Inspirational Quotes by : Maya Angelou

Inspirational Quotes by : Maya Angelou

Inspirational Quotes by : Maya Angelou

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Inspirational Quotes by : Maya Angelou

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Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, essayist, author, thinker & activist. She died in 2014 at the age of 86.

Maya Angelou also led a strong movement in support of civil rights and against racism.

Maya Angelou is best known as the spokesperson for blacks and women.

Maya Angelou is best known for her seven autobiographical books.

Maya Angelou wrote a world-renown autobiography : ‘I know why the caged bird sings’.

John C. Maxwell said, “Maya Angelou observed you can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. Sadly, too often creativity is smothered ( kill someone by covering their nose and mouth so that they suffocate ) rather than nurtured. There has to be climate in which new ways of thinking, perceiving, questioning are encouraged”.

Michael N. Castle said, “Maya Angelou, the famous African American poet, historian and civil rights activist who is hailed by many as one of the great voices of contemporary literature, believes a struggle only makes a person stronger”.

Read the valuable thoughts or ideas came out of the powerful motivative brain of Maya Angelou. Accept & apply those in your life as far as possible, always remember God, and feel the positive energy always in life and be successful in life. You will find depth, wisdom & practical takeaways in her sayings.

In some quotes, some words in bold indicate some specific idea kept together.

