Staying motivated is easier said than done. There’s just so much happening each day that we easily get sidetracked. Add to that the fact that obstacles are everywhere, staying focused is quite difficult to maintain, much less staying motivated.
The good side of it is that we have tons of quotes and inspirational lines from amazing people that will remind us why and how to stay motivated. Sometimes, we get hit by storms too often that we forget there’s sunlight. We forget that there are weathers other than stormy. Life is tricky like that.
CS Lewis was a British novelist whose work was transformed into a great film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. And that’s one of the many films and TV shows derived from his work.
He was a prodigious writer and intellectual, coining some fine phrases in his time. Thus we’ve collected some of the best CS Lewis quotes out there to celebrate his work and help inspire and motivate you.
1. On What Builds from Failure
Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success. ~ C.S. Lewis
I don’t think I’ve met anyone who isn’t afraid of failure. We all have our own thoughts about it but most people see failure as this thing we should try our best to avoid. Technically, that’s right. But we end up getting so caught up with trying to avoid it that we don’t enjoy life. This C.S. Lewis quote is a great reminder that failures will happen, and instead if trying to avoid it, know that it will lead you to success.
2. On Miracles of Nature
Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature. ~ C.S. Lewis
We all love miracles. We all pray for it to happen and admit it or not, knowing that a miracle could happen anytime, sometimes it keeps up motivated. So how can we differentiate good and true miracle from a forced one? True miracles happen naturally. When we think there’s no hope, it comes and it reminds us to stay motivated; something good will come of it. Good miracles remind us to be hopeful and stay positive.
3. On Knowing Courage
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. ~ C.S. Lewis
Perhaps one of the most confusing aspects of life is courage. Well, it’s not really confusing but it’s difficult to perfect. We do something out of our league and we think we’re being courageous. But if you want to live the life you truly love, you need to know what true courage is. It is when you do things out of your league or things that scares you or things you don’t understand but your gut tells you to do, repeatedly.
4. On Justifying Your Choices
An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason. ~ C.S. Lewis
Humans have an insane obsession on justification. We think we need to have a clear and highly convincing reason to everything we do, even if the only person to convince is ourselves. That’s just not how it works, my friends. Sure, in some instances we really need to justify our actions, but more often than not, it’s not necessary. And knowing the cause of our actions don’t always mean having a statement of justification. Some things happen because the universe made it happen, period.
5. On The Fine Line Between Reason and Imagination
Reason is the natural order of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning ~ C.S. Lewis
Keep in mind that in every feat, imagination is our best friend, especially if we’re plowing our way to success. And the best part is that imagination is always there. But if you don’t know how to work with it, you’ll end up stressed. Keep in mind that whatever you do, if it was born through your wild imagination, you don’t always have to have a reason for it. Because when imagination works, it works beyond our abilities to explain and reason out.
6. On Better Things
Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind. ~ C.S. Lewis
One of the most common things we forget is how much great things lie in front of us. In life, we’re so consumed with moving forward and then scrutinizing what we did the day before. It’s so tiring to always look back and see what you did wrong or what other things you could’ve done instead. Keep in mind that there’s always better things tomorrow if you just allow it to happen. If you just look at tomorrow as an opportunity rather than another mere day to repeat what you did yesterday.
7. On Aiming High
Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. ~ C.S. Lewis
We are often told to aim high. And yes, we should, for reasons too many to fathom. When our goals don’t come to life, you can look at two things: either you didn’t exert enough effort or you’re meant to aim higher. Sometimes we want to play too safe that we end up aiming for smaller goals that fit our comfort zone. When in fact, we are more than ready to go out to a bigger world.
8. On Dealing with Adulthood
Thirty was so strange for me. I’ve really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking and talking adult. ~ C.S. Lewis
For people in the business, age literally is just a number. Nobody would care if you’re 30 or 60 as long as you’re doing something amazing. But for others, age means going adult, and going adult is often seen as a scary transition. Instead of worrying about your age and adulthood, just enjoy life. Because at the end of the day, what matters isn’t whether or not you’re old, it’s whether or not you’re happy.
