What a man believes, he will die for. What a man merely thinks, he will change his mind about.
What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their inability to act according to their beliefs.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.
—Vincent van Gogh (1853–90) Dutch Painter
God doesn’t seek for golden vessels, and does not ask for silver ones, but He must have clean ones.
—Dwight L. Moody (1837–99) Christian Religious Leader, Publisher
You will not be carried to Heaven lying at ease upon a feather bed.
—Samuel Rutherford (1600–61) Scottish Presbyterian Theologian, Author
The worth of every conviction consists precisely in the steadfastness with which it is held.
—Jane Addams (1860–1935) American Social Reformer, Feminist
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
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
Whether you are really right or not doesn’t matter, it’s the belief that counts.
—Robertson Davies (1913–95) Canadian Novelist, Playwright, Essayist
He did it with all his heart, and prospered.
—The Holy Bible Scripture in the Christian Faith
Men, like nails, lose their usefulness when they lose direction and begin to bend.
—Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864) English Writer, Poet
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
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
Many a man has walked up to the opportunity for which he has long been preparing himself, looked it full in the face, and then begun to get cold feet … when it comes to betting on yourself and your power to do the thing you know you must do or write yourself down a failure, you’re a chicken-livered coward if you hesitate.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
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
Experience shows that success is due less to ability than to zeal. The winner is he who gives himself to his work, body and soul.
—Charles Buxton (1823–71) British Politician, Writer
I sincerely wish war was a pleasanter and easier business than it is, but it does not admit of holidays.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
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
Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–68) American Civil Rights Leader, Clergyman
Morale is the greatest single factor in successful wars.
—Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890–1969) American Head of State, Military Leader
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
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
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
Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination.
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
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
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
He turns not back who is bound to a star.
—Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) Italian Polymath, Painter, Sculptor, Inventor, Architect
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
People begin to become successful the minute they decide to be.
—Harvey Mackay (b.1932) American Businessman, Columnist, Author
The dedicated life is the life worth living. You must give with your whole heart.
—Annie Dillard (b.1945) Essayist, Novelist, Poet, Naturalist, Mystic
The height of your accomplishments will equal the depth of your convictions.
—William F. Scolavino
Better that we should die fighting than be outraged and dishonored. Better to die than to live in slavery.
—Emmeline Pankhurst (1858–1928) British Suffragette Leader
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
Either do not attempt at all, or go through with it.
—Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso) (c.43 BCE–c.18 CE) Roman Poet
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
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
Great minds have purposes; others have wishes.
—Washington Irving (1783–1859) American Essayist, Biographer, Historian
Dedication is not what others expect of you, it is what you can give to others.
He who walks in the middle of the road gets hit from both sides.
—George P. Shultz (b.1920) American Economist, Political leader, Businessperson, Academic
Nothing of worthy or weight can be achieved with half a mind, with a faint heart, and with a lame endeavor.
If you deny yourself commitment, what can you do with your life?
—Harvey Fierstein (b.1952) American Actor, Playwright, Civil Rights Activist
Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.
—George S. Patton (1885–1945) American Military Leader
Every attempt to make war easy and safe will result in humiliation and disaster.
—William Tecumseh Sherman (1820–91) American Military Leader, Businessperson, Educator
In war there is no substitute for victory.
—Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964) American Military Leader
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
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
We can do whatever we wish to do provided our wish is strong enough. But the tremendous effort needed – one doesn’t always want to make it – does one? … But what else can be done? What’s the alternative? What do you want most to do? That’s what I have to keep asking myself, in the face of difficulties.
—Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) New Zealand-born British Author
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