Updated: January 8th, 2014
I want to share something on the motivation side of things. It’s simply a compilation of various incredibly meaningful quotes that I was exposed to as a result of being a member of Evolve Academy.
I am only pulling these quotes from the Evolve newsletters.
It will be updated over time. If you’re hungry for even more great quotes. I compiled another list of meaningful quotes some time ago. Feel free to check it out as well.
- Abraham Joshua Heschel: Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.
- Abraham Lincoln: Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition
- Abraham Lincoln: If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend six sharpening my axe.
- Adam Smith: Labor was the first price, the original “money” that paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labor, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.
- Al Oerter: Competition in its best form is a test of self. It has nothing to do with medals. The winner is the person who gets the most out of themselves.
- Albert Einstein: It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s just that I stay with problems longer!
- Albert Einstein: Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.
- Albert Einstein: Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, find opportunity.
- Albert Einstein: Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting DIFFERENT results.
- Albert Einstein: Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.
- Alexander Graham Bell: What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.
- Alexander Graham Bell: When one door closes another opens. But we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened for us.
- Ambrose Redmoon: Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
- Anatole France: All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we enter another.
- Anne Bradstreet: If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant. If we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
- Anita Roddick: If you do things well, do them better. Be daring, be first, be different, be just.
- Anthon St. Maarten: If we never experience the chill of a dark winter, it is very unlikely that we will ever cherish the warmth of a bright summer’s day. Nothing stimulates our appetite for the simple joys of life more than the starvation caused by sadness or desperation. In order to complete our amazing life journey successfully, it is vital that we turn each and every dark tear into a pearl of wisdom.
- Anthony Robbins: Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow.
- Anthony Robbins: Most people have no idea of the giant capacity we can immediately command when we focus all of our resources on mastering a single area of our lives.
- Arnold Palmer: I’ve always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me. I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn’t have a chance to win.
- Arthur Ashe: True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.
- B.F. Skinner: Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.
- Baudjuin: No matter how hard you work for success, if your thought is saturated with the fear of failure, it will kill your efforts, neutralize your endeavors and make success impossible.
- Benjamin Disraeli: The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.
- Benjamin Franklin: Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement and success have no meaning.
- Benjamin Franklin: Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each New Year find you a better man.
- Benjamin Franklin: Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
- Bernard M. Baruch: The art of living lies less in eliminating our troubles than in growing with them.
- BJ Penn: What you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it. If you’re getting the chance to step into the octagon, you better be going full speed and give it everything you’ve got.
- Bono: My heroes are the ones who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them..
- Bruce Lee: If you always put limits on anything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are not limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
- Bruce Lee: Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.
- Bruce Lee: I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
- C. Joy Bell C.: Humanity does not suffer from the disease of wrong beliefs but humanity suffers from the contagious nature of the lack of belief. If you have no magic with you it is not because magic does not exist but it is because you do not believe in it. Even if the sun shines brightly upon your skin every day, if you do not believe in the sunlight, the sunlight for you does not exist.
- Charles Darwin: It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change
- Chinese Proverb: He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever
- Chinese Proverb: A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
- Chris Evert: Competitive toughness is an acquired skill and not an inherited gift.
- Christopher Reeve: So many of our DREAMS at first seem impossible, then they seem Improbable, and then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.
- Christopher Reeve: A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.
- Clint Eastwood: I don’t believe in pessimism. If something doesn’t come up the way you want, forge ahead. If you think it’s going to rain, it will.
- Confucius: The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work, must first sharpen his tools.
- Don Wilder & Bill Rechin: Excuses are nails used to build a house of failure.
- Darwin P. Kingsley: You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind.
- David Frost: Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in and it will come naturally.
- David Brinkley: A successful Man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
- David Gemmell: A warrior feeds his body well; he trains it; works on it. Where he lacks knowledge, he studies. But above all he must believe. He must believe in his strength of will, of purpose, of heart and soul.
- Denis Waitley: Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well.
- Denis Waitley: The winner’s edge is not in a gifted birth, a high IQ or in talent. The winner’s edge is all in the attitude, not aptitude. Attitude is the criterion for continued success!
- Dr. Seuss: Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
- Dwight Eisenhower: In preparing for Battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
- Earl Weaver: I became an optimist when I discovered that I wasn’t going to win any more games by being anything else.
- Edward Frederick Halifax: True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.
- Eleanor Roosevelt: Do one thing every day that scares you.
- Eugene F. Ware: All glory comes from daring to begin!
- F. Scott Fitzgerald: Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.
- Frank Tyger: Your future depends on many things, but mostly on you.
