Top 50 Motivational Quotes for Employees

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Fed up of work? Starting to feel like you’re working hard but getting nowhere in life? Beginning to feel a bit low? It happens to the best of us. Fortunately, however, we’ve put together this collection of motivational quotes to help you get through all those excruciatingly long days at work.

From boosting your confidence and the finding inspiration you need to continue working towards your goals, here are 50 of the best quotes to help you put your plan into action and further your career development.


1. “Only undertake what you can do in an excellent fashion. There are no prizes for average performance.” (Brian Tracy, motivational speaker)

2. “Every experience in your life is being orchestrated to teach you something you need to know to move forward.” (Brian Tracy, motivational speaker)

3. “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” (Eloise Ristad, author)

4.“You must remain focused on your journey to greatness.” (Les Brown, motivational speaker and author)

5. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” (Aristotle, philosopher and scientist)

6. “When people go to work, they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” (Betty Bender, author)

7. “The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work” (Elbert Hubbard, writer and philosopher)

8. “Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.” (Rumi, poet)

9. “Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph: a beginning, a struggle and a victory.” (Mahatma Gandhi, civil rights leader)

10. “No matter how good you are you can always get better, and that’s the exciting part.” (Tiger Woods, golfer)

Setting Goals

11. “Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.” (Les Brown, motivational speaker and author)

12. “If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” (Harvey Mackay, businessman and author)

13. “The results you achieve will be in direct proportion to the effort you apply.” (Denis Waitley, motivational speaker and writer)

14. "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." (C.S. Lewis, Famous Author)

15. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” (Eleanor Roosevelt, politician and activist)

16. “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” (Les Brown, motivational speaker and author)

17. “You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” (Mae West, actress and singer)

18. “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” (Randy Pausch, professor)

19. “You have to fight to reach your dream, you have to sacrifice and work hard for it.” (Lionel Messi, footballer)

20. “Dedication, determination and desire is what it takes.” (Jackie Joyner-Kersee, retired track and field athlete)

Determination and Persistence

21. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” (Albert Einstein, physicist)

22. “It’s not what you achieve, it’s what you overcome. That’s what defines your career.” (Carlton Fisk, retired Major League Baseball catcher)

23. “Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer.” (Marcia Wieder, motivational speaker and author)

24. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” (Thomas Edison, inventor and businessman)

25. “Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.” (JK Rowling, author)

26. “Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.” (Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States)

27. “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” (H. Jackson Brown, Jr., author)

28. “When you lose, you get up, you make it better. You try again.” (Serena Williams, tennis player)

29. “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream the farther you get.” (Michael Phelps, Olympian swimmer)

30. “I have failed many times, but I have never gone into a game expecting myself to fail.” (Michael Jordan, retired basketball player)


31. “I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” (Michael Jordan, retired basketball player)

32. “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” (Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States)

33. “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” (Arthur Ashe, tennis player)

34. "I can’t do it" never yet accomplished anything; "I will try" has performed wonders. (George Burnham, banker and politician)

35. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose. (Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft)

36. “All success is, really, is having a predetermined plan and carrying it out successfully over a long period of time.” (Harvey Mackay, businessman and author)

37. “Success represents the 1% of your work which results from the 99% that is called failure.” (Soichiro Honda, engineer)

38. “To succeed in business, to reach the top, an individual must know all it is possible to know about that business.” (J. Paul Getty, industrialist)

39. “To .. You need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.” (Tony Dorsett, former American football running back)

40. “Don’t think about the start of the race. Think about the” (Usain Bolt, sprinter)


41. “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” (Warren Bennis, scholar and author)

42. “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” (Simon Sinek, motivational speaker and author)

43. “This is the only country in the world where today’s employee is tomorrow’s employer.” (Marco Rubio, politician and attorney)

44. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” (Steve Jobs, businessman and inventor)

45. “Work hard and become a leader, be lazy and become a slave.” (Proverbs 12:24)

46. “The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” (Arnold J. Toynbee, historian and philosopher)

47. “Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” (Farrah Gray, businessman and investor)

48. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” (George Bernard Shaw, playwright and critic)

49. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” (John C. Maxwell, author and speaker)

50. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” (John Quincy Adams, 6th President of the United States)

Which of these motivational quotes are you thinking about turning into a meme and hanging on your desk? Let us know in the comments section below and don’t forget to suggest other quotes that inspire and motivate you to succeed in (and outside) the workplace.

Ready to get motivated? Check out our self motivation tips.

This article was originally published in July 2013.

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