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Rags To Riches: 114 Quotes About Poverty To Success

Rags To Riches: 114 Quotes About Poverty To Success

Are you tired of living in poverty, feeling stuck, and unable to provide for yourself the things you wish and desire? 

These quotes about poverty to success are meant to help you switch from the scarcity (poverty) mindset to the success and abundance mindset.

When people live in poverty and struggle financially, they most likely have a scarcity mindset. 

The scarcity mindset means they have many negative, subconscious beliefs about money that silently sabotage them.

Our beliefs will influence our lives, especially from the subconscious mind, which is why Carl Jung said, “Until you make your subconscious conscious, it will lead your life, and you will call it fate.” 

This is also why we call our website “subconscious servant” because we want to emphasize our subconscious mind's extraordinary power over our life.

If someone has negative beliefs about money and abundance, that area of their life will be blocked, and they will continuously live in poverty.

The good news is that the poor mindset can be broken, and you can start implementing positive beliefs about abundance and money. 

If you want to learn more about how to do this, click here to read my in-depth article on the topic. 

Abundance can be present in all areas of our life – we can be abundant in money, love, health, etc., as abundance simply means having enough of what you need. 

Moving from poverty to abundance means achieving success in all areas of your life – financial, professional, romantic relationships, health, etc. 

Thus, let’s have a look at the following quotes about how to get from poverty to success and let them inspire you in your journey towards abundance and fulfillment. 

I will start by presenting quotes about what it means to grow up poor- to make you aware of the impact that can have on your future life trajectory and the beliefs you internalized. 

Then, I will list general quotes about poverty, and last but not least, quotes about poverty to success, hopefully inspiring you to make the change.

Growing Up Poor Quotes

Image of growing up poor quotes

1. “We sometimes think poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” – Mother Teresa

2. “When you grow up poor, you have to either work really hard to try and get where you want to be, or you'll just stay put.” – Dat Phan

3. “My views on everything from welfare to a balanced budget to affirmative action can be traced to what Buddy and Helen Watts taught me as a young boy growing up poor but proud in Eufaula.” – J. C. Watts

4. “We were growing up in West Virginia. Everybody was poor there in the southern part of the state. It was like growing up in the Great Depression from the stories I heard people tell. Everybody was poor, and so we didn't know that we were any different from anybody else.” – James Green Somerville

5. “Each one of us has a tendency for the diabolical. If I put you in inhumane conditions if you're not educated if you're extremely poor if you're humiliated, then as a child, if you suffer abuse, you will manifest even when you grow up.” – Deepak Chopra

6. “When a destitute mother starts earning an income, her dreams of success invariably center around her children. A woman's second priority is the household.” – Muhammad Yunus

7. “My entire childhood was steeped in poverty. For me, poverty, in a way, was the first inspiration of my life, a commitment to do something for the poor.” – Narendra Modi

8. “My parents, both artists, were bohemians. Life was a desperate struggle but in service of a high ideal, which is exactly what my photographs are about.”  – Justine Kurland

9. “I can't eradicate poverty, but at least for the people around me, I can help ensure no child is denied a dream.” – Priyanka Chopra

10. “History will judge us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children.” – Nelson Mandela

11. “As a child, I experienced firsthand the severe effects of poverty and illiteracy, especially on women and children. My parents taught me the importance of education and that it was a key to improving an individual's life.” – Naveen Jain

12. “Growing up poor, I wasn't comfortable, and my mom had to work so hard that I woke up one day and decided I would not come home until I could help her pay the bills.” – Farrah Gray

13. “When we were growing up, we were so poor that our heritage was the only thing we had. Mama would say, ‘Kids, pour more water in the soup. Better days are coming.” – Ashley Judd

14. “I was so poor growing up…if I wasn't a boy…I'd have nothing to play with.” – Rodney 


15. “Many girls do not go to school because of poverty.” – Malala Yousafzai

16. “Growing up poor, I didn't even have a lunch to take to school.” – George Foreman

17. “Once you grow up poor, you don't take anything for granted. It can have a negative side also because you can never truly be relaxed.” – Will Smith

18. “We were a large and poor farm family, so that meant that we had to kill and eat our animal friends. When you do that, you are aware of the sacrifice that someone is making so that you may live. My mother always made sure we were thankful for those precious gifts.” – Roger Fouts

19. “If you grow up poor, you'll always worry about money, no matter how successful or lucky you become.” – Jason Flemyng

20. “I didn't know I was poor growing up because everyone was in the same boat.” – Ricky Gervais

21. “We know that kids who grow up in an environment of warmth and support will thrive and function in whatever environment they find themselves in. What we need to do is to do more to help poor kids have such an environment.” – Alison Gopnik

22. “I think that growing up very poor in a very wealthy town gave me a sense of being an outsider, and I hated it when I was growing up.” – Moby

23. “Childhood, after all, is the first precious coin that poverty steals from a child”  – Anthony Horowitz

24. “Poverty is a very complicated issue, but feeding a child isn't.” – Jeff Bridges