  • 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 have learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
  • I have learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
  • I have learned that everyday you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
  • I have learned that I still have a lot to learn.
  • I have learned that you should not go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands, you need to be able to throw something back.
  • As a nurse we have the opportunity to heal the mind, soul, heart and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name. But they will never forget how you made them feel.
  • There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
  • We need joy as we need air, we need love as we need water, we need each other as we need the earth we share.
  • Travel to as many destinations as possible for the sake of education as well as pleasure.
  • Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
  • Anyone of us can be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
  • God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us in the deariest and most dreaded moments – can see a possibility of hope.
  • I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps (a small thin or twisted bunch, piece, or amount of something, कणों का ) of glory.
  • When 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.
  • Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
  • There is nothing greater that you can say to God than “Thank You, Thank You”.
  • Don’t bring negative to my door.
  • Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.
  • It is only out of ignorance that people are cruel, because they really don’t think it will come back.
  • A great soul serves everyone all the time. A great soul never dies. It brings us together again and again.
  • When great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly, spaces fill with a kind of soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better.
  • Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.
  • My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness. Continue to allow humour to lighten the burden of your tender heart.
  • We are only as blind as we want to be.
  • I know something better is on the road for me.
  • Be present in all things and thankful for all things.
  • I got my own back.
  • At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like walking upto myself.
  • You may shoot me with your words. You may cut me with your eyes. You may kill me with your hatefulness. But still, like air, I will rise.
  • You may write me down in history with your bitter twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still like dust, I will rise.
  • Just like moons and like suns, with the creativity of tides, just like hopes springing high, still I will rise.
  • Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise, I rise, I rise.
  • This is a wonderful day. I have never seen this one before.
  • In the end, only three things matter : how much you loved, how gently you lived and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
  • Apolozising does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.
  • The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination.
  • Family is not always blood. It is the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile & who love you no matter what.
  • I know what I bring to the table. So, trust me when I say I am not afraid to eat alone.
  • We are more alike my friends, than we are unalike.
  • Perhaps, travel can not prevent bigotry ( bigoted attitudes; intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself, कट्टरता ). But by demonstrating that all people cry, laugh, eat, worry and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
  • The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear.
  • If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present.
  • A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
  • Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future, a day away which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.
  • Self-pity in its early stages is as snug (comfortable, warm, and cozy; well protected from the weather or cold, सुखद, चुस्त, आरामदायक ) as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.
  • Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.
  • I always felt if I can get to a library, it will be OK.
  • We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.
  • You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
  • Look what you have already come through. Don’t deny it. Say ‘I am stronger than I thought I was’.
  • Face our fears. We are able to say, “I have fallen, but I will get up”.
  • Hope and fear can not occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.
  • I have learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
  • 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.
  • I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.
  • I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, anyway you say.
  • Only those who can see the invisible, can achieve the impossible.
  • If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
  • Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.
  • The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.
  • I can be changed by what happens to me. But, I refuse to be reduced by it.
  • We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
  • Courage is the most important of all virtues. Because, without courage, we can not practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest.
  • Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid. Having courage and showing courage mean we face our fears. We are able to say, “I have fallen, but I will get up”.
  • Courage allows the successful woman to fail and learn powerful lessons from the failure, so that in the end, she did not fail at all.
  • One is not necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we can not practice any other virtue with consistency.
  • Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself, and then stand up for somebody else.
  • In the struggle lies the joy.
  • I believe the most important single thing beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.
  • You alone are enough, you have nothing to prove to anybody.
  • The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are.
  • Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight.
  • When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
  • Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.
  • Nothing will work unless you do.
  • Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
  • I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.
  • Does my sexiness upset you ? Does it come as a surprise that I dance like I have got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs ?
  • It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity, there is beauty and there is strength.
  • We all should know that diversity makes for a reach tapestry (a piece of thick textile fabric with pictures or designs formed by weaving colored weft threads or by embroidering on canvas, used as a wall hanging or furniture covering, कपड़ा जिसमे चित्र बने हो ) and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their colour.
  • Love recognises no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
  • Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.
  • You can never be great at anything unless you love it.
  • You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.
  • Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.
  • Love liberates.
  • In you, I have found the love of my life and my closest, truest friend.
  • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud, love is not rude. Love is not easily angered, it is not selfish. Love remembers no wrong, never gives up, never stops trusting, never loses hope. Love never quits, love never fails.
  • In the flush of love’s light, we dare be brave and suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet, it is only love which sets us free.
  • If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.
  • The loss of young first love is so painful that it borders on the ludicrous (so foolish, unreasonable, or out of place as to be amusing; ridiculous, ऊटपटांग ).
  • I know for sure that love saves me and that it is here to save us all.
  • The love of the family, the love of one person, can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive powerful society.
  • I sustain myself with the love of family.
  • I know for sure that love saves me and that it is here to save us all.
  • To those who have given up on love, I say, ‘Trust life a little bit’.
  • The best love is the one that makes you a better person without changing you into someone other than yourself.
  • Let others have the privacy of touching words and love of loss of love.
  • In all the world, there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine.
  • 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.
  • First best is falling in love, second best is being in love, least best is falling out of love. But any of it is better than never having been in love.
  • We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognise that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.
  • It is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
  • If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me ?
  • You only are free when you realise you belong no place – you belong every place – no place at all.
  • The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.
  • Making a decision to write was a lot like deciding to jump into a frozen lake.
  • What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks, ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat’. And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I am writing, I write. And then, it is as if the muse is convinced that I am serious and says, ‘Okay, Okay, I will come’.
  • I don’t know how much longer I will be around. I will probably be writing when the Lord says, ‘Maya, Maya, Angelou, it is time’.
