57 Denzel Washington Quotes To Inspire Your Greatness

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Denzel Washington is an actor, director, and producer who has captured audiences with his remarkable talent and performances for decades. 

Born in Mount Vernon, New York, Denzel had a challenging upbringing, but he persevered through hardship to become one of the most celebrated actors of our time. 

His career is filled with accolades, including two Academy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards, and a Tony Award. However, beyond his achievements in the entertainment industry, Denzel’s life story is one of resilience, perseverance, and determination. 

In this article, we’re going to dive into some of the most inspiring Denzel Washington quotes which will offer insight into his worldview and life philosophy.

Whether you are a fan of Denzel’s work or simply seeking inspiration, these quotes will leave you feeling motivated and empowered to tackle the day.


Best Denzel Washington Quotes About Life


  • “The chances you take, the people you meet, the people you love, the faith you have, that’s what’s going to define you.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “You will never see a U-haul behind a hearse.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Don’t aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Just because you don’t share it on social media, doesn’t mean you’re not up to big things. Live it and stay lowkey, privacy is everything.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Some people will never like you because your spirit irritates their demons.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “If you have an enemy, then learn and know your enemy, don’t just be mad at him or her” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Whether it’s your time, talent, prayers, or treasures…you’ve gotta give it everything you’ve got.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Imagine being on your deathbed and you are surrounded by the ghosts of your unused talents, and the ghosts of the ideas you never acted on. How many of those ghosts are you willing to take to the grave with you?” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “There are two kinds of pain in this world. The pain that hurts, and the pain that alters.” ~ Denzel Washington


man reading denzel Washington quotes


  • “With so many things coming back in style, I can’t wait until morals, respect, and intelligence become a trend again.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “In order to change your life, you must change your thoughts.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “If you listen carefully, people will tell you exactly the kind of person they are. Sit back and listen.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “You never know how or when you’ll have an impact, or how important your example will be to someone else.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “My faith helps me understand that my circumstances don’t dictate my inner peace.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Don’t be afraid to learn from others’ mistakes, and take bits of useful information or ideas that help you get better at what you do.” ~ Denzel Washington


Denzel Washington Quotes About Dreams

Enjoying this list of quotes so far? Then you may also enjoy these inspirational Eric Thomas quotes or these incredibly powerful quotes from Steve Harvey.

If you’d just prefer to keep reading, then here’s some more of the best Denzel Washington quotes about dreams.


  • “When you do good, you get good! Fulfillment comes from serving others, not just hustling to serve yourself.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Do what you have to do until you can do what you wanna do.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “The world needs your talents. It needs your gifts. It needs you to turn your dreams into a reality.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Set goals; daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals…and hold yourself accountable.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “You’ll never be criticized by someone doing more than you. You’ll always be criticized by someone doing less.” ~ Denzel Washington


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  • “You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That’s part of it.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “I never understood the concept of having something to fall back on. If I’m going to fall, I don’t wanna fall back on anything. I wanna fall forward.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Without consistency, you’ll never finish. So do something that you’re passionate about and work at it everyday.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Dreams without goals are just dreams.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “The question you need to ask yourself is this; what are you going to do with what you have?” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “You only live once, so pursue the things that you’re deeply passionate about.” ~ Denzel Washington


Denzel Washington Quotes About Success

Let’s keep this rolling with some of the best Denzel Washington quotes about what it takes to achieve success.


  • “You will fail at some point in your life. You will embarrass yourself. You will suck at something. Embrace it.” ~ Denzel Washngton


  • “At your highest moment, be careful because that’s when the devil comes for you.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “You are born with the capacity to achieve greatness if you so desire. Learning to say no is a critical element to accessing that greatness. Your choices will define you; so make the right ones.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Everyone has the talent to succeed, but the question is do you have the guts to fail?” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to fail big, to dream big.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “I think a role model is a mentor – someone you see on a daily basis, and you learn from them.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “You have to do what you gotta do in this life in order to do what you wanna do.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Nothing in life is worthwhile unless you take risks. Fail forward. Every failed experiment is one step closer to success.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Your life will never be a straight path; failure is the best way to figure out where you’re going.” ~ Denzel Washington


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  • “Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you’re prepared for it.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “If you don’t fail, you’re not even trying.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Goals on the road to achievement cannot be achieved without discipline and consistency.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “In order to achieve your goals, you need to apply discipline and consistency.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “It’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done with those accomplishments, it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better, it’s about what you’ve given back.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Reggie Jackson struck out more than anyone in the history of baseball, but you don’t hear about the strikeouts. People remember the homeruns.” ~ Denzel Washington


Denzel Washington Quotes About Hard Work

Considering that he’s one of the best actors in Hollywood, Denzel is obviously no stranger to hard work. 

