Nelson Mandela’s 10 Favorite Quotes

Alex Hamm December 6, 2013 1
Nelson Mandela’s 10 Favorite Quotes

Yesterday, a great man passed away. Nelson Mandela was an inspiration to us all and will be forever remembered.

I have put together 10 of his top quotes and offer my thoughts on what these life-changing phrases mean:


1. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

One of my favorites of all time. I heard this quote dozens of times before I realized who the original orator was. This phrase contains 7 of the most inspiring words that anyone could embrace.

With so many seemingly impossible challenges out there, it is often times too much for people to bare. This quote reminds us that although it may seem impossible, we can be the one to do it and prove otherwise.

2. “It is in your hands to make a difference”

Everyone is a difference maker. No matter how small you may feel, or how little you think you matter in a particular setting, you have the potential to make a difference.

Take responsibility for yourself and choose to make a positive impact. Who knows, you may just make the difference that is needed!

3. “Real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people.”

Very few can relate to these words, but I thought I would share them anyway to show what an amazing man Mr. Mandela was. This man sacrificed everything for the country of South Africa, and did so with honor.

A true leader, the type of person we all aspire to be, is willing to sacrifice their entire world if it means the bettering of the people they lead and serve.

4.  “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Some would prefer a pistol, but that can only get you so far. Knowledge and learning is what truly produces results and provokes change.

To make a positive impact, you must be educated and have a desire for helping to educate others, and come together for a cause greater than one person.

5. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.”

Fear is an emotion that we all experience on a daily basis. The majority of the people let it stop them from taking action and achieving their goals.

But Nelson Mandela is not in the majority. This is why he states that it is perfectly okay to have fear, but you must look it in the face and not let it stop you or slow you down. The fear is there, but it does not scare you off!

6. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

I love this one because I can relate to it personally on so many levels. If you are like me, you have a tendency to hold grudges. It’s natural, when someone screws us over, we want to get them back.

But holding that grudge and holding it over their heads is only wasting brain energy that could be used towards something more productive.

You resenting the person is only hurting yourself, and is not really doing a whole lot of harm to the other person (your new enemy). Together, me and you, will take a pledge stating, “I forgive everyone for everything they ever did to harm me”.

7. “The greatest glory in living is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Stuff happens, we all make mistakes. Instead of fearing mistakes and failure, we must simply embrace the failure, and learn from it.

The most important thing in making mistakes is not the mistake itself, but in your personal ability to move on and continue persevering after you make a fatal mistake.

Whatever happened, I guarantee you can pick yourself up. Just get up.

8. “Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.”

Drop your ego. A true leader has the ability to influence others without the need to feel like they are #1 and exceptionally important. (Again, another problem we young guys have, and I can relate to!)

 9. “Action without vision is only passing time.”

Before you start working your butt off and plowing forward, stop and figure out where you are going. Paint a clear picture in your head of exactly what you want and how you will get there.

This is your vision, and it drives your actions and your purpose. Clarify the vision of where you want to go, and then take massive action!

10. “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.”

Life is about finding your passion and purpose. This is what we are all striving to do.

When you are passionate about something bigger than yourself, you develop a burning desire within you that allows you to rise above everything else. Nothing else matters, not your fears, anxieties, or insecurities because you have this burning desire within you to make things happen.


Quick Tip 

If you are one of the billions of people searching for your purpose, I would recommend reading The Seed by Jon Gordon.

It’s a fantastic story of how a troubled man’s experiences lead him to finding his purpose and vision, and it shares what you need to do to find your own purpose for living.

Learn More at


Check It Out!

I just released a brand new report called “Thinking Like Jobs: The 7 Beliefs That Made Steve Jobs An Innovator”. It will be available for FREE for a limited time on this website. Click Here to check it out.


One Comment »

  1. avatar
    Sebastian December 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    What a man! Seriously…

    If there’s one thing I strive for over anything else in this world is to get to be as wise as someone like him…

    This guy is like a prophet status in contemporary time slash a super hero

Leave A Response »