Courage Quotes

  • Courage is a mean with regard to fear and confidence.
    o Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics 3.6 (1094 A.D.)

  • Cowards die many times before their deaths;
    The valiant never taste of death but once.
    o William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act II, sc. ii (1599)

  • Life rewards the risk-takers.
    o Clint Borgen, Geneva Nights

  • I dare do all that may become a man;
    Who dares do more is none.
    o William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act I, sc. vii (c. 1605)

  • Complete courage and absolute cowardice are extremes that very few men fall into. The vast middle space contains all the intermediate kinds and degrees of courage; and these differ as much from one another as men’s faces or their humors do.
    o François de La Rochefoucauld, Moral Maxims and Reflections, no. 216 (1665-1678)

  • Perfect courage is to do without witnesses what one would be capable of doing with the world looking on.
    o François de La Rochefoucauld, Moral Maxims and Reflections, no. 216

  • Courage, of all national qualities, is the most precarious; because it is exerted only at intervals, and by a few in every nation; whereas industry, knowledge, civility, may be of constant and universal use, and for several ages, may become habitual to the whole people.
    o David Hume, Of National Characters, part I, essay XXI (1758)

  • If you want success you better get comfortable with rejection. The most successful people in life are also the world’s most biggest failures.
    o Clint Borgen, Geneva Nights

  • Courage is a quality so necessary for maintaining virtue, that it is always respected, even when it is associated with vice.
    o Samuel Johnson, Quoted in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, June 11, 1784 (1791)

  • It requires courage not to surrender oneself to the ingenious or compassionate counsels of despair that would induce a man to eliminate himself from the ranks of the living; but it does not follow from this that every huckster who is fattened and nourished in self-confidence has more courage than the man who yielded to despair.
    o Soren Kierkegaard, “Irony as a Mastered Moment: The Truth of Irony,” pt. 2, The Concept of Irony (1841)

  • The French courage proceeds from vanity—the German from phlegm—the Turkish from fanaticism & opium—the Spanish from pride—the English from coolness—the Dutch from obstinacy—the Russian from insensibility—but the Italian from anger.
    o George Gordon Noel Byron(1788–1824), British poet. in a letter to his publisher John Murray. (1820)

  • A great part of courage is the courage of having done the thing before.
    o Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Culture,” The Conduct of Life (1860)

  • ‘Tis said that courage is common, but the immense esteem in which it is held proves it to be rare. Animal resistance, the instinct of the male animal when cornered, is no doubt common; but the pure article, courage with eyes, courage with conduct, self-possession at the cannon’s mouth, cheerfulness in lonely adherence to the right, is the endowment of elevated characters.
    o Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Courage,” Society and Solitude (1870)

  • It is plain that there is no separate essence called courage, no cup or cell in the brain, no vessel in the heart containing drops or atoms that make or give this virtue; but it is the right or healthy state of every man, when he is free to do that which is constitutional to him to do.
    o Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Courage,” Society and Solitude

  • Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave; it is merely a loose application of the word. Consider the flea!—incomparably the bravest of all the creatures of God, if ignorance of fear were courage.
    o Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson, ch. 12 (1894)

  • Courage charms us, because it indicates that a man loves an idea better than all things in the world, that he is thinking neither of his bed, nor his dinner, nor his money, but will venture all to put in act the invisible thought of his mind.
    o Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals, entry in 1859 (1909-1914)

  • Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.
    o G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, ch. 6 (1909)

  • Either life entails courage, or it ceases to be life.
    o E.M. Forster, Pharos and Pharillon, “The Poetry of C.P. Cavafy” (1923)

  • Cowardly Lion: Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the “ape” in apricot? What have they got that I ain’t got?
    Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodsman: Courage!
    Cowardly Lion: You can say that again! Hunh!
    o E. Y. Harburg, from the film The Wizard of Oz (1939)

  • Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.
    o C.S. Lewis, quoted in The Unquiet Grave, pt. 3, Cyril Connolly (1944)

  • Courage is of the heart by derivation,
    And great it is. But fear is of the soul.
    o Robert Frost, A Masque of Mercy (1947)

  • This is the art of courage: to see things as they are and still believe that the victory lies not with those who avoid the bad, but those who taste, in living awareness, every drop of the good.
    o Victoria Lincoln, “The Art of Courage,” Vogue (October 1, 1952)

  • Without belittling the courage with which men have died, we should not forget those acts of courage with which men … have lived. The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must—in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures—and that is the basis of all human morality…. In whatever arena of life one may meet the challenge of courage, whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follows his conscience—the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow men—each man must decide for himself the course he will follow. The stories of past courage can define that ingredient—they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.
    o John F. Kennedy, Profiles in Courage (1956)

  • I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.
    o Harper Lee in To Kill a Mockingbird, Pt. 1, Ch. 11 (1960)

