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Words of Wisdom From Maya Angelou

Topics: Career Advice

Maya Angelou, the poet, author, and civil rights activist, passed away in 2014, but her contributions to literature and to history aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. She is most famous, perhaps, for her bestselling memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, or for her poem “On the Pulse of Morning,” which she wrote for President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. The wisdom she articulated in this work, and so many others, is impressive and inspiring. No matter what you do for a living or what stage you find yourself in your career, consider these words of wisdom about life and work from Maya Angelou. They’ll surely leave you with something to think about.

maya angelou quotes
Image Credit: York College ISLGP/Wikimedia Commons
  1. “Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin — find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that that was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.”
  1. “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”
  1. “If we accept being talked to any kind of a way, then we are telling ourselves we are not quite worth the best. And if we have the effrontery to talk to anybody with less than courtesy, we tell ourselves and the world we are not very intelligent.”
  1. “There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.”
  1. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
  1. “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”
  1. “We can learn to see each other and see ourselves in each other and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are unalike.”
  1. “I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.”
  1. “Nothing will work unless you do.”
  1. “For Africa to me … is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth. No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been and exactly how he arrived at his present place.”
  1. “All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us that we are all more alike than we are unalike.”
  1. “A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”
  1. “I’m considered wise, and sometimes I see myself as knowing. Most of the time, I see myself as wanting to know. And I see myself as a very interested person. I’ve never been bored in my life.”
  1. “We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains, or swim the oceans — because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That’s why we paint, that’s why we dare to love someone — because we have the impulse to explain who we are.”
  1. “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.”
  1. “There’s something which impels us to show our inner souls. The more courageous we are, the more we succeed in explaining what we know.”

Source: BrainyQuote

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