What did you want to be when you were 5? An astronaut? Basketball player? President? When we're little, we imagine that we'll do something exciting with our lives. But somewhere along the way, all that changes. We become adults with mortgages to pay, get caught in the 9-to-5 grind, and toil away at careers that don't fulfill any of our childhood dreams.

Here are 50 quotes to inspire you to unchain yourself from your desk job and pursue your passion. Because even if you missed your shot at NBA superstardom, you can still turn that thing you love to do for fun into what you do for a living.

  1. You jump off a cliff and you assemble an airplane on the way down.--Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn
  2. You don't learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.--Sir Richard Branson, Founder & Chairman of Virgin Group
  3. It's never too late to be what you might have been.--George Elliot, Author
  4. I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do. --Georgia O'Keeffe, Artist
  5. One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don't choose your passions; your passions choose you. --Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon
  6. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can't get there by bus, only by hard work and risk and by not quite knowing what you're doing, but what you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover will be yourself. --Alan Alda, Actor, Director, Writer
  7. Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. --Confucius, Philosopher
  8. You don't need to have a 100-person company to develop that idea. --Larry Page, Co-founder & CEO of Google
  9. A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work. --Colin Powell, American Statesman, Retired Four-Star General
  10. Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. --Michael Jordan, Five-time NBA MVP, Six-time NBA Champion
  11. Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.  --Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
  12. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.--Albert Einstein, Theoretical Physicist
  13. Would you do your job and not be paid for it? I would do this job, and take on a second job just to make ends meet if nobody paid me. That's how you know you are doing the right thing. --Oprah, Media Proprietor, Talk Show Host, Actress
  14. Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. --Franz Kafka, Author
  15. I suffer from the delusion that every product of my imagination is not only possible, but always on the cusp of becoming real. --Sean Parker, American Entrepreneur, Co-founder of Napster, First President of Facebook
  16. There is no passion to be found playing small--in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. --Nelson Mandela, Revolutionary, Politician, President of South Africa
  17. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. --Steve Jobs, Co-founder, Chairman, & CEO of Apple
  18. Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it, the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me. --Arianna Huffington, President and Editor in Chief of The Huffington Post
  19. Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. --Aristotle, Philosopher
  20. Hopefully life is long. Do stuff you will enjoy thinking about and telling stories about for many years to come. Do stuff you will want to brag about. --Rachel Maddow, Television Host, Political Commentator, Author
  21. I was going to say do what you love, but that's not really it. When I think about it, the happiest and most successful people I know don't just love what they do, they're obsessed with solving something that matters to them.--Drew Houston, Founder & CEO of Dropbox
  22. You can get what you want or you can just get old.--Billy Joel, Singer-Songwriter
  23. The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.--Chinese Proverb
  24. You can Google for an answer. You can Google for a mate. You can Google for a career. But you can't Google to find what's in your heart - the passion that lifts you skyward.--Joe Plumeri, Chairman & CEO of Willis Group Holdings
  25. What's money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.--Bob Dylan, Singer-Songwriter
  26. I would rather die of passion than of boredom.--Vincent Van Gogh, Painter
  27. So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.--Christopher Reeve, Actor, Activist
  28. Love what you do and do what you love.--Ray Bradbury, Author 
  29. In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.--Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States
  30. The most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable... The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.--Howard Schultz, Chairman & CEO of Starbucks
  31. Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.--John Wooden, NCAA Basketball Coach
  32. Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.--Edgar Allan Poe, Author, Poet
  33. Many of life's failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.--Thomas Edison, Inventor
  34. Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.--David Karp, Founder & CEO of Tumblr
  35. The only thing worse than starting something and failing... is not starting something.--Seth Godin, Entrepreneur, Author, Public Speaker
  36. Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right.--Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company
  37. Everything started as nothing.--Ben Weissenstein, Entrepreneur
  38. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.--Lao Tzu, Philosopher
  39. The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.--Mark Twain, Author
  40. The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.--Richard Bach, Author
  41. Never continue in a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. And if you have that...you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.--Johnny Carson, Television Host, Comedian
  42. Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.--Harriet Tubman, Civil Rights Activist
  43. Winners never quit and quitters never win.--Vince Lombardi, Super Bowl-Winning Coach
  44. The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.--Neil Gaiman, Novelist, Graphic Novelist, Screenwriter
  45. To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.--John Dewey, Philosopher, Educational Reformer
  46. Nothing is work unless you'd rather be doing something else.--George Halas, Founder & Owner of the Chicago Bears
  47. Develop your own compass, and trust it. Take risks, dare to fail, remember the first person through the wall always gets hurt.--Aaron Sorkin, Screenwriter, Playwright
  48. Men, for the sake of getting a living, forget to live.--Margaret Fuller, Women's Rights Advocate, Journalist
  49. Everyone has talent. What's rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.--Erica Jong, Author
  50. All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.--Jack Kerouac, Novelist, Poet
Published on: Dec 5, 2014