19 Inspirational Life Quotes for When Times Are Hard

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These quotes will get you through tough times, when you need an inspirational quote just to keep things going. Get uplifted, inspired, and back on track to feeling good about how things are going.

When life gives you lemons, use these uplifting quotes to help you make lemonade.

1. Shaun Hick Explains the Importance of Shadowy Times

“You need to spend time crawling alone through shadows to truly appreciate what it is to stand in the sun.” – Shaun Hick

“You need to spend time crawling alone through shadows to truly appreciate what it is to stand in the sun.” – Shaun Hick

Think about some of the hard times you’ve had in your life over the years. Can you see anything that made you really appreciate the good times? Times of joy and plenty are made that much sweeter after experiencing any kind of hardship. Have faith; you will stand in the sun again.

2. Randy Pausch Makes Light of Tough Times

“No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.” – Randy Pausch

“No matter how bad things are, you can always make things worse.” – Randy Pausch

This goes along with the saying, “It could be worse.” It is not to discount or discredit the rough time you might be going through. Instead it gives you a chance to see how much worse your situation could be; therefore making your problems feel not quite so heavy.

3. Dean Young and the Properties of Darkness

“You start with a darkness to move through, but sometimes the darkness moves through you.” – Dean Young

“You start with a darkness to move through, but sometimes the darkness moves through you.” – Dean Young

When you embrace the darkness that is happening instead of fighting it, a deeper level of healing occurs. You might think that you need to work through this dark time, but would you agree that dark times often create darkness within us? It is incredibly cathartic to let the darkness move through us as we process it.

4. Kenji Miyazawa on How to Use Pain Effectively

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa

Pain is an indication that something deserves our attention and healing. Using pain and despair as a tool to ignite the passion for change within you is not only constructive, but incredibly rewarding. Do not let your pain crush you; do not give your power (fuel) away.

5. Albert Schweitzer on Getting Rejuvenated by Others

“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.” - Albert Schweitzer

“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.” – Albert Schweitzer

The darkest and hardest of times can leave you feeling undeniably lonely, can they not? Some of the lights at the ends of our tunnels come unexpectedly from others around us. If you’re in a tough time right now, reach out to others. You may be pleasantly surprised.

6. Epictetus on the Value of Great Difficulties

“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.” – Epictetus

“The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.” – Epictetus

If we were never challenged, we would never learn anything! You can pick up some of the most valuable lessons from your life’s challenges. You have a chance to become wise after going through arduous times. Look at it like school – The School of Life.

7. Robert Schuller on What Problems Really Are

“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” - Robert Schuller

“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” – Robert Schuller

These guidelines can change the course of your direction to lead you to things that will serve your life in a different way, or they exist to challenge your resolve. What if your problems are pushing you directly into the path of people and opportunities that will be great for you?

8. Doe Zantamata Ruminates on Our Darkest Hours

“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.” - Doe Zantamata

“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.” – Doe Zantamata

It might not seem so, but in our darkest hours is when our light shines the brightest. Think of how many things you have survived in your life, even when in the midst of it you though you never would. That strength and light guides you during all times, even the tough ones. You need just acknowledge it.

9. Mary Engelbreit on What to Do with Things You Don’t Like

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” - Mary Engelbreit

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” – Mary Engelbreit

Sometimes you might not have the resources or influence to change a tough situation you are a part of. If this is the case then the only thing you can change is the way you think about it. Instead of feeling the oppressive energy of this rough patch you’re in choose to see it as a learning opportunity.

10. John Wooden on Making the Best of Things

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

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

This goes along well with quote #9. When you make the best of whatever you are experiencing, you are participating with a lighter energy which will naturally bring lighter energies to you. This will in turn give more power for things to turn out better for you, more frequently.

11. Jacques Prevert on Remembering Happier Times

“Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.” - Jacques Prevert

“Even if happiness forgets you a little bit, never completely forget about it.” – Jacques Prevert

One of the best practices is to find joy in any little moment you can. Hold onto the happiness of seeing an amazing view in nature, of savoring that delicious latte, or of the sound of a child laughing. Don’t forget about all the ways that happiness shows up.

12. Confucius Works His Quotable Magic

“It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.” – Confucius

“It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you don’t stop.” – Confucius

Don’t unpack your baggage and camp out in misery! Keep moving forward even if it is just one day, one moment, or one inch at a time. Keep moving towards the day when things will clear up and settle down for you again. The more you move, the faster you’ll get there.

13. A Jewish Proverb on What to Ask For

“I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.” – Jewish Proverb

“I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders.” – Jewish Proverb

Consider asking for more strength, power, grace, love and forgiveness to get through times that are hard. Sometimes your situation won’t lighten no matter how much you ask you for it, and you just need extra oomph just to get through it. Ask to be able to carry your burden more easily.

14. Lee Iacocca on Surviving Adversity

“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive. - Lee Iacocca

“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive. – Lee Iacocca

Within these times of stress and adversity, stillness can allow you to wallow and sink into depression. The feelings that come during hard times need a job; they need something to do so they don’t swallow you up whole. People have been known to say that their houses get astonishing clean when they are angry.

15. Joel Osteen on the Tough Times of Life

“You're going to go through tough times - that's life. But I say, 'Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.' See the positive in negative events.” -  Joel Osteen

“You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, ‘Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.’ See the positive in negative events.” – Joel Osteen

There are always great lessons and blessings in each challenging experience you have. It is victim mentality to think that things are always happening “to” you. When things happen “for” you, you learn and grow wise. The first way of thinking is small and weak; the second way of thinking is constructive and liberating.

16. Marjorie Pay Hinckley Says to Enjoy Even the Tough Times

“The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.” - Marjorie Pay Hinckley

“The trick is to enjoy life. Don’t wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead.” – Marjorie Pay Hinckley

Sometimes our rough times can last years. Waiting for something better (that may not even come) is a perfect waste of the NOW. This moment is all we have. Even if it flavored by pain, why would you not want to enjoy what you’ve got in any way you can?

17. Vivian Greene on Dancing in the Rain

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” - Vivian Greene

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” – Vivian Greene

I’m sure you’ve seen this quote floating around social media and it might even feel a bit cliché, but it’s true to the core. Learning how to be happy and confident during any of life’s storms give you incredible power over the ups and downs in your life.

18. Mary Anne Radmacher on Being Courageous

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.” - Mary Anne Radmacher

“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

Being courageous in the face of trials doesn’t always look like you at a full run, head to toe in armor, wielding a sword, and screaming war cries. It can be that quiet resolve you have to get up and face another day, to tackle what comes and try again.

19. Thomas Edison on the Limit of Possibilities

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.” - Thomas Edison

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.” — Thomas Edison

You don’t have to be a genius to think of ways to change or solve your situation. Put on your problem solving cap and get to work brainstorming all the solutions that could work for your life. Be creative and think outside of the box. A solution oriented mind is valuable indeed.

(Read this next: 42 Motivational Quotes to Help You Get in Shape and Lose Weight)

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