Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Success

"It is not ease but effort, not facility, but difficulty, that makes men. There is, perhaps, no station in life in which difficulties have not to be encountered and overcome before any decided measure of success can be achieved." - Samuel Smiles

"It is the close observation of little things which is the secret of success in business, in art, in science, and in every pursuit in life. Human knowledge is but an accumulation of small facts, made by successive generations of men, the little bits of knowledge and experience carefully treasured up and growing at length into a mighty pyramid." - Samuel Smiles

"We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success; we often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery." - Samuel Smiles

"If a man loves the labor of his trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him." - Robert Louis Stevenson, fully Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson

"How easy it is to be amiable in the midst of happiness and success." - Madame Swetchine, fully Anne Sophie Swetchine née Sophia Petrovna Soïmonov or Soymanof

"I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure - which is : Try to please everybody." - Herbert Bayard Swope

"It is said that it is far more difficult to hold and maintain leadership [liberty] than it is to attain it. Success is a ruthless competitor for it flatters and nourishes our weaknesses and lulls us into complacency." -

"Mere success is one of the worst arguments in the world of a good cause, and the most improper to satisfy conscience: and yet in the issue it is the most successful of all other arguments, and does in a very odd, but effectual, way, satisfy the consciences of a great many men, by showing them their interest." -

"An intelligent plan is the first step to success." - Basil S. Walsh

"It is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success." -

"Are you willing to think? Consider carefully, for the answer to that question will largely determine your success or failure in life. If you develop your judgment, use it. Exercise your power of judgment as often as you can, for the first rule of good judgment is practice. The functions of your mind, no less than the muscles of your body, receive their strength through repeated use." - John M. Wilson, fully John Moulder Wilson

"If the meaning of life is not a mystery, if leading meaningful lives is within the power of all of us, then we do not need to ask the question `What’s it all about?’ in despair. We can look around us and see the many ways in which life can be meaningful. We can see the value of happiness while accepting that it is not everything, which will make it easier for us at those times when it eludes us. We can learn to appreciate the pleasure of life without becoming slaves to appetites which can never be satisfied. We can see the value of success, while not interpreting that too narrowly, so that we can appreciate the project of striving to become what we want to be as well as the more visible, public signs of success. We can see the value of seizing the day, without leading us into a desperate scramble to grasp the ungraspable moment. We can appreciate the value in helping others lead meaningful lives, too, without thinking that altruism demands everything we have. And finally, we can recognize the value of love, as perhaps the most powerful motivator to do anything at all." - Julian Baggini

"Money is a dream. It is a piece of paper on which is imprinted in invisible ink the dream of all the things it will buy, all the trinkets and all the power over others. A kind of institutionalized dream, along with its companion dream-in-stitution of Success, constitutes the main fantasy on which our way of life has been built." - David T. Bazelon

"Individuals who suffer success have what I call the four A’s - arrogance, a sense of aloneness, the need to seek adventure, and adultery." - Steven Berglas

"Nothing fails like success because we don't learn from it. We learn only from failure." - Kenneth Boulding, fully Kenneth Ewart Boulding

"Authentic success is knowing how simply abundant your life is exactly as it is today. Authentic success is being so grateful for the many blessings bestowed on you. Authentic success is living each day with a heart overflowing." - Seán Bán Breathnach, aka SBB

"Inward calm is needed for success! Inward calm cannot be maintained unless physical strength is constantly and intelligently replenished. Only if the body is reasonably nourished can undue strain on the mind be avoided." -

"Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people." - Barbara Bush, fully Barbara Pierce Bush

"Doubt attracts “reasons” for not succeeding, whereas belief finds the means to do the job. Do not see yourself merely in terms of how you appear now. Absorbing the blows is a quality of greatness. Every big success is created one step at a time." - Tom Butler-Bowdon

"Measuring your life daily against written goals is a fundamental of success. Fewer than 3 percent of people have written goals, and fewer than 1 percent regularly review them." - Tom Butler-Bowdon

"Success is not primarily a matter of circumstances or native talent or even intelligence – it is a choice." - Tom Butler-Bowdon

"The first step on the road to success is good character. The second is openness to new perspectives. The third is ensuring that daily action is shaped by higher aims, with the knowledge that you always reap what you sow." - Tom Butler-Bowdon

"It’s easier to succeed because failure exacts a high price in terms of time when you have to do a job over. It’s easier to succeed because success eliminates the agony and frustration of defeat. It’s easier to succeed because money spent to fail must be spent again to succeed. It’s easier to succeed because a person’s credibility decreases with each failure, making it harder to succeed the second time. And it’s easier to succeed because joy and expressions of affirmation come from succeeding, whereas feelings of discouragement and discontent accompany failure." - S. Truett Cathy

"To my mind, there are two things that, in life, you can do about death. Either you can choose to ignore it, in which case you may have some success in making the idea of it go away for a limited period of time, or you can confront the prospect of your own death and try to analyze it and, in so doing, try to minimize some of the inevitable suffering that it causes. Neither way can you actually overcome it." -

"In the United States, there’s a Puritan ethic and a mythology of success: He who is successful is good. In Latin countries, in Catholic countries, a successful person is a sinner. In Puritan countries, success shows God’s benevolence. In Catholic countries, your God loves you only when you’ve suffered." - Umberto Eco

"It is high time that the ideal of success should be replaced by the ideal of service." - Albert Einstein

"If everyone is moving forward together, then success will take care of itself." - Henry Ford

"Like produces like. Good produces good. If our all day thinking is positive, constructive, kindly, we produce health, success, and freedom. If our hour-to-hour thinking is negative, pessimistic, mean, we produce sickness, failure, and unhappiness. If our life is governed by Faith we become younger, more prosperous, and more joyous, as the years pass. If our life is governed by fear, the fleeting years bring age, decrepitude, and frustration." - Emmet Fox

"The food of events is thought. Your habitual thoughts nourish your conditions and cause them to increase and multiply. Fear thoughts, gloomy and critical thoughts, selfish thoughts, are the food of unhappiness, sickness, and failure. When you supply this food in abundance these things come into your life – because they seek their food. Thoughts of God, thoughts of kindness, of optimism, and good will, are the food of health, joy, and success; and if you furnish a bountiful supply of this food you will attract these things instead." - Emmet Fox

"Success is the side-effect of your personal dedication to a course greater than yourself." - Viktor Frankl, fully Viktor Emil Frankl

"I believe that our choice between two models of psychiatry is really a choice between two competing sets of moral values that will ultimately determine the kind of society we live in. One is the Psychotherapeutic Model’s ideal of healing the soul with its values of self-awareness, autonomy, personal growth, an I-Thou spirit of love, respect, and compassion for others, and an acceptance of moral responsibility for our own egoistic impulses and emotions. The other is the Medical Model’s ideal of quick fix, with its swimming-pool values of stability and conformity, and an I-It orientation toward material success and other superficial addictive pleasures" - Elio Frattaroli

"Heroes are made in the hour of defeat. Success is, therefore, well described as a series of glorious defeats." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"The five essential skills for success: Concentration, Discrimination, Organization, Innovation and Communication." - Michael E. Gerber

"The fundamental principle of revolutionary wars: strike to win; strike only when success is certain; if not, then don’t strike." - Võ Nguyên Giáp

"While we fight among ourselves about doctrine we are united in the common worship of money and material success." - Eric Gill, fully Arthur Eric Rowton Gill

"Success is always temporary. When all is said and done, the only thing you’ll have left is your character." - Vince Gill

"Among the humble and great alike, those who achieve success do so not because fate and circumstance are especially kind to them. Often the reverse is true. They succeed because they do not whine over their fate but take whatever has been given to them and go on to make the most of their best." - Sidney Greenberg

"Does your calculus of success include the bottom line of death, or are you mortgaging your future for the immediate and the short term? Have you been tranquilized by the trivial, or does your sense of life grow from a close attention to reality and time?" - Os Guiness

"When it is said and done, life’s journey isn’t about humanity in general, or even the person next door. It’s about you and me. Our individual lives are the focus, a picture framed by our birth and death. Our personal goals and principles are under scrutiny; our personal success or failure is in the balance." - Os Guiness

"Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good… Either we have hope or we don't; it is a dimension of the soul, and it's not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation. Hope is not prognostication. It is an orientation of the spirit, and orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons… Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather and ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. The more propitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out." - Václav Havel

"Competition, the wringing of success from somebody’s failure." - Jules Henry

"In this world the optimists have it, not because they are always right, but because they are positive. Even when they are wrong, they are positive, and they is the way of achievement, correction, improvement and success." - David Landes, fully David Saul Landes

"Fame or integrity: which is more important? Money or happiness: which is more valuable? Success or failure: which is more destructive? If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never be truly fulfilled. If you happiness depends on money you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"We have mistaken our abstractions for concrete realities… The enormous success of the scientific abstractions, yielding on the one hand matter with its simple location in space and time, on the other hand mind, perceiving, suffering, reasoning, but not interfering, has foisted onto philosophy the task of accepting them as the most concrete rendering of fact. Thereby, modern philosophy has been ruined. It has oscillated in a complex manner between three extremes. There are the dualists who accept matter and mind on an equal basis, and the two varieties of monists, those who put mind into matter and those who put matter inside mind. But this juggling with abstractions can never overcome the inherent confusion introduced by the ascription of misplaced concreteness to the scientific scheme of the seventeenth century." - John Locke

"There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the older order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly from fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of mankind, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it." - Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things." - Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

"Today, and every day, deliver more than you are getting paid to do. The victory of success will be half won when you learn the secret of putting out more than is expected in all that you do." - Og Mandino

"I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome." - Golda Meir, originally named Goldie Mabovitch, later Goldie Myerson