20 Inspirational Quotes to Start off 2021

For the last four years, I have shared some of my favorite quotes from the past year that has inspired me or made me think deeper about a subject. I wanted to provide some for this year as well, even though this quote provides a pretty good summary of 2020:




“So far, 2020 is like looking both ways before you cross the street then getting hit by an airplane.”





To keep with tradition and for my own inspiration, I wanted to share some quotes that stuck with me or made me think. In this year’s list, I include many quotes from guests on my podcast, as well as ones from popular culture.  You can read all of the quotes below or check out the past lists here:


2017  |  2018   |  2019 |  2020



“When you are deciding on next steps, next jobs, next careers, further education, you should rather find purpose than a job or a career. Purpose crosses disciplines. Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history.”

Chadwick Boseman




“It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”

Dale Carnegie



“When students are positioned to experience, discuss, and analyze their experiences as learners, thinkers, and stakeholders in the school, change happens from the inside out.”

Dr. Mary Hemphill-Joseph



“Sometimes you can’t see what you’re learning until you come out the other side.”

Gal Gadot (From Wonder Woman 1984)



“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”

Germany Kent





“Today, resilience has a much broader meaning. For researchers and professionals working with kids, it’s not just about ‘bouncing back.’ It’s about ‘bouncing forward.’

Resilience doesn’t just mean getting back to normal after facing a difficult situation. It means learning from the process in order to become stronger and better at tackling the next challenge.”

Donna Volpitta




“Do new things, try new things. Be a part of growing into the next version of what we need for kids.”

Deidre Roemer




“Every student’s learning experience should be a mirror, a window, and a sliding glass door.”

Ken Shelton




“Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes a willingness to try.”

Dr. Atul Gawande




“Every time you think of calling a kid ‘attention-seeking’ this year, consider changing it to ‘connection-seeking’ and see how your perspective changes.”

Dr. Jody Carrington




“If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”

Booker T. Washington



“Our sphere of influence is not dependent on our title, our role, or our position. Our sphere of influence is dependent on the work that we d0 and how we support others along the way and bring them into our journey.”

Dr. Jill M. Siler



“Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.”

Grace Coddington





“How do we cheer people on and step out of our  world to show gratitude and love to make the world better?”

Laurie McIntosh



“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Mother Teresa


“Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other.”

Brian Tracy



“We don’t have to be perfect to make a difference. We need to care deeply about our impact on kids, care deeply about our words, and we need to embrace our humanness.”

Meghan Lawson


“At the end of the day, you are the only one that is limiting your ability to dream, or to actually execute on your dreams. Don’t let yourself get in the way of that.”

Falon Fatemi




“I had always set short-term goals. As I look back, each one of the steps or successes led to the next one.”

Michael Jordan


“Don’t settle for average. Bring your best to the moment. Then, whether it fails or succeeds, at least you know you gave all you had. We need to live the best that’s in us.”

Angela Bassett



And as is tradition, here is a Michael Scott quote that pretty much summarizes the way I blog:


 “Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.”




I hope you have a purpose-filled 2021!  Thanks for all that you do!



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