Life Lessons | Best Books & Quotes

November 12, 2016

The Inspirational Living podcast is one of the best sources for life lessons adapted from classic inspirational books and quotes. In addition, our new hardcover book "Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons" is the kind of bedside reading that you will return to again and again for valuable life lessons on success, happiness, and reaching your highest potential.

Our book of inspirational life lessons is essential reading not only for adults, but makes a wonderful book of life lessons for teenagers and college students who are on their way to becoming adults and making their own successful path through life.

The 50 inspirational lessons found in the book "Evergreen" were first broadcast by the Inspirational Living podcast, which in less than a year has become one of the most widely listened to motivational podcasts in the world.

The life lessons taught on both our podcast and book are edited and adapted from inspirational works written by some of the most celebrated authors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Helen Keller, Mark Twain, and James Allen. It also includes adaptations from early self-development authors such as Orison Swett Marden and William George Jordan, whose works had a powerful influence on the most successful people of their generation.

Listed below are 10 podcasts featuring but a few of the 29 classic writers whose adapted text is included in our hardcover book "Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons" -- along with a brief life lesson quote from the original author.

1) Inspirational Life Lessons For Adults (Young & Old)

Quote: “KNOW thyself” is one of the oldest maxims of human kind. It is a piece of advice, however, that very few of us ever profit by. Most people have only a sort of speaking acquaintance with themselves, as though they lived next door or across the street. They never come into full and loving sympathy with their own natures, and hence never realize what treasures of sweet and beautiful companionship they deprive themselves." - Adapted from the book of life lessons "Our Sunday Talks" by James J. Owen (1881)

2) Life Lesson: Do Your Best & Love Much

Quote: "When you do not succeed, when no one seems to care for your service, or for your talents, there are two things to do: do your best and love much. Do not condemn the world because it is slow to appreciate your worth; when you do this you push the world further away from yourself, and its appreciation will decrease instead of increase. Love the world, the whole world, and love with all the power of your heart and soul." - Adapted from the book of life lessons "The Pathway of Roses" by Christian D. Larson (1912)

3) A Life Lesson on Success & Harmony

Quote: "Success means different things to everyone. But they all must share something in common. Philosophers, poets, and religious seekers have for ages struggled to discover that mysterious something that will make the problem of living a simpler and more enjoyable process. And, ultimately, they have all arrived at the same conclusion: that the one thing necessary to the living of a perfect life is the possession of the quality familiar to many but really known to few — it’s called Harmony." - Adapted from the life lessons book "Success Through Thought Habit” by Benjamin Johnson (1908)

4) Motivational Life Lessons For Career Success

Quote: "Nobody can hand you a ready-made key to open the door of success. You must fashion your own key and find the combination of the lock for yourself. No magician can waft you to the heights of fortune and fame. You cannot fly there on the wings of an airplane. The road, often rocky, has to be traversed on foot.  You, and you alone, can supply the motive power. You, and you alone, must put forth the necessary exertion. No one can remove from your shoulders the burden of the effort. You must do your own climbing." - Adapted from the life lessons book "Keys to Success" by B.C. Forbes (1918)

5) Classic Life Lesson on Politics & Leadership

Quote: “The average citizen must be a good citizen if our democratic nations are to succeed. The stream will not permanently rise higher than the main source; and the main source of national power (and national greatness) is found in the average citizenship of the nation. Therefore it behooves us to do our best to see that the standard of the average citizen is kept high; and the average cannot be kept high unless the standard of the leaders is very much higher." - Adapted from a life lesson speech a speech by President Teddy Roosevelt (1910)

6) Life Lesson: The Way of Wonder

Quote: "This much I remember of Aristotle, that he calls Wonder the beginning of the love of Wisdom. To have a right judgment of our surroundings, we must wonder at them, and be surprised that they and we are met together. So long as we exercise this quickening sense of wonder, there is hope for us, and some justification of our presence here on earth—because we all are on the road that leads toward wisdom." - Adapted from the book of life lessons "I Wonder" by Stephen Paget (1901)

7) A Motivational Life Lesson on Optimism

Quote: "I am never discouraged by absence of good. I never can be argued into hopelessness. Doubt and mistrust are the mere panic of a timid imagination, which the steadfast heart will conquer, and the large mind transcend. Every day I find myself looking forward with beating heart and bright anticipation to what the future holds of activity for me." - Adapted from the essay "Optimism" by Helen Keller (1903)

8) A Life Lesson on Happiness & Change

Quote: "When you begin to help yourself by doing what you can in your own way, you will find help as you progresses — help that will come in unexpected ways, and as you need it. Disasters must, necessarily, overtake us. There are storms in the psychological, as well as in the physical, life. But there is a purpose in the intensity of feeling which such mental disturbances awaken. They serve to prepare the soul for the happiness which is to follow. “The darkest hour is just before the dawn.” - Adapted from the book of life lessons "The Wonders of Life" by Ida Luella Rettinghouse Lyon (1910)

9) Life Lesson: What Do You Live For?

Quote: "Do you ever stop and ask yourself for what you are living? Is it for “success” in some undertaking? Then what are you doing to produce success? No matter how hard you may be working, unless you are finding pleasure and pride in your work, and doing it with cheerfulness, you are not moving forward toward real success." - Adapted from the book of life lessons "What Life Means to Me" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1908)

10) A Motivational Life Lesson on Courage

Quote: "The reformers of the world are those men and women of mighty purpose. They are leaders with the courage of individual conviction who dare run counter to the criticism of the crowd. They are the souls who voluntarily bear crosses for what they accept as right, even without the guarantee of redemption. They are the heroes who gladly go down into the depths of silence, darkness and oblivion, only to emerge finally like divers, with pearls in their hands." - Adapted from the life lessons book "The Power of Truth" by William George Jordan (1902)

To listen to more life lesson podcasts subscribe to the Inspirational Living podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or To learn more about our book "Evergreen: 50 Inspirational Life Lessons" please go to our website:

If you are looking for a list of good podcasts to listen to when going to bed, check out the following: The Best Podcasts for Sleep.

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