success 2 - success3

The successful person is the individual
who forms the habit of doing what
the failing person doesn't like to do.

Donald Riggs


The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them.  Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to fulfilling your dreams.

Og Mandino


We can think of the times--perhaps only yesterday--when we listened to a friend in need, or finished a task that was nagging at us.  Maybe we made an appointment to begin a project we've been putting off.  Success is taking positive action, nothing more.  Many of us, in our youth, were taught that success only came in certain shapes and sizes.  And we felt like failures.  We need new definitions; it's time to discard the old.


If I wanted to become a tramp, I would seek information and advice from the most successful tramp I could find.  If I wanted to become a failure, I would seek advice from people who have never succeeded.  If I wanted to succeed in all things, I would look around me for those who are succeeding, and do as they have done.

Joseph Marshall Wade

Success doesn't come to you.  You go to it.

Marva Collins
Success isn't measured by the position you reach in life; it's measured by the obstacles you overcome.

Booker T. Washington

Success is what you do with the ability that you have, how you use
your talent.  It doesn't necessarily mean any one thing.

George Allen


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Many of the most successful people I have known have never grown up.
They have retained bubbling-over childishness.  They have relished wit,
they have indulged in humor.  They have not allowed "dignity" to depress them
into moroseness.  Youthfulness of spirit is the twin brother of optimism,
and optimism is the stuff of which American business success is fashioned.
Resist growing up!

B.C. Forbes

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.

Winston Churchill


Striving for success without hard work is like
trying to harvest where you haven't planted.

David Bly


What is the recipe for successful achievement?  To my mind
there are just four essential ingredients:  Choose a career
you love. . . .  Give it the best there is in you. . . . Seize your
opportunities. . . . and be a member of the team.

Benjamin F. Fairless


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


If hard work is the key to success, most people would rather pick the lock.

Claude McDonald


No one ever attains very eminent success by simply doing
what is required of him or her; it is the amount and excellence
of what is over and above the required, that determines
the greatness of ultimate distinction.

Charles Kendall Adams


The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand,
and the determination that whether we win or lose,
we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.

Vince Lombardi

success 2 - success3

Nothing good comes in life or athletics unless a lot of
hard work has preceded the effort.  Only temporary
success is achieved by taking short cuts.

Roger Staubach

Any definition of a successful life must include serving others.

George Bush


Success is a state of mind.  If you want success,
start thinking of yourself as a success.

Joyce Brothers


I can't imagine a person becoming a success who doesn't give
this game of life everything he or she has got.

Walter Cronkite




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


What I wanted was to be allowed to do the thing in the world that
I did best--which I believed then and believe now is the greatest
privilege there is.  When I did that success found me.

Debbi Fields


Far too often many people do not prepare themselves for success.  While
they wish success would favor them, they may put just enough effort into
life to get by, thinking that if by chance something big comes along, they'll
grab it.  But if you're not prepared for success, you may find it difficult to
hold on to the opportunities that come your way.  Success requires
understanding, fortitude, and foresight to bring the "blade to
the full grain in the ear."
As an exercise, ask yourself from time to time what you are doing to
prepare yourself for success.  Have you established and become fully
to your goals?  Are you willing not only to cultivate the soil
and plant the seed but also to nurture and care for the tender blade and
the young ear as it appears?  Are you willing to go the extra mile, and
give the energy and attention that the opportunity calls for?  Are you
willing to stand firm with your convictions, your principles?  Are you
prepared to stand alone, if necessary?  Have you trained yourself to
recognize opportunity when it knocks?

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life



I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the
contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings.

Margaret Mead


Success has nothing to do with what you gain in life or
accomplish for yourself.  It's what you do for others.

Danny Thomas


Why aren't people more successful?  Because most people do not select
and pursue a vision without regard for other objectives.  Most people shift
from one activity to another without any focused or directed purpose,
naively assuming that things will take care of themselves or will be
taken care of by others.  George Bernard Shaw said, "The people who
get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the
circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."

Ari Kiev


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!


Some succeed because they are destined to; most
succeed because they are determined to.

Anatole France


When I thought I couldn't go on, I forced myself to keep
going.  My success is based on persistence, not luck.

Estee Lauder

Three versions of a similar passage:  there's a passage on success that's usually attributed to Emerson, but that very probably is a misattribution.  Unfortunately, over the years the various versions have changed, and it's pretty hard to tell where these ideas came from originally.  We won't attempt to answer the question of source definitively--we'll just give you the three versions as they're written.
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest criticism and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty and find the best in others; to leave this world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived--this is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

He has achieved success who has lived well,
laughed often, and loved much;

who has enjoyed the trust of pure women,

the respect of intelligent men and
the love of little children;

who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;

who has left the world better than he found it
whether by an improved poppy,
a perfect poem or a rescued soul;

who has never lacked appreciation of Earth's beauty
or failed to express it;

who has always looked for the best in others and
given them the best he had;

whose life was an inspiration;
whose memory a benediction.

--1904 Bessie Anderson Stanley

("Success" was written as the winning entry in a contest run by Brown Book Magazine in 1904.  Bessie won a cash prize of $250 which paid off the mortgage on the house, among other things.  It was included in Bartlett's Book of Quotations for decades, and if you can find an old edition from the 30's or 40's, it should be in there.  They dropped it, I think in the 60's, but I don't know why.

The family isn't sure how the poem got mangled and attributed to Emerson, but it was further confused by Ann Landers and her sister Abby.  Ann Landers used to (mis)quote it all the time and cite Emerson as the source.  My great-uncle Art, a retired federal judge who died last March, and she had a decade-long correspondence as he argued for a public correction.  She finally conceded and in her book, The Ann Landers Encyclopedia, prints the whole story.

~~Bethanne Larson, a granddaughter of Bessie Stanley)
Thanks to for this info.

That Man is a Success
Who has lived well,
    laughed often and loved much;
Who has gained the respect of intelligent men
    and the love of children;
Who has filled his niche
    and accomplished his task;
Who leaves the world better than he found it,
    whether by improved poppy, a perfect poem,
    or a rescued soul;
Who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty
    or failed to express it.
Who looked for the best in others
    and gave the best he had.

Robert Louis Stevenson
Some people measure success internally.  Others measure it by wealth,
appearance, and popularity.  Some try to find an internal-external balance.
   We're used to establishing our personal scores by comparison.  You may
define yourself as only the sum of what you purchase or produce.  But there
is always someone wealthier, more attractive, or more popular.  The prize
is always just out of reach.
   Try a balance or an alternative.  Put more time into things with no discernible
score.  Nurture friendships with people outside your competitive sphere.  Walk
in the woods, read novels, listen to music, meditate, laugh loudly, play with
children and animals, secretly pick up litter, give things away.
   Alter your goals to include an investment in the internal quality of each day
and in each interaction with a living thing.  You'll win in the long run, if you
still want to, because you'll be the prize.

Jennifer James
Success Is the Quality of Your Journey

success 2 - success3

A successful life for a man or for a woman seems to me to lie in the knowledge
that one has developed to the limit the capacities with which one was endowed;
that one has contributed something constructive to family and friends and to
a home community; that one has brought happiness wherever it was possible;
that one has earned one's way in the world, has kept some friends,
and need not be ashamed to face oneself honestly.

Eleanor Roosevelt


I believe that a successful life is one that springs from the deep
intuition of the heart--finding a passion, a calling that not only
fulfills our dreams, but leads us to be of service to family, friends,
and community.  Once that calling is clear, true success lies in
living with kindness and respect as constant companions
in all one's undertakings.

Gloria Loring


Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.

Henry David Thoreau


When you lower the definition of success to such a level that any person
can reach it, you donít teach people to have big dreams; instead,
you inspirit mediocrity and nurture peopleís inadequacies.

Shannon L. Alder


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How can we best define success?  Does it simply mean that there was a task
before us that we accomplished?  If that is the case, then we could call walking
down the driveway and retrieving the mail a success.  Minor matters,
regardless of how trivial, could be defined as successes so long as they were
completed.  Yet, success means so much more.  Success comes when we face
a challenge and struggle against the odds to succeed.
Historically, success often followed a series of failures.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

Many people dream of success.  To me, success can only be achieved
through repeated failure and introspection.  In fact, success represents the
one percent of your work which results only from
the ninety-nine percent that is called failure.

Soichiro Honda


A lot of successful people are risk-takers.  Unless you are willing to do that,
to have a go, to fail miserably and have another go, success won't happen.

Philip Adams

Success has a great deal more to do with being than gaining.  Whatever
we gain can be taken away from us by those who give it to us or those
who take it away.  But real success rests on what we become
that is not given to us by anyone but ourselves.

Joan Chittister
Seeing with Our Souls


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.



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