10 Nelson Mandela Quotes To Inspire, Motivate and Galvanize

If Madiba can change the world, so can you!


Alessia Pierdomenico / Shutterstock.com

Alessia Pierdomenico / Shutterstock.com

Nelson Mandela was one of the great humanitarian icons of the 20th century, inspiring millions around the world with his determination, positive attitude and message of acceptance. July 18 was the former South African president’s birthday and since 2009 Nelson Mandela International Day has been marked around the world as a day for making the world a better place.

In an effort to celebrate Mandela’s legacy in a meaningful way the event has a simple message: “everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better.” This year the Nelson Mandela Foundation is inviting people all over the world to take action against poverty in a way that will bring about sustainable change through its Action Against Poverty campaign.

While Nelson Mandela brought about plenty of positive change through his actions, his words were often just as powerful and inspirational. To celebrate his legacy we look back at the good he brought to the world through 10 of his most motivational quotes.

He inspired people to help others:

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.”

He knew how to motivate:

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

He understood the value of dialogue:

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

He valued education above all else:

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

He understood the importance of determination:

“When people are determined they can overcome anything.”

He knew that resilience is the key to success:

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

He valued freedom of thought:

“I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles.”

He remained optimistic through it all:

I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward.”

He was not afraid of confronting fears:

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

He believed that humans are inherently good:

“Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished.”