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101 Motivating Quotes on Success


We all want it in some way.

In school or in our careers. In relationships with our children, partner, friends, someone we just started seeing and with ourselves. With our mental and physical health.

But how do you find success? And what is success?

This week I’d like to get help from the people who walked this earth before us (and from some who are still here).

I’d like to share timeless advice that was as helpful 2000 years ago as it is now.

This is 101 thought-provoking, motivating, useful and sometimes funny quotes on success.

  1. “Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”
    – Zig Ziglar
  2. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
    – Herman Cain
  3. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”
    – Richard Branson
  4. “Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.”
    – Arnold H. Glasgow
  5. “Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.”
    – Malcolm S. Forbes
  6. “Action is the foundational key to all success.”
    – Pablo Picasso
  7. “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”
    – Albert Ellis
  8. “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure which is: Try to please everybody.”
    – Herbert B. Swope
  9. “You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.”
    – George Lorimer
  10. “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.”
    – Winston Churchill
  11. “If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.”
    – Olin Miller
  12. “The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do.”
    – Roy L. Smith
  13. “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
    – Lucille Ball
  14. “Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”
    – Orison Swett Marden
  15. “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”
    – George Bernard Shaw
  16. “I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse.”
    – Florence Nightingale
  17. “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
  18. “Follow effective actions with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.”
    – Peter Drucker
  19. “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
    – Albert Einstein
  20. “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
    – Stephen King
  21. “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
    – Abraham Lincoln
  22. “Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
    – John R. Wooden
  23. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
    – George Bernard Shaw
  24. “Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.”
    – Erich Fromm
  25. ”Spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday.”
    – Brian Tracy
  26. “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
    – Abraham Maslow
  27. “Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down.”
    – Charles F. Kettering
  28. “The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.”
    – Bruce Feirstein
  29. “Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”
    – George Sheehan
  30. “Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.”
    – Mae Jemison
  31. “Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.”
    – William James
  32. “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.”
    – Mark Twain
  33. “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success, that is way great spiritual giants are produced.”
    – Swami Vivekananda
  34. “The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.”
    – Benjamin Disraeli
  35. “There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.”
    – Ray Goforth
  36. “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”
    – Napoleon Hill
  37. “You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.”
    – Clay P. Bedford
  38. “After every difficulty, ask yourself two questions: “What did I do right?” and “What would I do differently?”
    – Brian Tracy
  39. “Don’t brood. Get on with living and loving. You don’t have forever.”
    – Leo Buscaglia
  40. “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
    – Oprah Winfrey
  41. “Life’s real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up.”
    – Unknown
  42. “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
    – Winston Churchill
  43. “Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.”
    – Wayne Dyer
  44. “The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”
    – Mark Caine
  45. “In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”
    – Theodore Roosevelt
  46. “Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don’t over-analyze your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness. “
    – Leo F. Buscaglia
  47. “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.”
    – Harry F. Banks
  48. “Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost legendary. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent.”
    – Calvin Coolidge
  49. “Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.”
    – Dalai Lama
  50. “Your work is discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”
    – Buddha

  51. “People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
    – Tony Robbins
  52. “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”
    – Henry David Thoreau
  53. “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
    – Dale Carnegie
  54. “Success is largely a matter of holding on after others have let go.”
    – Unknown
  55. “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism.”
    – David M. Burns
  56. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
    – Arthur Ashe
  57. “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
    – Conrad Hilton
  58. “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
    – Vince Lombardi
  59. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
    – Mark Twain
  60. “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”
    – George S. Patton
  61. “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”
    – Samuel Beckett
  62. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.”
    – Oscar Wilde
  63. “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”
    – Mark Victor Hansen
  64. “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
    – Zig Ziglar
  65. “If you don’t value your time, neither will others. Stop giving away your time and talents. Value what you know and start charging for it.”
    – Kim Garst
  66. “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”
    – Bruce Lee
  67. “Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.”
    – Anthony Robbins
  68. “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.”
    – Peter Drucker
  69. “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
    – Mahatma Gandhi
  70. “Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.”
    – Albert Einstein
  71. “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
    – Alexander Graham Bell
  72. “The road to success is always under construction.”
    – Lily Tomlin
  73. “If people did not do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done.”
    – Ludwig Wittgenstein
  74. “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
  75. “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
    – Thomas Jefferson
  76. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
    – Jim Rohn
  77. “Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.”
    – Denis Waitley
  78. “Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.”
    – Robert Kiyosaki
  79. “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.”
    – David Bly
  80. “Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.”
    – Wilfred Peterson
  81. “Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.”
    – Vaibhav Shah
  82. “For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don’t enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you’re not going to be very happy. If someone bases his/her happiness on major events like a great job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn’t going to be happy much of the time.
    If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness.”
    – Andy Rooney
  83. “Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.”
    – Robert Collier
  84. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
    – Michael Jordan
  85. “The best revenge is massive success.”
    – Frank Sinatra
  86. “Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”
    – Napoleon Bonaparte
  87. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
    – Mark Twain
  88. “Success comes in cans; failure in can’ts.”
    – Unknown
  89. “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”
    – Napoleon Hill
  90. “Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy.”
    – Milton Erickson
  91. “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”
    – Ayn Rand
  92. “If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.”
    – Albert Einstein
  93. “If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six hours sharpening my ax.”
    – Abraham Lincoln
  94. “If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”
    – Jim Rohn
  95. “The best way to succeed in this world is to act on the advice you give to others.”
    – Unknown
  96. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
    – Winston Churchill
  97. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
    – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  98. “We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret.”
    – Earl Nightingale
  99. “Our greatest fear should not be of failure … but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.”
    – Francis Chan
  100. “A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
    – Karen Lamb
  101. “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children… to leave the world a better place… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What is your favorite quote on success? Feel free to share the best one(s) you have found in this article or in your life in the comments section below.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • I love the quotes. But the one I really love the most is,

    ” Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”

    – Richard Branson
    It motivates a lot of people. Motivates them to keep moving forward. It also tells us that we must learn from our mistakes and do not give up even if you encounter a lot of problems.

    • kiflemariam

      really motivated quotes.

  • I really needed to read these quotes today. I’ve been in kind of a slump lately….not sure why. The quote that stuck out to me the most was the one by Olin Miller about making a simple task harder by putting it off. There are definitely areas in my life where I am putting things off. Simple things. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • patricia

    I like the quotes, but since I’m a woman, I was disappointed to notice almost no quotes from women and I know many women have wonderful quotes on motivating success. I look forward to seeing some in the future on your website.


    • Anonymous

      ayn rand….a woman

  • kiflemariam

    I love the quotes. But the one I really love the most is,
    “Love yourself first and everything else falls in to line.You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

  • Natalie Jones

    Lovely collection. Reminds me of this video by Passion Sundays. Thanks and keep posting.

  • Wow good collection. I am sharing these quotes in my social networking sites also. Thanks for sharing

  • Tatoro

    I really do love the quotes. They are all great. But the one i picked out is,
    “If you’re going through hell, keep
    – Winston Churchill. That’s because i’m presently going through one at the moment. The good thing is that, the bible said “when you go through fire, you will not be burnt”. It did’nt say i’ll notice it and start complaining because that would not change a thing. So there that is why i need to keep going cus there are better days ahead. Thanks again for the post.

  • Great lists of quotes and very inspiring, thank you. Frank Sinatra’s quote really resonated with me!