10 Neil Armstrong quotes to inspire you

Beyond his famously parsed “One small step” saying from the moon, the late astronaut offered a variety of inspirational quotes over the years.

The death of Neil Armstrong over the weekend sparked an outpouring of comments on social media. According to Radian6, the number of mentions of “Neil Armstrong” across all social media platforms from Aug. 25 to Aug. 27 was 2,387,207.

Of course, as the first man to the walk on the moon, Armstrong is a household name, as is his famous saying: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

For years, language enthusiasts parsed the quote, pointing out that he fluffed the line because “man” and “mankind” mean the same thing. A 2006 analysis of the recording reveals that maybe the “a” was long in transmission, although Armstrong couldn’t recall if he used the article or not.

“I would hope that history would grant me leeway for dropping the syllable and understand that it was certainly intended, even if it wasn’t said—although it might actually have been,” he said in the 2005 biography “First Man.”

Leeway granted.

Beyond “One small step,” Armstrong offered a number of other quotes over the years that can inspire anyone. Here are 10 of them:

On hard work

“I guess we all like to be recognized not for one piece of fireworks, but for the ledger of our daily work.” – From a 2005 “60 Minutes” interview

On wonderment

“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man’s desire to understand.” – From James R. Hansen’s biography of Armstrong, “First Man

On hard work, part II

“Lunar exploration was a great deal of fun and an enormous amount of very hard work, which proves, I hope, that hard work can also be fun.” – From an interview with ThinkQuest.org

On humility

“Well, I think we tried very hard not to be overconfident, because when you get overconfident, that’s when something snaps up and bites you.” – From a 2005 interview with CNN

On motivation

“I think we’re going to the moon because it’s in the nature of the human being to face challenges. It’s by the nature of his deep inner soul … we’re required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream.” – From the Apollo press conference (noted in Norman Mailer’s “Of a Fire on the Moon“)

On extending the boundaries of knowledge

“At the edges [of knowledge] it’s always going to be a challenge.” – From a May 2012 interview with CPA Australia, an accounting organization

On taking chances

“There can be no great accomplishment without risk.” – His response when told that President Kennedy had been advised not to go to the moon (via WikiQuotes)

On libraries

“Through books you will meet poets and novelists whose creations will fire your imagination. You will meet the great thinkers who will share with you their philosophies, their concepts of the world, of humanity and of creation. You will learn about events that have shaped our history, of deeds both noble and ignoble. All of this knowledge is yours for the taking… Your library is a storehouse for mind and spirit. Use it well.” – From a letter to the children of Troy, Mich. (via Mental Floss)

On saying “no comment”

“I am comfortable with my level of public discourse.” – His response to a request for an interview for this Washington Post story

On going to the moon

“It’s an interesting place to be. I recommend it.” – From the same 2005 “60 Minutes” interview

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