“Be careful of the environment you choose for it will shape you; be careful of the friends you choose for you will become like them.”
—W. Clement Stone (1902-2002) Author/Businessman
It is a fact of life: success is hard; failure is easy. If you want to succeed in life, you must do what needs to be done, work hard every day and never give up. If you wish to fail, you need to do whatever you feel like doing: sit on your butt and never start so you do not have to give up.
For those who are seeking the easy way in life, I have seven simple reasons that you stay right where you are. Each of the seven habits require you to do very little, and can be done by anyone and they are guaranteed to work when followed.Advertising
1. You are lazy.
There is a difference between being lazy and getting rest. Rest requires you to do something to rest from and as French Dramatist, Jules Renard said, “Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired.”
When we are lazy we take little notice that life is passing us by. To the lazy person, there is always tomorrow. To the success-minded person, there is only today. Since you cannot relive yesterday, and tomorrow never really gets here, all you have to work with is today. This dilemma is always ignored by the lazy person.
2. You are negative.
Many people develop the habit of negative thinking more out of convenience than out of experience. They think that somehow, if you believe everything will fail, then you just don’t have to try.
Success-minded people understand that positive thinking is not pretending that everything is find and happy. In fact, positive people see life as it really is. What success-minded people know is that for every problem there is a solution and for every challenge is a greater benefit.Advertising
3. You make excuses.
Benjamin Franklin wisely said, “He who is good at making excuses is good at very little else.” One of the keys to success is that of personal responsibility. Excuse making robs us of the ability to take control and make changes in our own lives. It is always easier to blame someone or something for the fact that we just are not willing to put forth the effort to win.
Success-minded people are responsible people. Rather than spending their time thinking up excuses, they use their energy to think of answers. If you do not have excuses you have nothing you can do but succeed.
4. You hang out with defeated people.
It really is amazing that we become like the people we spend time with. If you are with people who are lazy, defeated and empty, you will become the same way. Then again, I believe that is the purpose for the company we choose. If our friends are not achieving anything, then we do not have to feel guilty for not achieving either.
You will find that successful and productive people spend their time with other successful and productive people. Those who can perform better than we can and are better skilled than we are help to pull us up and make us better. Another fact of life: It takes no effort for a dead fish to float downstream.Advertising
5. You settle for the way things are.
“Sure I would like to succeed in life,” someone says, “but this is just the way it is and I cannot do anything about it.” This is what many really believe. Our Creator, in His great wisdom, gave us control over only one thing in the entire universe that is ourselves. Not only can you control your life, you are the only one that can.
One reason that some folks succeed and some just float downstream, is that those who succeed refuse to settle for the way things are. It is as former President John F. Kennedy said, “Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.”
6. You expect nothing.
It is simple to figure out, if you expect nothing you will never be disappointed. Of course you will never get anything either. After all, we get what we expect to get. If you expect nothing or if you expect bad things, you get them. If you expect success or good things, you get those too.
Success-minded people expect to succeed, so they do. They expect to face challenges, so they face them willingly. They expect to win, so they win. It is as the great Zig Ziglar said, “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.”Advertising
7. You read nothing.
People who are successful read. People who are not successful do not read. Therefore, I really don’t think that many of those who I talk of in this piece are reading this at all. So why write it? To remind you, success-minded people, that your success and ability to achieve are not just by chance. It happened because you happened.
If you are still on that road to the achievement of your goals, keep going. Remember these lessons and do what it takes to win in life. It will take hard work, commitment, determination and desire to succeed, but these are the very things that make up the success-minded person. The fact that you read things that help you develop and learn is proof of that fact.
Featured photo credit: Sleepy bulldog by sabianmaggy via Flickr via flickr.com
Last Updated on January 13, 2020
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. 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 motivational quotes for work to provide the extra spark of passion needed to keep you on track.
Table of Contents
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 quotes for extra inspiration on how to turn your dreams into reality:
“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 in Work
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 motivation to work at a consistently high level, take a look at the following words of wisdom:
“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, 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 quotes 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
“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 sayings:
“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 — 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 motivation:
“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 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 quotes. 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. 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 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
“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:
“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 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
To use these motivational quotes 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 motivational quotes – 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 Inspiring Quotes
- 40 Powerful Productivity Quotes From Highly Successful People
- 50+ Best Motivational Quotes To Overcome Life’s Challenges
- 30 Of The Most Inspirational Quotes Of All Time
Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com