Here’s something you’re sure to appreciate: appreciation quotes. Whether you’re searching for work appreciation quotes that you can use to motivate your team, or recognition quotes to spice up your upcoming award acceptance speech, it will be hard to top what some of the greatest minds have already said on the subject of appreciation.

But hold on one second. Why is appreciation important at all? Isn’t payment enough thanks to give someone in consideration of all the hard work they do for you? Studies have shown that communicating recognition, though not as big of a motivator as cash, is important to employees and results in lower turnover rates. Giving praise for someone’s work seldom has drawbacks. It may inflate their ego a little bit, but at the end of the day, it shows that you, a boss, do something which bosses seldom do: care.

And then there is the anti-appreciation argument. It goes like so: If you’re only doing something for the recognition, then you’re not doing it for the right reasons. Do you think Frederick Soddy studied radioactive decay and formulated a theory of isotopes strictly because he was gunning for the 1922 Nobel Chemistry Prize? Not at all! He was simply fascinated by isotopes. Studying isotopes was its own reward for Soddy, and he didn’t care how hard he had to squint at the little things in order to watch them decay in real-time.

Likewise, you should pursue your passion solely because you’re passionate about it. With a humble mindset like that, you’re sure to receive some appreciation sooner or later.

Quotes About Recognition and Rewards

Spencer Tracy

“It is up to us to give ourselves recognition. If we wait for it to come from others, we feel resentful when it doesn’t, and when it does, we may well reject it.”

–  Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy on Appreciation Quotes

Spencer Tracy’s quote underscores the importance of self-recognition and validation. By relying solely on external validation, individuals risk feeling resentful if it’s not received or even rejecting it when it comes. Thus, the responsibility falls on us to acknowledge our own worth and accomplishments, freeing ourselves from the unpredictable judgments of others.

Calvin Coolidge

“No person was ever honored for what he received.  Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”

– Calvin CoolidgeVeto of Salary Increase, February 4th, 1916

Calvin Coolidge on Appreciation Quotes

Calvin Coolidge’s quote highlights the true essence of honor and recognition. Rather than being bestowed for what one receives, honor is earned through one’s contributions and actions. It emphasizes the importance of giving, serving, and making meaningful contributions to society as the foundation for true honor and respect.


“The honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.”

– Aristotle

Aristotle on Appreciation Quotes

Aristotle’s quote succinctly captures the essence of merit-based recognition. It emphasizes that honors and rewards are not simply handed out but are earned by individuals who actively demonstrate their positive qualities through their actions and deeds. This highlights the importance of virtuous behavior and practical application of one’s virtues in earning respect and accolades from others.

Abraham Lincoln

“Don’t worry when you are not recognized but strive to be worthy of recognition.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln on Appreciation Quotes

Abraham Lincoln’s quote encapsulates the essence of humility and self-improvement. It advises against concern over lack of recognition and instead encourages individuals to focus on continuously bettering themselves. By striving to embody qualities deserving of recognition, individuals can find fulfillment and purpose regardless of external validation.

Zora Neale Hurston

“The town had a basketful of feelings good and bad about Joe’s positions and possessions, but none had the temerity to challenge him. They bowed down to him rather, because he was all of these things, and then again he was all of these things because the town bowed down.”

– Zora Neale HurstonTheir Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston on Appreciation Quotes

Zora Neale Hurston’s quote poignantly captures the complex dynamics of power and influence within a community. It describes how the townspeople’s perceptions of Joe’s status and possessions shape their attitudes towards him, creating a cycle where his influence is both reinforced and dependent on their deference. This illustrates the intricate interplay between societal expectations and individual identity, suggesting that power often lies not only in one’s inherent qualities but also in the perceptions of others.

Ronald Reagan

“There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

– Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan on Appreciation Quotes

Ronald Reagan’s quote emphasizes the transformative potential of selfless action. It suggests that by prioritizing the greater good over personal recognition, individuals can have an immense positive impact on the world around them. This mindset encourages collaboration, generosity, and a focus on collective progress rather than individual acclaim.

Mae West

“It is better to be looked over than overlooked.”

– Mae West

Mae West on Appreciation Quotes

Mae West’s quote humorously suggests that it’s preferable to attract attention, even if it’s critical or judgmental, rather than being completely ignored or disregarded. It highlights the desire for recognition and acknowledgment, even if it comes with scrutiny or disapproval.

Arthur Conan Doyle

“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.”

– Arthur Conan DoyleThe Valley of Fear

Arthur Conan Doyle on Appreciation Quotes

Arthur Conan Doyle’s quote speaks to the discerning nature of talent in recognizing excellence. While mediocrity may be limited by its own perspective, genuine talent has the ability to appreciate and acknowledge true genius when encountered. This quote highlights the distinction between mere competence and exceptional ability, suggesting that true talent has the capacity to recognize and elevate greatness.

Dale Carnegie

“People work for money but go the extra mile for praise, recognition, and rewards.”

– Dale Carnegie

Dale Carnegie on Appreciation Quotes

Dale Carnegie’s quote encapsulates the motivational power of praise, recognition, and rewards in driving individuals beyond mere financial incentives. While money may serve as a baseline motivation for work, it’s the additional acknowledgment and appreciation that inspire people to exceed expectations and excel in their endeavors. This insight underscores the importance of positive reinforcement in fostering productivity and dedication among individuals in various contexts.