Maya Angelou Quotes: Life, Love, Women

These Maya Angelou quotes display the intelligence and poetic words of Maya Angelou herself. Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was an American author, poet, actress, performer, screenwriter, and civil rights activist.

She is well-known for her several autobiographical books and volumes of poetry. Her most famous book maybe I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Angelou is an inspirational role model, and these quotes hope to tell her story. We have chosen the best Maya Angelou quotes on love, life, wisdom, confidence, and women.

Quotes such as, The caged bird sings with a fearful trill, of things unknown, but longed for still, and his tune is heard on the distant hill, for the caged bird sings of freedom

Best Maya Angelou Quotes

1.) 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.

2.) Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world but has not solved one yet.

3.) Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.

4) Determine to live life with flair and laughter.

5.) There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

6.) Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.

7.) Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.

8.) As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.

Maya Angelou quotes

Short Maya Angelou Sayings

9.) I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.

10.) Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

11.) Be present in all things and thankful for all things.

12.) Listen to yourself and in that quietude, you might hear the voice of God.

13.) I do my best because I’m counting on you counting on me.

14.) There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.

15.) If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?

16.) I have learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.

17.) Nobody can enjoy it unless we all enjoy, truly enjoy.

18.) She comprehended the perversity of life, that in the struggle lies the joy.

19.) I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.

20.) We are only as blind as we want to be.

On Education

21.) When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are.

22.) I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.

23.) If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.

24.) The idea is to write it so that people hear it, and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.

25.) When you learn, teach, when you get, give. (One of Maya Angelou’s quotes expresses the importance of service.)

26.) We are only as blind as we want to be.

27.) The children to whom we read simple stories may or may not show gratitude, but each boon we give strengthens the pillars of the world.

28.) You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.

29.) We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

30.) It is this belief in a power larger than myself and other than myself which allows me to venture into the unknown and even the unknowable.

31.) It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.

On Love

32.) I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

33.) 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.

34.) If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.

35.) Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.

36.) Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, and penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

37.) f you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.

38.) Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.

39.) To those who have given up on love: I say, “Trust life a little bit.”

40.) 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.

Inspiring Quotations

41.) The desire to reach the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise and most possible.

42.) Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.

43.) 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.

Tip: Consider using these Maya Angelou quotes as a closure to your emails after your sign off. Inspire friends and colleagues with her wise words.

When you learn, teach, when you get, give image

Maya Angelou Quotes About Life

44.) You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.

45.) 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.

46.) You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. Please remember that your difficulties do not define you. They simply strengthen your ability to overcome.

47.) My work is, to be honest. My work is to try to think clearly, then have the courage to make sure that what I say is the truth.

48.) Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.

49.) No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

50.) I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.”

51.) My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness.

52.) I was told many years ago by my grandmother who raised me: If somebody puts you on the road and you don’t feel comfortable on it, and you look ahead, and you don’t like the destination, and you look behind, and you don’t want to return to that place, step off the road.

Check out Maya Angelou’s conversation with Oprah Winfrey.

On Friendship

53.) The most called-upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear.

54.) I think we ought to give ourselves more time. We should be more patient with ourselves and with each other.

55.) Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm. When we look at each other, we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.

56.) I think the more we know, the better we are. I mean, not just facts. The more we know about each other, the closer we are to learn something about ourselves.

57.) A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.

Maya Angelou Quote Meme

Quotations by Maya image

On Confidence

58.) If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.

59.) Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.

60.) Stand up straight and realize who you are. That you tower over your circumstances. You are a child of God. Stand up straight.

61.) I got my own back.

62.) You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.

63.) When you know you are of worth, you don’t have to raise your voice, you don’t have to become rude, you don’t have to become vulgar; you just are. And you are like the sky is, as the air is, the same way water is wet. It doesn’t have to protest.

64.) I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too.

65.) Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.

66.) Let nothing dim the light that shines from within.

67.) I believe that every person is born with talent.

68.) Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.

style quote by Maya Angelou image

About Being a Woman

69.) I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.

70.) A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.

71.) would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.

72.) A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.

73.) 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!

74.) It’s in the reach of my arms, the span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman phenomenally.

Wise Sayings

These Maya Angelou quotes will make you think.

75.) How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! (Love the term “she-roes.”)

76.) I want all my senses engaged. Let me absorb the world’s variety and uniqueness.

77.) One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.

78.) The idea is to write it so that people hear it, and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.

79.) We need to not be in denial about what we’ve done, what we’ve come through. It will help us if we all do that.

80.) When I forgive other people, I let them go. I free them from my ignorance. And as soon as I do, I feel lighter, brighter, and better.

On Being Positive

81.) I try to see every day as a celebration.

82.) Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude.

83.) If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you will look forward, do so prayerfully. But the wisest course would be to be present in the present gratefully.

84.) I’m convinced that the negative has power. It lives. And if you allow it to perch in your house, in your mind, in your life, it can take you over. So when the rude or cruel thing is said – the lambasting, the gay-bashing, the hate – I say, “Take it all out of my house”! Those negative words climb into the woodwork and into the furniture, and the next thing you know, they’ll be on my skin.

85.) I am not competing with anyone other than myself. I want to be excellent at whatever I do.

86.) Every day I awaken, I am grateful. My intent is to be totally present in that day. And laugh as much as possible.

87.) In order to win, we pay with energy and effort, and discipline. If we lose, we pay in disappointment, discontent, and lack of fulfillment.

Inspirational Maya Angelou Quotes

88.) I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.

89.) I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.

90.) I believe most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.

91.) Courage—you develop courage by doing small things like just as if you wouldn’t want to pick up a 100-pound weight without preparing yourself.

92.) I believe that each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory. We come from the Creator with creativity. I think that each one of us is born with creativity.

93.) The love of the family, the love of one person can heal. It heals the scars left by a larger society. A massive, powerful society.

94.) You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.

95.) Nothing succeeds like success. Get a little success, and then just get a little more.

Motivational Quotes

96.) Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.

97.) Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.

98.) Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.

99.) Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future and renders the present inaccessible.

100.) Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.

101.) There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.

Quotes About Herself

102.) While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God’s creation.

103.) Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.

104.) I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.

105.) Home is a refuge& not only from the world, but a refuge from my worries, my troubles, my concerns.

Transformation and Success

As a child, Angelou experienced a horrible trauma that caused her to lose her voice for five years. She regained her voice through the expression of art: singing, dancing, and poetry.

She was the first black woman director, taking on many other aspects of Hollywood. Angelou worked for civil rights, was an editor at a Middle Eastern newspaper, and was a professor at Wake Forest University. She’s received many awards, including two NAACP awards, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

By Sarah Martin

Sarah is a writer based in Minneapolis Minnesota.


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