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20 Top Margaret Thatcher Quotes on Courage and Conviction



There have been few politicians as controversial as Margaret Thatcher.

Also known as the ‘Iron Lady’, Margaret Hilda Thatcher (née Roberts) was born on October 13th, 1925, in Grantham, England. Her family operated a local grocery in Grantham and lived in an apartment above their store. A very talented student, Thatcher was received her early education at Grantham Girl’s High School. Thatcher went on to earn a degree in Chemistry from Oxford University and worked as a research chemist in Colchester and Darford before actively pursuing politics.

Margaret Thatcher was introduced to conservative politics from a very early age by her father, who was a member of Grantham’s town council. In 1950, Thatcher began to actively pursue politics.

Although her early bids for public office met with failure, it didn’t stop her from trying again. In 1959, Thatcher finally won a seat in the House of Commons and her political career began taking off.

In 1979, Margaret Thatcher, now the Leader of the Conservative Party, made history by becoming the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. It was a position she went on to hold for eleven years.

Unlike many of her peers, Thatcher was a politician with a backbone – and this attitude defined much of her tenure as Prime Minister. She was best known for supporting the privatization of state-owned properties and her attacks on labor organizations and unions. A dauntless leader, Thatcher handled numerous conflicts (including the Falkland Wars and plots by the Irish Republic Army) by taking swift actions throughout her terms. She finally resigned from her post in November 22nd, 1990, as a result of losing popular support due to her attempt at implementing a fixed rate local tax (or the “Poll Tax”) – a policy that caused public protests across the UK and discord within the Conservative Party.

Margaret Thatcher is one of those unique individuals that have a tendency to polarize opinions. You either love her or loathe her. Her staunchest supporters admire her for conviction, resolve, and grit – while her critics censure her for ramping up unemployment and steering the United Kingdom towards an environment of greed.

Regardless of any personal opinions however, it is undeniable that Margaret Thatcher was a woman unlike any other. Courageous with a no-nonsense attitude, she is a perfect example of a powerful leader.

Here are 20 Margaret Thatcher quotes that will push you towards achieving your own goals.

20 Margaret Thatcher Quotes to Boost Your Determination

1. “I place a profound belief, indeed a fervent faith, in the virtues of self reliance and personal independence.”

"I place a profound belief, indeed a fervent faith, in the virtues of self reliance and personal independence." - Margaret Thatcher

Famous Biographies

The only one you can truly count on in this world is you. Change, above everything else, comes from within. So, learn to rely on yourself. Independence is a common trait among the successful. Because by being independent, you can take control of your own life and direct it towards the goals you want to reach.

2. “If we can win the battle of ideas, then the war will already be half-won.”

You must first convince yourself of your own abilities. Only by learning to believe in yourself, can you begin to move forward and reach for your ambitions. Because, once you’ve convinced yourself that you have the gumption necessary to achieve what you want, you will have jumped across the biggest hurdle keeping you from your dreams.

3. “No flood of words will mean anything unless it is accompanied by some positive action.”

People find it very easy to pay lip service to self-improvement. But very few people proactively work at it. Do not be one of these people. If you say you are going to change your life for the better, you have to roll up your sleeves and put effort into changing it. Because nobody else is going to do it for you.

4. “Everyone has the right to be unequal but every human being is equally important.”

"Everyone has the right to be unequal but every human being is equally important." - Margaret Thatcher

Melville House Books

People are never going to be equal. The people who work hard are going to be more successful. The people who are smarter will leave others behind biting dust. And some people will just be luckier than everyone else. And that is something we should all accept.

We are all human beings and, in that, we are equal. But some people will always be successful or worse off than the rest of the world. However, that does not mean we should be envious of the successful or gloat over the misfortunes of those down on their luck. Everyone has a part to play in this world. And the only thing that should matter to you, is whether or not you are playing your part well.

5. “We put just about everything before guns.”

Violence should always be the very last resort – even when it seems like the easiest solution. Because aggression rarely provides long term solution to any issue. It only escalates situations that could have been easily resolved with tact.

SEE ALSO: 22 Most Empowering Beyoncé Quotes to Inspire

6. “We should be on the watch for the teeth and the appetite of the wolf.”

The world is often a selfish place. Not everyone has our best interests at heart. So, being vigilant is the smart thing to do. Do not ever put your trust in people easily. Because it is better to be wrong about somebody than be unprepared for them.

7. “Every human being must play his part in working out his own salvation.”

"Every human being must play his part in working out his own salvation." - Margaret Thatcher


We are responsible for your own fates. If we do not act to bring positive changes in our lives, then we will have failed ourselves. Take charge of your own fate because you are the only one who can and should control your life.

8. “Each person has their own talents and abilities, and these are the things you want to draw and bring out.”

The most important trait for good leaders is the ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of the ones they lead. Always try to identify and bring out the best in people – especially yourself. Because once you identify a person’s strengths, you will discover that everyone has a part in this world that only they can play. Remember: there is no such thing as a worthless human being.

9. “Rising crime is not due to society but due to the steady undermining of personal responsibility and self-discipline – all things which are taught within the family.”

Family is the most important part of any functional society. Pay attention to yours. Help those who are losing their way and celebrate those who are heading towards success. And if you yourself need help, turn to them for support. Because the old adage “blood is thicker than water” is almost always true.

10. “The only way to do the best you can is to work as hard as you can.”

"The only way to do the best you can is to work as hard as you can." - Margaret Thatcher

Famous Biographies

Hard work is absolutely essential for success. None of us can achieve the best we can without putting in all the effort we can muster. So, put a 110% of yourself into everything you work towards. Only then can you see the best results possible.

SEE ALSO: 14 Elon Musk Quotes to Bring Out Your Inner Innovator

11. “I love argument, I love debate. I don’t expect anyone just to sit there and agree with me, that’s not their job.”

Do not shy away from ideas and opinions that are different from your own. Restricting our company to people that agree with us may be comfortable, but it stagnates personal growth. Instead, listen to the opinions and points of ideas you do not agree with. Keep an open mind. Just because you do not agree with somebody or something does not mean you cannot learn from it.

12. “Our parents and grandparents brought us up without trendy theories and they didn’t make such a bad job of it.”

Being old does not necessarily make something obsolete; just like being new does not make something innovative. Tradition is old wisdom and there is much we can learn from it. So, there is nothing wrong with being a little old fashioned about things – as long as it is not harmful to other people.

13. “Pennies don’t fall from Heaven, they have to be earned here on Earth.”

"Pennies don't fall from Heaven, they have to be earrned here on Earth." - Margaret Thatcher

Getty Images

We’ve all had the fantasy of some distant relative leaving us with an enormous inheritance. And though it’s a nice dream, the chances of that happening are hilariously low. There is no such thing as easy money for most of us. Hard work is the only tried and tested way to find financial stability.

14. “Never worry about anyone who attacks you personally; it means their arguments carry no weight and they know it.”

There is a healthy difference between criticism and insults. The former is an argument made by the intelligent and the latter is the weapon of idiots. Don’t take personal insults personally. Instead, pity the ones who make them – since they obviously don’t have enough wits about them to point out your actual flaws.

15. “It is not who you are, who your family is or where you come from that matters. It is what you are and what you can do for our country that counts.”

Never measure the worth of people, including yourself, based on their background or other superficial features. Instead, judge them based on their ethics, values, and habits. Because, at the end of the day, what a person is capable of matters much more than what the person’s origins are.

SEE ALSO: 24 Evergreen Winston Churchill Quotes That Will Make You Work Harder

16. “You turn if you want to. The lady is not for turning.”

"You turn if yout want to. The lady is not for turning." - Margaret Thatcher

Washington Examiner

Never compromise on the things that matter to you for the sake of others. You don’t owe anybody that luxury. Be firm with your convictions because they make you who you are.

17. “You do not achieve anything without trouble ever.”

Setting up a goal for yourself means setting yourself up for hardships. And we have to be prepared to face those hardships. Because nothing worth having ever comes easily.

18. “They don’t patronize for being a woman. Nobody puts me down.”

Respect is important. You should never let anyone talk down to you for being you. It doesn’t matter who they are – everybody owes everybody else a measure of respect for simply being a fellow human being. Period.

19. “When you fight, fight to win.”

Working without a clear endgame or a defeatist attitude takes you nowhere. Instead, we must always have a vision of success. Because when we envision reaching our goals, our minds goes into overdrive – trying to find ways to succeed on our quest. Besides, what’s the point of having goals if we aren’t going to try achieving it?

20. “You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." - Margaret Thatcher

North Country Public Radio

Often, things do not go according to plan. Plans fail and we make mistakes along the way. But these setbacks should never deter your ambition. Because the path to success is littered with failure. So, you should never give up easily. Instead, pick yourself back up, learn from your failure, and try again. Every failure is a tiny victory if you manage to learn from it!

Margaret Thatcher passed away on 8 April, 2013, due to a stroke. She was honored with a Ceremonial Funeral. Even her death proved to be a controversy and provoked extremely polarized reactions – invoking both praise and criticism of the Iron Lady’s life.

It just proves to show how impressionable a legacy Margaret Thatcher left behind. Whether you hate or love her, we must admit that she was a lady who refused to compromise on her beliefs. And that is something we can all respect.

May her memory live on and inspire generations to come.

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