I have brought myself by long meditation to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment.
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) British Head of State
Those indeed who attain any excellence commonly spend life in one pursuit, for excellence is not often gained upon easier terms.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort.
—Jesse Owens (1913–80) American Track-and-Field Athlete
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their inability to act according to their beliefs.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
Put your heart, mind, intellect, and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.
—Sivananda Saraswati (1887–1963) Indian Hindu Spiritual Teacher
One advantage of marriage, it seems to me, is that when you fall out of love with him, or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you maybe fall in love again.
—Judith Viorst (b.1931) American Psychoanalyst, Journalist, Writer
Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.
—William Tecumseh Sherman (1820–91) American Military Leader, Businessperson, Educator
If you start to take Vienna – take Vienna.
—Napoleon I (1769–1821) Emperor of France
Poverty is uncomfortable, as I can testify: but nine times out of ten the best thing that can happen to a young man is to be tossed overboard and compelled to sink or swim for himself.
—James A. Garfield (1831–81) American Head of State, Lawyer, Educator
I hold that a writer who does not passionately elieve in the perfectibility of man has no edication nor any membership in literature.
—John Steinbeck (1902–68) American Novelist, Short Story Writer, Journalist
The middle of the road is where the white line is—and that’s the worst place to drive.
—Robert Frost (1874–1963) American Poet
Obedience is the fruit of faith.
—Christina Rossetti (1830–94) English Poet, Hymn Writer
I will place no value on anything I have or may possess except in relation to the kingdom of Christ.
—David Livingstone (1813–73) Scottish Missionary, Explorer
The secret of living is to find a pivot, the pivot of a concept on which you can make your stand.
—Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936) Italian Dramatist, Novelist, Short Story Writer, Author
Dedication is not what others expect of you, it is what you can give to others.
I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965) British Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Journalist, Author
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen events, meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would have come their way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now!”
—William Hutchinson Murray (1913–96) Scottish Mountaineer
It is by losing himself in the objective, in inquiry, creation, and craft, that a man becomes something.
—Paul Goodman (1911–72) American Novelist, Essayist
Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.
—Margaret Thatcher (1925–2013) British Head of State
Whether you are really right or not doesn’t matter, it’s the belief that counts.
—Robertson Davies (1913–95) Canadian Novelist, Playwright, Essayist
If you don’t make a total commitment to whatever you’re doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It’s tough enough getting that boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his life jacket on.
—Lou Holtz (1893–1980) American Stage Performer
Great minds have purposes; others have wishes.
—Washington Irving (1783–1859) American Essayist, Biographer, Historian
Men, like nails, lose their usefulness when they lose direction and begin to bend.
—Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864) English Writer, Poet
There is a point at which everything becomes simple and there is no longer any question of choice, because all you have staked will be lost if you look back. Life’s point of no return.
—Dag Hammarskjold (1905–61) Swedish Statesman, UN Diplomat
It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.
—Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964) American Military Leader
I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
Firmness of purpose is one of the most necessary sinews of character, and one of the best instruments of success. Without it genius wastes its efforts in a maze of inconsistencies.
—Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773) English Statesman, Man of Letters
The worth of every conviction consists precisely in the steadfastness with which it is held.
—Jane Addams (1860–1935) American Social Reformer, Feminist
The winning team has a dedication. It will have a core of veteran players who set the standards. They will not accept defeat.
—Merlin Olsen (1940–2010) American Football Player, Announcer, Actor
What a man wants to do he generally can do, if he wants to badly enough.
—Louis L’Amour (1908–88) American Novelist, Short-story Writer
People begin to become successful the minute they decide to be.
—Harvey Mackay (b.1932) American Businessman, Columnist, Author
To say yes, you have to sweat and roll up your sleeves and plunge both hands into life up to the elbows. It’s easy to say no, even if it means dying.
—Jean Anouilh (1910–87) French Dramatist
Our future and our fate lie in our wills more than in our hands, for our hands are but the instruments of our wills.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
You will not be carried to Heaven lying at ease upon a feather bed.
—Samuel Rutherford (1600–61) Scottish Presbyterian Theologian, Author
When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.
—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) American First Lady, Diplomat, Humanitarian
The dedicated life is the life worth living. You must give with your whole heart.
—Annie Dillard (b.1945) Essayist, Novelist, Poet, Naturalist, Mystic
Nothing of worthy or weight can be achieved with half a mind, with a faint heart, and with a lame endeavor.
Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–92) British Poet
I am in earnest; I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not retreat a single inch; and I will be heard.
—William Lloyd Garrison (1805–79) American Journalist, Abolitionist
The question isn’t “who is going to let me”; it’s “who is going to stop me”.
—Ayn Rand (1905–82) Russian-born American Novelist, Philosopher
Morale is the greatest single factor in successful wars.
—Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969) American Head of State, Military Leader
In war there is no substitute for victory.
—Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964) American Military Leader
The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crises, maintain their neutrality.
—Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) Italian Poet, Philosopher
He did it with all his heart, and prospered.
—The Holy Bible Scripture in the Christian Faith
Unless you can find some sort of loyalty, you cannot find unity and peace in your active living.
—Josiah Royce (1855–1916) American Idealist Philosopher
What one has, one ought to use; and whatever he does, he should do with all his might.
—Cicero (106BCE–43BCE) Roman Philosopher, Orator, Politician, Lawyer
If you deny yourself commitment, what can you do with your life?
—Harvey Fierstein (b.1952) American Actor, Playwright, Civil Rights Activist
Most of us serve our ideals by fits and starts. The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.
—Cecil B. DeMille (1881–1959) American Film Producer, Director
Patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.
—Adlai Stevenson (1900–65) American Diplomat, Politician, Orator