14 inspirational quotes, to help you through life's challenges.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then you could say the same of an inspirational quote, particularly if it comes from a respected leader or icon. Thinking philosophically can help you to tap into different ways of viewing the world (or your own problems) and may help you to solve them. These are some of my favorite quotes to help, inspire or just get you to look at your problems in slightly different ways.

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Some of these come from Philosphers, others from business leaders and cultural icons. If they inspire you, why not write them down and refer back to them over time.

1/ 'To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day' Lao Tse

2/‘Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no-one is watching’ CS Lewis

3/‘Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, that is your vocation’ Aristotle

4/‘It is not the years in your life which count most but the life in your years' Abraham Lincoln

5/'Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.’ Rienhold Niebuhr

6/ ‘Sometimes, when fortune scowls most scornfully, she is preparing her most dazzling gifts.’ Winston Churchill

7/ ‘Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is life itself, it is an insane way to live.’ Eckhart Tolle

8/‘The ability to give stems from a state of mind and heart, a place much deeper than the material. If you break the tiresome tyranny of questions like “what’s in it for me?” the mindset shifts from consumption to contribution. You are no longer operating from a place of scarcity, your cup fills and overflows.’ Nipun Mehta

9/ 'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel' Maya Angelou

10/ 'If you look at what you have in life, you'll always have more. If you look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough' Oprah Winfrey

11/ 'Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent' Eleanor Roosevelt

12 '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 safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover' Mark Twain

13/ 'Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value' Albert Einstein

14/ 'We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light' Plato

Have you ever noticed how some people (perhaps yourself) often say things like 'I try to view these things philosophically' when they are trying to take the heat out of a situation or to make sense of it? To my mind, this underlines the point about this kind of thinking. It does not get rid of life's challenges and problems but rather, helps you look at them in different, perhaps more constructive ways.

Taking a philosophical approach to life is both an attitude and a way of thinking which I believe can help most or all of us in our complex lives.

I am always interested to hear great quotes, so if any come to mind, please do share them, along with any insights into how and why they might have inspired you.


David Head

Coach and Mentor, Accelerating Experience

With twenty years experience in the search industry before becoming a coach, I combine highly personalised coaching and mentoring with broader commercial insight and perspective. I will help you to find your purpose, to thrive in your career and to change direction when this is what is needed. I will commit to helping you to achieve a state of flow by aligning values and purpose with what you do and how you do it. contact me via david.head@acceleratingexperience.com 07920 064056


Go to the profile of Diane Priestley
about 4 years ago

I like number three from Aristotle..."Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, that is your vocation". This speaks to me as I am about t set off to Kenya to volunteer in a rural community. I am hoping that all my skills will become useful where there is so much poverty and deprivation. Thanks for the inspiration David  

Go to the profile of David Head
about 4 years ago

thank you Diane, and very best of luck in kenya. Soulds like a fabulous and worthwhile adventure!