Is there anything in life so disenchanting as attainment?
—Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94) Scottish Novelist
Unless a man has been taught what to do with success after getting it, the achievement of it must inevitably leave him a prey to boredom.
—Bertrand A. Russell (1872–1970) British Philosopher, Mathematician, Social Critic
Nothing fails like success; nothing is so defeated as yesterday’s triumphant cause.
—Phyllis McGinley (1905–78) American Children’s Books Writer, Poet, Writer of Children’s Books
Achievement is the death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.
—Ambrose Bierce (1842–1913) American Short-story Writer, Journalist
The two hardest things to handle in life are failure and success.
The prospect of success in achieving our most cherished dream is not without its terrors. Who is more deprived and alone than the man who has achieved his dream?
—Brendan Behan (1923–64) Irish Poet, Novelist, Playwright
Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
The problems of victory are more agreeable than those of defeat, but they are no less difficult.
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965) British Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Journalist, Author
The minute you think you’ve got it made, disaster is just around the corner.
—Joe Paterno (1926–2012) American Sportsperson
Our desires always increase with our possessions. The knowledge that something remains yet unenjoyed impairs our enjoyment of the good before us.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
Oh how quickly the world’s glory passes away.
—Thomas a Kempis (1379–1471) German Religious Priest, Writer
The best thing that can come with success is the knowledge that it is nothing to long for.
—Liv Ullmann (b.1939) Norwegian Actress, Film Director
If I had known what it would be like to have it all, I might have been willing to settle for less.
—Lily Tomlin (b.1939) American Comedy Actress
We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.
—Aesop (620–564 BCE) Greek Fabulist
We are never further from our wishes than when we imagine that we possess what we have desired.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
We grow weary of those things (and perhaps soonest) which we most desire.
Success and failure are both difficult to endure. Along with success come drugs, divorce, fornication, bullying, travel, meditation, medication, depression, neurosis and suicide. With failure comes failure.
—Joseph Heller (1923–99) American Novelist
Success has ruin’d many a man.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
It’s not that I’m not grateful for all this attention. It’s just that fame and fortune ought to add up to more than fame and fortune.
—Robert Fulghum (b.1937) American Unitarian Universalist Author, Essayist, Clergyman
There must be more to life than having everything.
—Maurice Sendak (1928–2012) American Illustrator, Writer of Children’s Books
Being frustrated is disagreeable, but the real disasters of life begin when you get what you want.
—Irving Kristol (1920–2009) American Political Writer, Publisher
Granting our wish is one of Fate’s saddest jokes.
—James Russell Lowell (1819–91) American Poet, Critic
Pray that success will not come any faster than you are able to endure it.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher
Success is not greedy, as people think, but insignificant. That’s why it satisfies nobody.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
The toughest thing about success is that you’ve got to keep on being a success. Talent is only a starting point in business. You’ve got to keep working that talent.
—Irving Berlin (1888–1989) American Songwriter, Composer
If you live long enough, you’ll see that every victory turns into a defeat.
—Simone de Beauvoir (1908–86) French Philosopher, Writer, Feminist
Success and failure are equally disastrous.
—Tennessee Williams (1911–83) American Playwright
Now that I’m here, where am I?
—Janis Joplin (1943–1970) American Singer-songwriter
There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Out of every fruition of success, no matter what, comes forth something to make a new effort necessary.
—Walt Whitman (1819–92) American Poet, Essayist, Journalist, American, Poet, Essayist, Journalist