Get inspired with some of our favorite ocean quotes.
What comes to your mind when you think of the ocean? Does it bring back childhood memories of days spent on the beach? Does it make you long for a beach vacation? Does its wildness fascinate you or scare you?
The ocean might inspire you to go on an adventure, to battle its strength and explore its depths, but it can also be a motivation to follow your dreams and persist until you achieve them.
Today, I invite you to read through the top 13 inspirational ocean quotes that explore the sea’s beauty and power, and hopefully, it will help you access your own.
1. “There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” – Sarah Kay
This inspirational ocean quote is a metaphor for the beauty that comes from carrying on despite the obstacles. Even though not giving up might not be a part of your nature, persistence is a skill that you can and should learn. We live in a world where we tend to celebrate success above everything else. If you look at social media accounts, you might struggle to come across a post that talks about both ups and downs.
Nowadays, it’s all about the result, not about the journey. The problem with valuing success above persistence is that you’re essentially teaching yourself that you’re only worthy once you succeed and that you’re a failure if you don’t. But here’s why persistence is so important: it allows you to adapt to challenging situations and grow as a person. In other words, persistence improves resilience which has been identified as one of the crucial ingredients of success.  If you don’t persist, you’ll teach yourself to be afraid of failure and never progress.
“The universe is an ocean upon which we are the waves. While some decide to surf, others venture to dive.” – Charbel Tadros
Have you ever admired the diversity of the ocean? When people refer to the ocean, they tend to speak about its richness and beauty. Many are fascinated by what’s going on below the surface and want to explore its depths. There’s no judgment there; every organism is thought to have its role and contribute to marine life in its own unique way.
Unfortunately, we can’t say the same about the human world where stereotypes and expectations often cloud our judgment. No one is born to follow a specific schema but those who choose an unusual path in life tend to be criticized for doing something out of the box, even if it makes them happy. And just like some decide to play it safe and avoid judgement, others choose to explore and dive; to learn new things and collect experiences.
- “The ocean makes me feel really small and it makes me put my whole life into perspective.” – Beyonce Knowles
This Beyonce ocean quote captures the rawness and beauty of the ocean. The ocean water can be unpredictable with unknown depths. While this realization might be overwhelming, it can also help you feel more grounded and put things into perspective.
As you watch the waves rumbling in an endless rhythm with no sight of the horizon, you might realize that your problems are insignificant. Even if you can’t solve them yet, there’s comfort in knowing there’s a whole different world at the bottom of the ocean.
Read this Next: My Favorite Ocean Quotes For Personal Reflection
“There's nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you've been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.” – Dave Barry
People tend to like playing it safe. This habit might come from a fear of failure – most of us want to avoid rejection to the point of sometimes not trying at all. And if you look at the research that analyzes the brain’s reaction in response to rejection, you’ll understand why.
The findings from one of the studies showed that rejection activates the same brain areas as physical pain.  Rejection does hurt but holding yourself back has its consequences. If you settle for drifting above the surface, you’ll miss out on many life experiences. Wisdom isn’t learned from the comfort zone but from failure.
“Let the waves carry you where the light can not.” - Mohit Kaushik
No matter how much we would like it to be, our life’s journey isn’t straightforward. We face obstacles that sometimes throw us off track and leave us feeling more lost than before. This might cause us to lose hope that we’ll ever achieve our goals. But with just a bit of patience and a belief that we are where we should be right now, we’ll be able to find a way to happiness. Relax and have faith - the universe will work in your favor.
“Even the upper end of the river believes in the ocean.” – William Edgar Stafford
This ocean quote by the American poet urges you to remain open-minded and believe in things you can’t see. Even if you don’t have proof, you should stand by your beliefs because one day you might find it. Additionally, believing in something is a powerful thing. Have you ever heard of manifestations? The most popular type of manifestation is the Law of Attraction, which assumes that we’re able to achieve whatever we imagine.
For example, visualizing your success daily can bring you closer to your goals. Similarly, positive thoughts will attract positive things. If you imagine a more confident version of yourself, it will eventually help you become one. The rules of this concept can be applied to nearly everything in life, even money. While there’s no scientific proof it works, a lot of people swear by it. There’s no harm in training your mind to become a bit more positive.
“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Let’s face it, life isn’t simple. But it’s not meant to be. Not getting out of your comfort zone feels safe but it also impedes growth. According to the Adaptive Information Processing theory, every new challenge we encounter is absorbed by existing memory networks made of past experiences. In other words, obstacles are converted into valuable knowledge that we can access to navigate future problems and learn how to respond in certain situations. If you never take risks, you won’t give yourself a chance to succeed. And even if you do succeed, you’ll have robbed yourself of life experiences that can turn you into a wise, resilient person.
“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Christopher Columbus
Just like taking risks, letting go takes courage. Have you ever found it difficult to forget your ex-partner even though they caused you pain? We might hold onto upsetting memories because they feel familiar and comfortable, and fear changes even if it means becoming happier versions of ourselves. Or we might be too afraid to be alone. But until you’ve moved past these memories, you’ll be stuck in the same point of life forever.
Many people are afraid of the concept of letting go, also called radical acceptance, because they think it’s synonymous with approval. They believe that forgiving their abusive partner means they justify their behavior. Radical acceptance is about acknowledging reality so you can move on and save yourself from lifelong pain. It happened, and there’s no way to undo the damage, but you still deserve a chance to be happy.
“The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” – Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
Isak Dinesen was a Danish author who might not be well-known among the current generation, but her ocean quote is doing rounds on social media, and I can see why. It’s both motivational and uplifting and can inspire you to stand back up after life knocks you down. The essence of this ocean quote can be summarized by one message: when everything else fails, turn to nature. In most cases, we have all the tools we need to make ourselves feel better and they have one thing in common: the feeling of freedom and release.
Read this Next: Top 5 Inspirational Ocean Quotes [For Personal Reflection]
Whether you force your body to move so you can heal with a dose of feel-good hormones, let yourself express your emotions or stare at the sea, you’ll be able to clear your head and put things into perspective. Next time you’re feeling down, try a light physical activity and don’t hold back your tears: let yourself fall apart just for a moment to start fresh the next day. Lastly, surround yourself with nature. The views have a soothing effect as they ground you in the present and remind you of the most important thing: you’re alive.
“Family is a life jacket in the stormy sea of life.” – J.K Rowling
This Harry Potter ocean quote highlights the importance of family in our life. Loved ones can improve our wellbeing and offer mental support that gets us through difficult times. However, the books also teach us that family doesn’t have to come from blood. Family can refer to your friends who lift your mood. It can refer to friends who comfort you when your life isn’t going the way you want it to be going. Whoever your support network is, they play an important role in your life. For example, studies show that high-quality friendships are linked to a decreased likelihood of depression as they help you cope with stressors.  Life is very much like a storm but if you’re surrounded by the right people, you’ll get through everything.
“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” - Ryunosuke Akutagawa
This ocean quote can be understood in terms of a romantic relationship. You might be able to deal with life’s adversities on your own, but it will be a lot more difficult than having someone else’s support. If you have someone you love and who loves you back, there’s nothing you can’t overcome.
Another interpretation refers to problems we face as a society. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go in terms of prejudice, discrimination, and inequality, and trying to repair years of social injustice can seem like a lost battle. But even though one person might not be able to make a change, the power lies in numbers. If enough people unite and work towards a common goal, they’ll be unstoppable.
12. “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Hearing about atrocities committed by others can make you lose faith in humanity. Especially now, with the pandemic, it’s easy to see things as black and white when most people are divided into those who think it’s a hoax and those who had family members taken away from them. But just as much there’s evil in the world, there’s good. If you look around, you’ll notice small acts of kindness everywhere. Perhaps a shop assistant smiled at you; perhaps a stranger let you get on the bus first. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important when dramatic news surrounds us, but humanity is still here.
13. “While inner beauty stays permanent like an ocean. By all means, hold strong to your inner beauty.” – Edmond Mbiaka
We, as a society, are obsessed with physical beauty – wherever we look, we’re bombarded with beauty products that aim to preserve our look, modern dating is condensed into apps that value appearance above all, and we’re taught that ageing is shameful. However, it’s the inner beauty that we should be focused on because just like the ocean, it doesn’t change over time. While outer beauty fades, inner beauty stays with you forever and should be cultivated. This is an impactful ocean quote.
About the Contributor
Joanna Cakala is a multilingual writer based in the UK. Combining a degree in Psychology and passion for writing, she started her freelance journey penning articles on mental health.
What is your favorite ocean quote? Let us know below.
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You can also check out our Pinterest board if you are looking for more reflective ocean quotes - why not use these as a base for your next journal prompts?