With the year coming to a close, there’s no better time to look back at the words that moved us, made us laugh and inspired us to do more. From the encouragement of big name graduation speakers, to sound TED Talk advice and remembering those who are no longer with us, here are 11 examples of words of wisdom from the pages of Entrepreneur.
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“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 you.” – Maya Angelou, Author and Activist
“And some of you – and now I’m talking to anyone who has been dumped – have not gotten the job you really wanted or have received those horrible rejection letters from grad school. You know the disappointment of losing or not getting something you badly want. When that happens, show what you are made of.” – Jill Abramson, Journalist
Read more: Ex-NYT Editor Jill Abramson on Resilience
“You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” – Robin Williams, Actor and Comedian
Read more: 10 Inspirational Robin Williams Quotes
“Getting from point A to point Z can be daunting unless you remember that you don’t have to get from A to Z. You just have to get from A to B. Breaking big dreams into small steps is the way to move forward.” – Sheryl Sandberg, Author, Activist, COO of Facebook
“Don’t be afraid to make a mistake, because you know what you can do if you grab the wrong one? Drop it and pick up another one!” – Steve Ballmer, Former Microsoft CEO and current owner of the LA Clippers
“I will always be safe from the random hurricanes of outcome as long as I never forget where I rightfully live.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Writer
“If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business — it’s that simple. Companies have a responsibility to make a difference in the world: They owe this to their community, their staff, their customers, everyone. The amazing part is that doing good is also good for business — what are you waiting for?” – Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group
“Let’s keep it real: most of us, especially most of us entrepreneurs, get caught up in what we perceive to be the highs and lows of our professional lives. We pop champagne, buy fancy toys and celebrate when it seems like one of our ideas has “won,” but we become dark and depressed when it seems like an idea has “lost” or “failed.” The truth is that neither reaction is sustainable. Being an entrepreneur or a business person is a journey that will have inevitable highs and lows, but will never actually end.” – Russell Simmons, fashion and lifestyle entrepreneur and founder of Def Jam Recordings
“So I guess what I’m saying is you gotta ask yourself, why are you playing the game?” – Matthew McConaughey, Actor
“Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.” – Joan Rivers, Comedian
“Being open and observant of people and the world around you is really important. People have the same desires and needs online as they do offline. The way that people are stays constant. You can change the format, make it easier for them to communicate or use photos instead of words but human necessities never change.” – Caterina Fake, tech entrepreneur, founder of Flickr and Findery.