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Success. Few words in the English language have such a complex and ever-fluctuating meaning. According to Dictionary.com, success means “the accomplishment of one’s goals, the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.”
Often, how we define success is closely related to how we define happiness. For some, success is an ever-elusive goal. For others, success is in the minutia, the details of everyday life.
To you, success might mean making a certain amount of money or landing a high-profile client, for another person it is the ability to take every Friday off or take a long-dreamed-of vacation.
In order to succeed in business and in life, we must define what success means to us in relation to business, family, and personal growth.
The following quotes look at the many facets of how we define success and what it means to achieve it.
25 Quotes About Success
- “We think success is a one-way street. So we do everything that leads up to success, but then we get there. We figure we’ve made it, we sit back in our comfort zone, and we actually stop doing everything that made us successful. And it doesn’t take long to go downhill. Success isn’t a one-way street…it’s a continuous journey.”
– Richard St. John, entrepreneur and success analyst, in a 2009 TED Talk
- “Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.”
– Anne Sweeney, an American businesswoman, co-chair of Disney Media, and President of Disney Channel from 1996-2014.
- “Success is not greedy, as people think, but insignificant. That is why it satisfies nobody.”
–Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman philosopher, and dramatist.
- “Success is not final; failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”–
– Most often attributed to Winston S. Churchill, Britsh politician and Prime Minister of United Kingdom from 1940-1945 and 1951-1955.
- “Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.”
– JK Rowling, British writer, philanthropist, film, and television producer, best known for writing the Harry Potter series, in her 2008 Harvard Commencement Address.
- “The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.”
– Colin R. Davis, British conductor.
- “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.”
– Arianna Huffington, co-founder, and EIC of The Huffington Post.
- “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, American businessman, and industrialist.
- “If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped.”
– Melinda Gates, philanthropist, and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
– Pelé, famous Brazilian footballer (soccer) player.
- “Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.”
– Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, writer, and motivational speaker.
- “What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people just do the things that seem to make no difference in the act of doing them and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.”
― Jeff Olson, author, founder and CEO of Nerium Internationa, in
- “The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.”
― Barbara Corcoran, founder of The Corcoran Group real estate empire and cast member of ABC’s Shark Tank.
- “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 on something sitting down.”
― Charles F. Kettering, inventor, engineer, businessman, and founder of Delco, the electronics subsidiary of GM.
- “Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral. Pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.”
― Shonda Rhimes, American television producer, screenwriter, and author, who is best known for creating Grey’s Anatomy, in her book Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun, and Be Your Own Person.
- “Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”
— Michelle Obama, American lawyer, writer, and First Lady of the United States from 2009-2017, in a speech to the Democratic National Convention in 2012.
- “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
― Vince Lombardi, American football coach, and executive.
- “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire.”
― Oprah Winfrey, American television mogul, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist.
- “Money won’t create success, the freedom to make it will.”
― Nelson Mandela, South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
- “Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.”
― Morihei Ueshiba, athlete, martial artist, and founder of aikido.
- “Success is a lousy teacher; it seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
― Bill Gates, an American businessman, investor, author, philanthropist, and founder of Microsoft Corporation.
- “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 T. Kiyosaki, American businessman and author, in his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
- “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.”
― Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo.
- “Success is assured when a person fears the pain of regret more than the pain of the process.”
— Orrin Woodward, best selling author, founder, and Chairman of the Board of Life and Obstacles Press.
- “Success seems to be connected to action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
― Conrad Hilton, businessman, and founder of Hilton Hotels chain.
Final Thoughts on Success
Each of us must define what success looks like in our own lives. Yet, no matter how you define success it requires perseverance and dedication.
Let these quotes serve as an inspiration to work hard, keep trying, and never let failure get in your way.