If you want to be successful, every day requires effort.
You have to grind.
It can be tough to maintain motivation. Day after day. Year after year.
I’ve found that daily quotations provide inspiration. Perspective.
To shape your mindset. To maintain your focus.
Some days you need to block out the noise. Some days you need to kick it into high gear.
You’re creating your own brand. It is built one interaction at a time. One day at a time.
I’ve identified 52 quotes that I use to inspire me. I hope they inspire you.
To lead. To persevere. To succeed.
1. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” — Amelia Earhart
To achieve your goal, taking action is the necessary first step. Then you have to pursue it tenaciously. Like an animal.
2. “The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.” — C.S. Lewis
We’re all dealing with the same constraints of sixty minutes in an hour. You, me, Elon Musk, GaryVee, Richard Branson. You need to prioritize, use your time efficiently and go after it.
3. “Remember, it isn’t the dreamers who have good lives — it’s the doers. Remember also what I call the three Ps of success: passion, planning, and perseverance.” — Homer Hickam
Lots of people dream about success. The doers get rewarded for their action. Let that be you.
4. “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” — John Pierpont “J.P.” Morgan
Take the first step. It gets easier from there.
5. “Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them.” — William Arthur Ward
Opportunities scream for action. Now. Don’t wait. You’ll miss them.
6. “Most people confuse wishing and wanting with pursuing. You must place your trust in action.” — Price Pritchett
People talk a good game. And they wish, they hope. None of that will get you where you want to go.
7. “Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” — Napoleon Hill
Persistence is only one of the necessary components that result in success.
8. “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.” — James Clear
Brick by brick, step by step. All part of grinding.
9. “You do what you can for as long as you can, and when you finally can’t, you do the next best thing. You back up, but you don’t give up.” — Chuck Yeager
Success isn’t linear. Sometimes you have to pivot. You back up, go to plan B. But you never, ever give up.
10. “Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” — Bill Bradley
Ambition isn’t passive and won’t be realized without effort and persistence. Go out and grind.
11. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” — Thomas Edison
The workplace and the creative space is littered with people who quit when it gets difficult. Your mantra should be “one more time…”
12. “One who never asks either knows everything or nothing.” — Malcolm Forbes
When you stop asking questions, you stop learning. You stop growing. I hope I’m not bursting any bubbles here. You don’t know everything. So don’t act like it.
13. “The purpose of learning isn’t to affirm our beliefs; it’s to evolve our beliefs.” — Adam Grant
Don’t live your life stuck in confirmation bias. Challenge yourself to learn new perspectives, new ideas. You’ll grow. You’ll become more interesting. You’ll be able to bring greater value.
14. “Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can — there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” — Sarah Caldwell
Every day is a new adventure when you are in learning mode. Every interaction… every person…every day.
15. “All of the top achievers I know are life-long learners. Looking for new skills, insights, and ideas. If they’re not learning, they’re not growing and not moving toward excellence.” — Denis Waitley
If you’re not growing, you’re starting to rot. Excellence isn’t a state that you achieve and then put it on cruise control. It requires continuous improvement through continuous learning.
Ignoring What Others Think
16. “Remember this. The world wants to assign you a role. And once you accept that role, you’re doomed.” — Robert Greene
People want to put you in a box. What a miserable way to live YOUR life. You determine your destiny and the role — or roles — that you want to wear to get you there.
17. “When 99% of people doubt your idea, you’re either gravely wrong or about to make history.” — Scott Belsky
Don’t let doubters deter you. Continue to challenge yourself, but if everyone followed the input of naysayers, nothing great would ever get accomplished.
18. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” — Steve Jobs
Other people will try to plan your future, but often it is based on their own failed dreams and regrets. This is your life!
19. “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” — Steve Furtick
The digital world projects a side of people that is the airbrushed, edited version of what they want you to see. They’re flawed, just like you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Just work to create a better version of yourself every day.
20. “You need to understand something that will liberate your life: You don’t need other people’s approval to be happy.” — Rick Warren
Too many people are stuck trying to get the approval of parents, siblings, friends, a boss…OR STRANGERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Be comfortable in your own skin. Be comfortable being YOU.
The Right Mindset
21. “The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger — but recognize the opportunity.” — John F. Kennedy
Have the mental approach that in a crisis, you need to stay safe, but recognize the opportunities. They exist, and they can be life-changing.
22. “Our attitude at the beginning of a task will affect its outcome more than anything else.” — John Maxwell
Lean in. When you prioritize the fact that a task is important to you, go after it with focus and energy. Partial commitment and scattered focus lead to mediocre results.
23. “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
What you’ve overcome and the opportunities and challenges you will face in your future need to be compared to the drive and effort you bring to your work and your life. Your mindset is everything.
24. “Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph: a beginning, a struggle, and a victory.” — Mahatma Gandhi
Doing something meaningful doesn’t come without effort and challenge. Embrace the struggle. Persevere through the drudgery. Your success will be all the sweeter.
25. “Your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude.” — Zig Ziglar
There are people with awesome skills who never achieve the level of success that you hope to. Drive hard. Grind relentlessly. Enjoy the journey.
