Maya Angelou’s Quotes That Will Influence & Inspire You

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) was an American author and poet. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and is also credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years. Angelou is best known for her autobiographies, but she is also an established poet.
I would like to share some of her quotes that influenced me personally and I am hoping they will influence you as well. They are very profound and are applicable to many areas of our lives including but not limited to Life in general, Leadership, Attitude, Courage, Defeat, Diversity, Encouragement, Forgiveness, Love, God, Prayer, Influence, Direction, Education and Development.
On Attitude…
  • If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
  • 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.
  • I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
On Bitterness…
  • Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
On Courage…
  • Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.
  • One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
  • I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.
On Defeat…
  • We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
On Diversity…
  • It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
On Experience…
  • You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.
On Encouragement…
  • I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back….
On Forgiveness…
  • You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.’
On Greatness…
  • Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.
On Giving…
  • I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
On Love…
  • Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
  • If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.
  • Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.
On Pain…
  • I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
On Doing Good…
  • I’m convinced of this: 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.
On Prayer…
  • I know that when I pray, something wonderful happens. Not just to the person or persons for whom I’m praying, but also something wonderful happens to me. I’m grateful that I’m heard.
On God…
  • While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.
On Death…
  • I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around. I’ll probably be writing when the Lord says, ‘Maya, Maya Angelou, it’s time.
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