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101 Maya Angelou Quotes to Inspire You (HEROINE)

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12 of the Best Maya Angelou Quotes to Inspire You

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.”

Maya Angelou
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
It's one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.
Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.
We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.
We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.

It must be remembered, however, that jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savour, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening.”

Maya Angelou
I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
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.
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.
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
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.
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.

39 Inspirational Maya Angelou Quotes to Empower You

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.”

Maya Angelou
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.
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.
All great achievements require time.
All great achievements require time.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
Nothing will work unless you do.
Nothing will work unless you do.
The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.
While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.

We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains, or swim the oceans — because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings.”

Maya Angelou
A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.
A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
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.
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.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself.
At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself.
If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.
If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.

You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.”

Maya Angelou
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
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.
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.
You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.
You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.
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.
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.

I know that when I pray, something wonderful happens. Not just to the person or persons for whom I’m praying, but also something wonderful happens to me. I’m grateful that I’m heard.”

Maya Angelou
If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?
If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?
We need much less than we think we need.
We need much less than we think we need.
When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.
If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.
We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.
A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
I do my best because I’m counting on you counting on me.
I do my best because I’m counting on you counting on me.
In all my work, I try to say, ‘You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?’
In all my work, I try to say, ‘You may be given a load of sour lemons, why not try to make a dozen lemon meringue pies?’
Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.
Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.

It is a great blessing to have lived in the time of Martin Luther King, Jr., when forgiveness and generosity of spirit encouraged our citizenry to work for a better world for everybody.”

Maya Angelou

50 Powerful Maya Angelou Quotes on Life & Love

I know for sure that loves saves me and that it is here to save us all.
I know for sure that loves saves me and that it is here to save us all.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.
Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.
I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.
I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
Determine to live life with flair and laughter.
Determine to live life with flair and laughter.
Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age.
Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age.
I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory.
I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory.
Don’t get older just to get wiser. If you get older, you will be wiser, I believe that – if you dare. But get older because it’s fun!
Don’t get older just to get wiser. If you get older, you will be wiser, I believe that – if you dare. But get older because it’s fun!
Remember, people will judge you by your actions not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold but so does a hard-boiled egg.
Remember, people will judge you by your actions not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold but so does a hard-boiled egg.
There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.
There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.
Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.
Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.
If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
I make writing as much a part of my life as I do eating or listening to music.
I make writing as much a part of my life as I do eating or listening to music.
It is a no-fail, incontrovertible reality: If you get, give. If you learn, teach. You can’t do anything with that except do it.

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.”

Maya Angelou
Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.
Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.
Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.
Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.
We are only as blind as we want to be.
We are only as blind as we want to be.
The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.
The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.
The woman who truly intends to live a good life is already living phenomenally since intent is part of the achievement.
The woman who truly intends to live a good life is already living phenomenally since intent is part of the achievement.

I find relief from the questions only when I concede that I am not obliged to know everything. I remind myself it is sufficient to know what I know, and that what I know, may not always be true.”

Maya Angelou
This is what I am learning, at 82 years old: the main thing is to be in love with the search for truth.
This is what I am learning, at 82 years old: the main thing is to be in love with the search for truth.
There’s something which impels us to show our inner souls. The more courageous we are, the more we succeed in explaining what we know.
There’s something which impels us to show our inner souls. The more courageous we are, the more we succeed in explaining what we know.
You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.
You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.
I’m happy… I laugh as much as I can and cry when I have to, without apology. I think that’s happy.
I’m happy… I laugh as much as I can and cry when I have to, without apology. I think that’s happy.
I had to trust life, since I was young enough to believe that life loved the person who dared to live it.
I had to trust life, since I was young enough to believe that life loved the person who dared to live it.
When you know you are of worth — not asking it but knowing it — you walk into a room with a particular power.
When you know you are of worth — not asking it but knowing it — you walk into a room with a particular power.
My greatest blessing has been the birth of my son. My next greatest blessing has been my ability to turn people into children of mine.
My greatest blessing has been the birth of my son. My next greatest blessing has been my ability to turn people into children of mine.
Take a day to heal from the lies you’ve told yourself and the ones that have been told to you.
Take a day to heal from the lies you’ve told yourself and the ones that have been told to you.
I learned that to be charitable with gestures and words can bring enormous joy and repair injured feelings.
I learned that to be charitable with gestures and words can bring enormous joy and repair injured feelings.
They may have forgotten how badly they treated you, or they may pretend that they have forgotten. But watch: They will come back to you.
They may have forgotten how badly they treated you, or they may pretend that they have forgotten. But watch: They will come back to you.
I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
Peace means when there is conflict, use our common sense and our compassion to consider rest of humanity, our human brothers and sisters.
Peace means when there is conflict, use our common sense and our compassion to consider rest of humanity, our human brothers and sisters.
The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.
The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.
There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.
There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.
I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place.
I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place.

If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully.”

Maya Angelou
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 naked person offers you a shirt.
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 naked person offers you a shirt.
Take as much time as you need to make up your mind, but once it is made up, step out on your decision like it’s something you want.
Take as much time as you need to make up your mind, but once it is made up, step out on your decision like it’s something you want.
I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.
I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.
In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
In diversity there is beauty and there is strength.
I have respect for the past, but I’m a person of the moment.
I have respect for the past, but I’m a person of the moment.
It’s hard to make the prettiest clothes fit a miserable man.
It’s hard to make the prettiest clothes fit a miserable man.
Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.
Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”

Maya Angelou
I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.
I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.
You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.
You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.
I learned that a friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.
I learned that a friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.
Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.

Maya Angelou Short Biography

Born on 4 April 1928, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S., Maya Angelou was an award-winning author best known for her acclaimed 1969 memoir (her first book), ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings‘ – the first non-fiction bestseller written by an African American woman.

Angelou was Hollywood’s first female black director and had a broad career in singing, dancing, acting, and composing.

Despite all her amazing accomplishments in Hollywood, Angelou was best known as a writer, editor, essayist, and memoirist.

She is an author of 36 books (which include cookbooks) and the recipient of more than 50 honorary degrees.

Interesting-to-know: The latest edition of Angelou’s first book was Foreword by Oprah Winfrey.

As a civil rights activist, Angelou worked for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after hearing him speak at a church in Harlem in early 1960 and was a close friend to Malcolm X.

When she passed on 28 May 2014, the world mourned deeply and even the (then) president of the United States, Barack Obama issued a personal statement, saying that Angelou had the ability to remind us that we are all God’s children; that we all have something to offer.

Further reading:

Here are the best Maya Angelou quotes so you can be inspired and empowered to live a life filled with faith and love.

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Maya Angelou Quotes to Inspire You (HEROINE) - Gracious Quotes

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