Famous Mottos: 10 ways short life quotes can help you succeed

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Last Updated on October 30, 2020

Did you know that I have created over ninety famous mottos as printable wall art in the last couple of months? All short sayings have one goal in common. They should help you to accomplish your goals with more mental energy in different areas of your life.

How famous mottos help accomplish goals

Activate your mind with famous quotes for success

Do you know your situation? You worked hard on your walking or running habit. You successfully automated this keystone habit and most of the time you accomplish your goal. But there are still situations when you feel that you just can't do it.

Have you ever thought of activating your mind before trying to kick-start your body? Like a quick jolt of caffeine, motivational workout quotes or mantras can provide just the energy kick you need for your physical habit. But physical activity is just one example where smart words can act as brain hacks. This blog post will prove to you that you can use this principle in any area of your life.

Further Reading: 91 inspirational quotes about habit and changefamous mottos

They get to the point instantly

Some of you might know that I’m fascinated by the power of uplifting quotes or proverbs. That's why I've published over twelve motivational books with uplifting quote images in 2015.

Life mottos have caught my interest lately for similar reasons. I've sprinkled some short positive sayings over this page as typographic art, that I recently created. More about this in a few minutes.

Yes, many famous quotes might be clichés, but that does not make them less true. While complicated phrases can get lost in space, simple and short words of wisdom (think of Mark Twain or Helen Keller) get to the point in an instant and can help you remember what’s really important.

This is why nearly all major organizations, companies, religious orders, nations, states, schools, boy scouts and sports teams have mottos and slogans. Let's look at some great examples first, before I share a good dose of inspiration with you.

Famous company slogans

A business motto, tagline or slogan is a descriptive, short phrase that represents a set of beliefs that a company takes a business entity to penetrate their target market. Ideally, these outward-facing taglines are incorporated into their longer, intern-facing mission statement, giving the company focus and direction. I've put together 7 easy to remember corporate mottos that could stand out as motivational quotes on their own:

  1. Nike – Just do it.
  2. Vodafone – Make the most of now.
  3. IMAX – Think big.
  4. Tag Heuer – Success. It’s a Mind Game.
  5. Adidas – impossible is nothing.
  6. AT&T – reach out and touch someone.
  7. L’Oreal – because you’re worth it.

A small list of state mottos

All of the 50 states of the United States have a state motto as a description of their general motivation or intention. These can sometimes be found on seals or flags. Some states have a theme officially adopted by a state government, others are only depicted on the seals. The motto of the United States itself is “In God we trust”. Here are some state examples, often the original is in Latin:

  • “Live Free or Die” – New Hampshire
  • “In God we trust” – Florida
  • “While I Breathe, I Hope” (Latin: Dum Spiro Spero)  – South Carolina
  • “I've found it” (Greek: Eureka) – California
  • “Ever upward!” – (Latin: Excelsior!) – New York
  • “Friendship” – Texas
  • With God, all things are possible” – Ohio

Motto definition and the demarcation to a mantra

Mantras are defined as “tools for thinking”, energy formulas that should bring power, peace, and happiness to your mind. The most famous and shortest energy formula is probably the “Om” or “Aum”, you might know from yoga and meditation, which Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains consider as holy.

A mantra is usually shorter than a life motto. However, if you say a short quote over and over again, it can act as a mantra — a repetition of a phrase or word that can motivate or soothe you. Mottos can be thoughts from known authors but very often the author is unknown.

But how can short sayings about life or mantras motivate you to achieve your goals or soothe you?

Sports and the power of the mind

Using the power of your mind to influence the performance of your body is especially appealing in sports. There is a good reason why almost any book about running or marathon contains also a chapter about “mental training”.

Paavo Nurmi, one of the greatest legends of running, once said

“All that I am, I am because of my mind.”

And Dean Karnazes the renowned ultramarathon man during his extreme races focuses on the most elementary task: “One step at a time.” This baby-step approach to making your healthy habits stick can also be found in my 52 Chef Habits Program.

I'm convinced that such short inspirational sayings can help us in certain situations. When my legs are getting heavier after a long run I count on them. And when I feel stressed or a certain task scares me, I use a mantra I learned from a yoga teacher, some years ago:

“Relax, release, ease.”

Mind over matter —how our thoughts influence our body

In fact, there are many indications that our body and mind don't work independently from each other:

  • The “Placebo effect” describes the human phenomena, that just the belief in taking an effective medicine can provoke a physical (and/or psychological) reaction.
  • People skilled in autogenic training, are capable of influencing different body activities that are normally regulated by the autonomic nervous system like e.g., your muscle tension and heart frequency.
  • Somatic symptom disorders are mental illnesses that trigger bodily symptoms, including pain. These symptoms are not the result of another mental illness or substance abuse. They also cannot be backtracked to any physical cause.

10 ways your best motto in life can give you a mental kick-start

Here are 10 ways good mottos can help you not only with your physical training but in any other situation where you need a mental kick-start:

1. Practice gratitude 

Social scientists have found that the quickest way to feel happiness is to practice gratitude.

practice gratitude with a motto

When we are happy everything else can be done with ease. Here are some uplifting words to practice gratitude. For some of them, I've made already typographic posters on Etsy, others like the image above I've taken from my inspirational picture quotes book about gratitude.

mottos of gratitude

  • Today I am thankful.
  • Gratitude is the best attitude.
  • It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed at the same moment —Naomi Williams
  • Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.
  • Life is better with friends.

