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Last Updated on February 6, 2020

30 Most Inspirational Quotes of All Time

30 Most Inspirational Quotes of All Time

On Pinterest, Tumblr, or other similar sites, we tend to see a lot of quotes designed to motivate or inspire us. Words can be found for a range of emotions, personal traits, and life events, but some quotes are just universal nuggets of wisdom. You know the ones – those quotes that give you “Aha!” moments of inspiration or meaningful insights into your personal and professional lives.

They are the words you want to print out and tape up on your wall so you’ll see them every day. More importantly, they’re not always about business and the hustle, as they can simply be about compassion, friendship, or happiness. There is no singular or “right” kind of inspiration or motivation. Whatever you need in the moment, that is the “right” kind for you.

This collection of inspirational quotes features some of the all-time classics you may know, as well as some lesser-known ones you’ll love too. There are a ton of great quotes out there that could have easily been in this list – it would take forever to get every single potentially inspirational quote on one page – however. If you have any quotes you would have added, feel free to share in the comments section!

1. “Anyone who has ever made anything of importance was disciplined.”  Andrew Hendrixson

    2. “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”  Coco Chanel

      3. “Creativity is intelligence having fun.”  Albert Einstein

        4. “Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other.”  Brian Tracy

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          5. “Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.”  Grace Coddington

            6. “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”  Henry David Thoreau

              7. “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal.”  Author Unknown

                8. “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.”  Abraham Lincoln

                  9. “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.”  Robin Sharma

                    10. “You cannot save people, you can just love them.”  Anaïs Nin

                      11. “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”  Howard Ruff

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                        12. “Take your dreams seriously.”  Author Unknown

                          13. “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

                            14. “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”  (actually, not a Buddha quote)

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

                                16. “You will succeed because most people are lazy.” — Shahir Zag

                                  17. “Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.”  Thomas Edison

                                    18. “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” — Author Unknown

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                                      19. “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  Mahatma Gandhi

                                        20. “Numbing the pain for a while will only make it worse when you finally feel it.”  Albus Dumbledore

                                          21. “Do it with passion, or not at all.” — Rosa Nouchette Carey

                                            22. “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.” — Albert Einstein (again!)

                                              23. “The grass is greener where you water it.” — Neil Barringham

                                                24. “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” — Earl Nightingale

                                                  25. “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” — Seth Godin

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                                                    26. “If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.” — Seth Godin (again!)

                                                      27. “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.” — John Maxwell

                                                        28. “Never apologize for having high standards. People who really want to be in your life will rise up to meet them.” — Ziad K. Abdelnour

                                                          29. “I never dream of success. I worked for it.” — Estee Lauder

                                                            30. “Avoiding failure is to avoid progress.” — Author Unknown

                                                              Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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                                                              Last Updated on January 15, 2021

                                                              7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                                              7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

                                                              The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

                                                              Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

                                                              Posture

                                                              First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

                                                              • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
                                                              • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
                                                              • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
                                                              • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

                                                              All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

                                                              Facial Expressions

                                                              Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

                                                              • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
                                                              • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
                                                              • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

                                                              If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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                                                              1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

                                                              A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

                                                              The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

                                                              This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

                                                              2. Relax Your Face

                                                              New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

                                                              The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

                                                              To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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                                                              3. Improve Your Eye Contact

                                                              Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

                                                              The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

                                                              To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

                                                              3. Smile More

                                                              There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

                                                              Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

                                                              4. Hand Gestures

                                                              Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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                                                              It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

                                                              5. Enhance Your Handshake

                                                              In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

                                                              “Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

                                                              It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

                                                              6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

                                                              As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

                                                              Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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                                                              Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

                                                              Final Takeaways

                                                              Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

                                                              If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

                                                              More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

                                                              Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

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