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50 Quotes About Success That Will Fire You Up

50 Quotes About Success That Will Fire You Up

Sometimes it can be hard to find the motivation to hustle relentlessly in the pursuit of our goals. If you’re procrastinating and in need of a pep talk, these fifty quotes about success should inspire you to get to work.

1. “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” ― Walt Disney

2. “Try not to become a man of success. Rather become a man of value.” ― Albert Einstein

3. “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.” ― Proverb

4. “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” ― Bill Cosby

5. “If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.” ―Dhirubhai Ambani

6. “If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission.” ― Anonymous

7. “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” ― Napoleon Hill

8. “The worst part of success is trying to find someone who is happy for you.” ― Bette Midler

9. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

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10. “Two roads diverged in a wood. I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” ― Robert Frost

11. “Whenever you see a successful person you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.” ― Vaibhav Shah

12. “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” ― Salvador Dalí

13. “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” ― Babe Ruth

14. “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” ― Michael Jordan

15. “Success is most often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” ― Coco Chanel

16. “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” ― Chris Grosser

17 “To succeed in life, you need two things: ignorance and confidence.” ― Mark Twain

18. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ― Confucius

19. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” ― Bill Gates

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20. “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs, but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” ― George S. Patton

21. “A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.” ― Bob Dylan

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

23. “Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.” ― Steve Maraboli

24. “If you don’t value your time, neither will others. Stop giving away your time and talents. Value what you know & start charging for it.” ― Kim Garst

25. “I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.” ― G. K. Chesterton

26. “The best revenge is massive success.” ― Frank Sinatra

27. “Sometimes it takes a good fall to really know where you stand.” ― Hayley Williams

28.  “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.” ― Charles Swindoll

29. “Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” ― W. Clement Stone

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

31. “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” ― Woody Allen ”

32. “The mind is everything. What you think, you become.” ― Buddha

33. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ― Arthur Ashe

34. “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

35. “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” ― Oscar Wilde

36. “It is our choices, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ― J. K Rowling

37. “The secret of success is to do the common things uncommonly well.” ― John D. Rockefeller

38. “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” ― Vincent van Gogh

39. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” ― Steve Jobs

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40. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ― Thomas A. Edison

41. “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” ― Theodore Roosevelt

42. “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ― Pablo Picasso

43. “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” ― Aristotle

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

45. “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ― Anne Frank

46. Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally. ― David Frost

47. “Ask and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.” ― Jesus Christ

48. “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” ― Oprah Winfrey

49. Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

50. “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

Get out there and happen to things! Are there any quotes about success that you would add to this list? If so, please share them in the comments. And always remember: consistent hustle always wins. 

Featured photo credit: What a dreamy afternoooooooon …………../Nina Matthews via flickr.com

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

Too Much On Your Plate? 7 Ways to Tackle It

Too Much On Your Plate? 7 Ways to Tackle It

Do you ever feel like you’re crossing off tasks from your never-ending “to-do” list and yet get to the end of your day feeling like you didn’t make significant progress?

Your new marketing plan takes a backseat. The much needed “you time” is put off until next week. The exciting new idea you’ve been working on can wait until life gets less hectic.

You have too much on your plate but unsure of what to do. In a world where we value the pursuit of more—ideas, tasks, actions—what if you were able to shift to valuing less, putting your energy towards what really matters?

There is a way, one where you take control back. Here, you identify what matters most. You make deletion a habit. You leave the cult of busy and value priorities instead of random actions.

In this article, you’re going to learn how to manage the feeling that you always have too much on your plate. Most importantly, you’ll get your mental sanity back while being able to make progress on what matters to you.

1. Delete the Clutter—Literally

As you read this, there is physical, mental, and emotional clutter that is robbing you of precious energy from what really matters. This manifests itself in myriad ways.

Your workspace makes it impossible to focus. Your calendar has recurring meetings that expired months ago. You haven’t had that one conversation that keeps you anxious. In other words, your next level of growth starts with subtraction.

We tend to overestimate how much we can get done while underestimating the amount of time and energy things will take. Researchers call this the “planning” fallacy.[1] The result is that in trying to do too much, we fall short every time.

