If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.
—John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874–1960) American Philanthropist, Businessperson
The human soul has need of security and also of risk. The fear of violence or of hunger or of any other extreme evil is a sickness of the soul. The boredom produced by a complete absence of risk is also a sickness of the soul.
—Simone Weil (1909–1943) French Philosopher, Political Activist
And then the day came,
when the risk
to remain tight
in a bud
was more painful
than the risk
—Anais Nin (1903–77) French-American Essayist
Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated; you can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.
—David Lloyd George (1863–1945) British Liberal Statesman
Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinion of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.
—Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) New Zealand-born British Author
Our whole way of life today is dedicated to the removal of risk. Cradle to grave, we are supported, insulated, and isolated from the risks of life – and if we fail, our government stands ready with Bandaids of every size.
—Shirley Temple (1928–2014) American Actress, Diplomat
If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.
Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it’s cracked up to be. That’s why people are so cynical about it. … It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.
—Erica Jong (b.1942) American Novelist, Feminist
During the first period of a man’s life the greatest danger is: not to take the risk. When once the risk has really been taken, then the greatest danger is to risk too much.
—Soren Kierkegaard (1813–55) Danish Philosopher, Theologian
Nothing would be done at all if one waited until one could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.
—John Henry Newman (1801–90) British Theologian, Poet
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
Have courage and a little willingness to venture and be defeated.
—Robert Frost (1874–1963) American Poet
No great deed is done by falterers who ask for certainty.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes the furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The “sure thing” boat never gets far from shore.
—Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) American Self-Help Author
You must accept that you might fail; then, if you do your best and still don’t win, at least you can be satisfied that you’ve tried. If you don’t accept failure as a possibility, you don’t set high goals, and you don’t branch out, you don’t try—you don’t take the risk.
—Rosalynn Carter (b.1927) American Humanitarian, First Lady
In contemplation, if a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties. They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.
—Francis Bacon (1561–1626) English Philosopher
God grants us an uncommon life to the degree we surrender our common one.
—Max Lucado (b.1955) American Christian Author, Minister
Please know I am quite aware of the hazards. I want to do it because I want to do it. Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.
—Amelia Earhart (1897–1937) American Aviator
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
If we insist on being as sure as is conceivable … we must be content to creep along the ground, and can never soar.
—John Henry Newman (1801–90) British Theologian, Poet
Who bravely dares must sometimes risk a fall.
—Tobias Smollett (1721–71) Scottish Poet, Novelist
Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings.
—Victor Hugo (1802–85) French Novelist
One who sits between two chairs may easily fall down.
To conquer without risk is to triumph without glory.
—Pierre Corneille (1606–84) French Poet, Dramatist
Accept that all of us can be hurt, that all of us can — and surely will at times — fail. Other vulnerabilities, like being embarrassed or risking love, can be terrifying, too. I think we should follow a simple rule: if we can take the worst, take the risk.
—Joyce Brothers (1927–2013) American Psychologist, Advice Columnist
Everybody knows if you are too careful you are so occupied in being careful that you are sure to stumble over something.
—Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) American Writer
Our lives improve only when we take chances—and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves.
There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
—John F. Kennedy (1917–63) American Head of State, Journalist
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To believe is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes they are slaves; they have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.
Often a certain abdication of prudence and foresight is an element of success.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher