9 Power Quotes for Times of Struggle

9 Power Quotes for Times of Struggle

There’s scarcely any happiness, passion or success without struggle.  Life is a constant climb, but the journey is rewarding and the view is great.  It’s just a matter of pushing forward when the going gets tough.

Here are nine power quotes and some additional tips to help inspire you when you need it most.

1.  Growth and Change

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  ―Anaïs Nin

Discontent is the principal necessity of positive growth, but only if you do something constructive with it.  Without deviation from what you’ve been doing, progress is not possible.  Don’t be someone who goes through greater lengths to avoid change than you do to obtain what you desire.  You must define and embrace the necessary changes that move you forward.

Your life will begin to improve when you define precisely what ‘improve’ means to you.  The agonies and frustrations will start to ease only when you have something real and positive to replace them with.  Be specific.  Happiness is not a goal, it’s the result of a life well lived.  The question is:  How do you want to live going forward?

To effectively move away from an unfavorable situation, you must decide exactly where you wish to go.  Create a formidable intention for yourself, and feed that intention with the passion and energy that’s in your desire for change.  Go beyond your discontent for what is, and instead focus on imagining and creating the best of what’s possible.  Clearly know where you wish to go, and then take the first real step that gets you there.  Read 1,000 Little Things.

2.  Problems and Opportunities

“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity?  Our attitude toward it.  Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.”  ―J. Sidlow Baxter

Truth be told, you have to create more opportunities than you are handed in this world, and you have to design them with your own blood, sweat and tears.  The effort, however, is well worth it.

There’s no shortage of problems waiting to be addressed.  When you see problems piled on top of problems, and when there seems to be no end to the work that must be done in order to resolve them, what are you really seeing?  You’re looking at a mountain of opportunity.  You’re looking at a situation in which you can truly make a difference.  You’re looking at an environment where you can reach great heights by raising the stakes and pulling the reality of what’s possible along with you.

When you look at a problem, but see opportunity instead, you become a powerful source that transforms grief into greatness.

3.  Hard Work and Achievement

“It shouldn’t be easy to be amazing.  Then everything would be.  It’s the things you fight for and struggle with before earning that have the greatest worth.  When something’s difficult to come by, you’ll do that much more to make sure it’s even harder – or impossible – to lose.”  ―Sarah Dessen

There is no shortcut to a great achievement.  There is no substitute for doing the work.  Meditate on this every day: “I will do the work.”  As Einstein once said, “Genius is 1% talent and 99% percent hard work.”  You must run to be a runner.  You must write to be a writer.  You must actively work on a business venture to learn how to run a successful business.

By all means, find ways to be more efficient in your work.  But make no mistake that it takes diligent effort to build something worthwhile.  There are certainly some success stories out there about people who excelled rather quickly, but you will usually find they had put in years of related work long before anyone was paying attention to their seemingly rapid success.  In other words, their current state of achievement is simply all those years of work coming together flawlessly in the present.

Put in the required effort.  Plan your work every morning, and then diligently work your plan every day.  Read Do the Work.

4.  Focus

Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want.  No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”  ―Paulo Coelho

Lack of focus, not lack of ability, is the most common problem that holds people back from their potential.  We all have strengths and difficulties, and we all have the same twenty-four hour days and seven-day weeks to work with.  If you find it difficult to deal with where you are, or how life is treating you, it’s time to change your focus.

Start focusing on what you want going forward.  Set a specific goal, keep your routine centered on it, and you’ll find the strength to move steadily in a positive direction.  When you focus on the right thing, even the difficult steps will seem easier.  The burdens of the moment become much more bearable when you connect with the purpose behind them.

Your time, energy, and resources will get used no matter how well you focus them.  By choosing to focus properly, you get the highest return for the efforts you invest in your life.

5.  Positive Thinking

“Our thoughts about what we are and what we can be precisely determine what we can be.”  ―Anthony Robbins

The reality you live through daily is a process of your thinking.  You are essentially who you design yourself to be – most of what you experience is the direct result of your own creation.  This reality cannot be changed without first changing your thinking.

Yes, there are lots of inherent events in life that occur completely independently of you – birth, death, loss, sickness, aging, and unexpected changes of all kinds – but these life events do not have to cause ongoing confusion and suffering.  They happen, you experience a little stress, you adjust, and you move forward.  The problem occurs when you don’t adjust and move forward, when your mind clings to these events in a negative light and intensifies their significance into perpetuity.  If your mind does this, of course, it completely overlooks the subtle feelings of excitement, adventure, love, and joy that come from the essence of overcoming a new challenge.

Bottom line:  99% of the time the discontent and frustration you feel is entirely your own creation.  If you dwell on the positive thoughts and possibilities at least as much as you dwell on negative thoughts and painful emotions, life’s challenges help you improve your reality.  Read Learned Optimism.

6.  Mistakes

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”  ―Mahatma Gandhi

No matter what you’re going to make mistakes; it’s an unavoidable truth.  But the good news is, if you follow your heart and intuition, the mistakes you make will be steps in the right direction.  Just because you fail once at something doesn’t mean you’re going to fail at everything.  Keep trying, hold on and believe in yourself.  Keep your head held high, your chin up, and above all, SMILE, because the most beautiful part of it all is that there’s so much left to smile about.

Life is what you make it.  It’s a wild rollercoaster.  Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does.  And then just when you think it can’t get any better, it does.  Every day is a beautiful mystery.  Let go of yesterday’s mistakes and enjoy the mystery as it unfolds today.

7.  Acceptance

“For after all, the best thing one can do when it is raining is let it rain.”  ―Henry W. Longfellow

What you must realize is that you don’t really need more time; you just need to appreciate life in the current time.  It’s a beautiful and bitter way of thinking all at once.  If you don’t have what you want now, you don’t have what you want, but you still have a lot.  Be thankful for what is; and also be thankful for what has not yet come to you, for that means there are still many possibilities available to you.

Find peace in the thought that you can’t ever have it all or know it all.  You are always just a fraction of the whole.  For if you weren’t, there would be nothing more to experience.  Value what you know, and also value the countless things you don’t yet understand.  For in what you do not understand, there is the joy of growth.

Life will always be incomplete and a bit asymmetrical.  Realize this and embrace it.  Be happy and sad at the same time, be hungry and thankful at the same time, be nervous and excited at the same time, and be okay with it.

8.  Confidence and Beliefs

“Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere.  We can’t always understand them, but we have to trust in them.  I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith.”  ―Lauren Kate

Believe in yourself through tough times.  Believe in your capacity to succeed.  Believe that your relationships are worth the effort.  Believe that people make mistakes on their way to greatness.  Believe that people can be foolish and intelligent, selfish and generous, and stressed and happy all at once.  Believe that very few people hurt others on purpose.  Believe that there are many roads to what’s right.  Believe in your intuition, especially when you have to choose between two good paths.  Believe that the answers are out there waiting.  Believe that life will surprise you again and again.  Believe that the journey is the destination.  Believe that it’s all worth your while.  Read 1,000 Little Things.

9.  The Present Moment

“Yesterday is gone.  Tomorrow has not yet come.  We have only today.  Let us begin.”  ―Mother Teresa

Regardless of what’s happened in the past or what might happen in the future, it’s being here now that’s important.  We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t edit it; we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if it will ever come.

This moment – right now – is your life.  Say yes to it.  Don’t ignore it by pretending that you’re living in some other time and place.  You aren’t – doing so is impossible.  The only life you can live is the only life there is – the moment you are in right now.  Ignoring this fact is reckless.  Ignoring it is denying reality, and denying reality is rejecting the entire process of living.

Start paying attention to the present.  Start paying attention to your life.  Right now, say yes to the life you‘re living and notice how it starts to flow WITH you rather than against you.

Your turn…

What’s your favorite power quote that can provide a quick dose of inspiration when you need it most?

Photo by: R.O. Mania


  1. Miriam says

    “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” –ralph waldo emerson

    “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”–anais nin

    “I have no need of hope in order to undertake, nor of success in order to persevere.”
    –William of Orange in the 17th century

  2. Stephen Work Montana says

    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can becounted. Albert Einstein

  3. Rajiv Pardhan says

    “Sometimes beautiful things come into our lives out of nowhere. We can’t always understand them, but we have to trust in them. I know you want to question everything, but sometimes it pays to just have a little faith.” ―Lauren Kate

    It’s beautiful…

  4. David says

    If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Henry Ford (1863-1947),
    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
    Albert Einstein

  5. M says

    “Not all those who wander are lost” — J.R.R. Tolkien and “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it” — Margaret Thatcher

  6. Josiah I says

    I am greatly encouraged by your post. Now, I am confident in doing what I want to do. Thank very much for your write-up.

  7. Megan says

    “I are fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14 – it always reminds me that God does not make junk and that I am beautiful even if no one thinks so :)

  8. Sohabran says

    I am going through really hard times right now. Though your article isn’t a magic wand, it gave me some hope for what lies over the horizon. Thanks a lot.

  9. says

    “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
    Awesome verse about just letting go and living in the present. A reminder that we don’t need to stress, whine, and strain. We just need to chill out once in a while, focus, and have faith that we are where we need to be.

