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Survival Quotes to Motivate You to Keep Going

The survival quotes below illustrate survival from many different perspectives around the globe. 

From surviving in business to surviving out in the wilderness, the word “survival” has a different definition depending on the context.

What does survival mean to you?

At its simplest, Merriam-Webster defines “survival” as ‘the act of living or continuing longer than another person or thing’. Basic survival centers around maintaining three fundamental factors: food, water, and shelter. 

But often, survival is a deep-rooted and complex concept fueled by physical and mental strength.

Survival Quotes to Motivate You to Keep Going

Through the power of survival, many have trudged through dark times and found their light at the end of the tunnel.

In this collection of inspiring quotes, we have captured experiences from survival instructors, motivational speakers, celebrities, and more. 

Check out the survival quotes listed below for your daily dose of motivation. 

Don’t forget to also read these overcoming dark quotes for moving past difficult times.

Inspirational survival quotes

1. “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” Carl Sagan

extinction and Survival Quotes

2. “Survival can be summed up in three words, never give up. That’s the heart of it really. Just keep trying.” – Bear Grylls

Survival Quotes about never giving up

3. ”You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.” Oprah Winfrey

Survival Quotes about success

4. “Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.”Robert Kiyosaki

Survival Quotes to help you win

Survival quotes about business

5. “The rules of survival never change, whether you’re in a desert or in an arena.” – Bear Grylls

the rules of Survival Quotes

6. “Adaptability and constant innovation is key to the survival of any company operating in a competitive market.” – Shiv Nadar

7. “Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.” – Anita Roddick

8. “Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.” Winston Churchill

9. “Survivors aren’t always the strongest; sometimes they’re the smartest, but more often simply the luckiest.” – Carrie Ryan

10. “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” Conrad Hilton

11. “The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.” – Debbi Fields

12. “The winners in life think constantly in terms of I can, I will, and I am. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can’t do.” – Dennis Waitley

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13. “It takes more than capital to swing business. You’ve got to have the A. I. D. degree to get by — Advertising, Initiative, and Dynamics.” – Ren Mulford Jr.

14. “Surviving a failure gives you more self-confidence. Failures are great learning tools.. but they must be kept to a minimum.” – Jeffrey Immelt

15. “People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.” – Mary Kay Ash

Survival quotes about perseverance

16. “I am someone who always gets up again, even if there are setbacks. I have a survivor instinct. I’m not sure where it comes from, but probably from all the little things that make you into who you are.” – Heidi Klum

17. “We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.” – Isabel Allende

18. “And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.” – Andrew Carnegie

19. “The human being is very resourceful. When you fight for survival, you don’t think much; you just do. If you think too much, you sink.” – Frank Lowy

20. “In the animal kingdom, one of the keys to survival is to outwit your enemies. And when you’re surrounded by carnivores, one of the best strategies is to fade into the background and disappear.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

21. “Self-interest is but the survival of the animal in us. Humanity only begins for man with self-surrender.” – Henri Frederic Amiel

22. “When you’re placed in a world where survival is the main focus, a lot of that other stuff, like wrongdoings in the past, become obsolete. You have to focus on the here and  now.” – Alycia Debnam-Carey

23. “Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” – Samuel Johnson

24. “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” – Pele

25. “By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” – Charles Spurgeon

26. “Of all that is good, sublimity is supreme. Succeeding is the coming together of all that is beautiful. Furtherance is the agreement of all that is just. Perseverance is the foundation of all actions.” – Lao Tzu

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27. “In the real world, all rests on perseverance.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

28. “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews

Survival quotes about the environment

29. “The more we exploit nature, The more our options are reduced, until we have only one: to fight for survival.” – Mo Udall

30. “Sustainability is the key to our survival on this planet and will also determine success on all levels.” – Shari Arison

31. “It angers me when sustainability gets used as a buzzword. For 90 percent of the world, sustainability is a matter of survival.” – Cameron Sinclair

32. “Earth is abundant with plentiful resources. Our practice of rationing resources through monetary control is no longer relevant and is counterproductive to our survival.” – Jacque Fresco

33. “Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.” Henry David Thoreau

34. “By polluting clear water with slime you will never find good drinking water.” Aeschylus

35. “They claim this mother of ours, the Earth, for their own use, and fence their neighbors away from her, and deface her with their buildings and their refuse.” – Sitting Bull

36. “Raising awareness on the most pressing environmental issues of our time is more important than ever.” – Leonardo DiCaprio 

37. “We are using resources as if we had two planets, not one. There can be no ‘plan B’ because there is no ‘planet B.’” – Ban Ki-moon

Survival quotes on what it means to survive

38. “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” – Virginia Satir

39. “Humor is one of the best ingredients of survival.” – Aung San Suu Kyi

40. “Escapism is survival to me.” – Johnny Depp

41. “Keeping an active mind has been vital to my survival, as has been maintaining a sense of humor.” – Stephen Hawking (see more quotes from Stephen Hawking)

42. “Survival is not about being fearless. It’s about making a decision, getting on and doing it, because I want to see my kids again, or whatever the reason might be.” – Bear Grylls

43. “Living in a small town, one of the keys to survival was your imagination.” – Nick Nolte

44. “To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.” – Wendell Berry

45. “Survival is nothing more than recovery.” – Dianne Feinstein

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46. “In the kind of world we have today, transformation of humanity might well be our only real hope for survival.” – Stanislav Grof

47. “Survival is a privilege which entails obligations. I am forever asking myself what I can do for those who have not survived.” – Simon Wiesenthal

48. “Survival, in the cool economics of biology, means simply the persistence of one’s own genes in the generations to follow.” – Lewis Thomas

49. “In a world where change is inevitable and continuous, the need to achieve that change without violence is essential for survival.” – Andrew Young

More survival quotes and sayings

50. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

51. “Temper us in fire, and we grow stronger. When we suffer, we survive.” – Cassandra Clare

52. “We each survive in our own way.” – Sarah J. Maas

53. “People will do amazing things to ensure their survival.” – Patricia Briggs

54. “If we truly trust no one, we cannot survive.” – Megan Whalen Turner

55. “Anyone worth knowing breaks once. Once. No shame, no foul if you survive it. You did.” – Karen Marie Moning

56. “We would survive even ourselves, as long as we were together.” – Hannah Lillith Assadi

57. “We do not live to think, but, on the contrary, we think in order that we may succeed in surviving.” – José Ortega y Gasset

58. “She lives for this-the fight, the battle for survival. She actually enjoys it.” – Lauren Oliver

59. “We cannot survive if we are entirely isolated. History tells us we must engage with the outside world.” – Paolo Bacigalupi

60. “Everyday is a new day of life, everyday is new challenges of life for survival, this is example nothing is permanent in our life.” – Sujit Kumar Mishra

What is one thing you believe is integral to your survival? 

The above survival quotes discuss two separate themes: preservation and perseverance. Each is integral to survival.

Preservation, for example, is a physical act that provides us with the resources needed for basic survival.

Perseverance, on the other hand, is a mental state that prepares us for struggles that may come our way. 

Write down your definition of survival on a piece of paper. Put it where you will see it often; so you can be reminded what your true goal is, as the day progresses. 

Did we forget your favorite motivational survival quote? Whose survival story do you admire? Let us know in the comments section below.  

Nia Simone McLeod
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