82 Maya Angelou Quotes That Taught Us The Meaning Of Life

Maya Angelou Quotes

As an advocate for love and peace between all, regardless of race or social status, author and activist Maya Angelou aided in pioneering the civil rights movement by using her lyrical genius to bring the often dismissed issues on racial discrimination to light.

Best known for her book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou also wrote a number of other autobiographies and essays as well as several books of poetry. In 1993, she recited her poem "On the Pulse of Morning" at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton, which brought her powerful words to a much larger audience.

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Forever inspired by her determined nature and powerful words, here are the best Maya Angelou quotes about life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

1. "Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time."

2. If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.

3. We are only as blind as we want to be.

4. You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.

5. Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.

6. "I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as making a 'life.' I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance."

7. I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back."

8. When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.

9. I got my own back.

10. "I do not trust people who don't love themselves and yet tell me, 'I love you.' There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a person offers you a shirt."

11. You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.

12. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

13. We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

14. The children to whom we read simple stories may or may not show gratitude, but each boon we give strengthens the pillars of the world.

15. There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

16. "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."

17. Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.

18. If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.

19. I respect myself and insist on it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.

20. There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.

21. "My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry, to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return."

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22. Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.

23. I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.

24. Your belief and your work will speak for you.

25. I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity, is daring to dare.

26. Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented. So, to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise.

27. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.

28. When you get, give. When you learn, teach.

29. All great achievements require time.

30. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

31. Determine to live life with flair and laughter.

32. I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.

33. "Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."

34. You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

35. My work is to be honest. My work is to try to think clearly, then have the courage to make sure that what I say is the truth.

36. Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.

37. I not only have the right to stand up for myself, but I have the responsibility. I can’t ask somebody else to stand up for me if I won’t stand up for myself. And once you stand up for yourself, you’d be surprised that people say, “Can I be of help?”.

38. A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.

39. Effective action is always unjust.

40. If somebody puts you on a road and you don’t feel comfortable on it and you look ahead and you don’t like the destination and you look behind and you don’t want to return to that place, step off the road.

41. I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.

42. Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.

43. Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world but has not solved one yet.

44. Only equals can become friends.

45. "We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives."

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46. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

47. You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.

48. I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.

49. 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.

50. Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.

51. If someone shows you who they really are, believe them.

52. The needs of society determine its ethics.

53. The honorary duty of a human being is to love.

54. Whining is just unbecoming.

55. We need much less than we think we need.

56. All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.

57. When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.

58. Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

59. 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.

60. When you know you are of worth — not asking it but knowing it — you walk into a room with a particular power.

61. Everybody is worth everything.

62. "You can only become truly accomplished at something you love."

63. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.

64. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

65. I do my best because I’m counting on you counting on me.

66. When you know you are of worth, you don’t have to raise your voice, you don’t have to become rude, you don’t have to become vulgar; you just are. And you are like the sky is, as the air is, the same way water is wet. It doesn’t have to protest.

67. Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.

68. Courage – you develop courage by doing small things like just as if you wouldn’t want to pick up a 100-pound weight without preparing yourself.

69. If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.

70. You only are free when you realize you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.

71. "If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?"

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72. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.

73. Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!

74. the main thing is to be in love with the search for truth.

75. 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.

76. Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.

77. I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.

78. You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.

79. We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

80. I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

81. You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.

82. "The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise."

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