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5 of the Best Motivational Quotes From Around the Globe (and What They Mean)

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Motivation isn’t something exclusive to the country that you live in. Many have an unintentional nationalistic view – and sometimes the scope is even smaller. While we watch the news and understand there are other countries out there, whether they’re going through a triumph or turmoil, we don’t actually take these things seriously. When was the last time you stopped to think how you are one among billions, and others out there are on the same path as you are?


These phrases are meant to both make you feel grounded and motivated. English phrases aren’t the only ones that can help you get through the day with a smile on your face.

“Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit”

Recognize this language? It’s actually one that’s dead – Latin. Directly translated, this phrase means “perhaps this too will be a pleasure to look back on one day.”

The motivation here may not be that obvious, but look at it from a perspective based on example. While right now you may be going through hard times, the positives of the situation you’re in right now probably aren’t going to reveal themselves to you until a later date. Right now, you’re in the thick of it – and being held within a situation doesn’t give you the perspective necessary to understand that most negatives are riddled with positives.

“Baekjijangdo matdeulmyeon natda”

This is a phrase you may need to wrap your head around for a second when read in its Romanized native form. While the words may look complicated to say, the translation is simple and understandable: “If you lift together, it’s better – even if it’s a sheet of paper.” This is essentially the Korean proverb version of “two heads are better than one.” When we work together and lean on each other, we succeed.

“J’y suis, j’y rest.”

This French quote is actually quite well known in its home country, and has been used for song titles and within books around the world. It translates to “here I am, here I remain,” which shouldn’t need much explanation – but, just in case, let’s go over the reality of these words.

Perseverance is an oft forgotten trait when it comes to motivation, even though it’s half of the equation for motivational success. No matter what life throws at you, you’re here. You’re dealing with it. You’ll win.

“Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis”

Yet another Latin phrase, translated this one means “times change, and we change with them.” As we move through life, our experiences shape us and this is a necessary part of the human experience. This phrase has been used in many contexts throughout history, including during the Protestant Reformation in Germany. While the historical context may be more ominous than reassuring, modern motivated individuals can still take this saying to heart.

“Koketsu ni irazunba koji wo ezu”

This Romanization of a Japanese proverb literally means “if you do not enter the tiger’s cave, you will not catch its cub.” You can liken it to the English phrase of “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Sometimes what we should do in life isn’t as simple as taking the easy way out. Risks force us to be vulnerable, and from that we grow. Whether or not we get what we want from the situation is left up to fate, but we can take something positive from the outcome no matter what.

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