52 Inspiring Quotes About Change

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Change is rarely easy, even when it is necessary.  As creatures of habit, it takes real dedication and perseverance in order to affect real, lasting change in your life.  At first, it’s often a pleasant experience, the change wakes you up out of your stagnation, and it feels like you’re actually living.  When commitment wanes, or enthusiasm shrinks, however, it can be easy to fall right back into the habits which needed changing in the first place.

One of the best techniques that I’ve found for strengthening resolve is to turn to the wisdom of others.  There’s no easier way to start this habit than through these iconic quotes about change and the process of changing, from some of the great thinkers, authors, actors, and politicians or our time.

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

2. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. – Reinhold Niebuhr

3. Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

4. For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something. – Steve Jobs

5. It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad. – C. S. Lewis

6. When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. – Viktor E. Frankl

7. All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. – Anatole France

8. If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. – Lao Tzu

9. To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. – Winston Churchill

10. Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. – Leo Tolstoy

11. If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. – Wayne Dyer

12. The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. – Alan Watts

13. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. – Frederick Douglass

14. Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. – George Bernard Shaw

15. You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of. – Jim Rohn

16. Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change. – Confucius

17. I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that. – Gillian Anderson

18. Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies. – Robert Kennedy

19. They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. – Confucius

20. Always remember that the future comes one day at a time. – Dean Acheson

21. Money and success don’t change people; they merely amplify what is already there. – Will Smith

22. Very often a change of self is needed more than a change of scene. – A. C. Benson

23. We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses. – Carl Jung

24. Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

25. Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken. – Frank Herbert

26. Change your opinions, keep to your principles; change your leaves, keep intact your roots. – Victor Hugo

27. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. – Gilda Radner

28. They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. – Andy Warhol

29. Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are. – Soren Kierkegaard

30. When you blame others, you give up your power to change. – Robert Anthony

31. The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change. – Carl Rogers

32. There is nothing permanent except change. – Heraclitus

33. It’s the most unhappy people who most fear change. – Mignon McLaughlin

34. The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life. – Leo Tolstoy

35. Change will never happen when people lack the ability and courage to see themselves for who they are. – Bryant H. McGill

36. Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better. – Sydney J. Harris

37. I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better. – Georg C. Lichtenberg

38. Change, like sunshine, can be a friend or a foe, a blessing or a curse, a dawn or a dusk. – William Arthur Ward

39. He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. – Harold Wilson

40. Change before you have to. – Jack Welch

41. When it becomes more difficult to suffer than to change… you will change. – Robert Anthony

42. People are always looking for the single magic bullet that will totally change everything. There is no single magic bullet. – Temple Grandin

43. Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever. – Keri Russell

44. He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils; for time is the greatest innovator. – Francis Bacon

45. Change means that what was before wasn’t perfect. People want things to be better. – Esther Dyson

46. The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. – Nathaniel Branden

47. Change is inevitable. Change is constant. – Benjamin Disraeli

48. If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behavior. – William Glasser

49. To change what you get you must change who you are. – Vernon Howard

50. Change is inevitable. Change for the better is a full-time job. – Adlai E. Stevenson

51. The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being. – Lech Walesa

52. If you feel like it’s difficult to change, you will probably have a harder time succeeding. – Andrea Jung


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