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In honor of the comedian's record-breaking win at the People's Choice Awards, we're celebrating with some of her most memorable and inspirational quotes.

Rosie McCall
January 19, 2017

Ellen DeGeneres didn't just break a record at last night's People's Choice Awards—she smashed it, after winning her 20th statue. “Seventeen, I get it; 18, sure; 19, I can see that. But 20 is outrageous,” the TV host and comedian said while accepting her award. "This is really something that means more to me than [other awards], because it comes from the people. You are the people who are responsible for me being up here." And in true form, she then went on to talk about her deep love of mashed potatoes and how she wishes animals could vote for awards because, of course, she likes them way more than humans.

But delicious carbs and funny animal quips aside, if anyone deserves to be the most decorated celeb in the People's Choice Awards' 43-year history, it's DeGeneres. Not only does she make us laugh, she also inspires us to be our best selves—and often achieves both at the same time. Here, 11 of our favorite pearls of wisdom from the legend herself.

RELATED: 12 Times Amy Schumer Got Real About Body Image, Beauty Standards, and Unfair Stereotypes

On doing your own thing

"Never follow anyone else’s path, unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path. Then by all means follow that path." —Tulane University Commencement, 2009

On happiness

“Do things that make you happy within the confines of the legal system.”—From Seriously... I'm Kidding, DeGeneres's 2012 autobiography

On what makes America great

"If you take away the labels, you find that we are much more alike than we are different. It doesn’t matter if you’re liberal or a conservative, we have all passed out watching Netflix, woke up not knowing what episode we’re on, what season we’re on, who’s couch we’re on." —The Ellen Degeneres Show, November 2016

On the ups and downs

“My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The pina and the colada.” —Seriously... I'm Kidding

On the power of kindness

"We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that."—Good Housekeeping, October 2011

On acceptance

"Accept who you are unless you’re a serial killer." —Seriously... I'm Kidding

On coping with the unexpected

"I know there are going to be days where things don’t go as planned and that’s why I’ll always remember this quote: 'Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.' And that is either from the Bible or Instagram but either way it applies."—The Ellen Degeneres Show, May 2014

On success and failure

“When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” —Seriously... I'm Kidding

On being true to yourself

“Find out who you are and figure out what you believe in. Even if it's different from what your neighbors believe in and different from what your parents believe in. Stay true to yourself. Have your own opinion. Don't worry about what people say about you or think about you. Let the naysayers nay. They will eventually grow tired of naying.” —Seriously... I'm Kidding

On appearances

"What you look like on the outside is not what makes you cool. I had a mullet and I wore parachute pants for a long time and I’m doing ok."—The Ellen Degeneres Show, May 2016

On a sense of community

“Contribute to the world. Help people. Help one person. Help someone cross the street today. Help someone with directions unless you have a terrible sense of direction. Help someone who is trying to help you. Just help. Make an impact. Show someone you care. Say yes instead of no. Say something nice. Smile. Make eye contact. Hug. Kiss. Get naked.”
― Seriously... I'm Kidding

And finally...on resilience

“Just keep swimming!" —as Dory in the 2003 film Finding Nemo