How To Be Successful: 50 Quotes From Insanely Accomplished People

Flickr / David Gellar

Steve Jobs

Flickr / David Gellar

Kristina Udice
Kristina Udice
July 14, 2024 at 4:45PM UTC
What it takes to be successful in life, successful in business, and successful in your career varies from person to person. Successful people often have similar habits. They work hard to to be successful in life and in business. They achieve their goals through dedication and hard work. But the definition of success isn’t black and white — neither is how to be successful in practice.
How to be successful depends on where you want to succeed, and what your definition of success is. Your goals might not be career-oriented. Your hard work and habits might be more geared towards personal growth and successful relationships. And that’s perfect, as long as it’s perfect for you.
But there’s not doubt that some of the world’s most successful people know a thing or two about success and about inspiring and invigorating others to achieve the same. Here are 50 inspiring quotes about success to enact change in your life.
1. "Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." — Winston S. Churchill
2. "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." — Thomas Jefferson
3. "Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value." —  Albert Einstein
4. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time." — Steve Jobs
5. “Everybody’s got a past. The past does not equal the future unless you live there.” — Tony Robbins
6. "The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won't. It's whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere." — Barack Obama
7. "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." — Walt Disney
8. "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." — Thomas Edison
9. "You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it." — Oprah Winfrey
10. “Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow's reality."— Malala Yousafzai
11. "Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiousity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit." — E.E. Cummings
12. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson
13. “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure which is: Try to please everybody.” — Herbert B. Swope
14. “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” — Lucille Ball
15. “Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well.” — Vincent Van Gogh
16. “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” — Abraham Lincoln
17. “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” — Mark Twain
18. “Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost legendary. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent.” — Calvin Coolidge
19. “Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.” — Dalai Lama
20. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy.
21. “Your work is discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” — Buddha
22. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” — Oscar Wilde
23. “Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” — Mark Victor Hansen

24. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
25. "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." — Charles Darwin
26. "Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life--think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success." — Swami Vivekananda

27. “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children… to leave the world a better place… to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

28. “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

29. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” — Michael Jordan
30. “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.” — Mahatma Gandhi
31. “If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”  — Jim Rohn
32. “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
— Harriet Tubman
33. “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” — Thomas J. Watson
34. “Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.” —  Denis Waitley
35. "The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one's destiny to do, and then do it." — Henry Ford
36. "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future." — John F. Kennedy
37. “If you don’t value your time, neither will others. Stop giving away your time and talents- start charging for it.” — Kim Garst
38. “I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” — Abraham Lincoln
39. “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” — John D. Rockefeller
40. “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne
41. “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” — Pablo Picasso
42. “It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.” — Sigmund Freud
43. “I find that when you have a real interest in life and a curious life, that sleep is not the most important thing.” — Martha Stewart
44. “The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.” — Mark Caine
45. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”  — Steve Jobs
46.“You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction.” — George Lorimer
47.“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.” — Margaret Thatcher
48. “Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.” — Tony Robbins
49. “It’s not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts.” — Mother Teresa
50. “Success? I don’t know what that word means. I’m happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody’s eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.” — Denzel Washington
Whether you’re trying to enact a major change in your personal life, professional career, relationship, or mindset, these quotes definitely give you something to think about. They open your eyes about what success means and how you can achieve it. And it’s different for everybody — it’s just important that you keep an open mind and strive to keep learning and growing.
These quotes were bound to stir something up within you, as they have for many successful people that have come along since. But I hope they’ve put you on a path towards your success. At the end of the day, success isn’t necessary a destination but a journey through life that leave you happy, hopeful, and ready to take on the world one step at a time. These men and women could enjoyed the ride, and I hope you will too.

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