110 Maya Angelou Quotes for a Life Full of Love & Courage

For everyone out there looking for some inspiring words to live by, this collection of the best Maya Angelou quotes will fit the bill!

Though we may see Maya Angelou as a successful and accomplished woman, there’s more to her than that. She was a victim of a broken family, abuse, and social judgment. But even so, she knew her voice was strong enough to move mountains and, in turn, the hearts of people.

As we look at the life she lived, we can see that her words—both spoken and written—did, in fact, change millions of people’s worldviews. By sharing and writing about her experiences, Maya Angelou could harness her power to make a difference in the world.

Even years after her death, she is still the epitome of courage, strength, love, and an inspiration to people of all colors, genders, and cultures.

Best Maya Angelou Quotes

Here are some of our favorite quotes from Maya Angelou that will help you start your journey toward a braver and more love-filled life.

Begin here.

And make sure to read these Robert Frost quotes and Fannie Lou Hamer quotes.

Best Maya Angelou Quotes

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1. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”

2. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

3. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because, without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”

4. “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.”

5. “Lift up your hearts. Each new hour holds new chances for new beginnings.” 

6. “No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”

7. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

8. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

9. “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

Famous Quotes by Maya Angelou

10. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

11. “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”

12. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

13. “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”

14. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

15. “Hate—it has caused a lot of problems in the world but has not solved one yet.”

Inspirational Maya Angelou Quotes

16. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

17. “You can see in others what they don’t see in themselves and what the world doesn’t see in them. We all have that possibility, that potential, and that promise of seeing beyond the seeming.”

18. “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, and how you can still come out of it.”

19. “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.”

20. “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 of you.”

21. “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”

22. “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.”

23. “When you know you are of worth—not asking it but knowing it—you walk into a room with particular power.”

24. “Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the Principle of Reverse.”

25. “No sun outlasts its sunset, but will rise again and bring the dawn.”

Maya Angelou Quotes About Love

26. “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”

27. “We are here to love each other. That is why you are alive. That is what life is for.”

28. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

29. “If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.”

30. “Love is that condition in the human spirit so profound that it empowers us to develop courage; to trust that courage and build bridges with it; to trust those bridges and cross over them so we can attempt to reach each other.”

31. “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.”

32. “If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.”

33. “I am grateful to have been loved and to be loved now and to be able to love because that liberates. Love liberates. It doesn’t just hold—that’s ego. Love liberates. It doesn’t bind.”

34. “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.”

35. “Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.”

36. “You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean much. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.’”

37. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

38. “Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age.”

39. “I know for sure that love saves me and that it is here to save us all.”

Also read: True Love Quotes

Maya Angelou Quotes About Life

40. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”

41. “I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.”

42. “There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.”

43. “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.”

44. “Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.”

45. “Determine to live life with flair and laughter.”

46. “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”

47. “I had to trust life since I was young enough to believe that life loved the person who dared to live it.”

48. “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.”

49. “What is a fear of living? It’s being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself—for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good.”

50. “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.”

51. “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been.”

Also read: Quotes to Live By

Maya Angelou Quotes About Strength

52. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

53. “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’ll rise!”

54. “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”

55. “Surviving is important. Thriving is elegant.”

56. “The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination, as are intelligence and necessity when unblunted by formal education.”

57. “I not only have the right to stand up for myself, but I have the responsibility. I can’t ask somebody else to stand up for me if I won’t stand up for myself. And once you stand up for yourself, you’d be surprised that people say, ‘Can I be of help?’”

Maya Angelou Quotes on Courage

58. “Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

59. “To develop courage you have to start developing courage as you do any other muscle. You have to start with small things and build them up.”

60. “If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

61. “I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity, is daring to dare.”

62. “Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.”

63. “My work is to be honest. My work is to try to think clearly, then have the courage to make sure that what I say is the truth.”

64. “Courage—you develop courage by doing small things just as if you wouldn’t want to pick up a 100-pound weight without preparing yourself.”

Insightful Maya Angelou Quotes on Success and Doing Your Best

65. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

66. “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.”

67. “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.”

68. “Nothing will work unless you do.”

69. “Whining is just unbecoming.”

70. “Do the best you can until you know better.”

71. “I do my best because I’m counting on you counting on me.”

72. “Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.”

73. “All great achievements require time.”

Also read: Success Quotes

Wise Maya Angelou Quotes

74. “In diversity, there is beauty and there is strength.”

75. “Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.”

76. “I learned that a friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.” 

77. “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”

78. “Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it.”

Short Maya Angelou Quotes to Ponder On

79. “Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.”

80. “We are only as blind as we want to be.”

81. “I hope you always find a reason to smile.”

82. “Let nothing dim the light that shines from within.”

83. “Every storm runs out of rain.”

84. “Only equals can become friends.”

85. “Faith is the evidence of the unseen.”

86. “I believe that every person is born with talent.”

87. “I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.”

Maya Angelou Quotes on Gratitude

88. “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.”

89. “Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude.”

90. “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”

Maya Angelou Quotes on Being a Woman

91. “I am a woman, phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.”

92. “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.”

93. “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.”

Maya Angelou Quotes That Will Change Your Worldview

94. “You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking about it.”

95. “Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented. So, to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise.”

96. “When I forgive other people, I let them go, I free them from my ignorance. And as soon as I do, I feel lighter, brighter, and better.”

97. “I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.”

98. “All men are prepared to accomplish the incredible if their ideals are threatened.”

99. “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.”

100. “You only are free when you realize you belong to no place—you belong to every place—no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.”

Deep Maya Angelou Quotes

101. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself—to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

102. “You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end, the real forgiveness is in one’s own self.”

103. “Nobody can enjoy unless we all enjoy—truly enjoy.”

104. “Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.”

105. “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.”

106. “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.”

More Maya Angelou Quotes

107. “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”

108. “We can be better, we can be wiser, we can be more kind. Yes, we have to change. We have to grow up and stop acting like 10 years old. Yes, there is much to do, much to see, much to go into.”

109. “If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.”

110. “While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else is also God’s creation.” 

Did These Maya Angelou Quotes Help You Discover New Things About Yourself?

As Maya Angelou brilliantly put it, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Such is life, and things will rarely go according to plan. We all wish to go through life unscathed, but that is simply not how things are meant to go.

Negativities and failure will always surround us, but if we remain positive and open to the new possibilities that those roadblocks will bring us, everything will turn out the way it should. Do not be afraid of a minor misstep; we all go through that. Instead, have courage and believe in the strength you have within you.

More than that, live life with love—for yourself, your family, friends, and even strangers. Nothing good will ever come out of hate, but everything lovely, colorful, and bright comes with love.

We hope these Maya Angelou quotes we’ve gathered were able to help you realize a thing or two about the road you will be facing toward success. Keep your chin up, and good times will always be upon you!

What did you learn from today’s collection? Did we miss any other good quotes from Maya Angelou? Please, join the discussion below!

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