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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 July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

More About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

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