SUCCESS QUOTES V

quotations about success

No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and application of wise thought which counts.

BOB PROCTOR, You Were Born Rich

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There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way, and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it.

CHRISTOPHER MORLEY, Where the Blue Begins

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If we can once believe that success is possible, success becomes possible.

FRANK CHAPMAN SHARP, Success: A Course in Moral Instruction

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Success is a planned outcome, not an accident. Success and mediocrity are both absolutely predictable because they follow the natural and immutable law of sowing and reaping. Simply stated, if you want to reap more rewards, you must sow more.

TOMMY NEWBERRY, Success Is Not an Accident

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The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic, and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary, it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant, and kind. Failure makes people cruel and bitter.

W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, The Summing Up

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Success depends on one's general culture, on one's set of values, one's clarity of mind and vivacity. The thing to be most feared is the artificially contrived, the contrary to life.

HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON, Harper's, 1961

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Human nature is the same everywhere; it deifies success, it has nothing but scorn for defeat.

MARK TWAIN, Joan of Arc

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Success is not something you achieve, conquer, climb, or complete. Success is a process; it's a way of life.

ANTHONY ROBBINS, Unlimited Power: A Black Choice

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Again, it must be confessed that success does not always yield the happiness expected; that the prizes of life, like the apples of Sodom, often turn to ashes in the grasp.

WILLIAM MATTHEWS, "Success and Failure", Hints on Success in Life

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There has appeared in our time a particular class of books and articles which I sincerely and solemnly think may be called the silliest ever known among men. They are much more wild than the wildest romances of chivalry and much more dull than the dullest religious tract. Moreover, the romances of chivalry were at least about chivalry; the religious tracts are about religion. But these things are about nothing; they are about what is called Success. On every bookstall, in every magazine, you may find works telling people how to succeed. They are books showing men how to succeed in everything; they are written by men who cannot even succeed in writing books. To begin with, of course, there is no such thing as Success. Or, if you like to put it so, there is nothing that is not successful. That a thing is successful merely means that it is; a millionaire is successful in being a millionaire and a donkey in being a donkey. Any live man has succeeded in living; any dead man may have succeeded in committing suicide. But, passing over the bad logic and bad philosophy in the phrase, we may take it, as these writers do, in the ordinary sense of success in obtaining money or worldly position. These writers profess to tell the ordinary man how he may succeed in his trade or speculation--how, if he is a builder, he may succeed as a builder; how, if he is a stockbroker, he may succeed as a stockbroker. They profess to show him how, if he is a grocer, he may become a sporting yachtsman; how, if he is a tenth-rate journalist, he may become a peer; and how, if he is a German Jew, he may become an Anglo-Saxon. This is a definite and business-like proposal, and I really think that the people who buy these books (if any people do buy them) have a moral, if not a legal, right to ask for their money back. Nobody would dare to publish a book about electricity which literally told one nothing about electricity; no one would dare to publish an article on botany which showed that the writer did not know which end of a plant grew in the earth. Yet our modern world is full of books about Success and successful people which literally contain no kind of idea, and scarcely any kind of verbal sense.

G. K. CHESTERTON, "The Fallacy of Success", All Things Considered

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There are those who deny that success is pre-eminently desirable, or that it is by any means identical with happiness. No doubt there are many enjoyments outside of worldly success. After all, it is pleasant to lie in bed till eight o'clock in the morning, instead of turning out at five; it is pleasant to hug the chimney-corner, instead of breasting the pitiless storm; it is pleasant to pass one's evenings in the bosom of a family; pleasant, too, to taste the difference between winter and spring, fine sunsets and storms, town and country. The path of success, never "a primrose path of dalliance," is steeper and more thorny today than ever before. Never before in the world's history was competition in every calling and pursuit so fierce as now; never did success, in more than a moderate degree, demand for its attainment such a union of physical and intellectual qualities--of alertness, activity, prudence, persistence, boldness, and decision--as in this latter half of the nineteenth century. Carlyle truly says that "the race of life has become intense; the runners are treading upon each other's heels; woe be to him who stops to tie his shoe-strings!" This fact alone is sufficient to show the absurdity of the opinion sometimes advanced, that success is not, as a general thing, a test of merit. In spite of the occasional triumphs of mediocre men and charlatans, the rule still holds, that the men who make their way to the front, becoming rich or famous by force of their personal characters, must have something more in them than impudence, and even the Hudsons and Fisks could not have won their positions without some sterling qualities, however alloyed with their opposites.