The reason he’s able to deliver such compelling performances on-screen is because he’s spent thousands of hours off-screen perfecting his craft.

So without further ado, here’s some of the best Denzel Washington quotes about the power of hard work.


  • “Thomas Edison conducted 1,000 failed experiments. But it didn’t matter because the 1,001st was the lightbulb. Don’t be afraid to fail.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “I work hard for the audience. It’s entertainment. I don’t need validation.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “If you want to be a warrior, you have to train like one.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “What are you doing extra? That’s what counts. That’s when you’re working hard – when you’re going above and over what’s expected of you” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Just because you’re doing a lot more, doesn’t mean you’re getting a lot more done.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “In any profession, it gets to be a grind.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Hard work works. Working really hard is what successful people do, period.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Never confuse movement with progress, because you can run in place and not get anywhere.” ~ Denzel Washington


hiker reading Denzel Washington quotes


  • “I’m not interested in being a celebrity, I’m interested in being a better actor and a better director.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “You practice anything for a long time, you get good at it.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “Never be discouraged. Never hold back. Give everything you’ve got. And when you fall throughout life, remember to fall forward.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “If I’m a cup maker, I’m interested in making the best cup I possibly can. My effort goes into the cup, not what people think about it.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “There’s an old saying; you hang around the barbershop long enough you’re gonna get a haircut. So you will catch a break as long as you put in the work.” ~ Denzel Washington


  • “It’s simple: You get a part. You play a part. You play it well. You do your work and you go home. And what is wonderful about movies is that once they’re done, they belong to the people.” ~ Denzel Washington


Denzel Washington Movie Quotes

To wrap up this list, let’s dive into some of Denzel’s best quotes from the characters that he’s portrayed brilliantly over the years.


  • “Okay, my friend, it’s off to the next life for you. I guarantee you, you won’t be lonely.” ~ Creasy (Man On Fire)


  • “I am not going to bury my son, my son is going to bury me!” ~ John Archibald (John Q)


  • “You got today and today only to show me what you’re made of.” ~ Alonzo (Training Day)


  • “Hate put me in prison. Love’s gonna bust me out.” ~ Rubin Carter (The Hurricane)


  • “A man once told me you step out of your door in the morning and you’re already in trouble. The only question is, are you on top of that trouble or not?” ~ Easy Rawlins (Devin In A Blue Dress)


  • “If we don’t come together right now on this hallowed ground, we too will be destroyed just like they were.” ~ Coach Boone (Remember The Titans)


  • “I didn’t lie to you. I just didn’t tell you the whole truth.” ~ Nick Styles (Ricochet)


  • “You practice anything for a long time, you get good at it. You tell a hundred lies a day, it sounds like the truth.” ~ Tobin Frost (Safe House)


  • “People do bad things; if you’re lucky, you get a chance to set it right, but most of the time it goes unpunished. This ain’t one of them times.” ~ Robert Mccall (The Equalizer)


  • “They killed my friend. So I’m going to kill each and every one of them. And the only disappointment is that I only get to do it once.” ~ Denzel Washington (The Equalizer)


  • “The purpose of war is to serve a political end but the true nature of war is to serve itself.” ~ Hunter (Crimson Tide)


  • “This is no democracy. It’s a dictatorship. I am the law.” ~ Coach Boone (Remember The Titans)


  • “If that’s how you treat your friends, Blake, I’m glad we’re enemies.” ~ Nick Styles (Ricochet)


Final Thoughts

Denzel Washington’s words are a testament to the life lessons that he has learned throughout his remarkable journey. 

His quotes inspire us to live with purpose, to never be afraid to fail, and to always strive to be the best version of ourselves.

Thank you for taking the time to read these Denzel Washington quotes and for allowing us to share his wisdom with you!

I hope this article has left you feeling inspired and motivated to crush the day ahead, armed with the wisdom and guidance of one of the greatest actors of our time. 

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