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87 Inspirational Quotes for Work (Motivation to Work Hard and Smart)

87 Inspirational Quotes for Work (Motivation to Work Hard and Smart)

We are once again at the start of a workweek.

So I thought this would be a good time to share 87 of the most inspirational work quotes.

Quotes that will motivate you, help you to focus and work smarter and also reduce the stress and pressure you may feel at work (or in school).

These quotes have helped me many times to re-ignite my own motivation on a rough or bad day and to find a calmer and less stressed focus so I could keep working consistently towards my own goals and dreams.

I hope they will help you to do the same.

Motivational Quotes for Work

“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus. “
Alexander Graham Bell

“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”
Jim Rohn

“I’m a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”
Thomas Jefferson

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
Paulo Coelho

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Thomas Edison

“You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction.”
George Lorimer

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
Robert Louis Stevenson

“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.”
Dalai Lama

“One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life. We live as though there aren't enough hours in the day but if we do each thing calmly and carefully we will get it done quicker and with much less stress.”
Viggo Mortensen

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”
Henry Ford

“Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can't buy more hours. Scientists can't invent new minutes. And you can't save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you've wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.”
Denis Waitley

“Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.”
Jim Rohn

“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
Dale Carnegie

“Developing a good work ethic is key. Apply yourself at whatever you do, whether you're a janitor or taking your first summer job because that work ethic will be reflected in everything you do in life.”
Tyler Perry

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”
Zig Ziglar

“The future depends on what you do today.”
Mahatma Gandhi

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

“Do more than is required. What is the distance between someone who achieves their goals consistently and those who spend their lives and careers merely following? The extra mile.”
Gary Ryan Blair

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
Abraham Lincoln

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
Saint Francis

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”
Dale Carnegie

“To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.”
Eva Young

“Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.”
William Patten

“Talent means nothing, while experience, acquired in humility and with hard work, means everything.”
Patrick Suskind

“You will never plough a field if you only turn it over in your mind.”
Irish Proverb

“Don't wait. The time will never be just right.”
Napoleon Hill

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

“Dreams can come true, but there is a secret. They're realized through the magic of persistence, determination, commitment, passion, practice, focus and hard work. They happen a step at a time, manifested over years, not weeks.”
Elbert Hubbard

”This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.”
Alan Wilson Watts

“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.”
Stephen R. Covey

“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost legendary. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent.”
Calvin Coolidge

“Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.”
Albert Einstein

Hard Work Quotes (and Quotes about Working Smarter)

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
Mark Twain

“Happiness is the real sense of fulfillment that comes from hard work.”
Joseph Barbara

“If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.”
Abraham Lincoln

“Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”
Peter Drucker

“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goals: my strength lies solely in my tenacity.”
Louis Pasteur

“In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
Theodore Roosevelt

“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”
Seneca

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.”
Bruce Lee

“Don’t be afraid of hard work. Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Don’t let others discourage you or tell you that you can’t do it. In my day I was told women didn’t go into chemistry. I saw no reason why we couldn’t.”
Gertrude B. Elion

“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”
Olin Miller

“It does not matter how slowly you go, so long as you do not stop.”
Confucius

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
Stephen Covey

“Plenty of men can do good work for a spurt and with immediate promotion in mind, but for promotion you want a man in whom good work has become a habit.”
Henry L. Doherty

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourselves.”
Chanakya

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
Roy T. Bennett

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Stephen King

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”
Beverly Sills

“I would visualize things coming to me. It would just make me feel better. Visualization works if you work hard. That’s the thing. You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”
Jim Carrey

“If you don’t pay appropriate attention to what has your attention, it will take more of your attention than it deserves.”
David Allen

“A clay pot sitting in the sun will always be a clay pot. It has to go through the white heat of the furnace to become porcelain.”
Mildred Struven

“Think of many things; do one.”
Portuguese proverb

“If something is wrong, fix it now. But train yourself not to worry, worry fixes nothing.”
Ernest Hemingway

“Much of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.”
David Allen

“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.”
Francis Chan

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
Vince Lombardi

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day.
We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead.
Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird. “
Anne Lamott

“Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there.”
Haile Gebrselassie

“Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Work at it, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well as now.”
Margaret Fuller

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”
Muhammad Ali

“There is no traffic jam along the extra mile.”
Roger Staubach

“Your ability to discipline yourself to set clear goals, and then to work toward them every day, will do more to guarantee your success than any other single factor.”
Brian Tracy

“Follow effective actions with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
Peter Drucker

Uplifting Quotes for a Rough or Stressful Day at Work

”Spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday.”
Brian Tracy

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
Harriet Beecher Stowe

“You can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
Dale Carnegie

“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
Truman Capote

Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.
Richard Branson

“I have always believed, and I still believe, that whatever good or bad fortune may come our way we can always give it meaning and transform it into something of value.”
Hermann Hesse

“When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”
Peter Marshall

“It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.”
Colin Powell

“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
M. Scott Peck

“The best way out is always through.”
Robert Frost

“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”
Denis Waitley

“As long as they are well-intentioned, mistakes are not a matter for shame, but for learning.”
Margaret Heffernan

“Show me a person who has never made a mistake and I'll show you someone who has never achieved much.”
Joan Collins

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
C.S. Lewis

“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important.”
Bertrand Russell

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”
Helen Keller

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”
Maya Angelou

“The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work.”
Harry Golden

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”
Barrack Obama

“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”
John Newton

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{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Thank you so much for this article.

  • Very useful quotes. Thanks for sharing the information with us.

  • “Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.”
    Dale Carnegie

    I do not to agree. In some cases to do harder work you need more force and motivation. And by doing easy job first, will give u power for more.
    Also teachers in school tell to make on the test easy questions first.

  • Thanks for the motivation boost!

    “It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning”
    – Colin Powell

    This quote says so much with just a few words.
    The brain loves to amplify negative situations with more negative thoughts, sleeping on a problem is one of the best ways to solve it, etc.

  • Really Helpfully to me Sir Very Nice Sharing i’m Bookmark Your Blog ..Keep Posting

  • Anna Abbott

    Very helpful and insightful, thanks for sharing! Good day!

  • deborah

    I just want to tell you how life changing your blog is and to thank you so much for creating it.

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