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Success is something that everyone wants.
It may be success in business. It may be having successful relationships. It may be success for your family. It may be success in living healthy. It may be success in some specific skill.
Success takes all forms, and so do people's viewpoints on success.
Collected here are 51 of the best success quotes of all time. These picture quotes range as far back as 2,500 years ago. With success quotes from Confucius to a few modern day success stories who are still sharing their wisdom.
So for today's post I would like to share these great success quote pictures. I hope you will be inspired and motivated to do your own great things.
These quotes are meant to inspire and help others get the motivation to achieve a measure of their own success. So please help spread the word.
So here are 30 useful, thought provoking, insightful and motivating picture quotes about success. To keep the load speed reasonable, I have loaded 10 success quotes per page, so page to the bottom and click the big blue “more quotes” button to load the next ten success quotes in the series when you want to see more.
“To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” – Mark Twain
To start off this list of success quotes from history, let’s go start with a funny one. It is a little bit humorous but also deadly serious. A trait that sums up much of Mark Twain's writing. (He is among the famous people who kept journals.)
Confidence is certainly one of the keys to achieving any measurable success. But ignorance actually can have its place. People who achieve those incredible levels of success that people make not of and talk about often also need to gamble to achieve their success. They take risks, they fight long odds and they overcome them. This is wonderful and motivating, but could any sane person face such odds if they were not a little bit ignorant of what they were facing?
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“Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.” – “Grandma” Moses
Anna “Grandma” Moses was a popular folk at painter. She had a productive 23 year career as a painter, despite the fact that she started painting at 78. That fact by itself makes a great point about it never being too late to start on your path to success. Grandma Moses was able to start her professional career at 78 and have it last longer than the professional career of Vincent Van Gogh.
“The best revenge is massive success.” – Frank Sinatra quote
By just about any measure, Frank Sinatra is one of the most successful entertainers in history. He was one of the most popular singers of his era, and even 30 years after his death he is considered to be an iconic music figure. He was a successful actor, winning critical acclaim for multiple movies and an Academy Award for From Here to Eternity. He was a renaissance man in the entertainment industry.
He also started out as a scrappy kid from New Jersey. His quote shows this sentiment, and an honest truth. Never waste time and energy on people who do not believe in you. All they can do is stop you from achieving your desires. Ignore them and let your ultimate success speak for itself.
“I walk slowly but never backwards.” – Abraham Lincoln quote
Abraham Lincoln is considered by most polls to be one of the top five Presidents in history. He led the United States through one of the most tumultuous periods in history. He was constantly besieged by members of both sides of his own political party.
One side complaining he moved too slowly and needed to be more radical. The other side seeking compromise to return the union to its previous state. His answer to this was the quote, “I walk slowly, but never backwards”.
When you take this sort of deliberate approach to your success, it will not happen overnight. It will take time, but you also avoid a lot of the calamities and dangers of trying to achieve your dreams with undue haste.
“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” – Maya Angelou quote
This success quote has always seemed like a special one to me. A wonderful, nearly poetic quote from someone who was a Nobel Laureate in poetry, perhaps should not be that big of a surprise.
This quote shows clearly the things that are truly important in life. Not materialist things. Not achieving greater success in your job. What matter are those important moments. The moments you only get when you live life to its fullest.
“The path to success is to take massive determined action.” – Tony Robbins quote
Tony Robbins has made a highly successful career by convincing people to do the things they need to do to be happier, healthier and more successful. And he has done a wonderful job of it. Just you look at the massive success of all of his professional and personal development books, courses and events.
In this quote on achieving success, he is setting out some truth bombs. If you want success, it is going to take A LOT of work (massive action). Not only that but the work has to “determined”… in other words, it has to be the “right” things. Generally this comes down to proper goal setting and doing the actions that move the dial, not just any old pointless effort.
“A strong positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success.” – Dr. Joyce Brothers quote
Dr. Joyce Brothers was the first “call in” radio psychologist. Pioneering this field on her extremely popular program. She was known as the face of American psychology, and helped quote a few people battle with their issues of self-esteem and confidence (and much more).
In her success quote she reminds us that it takes more than just hard work to succeed in all aspects of life. It takes having a strong self-image and the self-esteem to have enough faith in yourself to take the risks involved in trying to achieve any massive success.
