The 13 Most Influential Quotes Of All Time

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In today’s modern world, it’s easy to get caught up in the fast pace of life and a growing reliance on technology. Gradually, we become less than ourselves, placing work over family, and instant messages over face-to-face interactions. We begin to lose that sense of magic and wonder that used to permeate our minds as kids.

As cheesy as it may seem, it sometimes takes the written words of someone inspirational to get you back on track and to view the world as somewhere wonderful and full of glorious mystery. There’s no shame in needing an influential quote (or three!) to regain your zest for life. Here are 13 famous quotes that should help you do just that.

Quote #1: “The power of imagination makes us infinite.” — John Muir

One of the most inspirational adventurers and naturalists of his time, John Muir was known as “John of the Mountains,” exploring the wilderness and reveling in the glory of nature everywhere he looked. Muir recognized the power of imagination and how it shapes the way we see the world. Whether we realize it or not, our imagination determines how we deal with and react to whatever life has to throw at us. As such, it’s vital to step into Muir’s shoes and know that you can accomplish anything you want, so long as you aren’t constantly reining in your imagination. Let it run wild, and there’s no telling what you can achieve.

Quote #2: “Light tomorrow with today.” — Elizabeth Barrett Browning

To ensure our planet is a place worth living for future generations, we need to think like Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Browning knew that preparing for a better tomorrow was accomplished only by making the most of today — being accountable for your actions and making sure you’re cognizant of your impact on the future. Living for today is all very well, but preparing for and building a better tomorrow is vital for our existence and the continued happiness of those who come after us.

Quote #3: “Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill Quote

Churchill reminds us that the key to being successful is to accept that we’re not always going to get it right the first time, and to roll with the punches and not be afraid to fail. The difference between those who make something of themselves and those who are always down in the dumps is the ability to recognize that failure is merely a necessary part of the process. It’s about using those failures to learn from our mistakes and become stronger.

Quote #4: “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” — T.S. Eliot

We may not be aware of the change. But as we get older, many of us become increasingly embittered with life, holding onto old grudges and regrets, letting them weigh us down and cloud our love of life. If we treat every moment like a new beginning, casting off what went before and viewing the world through fresh eyes, the possibilities become limitless and our mood becomes infinitely better. People don’t realize the amount of emotional baggage they’ve been carrying around until they’ve cast it off. So if your past is a troubled one, try to approach each moment with a fresh outlook and try not to let the past bog you down.

Quote #5: “Don’t wait. The timing will never be just right.” — Napoleon Hill

It may seem like the timing is never perfect for you to go out and do that thing you’ve always wanted to do, or take that leap you’ve been waiting to take all your life. But Napoleon Hill points out that there’s no such thing as perfect timing. This is something we invent in our minds to put off doing what needs to be done. Those who seize the day recognize this, and don’t wait around for a time which may never come to pass. Start that thing you’ve been putting off for so long — you’ll be so relieved once you finally put it in motion.

Quote #6: “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir

We return once more to the writings of naturalist John Muir for an important reminder. If ever you feel frustrated with life, lacking energy or drive, or just need a break from it all, simply step out into nature. It will give back what you’ve been missing tenfold, and in the process ease your mind and soothe your soul so you can get back to being awesome. It’s also a way to reconnect with the planet, which has nurtured you all these years. Spending time in nature will hopefully light that environmental spark within you so that you can ensure the next generation can take the same reinvigorating walk through the sun-dappled trees.

Quote #7: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” — Wayne Gretzky

Yes, this may be one for the hockey fanatics, but I don’t think sporting legend Wayne Gretzky was referring just to his favorite game. Gretzky’s words imply that life is about taking risks. Those who find success in life are those who are comfortable facing up to their fears. In other words, if you don’t try, how do you know whether you’ll succeed? Face your fears, take those risks and you’ll discover a hidden strength in yourself that you never knew you had.

Quote #8: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Ghandi Quote

It’s all too easy to get dragged in and depressed by the violence, hardship and destruction we’re exposed to on a daily basis by the media. But instead of sitting there feeling increasingly helpless, Gandhi reminds us that the world can only start to become a better place when we take action. You are the key to achieving that change you so desire, so get up off that chair and start making a difference, one small step at a time.

Quote #9: “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” — Beverly Sills

Nowadays, it seems like everyone is looking for that quick fix or fast track to fame and fortune. But those who made a name for themselves back in the day would be the first to tell you that anything worth doing is worth doing right, and that can take time. So why not sit back and enjoy the journey? Take time to enjoy life, savor a challenge and step back from the rat race for a moment. Many of your greatest achievements in life are going to take a while to reach fruition, so don’t stress if things aren’t moving as fast as you want them to.

Quote #10: “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” — Norman Vincent Peale

People often think that it’s their surroundings that bring happiness, and are quick to blame their circumstances for holding them back. In actual fact, the reverse is much more true — how you think changes the way you see the world and react to the environment around you, as well as the people in it. Therefore, by that logic, your thoughts literally change your world. For this reason, self-talk is something not to be scoffed at. Maintaining a positive internal dialogue ensures that the world as you see it is one filled with happiness and opportunity.

Quote #11: “Action is the foundational key to all success.” — Pablo Picasso

Picasso Quote

This may seem like a simple concept at first glance, but it’s also one that many people overlook. Without action, nothing is achieved. You might have embarked upon a brave new plan to start up a new business or show your boss that you’re worthy of a promotion, but without constant, unyielding action, it will never succeed. Just make sure that the action is constructive, not frantic and out of control.

Quote #12: “Never let your memories be greater than your dreams.” — Douglas Ivester

Ivester recognized that without a brighter future to hope for, without dreams still to be realized, we become less than ourselves and lack the motivation to strive in life. For this reason, you should always ensure that you’re working towards something bigger on the horizon so that your memories never surpass your dreams. To wallow in the memories of the past is to stagnate, and we simply cannot have you stagnating!

Quote #13: “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” — Dr. Seuss

What better way to end a list of influential quotes than with one from a writer who has inspired kids across the world to realize their dreams and harness their imaginations? The point that the good doctor makes is simple — seize the moment. Treat every day like it’s your time to show the world who you really are. It’s your moment in the sun. If you treat it that way, it probably will be.

Still struggling to make the most of every moment and find your place in the world? Here are 20 quotes that will help you to find peace and awareness in every moment, and in doing so, change the way you see the world.

— Liivi Hess

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