Maya Angelou was a brilliant writer who thought that we should live passionately and enthusiastically, making the most of every moment. She believed in love, creativity, and compassion. Most of all, she believed that when we give to the world, the world rewards us in the most amazing ways.
Check out her insightful quotes and get a glimpse into the mind of a world-renowned artist and writer. Get inspiration to turn your life around and find joy and excitement.
1. On Sharing Positivity
Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. ~ Maya Angelou
The best thing we can do for others is to remind them that despite all hardships and struggles, there is always place for joy and laughter. We must always carry enthusiasm and optimism within us, remembering that good feelings are always contagious.
2. On True Freedom
The truth is, no one of us can be free until everybody is free. ~ Maya Angelou
Finding freedom is a personal quest, yet we can only add happiness to our freedom when we live in a free world, where everyone we know and love is also free. Compassion and connection give the real measure of our freedom and happiness.
3. On Being Strong
We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated. ~ Maya Angelou
Losing a fight is different from losing a war, that is why it is important to keep fighting at all costs. A defeat is just a stumble down the road, never the end of the road. If we let a defeat crush us, it means we surrender.
4. On Telling Your Story
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~ Maya Angelou
Each of us lives an unique life with personal dreams, goals, and struggles. The need to express who we are and what we hold dear is very powerful in our hearts. We need to express who we are and tell our own story because stories connect us through invisible threads and bring us together.
5. On Accepting Fate
I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it. ~ Maya Angelou
Letting yourself become a victim of circumstances is the surest way to lose control of your life. Our attitude is the most powerful tool of resistance against life’s pressure. We need to mould the environment through our own unique personality, not let the environment mould us.
6. On Authenticity
If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be. ~ Maya Angelou
Being normal is safe and comfortable, yet it is never fun or fulfilling. Once we let go of constraints imposed from outside, we discover who we really are and what we want to be, allowing ourselves to live outside some illusory limits.
7. On Giving Too Much
Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option. ~ Maya Angelou
When you are a loving and caring person, you take joy from giving your love to the people around you. However, offering too much to someone who does not appreciate or reciprocate it, might be taxing on one’s well-being. Love should not impose on our self-respect.
8. On Being Aware
We are only as blind as we want to be. ~ Maya Angelou
Our minds often deceive us, distorting our perceptions of the world by keeping us trapped in a comfort zone. We need to force our minds to grasp the truth, even if the truth is not as pleasant as we would like it to be.
9. On Real Success
Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. ~ Maya Angelou
Beyond the cultural and social pressures, success is a matter of attitude. The greatest success is being at peace with your choices and achievements while being excited about your life and everything you do.
10. On Change
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain. ~ Maya Angelou
Complaining hardly changes anything. Even if it does, most of the times, it makes one appear as weak. If we want change we must put efforts into it. Acting for change activates our inner power while complaining just puts the burden or the blame on someone or something else.
11. On Being Yourself
A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song. ~ Maya Angelou
In any situation, the best we can do is just be ourselves. Even if we don’t have a plan or a solution, acting on our intuition and our inner powers can put us back into the right flow.
12. On Creativity
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. ~ Maya Angelou
Same as love, creativity is a boundless well. The more we use our creativity, the stronger we get at making connections, noticing patterns, and coming with new, exciting ideas. Creativity must be put to work, otherwise it cannot grow.
13. On Finding Your Home
I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself. ~ Maya Angelou
The best home is wherever you feel most secure and comfortable. To be able to find a home in every place means, firstly, being comfortable with oneself. Wherever you go, you know you are your own best companion and you can turn each place into a new home.
14. On Learning from Mistakes
You did the best that you knew how. Now that you know better, you’ll do better. ~ Maya Angelou
Looking backwards on life we find many flaws in our actions and many mistakes. To escape the regrets of the past, we must accept that we did the best possible thing with the knowledge we had at that given time. We cannot go back with the knowledge of today to change the past, but we can improve the future.
15. On Experiences
You are the sum total of everything you’ve seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot- it’s all right there. ~ Maya Angelou
Our identity is like a vessel in which experience and knowledge gather together. Our experiences change us, elevate us, and make us who we are. The more we experience, the richer is our life and the richer we feel inside.
