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46 Inspirational Nelson Mandela Quotes That Will Change your Life

Code of Living Author

By: Sundus B – 3 weeks 5 hours​ ago
Nelson Mandela Painting

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela – A non-violent activist, philanthropist, politician, and South Africa’s first black president. He had been imprisoned for 25 years and 8 months for his work of trying to get rid of apartheid in South Africa and was called a “terrorist” by the US government. You would think someone that was convicted with a life sentence and spend 27 years for a stupid reason would be annoyed and full of anger, but Nelson Mandela, “Madiba”, came out and tried 10 times harder to achieve the same thing that landed him in jail! He never gave up. He strived to achieve justice for inequality his whole life no matter the consequences. He believed in himself and he believed in the world’s justice system. Through the amazing fight he put up, he was able to achieve greatness; he became the first black president of Africa and with some help, was able to dismantle Africa’s apartheid system.

So whether you’re feeling anxious about taking a risk or are losing motivation for a project, this collection of Nelson Mandela quotes are full of inspirational messages and truths. Nelson Mandela has made an impact on millions of lives in Africa, as well as inspired millions globally including myself and I really hope his quotes are something you use to make a positive impact in your life.

Here are 46 of my personal favorite inspiring Nelson Mandela quotes for you to learn from and apply to your life:

  1. A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.
  2. The greatest glory in living is not in falling, but in rising every time we fall.
  3. As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.
  4. And if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.
  5. I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
  6. Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.
  7. Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.
  8. Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.
  9. My respect for human beings is based not on the color of a man’s skin nor authority he may wield, but purely on merit.
  10.  We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.
  11.  Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will.
  12. I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.
  13. Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
  14. It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
  15. One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.
  16. Courage is not the absence of fear — it’s inspiring others to move beyond it.
  17. Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end.
  18. Part of being optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.
  19. Fools multiply when wise men are silent.
  20. Nelson Mandela Quote
  21. Let there be justice for all. Let there be peace for all. Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all.
  22. If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.
  23. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine.
  24. I was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what I had done, but because of what I stood for.
  25. It was during those long & lonely years that my hunger for the freedom of my people became a hunger for the freedom of all people.
  26. What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others.
  27. A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.
  28. It always seems impossible until it's done.
  29. People respond in accordance to how you relate to them. If you approach them on the basis of violence, that's how they'll react. But if you say, 'We want peace, we want stability,' we can then do a lot of things that will contribute towards the progress of our society.
  30. Courageous people do not fear forgiving, for the sake of peace.
  31. I will not leave South Africa, nor will I surrender. Only through hardship, sacrifice and militant action can freedom be won. The struggle is my life. I will continue fighting for freedom until the end of my days.
  32. Does anybody really think that they didn't get what they had because they didn't have the talent or the strength or the endurance or the commitment?
  33. It is wise to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea.
  34. For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
  35. I am the master of my faith; I am the captain of my soul.
  36. We must use our time wisely and realize that the time is always ripe to do right.
  37. When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.
  38. It is easy to break down and destroy, the heroes are those who make peace and build.
  39. Nelson Mandela Quote
  40. If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
  41. Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.
  42. Tread softly, breathe peacefully, and laugh hysterically.
  43. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.
  44. A leader . . . is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.
  45. There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
  46. Let’s recommit to work towards our common goal: a nation where all of us are winners, all of us have shelter food and education.

About The Author – Sundus B:​

Code of Living Author

Sundus is a freelance author, designer and an avid fan of self-improvement and learning how the human mind works. She was one of the first freelance authors for CodeofLiving.com and continues today to contribute articles on topics she is passionate about.