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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

Let’s face it—no matter how excited you are about a new project or priority in your life, there will always be days when your motivation lags and you need some motivational quotes for work. Days when, despite all the progress you’ve made in the past, it just sounds easier to sit on the couch playing video games than to buckle down and crank out the work needed to meet your goals.

In order to be successful, you must be able to motivate yourself past these humps. Whenever you feel your drive and determination lagging, turn to these positive quotes for work to provide the extra spark of passion needed to keep you on track.

Quotes About Goal Setting

Whether you’re still in the planning phases of your business or whether you’re plotting a plan of attack to bring about your long-range vision, setting good goals is a critical part of succeeding in business.

Check out these motivational quotes for work and goal setting for extra inspiration on how to turn your dreams into reality:

quote-Benjamin-E.-Mays-the-tragedy-in-life-doesnt-lie-in-106113

    “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.” —Benjamin Mays


    “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.” —Mark Victor Hansen


    “Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.” —William J. Bennett, The Book of Virtues


    “The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer…He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen.” —Robert L. Schwartz

    Quotes About Achieving Excellence

    Once you’ve got your goals together, you’ll need to put in 110% of your effort in order to transform these visions into reality. To increase your drive to work at a consistently high level, take a look at the following motivational quotes for work:

    “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” —Aristotle


    “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” —Charles R. Swindoll

    Desire is the key to motivation

      “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” —Mario Andretti


      “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word—excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” —Pearl Buck


      “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.” —Vince Lombardi

      Quotes About Determination and Persistence

      Since every business or other endeavor is bound to hit some rough patches, it’s often a person’s level of determination and patience that brings about either success or failure. These positive, motivational quotes for work give you an extra boost of encouragement:

      “Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.” —Paul J. Meyer


      “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.” —Hal Borland


      “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” —Calvin Coolidge

      quote-Thomas-Fuller-an-invincible-determination-can-accomplish-almost-anything-92190

        “An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.” —Thomas Fuller

        Quotes About Leadership

        Whether you use it to engage your employees, to encourage teamwork, or motivate others to follow your unique way of thinking, leadership is crucial. Take your leadership cues from these renowned leaders’ famous motivational quotes for work:

        “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born—that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” —Warren G. Bennis


        “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” —John Kenneth Galbraith

        Leadership is not magnetic personality

          “Leadership is not magnetic personality — that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’ — that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” —Peter F. Drucker


          “The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.” —John Buchan


          “High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.” —George Orwell

          Quotes for Success

          Think of success as a holistic process—one which results from the combination of goal-setting, excellence, patience, determination and leadership you prioritize throughout your career. These highly successful people provide you with an excellent source of motivational quotes for work:

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          “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” —Stephen Covey


          “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” —Norman Vincent Peale

          Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

            “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” —Winston Churchill


            “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” —John Maxwell


            “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


            “The great successful men of the world have used their imagination.  They think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building – steadily building.” —Robert Collier


            “It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.” —Arnold Toynbee

            Sports Quotes for Athletes

            You don’t need to be a Michael Jordan-caliber athlete to draw inspiration from the following motivational quotes for work. Even if you’re just a recreational player or someone who’s using sports as a means to get back in shape after long periods of inactivity, the following motivational sports quotes will encourage you:

            “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” —Michael Jordan


            “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” —Lance Armstrong

            Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.

              “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” —Arnold Schwarzenegger


              “I know what I have to do, and I’m going to do whatever it takes. If I do it, I’ll come out a winner, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.” —Florence Griffith Joyner


              “Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in; every time you miss a workout; every time you don’t give 100% – You make it that much easier for me to beat you.” —Unknown


              “If you are hurt, whether in mind or body, don’t nurse your bruises. Get up and light-heartedly, courageously, good temperedly get ready for the next encounter. This is the only way to take life—this is also ‘playing’ the game!” —Emily Post


              “We must train from the inside out. Using our strengths to attack and nullify any weaknesses. It’s not about denying a weakness may exist but about denying its right to persist.” —Vince McConnell

              Quotes to Motivate Learning

              Committing yourself to pursuing knowledge in a single area is a tremendous endeavor—one that often seems overwhelming given the depth and breadth of information that’s available today. Keep the following motivational quotes for work in mind if you’re learning:

              “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.” —George Washington Carver

              quote-William-Arthur-Ward-if-you-can-imagine-it-you-can-36189

                “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” —William Arthur Ward


                “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” —Aristotle


                “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


                “Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it, merely to show that you have one.” —Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield


                “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.” —Chinese Proverb


                “Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.” —William Arthur Ward


                “Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life’.” —Helen Exley


                “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.” —Chinese Proverb

                All-Time Favorite Positive Quotes

                Finally, whatever your goals are in life, you can’t go wrong by taking the advice of the following famous motivational quotes for work:

                “Change your thoughts and you change your world.” —Norman Vincent Peale


                “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” —Steve Jobs


                “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” —Maria Robinson


                “Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.” —Albert Einstein


                “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” —Lyndon Johnson

                If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

                  “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” —Thomas Edison


                  “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” —Wayne Gretzky


                  “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” —Winston Churchill


                  “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

                  Final Thoughts

                  To use these motivational quotes for work effectively, find the one that speaks to you. Although all of the phrases listed above can be considered “motivational,” only you can decide which one resonates with you most directly.

                  Next, take the quote you’ve settled on and copy it onto small index cards or other pieces of paper that can be stored around your home and workspace.

                  If you’re creative, you can create inspiration boards, signs, or other decorative displays featuring your favorite inspirational quotes for work—really, though, the most important thing is that your chosen phrase be accessible in a variety of different places. This will make it easy to access and review whenever you feel your motivation slipping away.

                  More Great Quotes to Motivate You

                  Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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                  Leon Ho

                  Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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                  Last Updated on January 24, 2021

                  How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                  How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

                  Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

                  For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

                  But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

                  It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

                  And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

                  The Importance of Saying No

                  When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

                  In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

                  Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

                  Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

                  Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

                  “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

                  When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

                  How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

                  It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

                  From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

                  We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

                  And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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                  At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

                  The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

                  How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

                  Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

                  But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

                  3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

                  1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

                  Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

                  If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

                  2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

                  When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

                  Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

                  3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

                  When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

                  6 Ways to Start Saying No

                  Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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                  1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

                  One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

                  Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

                  2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

                  Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

                  Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

                  3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

                  Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

                  Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

                  You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

                  4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

                  Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

                  Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

                  5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

                  When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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                  How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

                    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

                    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

                    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

                    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

                    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

                    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

                    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

                    More Tips on How to Say No

                    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

                    Reference

                    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
                    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
                    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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