If you’re looking for the best Maya Angelou quotes then look no further.
Maya Angelou was one of America’s most beloved and celebrated poets and authors with over 50 honorary degrees paying testament to her inspirational role at the centre of American life.
In 1993 Bill Clinton invited Maya Angelou to recite her poem “On The Pulse Of Morning” at his inauguration, make her the first poet since 1961 to deliver an inaugural recitation. In 2000 she received the National Medel of Arts, and in 2010 she was awarded one the country’s highest honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
The famed author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), the first of her seven autobiographies for which she became known, lived a long and storied life.
Whilst many may remember Maya Angelou as a poet, essayist and memoirist she was also a songwriter, dancer, producer, director, performer and singer. She also worked as a journalist in Africa.
As an activist, she was one of the Civil Rights Movement’s most prominent women, working with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. She devoted her life to be a tireless voice and inspiration for women and black people, with an open-hearted vision of humanity where all could find their place.
On May 28, 2014, Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86, leaving a legacy that will be cherished for many decades to come.
I’ve compiled 67 of the most inspirational Maya Angelou quotes hoping to give you a healthy dose positivity for the day. Hope you like them.
67 Maya Angelou Quotes
1. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
2. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” – Maya Angelou
3. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” – Maya Angelou
4. “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” – Maya Angelou
5. “If we don’t plant the right things, we will reap the wrong things. It goes without saying. And you don’t have to be, you know, a brilliant biochemist and you don’t have to have an IQ of 150. Just common sense tells you to be kind, ninny, fool. Be kind.” – Maya Angelou
6. “It’s very important to know the neighbor next door and the people down the street and the people in another race.” – Maya Angelou
7. “Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.” – Maya Angelou
8. “Bitterness is cancer – it eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure.” – Maya Angelou
9. “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
10. “I think that that’s the wisest thing – to prevent illness before we try to cure something.” – Maya Angelou
11. “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
12. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou
13. “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
14. “Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” – Maya Angelou
15. “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.” – Maya Angelou
16. “If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.” – Maya Angelou
17. “What is a fear of living? It’s being preeminently afraid of dying. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for yourself – for the time you take up and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good.” – Maya Angelou
18. “Don’t let the incidents which take place in life bring you low. And certainly don’t whine. You can be brought low, that’s OK, but don’t be reduced by them. Just say, ‘That’s life.'” – Maya Angelou
19. “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.” – Maya Angelou
20. “Somehow, we have come to the erroneous belief that we are all but flesh, blood, and bones, and that’s all. So we direct our values to material things.” – Maya Angelou
21. “If you’re a human being, you can attempt to do what other human beings have done. We don’t understand talent any more than we understand electricity.” – Maya Angelou
22. “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
23. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou
24. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou
25. “All great achievements require time.” – Maya Angelou
26. “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.” – Maya Angelou
27. “Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou
28. “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.” – Maya Angelou
29. “I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.” – Maya Angelou
30. “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.” – Maya Angelou
31. “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?” – Maya Angelou
32. “I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.” – Maya Angelou
33. “If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou
34. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” – Maya Angelou
35. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou
36. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.” – Maya Angelou
37. “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” – Maya Angelou
38. “We are only as blind as we want to be.” – Maya Angelou
39. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou
40. “To grow up is to stop putting blame on parents.” – Maya Angelou
41. “You did the best that you knew how. Now that you know better, you’ll do better.” – Maya Angelou
42. “Let nothing dim the light that shines from within.” – Maya Angelou
43. “I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.” – Maya Angelou
44. “No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.” – Maya Angelou
45. “I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.” – Maya Angelou
46. “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.” – Maya Angelou
47. “Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you. All the other tangible rewards will come as a result.” – Maya Angelou
48. “Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented. So, to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise. “- Maya Angelou
49. “It is this belief in a power larger than myself and other than myself which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable.” – Maya Angelou
50. “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.” – Maya Angelou
51. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou
52. “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
53. “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
54. “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” – Maya Angelou
55. “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
56. “When I forgive other people, I let them go, I free them from my ignorance. And as soon as I do, I feel lighter, brighter and better.” – Maya Angelou
57. “When you learn, teach, when you get, give.” – Maya Angelou
58. “You can ask forgiveness of others, but in the end the real forgiveness is in one’s own self.” – Maya Angelou
59. “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
60. “Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.” – Maya Angelou
61. “You can never be great at anything unless you love it. Not be in love with it, but love the thing, admire the thing. And it seems that if you love the thing, and you don’t just want to possess it, it will find you. But if you’re in love with the thing, it may run like hell away from you.” – Maya Angelou
62. “Forgiveness. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody. You are relieved of carrying that burden of resentment. You really are lighter. You feel lighter. You just drop that.” – Maya Angelou
63. “I am not competing with anyone other than myself. I want to be excellent at whatever I do.” – Maya Angelou
64. “I try to see every day as a celebration.” – Maya Angelou
65. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.” – Maya Angelou
66. “I think we ought to give ourselves more time. We should be more patient with ourselves and with each other.” – Maya Angelou
67. “We cannot change the past, but we can change our attitude toward it. Uproot guilt and plant forgiveness. Tear out arrogance and seed humility. Exchange love for hate – thereby, making the present comfortable and the future promising.” – Maya Angelou
If you liked these Maya Angelou quotes then make sure you share this page and comment below with your favourite.
77 Frank Zappa Quotes On Life, Government & Music
Looking for the best collection of Frank Zappa quotes? Then look no further. Frank Zappa was an American musician, composer,...
101 Vince Lombardi Quotes To Win The Game Of Life
This collection of famous Vince Lombardi quotes is packed with wisdom from one of the greatest coaches and leaders in...
78 Abraham Maslow Quotes To Max Out Your Potential
If you’re looking to make the most of you potential then this collection of Abraham Maslow quotes will inspire and...
37 Rosa Parks Quotes To Stand Up For Your Freedom
Looking for the best Rosa Parks quotes? This collection of famous Rosa Parks quotes will help you stand up for...
87 Best George Carlin Quotes On Education, Politics & Life
Looking for the best George Carlin quotes? George Carlin was an American stand-up comedian, actor, social critic and author. He...