Motive Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old motive quotes, motive sayings, and motive proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.

A man's motive in the small actions of daily life, like resting a moment on his pitchfork in the sun and listening intently, may be the most important thing about that man.     

Haniel Long

How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.     

William James

We do a lot of things for reasons besides profit motive. We want to leave the world better than we found it.     

Tim Cook

Men sometimes have strange motives for the things they do.     

Matthew Hopkins

The only motive strong enough to induce men to exercise the self control required by the religion of Jesus is love.     

Marion G. Romney

The distance is nothing when one has a motive.     

Jane Austen

No motive is pure. No one is good or bad-but a hearty mix of both. And sometimes life actually gives to you by taking away.     

Carrie Fisher

Love provides the motive for obeying the commands of the law, but the law provides specific direction for exercising love.     

Jerry Bridges

Life always take on the character of its motive.     

J. G. Holland

The true worth of a soul is revealed as much by the motive it attributes to the actions of others as by its own deeds.     

John Petit-Senn

It's motive alone which gives character to the actions of men.     

Jean De La Bruyere

The fundamental motive of true teaching is the love that seeks and studies and performs.     

Robert Grudin

Vanity is a motive of immense potency.     

Bertrand Russell

The noblest motive is the public good.     


Our motives and thoughts ultimately influence our actions.     

Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The motive of fear is the be-all and end-all of religion.     

H. L. Mencken

Pure motives can never justify impure or violent action.     

Mahatma Gandhi

It is motive alone that gives real value to the actions of men, and disinterestedness puts the cap to it     

Jean De La Bruyere

One of the strongest motives for wishing to work on yourself is the realization that you may die at any moment - only you must first realize this.     

G. I. Gurdjieff

A wrong motive involves defeat.     

Mary Baker Eddy

Motive is never easy. Sometimes it occurs to one only later.     

John Hawkes

In general, we do well to let an opponent's motives alone. We are seldom just to them. Our own motives on such occasions are often worse than those we assail.     

W. E. Channing

Never ascribe to an opponent motives meaner than your own.     

John M. Barrie

The motive power is the cause of all life.     

Leonardo da Vinci

Pure motives do not insure perfect results.     

Christian Nestell Bovee

An action is essentially good if the motive of the agent be good, regardless of the consequences.     

Immanuel Kant

The key to motivation is motive. It's the why. It's the deeper yes! burning inside that makes it easier to say no to the less important.     

Stephen Covey

To exercise some sort of control over others is the secret motive of every selfish person.     

Wallace D. Wattles

But if we never acted except when we were certain our motives were pure, we would never act at all.     

C.J. Sansom

People have motives and thoughts of which they are unaware.     

Albert Ellis