There is nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in man.
—Sean Connery (1930–2020) Scottish Actor, Film Producer
Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.
—Colin Powell (b.1937) American Military Leader
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.
—Marie Curie (1867–1934) Polish-born French Physicist, Chemist
For every mountain, there is a miracle.
—Robert H. Schuller (1926–2015) American Christian Televangelist, Author
Don’t be a cynic and disconsolate preacher. Don’t bewail and moan. Omit the negative propositions. Challenge us with incessant affirmatives. Don’t waste yourself in rejection, or bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
—Walter Bagehot (1826–77) English Economist, Journalist
It is time for us all to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever — the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.
—Vince Lombardi, Jr. (1913–70) American Football Player, Coach
The challenge of social justice is to evoke a sense of community that we need to make our nation a better place, just as we make it a safer place.
—Marian Wright Edelman (b.1939) American Civil Regrets Advocate, Humanitarian, Lawyer
Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realize it! Life is a game, play it! Life is Love, enjoy it.
—Sathya Sai Baba (1926–2011) Indian Hindu Religious Leader
Optimists enrich the present, enhance the future, challenge the improbable and attain the impossible.
—William Arthur Ward (1921–94) American Author
Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.
—William Bennett (b.1943) American Politician, Political Theorist, Government Official
The hardest times for me were not when people challenged what I said, but when I felt my voice was not heard.
It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed … The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. All history will convince you of this, and that wisdom and penetration are the fruit of experience, not the lessons of retirement and leisure. Great necessities call out great virtues.
—Abigail Adams (1744–1818) American First Lady
To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.
—Gail Sheehy (b.1937) American Journalist, Writer
If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Mountains cannot be surmounted except by winding paths.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
There is no education like adversity.
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) British Head of State
Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector. It encourages a man to be expansive, even reckless, while lie detectors are only a challenge to tell lies successfully.
—Graham Greene (1904–91) British Novelist, Playwright, Short Story Writer
Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.
—Orison Swett Marden (1850–1924) American New Thought Writer, Physician, Entrepreneur
We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
—John F. Kennedy (1917–63) American Head of State, Journalist
If someone says can’t, that shows you what to do.
—John Cage (1912–92) American Composer, Philosopher, Poet, Artist
Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.
—Margaret Mitchell (1900-49) American Novelist, Journalist
All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
—Walt Disney (1901–66) American Entrepreneur
Accept the challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.
—George S. Patton (1885–1945) American Military Leader
The heights charm us, but the steps do not; with the mountain in our view we love to walk the plains.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
It is really true what philosophy tells us, that life must be understood backwards. But with this, one forgets the second proposition, that it must be lived forwards.
—Soren Kierkegaard (1813–55) Danish Philosopher, Theologian
It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.
—Robert W. Service (1874–1958) Scottish Poet, Author
My faith runs so very much faster than my reason that I can challenge the whole world and say, “God is, was and ever shall be.”
—Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948) Indian Hindu Political leader
The most important of life’s battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul.
—David O. McKay (1873–1970) American Mormon Religious Leader
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above it.
—Washington Irving (1783–1859) American Essayist, Biographer, Historian
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.
—Bruce Lee (1940–73) American Martial Artist, Actor, Philosopher
Remember, always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.
—Richard Nixon (1913–94) American Head of State, Lawyer
Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.
—Kofi Annan (1938–2018) Ghanaian Statesman, International Diplomat
One must be aware that one is continually being tested in what one wishes most in order to make clear whether one’s heart is on earth or in heaven.
—Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan (1916–2004) British Sufi Mystic, Religious Leader, Psychologist
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–68) American Civil Rights Leader, Clergyman
There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.
—James Baldwin (1924–87) American Novelist, Social Critic
By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.
—Robert Frost (1874–1963) American Poet
Reality challenges and rewards. I believe our best days are yet to come.
—George W. Bush (b.1946) American Head of State, Businessperson
Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.
—Bernice Johnson Reagon (1942–73) American Singer, Composer, Scholar, Social Activist
We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.
—May Sarton (1912–95) American Children’s Books Writer, Poet, Novelist
There’s only one boss: the customer. He can fire everybody from the chairman on down simply by spending his money elsewhere.
—Sam Walton (1918–92) American Entrepreneur, Businessperson