Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!
—Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919) Scottish-American Industrialist
Achievement is the death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.
—Ambrose Bierce (1842–1913) American Short-story Writer, Journalist
If you think you’re tops, you won’t do much climbing.
—Arnold Glasow (1905–98) American Businessman
It is well for civilization that human beings constantly strive to gain greater and greater rewards, for it is this urge, this ambition, this aspiration that moves men and women to bestir themselves to rise to higher and higher achievement. Individual success is to be won in most instances by studying and diagnosing the kind of rewards human hearts seek today and are likely to seek tomorrow.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
You can’t achieve anything without getting in someone’s way. You can’t be detached and effective.
—Abba Eban (1915–2002) Israeli Diplomat, Politician
A dark horse, which had never been thought of, rushed past the grandstand in sweeping triumph.
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) British Head of State
Every attempt, by whatever authority, to fix a maximum of productive labor by a given worker in a given time is an unjust restriction upon his freedom and a limitation of his right to make the most of himself in order that he may rise in the scale of the social and economic order in which he lives. The notion that all human beings born into this world enter at birth into a definite social and economic classification, in which classification they must remain permanently through life, is wholly false and fatal to a progressive civilization.
—Nicholas Murray Butler (1862–1947) American Philosopher, Diplomat, Educator
There’s no thrill in easy sailing when the skies are clear and blue, there’s no joy in merely doing things which any one can do. But there is some satisfaction that is mighty sweet to take, when you reach a destination that you thought you’d never make.
—Edgar Guest (1881–1959) English-born American Poet, Radio Personality, TV Personality
We shall never have more time. We have, and have always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until to-morrow. Keep going day in and out. Concentrate on something useful. Having decided to achieve a task, achieve it at all costs.
—Arnold Bennett (1867–1931) British Novelist, Playwright, Critic
Who works achieves and who sows reaps.
It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.
—George William Curtis (1824–92) American Essayist, Public Speaker, Editor, Author
How my achievements mock me.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
When a great man has some one object in view to be achieved in a given time, it may be absolutely necessary for him to walk out of all the common roads.
—Edmund Burke (1729–97) British Philosopher, Statesman
I have done what I could do in life, and if I could not do better, I did not deserve it. In vain have I tried to step beyond what bound me. Despite my years, I am still trying.
—Maurice Maeterlinck (1862–1949) Belgian Poet, Playwright, Essayist
The awareness of the ambiguity of one’s highest achievements (as well as one’s deepest failures) is a definite symptom of maturity.
—Paul Tillich (1886–1965) American Lutheran Theologian, Philosopher
The great law of culture is: Let each become all that he was created capable of being.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
We all know that the nation can’t divide more than the people produce, but as individuals we try to get more than our share and that’s how we get ahead.
—William Feather (1889–1981) American Publisher, Author
He has not learned the first lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
Capital which overreaches for profits; labor which overreaches for wages, or a public which overreaches for bargains will all destroy such other. There is no salvation for us on that road.
—Owen D. Young (1874–1962) American Businessperson, Lawyer, Diplomat
The only worthwhile achievements of man are those which are socially useful.
—Alfred Adler (1870–1937) Austrian Psychiatrist
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined! As you simplify your life, the laws of the Universe will be simpler, solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
There’s a man in the world who is never turned down, whatever he chances to stray; he gets the glad hand in the populous town, or out where the farmers makes hay; he’s greeted with pleasure on deserts of sand, and deep in the aisles of the woods; wherever he goes there’s a welcoming hand-he’s the man who delivers the goods.
—Walt Whitman (1819–92) American Poet, Essayist, Journalist, American, Poet, Essayist, Journalist
Take a look at those two open hands of yours. They are tools with which to serve, make friends, and reach out for the best in life. Open hands open the way to achievement. Put them to work today.
—Wilferd Arlan Peterson (1900–95) American Author
Is there anything in life so disenchanting as attainment?
—Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94) Scottish Novelist
The thorough man of business knows that only by years of patient, unremitting attention to affairs can he earn his reward, which is the result, not of chance, but of well-devised means for the attainment to ends.
—Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919) Scottish-American Industrialist
The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.
—Thomas Edison (1847–1931) American Inventor, Scientist, Entrepreneur
The only conquests that are permanent and leave no regrets are our conquests over ourselves.
—Napoleon I (1769–1821) Emperor of France
Our business in life is not to get ahead of others but to get ahead of ourselves – to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterdays by our today, to do our work with more force than ever before.
—Stewart B. Johnson
Ultimately a hero is a man who would argue with the gods, and so awakens devils to contest his vision. The more a man can achieve, the more he may be certain that the devil will inhabit a part of his creation.
—Norman Mailer (1923–2007) American Novelist Essayist
To be thrown upon one’s own resources is to be cast into the very lap of fortune, for our faculties then undergo a development and display an energy of which they were previously unsusceptible.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat