Anyone who’s ever had a goal or intention to achieve something knows that simply having the desire to accomplish is not enough (running a marathon, fitness goals, creating more abundance, etc.) Moving forward when circumstances become uncomfortable or unfamiliar requires a little extra encouragement to get you through it. 

So what gives us that ability? Motivation.

Motivation is the force that allows us to do what we choose. 

There are two primary types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation comes from external factors and rewards such as money, recognition, praise, and admiration, just to name a few. 

On the other hand, intrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by internal rewards. For example, a feeling of accomplishment or deep satisfaction.

Despite the many different ways that humans become motivated, there are still endless instances where we find it difficult to keep going, and it’s so easy to get distracted or disheartened when things go differently from our expectations. 

Since much of our lives are dependent on events outside our control, it’s a good idea to have plenty of motivational tools you can tap into when you feel your motivation waning.

Whenever you feel like you could use a boost of motivation, try reading any of the following self-improvement quotes and you’ll likely be back up and running in no time!

1. “The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.” Aberjhani

Aberjhani is an American-born author, historian, columnist, novelist, poet, and editor. His quote can be expounded by a similar one from America’s greatest inventor that goes:

2. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison

3. “Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along”. – George Herbert

George Herbert was a Welsh-born poet, orator, and priest of the Church of England. His quote can be summarized by this one:

4. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

Arthur Ashe was an American Professional Tennis player who won three Grand Slam singles titles.

5. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt was the longest-serving First Lady to the United States (1933-1945). If you don’t believe in the beauty of your own aspirations, how can you act on them? If you don’t believe in it enough to make it happen, it will never come to fruition.

6. “Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” – W. Clement Stone

Businessman, philanthropist, and New Thought self-help book author W. Clement Stone motivates us even with the possibility of failure – that even if we miss the original target, we might find a different success along the way.

7. “Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” – Sam Levenson

American humorist, writer, teacher, television host, and journalist Sam Levenson uses the idiom to mean its opposite. When we feel like we just want the day the end already, engage and keep going. It will be over sooner than you think and you will have already made a small change with the slightest action.

8. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, is simply stating that if you don’t think you can do it, you probably won’t. So believe that you can so you can try.

9. “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or but having everything all at once.” – Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho, the author of the novel The Alchemist, talks about resilience. Remind yourself that tough times don’t last. Tough people do.

10. “Failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of success.” – Arianna Huffington

Co-founder and former editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington tells us that failure is not a dead-end but a necessary part of one’s road to success.

11. “You are not defeated when you lose. You are defeated when you quit.” – Paulo Coelho

That’s another motivating quote by the famous author which can be backed by these words of wisdom. 

12. “A winner is a dreamer that never gives up.” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa

13. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King

Nobel Peace Prize winner MLK reminds us that we do not need to see the entire path ahead of us to reach our destination. Not seeing the journey ahead is not what will kill our dream because as this famous author put it:

14. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

15. “Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again.” – Walt Disney

American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor, and film producer, Walt Disney, set a standard for us so that when we do something, we know to strive for excellence and not settle for mediocrity.