90+ Eric Hoffer Quotes To Help You Navigating Life’s Challenges

Mayuri Meshram
By Mayuri Meshram  - Editor

Browse these quotes by Eric Hoffer as we have rounded up the most inspirational Eric Hoffer quotes that will remind you to work hard, inspire you to hustle, and motivate you to stay positive.

Who is Eric Hoffer:

Eric Hoffer was a prolific American writer, philosopher, and social critic, best known for his book “The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements”.

Hoffer was born in New York City in 1902. Hoffer released “The True Believer” in 1951, which won the National Book Award, and it rapidly became a best-seller. Hoffer’s work explores the nature of mass movements as well as the psychological motivations of their followers. He claims that religious, political, and intellectual mass movements are motivated by emotions of anger, resentment, and inadequacy among their supporters. Check out, William James’ Quotes to assist in life.

In addition to “The True Believer”, Hoffer also published numerous other novels, including “The Passionate State of Mind” and “The Ordeal of Change”. His publications were widely read and had an impact on sociology, psychology, and political science.

Here are some lesser-known facts about Hoffer:

  • Hoffer worked as a migrant farm worker, gold miner, and migratory agricultural laborer before becoming a longshoreman in San Francisco.
  • He was blind in one eye and almost blind in the other, making reading and writing difficult, yet he was able to dictate his books to a secretary.
  • He was an enthusiastic stamp collector who owned a large collection of stamps from all over the world.
  • He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1983.
  • He authored a few books under the pen name Eric Hoffer.

Hoffer died in 1983, but his publications, which are still extensively read and studied today, carry on his legacy.

Top 30 Eric Hoffer Quotes to Inspire Your Life

A successful social technique consists perhaps in finding unobjectionable means for individual self-assertion.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

Disappointment is a sort of bankruptcy – the bankruptcy of a soul that expends too much in hope and expectation.

A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle.

A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

Nothing so bolsters our self-confidence and reconciles us with ourselves as the continuous ability to create; to see things grow and develop under our hand, day in, day out.

In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

A mass movement attracts and holds a following not because it can satisfy the desire for self-advancement, but because it can satisfy the passion for self-renunciation.

The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

A soul that is reluctant to share does not as a rule have much of its own. Miserliness is here a symptom of meagerness.

Success and failure are unavoidably related in our minds to the state of things around us.

Eric Hoffer Quotes on success

People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.

Freedom aggravates at least as much as it alleviates frustration. Freedom of choice places the whole blame for failure on the shoulders of the individual.

Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

In the past, religious movements were the conspicuous vehicles of change. The conservatism of religion—its orthodoxy—is the inert coagulum of a once highly reactive sap.

When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

Action is at the bottom a swinging and flailing of the arms to regain one’s balance and keep afloat.

The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for himself, the more ready is he to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race, or his holy cause.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.

An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

Emigration offers some of the things the frustrated hope to find when they join a mass movement, namely, change and a chance for a new beginning.

Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil. Usually, the strength of a mass movement is proportionate to the vividness and tangibility of its devil.

Compassion is the antitoxin of the soul: where there is compassion even the most poisonous impulses remain relatively harmless.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

We join a mass movement to escape individual responsibility, or, in the words of the ardent young Nazi, “to be free from freedom.

It still holds true that man is most uniquely human when he turns obstacles into opportunities.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

Common hatred unites the most heterogeneous elements. To share a common hatred, with an enemy even, is to infect him with a feeling of kinship, and thus sap his powers of resistance.

The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

Self-contempt, however vague, sharpens our eyes to the imperfections of others. We usually strive to reveal to others the blemishes we hide in ourselves.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know.

In a world of change, the learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned shall find themselves perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.

Fear of becoming a has kept some people from becoming anything.

Eric Hoffer Quotes on fear

Inspirational Eric Hoffer Quotes To Read

Glory is largely a theatrical concept. There is no striving for glory without a vivid awareness of an audience.

You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.

Eric Hoffer Quotes on life

How frighteningly few are the persons whose death would spoil our appetite and make the world seem empty.

In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.

It is a sign of a creeping inner death when we no longer can praise the living.

Eric Hoffer Quotes on life

The decline of handicrafts in modern times is perhaps one of the causes of the rise of frustration

It almost seems that nobody can hate America as much as native Americans. America needs new immigrants to love and cherish it.

It is loneliness that makes the loudest noise. This is as true of men as of dogs.

Eric Hoffer Quotes on lonliness

Nowhere at present is there such a measureless loathing of their country by educated people as in America.

It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one’s neighbor.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

The leader has to be practical and a realist yet must talk the language of the visionary and the idealist.

It is not so much the example of others we imitate as the reflection of ourselves in their eyes and the echo of ourselves in their words.

Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.

Eric Hoffer Quotes

It is the awareness of unfulfilled desires which gives a nation the feeling that it has a mission and a destiny.

It is the pull of opposite poles that stretches souls. And only stretched souls make music.

It would be difficult to exaggerate the degree to which we are influenced by those we influence.

The loyalty of the true believer is to the whole — the church, party, nation — and not to his fellow true believer

The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle.

It is not actual suffering but the taste of better things which excites people to revolt.

Man is the only creature that strives to surpass himself, and yearns for the impossible.

The conservatism of religion – its orthodoxy – is the inert coagulum of a once highly reactive sap.

A man was nature’s mistake – she neglected to finish him – and she has never ceased paying for her mistake.

Many of the insights of the saint stem from his experience as a sinner.

Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and turns into a racket.

Most often in history, it was the conquerors who learned willingly from the conquered.

Men weary as much of not doing the things they want to do as of doing the things they do not want to do.

There is perhaps no surer way of infecting ourselves with virulent hatred toward a person than by doing him a grave injustice.

Nationalist pride, like other variants of pride, can be a substitute for self-respect.

To lose one’s life is but to lose the present; and, clearly, to lose a defiled, worthless present is not to lose much.

One of the marks of a truly vigorous society is the ability to dispense with passion as a midwife of action – the ability to pass directly from thought to action.

Social improvement is attained more readily by a concern with the quality of results than with the purity of motives.

The suspicious mind believes more than it doubts. It believes in a formidable and ineradicable evil lurking in every person.

The vanity of the selfless, even those who practice utmost humility, is boundless.

Empathy alone stands apart from the continuous traffic between good and evil proceeding within us.

The world leans on us. When we sag, the whole world seems to droop.

There is always a chance that he who sets himself up as his brother’s keeper will end up being his jail-keeper.

There is in most passions a shrinking away from ourselves. The passionate pursuer has all the earmarks of a fugitive.

There is no loneliness greater than the loneliness of failure. The failure is a stranger in his own house.

Creativity is the ability to introduce order into the randomness of nature.

There are no chaste minds. Minds copulate wherever they meet.

Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life.

The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.

It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak.

Religiofication”—the art of turning practical purposes into holy causes.

Eric Hoffer Short Quotes

Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.

A great man’s greatest good luck is to die at the right time.

We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.

A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed.

We lie the loudest when we lie to ourselves.

A grievance is most poignant when almost redressed.

A heresy can spring only from a system that is in full vigor.

Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely absolute power.

Anger is the prelude to courage.

Animals often strike us as passionate machines.

Death has but one terror, that it has no tomorrow.

Dissipation is a form of self-sacrifice.

You can never have enough of that which you don’t need.

Every new adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem.

Facts are counter-revolutionary.

The greatest weariness comes from work not done.

How much easier is self-sacrifice than self-realization?

To be fully alive is to feel that everything is possible.

Every extreme attitude is a flight from the self.

Ideas have significance for him only as a prelude to action.

Jesus was not a Christian, nor was Marx a Marxist.

You can never get enough of what you don’t really want.

To spell out the obvious is often to call it in question.

To the old, the new is usually bad news.

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By Mayuri Meshram Editor
Mayuri is a professional content writer, she loves motivating people and inspiring them to pursue their dreams. Sharing quotes, proverbs, and sayings of great authors to touch people's lives to make it better.