  • Courage is in the air in bracing whiffs
    Better than all the stalemate an’s and ifs.
    o Robert Frost, For John F. Kennedy His Inauguration (1960)

  • Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
    o Billy Graham, “A Time for Moral Courage” Reader’s Digest (July 1964)

  • Courage is a moral quality; it is not a chance gift of nature like an aptitude for games. It is a cold choice between two alternatives, the fixed resolve not to quit; an act of renunciation which must be made not once but many times by the power of the will.
    o Charles Wilson, 1st Baron Moran, The Anatomy of Courage (1967)

  • Courage is the ladder on which all the other virtues mount.
    o Clare Boothe Luce, Reader’s Digest (May 1979)

  • Courage is very important. Like a muscle, it is strengthened by use.
    o Ruth Gordon, L’Officiel (Summer 1980)

  • Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.
    o Ray Bradbury, Brown Daily Herald (March 24, 1995)

  • Every great work, every big accomplishment, has been brought into manifestation through holding to the vision, and often just before the big achievement, comes apparent failure and discouragement.
    o Florence Scovel Shinn, from her book The Game of Life (and How to Play it) (1925)

    Unsourced

  • It doesn’t matter where you go in this world. There will always be corruption and inequality. It is not only human nature, but the way of nature its self. It is completely unavoidable. Happiness comes from having the courage to change the world to suit you, the wisdom to change your self to suit the world and knowing how much of each is necessary.
    o Nicholas Colin McLaughlin

  • All problems become smaller if you don’t dodge them, but confront them. Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly, and its spines crumble.
    o William S. Halsey

  • Courage isn’t about being fearless. It’s about overcoming your fears.
    o Anonymous
  • All serious daring starts from within.
    o Harriet Beecher Stowe

  • An elephant pierced by arrows stands unperturbed. The courageous relent not in adversities.
    o Valluvar Tirukkural 597

  • And each man stand with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can.
    o Elizabeth Barrett Browning

  • Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
    o Lao Tzu

  • Boasting at home is not valor; parade is not battle; when war comes the valiant will be known.
    o Anonymous

  • Courage easily finds its own eloquence.
    o Plautus

  • Courage is a poison, forever potent and always inflicting those who wish to carry it.
    o Adam Murphy

  • Courage is being scared to death— and saddling up anyway.
    o John Wayne

  • Courage is grace under pressure.
    o Ernest Hemingway

  • Courage is like a muscle; it is strengthened by use.
    o Ruth Gordon

  • Courage is like love, it must have hope for nourishment.
    o Napoleon Bonaparte

  • Courage is not the absense of fear, but is the presence of fear and the will to go on.
    o [[shashank r]

  • Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.
    o Mark Twain

  • Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.
    o Nelson Mandela

  • Courage is not the towering oak / That sees storms come and go, / It is the fragile blossom / That opens in the snow.
    o Alice MacKenzie Swaim

  • Courage is often lack of insight, whereas cowardice in many cases is based on good information.
    o Peter Ustinov

  • Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.
    o Mary Anne Radmacher

  • Courage is rarely reckless or foolish… courage usually involves a highly realistic estimate of the odds that must be faced.
    o Margaret Truman

  • Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.
    o Winston Churchill

  • Courage is sometimes frail as hope is frail: a fragile shoot between two stones that grows brave toward the sun though warmth and brightness fail, striving and faith the only strength it knows.
    o Frances Rodman

  • Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.
    o Aristotle

  • Courage is the price life exacts for peace.
    o Amelia Earhart

  • Courage mounteth with occasion.
    o William Shakespeare

  • Cowardice. . . is almost always simply a lack of ability to suspend the functioning of the imagination.
    o Ernest Hemingway

  • Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that talent to dark place where it leads.
    o Erica Jong

  • Fear comes from uncertainty. When we are absolutely certain, whether of our worth or worthlessness, we are almost impervious to fear.
    o William Congreve

  • Fear imprisons; faith liberates; fear paralyzes; faith empowers; fear disheartens; faith encourages; fear sickens; faith heals; fear makes useless; faith makes serviceable.
    o Harry Emerson Fosdick

  • Fear is an instructor of great sagacity, and the herald of all revolutions.
    o Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • Few things are more attractive than courage, cheerfulness and optimism. But they take on an extra dimension when you realize that they are not a lucky assembly of character traits, but the result of an act of will—a deliberate attempt to tackle an unkind destiny with strength of purpose and good humor.
    o Jane Shilling

  • Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you.
    o William Arthur Ward

  • Fortunately for themselves and the world, nearly all men are cowards and dare not act on what they believe. Nearly all our disasters come of a few fools having the ‘courage of their convictions.’
    o Coventry Patmore

  • God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
    o Reinhold Niebuhr

  • Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes. Silently and imperceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or we grow weak, and at last some crisis shows us what we have become.
    o Brooke Foss Westcott

  • Grief has limits, whereas apprehension has none. For we grieve only for what we know has happened, but we fear all that possibly may happen.
    o Pliny the Younger

  • I am old enough to know that victory is often a thing deferred, and rarely at the summit of courage. What is at the summit of courage, I think, is freedom. The freedom that comes with the knowledge that no earthly thing can break you.
    o Paula Giddings

  • I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experiences behind him.
    o Eleanor Roosevelt

  • If one man can stand tall, there will be hope for us all.
    o Jeff Wayne

  • If we could be heroes, if just for one day.
    o David Bowie

  • If you let fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct, then your life will be safe, expedient and thin.
    o Katharine Butler Hathaway

  • If you’re careful enough, nothing bad or good will ever happen to you.
    o Ashleigh Brilliant

  • In times of stress, be bold and valiant.
    o Horace

  • It is better to die on one’s feet than to live on one’s knees.
    o Emiliano Zapata

  • It is curious—curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.
    o Mark Twain

  • It isn’t the absence of conscience or values that prevents us from being all we should be, it is simply the lack of moral courage.
    o Michael Josephson

  • It requires more courage to suffer than to die.
    o Napoléon Bonaparte

  • Last, but by no means least, courage— moral courage, the courage of one’s convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It’s the age-old struggle— the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other.
    o Douglas MacArthur

  • Life is a compromise of what your ego wants to do, what experience tells you to do, and what nerves let you do.
    o Bruce Crampton

  • Love makes us human, courage makes us extraordinary.
    o Faryal Khan Kharal

  • Many of our fears are tissue-paper thin, and a single courageous step would carry us through them.
    o Brendan Francis

  • Never share a foxhole with anyone braver than you.
    o Anonymous

  • No one reaches a high position without daring.
    o Publilius Syrus

  • Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.
    o Benjamin Disraeli

  • Often I have found that the one thing that can save is the thing which appears most to threaten … one has to go down into what one most fears and that process … comes a saving flicker of light and energy that, even if it does not produce the courage of a hero, at any rate enables a trembling mortal to take one step further.
    o Laurens Van Der Post

  • One man with courage makes a majority.
    o Andrew Jackson

  • One must think like a hero merely to behave like a decent human being.
    o May Sarton

  • Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.
    o Mary Tyler Moore

  • Proust has pointed out that the predisposition to love creates its own objects; is this not also true of fear?
    o Elizabeth Bowen

  • So many people tiptoe through life, so carefully, to arrive, safely, at death.
    o Jermaine Evans

  • Strength and courage aren’t always measured in medals and victories. They are measured in the struggles they overcome. The strongest people aren’t always the people who win, but the people who don’t give up when they lose.
    o Ashley Hodgeson

  • The art of living lies not in eliminating but in growing with troubles.
    o Bernard M. Baruch

  • The basest of all things is to be afraid.
    o William Faulkner

  • The greatest test of courage on the earth is to bear defeat without losing heart.
    o R. G. Ingersoll

  • The important thing when you are going to do something brave is to have someone on hand to witness it.
    o Michael Howard

  • The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground.
    o Anonymous

  • The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear—fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants beyond everything else is safety.
    o H. L. Mencken

  • The world has no room for cowards.
    o Robert Louis Stevenson

  • There is nothing better than the encouragement of a good friend.
    o Katherine Hathaway

  • Those who risk nothing risk being nothing.
    o Leonid S. Sukhorukov

  • To have courage for whatever comes in life— everything lies in that.
    o Mother Teresa

  • To see what is right and not to do it is cowardice.
    o Confucius (K’ung-Fu-tzu)

  • What worries you, masters you.
    o Haddon W. Robinson

  • What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
    o Vincent Van Gogh

  • What great thing would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
    o Robert Schuller

  • What you are afraid to do is a clear indicator of the next thing you need to do.
    o Anonymous

  • Whatever enlarges hope will also exalt courage.
    o Samuel Johnson

  • Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
    o Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.
    o George Orwell

  • Worrying is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.
    o Van Wilder

  • You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
    o Eleanor Roosevelt

  • You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.
    o Aristotle

  • We all have courage but those who think they don’t aren’t looking hard enough inside themselves… or are too scared of themselves.
    o Anonymous

  • Being courageous does not mean you don’t fear no one or nothing. It means facing those fears for your own reason. Because a man without fear is too stupid to live.
    o Anonymous

  • One of my greatest fears, one of those few things that keeps me awake at night and troubles my dreams, is that, when the moment of truth comes, I will fail. This is surpassed only by the fear that when that moment arrives, I will not fail, but will lack the courage to try.
    o Jonah West

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