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We’ve all heard a quote or two during our lives that has made us think. Whether it is a quote from the latest novel, a television show or one of your favorite athletes, good quotes have a way of resonating through our mind and, in some cases, sticking with us for the rest of our lives. With that said, let’s take a look at some highly inspirational quotes, the brilliant minds that verbalized them and some of the underlying themes or messages behind them.

Thomas Edison

An inventor and renowned businessman, Thomas Edison can easily be considered one of the most successful, innovative and motivated individuals of all time. With that in mind, we can take a lot from Edison’s quotes, including the line: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” This quote can be used as a reminder to dedicate yourself, persevere and see all projects to a satisfactory end.

Margaret Mead

With us from 1901 to 1978, Margaret Mead was a scientist, anthropologist, author and frequent guest speaker. A well-respected and sometimes controversial figure, Mead was proponent of cultural awareness and change throughout all of Western culture. One of her most famous quotes, which reads: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” is a highly motivational quote that highlights the ability to affect change through dedication, diligence and teamwork.

Walt Disney

Walt Disney, namesake of the entire Walt Disney franchise, was known as one of the most highly imaginative and innovative entrepreneurs of his time. While he passed away in 1966, his legacy will undoubtedly live up to the test of time. Given his background, it’s easy to see how he would be credited with saying: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Although the line is simple and straight to the point, Disney himself demonstrated the ability to turn his dreams into reality time and time again through cartoons, major motion pictures and the most prolific theme park of all time.

Vince Lombardi

Former football player-turned-coach, Vince Lombardi is known as one of the most inspirational and motivational figures in American history. One of his quotes, which sums up his attitude and mindset, reads: “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” With this quote, Lombardi reminded his players – and everyone – to do their best every single day. While mistakes may occur, they are simply obstacles to overcome in our pursuit of the end goal.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was an activist, humanitarian, minister and one of the main driving forces behind the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s. One of his simplest and most motivational quotes read: “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” This was King’s way of telling us that things will always work out in the long run. Even though we may not understand how to reach an end goal, simply starting towards that goal will almost always pave the way for future successes.

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