The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they’ll go through the pain no matter what happens.
—Arnold Schwarzenegger (b.1947) Austrian-American Athlete, Actor, Politician
Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
Clear writers, like clear fountains, do not seem so deep as they are; the turbid seem the most profound.
—Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864) English Writer, Poet
He that endureth to the end shall be saved.
—The Holy Bible Scripture in the Christian Faith
Nothing succeeds like persistence. The common denominator of all successful people is their persistence.
—John-Roger, Peter McWilliams
To endure is greater than to dare; to tire out hostile fortune; to be daunted by no difficulty; to keep heart when all have lost it; to go through intrigue spotless; to forego even ambition when the end is gained—who can say this is not greatness?
—William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–63) English Novelist
The most interesting thing about a postage stamp is the persistence with which it sticks to its job.
—Napoleon Hill (1883–1970) American Author, Journalist, Attorney, Lecturer
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
—Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) British Children’s Books Writer, Short story, Novelist, Poet, Journalist
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965) British Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Journalist, Author
Diligence is the mother of good fortune, and idleness, its opposite, never brought a man to the goal of any of his best wishes.
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) Spanish Novelist
The falling drops at last will wear the stone.
—Lucretius (c.99–55 BCE) Roman Epicurean Poet, Philosopher
Defeat is simply a signal to press onward.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
There is no chance, no destiny, no fate, that can circumvent or hinder or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919) American Poet, Journalist
If you get up one more time than you fall you will make it through.
There is but one philosophy and its name is fortitude! To bear is to conquer our fate.
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803–73) British Novelist, Poet, Politician
As a means to success, determination has this advantage over talent—that it does not have to be recognized by others.
I learned about the strength you can get from a close family life. I learned to keep going, even in bad times. I learned not to despair, even when my world was falling apart. I learned that there are no free lunches. And I learned the value of hard work.
—Lee Iacocca (1924–2019) American Businessperson
Energy and persistence conquer all things.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Never say die.
If you stop struggling, then you stop life.
—Huey P. Newton (1942–89) American Political Activist
There is but an inch of difference between the cushioned chamber and the padded cell.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
I realized early on that success was tied to not giving up. Most people in this business gave up and went on to other things. If you simply didn’t give up, you would outlast the people who came in on the bus with you.
—Harrison Ford (b.1942) American Actor
I’m hardnosed about luck. I think it sucks. Yeah, if you spend seven years looking for a job as a copywriter, and then one day somebody gives you a job, you can say, “Gee, I was lucky I happened to go up there today”. But dammit, I was going to go up there sooner or later in the next 70 years … If you’re persistent in trying and doing and working, you almost make your own fortune.
—Jerry Della Femina (b.1936) American Advertising Executive
If I had refused to institute a negotiation or had not persevered in it, I would have been degraded in my own estimation as a man of honor.
—John Adams (1735–1826) American Head of State, Lawyer
When the world says, “Give up,” hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
When the worms are scarce, what does a hen do? Does she stop scratching? She does not. She scratches all the harder. A lot of businessmen have been showing less sense than a hen since orders became scarce. They have laid off salesmen; they have stopped or reduced their advertising; they have simply resigned themselves to inaction and, of course, to pessimism. If a hen knows enough to scratch all the harder when the worms are scarce, surely businessmen … ought to have gumption enough to scratch all the harder for business.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
As in the case of making a mound, if, before the very last basketful, I stop, then I shall have stopped. As in the case of leveling the ground, if, though tipping only one basketful, I am going forward, then I shall be making progress.
—Confucius (551–479 BCE) Chinese Philosopher
At first we hope too much; later on, not enough.
—Philibert Joseph Roux (1780–1854) French Surgeon
To struggle when hope is banished.
To live when life’s salt is gone!
To dwell in a dream that’s vanished –
To endure, and go calmly on.
—Ben Jonson (1572–1637) English Dramatist, Poet, Actor
When you want a thing deeply, earnestly and intensely, this feeling of desire reinforces your will and arouses in you the determination to work for the desired object. When you have a distinct purpose in view, your work becomes of absorbing interest. You bend your best powers to it; you give it concentrated attention; you think of little else than the realization of this purpose; your will is stimulated into unusual activity, and as a consequence you do your work with an increasing sense of power.
—Grenville Kleiser (1868–1935) Canadian Author