Best-known for his portrayal of Bruce Banner/the Hulk in The Avengers franchise and its sequel, Mark Ruffalo is an American actor, director, and environmental activist.

Ruffalo was determined to enter show business from a young age, but he sure went through a whole lot of tragedy before reaching his goal. When things started to go downhill, financially-speaking, his father packed his bags and left four children and a wife behind.

The super calm guy that you now see in interviews, the “cuddly little bear,” as Samuel L. Jackson calls him, was a real life Hulk in his 20s. He dealt with professional rejection for so long that he became this angry young man who would punch walls and destroy stuff inside his apartment.

Mark treated his anger with meditation, but just when things started to look really good for him in 2002, he found out he had a brain tumor. Although the surgery was a success, half of his face was paralyzed for 10 months.

Yet, here he is! A man who refused to give up and made it big in spite of all life’s challenges.

Here are 17 Mark Ruffalo quotes that are truly inspiring

Whatever your mind tells you is a limit is a lie; limitations are lies we tell ourselves.

People say funny things all the time during really serious moments in life.

Those places where you find resistance in yourself, that’s where growth happens. You challenge assumptions you have, assumptions created in your own minds.

I think of marriage as a garden. You have to tend to it. Respect it, take care of it, feed it. Make sure everyone is getting the right amount of, um, sunlight.

Take these tragic things and turn them into something meaningful and worthy of the loss. Make it count.

Actors sell all kinds of stuff. Why not sell something that’s actually good for us all? Something we care about?

It’s easy to do nothing, but your heart breaks a little more every time you do.

A creative act is throwing yourself out into the unknown. The more you do that, the more you grow as a person and artist.

We face a world begging for us to re-address many of its systems, and the only way to do that is to make people really uncomfortable—starting with ourselves. Change starts with being uncomfortable.

I like to think the movies that I’ve picked have something worthwhile to say. Something relevant.

I ran to my marriage, I was happily ready to take on marriage.

You organize around an issue. You find people with like minds, you get the science and you offer solutions.

The world is leaving behind fossil fuels… It will be a beautiful world when we won’t send kids overseas to fight wars for energy.

A lot of people are living with mental illness around them. Either you love one or you are one.

I don’t like this idea of ‘method’. I come from that school, but what I was taught was that it’s your imagination. You do your homework, and you use your imagination.

Love conquers all – love is the grace that transcends any kind of injustice in the end.

What makes Hulk afraid? It’s himself. It’s a version of himself that’s weak. It’s a version of himself that’s vulnerable. It’s a child inside of him.