RELATED: 101+ Quotes About Poverty & Education That’ll Make You Think

Quotes About Poverty

Image of Aristotle quote about poverty to success

25. “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.” – Nelson Mandela

26. “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” –  Aristotle

27. “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.” – Dom Helder Camara

28. “Children grow up in poverty and despair. The well-being of our children must be the national priority and the responsibility of every individual.” – Jimmy Carter

29. “I think food and education will help stem the poverty of the young people who are being drawn into terrorism every day.” – Marcy Kaptur

30. “Poverty makes you work really hard.” – Maye Musk

31. “Hunger makes a thief of any man.” – Pearl S. Buck

32. “My work with the poor and the incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice.” – Bryan Stevenson

33. “Give me your tired, poor, and huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” – Emma Lazarus

34. “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made, and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.” – Nelson Mandela

35. “Once poverty is gone, we’ll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They’ll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society, how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation, and despair.” –  Muhammad Yunus

36. “We cannot afford to spend millions and millions on nuclear arms when there is poverty and unemployment all around us.” – Lal Bahadur Shastri

37. “Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere.” – Kofi Annan

38. “I believe in a world of justice and human rights for all. A world where girls can grow up free of fear of abuse. A world where women are treated with the respect and dignity that is their right. A world where poverty is not acceptable. My dear young friends, you can make this your world.”- Ban Ki-moon

39. “Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted are the most terrible poverty.” – Mother Teresa

40. “If the misery of the poor is caused not by the laws of nature but by our institutions, great is our sin.” – Charles Darwin

41. “Poverty is not a lack of material things, it's a lack of love.” – Alan Young

Image of poverty and success quote by Alan Young

42. “I believe that poverty is evil as long as there is plenty.” – Robert Kennedy

43. “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

44. “Poverty frees them from ordinary standards of behavior, just as money frees people from work.” – George Orwell

45. “In a well-governed country, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” – Confucius

46. “As long as poverty, injustice, and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.” – Nelson Mandela

47. “Poverty is the absence of all human rights. The frustrations, hostility, and anger generated by abject poverty cannot sustain peace in any society.” – Muhammad Yunus

48. “These days, there is a lot of poverty in the world, and that’s a scandal when we have so many riches and resources to give to everyone. We all have to think about how we can become a little poorer.” – Pope Francis

49. “Surely it is impossible for us, as normal human beings, to watch children starve to death without trying to save them.” – Eglantyne Jebb

50. “If you go out into the real world, you cannot miss seeing that the poor are poor not because they are untrained or illiterate but because they cannot retain the returns of their labor. They have no control over capital, and it is the ability to control capital that gives people the power to rise out of poverty.” – Muhammad Yunus

51. “There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher.” – Victor Hugo

52. “In this increasingly interconnected world, we must understand that what happens to poor people is never divorced from the actions of the powerful. Certainly, people who define themselves as poor may control their own destinies to some extent. But control of lives is related to control of land, systems of production, and the formal political and legal structures in which lives are enmeshed. With time, both wealth and control have become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. The opposite trend is desired by those working for social justice.” – Paul Farmer

53. “Extreme poverty is not only a condition of unsatisfied material needs. A degrading state of powerlessness often accompanies it.” –  Peter Singer

54. “I believe that we can create a poverty-free world because poor people do not create poverty. It has been created and sustained by the economic and social systems we have designed for ourselves; the institutions and concepts that make up that system; the policies we pursue.” – Muhammad Yunus

55. “The real cause of hunger is the powerlessness of the poor to gain access to the resources they need to feed themselves.”- Frances Moore

56. “The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is enough.” – Dr. Wess Stafford

57. “People… were poor not because they were stupid or lazy. They worked all day long, doing complex physical tasks. They were poor because the financial institution in the country did not help them widen their economic base.” – Muhammad Yunus

58. “Extreme poverty is a condition of unsatisfied material needs. A degrading state of powerlessness often accompanies it.”- Peter Singer

59. “Poverty is not a disgrace, but it’s terribly inconvenient.” – Milton Berle

60. “History is written by the rich, and so the poor get blamed for everything.”  – Jeffrey D. Sachs

61. “Poverty is the worst form of violence.” –  Mahatma Gandhi

62. “There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” – Mahatma Gandhi

63. “Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn't commit.”- Eli Khamarov

64. “Poverty of goods is easily cured; poverty of the mind is irreparable.”  – Michel de Montaigne

65. “It would be nice if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them.” – William E. Vaughn

66. “There is a noble manner of being poor, and who does not know it will never be rich.” – Seneca the Younger

Quotes About Poverty And Success

Image of Jimmy Dean quote

67. “Poverty was the greatest motivating factor in my life.” – Jimmy Dean

68. “Poverty and success are not mutually exclusive. You can be successful even if you started with nothing.” – Alan Young

69. “Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.” – Norman Vincent Peale

70. “If you're in trouble or hurt or need―go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help―the only ones.” – John Steinbeck

71. “Every life deserves a certain amount of dignity, no matter how poor or damaged the shell that carries it.” – Rick Bragg

72. “But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.” – William Butler Yeats

73. “Hardships, poverty, and want are the best incentives, and the best foundation, for the success of man.” – Bradford Merrill

74. “Let us be done with thinking of poverty as a virtue. It is a common vice. If you have been living in financial lack and limitation, you have literally been living in a vice. That, too, is the shocking truth about prosperity. But you need not continue living in a financial vice. There is a way out.” – Catherine Ponder

75. “Because to the poor, books are not diversions. Books are siege weapons.” – Joe Queenan

76. “I can go back to poverty if a situation comes. I have sailed through the worst days of my life and am prepared for any crisis.” – Nawazuddin Siddiqui

77. “Poverty and adversity have produced many of the most successful people in the world.” – Dr. T.P. Chia

78. “Success, just like poverty, is a state of mind. You can become successful instantly with a simple decision and commitment. Long-lasting and pronounced success comes to those who renew their commitment to a mindset of abundance every minute, hour, and day.” – Bryant McGill

79. “Nobody is born poor and empty. Each of us has a gift. Talent or intelligence, how we use it to lift our lives, spells our success or failure.” – Ymatruz

80. “There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge. Both poverty and riches are the offspring of thought.” – Napoleon Hill

81. “Poverty is not intrinsically a trap. Otherwise, we would all still be poor.” – Paul Collier

82. “Diligence produces success and riches. Laziness creates poverty and failure.” – Dr. T. P. Chia

83. “Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” – Doris Day

Image of Doris Day quote

84. “The path to success is through a continuum of mundane, unsexy, unexciting, and sometimes difficult daily disciplines compounded over time.” – Darren Hardy

85. “Success is messy. But so is life. Deal with it. Poverty is messier.” – James Arthur Ray

86. “Remember, no more effort is required to aim high in life, to demand abundance and prosperity, than is required to accept misery and poverty.” – Napoleon Hill

87. “Charity is no solution to poverty.” – Muhamad Yunus

88. “It’s not about your resources, it’s about your resourcefulness.” – Tony Robbins

89. “People ought to be as sensible on the subject of Money Getting as on any other subject. Like causes produce like effects. You cannot accumulate a fortune by taking the road that leads to poverty.” – P.T. Barnum

90. “We did live in dire poverty. And one of the things that I hated was poverty. Some people hate spiders. Some people hate snakes. I hated poverty. I couldn’t stand it.” – Ben Carson

91. “Get what you can, and what you get hold, Tis the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.” – Benjamin Franklin

92. “There is no wealth like knowledge and no poverty like ignorance.” – Buddha

93. “You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.” – Frank McCourt

94. “Poverty is not a hindrance to success, but rather a motivation to achieve it.” – Alan Young

95. “Poor choices are the leading cause of poorness” – M.J. Demarco

96. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

97. “Poverty is not a circumstance, it’s an attitude.” – Rita Gonzalez

98. “The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.” – Adam Smith

99. “Information without execution is poverty.” – Tony Robbins

100. “Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.” – C.S. Lewis

101. ”Education is the best way to end the cycle of poverty and the exploitation of children.” – Radwan Chowdhury

102. “Happiness and suffering do not depend on being poor or rich, but on having the right or wrong understanding in our mind.” – Ajahn Chah

103. “The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are going.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

104. “Poverty, for example, is primarily a matter of prospects and connections.” – George Gilder

105. “It takes nothing to stay in poverty but everything to break free from it.” – Idowu Koyenikan

106. “A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with poverty but how efficiently we can put first things first.” – Victoria Moran

107. “Poor is the man who is not content with what he has.” – Rita Gonzalez

108. “It is a common condition of being poor. You are always afraid that the good things in your life are temporary and that someone can take them away because you have no power beyond your own brute strength to stop them.” – Rick Bragg

109. “It is good to know what it is to be poor, and a better thing if you can do it in the company.” – Marilynne Robinson

110. “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion about the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.” – Benjamin Franklin

111. “Being poor is a state of mind, not a condition.” – Alphonso Jackson

Image of Alphonso Jackson quote on poverty to success

112. “If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather than dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.” – Barbara Bush

113. “What power can poverty have over a home where loving hearts are beating with a consciousness of untold riches of the head and heart?”- Orison Swett Marden

114. “No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.” – George S. Patton

Which Poverty To Success Quote Has Inspired You The Most?

Quotes can have a powerful impact on us. The right quote, put in the right place and seen at the right time, can change your entire mood or day. 

When you read a quote, your mind internalizes it, and it can become your reality, which is why it’s beneficial to put quotes around your house or print them on items such as clothing or your favorite mug. 

Who wouldn’t want to wear a T-shirt that inspires them to move from poverty to success every time they look in the mirror – or to drink their morning coffee from a mug that sets them in the right mood? 

Yes, quotes can be an inspiration, and you can use them in your journey toward healing and growth. 

All in all, we would love to find out in the comment section below which one of these quotes has inspired you the most!