34. “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vidal Sassoon
Vidal’s life started in extreme poverty, where the first seven years of his life were spent in an orphanage. At 14, he quit school and worked several jobs until his mother encouraged him to be an apprentice hairdresser. The rest was history.
Real success comes from years of hard work; it’s not something that’s going to be dropped into your lap. Though there are those who are born with silver spoons in their mouths, inheriting what their parents created is not a genuine success. It’s putting yourself at the risk of failure that develops your character and strengthens your mettle.
35. “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
Kettering was an American inventor, engineer, businessman, and the holder of 186 patents, which is definitely not something to laugh at. He was the head of research for General Motors and worked with DuPont to develop the Freon refrigerant.
Exploration, in terms of both the self and the goal you’re trying to achieve, broaden your horizons and allows you to think outside the box. Being active in your pursuit makes it easier for you to take notice of what’s out there and how you can make improvements. Sitting down and doing nothing, however, is excellent for a sore back, but it’s not going to help you become successful.
36. “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” – James Cameron
Cameron has found much success after directing and writing “The Terminator” film, as well as directing “Aliens.” He enrolled in a two-year college to study physics but then switched to English before dropping out before the start of the second fall semester. That didn’t stop him from finding his passions in films, however.
People have often said that you should never set your goal too high because that makes it unattainable — you’re already setting yourself up for failure. However, there’s nothing wrong with trying to achieve the seemingly impossible because even if you do fail, you’ve attempted something that no one else has and that’s enough to warrant attention for your efforts.
37. “Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.” – John Wooden
Wooden went from being a basketball player to eventually coaching his own team at UCLA. He ended up winning 10 NCAA championships in a period of 12 years, which is definitely impressive, to say the least.
Looking at your failures is not only a learning experience, but they also allow you to turn them into something else. Failures can show you the error of your ways so that you can pick up where you left off and try again. It’s about being positive about everything, even when things don’t go your way so that you can cross that finish line in the end.
38. “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life–think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” – Swami Vivekananda
Vivekananda was an Indian Hindu monk who was a crucial figure in the introduction of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world. He brought Hinduism to the forefront as a dominant world religion, encouraging its revival in India, during a time when it was being colonized by the British.
In order to be successful, you have to dedicate your body and mind to a single goal. It has to become second nature to your existence. Otherwise, there’s no point. It has to be something that you genuinely want before your life is over, and that means preparing your body, both physically and mentally, for the long road ahead.
39. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
A diplomat and an activist, Roosevelt held very controversial opinions at the time when it came to the treatment of African Americans. While serving as the First Lady, she managed to have press conferences regularly, write a monthly magazine column as well as a daily newspaper column, and host a weekly radio show. There was no slowing her down.
There will always be people telling you not to do something or trying to tear down your efforts. So it is entirely your choice to accept those words into your life and internalize them. However, you can also choose to reject them and stand up for what you believe in so that you can rise above those criticisms and make it to the goal post despite what they say.
40. “Our greatest fear should not be of failure … but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” – Francis Chan
Chan and his wife founded the Cornerstone Community Church, which started with just 30 people. Soon, those numbers blossomed into a congregation of about 1,600. He eventually resigned from the church and moved to California to start the Eternity Bible College. His faith was shaped during his childhood years after several deaths in his family, including his mother, father, and stepmother, all before he was 13 years old.
Small successes are great at starting that snowball reaction of building to more significant achievements. However, what’s the point in progress if you’ve excelled at something that doesn’t matter? That isn’t to say you have to measure yours against the more prominent successes of others. Instead, it should be an internalized examination of what is really important to you so that you know your efforts aren’t for nothing.