The 10 Best Inspirational Work Quotes

The 10 Best Inspirational Work Quotes

The 10 Best Inspirational Work Quotes

Sometimes work can be difficult and some days will feel much harder than others. For example, in a customer service job you may have to cope with tricky customers, or within healthcare you may need to deliver bad news to a patient.

Whether you're working in your dream job, stuck in a role that you're not sure about or searching for your first job after graduation, everyone can do with a pick-me-up now and then.

Nowadays, the majority of people’s time is spent at work. A regular nine-to-five job takes eight hours out of your day, plus more if you commute, and this can creep up with overtime or in senior management positions.

Plus, with improved remote working capabilities and access to our emails from wherever we are in the world, it is much harder to switch off after a difficult day.

If this sounds familiar to you, then this article is here to help.

A simple technique to help you reset your mind, and remind you of your love for your job, is to review positive and motivational work quotes.

By reading something profound from some of the world's greatest ever speakers (or even someone close to you), it may give you a little boost of positivity, just when you need it.

Why Do Motivational Quotes Help?

Maybe you think that it's mumbo-jumbo. But many people truly benefit when hearing from others.

For example, perhaps your company is a start-up, and you're struggling to tread water. In which case, reading a positive message from someone who has been through a similar scenario may remind you of what you wanted to do and why.

On a more personal note, you may be working in an empathetic role such as nursing or teaching and were inspired to join the profession because of a personal experience (perhaps you had a wonderful kindergarten teacher). In that case, reading a private message from someone who you have inspired may boost your spirits.

Motivational work quotes can give your mind a reset. They can remind you that anything is possible and help you step away from your negative thought process.

Some people may benefit from reading inspirational comments and motivational work quotes from those who have exceeded their expectations. They want to relate to other people and feel that they are not alone.

In many instances, a motivational quote can feel like getting personal advice from a high-profile professional.

Motivational Work Quotes That Could Inspire You

1. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.

If you work in a low-paid job or feel that you are not recognized for your work, it may feel tempting to put minimal effort in. You may think, “After all, if I am receiving a minimal reward, what's the point in trying?”.

Trying is important because putting in little effort repeatedly encourages feelings of negativity. Among other things, it can make work feel insurmountable and never-ending.

The pandemic has taught everyone that those in seemingly low-paid or minimally respected positions (for example, hospital cleaners, retail staff and postal employees) are those that keep the country functioning effectively during a crisis.

If you follow Martin Luther King Jr's advice and take pride in what you do, then you give yourself intrinsic rewards that no one can take away.

2. Mahatma Gandhi

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.

This is reminiscent of the phrase "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again". It's a statement that encourages you to keep trying, even when mistakes occur.

It is those that learn from their mistakes who thrive.

They pay attention to what went wrong. They turn their weaknesses into strengths. And once their strengths are established, they can flourish.

This is sound advice, whether you are self-employed, setting out on a freelance journey or you are unsure whether a new job role is right for you or not.

3. Anne Frank

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

Anne Frank is very inspirational – for generations, people have read her diary of times spent hidden from persecution in Nazi Germany. She seemingly had to put her life on hold, with only the thought of freedom keeping her motivated, but still found joy and triumph.

If you apply this quote to your working lives, you can be inspired by the notion that nothing holds us back. If we want to succeed in our careers or try something new, the only thing truly stopping us is us.

4. Confucius

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.

If you're working on a project that seems almost impossible, this quote may help you reset your thinking.

As a motivational work quote, it means that you should always break your tasks or ambitions into smaller, more manageable chunks. This is also a tried-and-tested tool in psychological therapy.

Perhaps you're struggling to cope with your workload. In which case, creating a comprehensive to-do list could help you to break down your work into more realistic ambitions that no longer overwhelm you.

You may know what you want to do in your life, but do you know how to get there? Think about how you can achieve your ambitions. Could you benefit from additional training to upskill yourself? Could you ask a mentor to hold you accountable for your aspirations? Perhaps your first step is to start by applying for a new job.

Breaking down what we want to do into smaller, more achievable aims makes it feel like you are making far more progress and means taking the next step is easier as you already know what it is.

5. Eleanor Roosevelt

Never allow a person to tell you no, who doesn't have the power to say yes.

This is about understanding who can and cannot hold you back from what you are trying to do.

For example, maybe you work in a team, and you've come up with a great idea, but work dynamics mean that someone is trying to stifle your creativity. Or perhaps you've come across people who like to think that they have more power than they do.

Your teammate is on the same company level as you and therefore, unlike a manager, does not have the power to approve your plan. This means you should not give them the power to veto it either.

This phrase is helpful to come back to if you work with those who do not support your ideas or ambitions.

It's about reframing the balance of power.

If you work with consistently negative people, you do not need to think about whether their opinion matters if they are not in a position to help you succeed.

