Great people have not been
concerned with fame. The joy
of achievement that comes
from finding something new
in the universe is by far
their greatest joy.

William P. King


If you imagine that once you have accomplished your ambitions you will have time to turn to the Way, you will discover that your ambitions never come to an end.

Yoshida Kenko


I hope that my achievements in life shall be these--that I will have fought for what was right and fair, that I will have risked for that which mattered, and that I will have given help to those who were in need; that I will have left the earth a better place for what I've done and who I've been.

C. Hoppe


Whatever course you have chosen for yourself, it will not be a chore but an adventure if you bring to it a sense of the glory of striving. . . if your sights are set far above the merely secure and mediocre.

David Sarnoff

Five minutes, just before going to sleep, given to a bit of directed imagination regarding achievement possibilities of the morrow, will steadily and increasingly bear fruit, particularly if all ideas of difficulty, worry or fear are resolutely ruled out and replaced by those of accomplishment and smiling courage.

Frederick Pierce

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.

Beverly Sills

Will you be satisfied with the fruit of your life's work?
Will the efforts you are making now bring you satisfaction
when the things of time are receding, and eternity looms ahead?

Raymond L. Cox


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Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered.
As the elders said, if a child washed his or her hands, that child could eat with kings.

Chinua Achebe
Things Fall Apart


What people accomplish in a day depends upon the way in which they
approach their tasks.  When we accept tough jobs as a challenge to our
ability and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen.
When we do our work with a dynamic conquering spirit, we get things done.

Arland Gilbert


There are two things to aim at in life:  first, to get what
you want; and, after that, to enjoy it.  Only the wisest
of humans achieve the second.

Logan Pearsall Smith


Always aim for achievement, and forget about success.

Helen Hayes


Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice;
it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.

William J. Bryan



People never rise to great truths without enthusiasm.



A seeker searched for years to know the secret of achievement and
success in human life.  One night in a dream a sage appeared bearing
the answer to the secret.
   The sage said simply:  "Stretch out your hand and reach what you can."
   "No, it can't be that simple," the seeker said.
   And the sage said softly, "You are right, it is something harder.  It is
this:  Stretch out your hand and reach what you cannot."
   Now that's vision.

Joan Chittister
Seeing with Our Souls


tom walsh

I used to believe that achievement meant winning, being the best, coming in before everyone else.  Achievement was gaining recognition, being praised, being noticed by other people.  Gradually, though, I've realized that that way of looking at achievement was more harmful to me than helpful--if I expected recognition for everything I achieved, I was bound to spend most of my life being disappointed, for people aren't going to give me recognition just because I think they should or hope they will.  I needed to start basing my actions on what I wanted to accomplish and what would help others--some of my greatest achievements have been some of the smallest, for they've been the most helpful to others.

I'll never win an Olympic medal or be the governor of a state or the president of a country, but it's important for me to realize that those areas aren't where my gifts lie.  If I'm to achieve what's most important--whatever it is that will make me a better, kinder, more compassionate human being--then I need to be true to my gifts.  I need to search out areas of achievement that will help me to grow, and most of all help me to help others to grow. Once I do anything solely for potential recognition, I've achieved something for a poor motive, and that achievement is worse than worthless.

The gifted athletes or actors or politicians who focus on self may have an extensive list of achievements to show for their efforts, but of what value are they if they're not helping others with their gifts?  My goal is to make my achievements helpful, useful.

Of course, we can't do everything that we do just for others--sometimes we do something that can make us proud.  We run the 10k race a little bit faster than before, or we get a short article published, or we win an award at work or at school. Those are all great achievements, and most of us are able to avoid letting such achievements go to our heads and make us forget others.  But we must focus on how such achievements add to our confidence or self-esteem so that the next time we're in a situation that demands a certain level of confidence, that prize that we won becomes much more valuable because its effects make us much more effective in the current situation.

My greatest achievements shall never be known, perhaps even to me. Having made someone smile and see the world a bit brighter, having given someone hope for the future, having helped someone see potential inside him or her self that he or she never might have seen otherwise, having helped someone to see just how beautiful he or she really is--these to me are the achievements that most can help this world to be a brighter, more loving place.


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I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief
duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

Helen Keller


I do not want to die. . . until I have faithfully made the most
of my talent and cultivated the seed that was placed
in me until the last small twig has grown.

Kaethe Kollwitz


I think that it is a great achievement to put a person on the moon.
But to put a person on the earth--that is even more.

Harrison Salisbury


Not much happens without a dream.  And for something great to happen,
there must be a great dream.  Behind every great achievement is a
dreamer of great dreams.  Much more than a dreamer is required to
bring it to reality; but the dream must be there first.

Robert K. Greenleaf
Servant As Leader


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The Art of Achievement

You hold in your hand the camel's-hair brush of a painter of Life.
You stand before the vast white canvas of Time.  The paints
are your thoughts, emotions and acts.

You select the colors of your thoughts; drab or bright, weak or strong, good or bad.  You select the colors of your emotions; discordant or harmonious, harsh or quiet, weak or strong.  You select the colors of your acts; cold or warm, fearful or daring, small or big.

You visualize yourself as the person you want to be.
You strive to make the ideal in your mind become
a reality on the canvas of Time.

Each moment of your life is a brush stroke in the painting of your growing career.  There are the bold, sweeping strokes of one increasing, dynamic purpose.  There are the lights and shadows that make your life deep and strong.  There are the little touches that add the stamp of character and worth.  The art of achievement is the art of making life--your life--a masterpiece.

Wilferd A. Peterson


Not the maker of plans and promises, but rather the one
who offers faithful service in small matters.  This is the
person who is most likely to achieve what is good and lasting.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


Having once decided to achieve a certain task, achieve it at all costs
of tedium and distaste.  The gain in self-confidence of having
accomplished a tiresome labor is immense.

Thomas A. Bennett


There is no such thing as can't, only won't.  If you're qualified, all
it takes is a burning desire to accomplish, to make a change.  Go
forward, go backward.  Whatever it takes!  But you can't blame
other people or society in general.  It all comes from your mind.
When we do the impossible we realize we are special people.

Jan Ashford



As long as you're actively pursuing your dream with a practical plan,
you're still achieving, even if it feels as though you're going nowhere fast.
It's been my experience that at the very moment I feel like giving up,
I'm only one step from a breakthrough.  Hang on long enough and
circumstances will change, too.  Trust in yourself, your dream and spirit.

Sarah Ban Breathnach


If you try to over-control what you think you will achieve,
you'll miss what you can actually accomplish.

Patrick Wolff


The virtue of achievement is victory over oneself.
Those who know this can never know defeat.

A.J. Cronin


The greatest investment one can ever make is the investment into humanity,
for an achievement based on positive influence into people's life can stand
the test of time, survive through the mortality of people
and resound endlessly through posterity.

Uzoma Ezeson


The measure of achievement is not winning awards.  It's doing something
that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile.  I think of my
strawberry soufflé.  I did that at least 28 times before I finally conquered it.

Julia Child

We admire achievements--in ourselves and others--and it is natural
and appropriate for us to do so.   But that is not the same thing as
saying that our achievements are the measure or grounds of our
self-esteem.   The root of our self-esteem is not our achievements
but those internally generated practices that, among other
things, make it possible for us to achieve.

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day


I think my biggest achievement is that after going through a
rather difficult time, I consider myself comparatively
sane.  I'm proud of that.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open,
concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want.
No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.

Paulo Coelho
The Devil and Miss Prym

Not much happens without a dream. And for something great to
happen, there must be a great dream. Behind every great achievement
is a dreamer of great dreams. Much more than a dreamer is required
to bring it to reality; but the dream must be there first.

Robert K. Greenleaf
Servant As Leader


Don't mistake activity with achievement.

John Wooden



Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.