50 Inspiring & SMART Quotes To Start Off 2015!

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SMART Quotes 2014

I’ve always loved quotes.  One of the best things about them is that you can read one and it can instantly turn your attention around to a new, and likely more positive, direction.  Quotes also have the ability to lift you up when you’re going through tough times or encourage you when you need a boost.  That’s why I thought it might be SMART to list a number of quotes that are most helpful to me as a way to jumpstart our New Year.   To make it even easier to read through them—I’ve classified them according to the SMART categories.  When you’re done, I’d love to hear which one’s you liked best in the comments below.  Even better, if you have one that you’d like to add to the list, please share it with all of us as well.   Ready for a lift?  Here are the quotes:


S= Sustainable or Simple Living

  •  “Living simply is not about living in poverty or self-inflicted deprivation. It’s about living an examined life where one has determined what is truly important and enough…and then just let go of all the rest.”   ~Duane Elgin
  •  “Abundance is about being rich, with or without money.” -Suze Orman
  • The radical truth is there is enough right now, right this minute, but you have to let go of trying to get more to see ‘enough.’ When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, which is what most of us are scrambling to get more of, it frees up oceans of energy to pay attention to and make a difference with what you already have.  I like to say, ‘What you appreciate appreciates.’ What you already have grows in the nourishment of your attention and intention.”  ~Lynne Twist
  • “Earn less, spend less, emit and degrade less. That’s the formula. The more time a person has, the better his or her quality of life, and the easier it is to live sustainably.”—Juliet Schor
  •  “Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” ~Will Rogers
  • “And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered. But most of all, I learned that life is about sitting on benches next to ancient creeks with my hand on her knee and sometimes, on good days, for falling in love.” ~Nicholas Sparks
  •  “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are.  When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”  ~Tao Te Ching
  • “Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden.” –Robert Brault
  • “There are plenty of ways to get ahead. The first is so basic I’m almost embarrassed to say it: spend less than you earn.”  ~Paul Clitheroe
  • “I’m neither an optimist nor a pessimist. I am a dyed-in-the-wool possibilist! By this, I mean with an eco-mind, we see that everything’s connected and change is the only constant.” – Frances Moore Lappé
  • “I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”  ~E.B. White


M= Meaningful

  • “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”  ~Jalal ad-Din Rumi
  • “We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey.” ~ Stephen R. Covey
  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “It is not the easy or convenient life for which I search.  It is the life lived to the edge of all my possibilities.” ~Maryanne Radmacher Hershey
  • “We cannot live only for ourselves.  A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow-men; and along those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”    ~Herman Melville
  • Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~Buddha
  • “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall—think of it, ALWAYS.”~ Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool that I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.  Because almost everything—all external expectations all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure—these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.  Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”  Steve Jobs
  • “There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness. ”  Dalai Lama
  • “We must be the change we wish to see.” ~Gandhi
  • “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver
  •  “Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.” – Hafiz of Persia
  • “Meaning doesn’t lie in things. Meaning lies in us. When we attach value to things that aren’t love – the money, the car, the house, the prestige – we are loving things that can’t love us back. We are searching for meaning in the meaningless. Money, of itself, means nothing. Material things, of themselves, mean nothing. It’s not that they’re bad. It’s that they’re nothing. ~ Marianne Williamson
  • “Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities. Always see them, for they’re always there.” ~Norman Vincent Peale


A= Aware

  • The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.  ~Henry Miller
  • “No one knows enough to be a pessimist.”  ~Wayne Dyer
  • “The dream you are living is your creation.  It is your perception of reality that you can change at any time.  You have the power to create hell, and you have the power to create heaven. Why not dream a different dream?”   ~Don Miguel Ruiz
  • “The best way to create what you want is to become the person who already has it.”  ~ Jeannett Maw
  • “To be nobody-but-yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” ~e. e. cummings
  • “Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you. –Eckhart Tolle
  • “I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.” ~Carl Jung
  • “We can’t give people what we don’t have.  Who we are matters immeasurably more than what we know or who we want to be.”  ~Brene Brown
  • “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.”  ~Gilda Radner
  •  “Let go of certainty. The opposite isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides. The ultimate challenge is to accept ourselves exactly as we are, but never stop trying to learn and grow.” –Tony Schwartz
  •  “The quality of one’s life depends on the quality of attention.  Whatever you pay attention to will grow more important in your life.”  Deepak Chopra
  • “What we speak becomes the house we live in.” ? Hafiz


  •  “We must be the change we wish to see.” ~Gandhi
  •  “It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult undertaking which, more than anything else, will determine its outcome.” —William James
  •  “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” —Victor Frankl
  •  “The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.”—Carlos Castaneda
  • “Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt
  • “Act always as if the future of the universe depended on what you did while laughing at yourself for thinking that whatever you do makes any difference.” ~Buddhist saying
  • “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”  ~Helen Keller
  • “Would you rather be right or free?” ~ Byron Katie
  • There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters? Over that I have complete control.”  ~Leo F. Buscaglia
  • “I want my inner truth to be the plumb line for the choices I make about my life – about the work that I do and how I do it, about the relationships I enter into and how I conduct them.” ~Parker J. Palmer
  • “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things.  And the way to do that is by having a bigger ‘yes’ burning inside.  The enemy of the ‘best’ is often the ‘good.’” ~Stephen Covey