9. On the Importance of Clarity
Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn’t mean anything else. ~ C.S. Lewis
Staying happy and content for a day is one thing. Staying happy and content almost your entire life is another, and you’d want the latter. One way to achieve it is to stay motivated. Be clear with your goals and how you convey your bright ideas to others. Speak the human language, not the language of pretentious creatures too coward to keep their feet on the ground.
10. On Being True to Others
Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities. ~ C.S. Lewis
This is quite difficult to remember. Being true to everyone all the time can be challenging. But keep in mind that in order to succeed, we need other genuine people. We need to surround ourselves with positive people who are willing to be as true as we are. This is when real friendships bloom. And if you want to build true friendship with someone, you will first have to learn how to be strong and vulnerable in front of her.
11. On Self Honesty
I gave in, and admitted that God was God. ~ C.S. Lewis
There’s no such thing as success for people who are too weak to admit their mistakes and be honest with themselves. If you made huge plans but later on realized it was too big, and you can’t admit that to yourself, good luck with life. We all want to stay motivated and one of the best things to do it is to be honest with yourself. If you failed, say it to yourself and learn from it. Admit the failure and move on.
12. On What Makes History
History isn’t just the story of bad people doing bad things. It’s quite as much a story of people trying to do good things. But somehow, something goes wrong. ~ C.S. Lewis
We all want to make history. Maybe not all of us but most of us want to be that someone people talk about even when we’re dead. So, here’s how to do it: be transparent with your work. Like what C.S. Lewis says in this quote, history isn’t about bad people doing bad things. If you want to be remembered, be that person who is brave enough to admit his mistakes – the mistakes that lead to a good thing or good lesson.
13. On Where Things Begin
With the possible exception of the equator, everything begins somewhere. ~ C.S. Lewis
There’s no success if there’s no motion to start. You will never get anywhere aside from your old lumpy couch, unless you get up and work your way to wherever you want. It’s not easy to stay motivated all the time. There will be moments when we’re just so tired. But keep in mind that the most important thing in success is the act of starting your journey to it. Sometime, somewhere, you will have to begin.
14. On Getting What You Prayed for
It’s so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see one. ~ C.S. Lewis
It’s one thing to pray for something, it’s another to deal with it when it’s given to you. So the saying be careful what you wish for can’t be any truer. Because praying for something is so easy, but sometimes we never realize how hard it actually is until we get it. And then we regret it and become unhappy. Choose what you pray for and keep happiness around. Believe it or not, this has lots of positive effects in life.
15. On Being Direct
Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don’t implement promises, but keep them. ~ C.S. Lewis
Motivation is almost often like a butterfly – it’s everywhere but it’s difficult to catch. There’s no perfect set of tips or tutorial on how to stay motivated all your life, but one of the best ways to do so is to be firm with your words. Be a man of clarity and a man who commits to his words and promises. In the long run, it will benefit you in ways you couldn’t even imagine.
16. On Keeping The Child In You
Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. ~ C.S. Lewis
One of the most common thing in young people is that they all want to grow up and be adults. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, we must remember that even when we grow up and have this bigger responsibilities, we should always check in with the child in us. Children are people of simplicity and honesty and sometimes, life gets so overwhelming. These are the moments when we need to tap into our inner childhood.
17. On Flexibility
A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest. ~ C.S. Lewis
Flexibility is very difficult to achieve. When building a business for instance, we always have this certain group of people often categorized by age that we want to impress. But if you want your business to survive for a really long time, you’ll have to learn how to make your products, services, and even your attitude flexible enough for all. You don’t want to be replaced as CEO because your people hates your attitude.
18. On Courage
Courage, dear heart. ~ C.S. Lewis
This C.S. Lewis quote is pretty straightforward. We all need to be reminded of courage – how important it is, how difficult it is to keep it, pretty much everything about courage. But we must also remember why we need to be courageous in the first place. And we must know that being courageous doesn’t mean being the last one fighting, it means knowing that you can choose your battles, making that choice and committing to it.
