What Makes a Good Inspirational Quote?

What Makes a Good Inspirational Quote?

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According to the dictionary, inspire means, “breathe life into.” Other definitions include: “encourage somebody to greater effort” and “ arouse a particular feeling in somebody.”

Inspirational quotes should make someone feel something. A strong inspirational quote will provide motivation and encouragement – and will make you feel like you can accomplish something. A good quote is a priceless pearl of wisdom that has the power to change your perspective and can stick with you for life.

If you’ve ever thought about making your own inspirational quote, the good news is that you can! Inspirational quotes are often born out of true inspiration – those moments of realization where you suddenly feel like you finally “get” something.

Browse through any inspirational quote website or book and you’ll often find that the quotes are categorized by attributes. Traits such as courage, compassion, and gratitude are all common themes for inspirational quotes.

To help inspire you in your quest for creating good quotes, let’s look at a few of those traits now. Read on and be inspired by some of the best!


Many inspirational quotes feature an element of courage. They speak about not giving up and continuing on despite facing opposition or adversary. Courage is necessary for recognizing your dreams, and following them!

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” –Walt Disney


When you connect with others and allow others to connect with you, you will start to feel more compassion. Compassion is something that can be shown through actions or words, and many inspirational quotes deal with this trait that is an important part of our human existence.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou


Many inspirational quotes are full of gratitude. Making the most of what you have, making something out of nothing, and having a positive attitude are all recurring themes in inspirational quotes. These quotes echo the truth that while you might not be able to change your circumstances, you can change the way you perceive them and the way you respond to them. You can choose to see the good.

“How you think about a problem is more important than the problem itself. So always think positively.” –Norman Vincent Peale


Happiness is very infectious. Not only does it rub off on others, it also rubs off on you! Happiness is what happens when we are truly caught up in the moment and are in our element – enjoying life. Inspirational quotes often talk about this state of mind.

“Happiness is a state of activity.” –Aristotle


Passion is the wind in our sails, and gives us the push we need to pursue our dreams. Passion has inspired countless inspirational messages and quotes.

“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson


Perseverance is the name of the game. It’s only through perseverance that we ever get anywhere. It’s easy to have a goal, a plan, a dream – but it’s much harder to see it through to completion. A firm refusal to give up is only possible through complete dedication to a goal. Many excellent quotes have perseverance woven throughout.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” –Lao-tzu

A good inspirational quote can often help to spur us on, motivating us to dream big and accomplish things. The right quote can sometimes even help to make a bad day a bit better and remind us that there’s beauty and purpose in life – even if it’s hard to see it sometimes.

Bonus: How do you write a good quote?

When it comes to writing a good quote, the formula might be easier than you think. The secret: Write like how people talk. Compose the quote as if you are talking to a friend. Avoid filler words and use phrasing that is memorable. It also helps if you can create a story or picture in the individual's mind. 

It’s Time for You to Start Writing

So why not write your own quotes? Start by journaling, sketching, or simply writing random thoughts and phrases as they come to mind. Make sure you’re in a quiet place and have tons of creative energy. Then pull out your notebook and get to work. Who knows? Maybe you’ll create an inspirational quote that will one day encourage and inspire others.

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