Don’t let them grind your down with these encouraging quotes

Life getting on top of you? Well – if it helps – all the best stories about people making their way in the world start from them finding their own inner strength. So we’ve selected some of the most encouraging quotes from literature to help you face the hardest of times. 

Lost your way and your will?What you need is a reminder that life can be hard, but that nothing is insurmountable. So we’ve searched through some of our favourite fiction, memoirs and poetry to find you words of wisdom to help you feel encouraged and rejuvenated. After all, “tomorrow is another day”…

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

    “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.”

    Read it here

  • Oh, The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

    Read it here

  • Back To Methuselah by George Bernard Shaw

    “You see things; you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?”

    Read it here

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

    “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”

    Read it here

  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

    “Aim higher in case you fall short.”

    Read it here

  • My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl

    “I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.”

    Read it here

  • The Stand by Stephen King

    “The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there… and still on your feet.” 

    Read it here

  • On Beauty by Zadie Smith

    “Stop worrying about your identity and concern yourself with the people you care about, ideas that matter to you, beliefs you can stand by, tickets you can run on. Intelligent humans make those choices with their brain and hearts and they make them alone. The world does not deliver meaning to you. You have to make it meaningful… and decide what you want and need and must do.”

    Read it here

  • The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger

    “I think that one of these days,” he said, “you’re going to have to find out where you want to go. And then you’ve got to start going there. But immediately. You can’t afford to lose a minute. Not you.” 

    Read it here

  • The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

    “Do not let what you think they think of you make you stop and question everything you are.”

    Read it here

  • Paradise Lost by John Milton

    “Awake, arise or be for ever fall’n.”

    Read it here

  • Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now by Maya Angelou

    “Living well is an art that can be developed: a love of life and ability to take great pleasure from small offerings and assurance that the world owes you nothing and that every gift is exactly that, a gift.” 

    Read it here

  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy

    “Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.”

    Read it here

  • The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

    “If I’ve learned one lesson from all that’s happened to me, it’s that there is no such thing as the biggest mistake of your existence. There’s no such thing as ruining your life. Life’s a pretty resilient thing, it turns out.”

    Read it here

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

    “Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”

    Read it here

  • Disappearing Acts by Terry McMillan

    “Too many of us are hung up on what we don’t have, can’t have, or won’t ever have. We spend too much energy being down, when we could use that same energy – if not less of it – doing, or at least trying to do, some of the things we really want to do.”

    Read it here

  • Charlie Brown’s Little Book of Wisdom by Charles M Schulz

    “Learn from yesterday, live for today, look to tomorrow, rest this afternoon.”

    Read it here

  • Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen

    “Do not give way to useless alarm; though it is right to be prepared for the worst, there is no occasion to look on it as certain.” 

    Read it here

  • Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business by Dolly Parton

    “Be the alligator girl. Be whatever your dreams and your luck will let you be. Wear your green cornflakes with pride. Snarl at the crowds, and do your best to make them flinch.”

    Read it here

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

    “Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

    Read it here

  • How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran

    “You can be whatever you want – so long as you’re sure it’s what you actually want, rather than one of two equally dodgy choices foisted onto you.” 

    Read it here

  • The Temple Of My Familiar by Alice Walker

    “Helped are those who are content to be themselves; they will never lack mystery in their lives and the joys of self-discovery will be constant.”

    Read it here

  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

    “Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle.”

    Read it here

  • The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

    “Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element.”

    Read it here

  • American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

    “We have to make mistakes, it’s how we learn compassion for others.”

    Read it here

  • Summer And The City by Candace Bushnell

    “Just because something doesn’t last forever, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful while it did last. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t important.”

    Read it here

  • Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

    “There is something freeing in seeing yourself in a new context. People have no preconceived notion of who you are, and there is relief in knowing that you can re-create yourself.” 

    Read it here

  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

    “There should be no room in your life for regret. If in the moment of doing you felt clarity, you felt certainty, then why feel regret later?” 

    Read it here

  • The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin

    “You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit, or it is nowhere.”

    Read it here

  • A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

    “Everyone we’ve lost, we’ll find. Or they’ll find us.” 

    Read it here

  • Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

    “She must find a boat and sail in it. No guarantee of shore. Only a conviction that what she wanted could exist, if she dared to find it.”

    Read it here

  • Beloved by Toni Morrison

    “You are your best thing.” 

    Read it here

  • Just Kids by Patti Smith

    “Where does it all lead? What will become of us? These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed. It leads to each other. We become ourselves.” 

    Read it here

Images: Unsplash, courtesy of publishers

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