Photo Credit: Denis Makarenko /

“To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.” —Denzel Washington

While working toward a goal, it can be helpful to hear inspirational advice from others who’ve gone before us. Words of wisdom from the accomplished give us perspective, and shed light on what’s most important. With that in mind, here are motivational quotes from six famous actors to ponder as you start your day.


Anthony Hopkins

“Do something new. You can’t stay in your comfort zone. That’s what we all do. We can’t just stay in our comfort zone where there are recliners, watching TV day in and day out. Because I’ve done it. It’s not worth it. I mean, life’s so short. And such glorious images in the world and such horror as well. But I want to see it all. And so I’ve moved out of my comfort zone. It’s essential for me. Otherwise, I may as well die. So I’ve broken every rule in the book—not out of malice or telling anyone, ‘I’ll show you!’—I did it to show myself.”


Denzel Washington

“Imagine you’re on your deathbed, and standing around your deathbed are the ghosts representing your unfulfilled potential—the ghosts of the ideas that you never acted on, the ghosts of the talents that you didn’t use. And they’re standing around your bed angry and upset. They say, ‘We came to you because you could’ve brought us to life, and now we have to go to the grave together.’ So I ask you today: ‘How many ghosts are going to be around your bed when you’re dying?’”

“Anything you want, good, you can have. So claim it. Work hard to get it. When you get it, reach back; pull someone else up. Each one, teach one. Don’t just aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference.”


Dustin Hoffman

“Picasso was reputed to have said—this is a wonderful thing—‘If they took my paints away, I’d use pastels. If they took my pastels away, I’d use crayons. If they took my crayons away, I’d use a pencil. If they stripped me naked and stuck me in a cell, I’d spit on my finger and draw on the wall.’ It’s very important to have something like that, I think, or very lucky to have that.”


Jim Carrey

“You already know who you are. And that peace that we’re after lies somewhere beyond personality. Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Don’t let anything stand in the way of the light that shines through this form. Risk being seen in all of your glory.”

“Our intention is everything. Nothing happens on this planet without it. Not one single thing has ever been accomplished without intention.”


Arnold Schwarzenegger

“I think if we have a very clear vision of where we go—a goal: Where do we go? Because you can have the best ship in the world, you can have the best cruise line, but if the captain does not know where to go, that ship will drift around the world out there at sea, and it will never end up anywhere. And this is exactly how it is in real life. If you don’t have a goal, if you don’t have a vision, you just drift around. And you’re not going to be happy. This is why it’s so important to have vision.” 


Robert De Niro

“It’s important to listen to everyone because many people, you can get their input, but then finally, you have to make your own decision about what you’re going to do. And that’s what you feel, and that’s the most important thing, I think—the most important thing because that’s where the uniqueness comes in because it’s you, you’ve done it, it’s your thing. It’s not anybody else’s. It’s your choice.”