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28 Inspirational Tom Hanks Quotes On Life, Acting and Success

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Whether it be as Forest Gump, Mr Banks, Woody or Chuck Noland, we’ve seen at least one movie starring Tom Hanks. Veteran American actor and filmmaker, Tom Hanks has filled our childhood with his remarkable films and onscreen characters. His talent as an actor is very noticeable on screen and gives us the best of movie experience.

As one of the highest paid Hollywood celebrities, Hanks has come a long way in this industry and continues to have a large number of fans around the globe. With five nominations and two wins in the Academy Awards, Hanks has always delivered with his performances. His onscreen personas are unforgettable, but the person himself is no less. His talent and love for his craft have helped him rise to his current stature and recognition. Despite being famous, his humility and modesty have earned him a respectable figure in the movie industry.

As a tribute to this great actor, filmmaker and human being, let’s look at some of his most inspirational quotes from life and movies.

1. “There’s no greater joy than that seen through the eyes of a child, and there’s a little bit of a child in all of us.”
-Saving Mr. Banks


To see through the eyes of a child is to see everything anew. Adults are, after all, just children who grew up.

2. “A hero is somebody who voluntarily walks into the unknown.”
– Tom Hanks

DreamWorks Studio

Real life heroes are seldom found and rarely applauded for their bravery. However, they do it out of the kindness of their hearts, and by doing so, they live on in ours.

3. “From now on we live in a world where man has walked on the Moon. It’s not a miracle; we just decided to go.”
-Tom Hanks

As long as we have the will to achieve it, nothing is impossible.

4. “Some people are cowards… I think by and large a third of people are villains, a third are cowards, and a third are heroes. Now, a villain and a coward can choose to be a hero, but they’ve got to make that choice.”
– Tom Hanks

People can only go as far as they want to. We are all born good, and the bad comes along the way. You can either choose to let it stay or ignore it as you walk down the path.

5. “I think it’s better to feel good than to look good.”
-Tom Hanks


No matter how good or bad you look, if you’re confident in yourself, people’s opinions will fall short.

6. “Even the simplest choice can make a jaw-dropping difference in our world.”
– Tom Hanks

Life is all about the choices you make. They decide the course of your life. Each decision you take plays a crucial part in paving your way.

7. “You learn more from getting your butt kicked than getting it kissed.”
-Tom Hanks

Life is a journey. It goes up, then comes down, it goes sideways and you must turn around. This trip that you take alone will cross paths with several others’. The more challenging, the more beautiful a pattern it leaves behind.

8. “Reach for the sky.”
-Tom Hanks

Remember, even halfway up is a long way traveled.

9. “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.”
-Tom Hanks

Why give up on a dream just because it looks tough or someone else couldn’t do it? That’s all the more reason why you should do it. No dream is too big to conquer, go for it!

10. “I want to have a good time myself. I don’t want to dread going to work no matter what the gig is. I think, selfishly, I will make sure that I have a good time; how about that?”
– Tom Hanks

Easy to say when you have a fun job that pays great. Still, it is not too late to follow your dream. You know what they say, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

11. “I guess sometimes the past just catches up with you, whether you want it to or not.”
-The Green Mile

It’s best to face your problems in the present, rather than let it chase after you when you’re least expecting it.

12. “If you have to have a job in this world, a high-priced movie star is a pretty good gig.”
– Tom Hanks

In case you haven’t figured out your dream yet, here’s a life-altering option for you.

13. “There isn’t any great mystery about me. What I do is glamorous and has an awful lot of white-hot attention placed on it. But the actual work requires the same discipline and passion as any job you love doing, be it as a very good pipe fitter or a highly creative artist.”
– Tom Hanks

Actors are artists who live a thousand different lives and take us along on their wild journeys.

14. “I love what I do for a living, it’s the greatest job in the world, but you have to survive an awful lot of attention that you don’t truly deserve and you have to live up to your professional responsibilities and I’m always trying to balance that with what is really important.”
– Tom Hanks


Acting is a performance art that often gets overlooked for all the fame and recognition that surrounds it. The idea of idolizing a person up to the point where the person gets followed everywhere is bizarre. It becomes very disrespectful and unappreciative of their work.

15. “My job has always been to hold a mirror up to nature.”
– Tom Hanks

Just as Hanks has said, his quotes reflect the truth of life and open our eyes to the realities that we have taken for granted. Just because something is, doesn’t mean it has to be.

16. “It is meant to make people think, ‘How in the world did we do that, and isn’t it a marvelous thing that we did?”
– Tom Hanks

Movies are magic on screen. They leave you wondering and wanting to wander.

17. “My wife keeps on telling me my worst fault is that I keep things to myself and appear relaxed. But I am really in a room in my own head and not hearing a thing anyone is saying.”
– Tom Hanks

I’m sure we’ve all been there. Sometimes you’re just thinking to yourself and need that space for yourself.

18. “My mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.'”
– Forest Gump

This famous quote from the movie Forest Gump perfectly explains how unexpected yet beautiful life can be.

19. “Show up on time. Know your lines. Have an idea of what to do in the scene. the rest will take care of itself.”
– Tom Hanks

This can be taken as a piece of advice for almost anything you do in life. Don’t stress over matters you can’t control, instead prepare as much as possible and then let the rest fall into place.

20. “Some people go to bed at night thinking, ‘That was a good day.’ I am one of those who worries and asks, ‘How did I screw up today?’”
– Tom Hanks

It’s never too late to learn from life. No matter how good or bad you may be doing, life is constantly throwing lessons our way and we can choose to learn from them.

21. “Everybody has something that chews them up and, for me, that thing was always loneliness. The cinema has the power to make you not feel lonely, even when you are.”
– Tom Hanks

Movies have been entertaining a vast number of people for a long time now. They can make you feel a roller coaster of emotions in under 2 hours or less. Films have the power to bring the other side of the world to you and vise-versa.

22. “There’s millions of survivors out there make it one million and one.”
– Tom Hanks

28 Tom Hanks Quotes On Life, Acting And Success
Life can seem pretty lousy sometimes. Regardless, it is important to remember that there are others out there who are struggling just as much, if not more, than you. If they can go on, so can you. Show life that you are not going down without a fight and do your best to be a survivor.

23. “The nature of the movies is different than it was five years ago, and they’re all driven by the possibilities of CGI, which means you can make anything happen on screen that you can possibly desire.”
– Tom Hanks

Are you familiar with the movie Avatar? I’m sure you are. Visionary director James Cameron had been working on the movie long before he started filming Titanic. His futuristic ideas were too ambitious that he had to wait 14 years to begin working on Avatar. Now, with the help of CGI, the possibilities of visual arts are endless.

24. “There’s a difference between solitude and loneliness. I can understand the concept of being a monk for a while.”
– Tom Hanks

Personal space is a vital part of our lives. However much we may enjoy other’s company, we all need some time for ourselves.

25. “If you’re funny, if there’s something that makes you laugh, then every day’s going to be okay.”
Tom Hanks


Life has become too dull and serious these days. I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud with my friends. Here’s a good excuse to go out and have quality time with your friends and laugh about something stupid.

26. “Truth is, I’ll never know all there is to know about you just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candor.”
– Tom Hanks


Imagine our planet filled with people who thought like this, how much easier it would be.

27. “I went to college because I didn’t have anywhere else to go and it was a fabulous hang. And while I was there I was exposed to this world that I didn’t know was possible.”
– Tom Hanks

If only the rest of us could go to college to ‘hang’, life seems much more chill back then.

28. “I will entertain anything; it doesn’t matter. You know, it’s not obviously about the price, it’s not about who, it’s kind of about when and what. It’s material, that’s all.”
– Tom Hanks

Spoken like the true artist he is. Money and exposure become secondary when pursuing something you love. All great stories deserve to be told, not to be monetized by the big industries to their benefit.

Well, there you have it. Words from the man himself! They hit you right where it matters. Reading motivational words from a person you look up to can make a huge difference. Sometimes things click instantly, and at that moment, you need to take necessary decisions for yourself. It does not matter how daunting things seem, as long as you believe in your dream, it is worth pursuing. Tom Hanks himself would not be where he is today had he not decided to follow his desire to become an actor.

I hope this list of quotes has helped you in some way. Always be true to yourself and believe in yourself. A little bit of faith and courage is all it takes to keep fighting. Do your best and life will work its magic.

No matter what, you can’t deny the man has natural talent and good movie tastes. How many movies of Tom Hanks have you seen and how many more are on your watch list?

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