65+ Maya Angelou Quotes To Help You Live Your Dream

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Maya Angelou was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights, activist. She is best known for her series of seven autobiographies, which chronicled her childhood and early adult experiences. The first volume, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, was published in 1969 and became a bestseller.

Angelou’s writings are often described as autobiographical fiction because she used fiction techniques to bring out the meanings and emotions of her life experiences. However, she always insisted that everything she wrote was true.

Angelou was born Marguerite Annie Johnson on April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother, Bailey (also called Maya), was a homemaker; her father, Charles Henry Johnson, was a doorman and chauffeur. When Angelou was three years old, and her brother Bailey was four, their parent’s marriage ended; Bailey and his sister were sent to live with their paternal grandmother in rural Arkansas.


Maya Angelou Quotes About Life

  • “You can never be great at anything unless you love it.”
  • “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
  • “Never whine. Whining lets a brute know that a victim is in the neighborhood.”
  • . “The honorary duty of a human being is to love.”
  • “The greatest gift we give to each other is the telling of the truth.”
  • . “If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.”
  • “I had to trust life, since I was young enough to believe that life loved the person who dared to live it.”
  • . “I learned a long time ago, the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side.”
  • . “I sustain myself with the love of family.”
  • “Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity.”
  • “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —Undated
  • “The needs of a society determine its ethics.”
  • “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” —Undated
  • “You don’t have to think about doing the right thing. If you’re for the right thing, then you do it without thinking.”
  • “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.” —Undated
  • “The first thing I do in the morning when I awaken is say, ‘Thank you, Lord!’ I’m grateful to be alive, and I’m going to try to tell the truth as well as I know and tell it as eloquently as I can so that people can hear it.”
  • “I thank God that I’ve lived long enough to see what I have seen, and I pray that people will continue to do better. We are doing better, it may not seem so, but there was a time when people were lynched in the middle of the street and it was not against the law. We are doing better, but we have so much more to do.”
  • “I’m grateful to be of use. I will not be misused or abused, but I will be of use to anybody.”


Maya Angelou Quotes About Strength

Maya Angelou is an incredible woman with many inspiring quotes about life. In her quotes, she talks about how we should never give up, how we should do better even when others don’t think we can, and how we should always rise above our circumstances.

  • “I have a certain way of being in this world, and I shall not, I shall not be moved.”
  • “When we decide to be happy we accept the responsibility to bring happiness to someone else.”
  • “Let the brain go to work, let it meet the heart and you will be able to forgive.”
  • “The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom.”
  • . “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.”
  • “Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
  • . “Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.”
  • “This is a beautiful day, I’ve never seen this one before.”
  • “When you know you are of worth — not asking it but knowing it — you walk into a room with a particular power.”
  • “If you have done the best you can do and if you have gotten all you could extract from something — you have given all you had to give, then the time has come when you can do no more than say thank you and move on.”
  • “The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.”
  • . “I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it.”
  • “We are here to love each other. That is why you are alive. That is what life is for.”
  • “We are not our brother’s keeper; we are our brother and we are our sister. We must look past complexion and see community.
  • “I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.”
  • “I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.”
  • . “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”
  • . “If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat. It is an unnecessary insult.”
  • . “We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.”
  • . “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.”


Maya Angelou Quotes About Purpose

Maya Angelou’s quotes are some of the most inspirational and thought-provoking. The late great writer and civil rights activist were known for her wisdom, wit and candour, and her quotes never fail to motivate and inspire. Maya Angelou’s most memorable quotes, with their profound meaning, explained.

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

This quote is all about the power of creative thinking and self-expression. No matter how many ideas you come up with or how much art you create, there’s always more where that came from. So tap into your creativity – it’s an endless well!

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

Attitude is everything, and this quote reminds us that we always have the power to choose how we react to the things in our lives that we don’t like. If we can’t change the situation, we can at least change our perspective. And that can make all the difference in the world.

“Something will come to fetch me sooner or later.”

This quote speaks to the idea of destiny or fate. We all have a path we’re meant to follow, whether we realize it or not. And eventually, something will come along to guide us towards it – even if we resist at


Maya Angelou Quotes How You Feel

  • “My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.”
  • .“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.”
  • “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 their color; equal in importance no matter their texture.”
  •  “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
  • “Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.”
  • “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.”
  • “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
  • .“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
  • “If you’re going to live, leave a legacy. Make a mark on the world that can’t be erased.”
  • “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
  • “If you are going down a road and don’t like what’s in front of you and look behind you and don’t like what you see, get off the road. Create a new path!”
  • “I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity, is daring to dare.”
  • “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Maya Angelou quote
  • “It is impossible to struggle for civil rights, equal rights for blacks, without including whites. Because equal rights, fair play, justice, are all like the air; we all have it or none of us has it.”
  • “Every day I awaken I am grateful. My intent is to be totally present in that day. And laugh as much as possible.”
  • “There’s a marked difference between acquaintances and friends. Most people really don’t become friends. They become deep and serious acquaintances. But in a friendship you get to know the spirit of another person; and your values coincide.”
  • “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
  • “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
  • “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”
  • “I love wisdom. And 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.”
  • “You can see in others what they don’t see in themselves and what the world doesn’t see in them. We all have that possibility, that potential and that promise of seeing beyond the seeming.”
  • “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet.”
  • “The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
  • “Some people cannot see a good thing when it is right here, right now. Others can sense a good thing coming when it is days, months, or miles away.”
  • “I am a Woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman, that’s me.”
  • “Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you’ve got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.”
  • “Try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue and inertia and timidity. Take up the battle, take it up! It’s yours, this is your life, this is your world.”
  • “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.”


Maya Angelou was an American author and poet quoted countless times for her uplifting words of wisdom. She was a woman of many talents, and her quotes reflect her overall positive outlook on life. The above quote reminds us that we always have the power to choose our attitudes and reactions to events, even if we can’t control everything happening to us. This is just one example of the powerful insight that Maya Angelou provides through her quotes.

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