How do you find success? And what is success?

We all want it somehow, in our relationships, in our careers, and for ourselves. 

Let's take a look at 150 quotes about success from people who walked this earth before us (and from some who are still here). These are inspirational, motivational, sometimes amusing, thought-provoking, and timeless advice on success.

  1. "A year from now, you may wish you had started today." – Karen Lamb.

  2. "Action is the foundational key to all success." – Pablo Picasso.

  3. "After every difficulty, ask yourself two questions: "What did I do right?" and "What would I do differently?" – Brian Tracy.

  4. "Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism." – David Burns.

  5. "All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me. You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you." – Walt Disney.

  1. "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing." – Abraham Lincoln.

  2. "Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration. The rest of us just get up and go to work." – Stephen King.

  3. "Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." – Wayne Dyer.

  4. "Before anything else, preparation is the key to success." – Alexander Graham Bell.

  5. "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved." – Helen Keller.

  1. "Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not." – Neil deGrasse Tyson.

  2. "Do not be embarrassed by your failures. Learn from them and start again." – Richard Branson.

  3. "Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment." – Oprah Winfrey.

  4. "Don't brood. Get on with living and loving. You don't have forever." – Leo Buscaglia.

  5. "Don't let mental blocks control you. Set yourself free. Confront your fear and turn the mental blocks into building blocks." – Dr. Roopleen.

  1. "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." – John Wooden.

  2. "Don't let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning." – Robert Kiyosaki.

  3. "Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door." –Coco Chanel.

  4. "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.

  5. "Don't wait. The time will never be just right." – Napoleon Hill.

  1. "Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will." – Suzy Kassem.

  2. "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better." – Samuel Beckett.

  3. "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.

  4. "Failure is constructive feedback that tells you to try a different approach to accomplish what you want." – Idowu Koyenikan.

  5. "Follow effective actions with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action." – Peter Drucker.

  1. "For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others." – Eleanor Roosevelt.

  2. "For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don't enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are you're not going to be very happy. If someone bases his/her happiness on major events like a great job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage, or a trip to Paris, that person isn't going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness." – Andy Rooney.

  3. "For success, attitude is equally as important as ability." – Harry Banks.

  4. "How would your life be different if you stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day you look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey." – Steve Maraboli.

  5. "I attribute my success to this: I never gave or took any excuse." – Florence Nightingale.

  1. "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.

  2. "I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody." – Herbert Swope.

  3. "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." – Thomas Jefferson.

  4. "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 Washington.

  5. "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.

  1. "I never dreamed about success. I worked for it." – Estee Lauder.

  2. "If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y and Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut." – Albert Einstein.

  3. "If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way." – Martin Luther King Jr.

  4. "If I had eight game-winning down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax." – Abraham Lincoln.

  5. "If people did not do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done." – Ludwig Wittgenstein.

  1. "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." – Abraham Maslow.

  2. "If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from that person's angle as well as from your own." – Henry Ford.

  3. "If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary." – Jim Rohn.

  4. "If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much." – Jim Rohn.

  5. "If you don't value your time, neither will others. Stop giving away your time and talents. Value what you know and start charging for it." – Kim Garst.

  1. "If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it." – Olin Miller.

  2. "If you're going through hell, keep going." – Winston Churchill.

  3. "In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." – Theodore Roosevelt.

  4. "It always seems impossible until it's done." – Nelson Mandela.

  5. "It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things." – Leonardo da Vinci.

  1. "It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." – Herman Melville.

  2. "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed." – Theodore Roosevelt.

  3. "It takes nothing to stay in poverty but everything to break free from it." – Deepak Chopra.

  4. "Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it." – Dalai Lama.

  5. "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." – Mark Twain.

  1. "Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling or sitting down." – Charles Kettering.

  2. "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." – George Bernard Shaw.

  3. "Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy." – Milton Erickson.

  4. "Life's real failure is when you do not realize how close you were to success when you gave up." – Unknown.

  5. "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." – Mahatma Gandhi.

  1. "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.

  2. "Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." – Lucille Ball.

  3. "My mission in life is not merely to survive but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." – Maya Angelou.

  4. "Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don't over-analyze your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness." – Leo Buscaglia.

  5. "Never stop dreaming, never stop believing, never give up, never stop trying, and never stop learning." – Roy Bennett.

  1. "Nobody built like you, you design yourself." – Jay-Z.

  2. "Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much." – Erich Fromm.

  3. "Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!'" – Audrey Hepburn.

  4. "Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all." – Peter Drucker.

  5. "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." – Robert Kennedy.

  1. "Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." – Francis Chan.

  1. "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time, we fall." – Oliver Goldsmith.

