Posts tagged ‘success’



So what I want to argue for is not that we should give up on our ideas of success, but we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas. and make sure that we own them, that we are truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough, not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of a journey, that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along.

Alain de Botton, “A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success” (2009)



The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time.

Joe Girard, handwritten note, quoted on Mashable (2013)



What we learned from conversation with high achievers is that challenging our assumptions, objectives, at times even our goals, may sometimes push us further than we thought possible.

Camille Sweeney, Secret Ingredient for Success (2013)


a third metric

At the moment, our society’s notion of success is largely composed of two parts: money and power. But it’s time for a third metric, beyond money and power – one founded on well-being, wisdom, our ability to wonder, and to give back.

Arianna Huffington, “Redefining Success: 2013 Smith College Commencement Address” (2013)



What the world needs more of is not new ideas and daring dreams, but commitment. A willingness to do the hard work that matters… It’s time to commit. To a job, a relationship, a path. Something. Anything. We don’t need your restlessness or your excitement. We have enough Peter Pans, thank you very much. What we need is a little more conviction in our difference-makers. We need your focus, your pluck, your courage. We need you to commit.

Jeff Goins, “The Three Levels of Commitment” (2013)



Today you graduate, and today you already know what I know: to get where you’re going, you have to be good, and to be good where you’re going, you have to be damned good. Every once in a while, you’ll succeed. Most of the time you’ll fail, and most of the time the circumstances will be well beyond your control.

Aaron Sorkin, Syracuse Commencement Address (2012)

Note: Ok, that’s all the Sorkin for a while, I promise! #sorries #guiltyface



Just coloring inside the lines won’t help you succeed. More esoteric character strengths like optimism and zest are things that can be taught and are also predictive of success.

Paul Tough, quoted in “Your IQ Doesn’t Matter & Other Lessons About Creativity From Children” (2012)


just do the next thing on the list

Looking back, I’ve had a remarkable ride. I’m not sure I can call it a career, because a career implies that I had some kind of career plan, and I never did. The nearest thing I had was a list I made when I was 15 of everything I wanted to do: to write an adult novel, a children’s book, a comic, a movie, record an audiobook, write an episode of Doctor Who…and so on. I didn’t have a career. I just did the next thing on the list.

Neil Gaiman, University of the Arts Commencement Address (2012)


small efforts

Success is the sum of small efforts / repeated day in and day out.

Florence Taylor, “Success,” quoted in The Law Of The Higher Potential by Robert J. Collier (1947)

Note: There is another claim at citation: Best Loved Unity Poems, compiled by Unity School of Christianity, 1948.


dare mighty things

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt, “The Strenuous Life” (1899)

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