- Frederick Douglas: We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the present and the future.
- Friedrich Nietzsche: On the mountains of truth you can never climb in vain: either you will reach a point higher up today, or you will be training your powers so that you will be able to climb higher tomorrow.
- Fulton J. Sheen: Each of us makes his own weather, determines the color of the skies in the emotional universe which he inhabits.
- George Bernard Shaw: I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one’s business on earth… I like a state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.
- George Bernard Shaw: People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they don’t find them make them.
- George Bernard Shaw: We don’t stop playing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop playing.
- George Bernard Shaw: The true joy to life is being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one….being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown to the scrap heap….being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish clod of ailments and grievances.
- George Elliot: It’s never too late to become what you might have been.
- Georges Jacques Danton: We must dare, and dare again, and go on daring.
- Gila Guri: The force of the waves is in their perseverance.
- Greg Nelson: The great thing about technique is that it can be endlessly developed, unlike the physical attributes.
- Gustave Flaubert: The most glorious moments in your life are not the so-called days of success, but rather those days when out of dejection and despair you feel rise in you a challenge to life, and the promise of future accomplishments.
- Helen Keller: Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
- Henri Frederic Amiel: The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.
- Henry Clay: Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.
- Henry David Thoreau: What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.
- Henry Ford: Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
- Henry Ford: There is no man living that cannot do more than he thinks he can.
- Henry Ward Beecher: Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else.
- J. Robert Moskin: Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings.
- Jawaharlal Nehru: Life is like a deck of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the way you play it is free will.
- Jenny Craig: It’s not what you do once in a while, it’s what you do day in and day out that makes a difference.
- Jim Morrison: The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
- Jim Rohn: We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
- John Bingham: What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate.
- John Heywood: If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may see to be.
- John Keats: Don’t be discouraged by a failure. It can be a positive experience. Failure is, in a sense, the highway to success, inasmuch as every discovery of what is false leads us to seek earnestly after what is true, and every fresh experience points out some form of error which we shall afterward carefully avoid.
- John Quincy Adams: If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more you are a leader.
- Johnny Cash: You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.
- King Whitney, Jr: Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because it means that things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better.
- Lao Tzu: The wise man, after learning something new, is afraid to learn anything more until he has put his first lesson into practice.
- Larry Flynt: Along with a strong belief in your own inner voice, you also need laser-like focus combined with unwavering determination.
- Les Brown: If you take responsibility for yourself, you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dreams.
- Les Brown: You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
- Liberace: Nobody will believe in you, unless you believe in yourself.
- Lou Holtz: Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.
- M. Scott Peck: The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
- Madeleine L’Engle: It’s a good thing to have the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet and what is sand.
- Mahatma Ghandi: Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.
- Maria Robinson: Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
- Mario Andretti: If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough.
- Mark Twain: It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
- Mark Twain: You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
- Martha Washington: I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.
- Martin Luther King: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Nothing worthwhile is easy. Your ability to overcome unfavorable situations will provide you with time to demonstrate your true strength and determination for success. Always set your standards high, your greatest achievements lie within the infinite feats you achieve in your life.
- Max Steingart: Reality forms around your commitments. The achievement of your goal is assured the moment you commit yourself to it.
- Melodie Beattie: Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings, peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow
- Michael Jordan: Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
- Michelle Kwan: When I look at the kids training today… I can tell which ones are going to do well. It’s not necessarily the ones who have the most natural talent or who fall the least. Sometimes it’s the kids who fall the most, and keep pulling themselves up and trying again.
- Mike Moses: Practice makes habits.
- Miyamoto Musashi: Study strategy over the years and achieve the spirit of the Warrior. Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; Tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.
- Muhammad Ali: Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.
- Muhammad Ali: Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.
- Napoleon Hill: Effort only fully releases it’s reward after a person refuses to quit!
- Nike advertisement: All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you’re not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you’re the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no’s become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES.
- Odin: You should never seek out war, but you should always be ready for it!
- Og Mandino: Remind thyself, in the darkest moments, that every failure is only a step toward success, every detection of what is false directs you toward what is true, every trial exhausts some tempting form of error, and every adversity will only hide, for a time, your path to peace and fulfillment.
- Orison Swett Marden: Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.
- Orson F Whitney: No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls…
- Oscar Wilde: Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes.
- Osho: One thing: you will have to create the path by walking yourself; the path is not ready-made, lying there and waiting for you. It is just like the sky: the birds fly, but they don’t leave any footprints. You cannot follow them; there are no footprints left behind.
- Oswald Spengler: This is our purpose: to make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us . . . to live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves, to act in such a way that some part of us lives on.
