We are living in a rapidly changing world. Life is continuously evolving in manifold ways. Change is all around us, it cannot be avoided. It is a natural aspect of life. However, even though change is an integral aspect of our lives, we do not particularly like it. In many situations, we try to avoid change as best as we can because it seems scary, daunting, and frightening. Change confronts us with the unknown – a confrontation we’d rather try to avoid. It makes us uncertain of what is to come and shows us how vulnerable we are to external developments. Change often appears frightening but it doesn’t have to be this way. The following selection of 75 handpicked quotes about change will greatly transform how you think about change. They will encourage you to think differently about change and to discover the life-enriching opportunities that come with it. In the true sense of the word, these are truly life-changing quotes.
Change can be incredibly difficult. It can push you out of your comfort zone and often makes you go beyond your limits. But as tough as change may seem to be like, it is often for the good. Nothing in life would have ever been accomplished if it wasn’t for people who were willing to risk the ordinary in order to attain the extraordinary.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
You cannot stop change from happening. But you can always change how you think about the process of transformation. Change can only break you if you forcibly try to resist it. By opening yourself to the new opportunities change introduces, you can make these regular intervals of transition a lot more smooth and comfortable.
Change, however, is not always forced upon us. In many situations, you will feel deep down yourself that there is a need for change. It will make you realize that your life is stagnating and that something must be done about it. The following change quotes with help you to remember why change is so crucial and why it often introduces great improvements in your life.
The 75 Best Quotes about Change
When confronted with change, you must never forget that it will help you to grow as a person. Change can be complicated and daunting but it will never fail to introduce excitingly new opportunities to your life.
Admittedly, change will often push you away from the things you have grown used to. It will introduce difficult periods in your life that are not at all comfortable. However, as soon as this transformative process has finished, you will notice that it somehow pushed you one step closer towards greatness. This is also the moment when you begin to realize that change forced you to leave mediocrity behind in order to keep pursuing your dreams.
During this difficult process of change, it can be quite motivating to read the thoughts of some of the wisest men and women that ever walked on this earth and how they related to change. These magnificent quotes on change will help you to see change in much brighter light.
Enjoy the following quotes about change.
1. Viktor E. Frankl on changing yourself
„When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.“
Viktor E. Frankl
Not every aspect of your life can be changed. Realizing that certain things cannot be influenced – no matter what you do – can be quite painful. It makes you feel helpless and vulnerable. However, not all hope is lost in these situations. By acknowledging that you are unable to change a certain situation, you begin to gradually adapt. By changing yourself, you slowly start to see the situation you’re confronted from a different perspective.
You cannot change many problems you’re confronted with, but you can always change how you think about them. You can always change yourself in order to adapt to these problems. The choice is always yours.
2. Maya Angelou on changing your attitude
„If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.“
The way you think about certain difficulties or problems can greatly influence how you manage to cope with these. There may be many unchangeable things in your life that you don’t particularly like, but you can always change how you think about them. If you are able to change your attitude about these things, they will no longer drag you down. Doing so will help you to liberate yourself from whatever it is that prevents you from attaining greatness.
One central aspect of changing your attitude about things you cannot change lies in learning to think more positively. Positive thinking can help you to overcome the self-imposed limiting beliefs, allowing you to free yourself from the great influence these things hold over you.
3. Rob Siltanen on those who change the world
„Here’s to the crazy ones. […] The ones who see things differently. […] You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.“
Firm belief is a prerequisite if you want to affect change in your life and the world around you. There will be many people ridiculing you for your ideas. Some might even try to stop you. But if you keep going, if you do not allow external influences to stop you, nothing can ever stand in your way.
4. Eckhart Tolle on change that looks negative
„Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.“
If you look at your life, you will realize that many of the changes you were confronted with turned out to be not as bad and negative as they seemed like at first sight. You will perhaps even realize that many of these changes made room for something new and exciting to emerge.
Not every negative change that we try to avoid as best as we can is always for the worse. In fact, many negative developments result in positive things.