26. “What to do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” — Dean Smith
Mistakes provide great opportunities to learn, but you can’t afford to get mired in loss or failure. Learn and move on. You’ll be better prepared for the future.
27. “The past is a place of reflection, not a place of residency.” — Nigel Risner
Too many people dwell on the past and are stuck in regret mode. Reflect on the past to learn, but focus on the future goal and concentrate your effort and energy on today. The priorities. The people.
28. “Indecision is the greatest thief of opportunity.” — Jim Rohn
Indecision keeps us stuck in neutral and we miss opportunities. Decisions allow you to move forward.
29. “Making no decision is a decision. To do nothing. And doing nothing always brings you to nowhere.” — Robin Sharma
When you’re stuck in indecision mode, you stay in one place. Your success and your happiness require forward movement. Take action.
30. “The highway of life is filled with flat squirrels that couldn’t make a decision.” — John Maxwell
Think of this image when you’re waffling. You don’t want to be road kill. Make the decision and move on. You can avoid the eighteen-wheel truck bearing down on you.
31. “It’s better to be boldly decisive and risk being wrong than to agonize at length and be right too late.” — Marylyn Moats Kennedy
Making the bold decision may prove to be wrong, but it creates action, and with action comes opportunity. Agonizing over a decision can cause opportunities to evaporate and you risk having your followers get bored or disillusioned.
32. “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” — Peter Drucker
Hard to add to wisdom from the godfather of modern management.
33. “Without character, there is no credibility; and without credibility, there is no trust.” — Warren Bennis
Trust is foundational to successful leadership and successful teams. Trust begins with character. Yours.
34. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” — John Wooden
Don’t give in to superficial fluff and becoming a fictional character. Let the substance of your character speak for itself.
35. “Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
The reality check? When you’re a leader, others are always looking. When no one else is around is the time when character reveals itself.
36. “It is true that integrity alone won’t make you a leader, but without integrity you will never be one.” — Zig Ziglar
Have you ever trusted a leader who didn’t have integrity? I didn’t think so. If you want to, integrity needs to drive your actions and thoughts.
Dealing With Obstacles
37. “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” — Marcus Aurelius
Obstacles provide opportunities to learn, grow and strengthen. Those are the qualities that make you more successful and a better leader.
38. “When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” — Alexander Graham Bell
When you are constantly looking for opportunities, the closed door leads to a pivot, not to a dream denied.
39. “Are you going to let the obstacles in your life be stumbling blocks or stepping stones? Choose the positive. You are the master of your attitude.” — Bruce Lee
Your mindset is key. Obstacles need to be viewed as stepping stones to possibility and a better future.
40. “Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” — Napoleon Hill
When setbacks occur, seek out the new perspective and the fresh opportunity. It’s out there, waiting for you to find it.
41. “People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. People who do take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.” — Peter Drucker
You will make mistakes. You’re human. You’re flawed. Taking big risks can lead to big rewards. Don’t become too careful.
Bringing Value to Others
42. “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” — Napoleon Hill
As a leader, helping others succeed creates team success and builds stronger followership. Both you and your company benefit.
43. “The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.” — Harvey S. Firestone
Developing others creates stronger leaders and better companies. It can also change other people’s lives. Don’t you want that as your leadership legacy?
44. “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” — John C. Maxwell
Don’t get stuck on your title. That’s a box on an org chart. Influencing others in a positive way is the essence of leadership.
45. “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” — Jack Welch
Successful leaders understand that it’s not about you. Define your success by the growth of others.
46. “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill
This basis for success in business is delivering great value to others. If you’re an entrepreneur, a manager, or just working on a side hustle, deliver value.
47. “Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.” — Albert Schweitzer
Other people may not have your drive or your positive perspective. They need encouragement.
They need you.
48. “To achieve goals you’ve never achieved before, you need to start doing things you’ve never done before.” — Stephen Covey
If you do the same things, you’ll get the same result. Challenge yourself to learn new skills, try new methods as you tackle new goals.
49. “Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.” — Jim Rohn
With growth comes change. When you are growing, you are not just adapting to life, you’re impacting the future. But it requires you to embrace change.
50. “The bigger your comfort zone, the smaller your life.” — Jamie Jackson
When we stay comfortable, we eliminate the new, the risky and the different perspectives. How dull. Life will shrink day by day. Don’t let it.
51. “Success means we experience life instead of enduring it.” — Darius Foroux
Some people act like they’re trying to survive from one day to the next, waiting for something good to happen. And they wait…and wait. What a depressing thought. Live in the moment and enjoy each day and each interaction. Seek joy. Seek growth.
52. “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” — Jim Rohn
Success comes to those who are willing to make the effort, take the risk, or develop the skills at a higher level than others. Success is greater and tastes sweeter when you’ve done what others aren’t willing to do.
Make Today the Day
Your success comes as a result of a positive mindset and relentless action.
Too many people wait…and wait…and do nothing.
They aren’t sure where to go…so they sit where they are.
They are afraid to get uncomfortable, so they keep it safe…and never grow.
They don’t see the results…so they quit.
But that isn’t you.
You’re driving, learning, growing. And even then, you need a little inspiration every once in a while.
I hope these quotations provide you the extra kick to go out and make it happen.