This is a hugely significant milestone for those who struggle to work with particular co-workers. Rather than become discouraged by a person's behaviour or attitude, you can simply set their opinions aside as someone who doesn't matter.

Inspirational Work-Related Quotes to Get You Through the Day
Inspirational Work-Related Quotes to Get You Through the Day

6. Truman Capote

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour.

Everyone wants to succeed in what we do. But sometimes, failures can make you stronger.

Failures can help you to discover what went wrong. And failures can make the end successes feel much more justified and more rewarding.

This motivational work quote examines the theme of privilege. If you've never had to work hard for something, can you truly appreciate what you've achieved? If you’ve never lost something, you can’t treasure gaining something. It stands to reason that to appreciate success, people also need to appreciate the times where they've failed.

This could be a great quote to reference in a job interview if you are asked to talk about a time where you have failed.

7. Thomas Edison

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.

This is a beautiful quote from Edison, the inventor of the lightbulb. It reminds you that even when you feel like you've failed thousands of times before, it only takes one more attempt to be the one that succeeds. And each time you do ‘fail’, you instead succeed in learning what not to do.

Entrepreneurs may take this one literally. After all, they are risk-takers who may have experienced hundreds of business failures before finding the right business that allowed them to make millions of dollars.

This motivational quote is about reminding everyone that success is about hard work and dedication. It's about learning from mistakes and not being afraid to make them.

Everyone needs to consider their mistakes, errors and failures as crucial to finding the right solutions.

8. Stephen King

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is hard work.

This motivational quote suggests that success can be rewarded to those who are hard workers. If you are prepared to put the work in, you will be more likely to have better results than those who may be innately talented but don’t work as hard.

However, it's essential to realize that success shouldn't be measured in the volume of hours you work.

Instead, it should be measured in the quality of those hours.

It's better to be highly productive in three to four hours and tick off every task, than waste time and spend six to eight hours working just to punch the clock.

Unfortunately, presenteeism is a big issue for many businesses. Some employers feel that their teams are only working if they are visible in the office.

However, the move to flexible working and an increase in those requesting part-time hours have shown that results can be achieved far quicker if you work more productively.

It should also be noted that those who benefit from a more substantial work-life balance often produce a better quality of work. They are more relaxed and less impacted by the issues occurring from professional burnout.

9. Amelia Earhart

The most effective way to do it is to do it.

This is a hugely inspirational work quote that many businesses or employees could benefit from reading. When trying something new, it is vital to prepare a business case, strategize, secure funding and do your research.

But it's also just as important to just get on with it.

Too often, preparation is merely an excuse for never trying. For example, someone may say they want to apply for a new job role and spend hours learning how to write a cover letter and understand which jobs boards to research. But you will never get that job if you don't submit the initial application.

This is understandable. Trying something new is scary. It's daunting and it's nerve-inducing. No one wants to run the risk of failure.

But sometimes, that push into the unknown is necessary to shock you into trying something different (plus, as the inspirational quotes above show, failure is not all bad).

With this quote, Amelia Earhart reminds everyone that it doesn't matter how much planning is done, nor how much time is spent trying to figure out how to be efficient. Ultimately, the only way you can succeed is to take that leap and try.

10. Florence Nightingale

I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.

As the founder of modern-day nursing, everyone owes an awful lot to Florence Nightingale.

Here, she says that she never gave any excuses; instead, she simply got on with the task at hand and let the results speak for themselves.

In a work context, you can use this to remind you of the importance of personal accountability, of taking responsibility for your actions and focusing on the work to get the job done.

Often, people rely on excuses to pull up their own behaviours. Perhaps they're late for work because the alarm didn't go off or they got stuck in traffic. Maybe you didn't meet your deadline because you were on a phone call elsewhere. You may not have met your KPIs because other teams didn't meet theirs, and it caused a knock-on effect.

But you need to stop blaming others (even subconsciously) for things that do not go as planned at work.

Instead, you need to learn how to take professional responsibility for what you do and let the results do the talking.

Final Thoughts

If you are plagued by self-doubt or low confidence, it's important to remember that everyone has similar thoughts.

Almost everyone you have ever worked with has wondered thoughts such as "What if…" or "If only I could…" or "Just one more try…".

Some of the world's greatest ever thinkers and some of society's most prominent entrepreneurs and leaders have had moments of self-doubt, fatigue and failure.

That's where motivational quotes can be a helpful resource. They can remind you that you are not alone and that others have not only been in the same position, but they have pushed past it to succeed.

To help you stay motivated and passionate about what you do, save some of your favourite motivational sayings to your desktop. You could print some out as artwork and position them in frames around your office for continual inspiration. Or you could ask someone to send you a motivational quote of the day via email for an unexpected boost to your spirits.

Once you've found a method that works for you, you may be surprised to realize how effective motivational quotes can be.

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