5. Friedrich Nietzsche on casting your skin
„The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind.“
It is impossible to avoid change. By trying your very best to avoid any kind of change, you will only invite stagnation into your life. The same holds true for the opinions you hold. If you are unwilling to change beliefs that are unbeneficial or false, you will never discover the true nature of things.
6. Gandhi on being change
„You must be the change you wish to see in the world.“
Dreaming of a better world will seldom change anything. The same holds true for criticizing the way things are. If you really want to effect changes in the world around you, you must take an active approach. Only by living the change you wish to see in the world something can be affected.
7. Leo Tolstoy on changing yourself
„Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.“
When you desire to change the world, you need to start with yourself. Nothing much will ever be accomplished if you only try to affect outward changes without changing the within.
8. Lao Tzu on trying to resist change
„Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.“
Resisting change often makes things even more difficult. Only by seizing the opportunities that change offers to you, you can make the best of unexpected developments.
9. Jon Krakauer on living within unhappy circumstances
„So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences.“
We often shy away from affecting beneficial changes in our lives because we are afraid of the outcome. The real question, however, is whether we really want to pay the the price of an unsatisfied and unhappy life just to maintain our present level of perceived security. If you trade in the willingness for change in order to live a secure life, you will lose more than you could ever gain.
10. George Bernard Shaw on progress
„Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.“
George Bernard Shaw
If it wasn’t for people courageous enough to effect changes, no progress could have ever been accomplished. Every great development in a person’s life or in large societies begins with the unbound willingness for change. At the same time, without the willingness to change your mind, no great changes can ever be affected.
11. Albert Einstein on the way we think
„The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.“
One particular way of thinking responsible for the emergence of a certain problem will unlikely be able to provide the solution to it. In order to change the problems we are confronted with, we need to find new and innovative ways of effecting change. At the same time, it is crucial to identify the flaws in our thinking so that we can make these changes happen.
Albert Einstein’s thoughts are not necessarily limited only to the world we are living in. They also hold true for your own life. By changing the way you think, you can gradually overcome the problems problematic or dysfunctional ways of thinking have caused.
12. Haruki Murakami on a stormy life
„When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.“
Change often seems like a dark storm that is quickly coming closer. And once the storm has arrived, it seems as if the sun has vanished from your life. The clouds may darken the day – so much that it seems as if all hope is lost. But sooner or later, you will realize that the storm is coming to an end. That’s when you see the sun shining once more. Even further, you will realize that the rain has washed away many impurities.
There will be many difficult experiences in your life where you realize that it changed you for the better. Some of these experiences may have made you a stronger person, others may have encouraged you to affect important changes in your life.
13. Dan Millman on the secret of change
„The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.“
Many people seek to initiate change by fighting the old and established ways of thinking and behaving. These attempts are more often than not unsuccessful. In order to realize changes in the world we are living in, it is necessary to build something new that makes the old approaches redundant.
14. Alan Watts on making sense out of change
„The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.“
Alan W. Watts
Whenever you are confronted with change, you can either try to fight it and resist it or you can seize the new opportunities presented to you. The first option will most likely not prevent you from having to live with the changes imposed upon you. The second option, however, will allow you to actively make the best of whatever you’re confronted with. In fact, the willingness to openly plunge into these changes is the first step towards making great use of the things that are happening to you.
15. Socrates on moving the world
„Let him who would move the world first move himself.“
If you really desire to change the world, you will first have to start with yourself. There is no other way to introduce long-lasting changes.
16. William Burroughs on desperation
„Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape.”
William S. Burroughs
Sometimes, life pushes us to the limit – no matter if we want it or not. These situations can be incredibly painful, but there is often more to it than meets the eye. When we find ourselves in desperate situations, we are more willing to affect necessary changes in our lives, even if they are drastic and perhaps even radical.
17. Mother Teresa on changing the world
„I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.“
One person alone can never change the entire world. But this should not be a reason to give up your attempts of affecting beneficial changes in your lifetime. You may be just one person, but your actions can potentially inspire hundreds or even thousands of other people. Just like a stone that is thrown into the water, you can create far-reaching ripple effects by setting a good example. Even more so, you can encourage others to help you in your mission to change the world.
18. Buckminster Fuller on fighting existing realities
„You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.“
R. Buckminster Fuller
Fighting existing modes of behaving can prove to be quite difficult, perhaps even impossible. If you really want to change things, you need to provide new solutions that make all the old realities obsolete.
19. Rumi on changing the world
„Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.“
As was already addressed numerous times, by changing yourself you can slowly change the world around you.
20. Reinhold Niebuhr on things that cannot be changed
„God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.“
There is nothing more important than knowing the things you can change about your life and those that you cannot. Numerous times, you may be confronted with difficulties that are seemingly unchangeable. In these situations, it is important to reflect whether things are actually not changeable or whether limiting beliefs are simply holding you back.
21. Winston Churchill on making improvements
„To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.“
The willingness to change is a prerequisite for improvement. Without change, there could be no room for growth. At the same time, the more willing you are to actively seek change in your life, the more you will grow as a person.
22. John F. Kennedy on the law of life
„Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.“
John F. Kennedy
Change is not only unavoidable, it is an integral aspect of life. Life is designed to be in continuous transformation. There is no other way, it is a law of life.
23. Nikos Kazantzakis on the way you see reality
„Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.“
The way you perceive things can be of great importance. Whenever you are unable to change these situations you’re confronted with, you have to find ways to change how you think about them.
24. Fyodor Dostoyevsky on taking a new step
„Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.“
Fear of the unknown can greatly hold you back. At the same time, without the willingness to plunge into unknown waters, you will seldom gain something new. But if you do have the courage to take the initial step, you’ll see that you quickly begin to adapt.
25. Steve Maraboli on taking control
„Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.“
There’s no use in lamenting your powerlessness over certain circumstances of your life. Instead of wasting your precious time, take control of the aspects of your life that you can actually influence. Doing so will help you to find ingenious ways to overcome that which you cannot control.
26. Heraclitus on the permanence of change
„There is nothing permanent except change.“
It is important to realize that every aspect of your life is subject to changes. Everything will eventually start to change and transforms into something new. These changes will greatly surprise you if you expect things to stay the same all the time. However, if you are mentally prepared for the changes that are to come, you will be in a better position to seize the opportunities that come with change.
27. Barbara Kingsolver on dreading changes
„The changes we dread most may contain our salvation.“
Change does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. In fact, those changes that appear the most frightening do often provide the greatest opportunities for improvements.
28. Norman Vincent Peale on changing your thoughts
„Change your thoughts and you change your world.“
Norman Vincent Peale
Your thoughts greatly influence how you see the world. What is one person’s reason for mystery is another person’s opportunity for growth. By changing the way you think about the world, you can gradually change the world around you. If you internalize this realization, it will no longer matter so much what happens to you in life. All that will matter is how you think about it and how you plan to respond to it.
29. Katharine Hepburn on blaming others
„We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers – but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change you’re the one who has got to change.“
If you want to change, you have to do it yourself. No one else will ever initiate this process of transformation. No one else will ever do everything it takes to change who you are. Saying this seems pretty harsh, but in the end, it will help you to regain control over your life. You will stop to be a helpless victim so that you can actively change things for the better.
30. C. JoyBell on self-growth
„The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open.“
C. JoyBell C.
That’s a fantastic quote about change that highlights its interconnectedness with growing as a person and truly living life.
31. Charles Swindoll on changing the past
„We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.“
Charles R. Swindoll
It is not so important what happens to you in life. In most cases, you cannot change it anyways. However, what is important is the way how you react to what happened. You can always allow yourself to feel miserable about what happened. You can always let these things drag you down. At the same time, it is always possible for you to change your attitude. By changing how you think and how you react to negative developments, you can greatly accelerate your growth as a person.
