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Tattoo Ideas: Quotes on Dreams, Hope, and Belief

Here are quotes about dreams, hope & belief if you're looking for a word tattoo.

Here are quotes about dreams, hope & belief if you're looking for a word tattoo.

Are You Looking for a Tattoo of a Poem or Quote?

After writing over two dozen articles on tattoo ideas that showcased pictures as the majority of the content, I started noticing that a large portion of the comments were from people asking for ideas on what to say, not so much on how to say it.

The tricky thing about quote tattoos is that nine times out of ten, they can't be too long. Unless you have a huge expanse of skin that you plan on dedicating to the tat like a forearm or your entire back, you're going to need to pick a quote that's short enough to fit in a small area.

A few years ago, my girlfriend wanted to get something I had written tattooed on her in my handwriting. The quote she wanted was 21 words long, and she wanted it somewhere on her inner forearms. As she is already fairly heavily tattooed, there was no criteria such as having to get it on a place that could be easily hidden if need be. She's lucky. She ended up getting it running lengthwise down her arm next to the word GIRL that was already there. Most people don't have the same flexibility as her.

Pick a Short but Meaningful Quote

Maybe your job is too professional for tattoos and piercings, or you don't want your mother to see it. If that's the case, then a quote tattoo can be challenging to find space for. And if you think you're going to fit an entire poem (unless it's a haiku) on your wrist by shrinking down the letters to a size 5 font, you're mistaken. Good tattoo artists will only let you make the lettering so small, because they know that tattoos blend, fade and bleed over time. The smaller the font, the better the chance that you'll be left with a meaningless blob 10 years down the road. So although there are millions of wonderful quotes about the beauty of love, I've tried to only assemble the ones that are on the shorter side, while still being meaningful.

I went back through all 2,000+ comments on my previous articles and tried to identify the most common themes people requested when asking for help with quote ideas. In addition to being a voracious reader, I've been compiling quotes in notebooks and journals since I was 13.

All images courtesy of

All images courtesy of


Quotes About Dreams, Hope, and Belief

  • All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream. — Edgar Allan Poe
  • Believe there are no limits but the sky. — Cervantes
  • Be the change you wish to see in the world. — Gandhi
  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. — Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined. — Henry David Thoreau
  • Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. — Unknown
  • Doubt everything. Find your own light. — Buddha
  • I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. —Vincent Van Gogh
  • Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not. — The Lorax
  • The only thing that shatters dreams is compromise. — Richard Bach: The Bridge Across Forever
  • Come away, O, human child! To the woods and waters wild with a fairy hand in hand, For the worlds more full of weeping than you can understand. — W.B. Yeats
  • This is the moment. When all the dreaming and scheming and screaming becomes one.
  • Excellence can be obtained if you: care more than others think is wise; risk more than others think is safe; dream more than others think is practical; expect more than others think is possible.
  • We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams. — Arthur O' Shaughnessy
  • You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith. — Mary Manin Morrissey
  • If your dream is big enough, the facts don't count.
  • Hope is the dream of a soul awake. — French proverb
  • Dream the impossible dream, Fight the unbeatable foe, Strive with your last once of courage To reach the unreachable star.
  • Believe in your dreams and they may come true; believe in yourself and they will come true.


elftribe on May 27, 2012:

I have a Poe tattoo with "From my books surcease of sorrow" in it. Its a line from The Raven.

Adele on May 02, 2012:

I've been looking for a tattoo quote about hope and just found one in Latin saying Dum spiro Spero.....translated it means while I breathe I hope...... X

Destiny-Maya on January 25, 2012:

i wanna get a tattoo that says "live every moment,laugh every day,love beyond words." but i don't know where to get it any ideas thankyou =D x on January 24, 2012:

I write songs and one of my lines is 'to tell the truth i never knew what love was, i never knew till i found you.'

jon on January 20, 2012:


"Never Stop Dreaming"

My story starts off intense

confusion between us

who is right,whor is wrong,who knows

i know

martha on January 19, 2012:

I need an opinion on a quote .

"dream close to your heart"

would that make sense ? I want my tattoo to be on my inner forearm of a dream catcher with a small quote and I wanted to know if that quote would make sense.

I would like some feed back please ! :) add on to it ! :) anything would be helpful.

Jayde loves Eminem on January 03, 2012:

i want a quote that has something to do with myself. because i find yu cant trust anyone but yourself, and when everyone has left me,i sttill have myself. don't really have any idea..

hp on January 01, 2012:

cool man.

felix on December 18, 2011:

i want something like

"Believe in yourself, cause if you don't no one will"

or "Love Yourself...

Nicole on December 03, 2011:

have you any other short qoutes about believe/belief? i loved the "believe there are no limits but the sky"

lee on November 25, 2011:

i need a short quote for protecting /guarding /loving my children. any ideas?

tami on November 19, 2011:

I'm old. 41 years old... I see people every day that need something. I do the best that I can do.What do most people do? Look the other way. My own husband is annoayed that I don't. Someone walking on the side of the highway way,someone short on their grocery bill. if I have the means, why is is wrong that I do help????? I need to understand our countrys' greed, selfishness, and self centernedness. Why have we become this "thing" that needs more???

Katiee. on September 18, 2011:

@Jason i love your qoute.. im 17 and im really wanting a tattoo for my mom. my family has been throgh a lot.. my mom has made a lot of mistakes in he life and these mistakes have had consequences.. anyways long story short my mom is going to be incarcerated for a really long time and i really want a tattoo to symbolize that i'll always love her n matter what she takes me through.. a qoute or something to do with that and/or mother daughter qoute. does anyone have any ideas??

Jason on March 20, 2011:

Hope is what makes us strong. It is why we are here. It is what we fight with when all else is lost

ashleigh on March 04, 2011:

Hi I'm looking to get a quote to do with believe, atm I'm not well, and I would like something very meaningful to do with me not being well so I can look at it everyday to keep me going. I origanlly thought of having believe tattoo behind my ear in latin, but I'm a girl with 9 tatts atm so limited for space but I love the 4th picture down idea and when I'm better I want to also look at it and think yes if I believe I can get better then I can all I need to do is believe. If that makes sense. Any ideas would be very much a lot of help :) xx

Purple-Starr on December 13, 2010:

Hi, i want my third tattoo soon, I'd like it under my belly (hips) or on my foot but I'm not sure what to get.I'd like to have something like a meaningful quotes that includes dream, wish, believe or/ and hope...any ideas??


Jamie on November 01, 2010:

@shivani - I would have the 'Live Your Life' in like the rainbow shape and then have either his name or initials underneath straight possibly a smaller size or different font.

shivani on October 05, 2010:

i am trying to design a tattoo for myself. i want 'live your life' on my shoulder blade and i want my brother who passed away a few months ago tied into it. im thinking initials in a star? or underneath. anyway, im not sure. i like ideas pleaseee :)

Jaz on September 29, 2010:

It's your love that keeps me alive.

Court on June 16, 2010:

"nor success or failure are ever final"

slut on November 26, 2009:


dan on October 27, 2009:

follow your dreams, for as you dream you shall become.

Kaila on September 10, 2009:

I've been looking for a way of saying dream to reminde of my aspirations of being an actor... The shakespeare quote is a line from a mid summer nights dream by the character puck. Who I have played, twice.

Keanna on August 17, 2009:

These quotes are awesome!

the following quote is actually by Mark Twain.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Unknown

Vanessa on March 04, 2009:

i absolutely love these quotes. my favorite is the last picture!