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11 Thomas Jefferson Quotes on Motivation, Mindset, Productivity and More

In honor of his birthday, here's some wisdom from the founding father.

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The author of the Declaration of Independence, the third president of the United States, the founder of the University of Virginia, a historian, a philosopher -- Thomas Jefferson’s contributions to American history are expansive.

His insight and intellect helped mold the nation into what it is today. And many of his achievements have become the backbone of today’s society. He’s even the face of the nickel and the $2 bill.

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Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or an established business owner -- there’s a lot you can learn from Jefferson. Check out these 11 quotes from the third POTUS that will inspire you -- and make you think.

On motivation

“Determine never to be idle. No person will have the occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any.” -- Thomas Jefferson

On happiness

"It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness." -- Thomas Jefferson

On mindset

“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.” -- Thomas Jefferson

Related: These 11 Steve Jobs Quotes Will Motivate You to Change the World


On leadership

“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” -- Thomas Jefferson

On collaboration

“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none.” -- Thomas Jefferson

On perseverance

“It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing.” -- Thomas Jefferson

Related: 12 Quotes From Google's Larry Page on Drive, Success, Creativity and Hard Work


On personal development

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” -- Thomas Jefferson

On ideas

“The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money.” -- Thomas Jefferson

On getting started

“Never spend money before you have it.” -- Thomas Jefferson

On productivity

"Whether I retire to bed early or late, I rise with the sun." -- Thomas Jefferson

Related: 10 Albert Einstein Quotes on Creativity, Happiness, Success and More


On the future

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” -- Thomas Jefferson