I have a thing for quotes. In high school and college, I used to compile them to refer to when I was feeling down or needed inspiration. And I’ve found it’s still a good practice for me today! Who doesn’t want to learn from some of the world’s most inspiring and noteworthy people?
So, in case you’re like me and could also use an extra boost from time to time (or daily), I’ve made a list of top living your best life quotes.
25 Living Your Best Life Quotes
Many of these come from books I’ve read or people in history or mainstream media I admire. I hope they can help you also feel inspired, motivated, and balanced on your life journey. 🙂
1. “Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… You take it personally because you agree with whatever was said. As soon as you agree, the poison goes through you… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in.” – Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
The Four Agreements is one of my favorite books for self care and self love. I’ve been reading it as a sort of daily devotional each morning, and I’ve underlined or circled many potential living my best life quotes! This one especially stood out to me.
We all have insecurities, and we often let others’ comments and opinions affirm negative beliefs about ourselves. But everyone is in their own world, and when they criticize or complain, it’s about them, their own inner turmoil—not about you.
Remember this to prevent yourself from taking anything personally and letting it poison your mind against yourself.
2. “Perfection’ is man’s ultimate illusion. It simply doesn’t exist in the universe…. If you are a perfectionist, you are guaranteed to be a loser in whatever you do.” – David D. Burns, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
Feeling Good is another fantastic book, especially if you struggle with depression, anxiety, or self-worth connected with perfectionism. The perfectionist mindset never allows you to win or feel good about yourself.
Embrace failure and being okay with not getting things right all the time (or a lot of the time) because that’s part of life, and it’s more than fine. Failures help us learn and grow; we actually need them.
3. “Small daily improvements over time lead to stunning results.” – Robin Sharma
Example: these blog posts actually take me a long time to write. Sometimes in the middle of them I feel like I’m making no progress and want to give up. But a little at a time leads to a long, detailed article that I’m excited to share with everyone.
When you have a goal, acknowledge every little step. You can’t accomplish big things without the small steps along the way.
4. “Never be ashamed! There’s someone who will hold it against you, but they’re not worth bothering with.” – J.K. Rowling
Shame never helps us be better or actually learn from mistakes; it only leads to self-defeating thoughts. Don’t allow shame to come from yourself or others around you.
5. “Always do your best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.” – Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom
I recently sent an email to my list about this. Always do your best, but recognize “your best” will change often depending on your health and where you are in life.
Learn to recognize your true best, as well as what it means to push yourself too much or not enough. Finding that medium will bring fulfillment in what you do.
6. “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
You may fail or not meet certain goals on the short-term, but don’t give up. Don’t lose sight of what matters to you and what you want to change or pursue.
7. “Listen with the intent to understand, not the intent to reply.” – Stephen Covey
All over the internet, we can see people voicing their opinion and putting others down without truly listening.
Build relationships and form opinions by really listening to others—especially those you disagree with. Try to understand where they’re coming from, because we all see the world differently. Being open-minded to these differences is an intelligent way to experience the world.
8. “Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.” – Steven Spielberg
I talk about my thoughts on technology and social media often. While I believe they can do a lot of good, I agree with Mr. Spielberg that they’ve also come between us and the present moment—and I think living my best life involves being more in the present moment.
If you feel overwhelmed, try spending more time away from your smartphone or other technology. Spend more time on real-world relationships.
9. “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
Feed what you want to grow. Of course you don’t need to be happy or positive all the time, but don’t lose sight of what’s already good. You don’t want to spend your whole life chasing the type of “more” that’s never enough.
10. “The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary. – J.K. Rowling
Reading is wonderful for self-development. It exposes you to different ways of thinking, expands your vocabulary, and enriches your knowledge of yourself, the world, and others.
11. “There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. When we look beneath the surface, beneath the impulsive evil deed, we see within our enemy-neighbor a measure of goodness and know that the viciousness and evilness of his acts are not quite representative of all that he is. We see him in a new light.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Such incredibly powerful words from Mr. King. Never forget that even your enemies (or those on the other side of the political spectrum, for example) are people too. No one is black-and-white. Learn more about your neighbor to understand her words or actions better.
12. “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” – Jim Carrey
Those with all the success and material possessions in the world have still found themselves unhappy. Work on your inner world; that’s where true happiness and freedom is born and cultivated.
13. “One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.” – Stephen Hawking
Three good reminders in one quote.
14. “True justice is paying only once for each mistake. True injustice is paying more than once for each mistake.” – Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements
Humans are the only animals that continue to re-live mistakes we’ve made. Since mistakes are inevitable in life, don’t punish yourself for each one. Admit when you make mistakes and use them as a learning opportunity. Make them right, but don’t let them hang over your shoulders forever.
15. “Be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God—if they call God at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language. But be a blessing to somebody.” – Maya Angelou
How does almost everything I read from Maya make me want to cry with joy? Never forget to be someone’s rainbow. 🙂
16. “Forgiving yourself means that you give up on your hope that the past will be different . . . when we forgive, the slave we free is ourselves.” – Edward M. Hallowell, Dare to Forgive: The Power of Letting Go and Moving On
Free yourself from shame or regrets of the past; they’ll only keep you stuck. Because you can’t change the past! Forgive yourself, stop dwelling on something that can’t have a different outcome, and allow yourself to move forward.
17. “However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”- Stephen Hawking
No matter what you do, you can bring something unique to the world—whether you share it with everyone or radiate love to those around you. Remember there’s always something you can do, a place for you.
18. “I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which, was that you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love. ”– Jim Carrey
Another reminder that failure is a part of life (and happens before success), so do what you love anyway.
19. “Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.” – Maya Angelou
This is a big one for me. I isolate when I’m overwhelmed or stressed, especially with social anxiety, but acknowledging others with kindness helps me live a better life.
20. “Accept your genetic blueprint. Just as a person with a shoe size of eight would not expect realistically to squeeze into a size six, it is equally futile (and uncomfortable) to have a similar expectation about body size. Respect your body, so you can feel better about who you are. It’s hard to reject the diet mentality if you are unrealistic and overly critical of your body shape.” – Evelyn Tribole & Elyse Resch, Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works
Don’t waste another second shaming your body or trying to fit into a size that isn’t feasible. Stay away from dieting mentality so you can focus your energy on what matters.
21. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
Throw out diets and focus on health instead! And that includes enjoying food and nurturing your mental health.
22. “After all, this is how you learned how to walk. You didn’t just jump up from your crib one day and waltz gracefully across the room. You stumbled and fell on your face and got up and tried again. At what age are you suddenly expected to know everything and never make any more mistakes? If you can love and respect yourself in failure, worlds of adventure and new experiences will open up before you, and your fears will vanish.” – Dr. David Burns, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
Knowledge and mastery takes time. Just as we fell trying to walk as children, we’ll have to fall as adults to progress and learn.
23. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” – J.K. Rowling
By all means, pursue your dreams! But don’t forget about the life in front of you in the process. 🙂
24. “To tell a person who has ADD to try harder is about as helpful as telling someone who is nearsighted to squint harder.” – Edward M. Hallowell, Delivered from Distraction
This is written about those of us with ADHD, but it can apply to anyone who doesn’t fit the mold mentally. Try your best, but know your limits, when you need help, and don’t let anyone shame you for having a brain that functions differently.
25. “I cannot stand the words, “get over it.” All of us are under such pressure to put our problems in the past tense. Slow down. Don’t allow other to hurry your healing. It is a process, one that may take years, occasionally, even a lifetime—and that’s OK.” – Beau Taplin
Remember that everything takes time. You don’t need to fix everything or even be okay right now. Take your time to learn and heal and grow and do what’s best for you. You only get one life, so live it in a way that makes you happiest.
I hope you enjoyed these living your best life quotes! Are there certain quotes that inspire you?