16. On Living to the Fullest
Live as though life was created for you. ~ Maya Angelou
Life deserves to be treated with the greatest attention and enthusiasm. It give us so much and allows us to go through so many possibilities, chances, and wonders. We should see our lives as the greatest gift and always strive to make the most of it.
17. On the Power of Love
Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time. ~ Maya Angelou
Love is unpredictable and irrational. It comes in our lives to take us to a new orbit, to shake up our secure habits and invite us to a thrilling journey. At any corner, love can wait for us.
18. On Never Stop Learning
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. ~ Maya Angelou
To stop learning means giving up on the rich diversity of wondrous experiences that life can walk us through. To learn is to remain open and receptive towards novelty and surprise. Only by learning we grow and progress.
19. On Loving Life
Success is loving life and daring to live it. ~ Maya Angelou
Learning to love life is the greatest achievement we can strive upon. When we love life, we are finally free to accept its quirks and its wonders. It take courage and strength to love life fully and completely, but the things we gain are the things we live for.
20. On Achievements
All great achievements require time. ~ Maya Angelou
When we think of success we think about major achievements. However, the road to success is often about making small, but secure steps, laying each day a new brick to your foundation. As days go by, the bricks unite in a solid construction. Time is the greatest builder.
21. On Giving and Receiving
When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed. ~ Maya Angelou
Being able to give and to receive with an open heart creates a profound and serene connection between people. To be selfless and grateful is a gift that we firstly make to ourselves, and then to others.
22. On Gratitude
Be present in all things and thankful for all things. ~ Maya Angelou
When we do something, we should put all our heart into it, otherwise we fool ourselves. When times passes so quickly, the greatest crime we can do against ourselves is not living every second fully. Living every moment as a gift and being grateful give our life meaning.
23. On Sharing
When you learn, teach, when you get, give. ~ Maya Angelou
Life is a web of connection in which everyone is influenced, helped, and inspired by others, even if unconsciously. To feel happy and fulfilled, we need to participate in this exchange, by being in our turn, helpful and inspiring for others.
24. On Laughter
I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh. ~ Maya Angelou
Our sense of humor says a lot of things about us. It communicates to others whether we take ourselves too seriously, whether we are easily-offended, or whether we know how to let go and just share a moment of connection with another person. Laughter is the easiest way to connect with another.
25. On Connection
Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances. ~ Maya Angelou
Life seems unpredictable and messy sometimes yet we forget that everything that happens is part of a cause and effect chain. Even if we cannot identify a cause, it surely exists. Life is all about connection and relations. Everything is part of a flow.
26. On Dreaming Big
Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it! ~ Maya Angelou
Some of our dreams might be so great as to scare us. Yet, if we dream big, we must be ready to embrace our dreams, knowing that sometimes what we wish for might be not the best thing for us. It takes courage to dream and it takes courage to fulfill our dreams.
27. On Having Faith in Love
Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time. ~ Maya Angelou
Love can be both the greatest joy and the greatest pain of our lives. It can fulfill our dreams, but also crush them. Love has many forms and faces, and despite heartbreaks and disappointments, love is always waiting to grow again. We only need the courage to cultivate it.
28. On Learning from the Past
Nothing will work unless you do. ~ Maya Angelou
The best thing we could do for ourselves is not waiting for others to do things for us, to give us solutions, or to plan for us. When we become masters of our lives, we realize that if we want something, we must work for it. Life does not owe us anything and it will not fail to remind us that.
29. On Making a Life
I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life. ~ Maya Angelou
Security is important as it allows us to focus on more important things, once practical matters are set. However, we should not confuse security with fulfillment. Making a living is great, but it is only the first step in living a meaningful, happy life.
30. On Inner Light
Let nothing dim the light that shines from within. ~ Maya Angelou
Every person that holds big dreams and ideals inside knows that the world is not always willing to accommodate them. Life is difficult when you have great expectations and care about your unique path. However, that inner light that makes us who we are is the only guide we should follow.
31. On Faith
Faith is the evidence of the unseen. ~ Maya Angelou
Faith is not something we can explain through rational thinking. It is something we feel with an intensity that often scares us. Faith is a clue that tells us that there is so much more we cannot understand, yet that our hearts can lead us there.