Overachievement is aimed at people who want to maximize their potential. And to do that, I insist you throw caution to the wind, ignore the pleas of parents, coaches, spouses, and bosses to be “realistic”. Realistic people do not accomplish extraordinary things because the odds against success stymie them. The best performers ignore the odds. I will show you that instead of limiting themselves to what’s probable, the best will pursue the heart-pounding, exciting, really big, difference-making dreams—so long as catching them might be possible.
—John Eliot (b.1971) American Psychologist, Academic
When the best things are not possible, the best may be made of those that are.
—Richard Hooker (1554–1600) English Anglican Theologian, Political Theorist
If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
Freedom is not the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose—and commit myself to—what is best for me.
—Paulo Coelho (b.1947) Brazilian Songwriter, Novelist
Turn on to politics, or politics will turn on you.
—Ralph Nader (b.1934) American Lawyer, Consumer Activist
The most important thing is for you to be your own best friend. Whatever you are doing—don’t put yourself down. Slowly begin to discover which, for you, is the path of the heart. Which path in life will make you grow? That is the path to take.
—Susan Jeffers (1938–2012) American Psychologist, Self-Help Author
Contrary to what most of us believe, happiness does not simply happen to us. It’s something that we make happen, and it results from doing our best. Feeling fulfilled when we live up to our potentialities is what motivates differentiation and leads to evolution.
—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1934–2021) Hungarian-American Psychologist
Too many of those with unrealized aspirations have set them aside due to fear of failure. The bigger the dream, the greater the fear. Doing less than our best allays this fear. I could have done better if I’d tried, we assure ourselves. Among the least appreciated reasons for doing superficial, second-rate work of any kind is the comfort of knowing it’s not our best that’s on the line. By not trying too hard, we avoid learning what our true potential is, and having to fulfill it. Doing our best can be deeply threatening. It forces us to consider what we’re actually capable of accomplishing. Once we learn that lesson, we can’t unlearn it. Our true potential becomes both a shining light we can follow and an oppressive burden of expectation that might, or might not, be met.
The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits. There is just less competition for bigger goals.
—Tim Ferriss (b.1977) American Self-help Author
The best place to succeed is where you are with what you have.
—Charles M. Schwab (1862–1939) American Businessperson
Wisdom is the power to perceive the best ends to aim at and the best means for reaching those ends.
—Wallace Wattles (1860–1911) American New Thought Author
Finding the center of strength within ourselves is in the long run the best contribution we can make to our fellow men”.
—Rollo May (1909–94) American Philosopher
The best horse doesn’t always win the race.
Nothing goes by luck in composition. It allows of no tricks. The best you can write will be the best you are.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
No man needs sympathy because he has to work. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
It’s rest I want—there, I have said it out—
From cooking meals for hungry hired men
And washing dishes after them—from doing
Things over and over that just won’t stay done.
By good rights I ought not to have so much
Put on me, but there seems no other way.
Len says one steady pull more ought to do it.
He says the best way out is always through.
And I agree to that, or in so far
As that I can see no way out but through—
Leastways for me—and then they’ll be convinced.
—Robert Frost (1874–1963) American Poet
I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
All I want of the world is very little. I only want the best of everything, and there is so little of that.
—Michael Arlen (1895–1956) British Novelist, Short Story Writer
It’s important to focus on what we do best and master one craft at a time.
—Russell Simmons (b.1957) American Music Promoter
A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.
All is for the best in the best of the possible worlds.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
To love and win is the best thing. To love and lose, the next best.
—William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–63) English Novelist
I saw that we’re all doing the best we can. This is how a lifetime of humility begins.
—Byron Katie (b.1942) American Speaker, Author
Healing is the process of accepting all, then choosing best.
—Neale Donald Walsch (b.1943) American Spiritual Writer
If a man does his best, what else is there?
—George S. Patton (1885–1945) American Military Leader
When you have a thought that is not in alignment with your highest vision change to a new thought! Then and there. When you say a thing that is our of alignment with your grandest idea, make a note not to say something like that again. When you do a thing that is misaligned with your best intention, decide to make that the last time. And make it right with whomever was involved if you can.
—Marlo Morgan (1937–98) American Novelist, Author
The shortest and best way to make your fortune is to let people see clearly that it is in their interest to promote yours.
—Jean de La Bruyere (1645–96) French Satiric Moralist, Author
Like squirrels, the best in every business do what they have learned to do without questioning their abilities – they flat out trust their skills, which is why we call this high-performance state of mind the “Trusting Mindset”.
—John Eliot (b.1971) American Psychologist, Academic
The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
To get paid the best, you must be the best.
—T. Harv Eker (b.1954) American Motivational Speaker, Lecturer, Author