John F. Kennedy Quotes | 158 Most Powerful JFK Quotes on Leadership, Motivation, Inspiration, Success and Life of All Time

John F. Kennedy Quotes | 158 Most Powerful JFK Quotes on Leadership, Motivation, Inspiration, Success and Life of All Time

32 Famous John F. Kennedy Quotes on Leadership

These quotes, embodying JFK's wisdom, propel us to live our values, embrace change, and champion knowledge and freedom. They remind us that leadership carries responsibility and inspire us to carve a better future. Explore JFK's timeless insights, guiding us towards courage and purpose in today's world.

1. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy

2. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

3. “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy

4. “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy

5. “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F. Kennedy

6. “Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.” – John F. Kennedy

7. “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy

8. “The best road to progress is freedom's road.” – John F. Kennedy

9. “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” – John F. Kennedy

10. “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.” – John F. Kennedy

11. “Sure it's a big job; but I don't know anyone who can do it better than I can.” – John F. Kennedy

12. “If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.” – John F. Kennedy

13. “Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.” – John F. Kennedy

14. “Our growing softness, our increasing lack of physical fitness, is a menace to our security.” – John F. Kennedy

15. “The greater our knowledge increases the more our ignorance unfolds.” – John F. Kennedy

16. “The pay is good and I can walk to work.” – John F. Kennedy

17. “The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.” – John F. Kennedy

18. “Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” – John F. Kennedy

19. “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” – John F. Kennedy

20. “We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.” – John F. Kennedy

21. “Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.” – John F. Kennedy

22. “Once you say you're going to settle for second, that's what happens to you in life.” – John F. Kennedy

23. “It is time for a new generation of leadership to cope with new problems and new opportunities. For there is a new world to be won.” – John F. Kennedy

24. “The Jewish people, ever since David slew Goliath, have never considered youth as a barrier to leadership.” – John F. Kennedy

25. “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” – John F. Kennedy

26. “The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.” – John F. Kennedy

27. “A great change is at hand, and our task, our obligation, is to make that revolution, that change, peaceful and constructive for all.” – John F. Kennedy

28. “Moral courage is more a rare commodity than bravery in a battle or great intelligence.” – John F. Kennedy

29. “The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” – John F. Kennedy

30. “It is insane that two men, sitting on opposite sides of the world, should be able to decide to bring an end to civilization.” – John F. Kennedy

31. “Life in freedom is not easy, and democracy is not perfect.” – John F. Kennedy

32. “And with privilege goes responsibility.” – John F. Kennedy

Related: The 100 Best Leadership Quotes of All Time

26 John F. Kennedy Most Inspirational Quotes

Within these 26 quotes, we glimpse John F. Kennedy's unwavering dedication to liberty, individual responsibility, and progress. From his resolve to sacrifice for freedom to his promotion of personal initiative, JFK's phrases stir our resolve to overcome hurdles and embrace advancement. He spotlights the significance of education, the potential of limitless aspirations, and the importance of unwavering negotiation. JFK's wisdom serves as an enduring compass, lighting our way towards a brighter future.

1. “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” – John F. Kennedy

2. “Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F. Kennedy

3. “Children ate the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” – John F. Kennedy

4. “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” – John F. Kennedy

5. “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” – John F. Kennedy

6. “Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country. – John F. Kennedy

7. “We do these things not because they are easy but because they are hard.” – John F. Kennedy

8. “This country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.” – John F. Kennedy

9. “I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty.” – John F. Kennedy

10. “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” – John F. Kennedy

11. “Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.” – John F. Kennedy

12. “The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.” – John F. Kennedy

13. “It is time for a new generation of leadership, to cope with new problems and new opportunities. For there is a new world to be won.” – John F. Kennedy

14. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

15. “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were and ask “why not? – John F. Kennedy

16. “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” – John F. Kennedy

17. “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” – John F. Kennedy

18. “Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.” – John F. Kennedy

19. “The courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment, but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy.” – John F. Kennedy

20. “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – John F. Kennedy

21. “Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” – John F. Kennedy

22. “Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.” – John F. Kennedy

23. “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things. Not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” – John F. Kennedy

24. “The best road to progress is freedom’s road.” – John F. Kennedy

25. “While we cannot guarantee that we shall one day be first, we can guarantee that any failure to make this effort will make us last.” – John F. Kennedy

26. “We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future.” – John F. Kennedy

Related: 383 Best Mark Twain Quotes on Motivation, Inspiration, Leadership, Success, Wisdom, Relationship and Friendship

21 John F. Kennedy Best Motivational Quotes 

    In these 21 quotes attributed to John F. Kennedy, we discover a wellspring of motivation. JFK's words encourage us to face challenges with courage, express gratitude, and embrace our potential. He emphasizes the importance of proactive action, physical fitness, and equal opportunities. These quotes serve as a reminder that great accomplishments can arise from crises, and embarking on the journey, even amidst uncertainty, is always worthwhile.

    1. “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger – but recognize the opportunity.” – John F. Kennedy

    2. “Ask not that the journey be easy; ask instead that it be worth it.” – John F. Kennedy

    3. “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” – John F. Kennedy

    4. “Any danger spot is tenable if men, brave men, will make it so.” – John F. Kennedy

    5. “Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.” – John F. Kennedy

    6. “Never before has man had such a great capacity to control his own environment, to end hunger, poverty, and disease, to banish illiteracy and human misery. We have the power to make the best generation of mankind in the history of the world.” – John F. Kennedy

    7. “If not us, who? If not now, when? – John F. Kennedy

    8. “Our task is not to fix blame for the past, but to fix the course for the future.” – John F. Kennedy

    9. “Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.” – John F. Kennedy

    10. “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” – John F. Kennedy

    11. “We want to be first; not first if, not first but; but first! – John F. Kennedy

    12. “To those whom much is given, much is expected.” – John F. Kennedy

    13. “Since the time of the ancient Greeks, we have felt that there was a close relationship between a strong, vital mind and physical fitness.” – John F. Kennedy

    14. “A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living. Today’s military rejects include tomorrow’s hard-core unemployed.” – John F. Kennedy

    15. “Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths, and encourage the arts and commerce.” – John F. Kennedy

    16. “Never let your fears hold you back from pursuing your hopes.” – John F. Kennedy

    17. “We are under-exercised as a nation. We look instead of play. We ride instead of walk. Our existence deprives us of the minimum of physical activity essential for healthy living.” – John F. Kennedy

    18. “I do not say that all men are equal in their ability, character, and motivation. I do say that every American should be given a fair chance to develop all the talents they may have.” – John F. Kennedy

    19. “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” – John F. Kennedy

    20. “Just because we cannot see clearly the end of the road, that is no reason for not setting out on the essential journey.” – John F. Kennedy

    21. “Great crisis produces great men and great deeds of courage.” – John F. Kennedy

    Related: The 450 Best Quotes by Albert Einstein on Inspiration, Motivation, Leadership, Success in Life, Wisdom, Relationship

    29 John F. Kennedy Life Quotes

    Within these 29 distinctive quotes attributed to John F. Kennedy, we find wisdom spanning various facets of human existence. JFK touches on our shared bond as inhabitants of Earth, the power of the human mind, and the inevitability of change. He acknowledges life's inherent unfairness and the role of art in our society. Kennedy emphasizes unity, tolerance, and the pursuit of peace, offering diverse perspectives on the complexities of life.

    1. “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” – John F. Kennedy

    2. “The human mind is our fundamental resource.” – John F. Kennedy

    3. “There is nothing more certain and unchanging than uncertainty and change.” – John F. Kennedy

    4. “Life isn’t fair. In never was and never will be.” – John F. Kennedy

    5. “In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation.” – John F. Kennedy

    6. “The rising tide lifts all the boats.” – John F. Kennedy

    7. “Failure has no friends.” – John F. Kennedy

    8. “Time and the world do not standstill. Change is the law of life.” – John F. Kennedy

    9. “It is our task in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, as was handed down to us by those who went before, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.” – John F. Kennedy

    10. “Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.” – John F. Kennedy

    11. “Let us resolve to be masters, not the victims, of our history, controlling our own destiny without giving way to blind suspicions and emotions – John F. Kennedy

    12. “What really counts is not the immediate act of courage or of valor, but those who bear the struggle day in and day out – not the sunshine patriots but those who are willing to stand for a long period of time.” – John F. Kennedy

    13. “If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” – John F. Kennedy

    14. “We live in a hemisphere whose own revolution has given birth to the most powerful force of the modern age; the search for freedom and self-fulfillment of man.” – John F. Kennedy

    15. “I am not so much concerned with the right of everyone to say anything he pleases as I am about our need as a self-governing people to hear everything relevant.” – John F. Kennedy

    16. “Where nature makes natural allies of us all, we can demonstrate that beneficial relations are possible even with those with whom we most deeply disagree-and this must someday be the basis of world peace and world law.” – John F. Kennedy

    17. “Show me a man with a great golf game, and I’ll show you a man who has been neglecting something.” – John F. Kennedy

    18. “No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough, and the masses will regard it as the truth.” – John F. Kennedy

    19. “Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.” – John F. Kennedy

    20. “Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable.” – John F. Kennedy

    21. “So, let us not be blind to our differences – but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved.” – John F. Kennedy

    22. “Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.” – John F. Kennedy

    23. “Those whom nature hath so joined together, let no man put asunder.” – John F. Kennedy

    24. “I would encourage every American to walk as often as possible. It’s more than healthy; it’s fun.” – John F. Kennedy

    25. “Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.” – John F. Kennedy

    26. “I think the success of any school can be measured by the contribution the alumni make to our national life.” – John F. Kennedy

    27. “Sincerity is always subject to proof.” – John F. Kennedy

    28. “We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth.” – John F. Kennedy

    29. “Real men stay faithful. They don’t have time to look for other women because they’re too busy looking for new ways to love their own.” – John F. Kennedy

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    27 John F. Kennedy Wisdom Quotes

    In these 27 distinctive quotes attributed to John F. Kennedy, we glimpse a mosaic of profound insights spanning human existence. JFK touches upon our shared global ties, the necessity of truth, and fortitude amidst adversity. He champions free expression, collective aspirations, and the ethical use of power. Kennedy emphasizes the value of unity, evolving world dynamics, and the quest for peace. These wisdom-laden passages provide a glimpse into JFK's multifaceted worldview on life and global affairs.

    1. “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” – John F. Kennedy

    2. “A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.” – John F. Kennedy

    3. “Only in winter can you tell which trees are truly green. Only when the winds of adversity blow can you tell whether an individual or a country has steadfastness.” – John F. Kennedy

    4. “The highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist, is to remain true to himself and to let the chips fall where they may.” – John F. Kennedy

    5. “I look forward to a great future for America – a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose.” – John F. Kennedy

    6. “Those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.” – John F. Kennedy

    7. “In a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon; it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there.” – John F. Kennedy

    8. “For I can assure you that we love our country, not for what it was, though it has always been great – not for what it is, though of this we are deeply proud – but for what it someday can, and, through the efforts of us all, someday will be.” – John F. Kennedy

    9. “We believe that when men reach beyond this planet, they should leave their national differences behind them.” – John F. Kennedy

    10. “The problem of power is how to achieve its responsible use rather than its irresponsible and indulgent use; of how to get men of power to live for the public rather than off the public.” – John F. Kennedy

    11. “We in this country, in this generation, are, by destiny rather than choice, the watchmen on the walls of world freedom.” – John F. Kennedy

    12. “For one true measure of a nation is its success in fulfilling the promise of a better life for each of its members. Let this be the measure of our nation.” – John F. Kennedy

    13. “The most powerful single force in the world today is neither Communism nor Capitalism, neither the H-bomb nor the guided missile – it is man’s eternal desire to be free and independent.” – John F. Kennedy

    14. “Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors.” – John F. Kennedy

    15. “Food is strength, and food is peace, and food is freedom, and food is a helping hand to people around the world whose goodwill and friendship we want.” – John F. Kennedy

    16. “Struggle for freedom. Where people are denied the right of choice, recourse to such struggle is the only means of achieving their liberties.” – John F. Kennedy

    17. “Our alliance is born, not of fear, but of hope. It is an alliance that advances what we are for, as well as opposes what we are against.” – John F. Kennedy