- Patricia Neal: A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.
- Paul “Bear” Bryant: It’s not the will to win that matters–everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.
- Paulo Coelho: When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back. A week is more than enough time for us to decide whether or not to accept our destiny.
- Paulo Coelho: Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.
- Ralph Marston: Today is an opportunity to do something positive. Today is your chance to add new value to your life and to your world. Make the commitment to fill this day with meaningful richness and purposeful effort. This is your day to live, so do so with vigor and enthusiasm.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: Vigor is contagious, and whatever makes us either think or feel strongly adds to our power and enlarges our field of action.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson: Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody.
- Ray LeBlond: You learn something every day, if you pay attention!
- Richard Nixon: The ability to be cool, confident, and decisive in crisis is not an inherited characteristic but is the direct result of how well the individual has prepared himself for the battle.
- Richard Nixon: Defeat doesn’t finish a man – quitting does. A man is not finished when he’s defeated. He’s finished when he quits.
- Robert Allen: Everything you want is just outside your comfort zone.
- Robert Anthony: When you blame others, you give up your power to change.
- Robert F. Kennedy: Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
- Robert Hillyer: If you are doing your best, you will not have to worry about failure.
- Robert Frost: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
- Robert Louis Stevenson: Don’t judge each day by the Harvest that you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.
- Ruth E. Renkel: Never fear shadows. They simply mean there’s a light shining somewhere nearby.
- Samuel Johnson: Courage is reckoned the greatest of all virtues; because, unless a man has that virtue, he has no security for preserving any other.
- Samuel Ullman: Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years my wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.
- Sandra Bullock: I’ve learned that success comes in a very prickly package. Whether you choose to accept it or not is up to you. It’s what you choose to do with it, the people you choose to surround yourself with. Always choose people that are better than you. Always choose people that challenge you and are smarter than you. Always be the student. Once you find yourself to be the teacher, you’ve lost it.
- Sean Connery: There is nothing like a challenge, to bring out the best in a man!
- Seneca the Younger : No tree becomes rooted and sturdy unless many a wind assails it. For by its very tossing it tightens its grip and plants its roots more securely; the fragile trees are those that have grown in a sunny valley.
- Steven R. Covey: Opposition is a natural part of life. Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming weighted opposition, we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity.
- Steven Seagal: Try to find the path of least resistance and use it without harming others. Live with integrity and morality, with people and all beings.
- The Eagles: So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key.
- Theodore Roosevelt: 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 not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.
- Thomas Edison: The first requisite for success is to develop the ability to focus and apply your mental and physical energies to the problem at hand – without growing weary. Because such thinking is often difficult, there seems to be no limit to which some people will go to avoid the effort and labor that is associated with it….
- Unknown: Arrow goes forward only after pulling it backward. Bullet goes forward only after pressing the trigger backward. Every human being will excel only after facing the difficulties in their life path…. So do not be afraid to face your difficulties. They will push you forward!
- Unknown: Bad habits are like a comfortable bed. Easy to get into, but hard to get out of.
- Unknown: It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.
- Unknown: Nobody trips over mountains. It is the small pebble that causes you to stumble. Pass all the pebbles in your path and you will find that you have crossed the mountain.
- Unknown: Champions are not men who never fail, but men who never quit!
- Unknown: It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
- Unknown: A man’s reputation is what other people think of him; his character is what he really is.Unknown: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.
- Vesta M. Kelly: Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together.
- Victor Cherbuliez: What helps luck is a habit of watching for opportunities, of having a patient but restless mind, of sacrificing one’s ease or vanity, of uniting a love of detail to foresight, and of passing through hard times bravely and cheerfully.
- Viktor Frankl: Life can be pulled by goals just as sure as it can be pushed by drives.
- Vince Lombardi: Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.
- Vince Lombardi: The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.
- Vince Lombardi: The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.
- Vince Lombardi: But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, his greatest fulfillment of all he holds dear, is the moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.
- Vince Lombardi: Winning is not everything, but making the effort to win is.
- Vincent Van Gogh: As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed.
- Voltaire: No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.
- W. Clement Stone: You too can determine what you want. You can decide on your major objectives, targets, aim and destination.
- W. Edwards Deming: It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.
- Washington Irving: Great minds have purposes, others have wishes.
- Washington Irving: Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above them.
- Willeford Peterson: Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve.
- William Shakespeare: Our doubts are our traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.
- Winston Churchill: Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
- Zig Ziglar: You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
- Zig Ziglar: People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
- Zig Ziglar: Your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude.