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19 best inspirational quotes of all time

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“You are the wind beneath my wings…” – Bette Middler

Even though the quote above is not technically an “inspirational quote” because it’s from a song, it is one of the most inspiring songs that I can recall. This was my sixth grade graduation class song.

I’m still not sure why we picked it, but it was meant to be a “thank you” to our faculty and middle school directors, since we were “flying” to junior high. Yes, we “sang” (read: lip-synched) to this whole song during one of our graduating events. And no, our school basketball, golf and volleyball teams were the Falcons, not the Eagles.

What kind of books, movies, quotes or songs inspire you? What changes your mood? A cool quote from a famous movie, a funny quote from a comic strip, an insightful quote from an entrepreneur or industry guru or a spiritual quote from an uplifting song or a book?

A change in mood is just what you might need to help melt all the stress away and tackle your to-do list. Or, you know, just to take a little break and replenish the brain waves. We all know that this industry is not easy, but the rewards of knowing that we are helping people daily is the wing beneath our wings.

We have compiled a list of some of the best inspirational quotes from our hunts through the Internet, from our book obsessions, from people we look up to in the industry and from our own experiences. Feel free to add the quotes that inspire you. Enjoy, get inspired and have a great week!

See also: 

42 reasons to love being an insurance agent

Life insurers are an army of random kindness

Inspiration from our editors:


“‘Thoughts become things…choose the good ones.’ It’s from Mike Dooley. It reminds me that if I think negative, negative will happen. And vice versa!”  From Emily Holbrook, executive managing editor for National Underwriter Life & Health and markets channel editor here at


“Go out and meet the people.” Sam Bell, my great-grandfather, who started a paint and carpet store company in Kansas City.

“No one ever met anyone sitting home alone.” Dorothy Bell, my grandmother.

“Most of the things you worry about never happen.” – Dorothy Bell.

From Allison Bell, health insurance channel editor here at

Inspiration from the web:


george burns and bob hope

“I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.” George Burns, American comedian, award-winning actor whose carrier spanned from vaudeville to film and radio, and writer.

(Photo: George Burns, at 80, joins Bob Hope, a young comic at 74, as the two rehearsed for a spot on Hope’s NBC vaudeville show in this January 1978 photo. AP Photo)

conan o'brien

“Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.” Conan O’Brien, American comedian and host of his own late night TV show, Conan, on TBS.

(Photo: Presenter Conan O’Brien addresses the audience at the 2014 Princess Grace Awards Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel October 2014, in Calif. Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

tina fey

“You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the water slide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.”  Tina Fey, American actress, comedian, producer, formerly known for her sketches on Saturday Night Live, movies like Mean Girls and the TV show 30 Rock.

(Photo: Tina Fey arrives at the premiere of “This is Where I Leave You” at TCL Chinese Theatre, 2014, in Los Angeles. AP Photo/ Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

robin williams

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

 Robin Williams, beloved American comedian and actor.

(In this July 29, 2013 file photo, actor Robin Williams participates in the “The Crazy Ones” panel at the 2013 CBS Summer TCA Press Tour in Calif. Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File)

lucille ball

“Luck? I don’t know anything about luck. I’ve never banked on it and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: Hard work – and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t.” – Lucille Ball, comedienne and star of the TV show ‘I Love Lucy’.

(Photo: In this undated image, comedian-actress Lucille Ball and her husband, musician-actor Desi Arnaz from the comedy series, “I Love Lucy,” are shown. AP Photo/file)

Other known figures:

walt disney

“All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney, business magnate and the original “Imagineer,” filmmaker, cartoonist, founder of his own empire… oh and Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

(Photo:  In this undated file photo provided by Disney, Walt Disney displays a model of Disney’s “It’s a Small World” attraction from the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Along with three other exhibitions, including one featuring a robotic President Abraham Lincoln, Disney used the opportunity of the fair to test out concepts. The exhibitions were then put in place at Disney’s parks and have been there ever since. AP Photo/Disney)


“Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.” Charles R. Swindoll, evangelical Christian pastor, author and radio preacher.

florence nightingale

“I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.” – Florence Nightingale, a celebrated English statistician and the founder of modern nursing, she became known as “The Lady with the Lamp” during the Crimean War (1853 – 1856) for organizing a hospital unit.

(Photo: Florence Nightingale is shown in this undated photo. In London, England, Nightingale founded the Nightingale School and Home for Nurses, which marked the beginning of professional education in nursing. Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy, in 1820, and raised in Derbyshire, England. AP Photo)


“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” Denis Waitley, American motivational speaker, author of “The Psychology of Winning” and founding member of the National Council for Self-Esteem.

big and small

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” Napoleon Hill, considered one of the great authors of success, writer of “Think and Grow Rich” (1937), ex-advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

wayne gretzky

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky, Canadian ex-professional ice hockey player, former head coach and leading point-scorer in NHL’s history. Known as “The Greatest Hockey Player” by some sportswriters.

(Photo: Wayne Gretzky, left, reacts during a Legends’ Jubilee Games 2012 match between team Legend of Hockey and St. Petersburg’s SKA veterans’ team in Russia. AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

peter drucker

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”Peter F. Drucker, Austrian-born American management consultant and author who laid the foundations of the modern business corporation and was a leader in the development of management education.

(Photo: Peter F. Drucker is seen in this undated photo made available by Claremont Graduate University in 2005. Drucker, revered as the father of modern management in his numerous books and articles stressing innovation, entrepreneurship and strategies for dealing with a changing world. AP Photo/Claremont Graduate University)

winston churchill

“You make a living by what you get; you make a life by what you give.” – Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940-1945, 1951-1955. 

(Photo: Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, gives his world famous V-sign, as he drives through cheering inhabitants of the town of Metz, in France, on July 14, 1946, to take part in the Bastille Day celebrations. With him is Robert Schuman, the French Minister of Finance. AP Photo)

 dwight eisenhower

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States (from 1953 – 1961).

(Photo: In this 1956 file photo, President Dwight Eisenhower is seen at his desk at the White House in Washington. AP Photo, File)

(Sources:, Forbes, BrainyQuotes, Quotery, Addicted2Success, Inc., BrightDrops and The Huffington Post)

See also:

5 business books to inspire you

20 best sales quotes of all time

18 best business quotes of all time


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