    18. “But however close we sometimes seem to that dark and final abyss, let no man of peace and freedom despair. For he does not stand alone.” – John F. Kennedy

    19. “As they say on my own Cape Cod, a rising tide lifts all the boats. And a partnership, by definition, serves both partners without domination or unfair advantage. Together we have been partners in adversity let us also be partners in prosperity.” – John F. Kennedy

    20. “The wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men.” – John F. Kennedy

    21. “In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.” – John F. Kennedy

    22. “Wealth is the means, and people are the ends. All our material riches will avail us little if we do not use them to expand the opportunities of our people.” – John F. Kennedy

    23. “If the self-discipline of the free cannot match the iron discipline of the mailed fist, in economic, political, scientific, and all the other kinds of struggles, as well as the military, then the peril to freedom will continue to rise.” – John F. Kennedy

    24. “It takes two to make peace.” – John F. Kennedy

    25. “In a time of domestic crisis, men of goodwill and generosity should be able to unite regardless of party or politics.” – John F. Kennedy

    26. “We must abolish nuclear weapons, or they will abolish us.” – John F. Kennedy

    27. “War and hunger and ignorance and despair know no religious barriers.” – John F. Kennedy

    Related: The Power of Love: A Letter from Albert Einstein to His Daughter

    22 John F. Kennedy Quotes on Success

    In these 22 thought-provoking quotes by John F. Kennedy, we uncover a wealth of insights on the path to success. JFK emphasizes the importance of equal opportunities, the need for action over inaction, and the significance of starting small on the journey to greatness. He underscores the value of education, ethics in governance, and the synergy of mind and body in achieving goals. These words serve as enduring beacons guiding us toward individual and societal success.

    1. “Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation, but they should have the equal right to develop their talent and their ability and their motivation, to make something of themselves.” – John F. Kennedy

    2. “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long-range risks of comfortable inaction.” – John F. Kennedy

    3. “According to the ancient Chinese proverb, A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – John F. Kennedy

    4. “Geography has made us neighbors. History has made us friends. Economics has made us partners, and necessity has made us allies. Those whom God has so joined together, let no man put asunder.” – John F. Kennedy

    5. “There can be no progress if people have no faith in tomorrow.” – John F. Kennedy

    6. “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.” – John F. Kennedy

    7. “Our problems are man-made; therefore, they may be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings.” – John F. Kennedy

    8. “The only significance of analyzing the past is that it does give us some key to the future.” – John F. Kennedy

    9. “In our democracy, every young person should have an equal opportunity to obtain a higher education, regardless of his station in life or financial means.” – John F. Kennedy

    10. “Intelligence and skill can only function at the peak of their capacity when the body is healthy and strong.” – John F. Kennedy

    11. “No responsibility of government is more fundamental than the responsibility of maintaining the highest standard of ethical behavior for those who conduct the public business.” – John F. Kennedy

    12. “A country is as strong, really, as its citizens. And I think that mental and physical health – mental and physical vigor – go hand in hand.” – John F. Kennedy

    13. “It is not our wealth that built our roads, but it is our roads that built our wealth.” – John F. Kennedy

    14. “To be courageous requires no exceptional qualifications, no magic formula, no special combination of time, place, and circumstance. It is an opportunity that sooner or later is presented to us all.” – John F. Kennedy

    15. “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” – John F. Kennedy

    16. “The basis of self-government and freedom requires the development of character and self-restraint and perseverance and the long view. And these are qualities which require many years of training and education.” – John F. Kennedy

    17. “The Greeks understood that mind and body must develop in harmonious proportions to produce a creative intelligence.” – John F. Kennedy

    18. “To state the facts frankly is not to despair the future nor indict the past. The prudent heir takes careful inventory of his legacies and gives a faithful accounting to those whom he owes an obligation of trust.” – John F. Kennedy

    19. “A man does what he must - in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures - and that is the basis of all human morality.” – John F. Kennedy

    20. “A child miseducated is a child lost.” – John F. Kennedy

    21. “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” – John F. Kennedy

    22. “Only an educated and informed people will be a free people.” – John F. Kennedy

    Related: Life-Changing Poem The Will to Win by Berton Braley

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