19. On Humanity
True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. ~ C.S. Lewis
We love how C.S. Lewis explains humanity so directly and with such few words. There’s no better way to keep yourself motivated than to be reminded of what humanity is and how important it is. We tend to be so busy and so consumed by our goals that we forget compassion and humanity. It’s not a bad thing but it’s something we could change. Something we need to change for good reasons. Because compassion and humanity matters more than anything.
20. On Choosing What To Believe In
What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are. ~ C.S. Lewis
Some stories have only one angle, some have 20, and some have an infinity of angles. All these depend on whether you’re open to hearing the other angles or you want to focus on the first one you heard. It depends if you’re looking at the story, the situation from a good lens or a bad lens. Now this will not define who you are in the future but this will surely define who you are today.
21. On Where to Look
As long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you. ~ C.S. Lewis
When things don’t go the way we hoped for, it’s either it wasn’t meant to happen or we’re looking at it the wrong way. See, one dream is not always one dream only. Sometimes, it doesn’t happen because it’s meant to be a series of dreams, or in reality, a series of success. If we look the right way, we would see this. Instead of focusing so much on one thing, take a few steps back so you can see the bigger picture.
22. On Knowing Integrity
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. ~ C.S. Lewis
With the kind of world we live in, there’s no question why many of us wants a camera pointing at us. When we do something amazing, or even not so amazing, we take videos of it and post it on social media. Thus, it’s great to be reminded from time to time that doing a good job without the camera isn’t so much of a good job. There’s totally zero integrity on that and that’s not the kind of image you want to maintain.
23. On Believing In Change
Things never happen the same way twice. ~ C.S. Lewis
It’s probably inevitable for us to think that if we’ve done it before, we can do it again. Pretty much like if we once succeeded, we can succeed again. Technically, we can. The difference is how we succeed. Don’t think that one success always leads to another. Everything that happens to us we need to work for it. As Lewis says, nothing happens twice. And if you pay close attention to detail, you’ll understand this clearly.
24. On The Things That Make Us Happy and Sad
The pain I feel now is the happiness I had before. That’s the deal. ~ C.S. Lewis
If you’re a keen person, you’ve probably noticed this – one time you’re happy because of something and on another time, same thing causes your sadness. This may be a literal take but it’s quite true. What causes us a positive emotion can also cause a negative one. If you don’t know how to go with the flow, you’ll struggle. Just let go and let life take the lead. Sometimes, you need to learn and sometimes, you just have to enjoy the positive vibes.
25. On Acknowledging Your Ideas
Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else. ~ C.S. Lewis
The problem with most people is that we’re too consumed by society’s crazy standards. If you do one thing and your friends think it sucks, you stop doing it. If you have this great idea born from your dreams and people think it’s the worst idea ever, you stop. You quit it. Instead of stopping, consider plowing through. Consider to keep going if you truly believe in your thoughts. Because most great things were born from silly ideas.
26. On Doing Instead of Procrastinating
The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. ~ C.S. Lewis
There are tons of tips out there on how to beat procrastination. But sometimes, the problem is not procrastination, it’s that we spend so much time waiting for a chance or a sign or a good push for us to make the step. Instead of waiting, why not spend your time actually doing it. No matter how rich or poor you are, at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is what you did and where you got.
And the last of the CS Lewis Quotes… 27. On Believing In Ourselves
We are what we believe we are. ~ C.S. Lewis
If we think of a list why we think less of ourselves, we can keep writing forever. Apparently, we all have endless reasons why we think we’re not worthy of this or why we can’t do that or why someone else is better for this job. If we can just take a few moments each say and say this quote, this mantra, perhaps we’ll think differently. Because until you start believing in yourself, others will see you just as how you portray yourself to them – someone who doesn’t believe in himself.