  10. Tessa says

    “even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

    “an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. so when life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means its going to launch you into something great. so just focus, keep aiming.”

  11. says

    In one day when my boyfriend and I were having an argument, I told him, “Sometimes, love makes us selfish.” He replied, “If it makes you selfish, it’s not true love. Love is sacrifice.”

  12. says


    Again, thank you so much for sharing your favorite power quotes with us. Angel and I just read through every one of them. Talk about an inspiring way to kick-off the day! :)

  13. Chhaya says

    This one is awesome, “Your life flashes in front of you when you die, MAKE SURE ITS WORTH WATCHING!! :)

  14. Carol says

    I always found my mother’s wisdom as great support. She would say, “actions speak louder than words”. So true!

  15. says

    I once had a talk with a depressed friend. I told him about positive thinking, and how it can change your behavioral patterns. He dismissed it as “not being true to oneself”. But let me ask you this: How often do we have a choice between judging a situation positively or negatively? All the time! Positive thinking is not about self-betrayal, but about making a choice. About choosing LIFE! To be honest, since I’ve started to see the positive in things, my mood has improved dramatically. It’s as if you’re learning to be a better person. True, it takes time and discipline, but there is a big reward.

    I’ve also read a book about brain plasticity…it basically says that we can change the physical structure of our brains just with our thoughts. This confirms that positive thinking is not just some hogwash, but something real and graspable…

    Sorry, that isn’t a powerful quote or something, but i think that concepts become instantly more powerful if you know that there is some science behind it.

  16. Phia says

    I am an individual, completely unique. A composite of everything and everyone that ever touched my life, and though I will not change for you, I cannot be with you without being changed by you. -Javan

  17. says

    I have a few as well:

    “No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” – Oscar Wilde.

    “Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.” – Ludwig von Beethoven.

    “The greatest good you can do for another, is not to share in your own riches, but to reveal to him his own.” – Benjamin Disraeli.

    “Love is your true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone- We find it with another.” – Thomas Merton.

  18. Marie says

    @ Ryan. Yours is a powerful quote… of your own! Thank you.
    I completely agree with you about having a choice of perspective. I went through a very hard time when my relationship ended due to my husband’s cancer (he moved out) & then he passd away 2 years ago. At times things felt unbearable & like nothing good would ever happen again. Through time, crying, reading, friends, solitude, exercise, work, yoga, family…essentially digging deep & re opening myself to life & its goodness, over time, I saw things more positively & each day seemed to get better. I’m now working on being kinder & showing love more, to myself & others. While it sounds cliche, truly the better it gets, the better it gets. Hang in there anyone who is suffering. You have what it takes to get through, overcome pain & feel joy again.

  19. David says

    I find this post to be really inspiring. Positive thinking to me is more power than any medicine. My point is there is healing power in being positive and optimistic in life. I once found myself in a situation where everyone gave up on me – my family, my community, doctors. That was about 15 years ago, during that period I was so positive to believe that everybody has their opinion to say or believe whatever they like concerning me, but I own the final decision to consent it or not. One thing I know and believe in my heart is never giving up, the faith was so strong that I wanted to prove to them they were wrong, and obviously I did.

    One quote you always need to remember is: When the world gives up hope on you, never, never, never… I reiterate never, never, never, give up hope in yourself. Within six months I recovered from what they believed to be my point of death. Their are some times in life when you can’t see hope in your situation, but it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

  20. James says

    If you want to hear false hopes and negativity about your dreams and aspirations, go sit on a barstool. If you want wisdom and a kick in the right direction, go talk to the two elderly men playing checkers outside the General Store.

  21. Ivan Asov says

    You are great guys, thanks for cheering me up : ) Hard situations are always on my mind but these articles made me believe that everything is for good… and all I can now see is love : ) doesn’t matter I don’t have a girlfriend xD

  22. says

    Those who are unconquered in spirit are the real success in life.

    If you can so train and condition your mind that you are happy, no matter what you have and do
    not have.

    If you can stand the trials and tribulations of life and remain calm, then and only then have you acquired true success.

  23. says

    “Begin at the beginning,’ the King said, gravely, ‘and go on til you come to the end; then stop”. – Lewis Carroll

  24. says

    When I read your blog Marc and Angel, I think about this quote:

    “I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.” – George Burns

    I see it in your writing that you both love what you’re doing.

  25. Sharon Puchli says

    One of my favorites from the movie “Sounder”:

    You lose some of the things you try. You lose all of the things you don’t try.

  26. Sheri says

    If I am no longer young in age may I stay young enough in spirit to never fear failure; young enough still, to take a chance and march in the parade.

    Walt Disney

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