An ideal cannot wait for its
realization to prove its validity.

George Santayana

There is no force so democratic as the force of an ideal.

Calvin Coolidge


It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out.  Yet, I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.  I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death.  I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us, too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.

Anne Frank


People who have never had an ideal may hope to find one; they are in a better state than the people who allow the circumstances of life to break their ideal.  To fall beneath one's ideal is to lose one's track in life; then confusion rises in the mind, and that light which one should hold high becomes covered and obscured, so that it cannot shine out to light one's path.

Hazrat Inayat Khan


Practice rather than preach.  Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others.  Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level.

Alexander Haig


Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be
aroused by two things:  first, an ideal, with takes the imagination by storm,
and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.

Arnold Toynbee


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The human soul has still greater need of the ideal than of the real.
It is by the real that we exist; it is by the ideal that we live.

Victor Hugo


The ideals which have lighted me on my way
and time after time given me new courage to face
life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and
Beauty. . . . The ordinary objects of human endeavor -- 
property, outward success, luxury -- have always
seemed to me contemptible.

Albert Einstein


No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal
in his or her own way is without enemies.

Daisy Bates

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.

George Norman Douglas

Ideals are an imaginative understanding of that
which is desirable in that which is possible.

Walter Lippman


We never reach our ideals, whether of mental or moral improvement,
but the thought of them shows us our deficiencies, and
spurs us on to higher and better things.

Tryon Edwards


The true ideal is not opposed to the real but lies in it; and blessed are the eyes that find it.

James Russell Lowell

What we need most, is not so much to realize the ideal as to idealize the real.

H.F. Hedge


It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history
is shaped.  Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of
others, or strikes out against injustice, he or she sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.

Robert F. Kennedy


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become.
Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be;
your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.

James Allen

An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous.

Henry Ford


Idealists are foolish enough to throw caution to the winds.
They have advanced humankind and have enriched the world.

Emma Goldman

We are born predestined idealists, for we are born to act.
To act is to affirm the worth of an end, and to persist in
affirming the worth of an end is to make an ideal.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Our ideals are our better selves.

Amos Bronson Alcott


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"Ideals are like stars," Carl Schurz wrote.  "You will not succeed in touching
them with your hands.  But like seafarers on the desert of waters, you
choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny."
Ideals do not determine what we do to make a living in life;
They govern what we become as we do it.

Joan Chittister
Seeing with Our Souls

A society without ideals is adrift; its leaders founder; its children go soft;
its people retire from the social fray or commit themselves to exploiting it.
When military superiority and profit are the only ideals a country has left,
don't you have to wonder what happened to that society's soul along the way?

You donít get old from living a particular number of years:  you get old because
you have deserted your ideals.  Years wrinkle your skin, renouncing your
ideals wrinkles your soul.  Worry, doubt, fear, and despair are the enemies
which slowly bring us down to the ground and turn us to dust before we die.

Douglas MacArthur


Our ideals resemble the stars; you will not succeed in touching
them with your hands.  But like seafarers on the desert waters,
you choose them as your guides, and following
them you will reach your destiny.

Carl Schurz



When Walker first steps onto the road, he has no thoughts, no history, no memories, and no clothes. As he travels and meets people and learns from them, he comes to know more about life, living, and becoming the person he's meant to be. Walker is a parable for all of us who wonder what might be the purpose of life, why bad things happen with almost as much regularity as good things, and how we can learn from the bad examples and experiences in our lives as much as we can learn from the good things. Tom Walsh's parable is a story of the ages, a timeless exploration of ideas and thoughts that all of us wonder about, a sincere and heartfelt portrait of a man who has no past and no future, but who learns to make the most of each precious present moment as it comes.



Explore all of our quotations pages--these links will take you to the first page of each topic, and those pages will contain links to any additional pages on the same topic (there are five pages on adversity, for example).

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