If you happened to be putting together a short list of leaders who have had the greatest impact on the world, then Nelson Mandela would surely be at or near the top. Mandela was an outspoken critic of the apartheid system of South Africa, and he spent 27 years in prison as a result. Released from prison in 1990, he helped end apartheid -- serving as the country's president from 1994 through 1999.

Although Nelson Mandela died in 2013, he is widely considered to be the father of the modern nation of South Africa and his wisdom lives on in his words. Here are 17 Nelson Mandela quotes that will inspire your success.

  1. "May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears."
  2. "It always seems impossible until it's done."
  3. "Sometimes, it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom."
  4. "Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do."
  5. "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."
  6. "There can be no greater gift than that of giving one's time and energy to helping others without expecting anything in return."
  7. "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."
  8. "One of the things I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others."
  9. "A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination."
  10. "After climbing a great hill. One only finds that there are many more hills to climb."
  11. "A winner is a dreamer who never gives up."
  12. "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
  13. "Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again."
  14. "The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."
  15. "For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
  16. "What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived; it is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead."
  17. "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."