Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
I’ve always tried to go a step past wherever people expected me to end up.
—Beverly Sills (1929–2007) American Singer, Musician
Be such a man, and live such a life, that if every man were such as you, and every life a life like yours, this earth would be God’s Paradise.
—Phillips Brooks (1835–93) American Episcopal Clergyman, Author
The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators.
—Edward Gibbon (1737–94) English Historian, Politician
A professional is someone who can do his best work when he doesn’t feel like it.
—Alistair Cooke (1908–2004) British-American Journalist, Broadcaster
No matter how far a person can go the horizon is still way beyond you.
—Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960) American Novelist
Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight… When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
—Edward Everett Hale (1822–1909) American Unitarian Clergyman, Writer
Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a be general natural law.
—Immanuel Kant (1724–1804) Prussian German Philosopher, Logician
People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.
—Marcus Aurelius (121–180) Emperor of Rome, Stoic Philosopher
We become what we do.
—Soong Mei-ling (1898–2003) First Lady of the Republic of China
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can.
—Sydney Smith (1771–1845) English Clergyman, Essayist, Wit
It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.
—W. Edwards Deming (1900–93) American Engineer, Statistician
I have found in life that if you want a miracle you first need to do whatever it is you can do—if that’s to plant, then plant; if it is to read, then read; if it is to change, then change; if it is to study, then study; if it is to work, then work; whatever you have to do. And then you will be well on your way of doing the labor that works miracles.
—Jim Rohn (1930–2009) American Entrepreneur, Author, Motivational Speaker
Well done is better than well said.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!
—Anne Frank (1929–45) Holocaust Victim
Act as though what you do makes a difference. It does.
—William James (1842–1910) American Philosopher, Psychologist, Physician
How can a man come to know himself? Never by thinking, but by doing. Try to do your duty and you will know at once what you are worth.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
—Theodor Seuss Geisel (‘Dr. Seuss’) (1904–91) American Children’s Books Writer, Writer, Cartoonist, Animator
Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.
—Zig Ziglar (1926–2012) American Author
Don’t waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour’s duties will be the best preparation for the hours or ages that follow it.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
We know better than we do. We do not yet possess ourselves…
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.
—Warren Bennis (1925–2014) American Business Academic, Author
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
—Walter Bagehot (1826–77) English Economist, Journalist
Sometimes something worth doing is worth overdoing.
—David Letterman (b.1947) American TV Personality, Comedian
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.
—Sandra Day O’Connor (b.1930) American Jurist
God does not judge us by the multitude of works we perform, but how well we do the work that is ours to do. The happiness of too many days is often destroyed by trying to accomplish too much in one day. We would do well to follow a common rule for our daily lives—DO LESS, AND DO IT BETTER
—Dale Turner (1917–2006) American Priest, Columnist, Epigrammist
Do your best every day and your life will gradually expand into satisfying fullness.
—Horatio Dresser (1866–1945) American New Thought Religious Leader
Our grand business undoubtedly is, not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist