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20 of the Most Popular Quotes of All Time

Philosophers, scientists, leaders, artists — all of these and more have spoken words that echo through the years. Whether we’re looking for encouragement or the strength to get through a tough day, the right advice can make all the difference. Of course, some words have more staying power than others, whether due to the inspiring figure behind them or how deeply they resonate with us on a personal level.

Though the internet has made it easier to stumble on quotes that are inaccurate, misattributed, or just plain made-up, the quotes gathered here are verified morsels of wisdom that have survived the test of time. Savor each piece of insight, and see which ones stay with you.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao Tzu

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The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

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There are always flowers for those who want to see them.
Henri Matisse

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You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

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Well-behaved women seldom make history.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Wayne Gretzky

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The time is always ripe to do right.
Martin Luther King Jr.

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If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
W.E. Hickson

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Whatever you are, try to be a good one.
William Makepeace Thackeray

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That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
Friedrich Nietzsche

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Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
Helen Keller

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

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Action is the antidote to despair.
Joan Baez

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Speak your mind — even if your voice shakes.
Maggie Kuhn

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The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.
Dolly Parton

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The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.
Amelia Earhart

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Fear is stupid. So are regrets.
Marilyn Monroe

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Every moment is a fresh beginning.
T.S. Eliot

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Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
Steve Jobs

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Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.
Thomas Edison

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Featured image credit: Theo Wargo/ Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

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About the Author
Paola Bennet
Paola Bennet is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She writes a fortnightly newsletter that treasures the mundane, called Small Histories. Find her on Instagram @paolafbennet.
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What playwright said, “Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand"?

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