a piece of paper with a quote on it.

100+ Maya Angelou Quotes That’ll Make You a Better Person

Rachel Sharpe

Maya Angelou quotes can help you gain insight into the marvelous woman she was. Her kindness, honesty, and mature insight can help you make better decisions to become a better person. In this article, we’ll share some quotes by Maya Angelou that will inspire you to look at the world more lovingly and with all your heart. 

100+ Maya Angelou Quotes That’ll Make You A Better Person

400+ Free Guided Meditation PracticesDeclutter The Mind will help you live more mindfully and understand your mind better with a growing library of free guided meditation practices, courses, and daily meditation practices.

Maya Angelou Quotes

  1. “This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.” 
  2. “If we accept being talked to in any kind of way, then we are telling ourselves we are not quite worth the best.” 
  3. “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
  4. “I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side.”
  5. “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
  6. “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”
  7. “The real difficulty is to overcome how you think about yourself.”
  8. “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.”
  9. “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” 
  10. “Nothing can dim the light that shines from within.”

Quotes by Maya Angelou

  1. “You alone are enough, you have nothing to prove to anybody.”
  2. “The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.”
  3. “Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.”
  4. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”
  5. “You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”
  6. “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet.”
  7. “It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”
  8. “The ache for home is in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.”
  9. “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.”
  10. “Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay.”

Short Maya Angelou Quotes

  1. “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”
  2. “We are only as blind as we want to be.”
  3. “All great achievements require time.”
  4. “We need much less than we think we need.”
  5. “Love is like a virus. It can happen to anybody at any time.”
  6. “Still, I rise.”
  7. “Nothing will work unless you do.”
  8. “There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
  9. “Be present in all things, and thankful for all things.”
  10. “Live as though life was created for you.”
Woman holding up card with a Maya Angelou quote.

Maya Angelou Quotes About Life

  1. “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.”
  2. “I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.” 
  3. “Your legacy is every life you touch.”
  4. “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
  7. “Hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and unsurprised by anything in between.”
  8. “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”
  9. “Try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue and inertia and timidity.”
  10. “I do not trust people who don’t love themselves, and yet tell me, ‘I love you.’ There is an African saying which is: be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
  11. “I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.”

Quotes from Maya Angelou

  1. “It’s good to remember that in crises, natural crises, human beings forget for a while their ignorances, their biases, their prejudices. For a while, neighbors help neighbors and strangers help strangers.”
  2. “Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it.”
  3. “Everyday I try to do better. See better. Say better. Talk better. Be better. I do my best. And I blow it 10 times out of 12. I ask forgiveness of anyone whose feelings I may have hurt. I ask forgiveness of God. I forgive myself. And then I start again.”
  4. “I know something better is on the road for me.”
  5. “Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.” 
  6. “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”
  7. “We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time adoring our families, cherishing our friends, and living our lives.”
  8. “When great souls die, after a period peace blooms, slowly and always irregularly, soothing electric vibration. Our senses, restored, never to be the same, whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be. Be and be better. For they existed.”
  9. “I care and I dare.”
  10.  “I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.”

Maya Angelou Famous Quotes

  1. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
  2. “Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”
  3. “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
  4. “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”
  5. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
  6. “If you don’t know what you’re here to do then just do some good.”
  7. “If I am not good to myself, how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?”
  8. “Success is loving life and daring to live it.” 
  9. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
  10. “Determine to live life with flair and laughter.” 
Friends holding up hands shaped like letters to spell LOVE

Maya Angelou Quotes About Love

  1. “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
  2. “In a flush of love’s light we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet, it is only love which sets us free.”
  3. “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
  4. “You forgive yourself for every failure because you tried to do the right thing. God knows that, and you know it.”
  5. “If we lose love and self respect for each other this is how we finally die.”
  6. “We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.”
  7. “To those who have given up on love, I say, ‘Trust life a little bit.’”
  8. “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.”
  9. “I know for sure that love saves me and that it is here to save us all.”
  10. “There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.”
  11. “This is what I am learning, at 82 years old: the main thing is to be in love with the search for truth.”

Maya Angelou Quotes About Women

  1. “A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.” 
  2. “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, she stands up for all women.”
  3. “I am grateful to be a woman. I must have done something great in another life.”
  4. “I am a woman phenomenally, phenomenal woman that is your grandmother, that is your mother, that is your sister, that is you and that is me.”
  5. “I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.”
  6. “Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives.”
  7. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels.”
  8. “Most plain girls are virtuous because of the scarcity of opportunity to be otherwise.”
  9. “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.”
  10. “Each of us has that right, that possibility, to invent ourselves daily. If a person does not invent herself, she will be invented. So, to be bodacious enough to invent ourselves is wise.”

Maya Angelou Quotes About Family

  1. “My mother raised me, and then freed me.”
  2. “I sustain myself with the love of family.”
  3. “My mother is full of joy and life, I am her child, and that is better than being the child of anyone else in the world.”
  4. “If you only have one smile in you give it to the people you love. Don’t be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning ‘Good morning’ at total strangers.”
  5. “To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing falling colors of a rainbow.”
  6. “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.”
  7. “I was told many years ago by my grandmother who raised me: If somebody puts you on a 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.”
  8. “Families are held together by choice. Members are alike and unalike, yet there is comfort in the sameness and excitement in the differences. When we respect and relish both conditions, we can call ourselves family.”
  9. “Home is a refuge, not only from the world but a refuge from my worries, my terrible concerns.”
  10. “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.”
Notebook for a gratitude list

Maya Angelou Gratitude Quotes

  1. “When we find someone who is brave, fun, intelligent, and loving, we have to thank the universe.”
  2. “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
  3. “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
  4. “Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.”
  5. “When you have an attitude of gratitude you wake up saying thank you.” 
  6. “Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”

Maya Angelou Quotes About Strength

  1. “Develop enough courage so that you can stand up for yourself and then stand up for somebody else.”
  2. “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated.”
  3. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
  4. “Stand up straight and realize who you are, that you tower over your circumstances.”
  5. “In diversity, there is beauty and there is strength.”
  6. “You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lies, you may tread me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.”
  7. “The quality of strength lined with tenderness is an unbeatable combination.”
  8. “Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.”
  9. “I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.”
  10. “I created myself. I have taught myself so much.”

Maya Angelou Friendship Quotes

  1. “In order to be a friend you have to be a friend.”
  2. “I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.”
  3. “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.”
  4. “No one can take the place of a friend, no one.”
  5. “The most called upon prerequisite of a friend is an accessible ear.”
  6. “A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.”
  7. “There is an intimate laughter to be found only among friends.”
  8. “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.”
  9. “If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded.”
  10. “Only equals can become friends.”


In this article, you got to read through 100+ Maya Angelou quotes about life, love, friendship, strength, gratitude, and more. We hope that you’re inspired by her words of wisdom to continue making positive decisions in your life that make your world a better place for yourself and everyone in it. When you need a simple reminder on how to proceed with a decision, browse through these quotes by Maya Angelou to help you gain some clarity on a loving and kind way to act.

Some of our other quote lists:

More great articles

have a good day

How to Have a Good Day (No Matter What You Face)

Having a good day doesn’t need to seem like an impossible task. Even if you have moments where things don’t…

Read Story

How to Make the Most of Life in 2023 and Beyond

You’re only given one life to make the most of. You’ve got one shot to go after your dreams, achieve…

Read Story
two yellow balloons with faces drawn on them.

Toxic Positivity: What Is It? Why Is It Bad? And Examples

We've all heard the term toxic positivity before, though most people aren't sure what it means. While optimism and positivity…

Read Story

Stop living on

Explore our free growing library of guided meditations and start living a more examined life.

Explore Meditation Library