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Maya Angelou Quotes Celebrating Success, Love & Life

Beautiful poetry from a lovely soul, these Maya Angelou quotes will warm your heart!

Norbert Juma, Editor
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If you want a way to love life despite the challenges, these motivational Maya Angelou quotes are the perfect words for you.

Get inspired by these quotes by Maya Angelou to see the good in all things with this late legendary poet as your thoughtful guide.

Share your favorite Maya Angelou quotes with us in the comment section below.

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According to the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Maya Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential writers of the 20th century, with over 50 honorary degrees, Pulitzer Prize and National Medal of Arts.

Readers can find inspiration from her quotes on success, love, and life, which continue to resonate with readers around the world.

What are the benefits of reading these Maya Angelou quotes?

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928–May 28, 2014) was a celebrated author, influential poet, dancer, actress, singer, and activist.

Maya received over 50 honorary degrees and is celebrated for her series of 7 autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and adult experiences.

In 2010, she received one of the country’s highest honors when President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Maya Angelou’s life represented:

  • confidence
  • contribution
  • perseverance

She left behind a lifetime of wisdom that will be cherished for many years to come.

Here are some of our favorite Maya Angelou quotes!

Her words are a mix of straight talk and poetry, and her messages transcend race and generations.

You’ll find quotes on life, love, happiness, courage, family, friendship, education, and much more.

These quotes will not only change your perspective on some of these topics, but they will also help you better understand the important historical figure that is Maya Angelou.

Remember to read our selection of quotes by Alan Watts that will open your mind.

If you enjoy this article, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily motivation. 

If you want more motivational quotes, check out our motivational quotes category page.

Maya Angelou Quotes About Essential Life Truths

In 1993, Maya Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, becoming the first African American woman to do so.

Her words of hope and unity continue to inspire people, and her other works like “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and “And Still I Rise” are also widely celebrated.

1. “Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes about work

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2. “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes about kindness

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3. “All great achievements require time.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes about greatness

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4. “If you have only one smile in you give it to the people you love.”Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes that will make you smile

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5. “Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes about love

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6. “I believe that every person is born with talent.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes about talent

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7. “At 50, I began to know who I was. It was like waking up to myself.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes about self discovery

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8. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes about perseverence

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

Maya Angelou Quotes about change

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10. “I know for sure that loves saves me and that it is here to save us all.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes and sayings

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Inspirational Maya Angelou Quotes About Hope

Maya Angelou’s writing has had a significant impact on popular culture, with her quotes appearing in everything from greeting cards to social media posts.

Her wise words have inspired countless people to pursue their dreams, overcome obstacles, and live their lives with intention and grace.

11. “While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else is also God’s creation.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About God

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12. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About Love

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13. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About Courage

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Uplifting Maya Angelou Quotes About Loving others

Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” has been a bestseller for over 50 years, selling over 6 million copies worldwide.

This statistic showcases the widespread influence of Angelou’s writing and how her work has touched readers across the globe.

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.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About Hope

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15. “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.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About Forgetting

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16. “You are the sum total of everything you’ve ever seen, heard, eaten, smelled, been told, forgot – it’s all there. Everything influences each of us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are positive.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About

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17. “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About potential

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18. “A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About Women

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19. “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.”Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About Words

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20. “My life has been one great big joke, a dance that’s walked, a song that’s spoke, I laugh so hard I almost choke when I think about myself.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About Life

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Maya Angelou quotes about love and greatness

According to Google Scholar, Maya Angelou is the fourth most cited American author, with over 215,000 citations.

This indicates the significant impact her writing has had on academic research and the importance of her work within the literary canon.

21. “You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.”‘ – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About Forgiving

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22. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes About History

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23. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou Quotes to change your attitude

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24. “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.” – Maya Angelou

Powerful Maya Angelou Quotes

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25. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.” – Maya Angelou

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Smart Maya Angelou Quotes

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Heart Warming Maya Angelou Quotes

Maya Angelou has been awarded over 50 honorary degrees from universities around the world, including Harvard and Oxford.

This statistic highlights the recognition and respect Angelou has garnered from academia, demonstrating her influence beyond the literary world.

26. “If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” ― Maya Angelou

27. “You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise!” ― Maya Angelou

28. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” ― Maya Angelou

29. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” ― Maya Angelou

30. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ― Maya Angelou

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31. “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!” ― Maya Angelou

32. “Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.” ― Maya Angelou

33. “Open your eyes to the beauty around you, open your mind to the wonders of life, open your heart to those who love you, and always be true to yourself.” ― Maya Angelou

34. “Its not where your dreams take you, its where you take your dreams.” ― Maya Angelou

35. “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.” ― Maya Angelou

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Did You Enjoy These Maya Angelou Quotes?

Though Maya Angelou died in 2014, her legacy still lives.

We will always remember her not only for her poetry and storytelling but also for her work as an educator, civil rights activist, actress, and filmmaker.

Maya overcame sexual abuse, racism, poverty, violence, and more to become an award-winning author and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Hopefully, these Maya Angelou quotes have inspired you to love your life and overcome any obstacles that may come your way.

So, did you enjoy these Maya Angelou quotes?

Tell us in the comment section below.

If you have any other quotes from Maya Angelou to share with us, please mention them.

Also, share the quotes with your friends and followers, and share Maya Angelou’s words of wisdom!

7 Comments
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7 Comments
  1. Renee

    January 2, 2023 at 3:33 PM

    Thank you. I am a huge fan and love reading her works. She was so powerful with a strong aura the 2 times I met hher in person

  2. Kathy

    February 13, 2020 at 11:59 AM

    I’ve been looking for days to find a great reflection for a meeting. And here I’ve found so many that are powerful and truly inspirational! Thank you for this great compilation of loving wisdom from Maya Angelou:)

  3. PADDY CREAN

    December 21, 2019 at 8:42 AM

    I first read Maya in my 80s and I began life all over. The most remarkable person I have come across

  4. Edna

    April 1, 2019 at 10:11 AM

    What an inspirational, phenomenal woman. Her words pierce the soul in a way that provokes introspection and action. if you are not moved by her words, check your pulse.

  5. DoloresTighe

    March 16, 2019 at 9:47 PM

    I am watching Maya on the opera show. Fantastic..I hope to share her quotes with my friends

  6. Glenda

    February 14, 2019 at 3:18 AM

    They are amazing and so true.
    Heartfelt and applicable to everyday life

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