10 Inspirational Quotes About Change

Find Inspiration During Life's Transitions

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Change can be difficult for many people, but it is an inevitable part of life. Inspirational quotes about change can help you to find balance during these times of transition.

No matter the cause, change can make our lives challenging, though it can also open up new possibilities. Hopefully, these words of wisdom can help you find relief from any fears or offer insight into the changes you're going through. If one speaks to you specifically, write it down and post it in a place where you can be reminded of it often. 

Henry David Thoreau

"Things do not change; we change."

Written in 1854 during his stay at Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, Henry David Thoreau's  (1817–1862) "Walden Pond" is a classic book. It is an account of his self-imposed exile and desire for a simpler life. Within the "Conclusion" (Chapter 18), you can find this simple line that sums up much of Thoreau's philosophy so poignantly.

John F. Kennedy

"The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable."

In his 1962 State of the Union Address to Congress, President John F. Kennedy (1917–1963) spoke this line while discussing America's goals in the world. It was an era of great change as well as great conflict. This phrase from Kennedy can be used in both a global and a very personal context to remind us that change is inevitable.

George Bernard Shaw

"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."

The Irish playwright and critic has many memorable quotes, though this is one of George Bernard Shaw's (1856–1950) best-known. It sums up many of Shaw's beliefs as a progressive across all topics, from politics and spirituality to personal growth and insight.

Ella Wheeler

"Change is the watchword of progression. When we tire of well-worn ways, we seek for new. This restless craving in the souls of men spurs them to climb, and to seek the mountain view."

The poem "The Year Outgrows the Spring" was written by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919) and printed in the 1883 collection "Poems of Passion." This fitting stanza speaks to our natural desire for change because there's something new over every horizon.

Learned Hand

"We accept the verdict of the past until the need for change cries out loudly enough to force upon us a choice between the comforts of inertia and the irksomeness of action."

A leading figure in "legal literature," Billings Learned Hand (1872–1961) was a well-known judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals. Hand offered many quotes such as this that are relevant to life and society in general.

Mark Twain

"Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul."

Mark Twain (1835–1910) was a prolific writer and one of the best-known in American history. This quote is just one example of his forward-thinking philosophy which is just as relevant today as it was in Twain's time.

Anwar Sadat

"He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress."

In 1978, Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat (1918–1981) wrote his autobiography "In Search of Identity," which included this memorable line. It referred to his perspective on peace with Israel while president of Egypt, though these words can provide inspiration in many situations.

Helen Keller

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."

In her 1929 book, "We Bereaved," Helen Keller (1880–1968) wrote this unforgettable quote. Keller wrote the 39-page book to address the many letters she received from grieving people. It demonstrates her optimism, even in the face of greatest of challenges.

Erica Jong

"I have accepted fear as a part of life, specifically the fear of change, the fear of the unknown. I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back..."

This line from author Erica Jong's 1998 book "What Do Women Want?" perfectly sums up the fear of change that many people experience. As she goes on to say, there's no reason to turn back, the fear will be there, but the potential is too great to ignore.

Nancy Thayer

"It's never too late—in fiction or in life—to revise."

Fanny Anderson is a writer in Nancy Thayer's 1987 novel, "Morning." The character uses this line when discussing edits to her manuscript, though it's a fitting reminder for all of us in real life. Even if we may not be able to change the past, we can change how it affects our future.