Get Inspired: 12 Life Lessons That Will Transform Your Outlook, Inspired by Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou was a woman of many talents and vocations. She was a poet, author, playwright, singer, actress, philanthropist, visionary, professor, and beloved world leader. Her contributions to the literary and artistic world are immeasurable, and she remains a universally admired figure even after her passing earlier this year.

One of the reasons why Maya Angelou was so beloved was her ability to connect with people through her words. Her poetry and writings explored the experiences and viewpoints of being an African-American woman in the United States, but also encompassed more universal themes of love, courage, and resilience. Her work continues to shape modern day and mainstream poetry and prose.

In this article, we will explore twelve of Maya Angelou’s most famous quotations and the inspirational life lessons that come from them.

The first lesson we can learn from Maya Angelou is the importance of agency. She once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” This quote reminds us that we have the power to shape our own lives, attitudes, and feelings. While we may not always be able to change our circumstances, we can always find another way or change our perspective.

Maya Angelou also taught us the significance of how we make people feel. She said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This quote highlights the importance of empathy and compassion. Our emotions have a profound impact on our interactions with others, and it is essential to consider how our words and actions make people feel.

Another valuable lesson from Maya Angelou is the power of perseverance. She said, “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” Life is filled with obstacles and challenges, but it is how we deal with setbacks that defines us. Maya Angelou encourages us to never give up and to keep pushing forward, even when faced with adversity.

Courage is another virtue that Maya Angelou emphasized. She said, “Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” Being brave is not the absence of fear but rather the ability to overcome it. Maya Angelou encourages us to cultivate courage and to do the right thing, even in the face of fear.

Patience is also a quality that Maya Angelou champions. She said, “All great achievements require time.” It is often tempting to seek instant gratification in today’s fast-paced world, but Maya Angelou reminds us that good things take time. It is important to be patient and to keep working towards our goals, even if progress seems slow.

Maya Angelou also teaches us the importance of self-improvement. She said, “A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.” Maya Angelou encourages us to focus on becoming the best versions of ourselves and to avoid negative influences and victimhood. By working on our own personal growth and strength, we can become positive forces in the world.

Another valuable lesson from Maya Angelou is the importance of spreading positivity. She said, “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” Maya Angelou reminds us that our actions and attitudes can have far-reaching effects on others. By choosing to be a positive influence in someone’s life, we can create a ripple effect of positivity and make a difference in the world.

Finally, Maya Angelou emphasizes the danger of holding onto bitterness. She said, “Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” This quote reminds us of the destructive nature of bitterness and encourages us to let go of negative emotions. Maya Angelou teaches us that anger can be a catalyst for change, but holding onto bitterness only harms ourselves.

In conclusion, Maya Angelou was not only a prolific and beloved creative force but also a visionary and inspiring leader. Her wise words continue to resonate with people from all walks of life. The lessons we can learn from Maya Angelou – the importance of agency, empathy, perseverance, courage, patience, self-improvement, spreading positivity, and letting go of bitterness – are as relevant today as ever. Maya Angelou’s teachings remind us of the power we have to shape our own lives and to make a difference in the world.

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