32. Maya Angelou on embarking on a new path
„Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.“
Of all the quotes about change, this one is particularly helpful. It shows you that embarking on new paths that you haven’t explored yet can be quite frightening. But it also highlights that these new adventures may be necessary in order to overcome present-day difficulties.
33. Andy Warhol on time
„They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.“
Often times, it is not enough to wait for external circumstances to change. Time does not always change things. Only the willingness to change things yourself can guarantee you that results will manifest.
34. Aldous Huxley on changing the world
„I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.“
This is perhaps the fourth quote about change that highlights the importance of changing yourself before changing the world. This change quote is a little bit more negative than the others, but in the end, its idea is still true. You may not always find yourself in a situation where you can change the world around you. But you can always be certain that if you deeply desire to change yourself, you will succeed.
35. Frederick Douglas on struggling
„Without a struggle, there can be no progress.“
Change will often confront you with difficulties and struggles. During these situations, try to remind yourself that overcoming these obstacles is necessary to make important progress in life.
36. Stephen Covey on changing yourself
„To change ourselves effectively, we first had to change our perceptions.“
Stephen R. Covey
The authors of the fantastic quotes about change mentioned in the above often highlighted the importance of our thought processes or perceptions regarding change. Stephen R. Covey once more highlights that change begins within first.
37. Karl Marx on interpreting the world
„The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.“
It is certainly important to gain a deeper understanding of the world you are living in. At the same time, gaining only an intellectual understanding about it is not enough. You have to actively participate and you have to actively change the world you are living in.
38. Rick Warren on being a product of the past
„We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.“
Never allow your past to hold you captive. Your past has made you the person you are today, but you must never allow it to define your present actions. Don’t let the past limit you in your capacity to change.
39. Wayne Dyer on changing how you look at things
„If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.“
Nothing more needs to be said about this wonderful quote about change.
40. Paolo Coelho on change as a challenge
„When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.“
No matter if we try to out run away from change or if we choose to ignore it, it is still manifesting in our lives.
41. Steve Maraboli on following your dreams
„People who lack the clarity, courage, or determination to follow their own dreams will often find ways to discourage yours. When you change for the better, the people around you will be inspired to change also… but only after doing their best to make you stop. Live your truth and don’t ever stop.“
Let others never ever stop you from pursuing your goals. Instead, show them what great levels of fulfillment and happiness can result from pursuing one’s passions.
42. Stephen King on the maps of change
„No one can tell what goes on in between the person you were and the person you become. No one can chart that blue and lonely section of hell. There are no maps of the change. You just come out the other side. Or you don’t.“
43. James Gordon on willpower
„It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t… It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.“
If you are greatly determined to change, you will also have the necessary willpower to overcome the obstacles that stand in front of you.
44. Nelson Mandela on education
„Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.“
Education is the foundation upon which a better world can be built.
45. Rainer Maria Rilke on shutting out uneasiness
„Why do you want to shut out of your life any uneasiness, any misery, any depression, since after all you don’t know what work these conditions are doing inside you? […] Just bear in mind that sickness is the means by which an organism frees itself from what is alien; so one must simply help it to be sick, to have its whole sickness and to break out with it, since that is the way it gets better.“
Rainer Maria Rilke
Setbacks and difficulties can be quite painful. At the same time, there is often more to these experiences than meets the eye at first sight. You can never know for sure what kinds of important changes they cause within you. For this reason, don’t try to run away from these experiences. Instead, try to see how things that happen in your life provide important lessons for you to learn.
46. George Bernard Shaw on behaving sensibly
„The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.“
George Bernard Shaw
There will be times in your life when you realize that certain people have changed. More often than not, this may irritate you in the beginning. But if you are willing to give up your old measurements, you may be in a better position to evaluate the new person they have changed into.
47. Tina Fey on changing opinions
„Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions… Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”
Let’s face it, you cannot change how other people think of you. It’s a waste of time and you will only ridicule yourself by trying to bend backward.
