80 Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes to Give Your Life Direction

When you feel lost or need inspiration, read these Eleanor Roosevelt quotes to give you a clearer picture of life, success, and more.

You can never think of Franklin D. Roosevelt without thinking of Eleanor Roosevelt.

She was a woman who held so much power—not just because of her position as the First Lady of the United States of America but also because of her strong character, morals, and brilliant mind.

During her time as the First Lady, she was regarded as one of the world’s most admired women.

It’s no surprise as Eleanor Roosevelt was the embodiment of grace and kindness. She taught the world—not just Americans—to be brave, authentic, and accountable.

We’ve rounded up our favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quotes so everyone can witness how great and insightful she indeed was.

Men and women of all ages can undoubtedly pick up nuggets of wisdom to live by!

Let’s begin.

And make sure to check out these Theodore Roosevelt quotes and Franklin D. Roosevelt quotes.

Best Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

1. “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”

2. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

3. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

4. “You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.”

5. “Do what you feel in your heart to be right for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

6. “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”

7. “Since everybody is an individual, nobody can be you. You are unique. No one can tell you how to use your time. It is yours.”

8. “We all create the person we become by our choices as we go through life. In a real sense, by the time we are adults, we are the sum total of the choices we have made.”

9. “The future is literally in our hands to mold as we like. But we cannot wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow is now.”

10. “You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.”

11. “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”

12. “Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run, it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just one step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.”

Famous Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

13. “Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

14. “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”

15. “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

16. “A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping stone to the optimist.”

17. “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

18. “Character building begins in our infancy and continues until death.”

19. “If someone betrays you once, it’s their fault; if they betray you twice, it’s your fault.”

20. “No man is defeated without until he has first been defeated within.”

21. “The very next thing you need to be doing is the thing that terrifies you the most.”

22. “Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, ‘It can’t be done.’”

23. “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.”

24. “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.”

25. “I believe anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do—provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.”

Also read: Famous Quotes

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes to Live By

26. “You must do the things you think you cannot do.”

27. “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

28. “Be confident, not certain.”

29. “Have convictions. Be friendly. Stick to your beliefs as they stick to theirs. Work as hard as they do.”

30. “Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don’t be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren’t paying attention to you.”

Also read: Quotes to Live By

Wise Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes About Life

31. “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”

32. “Life is like a parachute jump—you’ve got to get it right the first time.”

33. “If life were predictable, it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.”

34. “All of life is a constant education.”

35. “Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively.”

36. “Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never—for whatever reason—turn his back on life.”

37. “Life has got to be lived—that’s all there is to it. At 70, I would say the advantage is that you take life more calmly. You know that ‘This, too, shall pass!’”

38. “Your life is your own. You mold it. You make it. All anyone can do is point out ways and means which have been helpful to others. Perhaps they will serve as suggestions to stimulate your own thinking until you know what it is that will fulfill you and will help you to find out what you want to do with your life.”

39. “It’s your life, but only if you make it so. The standards by which you live must be your own standards, your own values, your own convictions in regard to what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is important, and what is trivial. When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else, you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.”

Short Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes That Are Full of Meaning

40. “Work is always an antidote to depression.”

41. “Choose a challenge instead of competence.”

42. “Understanding is a two-way street.”

43. “Only a man’s character is the real criterion of worth.”

44. “Anger is one letter short of danger.”

45. “Courage is exhilarating.”

46. “I never waste time looking back.”

47. “When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”

48. “What you don’t do can be a destructive force.”

49. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”

50. “The mind must be trained, rather than the memory.”

51. “Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use, it finds despicable.”

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes on Love, Friendship, and Compassion

52. “The giving of love is an education in itself.”

53. “Before we can make friends with anyone else, we must first make friends with ourselves.”

54. “Friendship with one’s self is all-important because, without it, one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”

55. “If you lose money, you lose much. If you lose friends, you lose more. If you lose faith, you lose all.”

56. “We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.”

57. “Think as little as possible about yourself and as much as possible about other people.”

58. “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”

59. “It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing, and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death.”

Also read: True Love Quotes

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes on Dreams and Achieving Success

60. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

61. “What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?”

62. “Success must include two things: the development of an individual to his utmost potentiality and a contribution of some kind to one’s world.”

63. “Your ambition should be to get as much life out of living as you possibly can, as much enjoyment, as much interest, as much experience, as much understanding. Not simply be what is generally called a ‘success.’”

Profound Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes for Women

64. “I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.”

65. “Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.”

66. “When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.”

67. “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’”

68. “A woman is like a teabag—you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”

69. “No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.”

70. “Enjoy every minute you have with those you love, my dear, for no one can take joy that is past away from you. It will be there in your heart to live on when the dark days come.”

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes to Change Your Mindset

71. “It is a brave thing to have the courage to be an individual; it is also, perhaps, a lonely thing. But it is better than not being an individual, which is to be nobody at all.”

72. “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”

73. “It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.”

74. “It is not more vacation we need—it is more vocation.”

76. “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

76. “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.”

More Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

77. “Strength that goes wrong is even more dangerous than weakness that goes wrong.”

78. “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.”

79. “When life is too easy for us, we must beware or we may not be ready to meet the blows which sooner or later come to everyone, rich or poor.”

80. “Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it.”

Is Eleanor Roosevelt Someone You Look Up To?

Many people may think that the position of the First Lady is only a title, but it’s actually a great platform to work on your advocacies and use your influence for good. This is precisely what Eleanor Roosevelt did during her husband’s four terms. She was an incredible woman who inspired millions during the Great Depression.

There’s a book by Eleanor Roosevelt titled, You Learn By Living. It’s a compilation—you could say a bible—of her philosophy on life and how to live it. And, even though the book was published in 1960, her words still ring true today. 

Through her, we learn about the value of courage in facing life. So much of life will pass us by if we live in fear. Moreover, how would you make your mark in the world if you just stayed within your comfort zone?

Authenticity and genuineness are also things that Eleanor Roosevelt placed great importance on. Remember that if you want people to be true to you, you have to be true to them, too. More than that, you have to accept and share your most authentic self with the world.

Lastly, Eleanor Roosevelt was all about accountability. She believed that we are responsible for our own lives and that we can cause a domino effect on the world. Even our most minor decisions can be life-changing for some, so consider the consequences greatly before acting on something.

Eleanor Roosevelt is indeed a symbol of elegance. However, above all, even years after her death, she remains a sign of hope, love, and compassion. So, reread her best quotes above whenever you need inspiration or a touch of goodness for the day!

What else do you know about Eleanor Roosevelt? Did any of her words change your life? Comment below.

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Karen Danao

Hi, I’m Karen, a content curator and writer for Quote Ambition; I’m also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, I’m someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics I love writing about! However, my true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.

With the many places I’ve been to, I found that love, inspiration, and happiness are some things that bring people together. No matter how different we are on the outside, I’m a true believer that our emotions don’t lie; if you dig deep into our psyche, we’re all the same inside.

This belief was further amplified when I joined Quote Ambition. Through the quotes I’ve read, collected, organized, and written about, I found that humans are resilient, creative, and compassionate.

We take from each others’ hearts and courage, and it’s through our individual experiences that we learn how to rise above our challenges and pain. In so many ways, Quote Ambition is a platform that allows people from all over the world to gain the inspiration they need anytime, anywhere!

You can find me on MuckRack and LinkedIn.