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John Wayne Quotes to Lead You Through Life

Halle Homel

From one of the most acclaimed actors of his time, these John Wayne quotes speak about the value of manhood and what it means to live your life intentionally.

John Wayne is known for his roles in American westerns such as The Searchers and True Grit, and used the wisdom found in his movies to guide his everyday life.

Research from the University of California, Berkeley, reveals that inspirational quotes, such as those from John Wayne, can improve a person’s mood and motivation levels.

This study, led by Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky, indicates that exposure to motivational quotes activates positive emotions and cognitive processes, which in turn fosters resilience and personal growth.

What can we learn about the importance of manhood from John Wayne?

Wayne often focused on what he believed made a man, but the truth is, his values trace back to just a few things: sincerity, honesty, and the ability to stand your ground – values that any human being should include in their life.

The John Wayne quotes listed below will bring you through his philosophies and much more.

They will allow you to explore his movies, as well as his way of thinking.

Don’t forget to also read Johnny Cash quotes that will inspire you to live a full life.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Read more related content on our inspirational quotes category page.

John Wayne Quotes About Life

A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association found that 78% of participants reported feeling inspired by quotes from famous figures, like John Wayne.

The survey suggests that these quotes resonate with people personally, helping them navigate life’s challenges and encouraging them to become better versions of themselves.

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1. “Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about experience

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2. “When you stop fighting, that’s death.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about fighting

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3. “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about courage

4. “A man who won’t stand for what he believes isn’t a man!” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about beliefs

5. “Life is getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about not giving up

6. “A man ought to do what he thinks is right.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about doing the right thing

7. “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about codes to live by

8. “A man deserves a second chance, but keep an eye on him.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about second chances

9. “Nobody should come to the movies unless he believes in heroes.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about heroes

10. “A goal, a love, and a dream give you total control over your body and your life.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about control

John Wayne Quotes to Motivate You to do Your Best

In a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Dr. Melanie Green from the University at Buffalo discovered that well-crafted stories and quotes from iconic figures, such as John Wayne, have a profound impact on people’s beliefs and attitudes.

The research found that engaging with these stories and quotes can lead to long-lasting changes in behavior and personal values.

11. “I’m not the sort to back away from a fight. I don’t believe in shrinking from anything. It’s not my speed; I’m a guy who meets adversities head on.” – John Wayne

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John Wayne Quotes about facing your troubles

12. “Get off your butt and join the Marines.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about Marines

13. “I suppose my best attribute if you want to call it that, is sincerity. I can sell sincerity because that’s the way I am.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about sincerity

14. “There’s right and there’s wrong. Y’gotta do one or the other, do the other and you may be walking around, but you’re dead as a beaver hat.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about rights and wrongs

15. “I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about family and friends

16. “Hurry it up. We’re burning daylight!” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about daylight

17. “I would like to be remembered, well… “FeoFuerte y formal,” which means he was ugly, strong, and had dignity.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about being remembered

18. “I define manhood simply: men should be tough, fair, and courageous, never petty, never looking for a fight, but never backing down from one either.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about manhood

19. “When you come to see a picture of mine, I want you to know that I’m not going to do anything that will make you uncomfortable. I want you to know that you won’t be disappointed.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about being disappointed

John Wayne Quotes About the Reality of Human Beings

According to a study by the University of California, Los Angeles, individuals who express gratitude regularly are more optimistic, feel better about their lives, and have a greater sense of overall wellbeing.

This suggests that embracing John Wayne’s positive outlook on life and expressing gratitude can lead to greater happiness and life satisfaction.

20. “I’d like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living.” – John Wayne

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John Wayne Quotes about educated idiots

21. “You can take everything a man has as long as you leave him his dignity.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about dignity

22. “Real art is basic emotion. If a scene is handled with simplicity—and I don’t mean simple—it’ll be good, and the public will know it.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about real art

23. “Nothing is so discouraging to an actor than to have to work for long hours upon hours in brightly lighted interior sets.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about being an actor

24. “In my acting, I have to identify with something in the character. The big tough boy on the side of right — that’s me.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about identifying with the character

25. “Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.” – John Wayne

John Wayne Quotes about hard life

What did you learn from these John Wayne quotes?

These John Wayne quotes show us what he valued in people as he moved through his life.

Wayne often placed his values on manhood, likely due to the tougher roles he played in his movies.

An acclaimed actor and filmmaker, Wayne set the stage for the modern western film. 

How can his films influence how we look at our lives as a whole?

John Wayne often placed importance on the fact that a man is someone who sticks to his word no matter what, and yet lives peacefully when he can.

That’s a philosophy that should be applied to all our lives.

Stay grounded and peaceful, but don’t let anyone push you around.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these inspirational John Wayne quotes?

Do you have any other favorite quotes to add?

Tell us in the comment section below.

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