  •  “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” ~Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  •  “ThanksGiving is good but ThanksLiving is better.” ~Matthew Henry
  • “Gratitude is the single most important ingredient to living a successful and fulfilled life.”   ~Jack Canfield
  • “Gratitude, like faith, is a muscle. The more you use it, the stronger it grows, and the more power you have to use it on your behalf. If you do not practice gratefulness, its benefaction will go unnoticed, and your capacity to draw on its gifts will be diminished. To be grateful is to find blessings in everything. This is the most powerful attitude to adopt, for there are blessings in everything.”   ~Alan Cohen
  • I cannot tell you anything that, in a few minutes, will tell you how to be rich.  But I can tell you how to feel rich, which is far better, let me tell you firsthand, than being rich.  Be grateful…It’s the only totally reliable get-rich-quick scheme.”   ~Ben Stein
  • “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”    ~Oprah Winfrey
  •  “If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” ~Meister Eckhart


* This post was originally published in January 2014. 


Filed under Aware, Meaningful, Responsible, Sustainable, Thankful

28 Responses to 50 Inspiring & SMART Quotes To Start Off 2015!

  1. I so believe this one : “It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult undertaking which, more than anything else, will determine its outcome.” —William James

    Or as another quotes say : Tough times don’t last, tough people do.

  2. Pingback: EOY 2014—A SMART Blogging Year in Review

  3. Thanks so much Kathy for the inspiring quotes.

    The one that wraps it all up for me is the following: “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~Tao Te Ching

    I think if we could all find that realization in our lives, the world would indeed be a much different place!

    Take care and my best to all.

    lyle recently posted…My Five Simple And Frugal Tips To Save Cash In 2014 And BeyondMy Profile

    • Hi Lyle! Thanks for stopping by and checking out some of my very favorite quotes. Yes, that quote from the Tao Te Ching is excellent…..and I should/could read it to myself every single day right. If a person remembered that every single day the world would indeed be a much different place and we would DEFINITELY have a wonderful 2014! Now I’m going to have to head over and read your post about saving cash!!!! ~Kathy

  4. Jodi

    This is SO true!

  5. Thanks Kathy!

    Lot of great ones there, the Rodgers, Sparks and Marianne Williams quotes all gave me the most pause.

    This Cherokee quote has gotta be one of my favorites for obvious reasons…. 🙂

    When the white man discovered this country Indians were running it. No taxes, no debt, women did all the work. White man thought he could improve on a system like this.
    Derek recently posted…258My Profile

  6. Don’t have time right now but look forward to checking out these quotes later tonight. Thanks for compiling a list- the first few were familiar and good
    Derek recently posted…257My Profile

    • Hi Derek….thanks for stopping by SMART Living. I hope you enjoy the quotes when you get a chance…please let me know which ones you liked the best. And I went to your website and LOVED your FREE advice as well as all your photos.~Kathy

  7. Connie McLeod

    I love quotes too and so many of these resonate with me. “Abundance is about being rich, with or without money.” In the last year I have come to realize what an abundant life I have. It’s filled with love, family, friends and health, an abundant life indeed!

    • Hi Connie….thanks for checking in and joining the conversation! I’m glad you enjoyed my collection. I don’t know about you but every single time I read them (even after reading them so much I practically know them all by heart) I am still inspired. And oh yes, feeling abundant has NOTHING to do with how much money we have! ~Kathy

  8. jo Casey

    this is a gorgeous collection of quotes – thank you (I’m saving this one!)

  9. I’ve always adored quotes. I’ll be adding some of these to my quote wall, and I’m sure I will refer back to this list again. “We must be the change we wish to see” by Gandhi has always been a favorite of mine. This one brought a new perspective to me today:
    “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall—think of it, ALWAYS.”~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Living in a developing country the past two years, I’ve been struggling against becoming jaded while living amongst so many complex issues. It seems the world’s problems are so deeply rooted and numerous. And yet, I have to remember that things get better in their own way and on their own time.
    Michelle C recently posted…Annual Review Exercise 2013My Profile

    • Hi Michelle! Thank you for stopping by SMART Living and joining the conversation. I’m glad you appreciated my quotes as these are a collection of ones I return to over and over again. And yes, if Gandhi could say that “love has always won” and that good will prevail, it reminds us all to never give up our quest for a happier, more peaceful and sustainable world for everyone. Thanks again for your comment. ~Kathy

  10. Great list! I keep a running list of several hundred quotes (that I use for my website) and love seeing what speaks to others. One I’m remembering for this new year: “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.” –Douglas Pagels

  11. MD

    Your collection of quotes is really very impressive. I think this is a happy New Year Gift for the readers of your blog.

  12. The quote that I like is “What we speak becomes the house we live in.” ~Hafiz It is a reminder that words matters. Thanks for this post.
    Christine Somers recently posted…What’s Up For 2014?My Profile

    • Hi Christine….thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year! Yes, Hafiz was a wonderful poet and gave us plenty to think about with all of his work…including this one for sure. I know from FB that your weather has been pretty cold these days so stay warm and enjoy your new year. ~Kathy

  13. What a great collection of quotes. I was happy early in the New Year to open and read and become inspired!
    Haralee recently posted…WelcomeMy Profile

  14. My favourite Helen Keller quote, and one I turn to often, is:

    “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do.”
    Nancy recently posted…lost and foundMy Profile

  15. Thank you for this wealth of quotable quotes! Nancy #nancylandrumblog.com
    Nancy Landrum recently posted…Nancy’s Radical Gratitude ReportMy Profile

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