Instead, start by deleting something today:

  • Donate old clothes.
  • Clear the clutter in your home office.
  • Tell your college friends in the text message thread that you’re going to be away for a while.
  • Scan your calendar for any worn-out obligations that are consuming your precious time, energy, and attention.

While many productivity experts will stack new actions, habits, and routines to your schedule, you’re going to do the opposite. By deleting things out of your life, you create some much-needed breathing room. With this newfound perspective, you can now identify what matters.

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2. Identify Your “Big 3” Priorities

We tend to overvalue new ideas, projects, and initiatives because they provide a tantalizing dopamine hit of possibility. Not being able to set your priorities straight results in having too much on your plate.

  • The new marketing campaign is a can’t miss for doubling profits.
  • The collaboration with someone we admire has unlimited potential.
  • The new podcast we’re launching will turn us into our industry’s top expert.

Right?

Well, not always. Due to the planning fallacy we mentioned above, we often say yes to way too much at once, which means we scatter our limited energy and focus across too many domains.

Instead, take a minimalist approach to your life, career, and business. In any given quarter or “season,” pick one, two, or three main priorities.  These are typically not urgent, yet vitally important projects that move the needle in a significant way. They are not half-hearted tasks, random initiatives, or “fake work”. They are connected to your bigger goals and matter to you.

If you’re having trouble identifying your “Big 3,” write down at least 15-20 possibilities that could be one. Then, take a step back, and highlight the most important ones.

Going forward, you’ll now be able to filter your decision-making by asking a question—will this next task, meeting, action serve one of those priorities?

Granted, not everything you do all day will. But this alone will help you with making better and faster decisions, establishing boundaries, and taking control back of what matters. When you do, you’ll start winning your day with daily, consistent action.

3. Win the Day With 1% Progress

The conventional wisdom of personal growth and self-help have sold you a false myth—the illusion that every day must be a rousing success. Hopped up on motivation, it’s easy to buy into this narrative and yet, sustained success is about consistent action steps compounded over long periods of time.

Enter the 1% rule, which operates under the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen—defined as steady, continuous improvement. Using this rule, you’ll make daily progress a habit and tap into the number one human motivator.

Research by Harvard professor Teresa Amabile and psychologist Steven Kramer dove into why people stay motivated at work. In analyzing 12,000 diary entries where they tracked their emotional state various times a day, they came to one conclusion—it’s not money, it’s not security, and it’s not approval. Progress is more important than anything else.[2]

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To harness what is called the progress principle’, break down the priorities from step two into the smallest possible action.

For example:

  • Instead of “create a marketing plan”, start with the first step—brainstorm marketing ideas for twenty minutes.
  • Instead of “launch website”, choose to complete a draft of your About Me page.
  • Instead of “grow the business”, choose to make three extra sales calls on any given week.

Progress triggers dopamine in the brain, which makes motivation surge, and the cycle repeats itself. One percent today and tomorrow start to accumulate, and incremental growth turns into exponential. To make this a consistent practice, you’re going to lower the bar to get started.

4. Lower the Bar to Get Started

We’ve all found ourselves staring at a blank cursor at the local coffee shop, primed to do important work, and then realized that 55 minutes went by and we got nothing done.

Why? Getting started is always the hardest part, and it’s much harder when you have too much on your plate. Whether that’s your workout routine or working on your priorities, resistance is always highest right before you start.

Borrowing the term from how chemical compounds change at different thresholds, psychologists call this term “activation energy”.[3]

This is a fancy way of saying the energy it takes for you to go from thinking about doing something to doing it. The higher the volume of the task, the longer the wait to get started or, in many cases, we put it off entirely.

Instead, you’re going to play a trick on yourself:

  • Instead of a 45-minute time-block, commit to doing 10 minutes.
  • Instead of a 3-mile run, commit to two loops around the block.
  • Instead of cleaning your home, commit to getting the closet done.

By lowering the bar, you’ll take the pressure off yourself. And, as you’ll notice, once you’ve started, it’s much easy to keep going.

5. Double Your Rate of Saying No

No decision you make is ever in a vacuum. The coffee meeting you agreed to early in the morning means you said “no” to your morning workout. We tend to say yes freely without thinking about the consequences until we’re stuck at a networking mixer or Zoom catch-up we don’t want to be in.

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However, the most important word you can use in the pursuit of taking stuff off your plate is “no.”

Here are two questions to ask yourself when receiving a request or opportunity are:

  • If this was tomorrow morning, would I still say yes? We tend to say yes to anything that is a few weeks or months out.
  • If I say yes to this, what am I saying no to, and is it worth it? This simple question allows you to be aware of the cost.

Saying no creates instant clarity. It deletes “open loops” in our heads and honors some much-needed boundaries. Most importantly, it gives you the time, energy, and bandwidth to pour yourself into your priorities.

Of course, this does not mean you will neglect parts of your life you enjoy. Rather, you will do so with discernment. Otherwise, you will say “yes” to anyone and everyone at your expense.

Instead, say “yes” to yourself first. Say yes to your goals. Say yes to your priorities. Say yes to your creative time before you agree to someone else’s needs and agendas.

6. Leave the Cult of Busy

The cult of busy consumes your precious energy and thrives on making you a card-carrying member who pays their dues with exhaustion, scattered progress, and burnout. Busyness has become a societal badge of honor—a ‘tell’ to let others know you’re important. It’s as if having too much on your plate is a good thing.

However, is busy actually working? On a long enough timeline, busy leads to overwhelm, distraction, and a lot of social media scrolling. To leave the cult of busyness is a courageous act, and it starts with your language.

Research has shown that language provides a look into our beliefs. If we believe we are always busy and don’t have enough time, it’s easy to procrastinate and self-sabotage on what matters.

Next time you want to tell the world how busy you are and how hectic life seems to be, catch yourself. Shift your language, use words like prioritized, focused, committed—and watch how these shift your emotional state.

7. Celebrate Wins Every Day

You’re the worst person in the world to recognize your growth. It’s a bold statement, but I can say that with confidence because I am, too. We all are. We are masters at focusing on what’s not working and the “gap” between today’s reality and our future selves.

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Furthermore, we often discount the goals we worked hard to attain. We brush them off once we’ve achieved them and quickly move onto the next.

It’s time to take control back and celebrate at least three wins every day. These are not about grand moments, it’s about the small ways you showed up. This is essential to helping yourself when you have too much on your plate.

If you want to unlock this even further, identify the ‘ingredient of success’ for your win.

For example:

  • Your win was to show up for your early morning workout, the ingredient is discipline.
  • Your win was to have a tough conversation with someone, the ingredient is honesty.
  • Your win was to publish something before you felt ready, the ingredient is courage.

Why does this matter?

Celebrating small wins has been shown to amplify motivation in our personal and professional lives.[4] By writing these down, you’ll recognize the places where you are growing and are already accumulating the ingredients of your next success.

It’s Time to Take Stuff Off Your Plate

We’ve all felt like we have too much on our plate at some point—and things seem to be getting worse, not better. There are more tasks to do. There are more social media platforms to post and comment on. More inputs are competing for our attention that never seem to end.

The reality is that unless you take control of this now, it will only get worse. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

  • You can delete clutter every day.
  • You can get clear on your priorities.
  • You can choose to leave the cult of busy.

Once you do, you’ll start to value less, not more. You’ll accumulate winning days more often. You’ll learn how to set boundaries and recognize a distraction disguised as a shiny opportunity.

Best of all, you’ll get to the end of your days knowing you are moving forward in your life and business. During these times, nothing could be more important or relevant.

More Tips to Help You End Overwhelm

Featured photo credit: Tetiana SHYSHKINA via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Exploring the “Planning Fallacy”: Why People Underestimate Their Task Completion Times
[2] Harvard Business Review: The Power of Small Wins
[3] Psychology Today: Activation Energy: How It Keeps Happiness at a Distance
[4] Harvard Business Review: The Power of Small Wins

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