WILLIAM MATTHEWS, "Success and Failure", Hints on Success in Life

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It is perfectly obvious that in any decent occupation (such as bricklaying or writing books) there are only two ways (in any special sense) of succeeding. One is by doing very good work, the other is by cheating. Both are much too simple to require any literary explanation. If you are in for the high jump, either jump higher than any one else, or manage somehow to pretend that you have done so. If you want to succeed at whist, either be a good whist-player, or play with marked cards. You may want a book about jumping; you may want a book about whist; you may want a book about cheating at whist. But you cannot want a book about Success. Especially you cannot want a book about Success such as those which you can now find scattered by the hundred about the book-market. You may want to jump or to play cards; but you do not want to read wandering statements to the effect that jumping is jumping, or that games are won by winners. If these writers, for instance, said anything about success in jumping it would be something like this: "The jumper must have a clear aim before him. He must desire definitely to jump higher than the other men who are in for the same competition. He must let no feeble feelings of mercy (sneaked from the sickening Little Englanders and Pro-Boers) prevent him from trying to do his best. He must remember that a competition in jumping is distinctly competitive, and that, as Darwin has gloriously demonstrated, THE WEAKEST GO TO THE WALL." That is the kind of thing the book would say, and very useful it would be, no doubt, if read out in a low and tense voice to a young man just about to take the high jump. Or suppose that in the course of his intellectual rambles the philosopher of Success dropped upon our other case, that of playing cards, his bracing advice would run--"In playing cards it is very necessary to avoid the mistake (commonly made by maudlin humanitarians and Free Traders) of permitting your opponent to win the game. You must have grit and snap and go in to win. The days of idealism and superstition are over. We live in a time of science and hard common sense, and it has now been definitely proved that in any game where two are playing IF ONE DOES NOT WIN THE OTHER WILL." It is all very stirring, of course; but I confess that if I were playing cards I would rather have some decent little book which told me the rules of the game. Beyond the rules of the game it is all a question either of talent or dishonesty; and I will undertake to provide either one or the other--which, it is not for me to say.

G. K. CHESTERTON, "The Fallacy of Success", All Things Considered

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Failure means that you would not, or could not, pay for success. Success is a matter of sale. It can (most often) be bought by a large outlay--of hard forethought--of pains--of steadiness--of the golden wisdom coined from experience. But the figure is too high for most of us. We are too poor, or too slothful, to bring the price.

CHARLES BUXTON, Notes of Thought

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Success in life could be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals. Success is the ability to fulfill your desires with effortless ease. And yet success, including the creation of wealth, has always been considered to be a process that requires hard work, and it is often considered to be at the expense of others. We need a more spiritual approach to success and to affluence, which is the abundant flow of all good things to you. With knowledge and practice of spiritual law, we put ourselves in harmony with nature and create with carefreeness, joy, and love.

DEEPAK CHOPRA, introduction, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success

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You create everything that happens to you.... If you want to be really successful, and I know you do, then you will have to give up blaming and complaining and take total responsibility for your life--that means all your results, both your successes and your failures. That is the prerequisite for creating a life of success. It is only by acknowledging that you have created everything up until now that you can take charge of creating the future you want.

JACK CANFIELD, The Success Principles

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The mighty credit, which is a mantle of cloth of gold and finest silver spun ... by the greatest of the angels of men--Success.

LEW WALLACE, Ben-Hur

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The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well; and doing well whatever you do, without a thought of fame.

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, Hyperion

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Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles one has overcome while trying to succeed.

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON, Up From Slavery

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Success, instead of giving freedom of choice, becomes a way of life. There's no country I've been to where people, when you come into a room and sit down with them, so often ask you, "What do you do?" And, being American, many's the time I've almost asked that question, then realized it's good for my soul not to know. For a while! Just to let the evening wear on and see what I think of this person without knowing what he does and how successful he is, or what a failure. We're ranking everybody every minute of the day.

ARTHUR MILLER, Paris Review, Summer 1966

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Success causes us to be more praised than known.

JOSEPH ROUX, Meditations of a Parish Priest

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