Motivational quotes for work should be inspiring and empowering…and should not sound like something you lifted from a cheesy greeting card.
Our Favorite Motivational Quotes for Work:
- If I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my axe. —Abraham Lincoln
- Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. —Stephen Hawking
- Leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure. —Stanley McChrystal
- Do or do not. There is no try. —Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back
- If something is wrong, fix it now. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing. — Ernest Hemingway
- Innovation distinguishes from a leader and a follower. —Steve Jobs
- The best way out is always through. —Robert Frost
- Very often, a change of self is needed more than a change of scene. —A.C. Benson
- Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that. —Ellen Degeneres
- Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity. —Seneca
- If we can challenge convention, we can solve any problem. —Josh Valman
It’s Monday morning, and your team is gathering together for the beginning of the weekly meeting. Your team is fresh off the weekend and may not be in the most energetic of moods.
So you, as the leader of your team, need to present a motivational message during this meeting to pick them up. Here is where inspirational quotes for work or inspirational videos come in handy to get your team out of the Sunday Funday mentality and back into a goal-crushing machine.
We searched through books, movies, songs, and even TED Talks to bring you 141 amazing motivational quotes for employees you’ll be proud to put in a Powerpoint, an intra-office meme or a foam board printing cutout! Find plenty of fantastic workplace quotes to motivate any team.
Pro-Tip: If you’re looking to spark some real energy in the office, or while working remotely, consider pairing these motivational quotes with a Caroo employee care package on a Monday.
Doing so will invigorate your team to tackle the work week with positive momentum!
1. Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right. —Henry Ford
2. Becoming is better than being. —Carol Dweck, Mindset
3. I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing. —Herman Melville, Moby DickI know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I'll go to it laughing. —Herman Melville, Moby Dick Click To Tweet
4. The sun himself is weak when he first rises, and gathers strength and courage as the day gets on. —Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
6. Oh yes, the past can hurt. But you can either run from it, or learn from it. —Rafiki, The Lion KingIf I had nine hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first six sharpening my axe. Click To Tweet
8. The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. —John Milton, Paradise LostIntelligence is the ability to adapt to change. Click To Tweet
10. Leaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure. —Stanley McChrystalLeaders can let you fail and yet not let you be a failure Click To Tweet
11. Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy. Both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me. —Michael Scott, The Office
12. The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me? —Ayn Rand
13. Kid, there are heroes and there are legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Follow your heart, kid, and you’ll never go wrong. —Babe Ruth, The Sandlot
14. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. —Michael JordanTalent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships Click To Tweet
15. There will be little rubs and disappointments everywhere, and we are all apt to expect too much; but then, if one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere. —Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
16. Fight till the last gasp. —William Shakespeare, Henry VI
17. Do or do not. There is no try. —Yoda, The Empire Strikes BackDo or do not. There is no try Click To Tweet
18. Be men, or be more than men. Be steady to your purposes and firm as a rock. This ice is not made of such stuff as your hearts may be; it is mutable and cannot withstand you if you say that it shall not. —Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
19. Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else. —Judy Garland
20. The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible. —Charles Kingsleigh, Alice in Wonderland (2010)
21. Man is only truly great when he acts from the passions; never irresistible but when he appeals to the imagination. —Benjamin Disraeli, Coningsby
22. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too. —Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
23. Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you’ve gotta do? Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim. —Dory, Finding Nemo
25. Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings. —Salvador Dali
26. If something is wrong, fix it now. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing. — Ernest HemingwayIf something is wrong, fix it now. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing. Click To Tweet
27. Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending. —Jim Hensen
28. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. —Robert Louis StevensonDon't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant Click To Tweet
29. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go… —Dr. Suess, Oh the Places You’ll Go
30. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes, when you fall, you fly. —Neil Gaiman, The Sandman
31. For artists, scientists, inventors, schoolchildren, and the rest of us, intrinsic motivation—the dri
ve to do something because it is interesting, challenging, and absorbing—is essential for high levels of creativity. —Daniel H. Pink, Drive
32. In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. — Thomas Jefferson
33. Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and again and bring their friend. — Walt Disney
35. Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler. —Albert Einstein
36. Innovation distinguishes from a leader and a follower. —Steve JobsInnovation distinguishes from a leader and a follower Click To Tweet
37. The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it. —J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
38. Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. —George AddaiEverything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear Click To Tweet
39. I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then. —Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
40. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it’s yours. —Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
41. There is only one way to avoid criticism. Do nothing. Be nothing. Say nothing. —AristotleThere is only one way to avoid criticism. Do nothing. Be nothing. Say nothing Click To Tweet
42. It is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself. —Spoon Boy, The Matrix
44. Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE. —Joss Whedon
45. The best way out is always through. —Robert FrostThe best way out is always through Click To Tweet
46. It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe. — Muhammad Ali
47. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. —John Quincy Adams
48. Speak softly and carry a big stick. —Theodore Roosevelt
49. Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. ―Mark Twain
50. It’s life. You don’t figure it out. You just climb up on the beast and ride. ―Rebecca Wells, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
51. There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas. —Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
52. Unless someone like you care a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not. —Dr. Suess, the Lorax
53. A proud heart can survive general failure because such a failure does not prick its pride. It is more difficult and more bitter when a man fails alone. —Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
54. You will never plough a field if you only turn it over in your mind. —Irish ProverbYou will never plough a field if you only turn it over in your mind Click To Tweet
55. Ignorance and fear are but matters of the mind—and the mind is adaptable. —Daniel Kish
56. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. —Roald Dahl
57. Someone, at some point, came up with this very bad idea that an ordinary individual couldn’t make a difference in the world. I think that’s just a horrible thing. —John Skoll
58. Imitation is suicide. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
59. If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears. —Simon Sinek
60. Real courage is when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. —Harper Lee
61. Genius is born—not paid. —Oscar Wilde
62. Very often, a change of self is needed more than a change of scene. —A.C. BensonVery often, a change of self is needed more than a change of scene Click To Tweet
63. The Answer to the Great Question… Of Life, the Universe and Everything… Is… Forty-two. —Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide
65. I’ve learned about the poetry and the wisdom and the grace that can be found in the words of people all around us when we simply take the time to listen. —Dave Isay
66. It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure. —Joseph Campbell
67. Follow your passion, stay true to yourself, never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path then by all means you should follow that. —Ellen Degeneres
68. It’s easy to solve a problem that everyone sees, but it’s hard to solve a problem that almost no one sees. —Tony Fadell
69. Learning never exhausts the mind. —Leonardo Da Vinci
70. If you’re alive, you’re a creative person. —Elizabeth GilbertIf you’re alive, you’re a creative person Click To Tweet
71. My mother said to me, “If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope.” Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso. —Pablo Picasso
Free bonus: Download this entire list as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it and share with your coworkers.
73. Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity. —Seneca
74. Never ruin an apology with an excuse. —Benjamin FranklinNever ruin an apology with an excuse Click To Tweet
75. Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it. —Dwight D. Eisenhower
76. There are no two words in the English language more harmful than “good job.” —Terence Fletcher, Whiplash
77. Don’t persuade, defend or interrupt. Be curious, be conversational, be real. And listen. — Elizabeth Lesser
78. The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. —Buddha
79. Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. —Truman CapoteFailure is the condiment that gives success its flavor Click To Tweet
80. An innovator is one who does not know it cannot be done. —R.A. Mashelkar
81. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. —Henry David Thoreau
82. As long as they are well-intentioned, mistakes are not a matter for shame, but for learning. —Margaret Heffernan
83. I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. —Stephen Covey
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club Click To Tweet
85. “I’m bored” is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say “I’m bored.” —Louis C.K
86. If we can challenge convention, we can solve any problem. —Josh ValmanIf we can challenge convention, we can solve any problem. Click To Tweet
87. Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones. —Ralph Waldo Emerson
88. In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and – SNAP – the job’s a game! —Mary Poppins
89. If you hit the target every time, it’s too near or too big. —Tom HirshfieldIf you hit the target every time, it’s too near or too big Click To Tweet
90. Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. —Margaret Mead
91. You can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it. —Mahatma Gandhi
92. We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. —Plato
93. Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves. —ChanakyaLearn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourselves Click To Tweet
94. What I love most about rivers is, you can’t step in the same river twice. —Pocahontas, Disney’s Pocahontas
95. Strength shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over. —F. Scott Fitzgerald
96. It’s time to try defying gravity. —Elphaba, Wicked
97. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape. ―Charles Dickens, Great ExpectationsI have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape Click To Tweet
98. Goonies never say die! —Mickey, The Goonies
99. If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path. —BuddhaIf you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path Click To Tweet
100. Tough times never last, but tough people do. —Dr. Robert Schuller
101. I would visualize things coming to me. It would just make me feel better. Visualization works if you work hard. That’s the thing. You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich. —Jim Carrey
102. Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
103. Why are you keeping this curiosity door locked? ― Dustin, Stranger Things
104. When they give you lined paper, write the other way. ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451When they give you lined paper, write the other way. Click To Tweet
105. How many times do I have to teach you: just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. — Shuri, Black Panther
106. Work hard, be kind, and amazing things will happen.— Conan O’Brien
107. To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to. — Kahlil Gibran
108. You be greater than your feelings. I don’t demand this of you—life does. Otherwise, you’ll be washed away by feelings. You’ll be washed out to sea and never seen again. — Phillip Roth, Indignation
109. I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value. —Hermann Hesse, Siddartha
110. A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery. — James JoyceA man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery. Click To Tweet
111. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” ― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
112. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig. ― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar
113. Fulfillment isn’t found over the rainbow—it’s found in the here and now. Today I define success by the fluidity with which I transcend emotional landmines and choose joy and gratitude instead. — RuPaulFulfillment isn’t found over the rainbow—it’s found in the here and now. Today I define success by the fluidity with which I transcend emotional landmines and choose joy and gratitude instead. Click To Tweet
114. Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird. ― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
115. Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it. ― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
116. Our virtues and our failings are inseparable, like force and matter. When they separate, man is no more. — Nikola Tesla
1117. Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. — Carl Sagan
118. A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. — Charles Darwin
119. At the last dim horizon, we search among ghostly errors of observations for landmarks that are scarcely more substantial. The search will continue. The urge is older than history. It is not satisfied and it will not be oppressed. — Edwin Hubble
120. Only if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved. ― Jane GoodallOnly if we understand, can we care. Only if we care, we will help. Only if we help, we shall be saved. Click To Tweet
121. Don’t be afraid of hard work. Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Don’t let others discourage you or tell you that you can’t do it. In my day I was told women didn’t go into chemistry. I saw no reason why we couldn’t. — Gertrude B. Elion, Biochemist and Nobel Prize Winner
122. If you know you are on the right track, if you have this inner knowledge, then nobody can turn you off… no matter what they say. — Barbara McClintock, cytogeneticist and Nobel Prize Winner
123. Whether a person shows themselves to be a genius in science or in writing a song, the only point is, whether the thought, the discovery or the deed, is living and can live on. — Johann Wolfgang von GoetheWhether a person shows themselves to be a genius in science or in writing a song, the only point is, whether the thought, the discovery or the deed, is living and can live on. Click To Tweet
124. For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you. ― Neil deGrasse Tyson
125. When you constrain freedom, freedom will take flight and land on a windowsill. ― Ai Weiwei
126. If I create from the heart, nearly everything works: if from the head, almost nothing. — Marc Chagall
127. Look at life with the eyes of a child. — Henri MatisseLook at life with the eyes of a child. Click To Tweet
128. Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth. ― William Faulkner
129. No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. — Robin Williams
130. Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. — Thomas JeffersonDo you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. Click To Tweet
131. The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. — Confuciusm, Confucius: The Analect
132. Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. — Pablo Picasso
133. Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence. — Eleanor Roosevelt, The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt
133. Be so good they can’t ignore you. — Steve Martin
134. Hire character. Train skill. — Peter Schutz
135. The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associates smarter than they are. They are frank in admitting this and are willing to pay for such talents. — Antos Parrish
136. I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done. — Lucille BallI’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done. Click To Tweet
137. We can’t take any credit for our talents. It’s how we use them that counts. — Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
138. A little imagination combined with massive action goes a long way. – Grant Cardone
139. A company doesn’t exist to serve its own people; a company exists to serve the needs of the people who use its products or services. ― Richard Sheridan, Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love
140. Your potential, the absolute best you’re capable of—that’s the metric to measure yourself against. Your standards are. Winning is not enough. People can get lucky and win. People can be assholes and win. Anyone can win. But not everyone is the best possible version of themselves. ― Ryan Holiday, The Ego Is the Enemy
141. Failure it appears is not the regret that haunts most people; it is the choice not to risk failure at all. ― Dr. John Izzo
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of 141 inspiring work quotes! And we hope it has INSPIRED you to use the wisdom of the greats to help fire up your team – even if they are working remotely.
Work motivational quotes have the power to stick with employees for years. So, posting up a daily quote of the day for work can have a tremendous impact on your team. Because it just might be the exact thing they need to hear.
What was your favorite motivational quote? What daily quotes for work do you use? Let us know in the comments below.
Q: Where can I find inspiring quotes for my team?
- A: Find a quote for each day of the week to give your team that little boost! SnackNation has prepared our top 141 quotes to motivate employees.
Q: What are some quotes to motivate employees?
- A: “Innovation distinguishes from a leader and a follower.” —Steve Jobs. Help inspire your team today with the right quote selected from our list of over 141 motivating words directly from Robert Frost, Ellen Degeneres, Stephen Hawking, and more!
Q: When should I use a quote to motivate my employees?
- A: Many managers recommend starting and ending the week strong by communicating positive words to their team. An inspirational quote can be just the thing to re-energize an employee with the midday blues.
Q: What is an inspiring quote for Monday?
- A: Do you feel like your team has hit a case of the Monday’s? We’ve interviewed the best professionals to find out what inspiring quotes they love and curated a list of over 141 for you!
Q: What are the best motivational quotes for work?
- A: Using the right motivational quote can send a powerful message to your team and can have a lasting effect that ultimately increases productivity. The best quotes create an emotional response using only a few words.
Free bonus: Download this entire list as a PDF. Easily save it on your computer for quick reference or print it and share with your coworkers.