Related: 85 best gratitude quotes and thankful sayings.
and in the context of good relationships, I recommend also: 130 true friendship quotes and sayings

2. Replace destructive thinking with constructive “bright drops” 

Replace a thought like “I’ll never get this done,” with an inspiring phrase like:

  • I’ve done it before and I can do it again.
  • It always seems impossible until it's done. —Nelson Mandela
  • One step at a time.
  • Never, never, never give up.
  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
  • No pain, no gain.
  • Your only limit is you.
  • Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Click here for 39 positive attitude quotes to stop negative thinking.

Clean Eating: how a motto can help with weight loss3. Change a habit or lose weight with healthy self-talk

“Get sleep, eat clean, drink water, exercise, repeat.”

There is no better way to put my 52 Chef Habits Program into a nutshell. By the way, this quote is hanging as wall art in my home and reminds me daily to stick to healthy habits.

A motto in life can perfectly summarize why you want to change a habit and therefore increase your willpower. Use one of the following uplifting thoughts to keep your desired habit change on track:

  • All you need is sleep.
  • Good health is the best wealth.
  • You don't have to eat less you just have to eat right.
  • Eat well, feel well.
  • Nice people ride bicycles.
  • Health first.
  • Smoke-free —a healthy me.

Read also:  Top 12 Inspirational Quote Posters about Health, Fitness, and Happiness

4. Remind you of your mission

Who are you? What are you standing for? What is your personal mission? If you don't have a personal motto or life mantra, consider adopting one that fits your purpose in life.

After all, as John Mason Brown said, “The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.”

Check out these inspirational life mottos:

  • The purpose of life is a life of purpose. —Robert Byrne
  • Be the change you wish to see in the world. —Gandhi
  • Do more of what makes you happy.
  • To want to be what one can be is a purpose in life. —Cynthia Ozick
  • Do something creative every day.
  • Time is more than money.
  • It's a beautiful thing when one's career and passion come together.

Further reading: 100 happy quotes to unlock the key to happiness

5. Remind you of your values 


Jog your conscience with a good quote. I'm a big fan of minimalism in art, fashion, recreation, business and life in general. Some of the following wise words express my values exactly. Maybe you share some of these values too?

mottos of value

  • All you need is less.
  • Less is more.
  • Buy less chose well.
  • Keep life simple.
  • Happiness depends upon ourselves —Aristotle
  • Live and let live.
  • Think before you speak.
  • Follow your heart but take the brain with you.
  • Think outside the box.

6. Provide a spark of inspiration with mottos to live by

Check out these universal phrases of inspiration and hope:

  • Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.
  • It's nice to be nice.
  • Be the reason someone smiles today
  • Good vibes only.
  • Be Happy —Be Bright —Be You.
  • Hope.
  • Be Kind.
  • Be Classy.
  • Fall in love with your life.

Talking about love…you might also enjoy also:

7. Use it to calm your mind

When you are scared, anxious or stressed, short quotes are healthy self-soothing techniques. Instead of turning to emotional eating, take a deep breath or walk and use one of these slogans:

  • Inhale —exhale.
  • Just breath.
  • One day at a time.
  • Keep calm and carry on.

Further Reading: best 96 inspirational yoga quotes

8. Increase your productivity with encouragement words

The motivational reminders below can help you increase your productivity and
 even stop procrastination.

mottos for better productivity

  • The key to success is not doing more but doing more of what works.
  • 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. —Vilfredo Pareto
  • Slow and steady wins the race.
  • Office sweet office.
  • Work hard dream big.
  • Stay simple.
  • It's all about focus.
  • Do it with passion or not at all.
  • Carpe diem.

Further Reading: 45 procrastination quotes to boost productivity 

9. Can give you the encouragement that will help you persist

In hard times, after a failure or setback, keep your chin up with “chocolate for your soul”:

  • Sometimes you win sometimes you learn.
  • C'est la vie.
  • When nothing goes right, go left.
  • There's always tomorrow.
  • There’s no failure, only feedback.
  • Every day is a second chance.
  • Tomorrow is another day.
  • Every artist was once an amateur.

Further Reading: 77 learning quotes and education sayings

10. Add pleasure and humor with funny short sayings

Even funny, ironic and cool quotes can provide some joy. The general rule is trying to omit negativity or negative words. In the context of humor, however, negativity can work really well with training quotes. See for yourself:

funny mottos

  • Even a bad run is better than no run.
  • I run because it's hard to find time to walk.
  • The less you talk the more you are listened to.
  • This kitchen is for dancing.
  • When in doubt, dance it out.
  • Life begins after coffee.
  • But first coffee.

Further reading: 88 funny quotes about life lessons that will lift your spirits

What is your life motto?

You can create your own slogans or adapt existing ones. Choose one of the above as a good reminder of your value or goal. Repeat it at intervals and see if it can soothe or inspire you. If not, try again with another uplifting quote.

Once you have found your personal favorite, write it down or design it on your computer, hang it in a visible place and feel the power of visualization. Or research your personal motto in life online and print it out.

Etsy Shop with typographic prints

famous mottos: How to create a modern, inspirational gallery quick and easy

Impressed by the power of quotations, I've opened an Etsy Shop some weeks ago that is featuring over 90 instant download word art prints. Most of the typographic art you find on this page I've listed in my Etsy Shop. So if you need your life quote right now, no need to wait, you can download and print out these minimalist posters immediately.

Click here and check out my Etsy Shop with typographic prints and gifts.

Further Reading: 150 positive life quotes on happiness and success

See you on the other side and if you like my shop feel free to follow me on Etsy for more inspirational sparks to come! In my shop, you will find famous thoughts and motto in life quotes, French and Latin mottos, graduation quotes, team slogans and many more. Put some short clever quotes in your thought-bubble today!

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