Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president and Nobel Prize winner lived a fulfilling and impactful life.
In fact few people have had as much impact on history as Nelson Mandela. He passed away at the age of 95 years old on December 5th 2013 and will always be remembered as one of the greatest men to have ever lived – an incredibly selfless man who made so much of a sacrifice to rewrite the history of generations of South Africans and the world.
During his life Nelson Mandela inspired millions will his words of wisdom. Below are 67 inspirational Nelson Mandela quotes that have the power to change your life. Enjoy!
Inspirational Nelson Mandela Quotes
1. “It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela
2. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
3. “A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.” – Nelson Mandela
4. “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” – Nelson Mandela
5. “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela
6. “There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” – Nelson Mandela
7. “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela
8. “Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.” – Nelson Mandela
9. “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
10. “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.” – Nelson Mandela
11. “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.” – Nelson Mandela
12. “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.” – Nelson Mandela
13. “A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly, knowing that at the end he and the other side must be closer, and thus emerge stronger. You don’t have that idea when you are arrogant, superficial, and uninformed.” – Nelson Mandela
14. “There are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock, go off in a new direction, confident that he is leading his people the right way.” – Nelson Mandela
15. “Even if you have a terminal disease, you don’t have to sit down and mope. Enjoy life and challenge the illness that you have.” – Nelson Mandela
16. “Once a person is determined to help themselves, there is nothing that can stop them.” – Nelson Mandela
17. “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is an act of justice.” – Nelson Mandela
18. “Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.” – Nelson Mandela
19. “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.” – Nelson Mandela
20. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela
21. “We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.” – Nelson Mandela
22. “Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.” – Nelson Mandela
23. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela
24. “When people are determined they can overcome anything.” – Nelson Mandela
25. “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” – Nelson Mandela
26. “I have retired, but if there’s anything that would kill me it is to wake up in the morning not knowing what to do.” – Nelson Mandela
27. “The greatest glory in living is not in falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela
28. “Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” – Nelson Mandela
29. “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return.” – Nelson Mandela
30. “What counts is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela
31. “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity, it is an act of justice.” – Nelson Mandela
32. “Live life as though nobody is watching, and express yourself as though everyone is listening.” – Nelson Mandela
33. “One of the most difficult things is not to change society — but to change yourself.” – Nelson Mandela
34. “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Nelson Mandela
35. “Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.” – Nelson Mandela
36. “We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” – Nelson Mandela
37. “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
38. “I never lose. I either win or learn.” – Nelson Mandela
39. “Your playing small does not serve the world. Who are you not to be great?” – Nelson Mandela
40. “Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela
41. “It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” – Nelson Mandela
42. “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.” – Nelson Mandela
43. “Fools multiply when wise men are silent.” – Nelson Mandela
44. “People respond in accordance to how you relate to them. If you approach them on the basis of violence, that’s how they’ll react. But if you say, ‘We want peace, we want stability,’ we can then do a lot of things that will contribute towards the progress of our society.” – Nelson Mandela
45. “You can start changing our world for the better daily, no matter how small the action.” – Nelson Mandela
46. “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” – Nelson Mandela
47. “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.” – Nelson Mandela
48. “If you want the cooperation of humans around you, you must make them feel they are important – and you do that by being genuine and humble.” – Nelson Mandela
49. “It is so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build.” – Nelson Mandela
50. “A real leader uses every issue, no matter how serious and sensitive, to ensure that at the end of the debate we should emerge stronger and more united than ever before.” – Nelson Mandela
51. “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.” – Nelson Mandela
52. “I have always believed that exercise is the key not only to physical health but to peace of mind.” – Nelson Mandela
53. “The time is always right to do right.” – Nelson Mandela
54. “Human beings have got the ability to adjust to anything.” – Nelson Mandela
55. “One of the things I learnt when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.” – Nelson Mandela
56. “It is in your hands, to make a better world for all who live in it.” – Nelson Mandela
57. “The habit of attending to small things and of appreciating small courtesies is one of the important marks of a good person.” – Nelson Mandela
58. “You will achieve more in this world through acts of mercy than you will through acts of retribution.” – Nelson Mandela
59. “Significant progress is always possible if we ourselves try to plan every detail of our lives and actions.” – Nelson Mandela
60. “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Nelson Mandela
61. “A leader…is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” – Nelson Mandela
62. “As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself.” – Nelson Mandela
63. “Appearances matter — and remember to smile.” – Nelson Mandela
64. “Peace is the greatest weapon for development that any person can have.” – Nelson Mandela
65. “There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” – Nelson Mandela
66. “There are few misfortunes in this world that you cannot turn into a personal triumph if you have the iron will and the necessary skill.” – Nelson Mandela
67. “It is not where you start but how high you aim that matters for success.” – Nelson Mandela
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