Back button

Great Quotes on Mental Toughness

Published or Updated On: 
November 7, 2022

I’ve written elsewhere that mental toughness is a mixture of resilience, strength of will, and internal discipline. A mentally tough mind is one that is callused to discomfort, yet flexible to a variety of circumstances. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out these quotes!

  • “If you are going through hell, keep going.” - Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of England during WWII
  • “There is, I hope, a thesis in my work: we may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.“ - Maya Angelou, poet & civil rights activist.
  • "They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds."  Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos
  • “I shall either find a way or make one." - Hannibal, regarded as one of the greatest military commanders in history
  • “If you are ruled by mind, you are a king; if by body, a slave” - Cato the Elder, Roman Soldier & Senator
  • “We choose to go to the Moon...We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.” - John F. Kennedy, US President
  • “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” - Socrates
  • “Everyone gets distracted. In many ways, the real divide is between those who get back on track quickly and those who let interruptions expand into longer periods of inactivity.” - author James Clear
  • “The brick walls are there to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want something badly enough.” - Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon professor, said during his speech “The Last Lecture” following his terminal cancer diagnosis.
  • “Just as nature takes every obstacle, every impediment, and works around it—turns it to its purposes, incorporates it into itself—so, too, a rational being can turn each setback into raw material and use it to achieve its goal.” - Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius
  • “I judge you unfortunate because you have never lived through misfortune. You have passed through life without an opponent—no one can ever know what you are capable of, not even you.” Seneca, Stoic philosopher on how to relish challenge

If you're interested in this topic, check out my list of the best mental toughness books.

*Note: quotes are often misattributed, especially really old ones. I kept popular attributions here as I think readers are more interested in the spirit of the message than complete certainty over who said it.

Enjoy this? Subscribe for more.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.