused.

What are some of your favorite quotes that help you stay motivated when times are hard? Please share in comments!

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current Verizon FiOS promotion codes and promos to see if you can save more money every month from now on.

{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Smartest One NotFirst says:

    Are you serious, you need some more?
    I have some old quotes collected from various sources.
    BTW, I am going to overdose you to death by these quotes, but none of them are mine. So, here they are:

    … it is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man can not be great. Failure is the true test of greatness. And if it be said that continual success is a proof that a man wisely knows his powers, it is only to be added that, in that case, he knows them to be small.
    Herman Melville

    Did I failed anything in life? Yes, I did! And that was one of my favorite.

    Now, continue …

    The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
    John W. Gardner
    Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire…
    Freidrich Nietzsche
    Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
    – Mark Twain

    Love alone is capable of uniting living beings in such a way as to complete and fulfill them, for it alone takes them and joins them by what is deepest in themselves.
    – Pierre Teilhard DeChardin

    Awareness brings understanding, because there is no condemnation or identification but silent observation. If I want to understand something, I must observe, I must not criticize, I must not condemn, I must not pursue it as a pleasure or avoid it as a non pleasure.

    With fame I become more and more stupid which, of course, is a very common phenomenon.
    Albert Einstein

    More and more I come to value charity and love of one’s fellow being above everything else.
    Albert Einstein

    Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.
    Albert Einstein

    Imagination is more important than knowledge.
    Albert Einstein

    It is strange to be known so universally and yet be so lonely.
    Albert Einstein

    A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives a rose.
    – old Chinese proverb

    Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellowman, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received. My peace of mind is often troubled by the depressing sense that I have borrowed too heavily from the work of other men.
    Albert Einstein

    The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the source of all true science.
    Albert Einstein

    Nothing is of more importance for the public welfare, than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue. Wise and good men are the strength of a state far more than riches or arms.
    – Ben Franklin

    Our attitudes control our lives, attitudes are a secret power working 24 hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.
    Charles Simmons

    If you would grow great and stately, you must try to walk sedately.
    Robert Louis Stevenson

    The only way to have a friend is to be one.
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    There is no failure except in no longer trying.
    Elbert Hubbard

    Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.
    Thomas Alva Edison

    Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure.
    William Saroyan

    There is no future in any job. The future lies in the man who holds the job.
    Dr. George Crane

    My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant’s point of view.
    H. Fred Ale

    A man may be so much of everything that he is nothing of anything.
    Samuel Johnson

    When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
    Buckminster Fuller

    We are inclined to believe those we do not know, because they have never deceived us.
    Samuel Johnson

    The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.
    Nicholas Murray Butler

    It’s the most unhappy people who most fear change.
    Mignon McLaughlin

    Integrity has no need of rules.
    Albert Camus

    A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another’s.
    Jean Paul Richter

    As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
    Andrew Carnegie

    Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
    Oscar Wilde.

    The only completely consistent people are the dead.
    Aldous Huxley

    The only man who can change his mind is a man that’s got one.
    Edward Noyes Westcott

    There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.
    Alfred Korzybski

    Egotism is nature’s compensation for mediocrity.
    L.A. Safian

    There are two kinds of egotists: Those who admit it and the rest of us.
    Laurence J. Peter

    Truth will sooner come out of error than from confusion.
    Frances Bacon

    A man convinced against his will is not convinced.
    Laurence J. Peter

    He who will not reason, is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.
    Sir William Drummond

    I would rather have men ask why I have no statue than why I have one.
    Marcus Porcius Cato

    Every calling is great when greatly pursued.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

    The world is full of willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.
    Robert Frost

    … my sense of my own importance to myself is tremendous. I am all that I have, to work with, to play with, to suffer and to enjoy. It is not the eyes of others that I am wary of, but my own. Noel Coward

    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    Henry David Thoreau

    You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.
    Clay P. Bedford

    When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which never happened.
    Winston Churchill

    Unthankfulness is theft.
    Martin Luther

    The passing of an ordinary man is sad. The passing of a great man is tragic, and doubly tragic when the greatness passes before the man does.
    Harpo Marx

    Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
    Kahlil Gibran

    Give a man a few crumbs and he will appreciate them. Give him a cake and he will complain about the flavoring.
    Giles French

    If your knowledge teaches you not the value of things, and frees you not from the bondage to matter, you shall never come near the throne of Truth.
    Kahlil Gibran

    Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.
    Emile Chartier

    A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but that he has done otherwise shall give him no peace.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

    If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape 100 days of sorrow.
    Chinese Proverb

    He that has no patience has nothing at all.
    Italian Proverb

    The worst tempered people I’ve ever met were people who knew they were wrong.
    Wilson Mizner

    When I am angry with myself, I criticize others.
    E.W. Howe

    Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.
    Benjamin Franklin

    To strike out right and left against the mist never clears the vision; but to lift your head above it is a sovereign panacea.
    Mary Baker Eddy

    It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.
    J.R.R. Tolkein

    If you want your judgment to be accepted, express it coolly and without passion.
    Arthur Schopenhauer

    Patience is the companion of wisdom.
    Saint Augustine
    Are you satisfy of that quality and quantity of this collection of quotes?

  • Chuck Stone says:

    “The world is more than a stage;
    The players more than mere actors.
    But rather a school,
    Each person a student,
    Each experience a lesson.” Chuck Stone

  • Akhil says:

    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.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
    – Marianne Williamson.
    Used in Coach Carter

  • Ayesha Khan says:

    The article is super excellent. I love reading such creative, and positive writing. I will share two quotes, that inspires me a lot–
    ” When ever i talk to a savant, i am quiet sure that happiness is no longer a possibility, Yet’ when i talk to my gardener, i am convinced of the opposite” ( Bernard Shaw )
    ” Obstacles are hose frightful things, which we can only see when we take our eyes off our goal “

  • Cooney says:

    “If you work really hard and your kind, amazing things will happen”

    Conan O’Brien

  • Shravan Reddy says:

    “The most beautiful thing in the world is ofcourse the world itself”

    from the award winnin movie, Castaway.

