In Maya Angelou quotes and words, here are just a few lessons we’ve learned from her in the past and lessons which we would all do well to carry forward in the future.

Maya Angelou was one of America’s most beloved and celebrated poets and authors, with dozens of awards and over 50 honorary degrees attesting to her inspirational role at the center of American life.

She was also a journalist who worked in Africa, a historian, songwriter, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer and singer. And as an activist, she was one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most prominent women, who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and devoted her life to being a tireless voice for women and black people — and for an open-hearted vision of humanity where all could find their place. On May 28, 2014, the great Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86, leaving a legacy that will surely be cherished for many decades to come.

Here are the best Maya Angelou quotes and sayings:

Famous Maya Angelou Quotes About Life

Maya Angelou words could be compiled into a guidebook for leading a fulfilling, successful life. This is reality that the world is less wise without her, but her wisdom will continue to serve as an inspiration. These motivational quotes by Maya Angelou are guaranteed to stir up feelings of determination, pride, and compassion.

  • 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.
  • You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
  • We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
  • I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
  • You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.
  • maya angelou quotes about life
  • If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.
  • We need much less than we think we need.
  • If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?
  • Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.
  • I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
  • Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.
  • If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.
  • maya angelou famous quotes
  • Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.
  • Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.
  • A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.
  • You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
  • Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.
  • If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.
  • I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life’.
  • best maya angelou quotes
  • If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.
  • I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.
  • No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
  • My life has been one great big joke, a dance that’s walked, a song that’s spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself.
  • Everyone has at least one story, and each of us is funny if we admit it. You have to admit you’re the funniest person you’ve ever heard of.
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  • You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.
  • Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.
  • I want all my senses engaged. Let me absorb the world’s variety and uniqueness.
  • I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as making a ‘life.’ I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. 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 Quotes On Love and Relationships

Forever inspired by her determined nature and powerful words, here are Maya Angelou quotes on love, relationships and family. The beauty of her words is the simplicity with which she writes and her ability to deeply and authentically connect with the human experience.

  • Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
  • Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.
  • If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.
  • Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.
  • 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.
  • maya angelou quotes on love and relationships
  • Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.
  • You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.’
  • It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.
  • Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.
  • 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.
  • Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age.
  • I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.
  • Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.
  • maya angelou quotes about love and relationships
  • 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.
  • 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. Love says, ‘I love you. I love you if you’re in China. I love you if you’re across town. I love you if you’re in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I’d like to have your arms around me. I’d like to hear your voice in my ear. But that’s not possible now, so I love you. Go.
  • 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 know for sure that love saves me and that it is here to save us all.
  • The greatest gift we give to each other is the telling of the truth.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Inspiring Quotes From Maya Angelou on Streng, Success and More

Maya Angelou touched the lives of many through her work. In remembrance of her incredible legacy left behind, read through for some of Angelou’s most inspiring and uplifting quotes. Her words are a mix of straight talk and poetry and her messages transcend race and generations, enjoy! Also, you can enjoy the wisdom from Dr. Seuss.

  • 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.
  • The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.
  • Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.
  • Nothing will work unless you do.
  • 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 inspirational quotes
  • Lift up your eyes upon / This day breaking for you. / Give birth again / To the dream.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.
  • 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 quotes about strength
  • Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.
  • All great achievements require time.
  • History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
  • 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.
  • I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.
  • 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.
  • 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?’
  • You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
  • Courage – you develop courage by doing small things like just as if you wouldn’t want to pick up a 100-pound weight without preparing yourself.

maya angelou motivational quotes

  • Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.
  • A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • maya angelou inspirational quotes with images: Still I Rise
  • If you are going down a road and don’t like what’s in front of you and look behind you and don’t like what you see, get off the road. Create a new path!