48. Malala Yousafzai on changing the world
„One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.“
Never get discouraged to change the world only because you are one person. Time has proven again and again that common people can change the entire world if they are determined enough to do so.
49. Barrack Obama on waiting for change
„Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.“
There will never be the right time to change certain aspects of your life. Similarly, it is very unlikely that a person will eventually come to make the changes you are waiting for.
50. Veronica Roth on the time it takes for change
„Change, like healing, takes time.“
Drastic changes require great patience. Those who long for instant results will quickly be disappointed when they realize that their efforts so far have been fruitless.
51. Mary Shelley on sudden changes
„Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.“
52. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe on being prepared for change
„Life belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changes.“
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
53. Andy Warhol on being ready for change
„When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.“
Helping other people to change is not always easy. First and foremost, it takes the willingness to change. If this willingness is not present, your efforts will most likely be in vain.
54. Helen Exley on life-changing books
„Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled “This could change your life.“
55. Frederick Douglass on progress
„If there is no struggle, there is no progress.“
Many people hope that progress can be affected easily. These are precisely the same people that continuously wonder why they are seemingly unable to affect changes in their lives. More often than not, it takes great levels of hard work to overcome the difficulties that prohibit progress.
56. Diane Duane on the power of belief
„Believe something and the Universe is on its way to being changed. Because you’ve changed, by believing. Once you’ve changed, other things start to follow. Isn’t that the way it works?“
57. Nicholas Sparks on inevitable change
„Change not only was inevitable, but usually brought its own rewards.“
If you closely analyze the great changes that occurred in your life, you might realize that many of them introduced you to new and rewarding opportunities.
58. Lao Tzu on changing direction
„If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.“
59. Jim Rohn on taking responsibility
„You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.“
You cannot change the direction of the wind, but you can always adjust your sails.
60. Madonna on becoming better
„No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, become a better version of yourself.“
61. Erica Jong on accepting fear
„I have accepted fear as part of life – specifically the fear of change… I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back….“
62. Steve Maraboli on not trying to change someone
„I find the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.“
63. Nathaniel Branden on the steps towards change
„The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.“
64. Henry David Thoreau on the question if things change
„Things do not change; we change.“
Henry David Thoreau
65. Rainer Maria Rilke on drawing conclusions
„Don’t be too quick to draw conclusions from what happens to you; simply let it happen. Otherwise, it will be too easy for you to look with blame… at your past, which naturally has a share with everything that now meets you.“
Rainer Maria Rilke
66. Douglas Adams on falling out of love
„There’s always a moment when you start to fall out of love, whether it’s with a person or an idea or a cause, even if it’s one you only narrate to yourself years after the event: a tiny thing, a wrong word, a false note, which means that things can never be quite the same again.“
67. Steve Maraboli on letting go of yesterday
„Renew, release, let go. Yesterday’s gone. There’s nothing you can do to bring it back. You can’t “should’ve” done something. You can only DO something. Renew yourself. Release that attachment. Today is a new day!“
68. Shannon L. Alder on anger and resentment
„Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others – it only changes yours.“
Shannon L. Alder
69. Libba Bray on the weight change happens
„And that is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.“
70. Sarah Ockler on holding on to things
„I was holding on to something that didn’t exist anymore. That the person I missed didn’t exist anymore. People change. The things we like and dislike change. And we can wish they couldn’t all day long but that never works.“
71. Thomas L. Friedman on pessimists and optimists
„Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists.“
Thomas L. Friedman
72. Philip Pullman on changing what you are
„You cannot change what you are, only what you do.“
73. Lisa Lutz on the ability to adapt
„Our ability to adapt is amazing. Our ability to change isn’t quite as spectacular.“
74. Ovid on patience
„Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.“
75. C. JoyBell on being afraid of change
„We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea.“
C. JoyBell C.
I hope you enjoyed this collection of the best quotes about change. What are your thoughts on change? Do you embrace it or would you rather prefer to leave things as they are?