  • Monique Jones says:

    When I focus on others, I loose sight of myself.

  • Monique Jones says:

    Reality is only a perception, & that’s my perception of reality.

  • Geoff says:

    These are terrific quotes ! Here is another that I like.”It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it”-Aristotle.
    A short story.A young 13 year old girl approached Albert Einstein and pleaded with him.”I am having difficulties with my mathematics.” The great man replied.”I sympathize with you young lady.”I am also having difficulties with my mathematics.” Now thats relativity.

  • Darshika says:

    ” It is your Attitude and not your Aptitude that determines your Altitude”
    this quote always motivates me.

  • TJ says:

    Never, for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions.
    Dag Hammarskjold

  • TJ says:

    If I can stop one heart from breaking,
    I shall not live in vain;
    If I can ease one life the aching,
    Or cool one pain,
    Or help one fainting robin
    Unto his nest again,
    I shall not live in vain.
    Emily Dickinson

  • drew says:

    I agree that money has limits, although it helps us reach other capabilities through freeing our time and mind (as we don’t have to worry about it).

    Good quotes!!!

  • Bert says:

    LOVE the quotes!!! Here’s one that gets me going to take risk.

    If you always do what you’ve always done, then you will always get what you have always gotten.

  • AmericanGurlinRiyadh says:

    ”O Hakim, wealth is pleasant and sweet. He who acquires it with self-contentment, it becomes a source of blessing for him; but it is not blessed for him who seeks it out of greed. He is like one who goes on eating but his hunger is not satisfied. The upper hand is better than the lower one.
    Prophet Muhammad

    ***The upper hand being the hand that gives

    ***The lower hand, being the hand outstretched to receive

  • Warwick Rowell says:

    Yelling doesn’t give any glory; try yieldeth…

  • Warwick Rowell says:


    Vicilization: a refocus on village scale in all aspects of our lives; based on the premis that civilization has overshot, badly.

    To restate the first one more fully: “It is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same until the end, until it be thoroughly finished, which yeldeth the true glory.”
    This was Francis Drake, delaying until he had the wind gauge on the Spanish Armada, and answering the intense polticial pressure to send the fleet out. He then chased the Spaniards around the top of Scotland!

  • Loren says:

    On the reciprocal nature of time and money:

    I used to spend my time to save money but now I’m willing to spend my money to save time.

  • Geoff says:

    Here are a couple of quotes that I have always found useful and interesting.
    “Money can’t buy happiness……..but it can rent it for a while.” (Unknown)
    “Success is 1% inspiration………and 99% perspiration.”(Thomas Edison)

  • Geoff says:

    “Be sure you’re right…….Then go ahead.” Davy Crockett

  • RICHARDI says:

    “There are more people who quit than people who fail” Henry Ford

  • Benhard Wiese says:

    Quotes speak to us all. They are moments of clarity on central issues or moments in all our lifes – perfectly molded by a real life experience (normally of someone who has “really” lived). The descriptive power of quotes easily hooks themselves “into us” – reminds us of what we have promised to ourselves.
    Quotes also “lights us up” – one of my favourites is:
    A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. ~Phyllis Diller

  • Srikanth Katturwar says:

    Very Good Quotes please keep mailing to me

    • TJ says:

      “An action need not alter the course of human events in order to be heroic.”
      (from the 1969 Academy Award winning short documentary film “Leo Beuerman” (Arthur H. Wolf and Russell A. Mosser, producers; Centron Production)

  • Kenny says:

    These are wonderful quotes, i have experienced some and also learnt new ones i hope to apply them in the future.
    Great article

  • Doug says:

    “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Donna Utley

    Except for maybe 2 years of a 33 year career, I think I can say this has been true for me. Find and design what’s ‘right’ for you.

  • k.hask says:

    “Never own a car you can’t push to start”

  • Maverick says:

    Some of the best quotes come from movies:

    “Fate rarely calls upon us at an hour of our choosing”

    “How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life”

    And some don’t:

    “Some never remember the things you do right; others never forget the things you do wrong”

  • Tom Schryer says:

    He that speaks truth must have one foot in the stirrup.
    – Turkish Proverb


  • Mano says:

    These quotes are awesome. I also use quotes as my inspiration and even use them in expressing myself.

  • Witty Artist says:

    Excellent article, congrats.
    I liked best the last two quotes:
    “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” – Charles R. Swindoll
    “The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

    We have to take each situation, even those that seem impossible, as a lesson to learn something, to enrich ourselves in point of view of development. Anything in life has meaning and purpose. And if we look at bad days and fails as something to make use of, to improve, to learn from, well that’s a positive step forward.
    Money is not a motivation in itself. When we love to do something, we forget about the money, and that is the real fulfillment. Money is just an effect here.
    Like you’ve said and I really loved it, we don’t have to judge by where we are today but by whether we know our goal and moving towards it.

  • Thomas says:

    I always did like quotes. Here is a favorite.
    “Sir, I admit your
    general rule,
    That every poet is a fool;
    But you yourself may serve to show it,
    That every fool is not a poet.”
    — Alexander Pope

  • durable says:

    Most of these quotes are related to money and its true money does bring many things in life but it can not bring everything.

  • DIY Investor says:

    I really liked your quotes. Here’s one:

    I’m tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok.

    Shaquille O’Neal

  • diaper says:

    These are wonderful quotes. I agree to most of them and in my experience some of these even proved.

Leave a Comment