My Favorite Mottos to Live By

Motto or quote?

What is the difference?

These terms are often mixed up and have come to mean the same thing to many people.

A quote is simply something someone has said, profound or otherwise, it can be inspirational, a reminder of something meaningful.

A motto on the other hand is more likely to be a guiding purpose, an expression of someone or a sentiment you live your life by. 

I have found it to be very important in life to set out a direction of who I want to be, where I want to go, and what I want to achieve.

Mottos are a great way to create ‘signposts’ that remind, inspire, and challenge us as we make our way towards the things we want out of our lives.

Having an inspirational motto, or a few, that sum up your outlook on life can be a great motivator when times look bleak, when we need to be reminded about why we are doing what we are doing.

The following is a list of 37 of my favorites, I hope you enjoy!

1. “A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence.” – Unknown

mottos to live by

2. “The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.” – Roy T. Bennett

mottos to live by

3. “The only things you learn are the things you tame.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

mottos to live by

4. “Change is hardest at the beginning, messiest in the middle and best at the end.” – Robin Sharma

mottos to live by

5. “We are made to persist, that’s how we find out who we are.” – Tobias Wolff

mottos to live by

6. “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

mottos to live by

7. “When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.” – Chinese Proverb

mottos to live by

8. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

mottos to live by

9. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato

mottos to live by

10. “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunya

mottos to live by

11. “It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do.” – Moliere

mottos to live by

12. “Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad.” – Rumi

mottos to live by

13. “Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.” – Pema Chodron

mottos to live by

14. “Sit, walk, or run, but don’t wobble.” – Zen Proverb

mottos to live by

15. “The lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul.” – Khalil Gibran

mottos to live by

16. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi 

mottos to live by

17. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

18. “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

19. “The adventure of life is to learn, the purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change.” – William Arthur Ward

20. “Even if I knew tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” – Martin Luthur King

21. “A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inward courage dares to live.” – Lao Tzu

22. “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

23. “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” – Soren Kierkegaard

24. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

25. “Hurt me with the truth. But never comfort me with a lie.” – Unknown

26. “Close both eyes to see with the other eye.” – Rumi

27. “An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” – Oscar Wilde

28. “Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth.” – Albert Camus

29. “No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.” – Carl Jung 

30. “What worries you, masters you.” – John Locke

31. “People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

32. “If you haven’t found something strange during the day it hasn’t been much of a day.” – John Wheeler

33. “Face the facts for being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.” – Soren Kierkegaard

34. “Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.” – Voltaire

35. “Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” – Winnie the Pooh 

36. “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls, the most massive characters are seared with scars.” – Khalil Gibran

37. “Never lose hope, my heart. Miracles dwell in the invisible.” – Rumi

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