Editor’s note: This article was originally published on July 13, 2019. It has since been updated.
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. If you know this book then you'll definitely know the genius behind it - Maya Angelou. She is one of the most influential women to have taken the world by storm. According to the Poetry Foundation, she has a ton of feathers in her cap. From being an acclaimed American poet, storyteller, activist, and autobiographer to dabbling in the arts as a singer, dancer, actress, composer, and Hollywood’s first female black director, she is best known for her writing and poetry.
However, it isn't just her books and poems that have the ability to capture our imagination and strive to better ourselves. It's her quotes that inspire us. Here are 21 of her most inspirational quotes:
1. "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."
2. "If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be."
3. "You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody."
4. "You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you."
5. "We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."
6. "A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim."
7. "Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away."
8. "If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded."
9. "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."
10. "One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."
11. "I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.”
12. "I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn."
13. "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."
14. "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."
15. "If you want what you’re saying heard, then take your time and say it so that the listener will actually hear it. You might save somebody’s life. Your own, first."
16. "Determine to live life with flair and laughter."
17. "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
18. "We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated."
19. "Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope."
20. "The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible."
21. "If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude."