Quotes, Self

30 Quotes From Famous Historical Leaders To Inspire You To Make Your Mark On The World

30 Historical Quotes From The Most Inspirational Leaders In History That Remind You To Make Your Mark On The World

Who else remembers doing assignments in school on specific leaders throughout history? Kings and queens born into their stations, elected officials, activists — they all found their way into our textbooks.

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Some leaders are more memorable than others due to what they accomplished in their position of political power. Take William Henry Harrison, for example. What did he do as the ninth president of the United States? Not much, since he died of pneumonia a month after his inauguration. To be fair, he was an accomplished military officer. But not the smartest move to forgo wearing a coat on a cold and wet day in early March while giving a two-hour long inaugural speech. Unfortunately, that’s William Henry Harrison’s legacy.

But the majority of US presidents are memorable in other, more positive, ways. We read books about them, watch movies and musicals about them, even willingly after grade school!

Presidents aren’t the only leaders we look up to, though. They don’t even represent most of us. In fact, all 45 presidents have been men. We have women to admire, too. And people with different ethnic backgrounds. A leader doesn’t have to be someone elected into office.

A leader is someone who influences thinking. They inspire and speak for voices often left unheard. They are people others want to follow.

There are times in our lives when we need to take a stand. History is made every day — every minute and every second all around the world. Why not be a part of it?

You can do so much with so little. With cultivation, a little can become a lot. A mere idea in a moment can become a movement.

First, however, you need to be in the right mindset to think big. Some of the biggest thinkers in history can help with that.

Here are thirty quotes from thirty different historical leaders that have made their mark on history to inspire you to make yours as well.

1. Remember to go forth with love in your heart.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

2. Rise up.

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” — Alexander Hamilton

3. Self-reliance is key.

“I will have here but one mistress and no master.” — Queen Elizabeth I

4. You have to be proactive to make anything happen.

“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.” — Benjamin Disraeli

5. Because you'll never know if you don't try.

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” — John F Kennedy

6. Being straightforward can certainly get a message across.

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” — Benjamin Franklin

7. Focus on today.

“If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you, you haven’t done much today.” — Mikhail Gorbachev

8. Consider your source of motivation. 

“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” — Nelson Mandela

9. Believe in yourself.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” — Theodore Roosevelt

10. Perhaps craziness is really insane bravery.

“I may be crazy, but that don’t make me wrong.” — Marsha P. Johnson

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11. It's all about perspective.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” — Abraham Lincoln

12. Let your words be loud but your actions be louder.

“Hope will never be silent.” — Harvey Milk

13. What were you born to do?

“I am not afraid. I was born to do this.” — Joan of Arc

14. You don't need anyone else, especially not a man.

“The first lesson I ever learned was never to wait for a man’s rescue.” — Catherine de Medici

15. The truth is always right.

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” — Ida B. Wells

16. Sometimes it's good to hear the haters.

“Better bitch than mouse.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg

17. The only way to get better is to keep moving forward.

“Even the greatest was once a beginner. Don’t be afraid to take that first step.” — Muhammad Ali

18. Keep your backbone strong.

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” — Winston Churchill

19. Advocating for yourself can make all the difference.

“I had no idea that history was being made. I was just tired of giving up.” — Rosa Parks

20. Look at how far you've come.

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” — Booker T. Washington

21. Today's the day.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world?” — Anne Frank

22. Remember there was a time when you didn't have a voice.

“The best protection any woman can have is courage.” — Elizabeth Cady Stanton

23. Don't be afraid. Just seek the truth.

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” — Marie Curie

24. Something can be a big thing.

“I cannot do everything, but I can do something. I must not fail to do the something that I can do.” — Helen Keller

25. Consider those around you.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” — Dr. Seuss

26. Make it a habit to do good.

“We are what we repeatedly do.” — Aristotle

27. Don't let boxes define you.

“If one man can destroy everything, why can’t one girl change it?” — Malala Yousafzai

28. No matter what, don't stop.

“Champions keep playing until they get it right.” — Billie Jean King

29. You're stronger than you think.

“Always remember you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” — Harriet Tubman

30. And, finally, don't wait on the world to fix things. 

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” — Princess Diana

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If you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve got the best quotes to share and savor. For quotes from the most inspiring celebs, activists, and poets, look no further! You might even find the quote that motivates the best parts of your life (and love!) forever.

Alison Cerri is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.