  • Since time is the one immaterial object which we can not influence, neither speed up nor slow down, add to nor diminish – it is an imponderably valuable gift.
  • If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly (bad-tempered and unfriendly, असभ्य ) at home, then go out in the street, and start grinning ‘Good Morning’ at total strangers.
  • You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
  • Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
  • You are the sumtotal of everything you have ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it is all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.
  • We need much less than we think we need.
  • Don’t just teach, because that is all you can do. Teach because it is your calling. And once you realize that, you have a responsibility to the young people.
  • If you get, give. If you learn, teach.
  • I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.
  • When we give cheerfully, and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.
  • No one has ever become poor from giving.
  • As soon as healing takes place, go out and heal somebody else.
  • If you are always trying to be ‘normal’, you will never know how ‘amazing’ you can be.
  • 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.
  • When you wish someone joy, you wish them peace, love, prosperity, happiness, all the good things.
  • Home is a refuge, not only from the world but a refuge from my worries, my terrible concerns. I like beautiful things around me. I like to be beautiful, because it delights my eyes, and my soul is lifted up.
  • The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
  • I long, as does human being, to be at home, wherever I find myself.
  • I believe that every person is born with talent.
  • Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.
  • Open your eyes to the beauty around you, open your mind to the wonders of life, open your heart to those who love you, and always be true to yourself.
  • Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you, …….. yet someone survived…..You can do anything you choose to do.
  • Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
  • If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.
  • Success is loving life and daring to live it.
  • Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the sooner we will be able to treat life as art.
  • I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life”.
  • There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.
  • My life has been long, and believing that life loves the liver of it, I have dared to try many things, sometimes trembling, but daring, still.
  • Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told, “I’m with you kid. Let’s go.”
  • Love life, engage in it, give it all you have got. Love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.
  • Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
  • The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humour and style and generosity and kindness.
  • No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
  • It has been said that we need just three things in life : something to do, something to look forward to and someone to love.
  • Life is a bitch. You have got to go out and kick ass.
  • I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.
  • 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.
  • There have been people in my life who meant me well, taught me valuable lessons, and others who have meant me ill and have given me ample notification that my world is not meant to be all peaches and cream.
  • Always I hope to grow brighter, funnier. I hope to learn to be even more well-rounded. But right now, I can not be any better than I am.
  • Determine to live life with flair (stylishness and originality, सुरुचि ) and laughter.
  • Life is better when you are laughing.
  • Find something to laugh about.
  • I laugh as much as I can and cry when I have to, without apology. I think that’s happy.
  • I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.
  • My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry, to get my work done to try and love somebody, and have the courage to accept the love in return.
  • Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but has not solved one yet.
  • Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire, it burns it all clean.
  • You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
  • I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.
  • We are not our brother’s keeper, we are our brother and we are our sister. We must look past complexion (the natural color, texture, and appearance of a person’s skin, especially of the face, रंग ) and see community.
  • History, despite its wrenching pain, can not be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
  • We have to confront ourselves. Do we like what we see in the mirror ? And, according to our light, according to our understanding, according to our courage, we will have to say yeah or nay —– and rise.
  • No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again, and bring the dawn.
  • Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space, between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
  • The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.
  • All great achievements require time.
  • Achievement brings its own anticlimax (a disappointing end to an exciting or impressive series of events, अवनति, अधोगति ).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.
  • Effective action is always unjust.
  • Prejudice (preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience, पूर्वधारणा, पक्षपात ) is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.
  • Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.
  • My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance, but understanding of illiteracy. That some people, unable to go to school, were more educated and more intelligent than college professors.
  • To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing falling colours of a rainbow.
  • If you were the President of the United States or the Queen of Engald, you couldn’t have a person who would be more protective than my mother was for me. This meant really that I could dare to do all sorts of things.
  • There is a word of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.
  • There is nothing so pitiful as a young cynic (a person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons, निंदक, मानवद्वेषी ), because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing.
  • How important it is for us to recognise and celebrate our heroes and she-roes.
  • I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.
  • If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy ( अकेले कल्पना ) can totally transform one million realities.
  • I will look after you and I will look after anybody you say needs to be looked after, anyway you say.
  • A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense (an attempt to make something that is not the case appear true, दिखावा ) and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.
  • Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.
  • A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.
  • Pretty woman wonders, where my secret lies. I am not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size. But, when I start to tell them, they think I am telling lies. I say it is in the reach of my arms, the span of my hips, the stride of my step, the curl of my lips. I am a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal (very remarkable, extraordinary, अभूतपूर्व, असाधारण ) woman, that is me.
  • A woman’s heart must be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him to find her.
  • I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, courageous woman, loving woman, woman who teaches by being.
  • Stepping onto a brand new path is difficult. But not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.
  • Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives.
  • When you see me sitting quietly, like a sack upon a shelf, don’t think I need your chattering. I am listening to myself. Hold. Stop. Don’t pity me. Hold. Stop your sympathy. Understanding if you got it, otherwise I will do without it. When my bones are stiff and aching and my feet won’t climb the stair, I will only ask one favour. Don’t bring me on rocking chair. When you see me walking, stumbling, don’t study and get it wrong. ‘cause tired don’t mean lazy and every goodbye ain’t game. I am the same person I was back then, a little less hair, a little less chin, a lot less lungs and much less wind. But ain’t I lucky I can still breathe in.
  • If growing up is painful for the southern black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult.
  • Sometimes you just got to give yourself the pep talk (a talk intended to make someone feel more courageous or enthusiastic, प्रोत्साहन देना ). Like hello you bad ass bitch. Don’t be sad. You are doing great. Love you.
  • I am convinced of this: Good love anywhere is good. Love everywhere, for a change. Start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they are stars that don’t matter. As long as you are breathing, it is never too late to do some good.
  • You can’t forgive without loving, and I don’t mean sentimentality, I don’t mean mush ( a soft, wet, pulpy mass, मुलायम पदार्थ ). I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I am finished with it’.
  • I do my best because I am counting on you counting on me.
  • I think we all have empathy (the ability to understand and share the feelings of another, सहानुभूति, हमदर्दी ). We may not have enough courage to display it.
  • I care and I dare.
  • As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.


So, Dear readers, viewers and internet fan ! How have you enjoyed the great collection of quotes by Maya Angelou, collected by me ?  Do comment to me. Share among your friends through Facebook & other social media.


Thanks a lot for reading patiently !



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