Maya Angelou (born Marguerite Ann Johnson; April 4, 1928) is an American author and poet. She has published six autobiographies, five books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning more than fifty years. She has received dozens of awards and over thirty honorary doctoral degrees. Angelou is best known for her series of autobiographies, which focus on her childhood and early adult experiences. The first, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969), tells of her life up to the age of seventeen, and brought her international recognition and acclaim.
1. I’VE LEARNED THAT PEOPLE WILL FORGET WHAT YOU SAID, PEOPLE WILL FORGET WHAT YOU DID, BUT PEOPLE WILL NEVER FORGET HOW YOU MADE THEM FEEL.
2. THERE IS NO GREATER AGONY THAN BEARING AN UNTOLD STORY INSIDE YOU.
3. IF YOU DON’T LIKE SOMETHING, CHANGE IT. IF YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT, CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE. DON’T COMPLAIN.
4. A BIRD DOESN’T SING BECAUSE IT HAS AN ANSWER, IT SINGS BECAUSE IT HAS A SONG.
5. THE FIRST TIME SOMEONE SHOWS YOU WHO THEY ARE, BELIEVE THEM.
6. I CAN BE CHANGED BY WHAT HAPPENS TO ME. BUT I REFUSE TO BE REDUCED BY IT.
7. YOU MAY NOT CONTROL ALL THE EVENTS THAT HAPPEN TO YOU, BUT YOU CAN DECIDE NOT TO BE REDUCED BY THEM.
8. WE DELIGHT IN THE BEAUTY OF THE BUTTERFLY, BUT RARELY ADMIT THE CHANGES IT HAS GONE THROUGH TO ACHIEVE THAT BEAUTY.
9. I LOVE TO SEE A YOUNG GIRL GO OUT AND GRAB THE WORLD BY THE LAPELS. LIFE’S A BITCH. YOU’VE GOT TO GO OUT AND KICK ASS.
10. MUSIC WAS MY REFUGE. I COULD CRAWL INTO THE SPACE BETWEEN THE NOTES AND CURL MY BACK TO LONELINESS.
11. SUCCESS IS LIKING YOURSELF, LIKING WHAT YOU DO, AND LIKING HOW YOU DO IT.
12. I’VE LEARNED THAT YOU CAN TELL A LOT ABOUT A PERSON BY THE WAY (S)HE HANDLES THESE THREE THINGS: A RAINY DAY, LOST LUGGAGE, AND TANGLED CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTS.
13. MY MISSION IN LIFE IS NOT MERELY TO SURVIVE, BUT TO THRIVE; AND TO DO SO WITH SOME PASSION, SOME COMPASSION, SOME HUMOR, AND SOME STYLE.
14. COURAGE: THE MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL THE VIRTUES BECAUSE WITHOUT COURAGE, YOU CAN’T PRACTICE ANY OTHER VIRTUE CONSISTENTLY.
15. I DO NOT TRUST PEOPLE WHO DON’T LOVE THEMSELVES AND YET TELL ME, ‘I LOVE YOU.’ THERE IS AN AFRICAN SAYING WHICH IS: BE CAREFUL WHEN A NAKED PERSON OFFERS YOU A SHIRT.
16. 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.
17. WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER YOU DO BETTER.