44 Badass Quotes to Unlock Your Potential

Reading Time: 7 minutes

In life, we’re all dealt a different hand of cards. But the cards you are dealt don’t matter nearly as much as how you decide to play those cards.

To live a productive and fulfilling life, you need to sharpen your mind, body, and soul for the difficulties of life. Below you will find 44 badass quotes that will inspire you to be better, live better, and take action.

When times get tough, these badass quotes will remind you how to think, find courage, and take productive action.

1. Conquer self-doubt (Kobe Bryant)

“I have self-doubt. I have insecurity. I have fear of failure. I have nights when I show up at the arena and I’m like, ‘My back hurts, my feet hurt, my knees hurt. I don’t have it. I just want to chill.’ We all have self-doubt. You don’t deny it, but you also don’t capitulate to it. You embrace it.”

2. Who cares? (Shaun White)

“At the end of the day, who cares? What’s the big deal? I’m here, I’m going to try my best, and I’m going to go home, and my family’s there…Even though my whole world’s wrapped up in this, who cares?”

3. Greatness comes from humble beginning (Ryan Holiday)

“Greatness comes from humble beginnings; it comes from grunt work. It means you’re the least important person in the room–until you change that with results. There is an old saying, ‘Say little, do much.’”

4. Focus on the small details (Derek Sivers)

“When you’re thinking of how to make your business bigger, it’s tempting to try to think all the big thoughts, the world-changing, massive-action plans. But please know that it’s often the tiny details that really thrill someone enough to make them tell all their friends about you.”

5. How to be remembered (Ben Franklin)

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.”

6. Success is doing what you love (Casey Neistat)

“What is the ultimate quantification of success? For me, it’s not how much time you spend doing what you love. It’s how little time you spend doing what you hate.”

7. Take as long as you want (B.J. Novak)

“Nobody’s paying attention to anyone else at all. You think everyone is, but they’re not. So take as long as you want if you’re talented. You’ll get their attention again if you have a reason to.”

8. Dance in the rain (Vivian Greene)

“Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning how to dance in the rain”

9. Focus on the solution (Robert Rodriguez)

“No. Accept reality, but focus on the solution. Take that issue, take that setback, take that problem, and turn it into something good. Go forward. And, if you are part of a team, that attitude will spread throughout.”

10. Choose your response (Viktor Frankl)

“…Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

11. Find courage in your mortality (Mark Manson)

“Because once we become comfortable with the fact of our own death—the root terror, the underlying anxiety motivating all of life’s frivolous ambitions—we can then choose our values more freely, unrestrained by the illogical quest for immortality, and freed from dangerous dogmatic views.”

12. Be a professional (Steven Pressfield)

“The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.”

13. Discipline = freedom (Jocko Willink)

“Our freedom to operate and maneuver had increased substantially through disciplined procedures. Discipline equals freedom.”

14. Your decisions determine your destiny (Tony Robbins)

“Know that it’s your decisions, and not your conditions, that determine your destiny.”

15. Reframe the problem (Rosamund and Benjamin Zander)

“Every problem, every dilemma, every dead end we find ourselves facing in life, only appears unsolvable inside a particular frame or point of view. Enlarge the box, or create another frame around the data, and problems vanish, while new opportunities appear.”

16. Stop complaining (Eckhart Tolle)

“To complain is always non-acceptance of what is.”

17. Freedom is on the other side of fear (Tara Brach)

“The other side of resisting fear is freedom. When we stop tensing against life, we open to an awareness that is immeasurably large and suffused with love.”

18. Do less (Marcus Aurelius)

“If you seek tranquillity, do less.” Or (more accurately) do what’s essential—what the logos of a social being requires, and in the requisite way. Which brings a double satisfaction: to do less, better. Because most of what we say and do is not essential. If you can eliminate it, you’ll have more time, and more tranquillity. Ask yourself at every moment, “Is this necessary?”

19. Possibility makes life interesting (Paulo Coelho)

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

20. Choose a direction (Jordan Peterson)

“Don’t underestimate the power of vision and direction. These are irresistible forces, able to transform what might appear to be unconquerable obstacles into traversable pathways and expanding opportunities. Strengthen the individual. Start with yourself. Take care with yourself. Define who you are. Refine your personality. Choose you destination and articulate your Being. As the great nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche so brilliantly noted, ‘He whose life has a why can bear almost any how’.”

21. Avoid the perils of technology (Robert Pirsig)

“What’s wrong with technology is that it’s not connected in any real way with matters of the spirit and of the heart. And so it does blind, ugly things quite by accident and gets hated for that. People haven’t paid much attention to this before because the big concern has been with food, clothing and shelter for everyone and technology has provided these.”

22. Stand for something (Winston Churchill)

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

23. Be responsible to yourself (Richard Feynman)

“You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.”

24. Learn to let go (Yoda)

“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”

25. Persevere (Steve Martin)

“But there was a problem. At age eighteen, I had absolutely no gifts. I could not sing or dance, and the only acting I did was really just shouting. Thankfully, perseverance is a great substitute for talent.”

26. Don’t be a loser (Nassim Taleb)

“The characteristic feature of the loser is to bemoan, in general terms, mankind’s flaws, biases, contradictions, and irrationality without exploiting them for fun and profit.”

27. Silence the negativity (Van Gogh)

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

28. Meditate on the brevity of life (Steve Jobs)

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool 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.”

29. Who’s going to stop you? (Ayn Rand)

“The question isn’t who is going to let me: it’s who is going to stop me.”

30. Find strength in “no” (Albert Einstein)

“I am thankful for all of those who said NO to me. It’s because of them I’m doing it myself.”

31. Have some fun (Sam Walton)

“Celebrate your success and find humor in your failures. Don’t take yourself so seriously. Loosen up and everyone around you will loosen up. Have fun and always show enthusiasm.”

32. Do it anyway (Elon Musk)

“When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

33. Go all the way (Joe Namath)

“If you aren’t going all the way, why go at all?”

34. Outwork the competition (Ben Hogan)

“If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.”

35. Focus on what you become (Henry David Thoreau)

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”

36. Love people (Anaïs Nin)

“You cannot save people, you can just love them.”

37. Happiness is the way (Thich Nhat Hanh)

“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.”

38. Create a good life (Seth Godin)

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

39. Focus on the good (Walt Whitman)

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.”

40. Believe in yourself (E. E. Cummings)

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

41. Shake the world (Mahatma Gandhi)

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

42. Build the new (Socrates)

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

43. Excellence is a habit (Aristotle)

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

44. Master yourself (Epictetus)

“No man is free who is not master of himself.”

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