“There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Roger Staubach quote
Staubach is an ex-football quarterback. But he is much more than that. He won the Heisman Trophy while a midshipman for the Naval Academy, and then did a tour of duty in Vietnam before he embarked on a professional career. He gained to name Captain Comeback from his can-do attitude and the way he would never quit. In 11 years of playing for the Dallas Cowboys he was able to lead them to 5 Superbowl appearances, winning two times.
Staubach reminds us that most people will not put in that extra effort to achieve success. The willingness to go that extra mile and simply work harder than everyone else can be a key to achieving your dreams.
“I attribute my success to this: I never took nor gave any excuses.” – Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale was a social activist who helped bring about a great many changes in England in the 19th Century. However, she was most noted for her organizing nurses in the Crimean war. It is not an exaggeration to say that many modern nursing practices were the same ones she invented over 150 years ago.
Being tough is a great path to success. Never using excuses yourself, or never accepting them from others, is a very high standard. It can be a tough one to live up to. But anyone who is able, is sure to separate themselves from the wafflers, who easily accept excuses, and who refuse to ever accept their just blame.
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
George Eliot was the author associated with some of the greatest works in literary fiction, such as Silas Marner and Middlemarch. Women at the time, were published under their own names, but she felt the women writers wrote inconsequential romances, and she wanted her works to be taken seriously.
In this essential success quote, Mary Evans (The real name of George Eliot) reminds us that it is never too late to get started.
This quote reminds me of another of my favorite quotes. The Chinese proverb:
“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.” -Charles Darwin quote
Darwin is famous for his theory of evolution. That all species, if you trace things back far enough come from common ancestors. Part of this theory is the idea of natural selection. In a nutshell, this theory postulates that the creatures that best fit the environment, survive and pass on their genetics traits that made them the best. Given a long enough period of time, this will change species to always have those traits.
When it comes to achieving success Darwin's quote becomes an important one. To succeed you do not need to be the brightest. You do not need to be the strongest. You do not need to be the richest, or best looking or most charismatic. To achieve success in life you simply need to be aware of upcoming changes and place yourself to take advantage of these changes as they occur.
“Success does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi quote
Gandhi was a man who achieved an incredible change in both India and the British Empire, by sheer willpower. Rather than trying to overthrow the British rulers of his country by strength of arms. He had his followers protest by use of non-violent civil disobedience.
Gandhi's quotes on success comes from his own life experience. That the strength to succeed is not based on physical strength. It is based on indomitable will. If you work harder than your peers. Persevere through tough times, and never-ever quit, sooner or later you will succeed and achieve all your goals.
“Whether you think you can or think you can't – you're right.” – Henry Ford quote
Henry Ford was a man who knew a lot about success.
He practically invented the way all manufacturing today works by creating the first big assembly line. Although he did not “invent” the automobile, he was certainly the key player in bringing the automobile to the masses. He was an optimist who created one of the most profitable businesses of the 20th century.
In Ford's quote about success, he shares an essential point. Your destiny is what you decide it is. If you feel you will succeed, and put in the work, then you can and will succeed. However, the moment you decide that success is impossible. It becomes impossible.
“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – John F. Kennedy quote
John F Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States, and the youngest man ever elected to the office.
His presidency was noted for a feeling of hope and optimism. If only makes sense that his success quote reflects the same hope and optimism. You can dream about achievements all you want, but to actually accomplish anything you will need to decide to give the effort our entire will.
You will need to start. Give maximum effort. Persevere through setbacks and keep going if you want to have a chance at success.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.” – Martin Luther King Jr. quote
Martin Luther King was a spiritual man who dreamed of a better world. He was an activist minister and leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He used rhetoric and non-violent civil disobedience to bring about massive change in the United States.
Faith was always one of King's core beliefs so it is not surprising that his feeling on achieving success include faith. He points out that you may not always have the end game in your head when you start on your path, but you need the faith to get started anyway.
“If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” – Muhammad Ali quote
Ali was an Olympic and professional boxer and an activist. He is considered by most people to be one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century.
