32 Life Lessons From Maya Angelou For Success And Personal Growth

From being an actress, producer, director, author, lecturer, memoirist, singer, dancer, poet, journalist, to a civil rights activist, Maya Angelou (Marguerite Annie Johnson) was a Multi faceted and multi talented creative genius who did it all and with such beauty and flair. Her story is one of strength, courage and inspiration of which we can get a glimpse of in every one of her 7 autobiographies, poems and essays and there so much you can learn from it and apply it to your own life.

This article is a complication of 32 powerful life lessons you can learn from Maya Angelou taken from several of her books. These life lessons are sure you inspire you, broaden your awareness and help you become a better and more successful human being.

Lesson 1: Develop a deep trust in life


“To those who have given up on love: I say, trust life a little bit.”

“I had to trust life, since I was young enough to believe that life loved the person who dared to live it.”

Lesson 2: Remember, it always gets better. Have patience.


“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”

It will be better tomorrow.


Lesson 3: Accept yourself completely. You are enough as you are.


“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.”

Lesson 4: Ask and believe that you will receive it


“Ask for what you want and be prepared to get it!”

Also Read: 8 Bible Verses Related to the Law of Attraction


Lesson 5: Be Yourself without the need for any pretense


“A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.”

A Woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing.


Lesson 6: Get in touch with your inner self


“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”

Lesson 7: Every once in a while, take a break, let go and spend time in solitude


“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

“In the silence we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves. We describe ourselves, and in the quietude we may even hear the voice of God.”

– Even The Stars Look Lonesome

In the silence we listen to ourselves.


“We need to remember and to teach our children that solitude can be a much-to-be-desired condition. Not only is it acceptable to be alone, at times it is positively to be wished for.”

– Even The Stars Look Lonesome


Lesson 8: Have faith and express gratitude daily


“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”
– Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer


“Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude.”

Stormy or sunny days, glorious or lonely nights, I maintain an attitude of gratitude.


“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”

Lesson 9: Let go of hate


“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”

Lesson 10: Courage is to face your fears. Be courageous.


“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

“Having courage does not mean that we are unafraid. Having courage and showing courage means we face our fears.”

Lesson 11: Express your creativity to the fullest


“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. ”

Lesson 12: Change your perspective of a situation and new solutions will appear


“Anything that works against you can also work for you once you understand the Principle of Reverse.”

“Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”

Make every effort to change things you do not like.


Lesson 13: Stop trying to fit in


“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”

If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.


Lesson 14: Have an open mind and always be open to learning


“I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.”

“I find relief from the questions only when I concede that I am not obliged to know everything. I remind myself it is sufficient to know what I know, and that what I know, may not always be true.”

Lesson 15: Whatever you do, give it your 100%. Do it will all your heart without worrying about the end result.


“Life is going to give you just what you put in it. Put your whole heart in everything you do, and pray, then you can wait.”
– I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


Life is going to give you just what you put in it

Lesson 16: Realize that deep within, we are all the same


“The human heart…tells us that we are more alike than we are unalike.”
– Letter to My Daughter


Lesson 17: Never give up. Failures have a lot to teach you. Learn from them.


“You may encounter many defeats. But you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from and how you can still come out of it. ”

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated


Lesson 18: Be a positive role model for others to follow


“Each of us, famous or infamous, is a role model for somebody, and if we aren’t, we should behave as though we are — cheerful, kind, loving, courteous. Because you can be sure someone is watching and taking deliberate and diligent notes.”

Lesson 19: Forgive yourself and others


“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

Forgive everybody


“I did then what I knew best, when I knew better, I did better.”

“Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.”

Lesson 20: Make writing a part of your day


“I make writing as much a part of my life as I do eating or listening to music.”

Lesson 21: Live with a positive intent


“The woman who truly intends to live a good life is already living phenomenally since intent is part of the achievement.”

Intent is part of the achievement.


Lesson 22: Strive to be independent


“Independence is a heady draft, and if you drink it in your youth, it can have the same effect on the brain as young wine does. It does not matter that its taste is not always appealing. It is addictive and with each drink you want more.”

Lesson 23: Express yourself without a reason


“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.”

“Let go of judgement and celebrate your uniqueness and others.”

Lesson 24: Always keep it simple


“The epitome of sophistication is utter simplicity.”

The epitome of sophistication is utter simplicity.


Lesson 25: Find out what you truly desire and dedicate your life to it


“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you.”

Lesson 26: Set the right example for your children to follow


“We must re-create an attractive and caring attitude in our homes and in our worlds. If our children are to approve of themselves, they must see that we approve of ourselves. ( Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now) ”

Lesson 27: Look at everyday as a new beginning


“This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.”

Lesson 28: Be true to yourself. Don’t just follow trends.


“Seek the fashion which truly fits and befits you. You will always be in fashion if you are true to yourself, and only if you are true to yourself.”

Lesson 29: Always look at the bright side of things


“I had a lot of clouds, but I have had so many rainbows.”

Lesson 30: Realize that change can be hard but always leads to something beautiful


We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.


Lesson 31: Stay true to your joy


“Joy is an important element of happiness. It is sometimes the difference between striving and thriving. One must nurture the joy in one’s life so that it reaches full bloom. ”

Lesson 32: Always strive to remain balanced in everything you do


“There is a very fine line between loving life and being greedy for it.”

Lesson 33: Love yourself and do what you love


“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.”

Also Read: You Can’t Stop The Waves, But You Can Learn To Swim – Jon Kabat Zinn


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About the Author
Mukesh is the founder of Outofstress.com. He is a writer, author and meditation teacher. Having suffered from anxiety and depression for a good part of his adult life, he used meditation, attention training and self awareness to break free from these limiting mind patterns. You can learn more on his personal blog - ConsciousReset.com
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