  1. "Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success." – Napoleon Hill.

  2. "People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully." – Steve Jobs.

  3. "People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy." – Tony Robbins.

  1. "Persistence. Perfection. Patience. Power. Prioritize your passion. It keeps you sane." – Criss Jami.

  2. "Singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one's aim." – John Rockefeller.

  3. "Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they're trying to find someone who's going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take." – Anthony Robbins.

  4. "Spend eighty percent of your time focusing on the opportunities of tomorrow rather than the problems of yesterday." – Brian Tracy.

  5. "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." – Arthur Ashe.

  1. "Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven't planted." – David Bly.

  2. "Success comes from the inside out. In order to change what is on the outside, you must first change what is on the inside." – Idowu Koyenikan.

  3. "Success comes in cans; failure in can'ts." – Unknown.

  4. "Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time." – George Bernard Shaw.

  5. "Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired." – Robert Strauss.

  1. "Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success." – Joyce Brothers.

  2. "Success is focusing the full power of all you are on what you have a burning desire to achieve." – Wilfred Peterson.

  3. "Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." – Winston Churchill.

  4. "Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom." – George Patton.

  5. "Success is largely a matter of holding on after others have let go." –William Feather.

  1. "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." – Maya Angelou.

  2. "Success is most often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable." – Coco Chanel.

  3. "Success is not final. Failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." – Winston Churchill.

  4. "Success is not how high you have climbed but how you make a positive difference to the world." – Roy Bennett.

  5. "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." – Orison Swett Marden.

  1. "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful." – Herman Cain.

  2. "Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time." – Arnold Glasgow.

  3. "Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." – Winston Churchill.

  4. "Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in, and day-out." – Robert Collier.

  5. "Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be." – Zig Ziglar.

  1. "Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be." – George Sheehan.

  2. "Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit." – Conrad Hilton.

  3. "Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it." – Henry David Thoreau.

  4. "Successful people have no fear of failure. But unsuccessful people do. Successful people have the resilience to face up to failure—learn the lessons and adapt from it." – Roy Bennett.

  5. "Take time to deliberate but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in." – Napoleon Bonaparte.

  1. "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, and this is why great spiritual giants are produced." – Swami Vivekananda.

  2. "The best revenge is massive success." – Frank Sinatra.

  3. "The best way to succeed in this world is to act on the advice you give to others." – Unknown.

  4. "The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny." – Albert Ellis.

  5. "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will." – Vince Lombardi.

  1. "The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success." – Bruce Feirstein.

  2. "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.

  3. "The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without." – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

  4. "The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down." – Stephen Richards.

  5. "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." – Ayn Rand.

  1. "The road to success is always under construction." – Lily Tomlin.

  2. "The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes." – Benjamin Disraeli.

  3. "The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do." – Roy Smith.

  4. "The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus." – Bruce Lee.

  5. "The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense." – Thomas Edison.

  1. "The universe doesn't give you what you ask for with your thoughts - it gives you what you demand with your actions." – Steve Maraboli.

  2. "There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. But success also includes good health, energy, and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind." –Deepak Chopra.

  3. "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure." – Colin Powell.

  4. "There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed." – Ray Goforth.

  5. "There is no failure except in no longer trying." –Elbert Hubbard.

  1. "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." – Abraham Lincoln.

  2. "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.

  3. "To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence." – Mark Twain.

  4. "Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value." –Albert Einstein.

  5. "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.

  1. "Victory is sweetest when you've known defeat." – Malcolm Forbes.

  2. "Wake up determined, go to bed satisfied." – Dwayne Johnson.

  3. "Weaknesses are just strengths in the wrong environment." – Marianne Cantwell.

  4. "We’ve been making our own opportunities, and as you prove your worth and value to people, they can’t put you in a box. You hustle it into happening, right?" – Jennifer Lopez.

  5. "What is success? It is being able to go to bed each night with your soul at peace." – Paulo Coelho.

  1. "What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise." – Oscar Wilde.

  2. "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve." – Napoleon Hill.

  3. "Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them." – Vaibhav Shah.

  4. "Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude." – William James.

  5. "When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you." – Lolly Daskal.

  1. "Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success." – Robert Kiyosaki.

  2. "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." – C.S. Lewis.

  3. "You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you." – Dale Carnegie.

  4. "You can teach a student a lesson for a day, but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives." – Clay Bedford.

  5. "You don't have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step." – Martin Luther King, Jr.

  1. "You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else." – Albert Einstein.

  2. "You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them." – Michael Jordan.

  3. "You've got to get up every morning with determination if you're going to go to bed with satisfaction." – George Lorimer.

  4. "Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude." – Zig Ziglar.

  5. "Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it." – Buddha.

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