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If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) - Attributed - but unclear. Earliest reference in print is  Eliza Cook's Journal Vol. 2, (1854), p. 128, but without credit to an author.

We mount to heaven mostly on the ruins of our cherished schemes, finding our failures were successes.
Amos Bronson Alcott

Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; but if a thing is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach.
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) - Meditations (c. 161–180 CE) Book VI, 19

We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.
Author Unknown - Attributed to Thoreau, but not found in his writings.

All men seek one goal: success or happiness. The only way to achieve true success is to express yourself completely in service to society. First, have a definite, clear, practical ideal-a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends-wisdom, money, materials and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.

It is not possible to run a course aright when the goal itself has not been rightly placed.
Francis Bacon (1561-1626) - Novum Organum (The New Organon), 1620, Aphorism 81

The key to success is to risk thinking unconventional thoughts. Convention is the enemy of progress.
Trevor Baylis (1937 - ) - Quote embedded in the short video "Winding Up," by Matthew Scholes, Focus Forward Short Film finalist, 2013,

Success is full of promise till men get it; and then it is last year's nest from which the bird has flown.
Henry Ward Beecher - Quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 567.

Success is brought by continued labor and continued watchfulness. We must struggle on, not for one moment hesitate, nor take one backward step.
William Jennings Bryan - Illinois College Valedictory (1881)

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation.
Pearl S. Buck

True success is the only thing that you cannot have unless and until you have offered it to others.
Sri Chinmoy

If failure has the strength to turn your life into bitterness itself, then patience has the strength to turn your life into the sweetest joy. Do not surrender to fate after a single failure. Failure, at most, precedes success.
Sri Chinmoy - Songs of the Soul (1971)

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) - Quoted in The Prodigal Project : Book I : Genesis (2003) by Ken Abraham and Daniel Hart, p. 224

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Attributed to Churchill without a direct source: Churchill, W. "Churchill on Leadership", Success, Success Magazine Company 44 (1997): 55-64.

A champion is one who gets up when he can't.
Jack Dempsey

Success is the child of audacity.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) - The Rise of Iskander ch. 4 (1833)

The secret of success is constancy of purpose.
Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) - speech at banquet of National Union of Conservative and Constitutional Associations, Crystal Palace, London, June 24, 1872.—Selected Speeches of the Right Honourable the Earl of Beaconsfield, ed. T. E. Kebbel, vol. 2, p. 535 (1882).

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) - From Telegraph to Light Bulb with Thomas Edison (2007) by Deborah Hedstrom, p. 22

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas Edison (1847-1931) - An Enemy Called Average (1990) by John L. Mason, p. 55

Never lose a holy curiosity. Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. He is considered successful in our day who gets more out of life than he puts in. But a man of value will give more than he receives.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) - Interview with William Miller quoted in "Death of a Genius," William Miller, LIFE, May 2, 1955, p64

Shallow men believe in luck, believe in circumstances. . . . Strong men believe in cause and effect.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - Essay "Worship," 1860

I fear the popular notion of success stands in direct opposition in all points to the real and wholesome success. One adores public opinion, the other, private opinion; one, fame, the other, desert; one, feats, the other, humility; one, lucre, the other, love; one, monopoly, and the other, hospitality of mind.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) - 'Success', Society and Solitude (1870)

Madame Curie didn't stumble upon radium by accident. She searched and experimented and sweated and suffered years before she found it. Success rarely is an accident.
B.C. Forbes

The making of friends who are real friends, is the best token we have of a man's success in life.
Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909) - Quoted in The National Cyclopedia of American Biography, V.1- By George Derby, James Terry White, White & Co., NY, 1906, p. 739.

Success is very largely a matter of adjusting one's self to the ever-varying and changing environments of life, in a spirit of harmony and poise.
Napolian Hill (1883-1970) - The Law Of Success, Lesson One, Ralston University Press, Meriden, Conn, 1928, p 19.

If you have a clear vision, you will eventually attract the right strategy. If you don't have a clear vision, no strategy will save you.
Mike Hyatt -

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principal, stand like a rock.
Thomas Jefferson - quoted in Careertracking: 26 success Shortcuts to the Top (1988) by James Calano and Jeff Salzma

Nothing, will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.
Samuel Johnson - The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (1759) Ch. 6

Rose-colored glasses are never made in bifocals. Nobody wants to read the small print in dreams.
Ann Landers (Esther Pauline Friedman) (1918-2002) - Quoted in Women Know Everything, Ed Karen Weeks, 2007.

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) - On proclamation of appointing a National Fast Day, March 30, 1863. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler, vol. 6, p. 156 (1953).

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) - Letter to Isham Reavis (5 November 1855)


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 (1890–1957)- Where the Blue Begins, p. 85 (1922).

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.
Anna Quindlen (1952- ) - Commencement Speech Mount Holyoke College, May 23, 1999.

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood: who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Theodore Roosevelt - from an address at the Sorbonne, Paris, France, 23rd April 1910

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.
John Ruskin

Good people are good because they've come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.
William Saroyan - Americann author and playright.

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Albert Schweitzer

It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare to attempt them, but they are difficult because we do not dare to do so.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca (5BC - 65AD) quoted in The Greatest Works of the Greatest Authors, Hagemann Pub., NY, 1894, p. 598.

To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others; To give of one's self; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived — This is to have succeeded.
Bessie Anderson Stanley in Heart Throbs Volume Two (1911) Frequently Misattributed to Emerson

The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.
Ben Stein

We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success. What we do best or most perfectly is what we have most thoroughly learned by the longest practice, and at length it falls from us without our notice, as a leaf from a tree.
Henry David Thoreau - Journal

I think I have learned that the best way to lift one's self up is to help someone else.
Booker T. Washington - The Story of My Life and Work, vol. I (1900)

I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.
Booker T. Washington - Up From Slavery, Chapter II: Boyhood Days

Who never wins can rarely lose, Who never climbs as rarely falls
John Greenleaf Whittier - To James T. Fields, reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919)