One of the great things about Ali was also that he was so well spoken and quite quotable. He had a way with words as you can see from the quote above. His success quote is all about optimism. This is the mindset you need to achieve the success you desire.
“Life is 10% what happens and 90% of how you react to it.” – Charles Swindoll quote
Charles Swindoll is the most “modern” of our 10 historical figures. He may also be the least well known. However, I simply LOVE his success quote. He is an evangelical Christian pastor, author, educator, and radio preacher.
Charles makes a very important point in his quote. Many people spend too much time worrying about the things that have happened, or failed to happen, in their lives. This time is wasted because we all have bad things happen. What really matters is how you react to life's problems.
“Believe you can and you're halfway there.” – Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt quote
Teddy Roosevelt is one of my favorite historical figures. He was a man of boundless energy, major contradictions and an incredible amount of optimism. He was a Yankee elitist. But he was also a cowboy, a statesman and a reformer. He was a soldier but he was also a naturalist.
His optimism was boundless. He had belief in himself and others that was energizing. Teddy didn't only throw out good quotes, he lived them. Once Teddy was giving a speech and he was shot in the chest. The bullet was slowed by a book in his pocket, so it was not immediately deadly. But immediately after he was shot, Teddy “believed he could”. He stood back up, and finished a 90 minute speech.
“Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is.” – Vince Lombardi quote
Vince Lombardi was an American football player and coach. He was mainly known as the inspirational head coach of the Green Bay Packers. He was also known as a man wanted to win at just about any cost, both as a player and a coach. He reminds us that winning is not everything. No matter how good and prepared you are, you will sometimes lose. But the thing you must always have is the drive to win.
“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Christopher Columbus quote
Christopher Columbus was a sailor, navigator and explorer. He is credited with being the first person who, “discovered” America.
His quote about success might seem like a fairly common quote for any sailor. But there is certainly a deeper meaning. Achieving your dreams may take getting outside of your comfort zone. This “losing sight of the shore” can be uncomfortable but you need the faith to do it before you are able to achieve your desires.
Here we are, two-thirds of the way through these quotes about success. I hope you enjoy them so far!
“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” – Aristotle
Aristotle was a philosopher and scientist who lived during the Classical Period of Ancient Greece (from 384 B.C. to 322 B.C.). He was considered to be the “Father of Modern Philosophy.”
This quote emphasizes that when you’re successful, there will definitely be detractors. If you’re afraid of what people will think or say about the things you do, then you should not aspire for success.
“Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” – Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer who revolutionized fashion for women. She’s considered to be one of the most influential women of the 20th century.
Her quote reminds us that to be successful, we should not entertain the thought that failure can be possible. We should aim for success alone.
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu was a philosopher and the supposed author of the classic text Tao Te Ching. His influence promoted humility among leaders.
The wisdom of the man quotes attributed to Lao Tzu has not dimmed with the passage of time. This quote tells us that when we stop being so attached to our achievements, our titles, and status in life, we will function according to our highest potentials. We will achieve greater things because we are not acting in the service of our ego but for the common good.
“Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military commander and emperor. He is known as one of the greatest military leaders of all time, even briefly becoming an emperor. Even today, his strategies in warfare are studied in military academies.
In this quote, Napoleon reminds us that we can never be successful if we limit ourselves.
“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” – William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare is considered one of the world’s greatest writers. He is often called England’s “National Poet.” His written works are still included in the English literature curriculum in numerous schools and his plays are still performed in various theaters all over the world.
Many of us experience the impostor syndrome, especially when given leadership roles. This quote reminds us to not be afraid of greatness, for everyone will experience it through different circumstances.
“I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him.” – Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei was an Italian scientist who made great contributions in astronomy, physics, and mathematics during the 16th and 17th centuries. His greatest work was proving that the earth revolves around the sun, putting him in conflict with the then-powerful Catholic Church.
In this quote, he reminds us that knowledge is not only in the hands of learned people. We can learn something from anyone, and we should not dismiss them for being less educated than we are.
“I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.” – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the most influential composers during the Classical Period. His orchestral masterpieces still evoke a feeling of euphoria to listeners to this day.
This quote reminds us that there is nothing to be gained by paying attention to other people’s opinion of us. In order to be great, we must march to our own tune.
“You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman philosopher of the Stoic tradition, as well as a just and competent emperor. He was one of the “Five Good Emperors,” who ruled Rome in relative peace.
When you realize that you have power over your thoughts and not the other way around, you achieve greatness. You can ascend new heights and gain new perspectives in decision-making.
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” -Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was one of the well-known polymaths during the Renaissance Period. His gifts included being a painter, writer, inventor, architect, botanist, and sculptor.
This quote is a reminder for us today that to become successful, we are required to take action. Nothing comes to us if we just sit around waiting for things to happen.
“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” – Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth was a professional American baseball player who was famous in the 1920s. He was a prodigious slugger, and broke several significant slugging records in the Major League Baseball’s history.
This quote tells us that behind the success of a person, he or she has encountered several failures. The key is not to lose hope but keep on slugging.
“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.” – Estée Lauder
Estée Lauder was an American businesswoman and cosmetics pioneer. She was the founder of the eponymous cosmetics line and is recognized as one of the most influential self-made women entrepreneurs in the United States.
Her quote tells us that there is no room for merely daydreaming about success. In order to achieve it, we should put in the work necessary.
“You can’t give up! When you give up, you're like everybody else!” – Chris Evert
Chris Evert was the winner of 18 Grand Slam championships. She’s now retired as a tennis player, and her record is a tough one to break.
She reminds us that being tenacious is the way to achieve success. A lot of people give up on their dreams when met with difficulties. Evert encourages us to never give up.
“You must trust the small voice inside you which tells you exactly what to say, what to decide.” – Ingrid Bergman
Ingrid Bergman was a multi-awarded Swedish actress. She is considered as one of the best actors of Hollywood’s Golden Era, as well as the most revered.
Her quote tells us to trust our instincts. We all have that inner knowing about what decisions to make, what directions to take in life. We can benefit from cultivating the practice of paying attention to that voice within.
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy
Leo Tolstoy was a Russian writer and is considered to be one of the greatest contributors to literature of all time. He was nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature, as well as for the Nobel Peace Prize. His most notable works are Anna Karenina and War and Peace.
Many of us challenge old beliefs and traditions. We fight for the rights of the oppressed. However, we often overlook that change, good change, can only come from within. And that is what Tolstoy is reminding us with his quote.
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman was an American poet, journalist, and essayist. He is called the “father of the free verse” and is considered as one of the most influential American poets.
This quote tells us that we must never lose hope, no matter what challenges come our way. We need to always turn our face toward the light, so that the shadows are behind us.
“There are three things you can do with your life: You can waste it, you can spend it, or you can invest it. The best use of your life is to invest it in something that will last longer than your time on Earth.” – Rick Warren
Rick Warren is an American evangelical pastor. He is best known for his book, the Purpose Driven Life, a best-seller that discusses the 5 purposes of human life.
His quote tells us that we have a choice of what to do with our lives. We can choose to squander our time or work to leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.
“It's fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney quotes
Walt Disney was an American film producer, animator, and entrepreneur. His most enduring legacy is the happiness every child feels after watching an animated film made by Walt Disney Pictures and during a visit to Disneyland, dubbed as the “happiest place on Earth.”
This inspiring quote encourages us to make our dreams a reality. It’s fun to see what happens when something impossible is manifested.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain
In this quote, Mark Twain reminds us of the pitfalls of staying in the status quo. Success comes to those who stand out, to risk being ridiculed and misunderstood.
“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” – George S. Patton
George S. Patton was a highly respected army commander who led the American forces in the Battle of Normandy during World War II. Patton was an inspiration to a lot of army officers.
How many times have you encountered failure in your quest for success? Patton tells us that what matters most is your ability to get up every time you get seemingly defeated. Eventually, success will be yours.
“What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.” – Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher was the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. During her time in office, she was known as “The Iron Lady” for her indomitable will. She was credited for saving Britain from an economic slump.
Her quote just about sums what is required to become successful: a love for what you’re doing, working hard, and having a sense of purpose.
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” – Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington was one of the most influential leaders in the African-American community in the early 20th century. He was an advisor to several presidents of the United States. He was also a notable orator and educator.
His quote is another reminder about the benchmark of success. It usually comes after one has encountered several challenges and has overcome them.
“Action is the foundational key to all success.” – Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso was a Spanish master painter who is considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. He stayed in France for most of his adult life, honing his craft.
His quote is to remind us once again that the key ingredient to success is our own action. If we do not work towards the success we envision, regardless of the talent we have, we can never succeed.
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” – Woody Allen
Woody Allen is a multi-awarded American comedian, director, and writer. He is considered as one of the world’s greatest comedians.
This quote is a reflection of his successful career that spans six decades. Showing up is the first step towards success. When you want to become fit, write that first novel, be the next employee of the year, showing up at the gym, in front of the computer, or at the workplace is already 80% of the battle won.
“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.” –Winston Churchill quotes
Winston Churchill was a British statesman, military officer, and writer. He was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during World War II. He led the Allied Forces to victory.
This quote tells us that it is our perspective that produces either our success or failure in life. In every occasion, we have a choice of how to view things. It’s up to us to see the opportunity or the challenge.
“Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” – Og Mandino
Og Mandino is the author of the bestselling book The Greatest Salesman in the World. He is one of the world’s most widely read and influential authors. Many readers have been inspired to follow their dreams after reading his writings.
We understand that we need to work hard in order to reach our goals. More importantly, failure may be at our heels but it can never touch us when we have the will to make it through.
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Wishing is not enough; we must do.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German poet, novelist, and statesman. He is considered as one of the greatest writers of the German Romantic Period.
His words caution us against merely knowing about things — we must apply what we’ve learned. Further, instead of just waiting and wishing for success, we must proactively work to reach it.
“Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller
Helen Keller was an American educator and writer. Blindness and deafness struck her during childhood, but she overcame these obstacles to become one of the most influential women in America.
Her life is an inspiration to many. She had an adventurous spirit, and this is reflected in the quote above.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis was a British author, well known for his works such as The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters. He is considered one of the most significant British writers since after World War II.
Many of us stop pursuing our dreams when we reach a certain age. This quote encourages us to never stop setting goals or pursuing dreams no matter how old we are.
“To see what is right and not do it is a lack of courage.” – Confucius
Confucius was an Ancient Chinese philosopher and political figure. He created ethical models for interaction within the family and in public. His teachings focused on love for fellow humans, the veneration of ancestors, observance of rituals, and self-discipline.
Ideally, we should act selflessly. It is one of the inviolable laws of the natural world to always do the right thing. Confucius’ quote reminds us of this law.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball was an American comedienne and businesswoman. She became a powerful force on television and broke the barriers that previously prevented women from entering the entertainment business.
We often try our best to please others, in the mistaken notion that it’s the way to success. However, it’s only when we know how to love ourselves that we can make the right choices that allow us to achieve our own goals and reach success.
“Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh was a Dutch painter who is considered one of the most influential people in the art world. His most famous paintings include Starry Night and The Night Café.
When you’re passionate about something, you pour your heart and soul into it. When something is done with passion, people tend to notice. Most successful people have passion for what they do. It’s the driving force that propels them to reach those accomplishments.
“The world is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” – Bertrand Russell
Russell was a British logician, and is considered to be one of the founders of analytic philosophy. He is known for his valuable contributions to mathematics, religious studies, technical philosophy, and educational theory. During his lifetime, Russell went against the norms of society and lived in the service of knowledge.
This quote is a reflection of how he believed we come upon wonderful things in life. It is not about what we study through books, but the culmination of experiences that help us mature and become more open to other perspectives.
“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination.” – Earl Nightingale
For Earl Nightingale, having a meaningful existence is one of the most important things that humans should aspire to. He was a notable motivational speaker, and through his radio program he was able to inspire listeners to achieve their highest potential.
Nightingale was raised by his single mother during the Great Depression, and life wasn’t easy for them. It was perhaps this period in his life that inspired him to help others when he grew up. This quote reminds us that, in addition to goals, we have to have the courage to move forward to reach our dreams.
“I can't give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” – Herbert Bayard Swope, Sr.
This quote is attributed to Herbert Bayard Swope, Sr., the first recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Reporting. He went on to receive the same award twice for his work as a journalist. His legacy included the creation of the op-ed page, now considered an essential section in newspapers. This quote reminds us that if we want to find success, we should march to the beat of our own drums.
“Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein
This quote is an excerpt from Einstein’s response to a journalist’s son who asked for guidance about life. Einstein is considered to be one of the greatest scientists of all time, and his name is now equated with genius. In this quote, he inspires us to live meaningful lives.
We can do so by discovering our “why”, which is our unique purpose for getting up every day. Through this purpose, our lives become infused with passion. We live each day with clarity in regard to what our goals are, bringing us closer to the success we long for.
“Only those who risk going too far can find out how far one can go.” – T. S. Elliot
T.S. Elliot was an influential figure in poetry’s Modernist movement. His poem The Waste Land propelled him to international fame after WWI.
This quote serves as a reminder that success only comes when we’re willing to take risks. Sometimes, this means going the way that others have not gone before. Along the way, we might encounter setbacks. However, the important thing is to move forward and progress farther that we’ve been.
“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” – Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is considered one of the most influential singers/songwriters in American history. Many of his songs are about social and political issues. In this essential quote, we are reminded that having a lot of money isn’t the indicator of true success. For Dylan, success is about having the freedom to do what one wants.
“If you try and lose then it isn't your fault. But if you don't try and we lose, then it's all your fault.” – Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game
Orson Scott Card is a novelist best known for his science fiction books. One of his best known works is Ender’s Game, from which this quote is taken.
Sometimes we walk away from opportunities out of fear of possible failure. However, there always will be the question of “What if?” Instead of turning our backs on opportunities that seem risky, this quote challenges us to give it our best shot. Who knows? We might end up as winners. And if we lose, we can walk away with our heads held high, knowing that we’ve given it our all.
“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs spent his whole life innovating, and many of his creations helped shape the world as we know it today. Even after his death in 2011, his legacy is still felt in the areas of technology and business management.
This quote reminds us that we should start pursuing the things we want to achieve rather than waiting for things to happen. It reminds us that if we want to find success, we need to stop letting others define how we should live. In this quote, Jobs reminds us to live the lives we envision for ourselves now.
“We are all failures — at least the best of us are.” – J. M. Barrie
J. M. Barrie was a Scottish novelist and playwright best remembered for his creation of the character Peter Pan. Barrie’s quote tells us that the best and most successful people have all been failures at some point in their lives. However, rather than giving up after experiencing setbacks, these people choose to move forward. They never stopped until they got what they were working for and became successful.
“Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” – George Bernard Shaw
We’ve mentioned that successful people experience setbacks, and that what sets them apart from others is their ability to forge ahead despite their failures. This sentiment is echoed by George Bernard Shaw in this quote.
Shaw expands upon this idea by stating that a single mistake is enough. One has to learn from it to avoid the same pitfall the next time around.
“Don't mistake activity with achievement.” – John Wooden
John Wooden influenced a lot of people as the head basketball coach of UCLA for 12 years. He had the gift of helping others reach their highest potential. He was honored as the “Greatest Coach of All Time” by The Sporting News.
This motivational quote reminds us that being busy does not necessarily mean being successful. One may be productive and finish their daily to-do list, but this busy-ness should always have a purpose.
“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson is a scientist specializing in astrophysics. His frequent appearances on TV and radio have influenced many people to become interested in science.
This quote points to a very essential factor that helps one become successful: the support of others.
Quite a number of successful people have acknowledged that without the encouragement they received from key individuals in their lives, they would not have accomplished the things that brought them greatness. DeGrasse challenges us to be supportive of those who are starting out.
“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” – Dale Carnegie
Dale Carnegie was a lecturer and writer who came from humble beginnings. He was credited as the developer of self-improvement courses, and many of his writings discussed this topic.
In this quote, he reminds us that being happy with what we’re doing is an important factor in achieving something worthwhile.
“Fortune sides with him who dares.” – Virgil
In this quote, the poet Virgil reminds us what it really takes to become successful. We should stop waiting for things to happen and take action, daring to go where others rarely venture. It’s about overcoming our timidity about life, and instead seizing every opportunity that moves us closer to our dreams.
“I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.” – Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart was a woman ahead of her time. One of her most notable achievements was flying solo across the Atlantic Ocean, a truly pioneering accomplishment for a woman aviator.
When you’re a trailblazer, chances are you’ll encounter a huge number of setbacks. However, this should not deter you from discovering new things, breaking conventional beliefs, and achieving something worthwhile.
“Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.” – Niccolo Machiavelli
Machiavelli was an Italian philosopher recognized as the father of political science. His quote counsels us that change is inevitable, and we need to be adaptable if we wish to experience continued success.
We cannot expect our external circumstances to adapt for us. We have to mindful of the shifts and adjust accordingly.
“The merit of all things lies in their difficulty.” – Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas was a celebrated French writer whose works include The Three Musketeers (from which this quote is taken) and The Count of Monte Cristo.
In life, the more difficult it is to achieve something, the more worthwhile it becomes. The more challenges you encounter on your way to success, the sweeter the victory when you finally get there.
“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.” – Buddha
This quote from the Buddha tells us how powerful a vision can be. If we have a vision of how we want our lives to be, situations, people, and opportunities that bring us closer to this vision will be drawn to us.
To maximize this powerful tool, we can make a habit of using visualizations to reach the success we dream of.
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was famous as a martial artist and movie star. However, he was also a poet, an author, and a philosopher.
His quote celebrates people who, even without outstanding talents, succeed in life because of their commitment to their goals. These people are the ones who do not get sidetracked from doing what needs to be done in order to achieve the results they are aiming for.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
The world knows Nelson Mandela for several things, including being the leader of the movement that successfully resisted apartheid policies in South Africa. He was also the first president in South Africa to be elected in a democratic election.
There will always be challenges along the path to success. In Mandela’s case, many of them seemed insurmountable. However, in his quote, he reminds us that the key to success is doing what’s necessary, regardless of how challenging things are at the start.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the most influential political figures in American history. She was the U.S. First Lady when her husband was president from 1933 to 1945, and she also served as a diplomat for the United Nations.
The key to success is holding on to your vision. You must be its number one supporter to make it happen. Doubts can erode your motivation, so always be on the side of your dreams. Believe in their beauty, and you’ll have the will to make them into a reality.
“Little by little, one travels far.” – J. R. R. Tolkien
Lasting success does not happen overnight. J. R. R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, reminds us that even when we seem to not make much progress, if we keep at it, we’ll go far.
Don’t rush. You’ll get there eventually.
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Nietzsche was one of the world’s most influential philosophers. He works were usually on the subject of culture, religion, and morality, and he was uncompromising in his ideals. This quote serves as encouragement whenever we encounter setbacks on our pursuit of success.
When we overcome challenges, we are left with valuable lessons that point us to the things we’re doing that don’t work, forewarn us of similar obstacles along the way, and propel us forward toward our goals.
“Whatever you do, do with all your might.” – Cicero
Cicero was considered the Greatest Roman orator. In addition, he was lawyer, statesman, and scholar. This quote is a reminder from him that effort is an important factor for success. Although it isn’t the only thing required, effort is essential if we want to achieve massive and lasting success.
“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” – Sigmund Freud
If you want to achieve something in life, you have to be prepared to put in the effort and work hard for it. This quote is a reminder from Sigmund Freud, a neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis.
As we’ve already mentioned, lasting success is not achieved overnight. Before you reach your goals, you must be prepared to experience frustrations, disappointments, detours, and other challenges. At times you’ll be tempted to give up. Hang in there. All the hardships will be worth it in the end.
“Don’t be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” – Richard Branson
In this success quote, Richard Branson reminds us of the value of failures. For the Virgin Group founder, business magnate, and philanthropist, failures were actually stepping stones to greatness.
Rather than be embarrassed about them, we must embrace setbacks for the lessons they bring. Branson also encourages us to never be afraid to go back and start over.
“If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn
Success often involves taking great risks. Not testing the water and instead staying on the safe side of the shore often means missing out on something amazing. Jim Rohn was aware of this, and left us this thought-provoking quote.
Considered as one of the greatest motivational speakers of all time, Jim Rohn held great influence in the industry of personal development. This quote gives us a glimpse of what could be ours if we are willing to venture outside of our comfort zones.
