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Top 99 Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes


More than just the longest-serving First Lady in the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt left this world with much inspiration. Her words carried so much wisdom that they continue to move hearts up to this day. Celebrate her life’s achievements by being guided by her famous quotes.

99 of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Best Quotes

Here are just 100 of the most inspiring words she contributed to the world in her life. May you find inspiration to live your life as selflessly as she did.

  1. You must do the things you think you cannot do.
  2. Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.
  3. A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.
  4. Have convictions. Be friendly. Stick to your beliefs as they stick to theirs. Work as hard as they do.
  5. People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously.
  6. I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.
  7. You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.
  8. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
  9. Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
  10. With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
  11. Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
  12. Comparison is the thief of joy.
  13. Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don’t be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you. The chances are that they aren’t paying attention to you.
  14. We are afraid to care too much for fear that the other person does not care at all.
  15. Friendship with oneself is all-important because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
  16. One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.
  17. It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
  18. The giving of love is education in itself.
  19. Work is always an antidote to depression.
  20. The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that fits all cases.
  21. I could not at any age be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on.
  22. It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.
  23. I believe anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.
  24. Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a great deal of thought into giving.
  25. Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.
  26. A stumbling block for the pessimist is a stepping stone to the optimist.
  27. I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.
  28. Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.
  29. You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.
  30. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
  31. Since everybody is an individual, nobody can be you. You are unique. No one can tell you how to use your time. It is yours. Your life is your own. You mold it. You make it.
  32. Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
  33. If someone betrays you once, it’s their fault; if they betray you twice, it’s your fault.
  34. Probably the happiest period in life most frequently is in middle age, when the eager passions of youth are cooled, and the infirmities of age not yet begun.
  35. The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
  36. Life must be lived, and curiosity kept alive.
  37. Character building begins in our infancy and continues until death.
  38. He who loses money loses much; he who loses a friend, loses much more, he who loses faith, loses all.
  39. It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.
  40. If life were predictable, it would cease to be life and be without flavor.
  41. It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
  42. What one has to do usually can be done.
  43. Only a man’s character is the real criterion of worth.
  44. To handle yourself, use your head: to handle others, use your heart.
  45. Justice cannot be for one side alone but must be for both.
  46. Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it.
  47. When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.
  48. In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die.
  49. It is a brave thing to have courage to be an individual; it is also, perhaps, a lonely thing. But it is better than not being an individual, which is to be nobody at all.
  50. Be confident, not certain.
  51. One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.
  52. It is not more vacation we need — it is more vocation.
  53. Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.
  54. Do one thing that scares you today.
  55. Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, ‘It can’t be done.
  56. Great leaders inspire people to have confidence in themselves.
  57. Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.
  58. Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.
  59. I lived through this horror; I can take the next thing that comes along.
  60. Anger is one letter short of danger.
  61. When life is too easy for us, we must beware, or we may not be ready to meet the blows which sooner or later come to everyone, rich or poor.
  62. Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
  63. One must never, for any reason, turn his back on life.
  64. The very next thing you need to be doing is the thing that terrifies you the most.
  65. You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
  66. No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.
  67. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
  68. Life has got to be lived – that’s all there is to it. At seventy, I would say the advantage is that you take life more calmly. You know that ‘this, too, shall pass!
  69. You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.
  70. The mind must be trained, rather than the memory.
  71. Choose a challenge instead of competence.
  72. Success must include two things: the development of an individual to his utmost potentiality and a contribution of some kind to one’s world.
  73. When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?
  74. A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.
  75. Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.
  76. It’s your life – but only if you make it so. The standards by which you live must be your own standards, your own values, your own convictions in regard to what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is important and what is trivial. When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else, you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.
  77. Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable.
  78. There are practical little things in housekeeping which no man really understands.
  79. When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.
  80. Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.
  81. Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.
  82. The only things one can admire at length are those one admires without knowing why.
  83. I’m so glad I never feel important, it does complicate life!
  84. Understanding is a two-way street.
  85. What you don’t do can be a destructive force.
  86. My experience has been that work is almost the best way to pull oneself out of the depths.
  87. Enjoy every minute you have with those you love, my dear, for no one can take joy that is past away from you. It will be there in your heart to live on when the dark days come.
  88. Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run, it is easier.
  89. Life is like a parachute jump, you’ve got to get it right the first time.
  90. Think as little as possible about yourself and as much as possible about other people.
  91. The basis of world peace is the teaching which runs through almost all the great religions of the world. Love thy neighbor as thyself.
  92. Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.
  93. It seems to me of great importance to teach children respect for life.
  94. All of life is a constant education.
  95. The future is literally in our hands to mold as we like. But we cannot wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow is now.
  96. Strength that goes wrong is even more dangerous than weakness that goes wrong.
  97. No man is defeated without until he has first been defeated within.
  98. Every time you meet a situation you think at the time it is an impossibility, and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it, you find that forever after you are freer than you were before.
  99. Your ambition should be to get as much life out of living as you possibly can, as much enjoyment, as much interest, as much experience, as much understanding. Not simply be what is generally called a ‘success.

Final Thoughts

These words are part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s many, many legacies. Hopefully, they continue to inspire people to be the kindest and most courageous they can be. May the wisdom she displayed throughout her life continue to serve as a reminder of the people that she envisioned us to be, the people she dedicated her life and work to.

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