101 Motivational Quotes To Help You Get Through Finals (Or Any Tough Time)

motivational quotes

Some days you’re up early skipping to class with a big fat smile on your face.

Other days you just want curl up into a ball and never wake up again.

For some reason, the latter seems to happen more frequently around this time of the year.

Normally I’m not a big fan of posts that simply list motivational quotes, but with finals season officially here and motivation levels at an all-time low, I thought I’d write a quick post sharing some of my all-time favorite quotes.

Sometimes the right quote, at the right time, is all you need to reignite a dwindling flame.

Whenever I come across a quote that really resonates with me, I write it down and then adopt it into my life as a sort of mantra. Whenever I feel stressed or find myself procrastinating, I stop whatever I’m doing, take a deep breath, and read the quote out loud to myself. Within seconds my thoughts are cleared and I’m able to refocus on whatever it is that I need to do.

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As much as we all wish that we could skip finals and go straight to winter break (or summer break, depending on when you’re reading this) already, the reality of the situation is that we can’t.

What we can do is decide how we want to finish the race.


1. “If you are willing to do only what’s easy, life will be hard, but if you are willing to do what’s hard, life will be easy.” – T. Harv Eker

2. “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” – Thomas Jefferson

3. “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden

4. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
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5. “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

6. “Stick to what’s in front of you—idea, action, utterance.” – Marcus Aurelius

7. “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.” – Jeff Olson

8. “You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do.” – David Foster Wallace

9. “Your life does not get better by chance, but by change.” – Jim Rohn

10. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” –Confucius

11. “You cannot change the outer event, so you must change the inner experience.” – Neal Donald Walsch

12. “Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.” – J. P. Morgan
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13. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

14. “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” – Lao Tzu

15. “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson

16. “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

17. “When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” – Steve Jobs

18. “This too shall pass.” – Persian Poem
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19. “Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them.” – Unknown

20. “The deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation.” – Neal Donald Walsch

21. “You’ve got what it takes, but it will take everything you’ve got.” – Unknown

22. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” –Wayne Gretzky

23. “Don’t aim for perfection, aim for success.” – Eike Batista

24. “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
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25. “The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you’re in control of your life. If you don’t, life controls you.” – Tony Robbins

26. “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates

27. “The biggest risk is not taking any risk” – Mark Zuckerberg

28. “Effective leaders have the ability to consistently move themselves and others to action because they understand the “invisible forces” that shape us” – Tony Robbins

29. “Happiness and success in life are not the result of what we have, but rather of how we live. What we do with the things we have makes the biggest difference in the quality of life.” – Jim Rohn

30. “A true Master does not “give up” something. A true Master simply sets it aside, as he would do with anything for which he no longer has any use. There are those who say you must overcome your desires. I say you must simply change them.” – Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

31. “Know what you want and make it known.” – My mentor

32. “Keep your face to the sunshine and you can never see the shadow.” – Helen Keller

33. “It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.” – Marcus Aurelius

34. “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” – Epictetus
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35. “Instead of wondering where your next vacation is, maybe you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from” – Seth Godin

36. “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” – Eric Thomas

37. “Don’t count the days, make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali

38. “The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives life fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain

39. “It’s what you practice in private that you will be rewarded for in public.” – Tony Robbins
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40. “A moment of patience in a moment of anger prevents a thousand moments of regret.” – Chinese proverb

41. “A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could” – Zig Ziglar

42. “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” ― Aldous Huxley

43. “Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but nobody wants to lift no heavy-ass weights.” – Ronnie Coleman

44. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” ― Lao Tzu

45. “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” – Unkown

46. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi
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47. “Be aware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.” – Benjamin Franklin

48. “The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” – Marcus Aurelius

49. “Objective judgement, now, at this very moment. Unselfish action, now, at this very moment. Willing acceptance – now, at this very moment – of all external events. That’s all you need.” – Marcus Aurelius

50. “I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” – Kurt Vonnegut

51. “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” – Tony Robbins

52. “One of the most common causes of failure is the habit of quitting when one is overtaken by temporary defeat.” -Napoleon Hill

53. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” – Nelson Mandela

54. “Failure defeats losers, failure inspires winners.”- Robert T. Kiyosaki

55. “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
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56. “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care about them.” – John C. Maxwell

57. “We become what we think about all day long.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

58. “If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

59. “If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do.” – Unknown

60. “Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” – Albert Einstein

61. “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.” – Chinese Proverb

62. “Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

63. “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin

64. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

65. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill
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66. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear–not absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

67. “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Pablo Picasso

68. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

69. “Wherever life takes you, leave the place shaking, disrupted and trying to imagine what it was like before you came. Be a force for change. For pondering. And re-pondering. For love and the belief in the good of people. Go forth and be a force of the awesome. Do epic, terrifying, unheard of shit. Whatever makes you happy. And drugs. And other “bad” things. And fall in love. If nothing else, fall in love” – Jordan Lejuwaan

70. “I discovered a long time ago that if I helped enough people get what they wanted, I would always get what I wanted and I would never have to worry.” – Tony Robbins

71. “Anger kills logical thinking and logical thinking kills anger… the choice is yours.” – Ketan Shah

72. “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” – Thomas Edison
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73. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

74. “The number one reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbors.” – Napoleon Hill

75. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas A. Edison

76. “The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” – Robert Hughes

77. “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” – Thomas J. Watson

78. “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

79. “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles, and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident, and more and more successful.” – Mark Victor Hanse

80. “Low self-confidence isn’t a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered–just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better.” – Barrie Davenport

81. “If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission.” – Unknown

82. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
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83. “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” – Proverb

84. “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” – David Allen

85. “Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.” – Tony Robbins

86. “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” – Ralph Nader

87. “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” – Dale Carnegie

88. “Life begins where your comfort zone ends.” – Neale Donald Walsch

89. “Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above it.” – Washington Irving

90. “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” – Truman Capote
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91. “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John R. Wooden

92. “Really it comes down to your philosophy. Do you want to play it safe and be good or do you want to take a chance and be great?” – Jimmy J

93. “It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J. K Rowling

94. “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein

95. “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” – Swami Vivekananda

96. “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.” – Tony Robbins

97. “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” – Tony Robbins

98. “Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade.” – Tony Robbins

99. “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.” – William Durant

100. “You can’t fall if you don’t climb. But there’s no joy in living your whole life on the ground.” – Unknown

101. “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Rohn
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  1. Pick one quote–just one–that really stood out to you, write it down somewhere that’s easily visible, and make it your mantra for the week. Whenever you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, take a deep breath and read it out loud to yourself.
  2. Get to work. You got this.

About Stefano

Stefano Ganddini

Hey there! I'm the creator of Collegetopia and the guy who writes all these articles. I'm here to help you live BIG, do EPIC shit, & be HAPPY. Click here to read more.

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  • Ben M.Onuoha

    INDEED,VERY motivational!I can say that right NOW i am motivated to my heart’s desire so far delayed because of family consideration

    • WOOOO! Go do some epic shit now. Don’t let that motivation go to waste.

  • Lusy Smith

    Really good quotes. It will help you if you have time to write. But sometimes it will be easier to get help. For examplehttp://kingessays.com/. It helped me when I was short on time.

  • Shelby Proseus

    Hello! Awesome quotes! I noticed there weren’t too many women featured on the list, maybe only a small handful. Would love to see some more representation. Thanks!