Greatest Quotations Ever on Change

compiled by Michael Josephson.Changing oneself —

  1. If you want to change the world, you eventually have to change how people behave. And if you want to change how they behave, you have to first change how they think. – Michael Josephson
  2. When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor Frankl
  3. When you are through changing, you are through.  ~Bruce Barton
  4. People will not change entrenched attitudes or behaviors unless they believe two things: 1) I can do it (it’s realistically possible) and 2) it’s worth it (it’s worth the effort and what I will get is more valuable than what I give up). – Michael Josephson
  5. God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me. ~Author Unknown
  6. It is never too late to be what you might have been.  – George Eliot
  7. It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory. — W. Edwards Deming
  8. Improvement is positive change. Most effective way to change someone: is to instill or strengthen values that determine choices. – Michael Josephson
  9. All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward. ~Ellen Glasgow
  10. If you’re headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns.  ~  Unknown
  11. If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown
  12. If we do not change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed. – Ancient Chinese Proverb
  13. Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights. ~Pauline R. Kezer
  14. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.  – Tom Robbins
  15. Life doesn’t get better by chance, it gets better by change. – Jim Rohn
  16. Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.  ~ Robert C. Gallagher
  17. How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?  Only one; but the bulb has to want to change.
  18. People change and forget to tell each other.  ~ Lillian Hellman
  19. He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.  ~ Harold Wilson
  20. When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.  I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.  When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town.  I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family.  Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my  family.  My family and I could have made an impact on our town.  Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.  ~Unknown
  21. Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock. James Baldwin
  22. If things are going badly be concerned but don’t despair, it will change. If things are going well, enjoy it, but don’t get too cocky, it will change.  ~ -Michael Josephson
  23. If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.  ~Carl Jung
  24. The changes in our life must come from the impossibility to live otherwise than according to the demands of our conscience . . . not from our mental resolution to try a new form of life. Leo Tolstoy
  25. When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change. Lucius Cary Falkland, Lord
  26. The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance. -Nathaniel Branden
  27. Nothing endures but change.  Heraclitus
  28. There is nothing permanent except change. – Heraclitus
  29. There is nothing in this world constant but inconstancy. – Swift
  30. No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.  Heraclitus
  31. That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning. — Richard Bach
  32. What a caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly. -Richard Bach
  33. Then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. -Anais Nin
  34. There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse!  As I have often found in travelling in a stagecoach, that it is often a comfort to shift one’s position, and be bruised in a new place.  ~Washington Irving
  35. Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.  ~ Thomas a’ Kempis
  36. We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance.  ~ Harrison Ford
  37. Change favors the prepared mind. – Louis Pasteur
  38. It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today.  No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.  … This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our everyman must take on a science fictional way of thinking.  -Isaac Asimov
  39. The circumstances of the world are so variable that an irrevocable purpose or opinion is almost synonymous with a foolish one. ~William H. Seward
  40. Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof. -John Kenneth Galbraith
  41. You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler. ~Denis Waitley
  42. To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. ~Henri Bergson
  43. When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills. ~Chinese Proverb
  44. Change before you have to. -Jack Welch
  45. Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. -George Bernard Shaw
  46. The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking. -Albert Einstein
  47. If you want truly to understand something, try to change it. — Kurt Lewin
  48. In science it often happens that scientists say, ‘You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,’ and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. — Carl Sagan
  49. We change, whether we like it or not. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  50. There is no such thing as can’t, only won’t. If you’re qualified, all it takes is a burning desire to accomplish, to make a change. Go forward, go backward. Whatever it takes! But you can’t blame other people or society in general. It all comes from your mind. When we do the impossible we realize we are special people. – Jan Ashford
  51. We are all capable of change and growth; we just need to know where to begin. – Blaine Lee
  52. Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can’t prevent you from acting, from taking the situation you’re presented with and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what your situation, you can always do something. You always have a choice and the choice can be power. – Blaine Lee
  53. Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives: where we focus our attention. – Greg Anderson,
  54. When we can’t access our inner resources, we come to the flawed conclusion that happiness and fulfillment come only from external events. That’s because external events usually bring with them some sort of change. And so we’ve learned to rely on circumstances outside ourselves for forward or backward momentum as we hurtle through life. But we don’t have to do that any longer. We can learn to be the catalysts for our own change. – Sarah Ban Breathnach
  55. It’s time we put thoughts of lack behind us. It’s time for us to discover the secrets of the stars, to sail to an uncharted land, to open up a new heaven where our spirits can soar. But first we’ll have to make changes. And lasting change does not happen overnight. Lasting change happens in infinitesimal increments: a day, an hour, a minute, a heartbeat at a time. –  Sarah Ban Breathnach
  56. If you don’t like change, you will like irrelevance even less. -General Eric Shinseki
  57. If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living. -Gail Sheehy
  58. Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers, and business. -Mark Sanborn
  59. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. -Maya Angelou
  60. Change your thoughts and you change your world. -Norman Vincent Peale
  61. Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better. -Sydney J. Harris
  62. To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often. -Winston Churchill
  63. If you’re in a bad situation, don’t worry it’ll change. If you’re in a good situation, don’t worry it’ll change. ~John A. Simone, Sr.
  64. Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations. ~Faith Baldwin
  65. The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind. ~William Blake
  66. I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed. ~George Carlin
  67. To change who you are, change who you think you are.
  68. You never have a friend all figured out. Just when you think you know what makes them tick, they tock. ~Robert Brault,
  69. If you can change your mind, you can change your life. – William James
  70. If you want to make enemies, try to change something. ~Woodrow Wilson
  71. If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing. ~Saint Augustine
  72. Few can accept happiness if it means change. We want the life we have now, only happier. ~Robert Brault,
  73. Changes in life are like extra-strength Gold Bond Medicated Powder. The burning means it’s working. ~John Mayer
  74. Nothing that is can pause or stay; / The moon will wax, the moon will wane, / The mist and cloud will turn to rain, / The rain to mist and cloud again, / Tomorrow be today. – ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  75. Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. ~Bertold Brecht
  76. Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly. ~Francis Baco

Changing the world

  1. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. – The Serenity Prayer
  2. What really distinguishes this generation in all countries from earlier generations . . . is its determination to act, its joy in action, the assurance of being able to change things by one’s own efforts. – Hannah Arendt (she wrote this in 1972)
  3. We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” Gandhi
  4. Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. – Mark Twain
  5. If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it. – Anthony J. D’Angelo
  6. If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.  ~Mary Engelbreit
  7. New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common. — John Locke
  8. There are four things that hold back human progress. Ignorance, stupidity, committees and accountants. — Charles J.C. Lyall
  9. If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time. – Marian Wright Edelman
  10. I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better. -Georg C. Lichtenberg
  11. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. -Margaret Mead
  12. I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. -Mother Teresa

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