The 75 Best Quotes About Meaningful Work

Our meaningful work at Fitzii is connect more people with meaningful work. Accordingly, we’re quite obsessed with the subject, which also happens to be a topic that most of the world’s influential thinkers have had something to say about.

So here are the most inspiring quotes about meaningful work that we’ve collected, categorized in five areas: Purpose, Passion, Perspective, Initiative, and Individuality.

We hope that seeing meaningful work through the lens of these leaders will inspire you, just like they have inspired us.


It is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work.
– Jim Collins

The two most important days of your life are the day you’re born, and the day you find out why.
– Mark Twain

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.
– Lewis Carroll

I’d rather fail at something important than succeed at something trivial.
– Paul Hawken

He who has a WHY to live for can bear with almost any how.
– Friedrich Nietzsche

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
– Teddy Roosevelt

In business, as in life, all that matters is that you do something positive.
– Sir Richard Branson

Everyone has been made for some particular work, and the desire for that work has been put in every heart.
– Rumi

My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they’re having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society.
– Larry Page

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, you ought to set up a life you don’t need to escape from.
– Seth Godin

If one wanted to crush and destroy a man entirely, to mete out to him the most terrible punishment, all one would have to do would be to make him do work that was completely and utterly devoid of usefulness and meaning.
– Fyodor Dostoevsky

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.
– Dalai Lama

We have entered a new age of fulfillment, in which the great dream is to trade up from money to meaning.
– Roman Krznaric

Find a happy person, and you will find a project.
– Sonja Lyubomirsky

Work is love made visible.
– Kalil Gibran


One person with passion is better than 40 people merely interested.
– E.M. Forster

Follow your bliss…and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.
– Joseph Campbell

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
– Confucius

Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.
– Terri Guillemets

It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower.
– Paul Graham

Your work is to discover your work, and then with all your heart, to give yourself to it.
– Buddha

The law of work seems unfair, but nothing can change it; the more enjoyment you get out of your work, the more money you will make.
– Mark Twain

You must capture the heart of a supremely able man before his brain can do its best.
– Andrew Carnegie

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.
– Maya Angelou

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.
– Howard Thurman

The folks who go after grand challenges are impatient. They’re pissed off. They’re sick and tired, but in a passionate way. They’re driven by a fire in their bellies to make a difference.
– Peter Diamandis

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.
– Marie Curie

I think you are out of your mind if you keep taking jobs that you don’t like because you think it will look good on your resume. Isn’t that a little like saving up sex for your old age?
– Warren Buffet

We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.
– Charles Bukowski

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which.
– François-René de Chateaubriand

The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
– Steve Jobs


No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.
– Martin Luther King Jr.

It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.
– Marianne Williamson

If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living.
– Gail Sheehy

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
– Norman Vincent Peale

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

We are the only species on this planet without full employment.
– Paul Hawken

The best way to get approval is not to need it.
– Hugh Macleod

Don’t freak yourself out by what other people have. They don’t have what you’ve got.
– Simon Sinek

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.
– Carlos Castaneda

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
– Chuck D

Without work, all life goes rotten, but when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.
– Albert Camus

What man actually needs is not some tension-less state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.
– Viktor Frankl

The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.
– Lily Tomlin

Whoever is happy will make others happy too.
– Anne Frank

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
– Abraham Lincoln

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
– Charles Darwin

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
– Mark Twain

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
– Antoine Saint

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
– Mahatma Gandhi

Not knowing how near the truth is, we seek it far away.
– Hakuin

You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
– James Allen

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.
– Benjamin Desraeli


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.
– Henry David Thoreau

Set impossible challenges. Then catch up with them.
– Sir Richard Branson

A goal is a dream with a deadline.
– Napoleon Hill

The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we hit it.
– Michelangelo

Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be.
– Joy Page

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
– T. S. Eliot

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.
– Buddha

Why not open a can of worms?
– fish

If you have built castles in the sky, let not your dreams go to waste. Just build the foundations under them.
– Henry David Thoreau

When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you could do tomorrow over again, would you?
– Seth Godin

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
– Thomas Edison

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
– Eleanor Roosevelt


What did you do as a child that made that hours pass like minutes? [Herein lies the key to your earthy pursuits.
– Carl Jung

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. Guess what they planned for you? Not much.
-Jim Rohn

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
– Joseph Campbell

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.
– Steve Jobs

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

When writing the story of your life, don’t let anyone else hold the pen.
– Harley Davidson

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
– Maya Angelou

If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.
– Dhirubhai Ambani

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid.
– Albert Einstein