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau
People who are successful don’t often spend their time thinking about becoming successful. Instead, they tend to use their time doing things that they enjoy doing, or that are necessary for moving forward. In this way, success finds them.
Henry David Thoreau reminds us of this paradox, and that it’s vital that we enjoy the process of becoming successful rather than being fixated on the notion that we should be successful.
“I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.” – G. K. Chesterton
Listening to other people’s advice is a great way to learn about launching a new business or embarking on a huge personal project, but there are times when you are the only one who knows what is best for you.
An English philosopher, author, and theologian, Chesterton reminds us all that it is perfectly alright to listen to other people’s counsel, and then decide to do the opposite.
“People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves, they have the first secret of success.” – Norman Vincent Peale
When you have faith in yourself, you become capable of great things. You’re more confident, and able to accomplish more.
Without faith in yourself, you will fail to convince other people to support you. Why would they, when you lack the belief that you can do something? Norman Vincent Peale reminds us of the power of believing in ourselves as one of the main ingredients for success.
“Along with success comes a reputation for wisdom.” – Euripides
Euripides was one of the greatest classical Greek dramatists. His quote reminds us that when we’ve reached a degree of success, it imbues us with wisdom, prompting others to seek us out for guidance.
“The ability to influence people without irritating them is the most profitable skill you can learn.” – Napoleon Hill
Napoleon Hill is best known for being the author of Think and Grow Rich, one of the most influential self-help books of all time. In this quote, Hill emphasizes the value of people skills.
Considering that success is often achieved with others’ help, these skills are essential for success. People skills help you communicate more effectively. They help you better understand other people’s points of view, helping you develop empathy. Practiced correctly, these skills put people on your side when you need them.
“A great man is always willing to be little.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Truly successful people do not brag about their accomplishments. In fact, they are often the most down-to-earth people we’ll ever meet. They tend to focus more on what they can do to make a difference.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was the leader of the Transcendental Movement in the mid-1800s in America, as well as a philosopher, poet, and essayist. He reminds us that humility is a valuable trait, particularly for those who would be successful.
“The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen.” – Frank Lloyd Wright
Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most influential architects of America. His designs were innovative and, many would say, ahead of the times.
This quote reflects how Frank Lloyd Wright lived his life and did his work. His belief in his vision contributed greatly to its manifestation. It should also be the same in our own lives—we must wholly believe in our dreams in order for them to become a reality.
“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” – James Cameron
If we are to dream, we must dream big, and even set goals that sometimes frighten us. This way, as filmmaker James Cameron states, even if we fail to fully accomplish them, we will still be ahead of others who fail to dream big or dream at all.
“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” – Harriet Tubman
Speaking of dreams, here is a beautiful quote from abolitionist Harriet Tubman. We already have within us all that is needed to make our dreams a reality and make a difference in the world. We only have to reach within and believe in our potential.
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” – Herman Melville
Herman Melville was a writer and poet. One of his best-known works is Moby Dick, a story of one man’s obsessive quest for revenge on a white whale.
In his line of work, Melville understood the value of originality. He left us with a reminder that, even in failure, being original is better than being a success at something that has already been done.
“Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” – John D. Rockefeller
If we want to achieve something truly great, then we must be ready to embrace discomfort. We can’t settle for mediocrity, for something that is “good enough.” Rather, as Rockefeller tells us in this quote, we must be ready to leave behind what we’re comfortable with so that we can gain something truly magnificent.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anaïs Nin
Nin was an author of a large number of literary works, including eight volumes of her own personal diaries. Her quote urges us to grow and reach all we are capable of. For one day, if we fail to blossom, the pangs of regret for opportunities missed will be more painful to bear than the fear of leaving our comfort zones.
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Rand
Ayn Rand was a philosopher and writer. She was the author of the bestselling novel Atlas Shrugged.
Her quote is a wonderful reminder that if we are to become successful, we must stop waiting to be granted permission to do what needs to be done. We are accountable for our own lives. Thus, we must make whatever decisions necessary in order to move in the direction of our success.
What are your favorite success quotes? Let me know your favorite picture quotes in the comments below. Remember to share the best one(s) on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or your favorite social network.
Finally, if you want to level up your productivity and time management skills, then watch this free video about the 9 productivity habits you can build at work.