Maya Angelou Quotes

55 Maya Angelou Quotes That Will Uplift And Inspire You

Exquisite multi-talented, Maya Angelou had an incredibly tough upbringing as an African American in St Louis. Despite early difficulties, she flourished in several occupations, lived in many corners of the world and immersed herself in many art forms.

Before being a writer, she worked as a sex worker and nightclub dancer, a cast member of an opera, a journalist during the decolonization of Africa and a producer of movies and television. In addition, she was a writer, activist and director. Working with Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, she frequently appeared as a spokesperson for women and for black people during incredibly tense times in America.

Her most famous triumphs were her autobiographies; the most famous, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ (1969) brought her global accolades and centers on themes of family, racial identity and her childhood experiences. As well as authoring many books, Maya has received dozens of awards and over 50 honorary degrees for her contribution to activism and writing. Her thoughtful words will undoubtedly stand the test of time.


Maya Angelou Quotes

1. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. “If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be” – Maya Angelou

3. “Nothing will work unless you do” – Mara Angelou

maya angelou courage quote

4. “Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.” – Maya Angelou

5. “If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.” – Maya Angelou

6. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” – Maya Angelou

7. “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.” – Maya Angelou

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

9. “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.” – Maya Angelou

10. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

11. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” – Maya Angelou

maya angelou success quotes

12. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” – Maya Angelou

13. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

14. “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

15. “If one has courage, nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” – Maya Angelou

16.  “If someone shows you who they really are, believe them.” – Maya Angelou

17. “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.” – Maya Angelou

18. “All great achievements require time.” – Maya Angelou

maya angelou quotes about life

19. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” – Maya Angelou

20. “I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.” – Maya Angelou

21. “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.” – Maya Angelou

22. “I’m really saddened by the attempts to separate and polarize. This is a time when we have hungry people, people out of work, and people out of spirit. This is a time where we need to uplift, not to separate.” – Maya Angelou

23. “If a human being dreams a great dream, dares to love somebody; if a human being dares to be Martin King, or Mahatma Gandhi, or Mother Theresa, or Malcolm X; if a human being dares to be bigger than the condition into which she or he was born – it means so can you. And so you can try to stretch, stretch, stretch yourself so you can internalize, ‘Homo sum, humani nil a me alienum puto. I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me.’ That’s one thing I’m learning.” – Maya Angelou

24. “When was the last time anyone told you how important you are?” – Maya Angelou

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

26. “I’ve learned that forgiving is one of the greatest gifts that I can give myself.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou quotes

27. “I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.” – Maya Angelou

28. “There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.” – Maya Angelou

29. “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.” – Maya Angelou

30. “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.” – Maya Angelou

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.” – Maya Angelou

32. “When we find someone who is brave, fun, intelligent, and loving, we have to thank the universe.” – Maya Angelou

best maya angelou quotes

33. “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?” – Maya Angelou

34. “Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.” – Maya Angelou

35. “It’s hard because people think they have something to lose and the truth is they have everything to gain in trying to love somebody.” – Maya Angelou

36. “I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.” – Maya Angelou

37. “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter the defeat, so that we can know who we are.” – Mara Angelou

38. “Every day I awaken I am grateful. My intent is to be totally present in that day. And laugh as much as possible.” – Maya Angelou

39. “My mother is so full of joy and life. I am her child. And that is better than being the child of anyone else in the world.” – Maya Angelou

41. “The most difficult thing in the world, it seems to me, is to realize that I am a child of God; to keep that in my mind all the time.” – Maya Angelou

maya angelou inspiration

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

43. “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.” – Maya Angelou

44. “A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.” – Maya Angelou

45. “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.” – Maya Angelou

46. “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” – Maya Angelou

47. “There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure the truth.” – Maya Angelou

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.” – Maya Angelou

49. “I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.” – Maya Angelou

50. “I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.” – Maya Angelou

51. “Let nothing dim the light that shines from within.” – Maya Angelou

52. “I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a ‘life’.” – Maya Angelou

53. “There is no failure as long as you learn from your experience, continue to work, and continue to press on for success.” – Maya Angelou

54. “Determine to live life with flair and laughter.” – Maya Angelou

55. “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.” – Maya Angelou



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