Sayings tell secrets of achievement

A wedding is an event, but marriage is an achievement.

I am who I am because of where I came from. Growing up, the message that we were given is that donkeys don’t run with racehorses and that we are a bunch of donkeys, so if we graduated from high school, that was as far as we were going to go. My comfort, my savior, was an agency that believed in me, they saw me for who I am. I wasn’t just another donkey, I was unique and special and somebody who had something to say. In the eyes of those who ran the program, I was a racehorse. I was the vice-president of the student council in my graduating year. I was the valedictorian of my graduating class. I went on to university. The program allowed me to feel like a racehorse. “Sandra,” an anonymous recipient of United Way funds, comments on how the organization helped her to achieve her goals and made a difference in her life. United Way advertisement Toronto Globe and Mail, November 1, 2002.

Brooks Atkinson (1894-1984). U.S. drama critic and journalist. Say “Yes” to the seedlings and a giant forest cleaves the sky. Say “Yes” to the universe and the planets become your neighbors. Say “Yes” to dreams of love and freedom. It is the password to Utopia. Once Around the Sun (1951).

Marcus Aurelius (121-80), Roman emperor and stoic philosopher. It’s indeed very possible to be a god on earth, yet not be recognized by anyone! Remember that. And another thing. Remember that you really need very little to live a happy life. If you have abandoned all hope of being a great thinker or scientist, don’t make that an excuse to give up on being free, modest, sociable, and obedient to God. Marcus Aurelius for CEOs, translated by Fred Louder. Verdun, Quebec: 1998.

Frederick Banting (1891-1941), Canadian physiologist, co-discoverer, with Charles H. Best, of insulin. There is no chance, no destiny, no fate,/ Can circumvent, can hinder or control,/ The firm resolve of a determined soul./ Gifts count as nothing, will alone is great./ All things give way before it, soon or late. Written in the autograph album kept by J. Alex Edmison, Q.C., in Toronto, September 29, 1923.

J.M. (James Matthew) Barrie (1860-1937), British playwright and novelist. The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it. The Little Minister (1891).

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-87), U.S. cleric and abolitionist. It is not the going out of port, but the coming in, that determines the success of a voyage. Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887).

Thad Bell, assistant dean for minority students, Medical University of South Carolina. It’s amazing where hard work can take you. You can rise above almost any obstacle if you’re willing to work hard and believe that you can do it. I want everyone to remember that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. Cited in Guideposts, March 2001.

Peter Urs Bender, presentations trainer and motivation speaker. Imagine something that seems impossible to you. Like inheriting $10 million from an unknown relative. Doing something super-human. Hitting 18 holes-in-one in golf. Receiving an award for being the outstanding person in your entire industry. Take a few seconds to picture it clearly in your mind. Now, try doing whatever you were scared to do before. See how this stretching of your internal self-image affects your performance in the outer world. This process is called positive imaging or visualization. Many top athletes and performers use some form of it before major competitions or performances. Leadership from Within (1997).

Tony Bennett (1926), singer. Song writing and baseball and animated cartoons — these are the only things we’ve contributed to the art world. They’re pretty good things though. Interview at the 1997 Montreal International Jazz Festival, Canadian Press, July 6, 1997.

Isaiah Berlin (1909-97), Latvian-born British philosopher and historian of ideas. The intellectual power, honesty, lucidity, courage and disinterested love of the most gifted thinkers of the 18th century remain to this day without parallel. Their age is one of the best and most hopeful episodes in the life of mankind. Economist, March 16, 1996.

Bible, King James edition. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bringeth forth good fruit./ Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:16-20.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), U.S. writer and journalist. Achievement, n. The death of endeavor and the birth of disgust. The Devil’s Dictionary (1906).

Conrad Black (1940- ), former newspaper tycoon. Probably because of our ancient, self-imposed status as a branch-plant country well back in the baggage train of the Anglo-Americans, we have come to regard our achievements, other than by professional athletes and geriatrics, as somehow un-Canadian. Toronto Globe and Mail, Report on Business Magazine, March, 1986.

Michael Bliss (1941- ), Canadian historian.
The philosophy of empowerment is rooted in a profound resurgence of individualism in the late 20th century. We now understand that people do not live well unless they have a sense of personal control, of being masters of their fate, captains of their destiny. Canadian Business, August, 1993.

How do you rebuild ethics after the death of God?… How can you convince people that long-term accomplishment in life is about restraint, self-control, self-discipline, and that when you try to have all the good things at once, you almost always smash up? Toronto Star, December 16, 1994.

Riochard N. Bolles (1927-), writer and former Episcopal clergryman. One of the saddest lines in the world is, “Oh, come now — be realistic.” The best parts of this world were not fashioned by those who were realistic. They were fashioned by those who dared to look hard at their wishes and gave them horse to ride.  Cited in Bits & Pieces, April 19, 2001.

Bertolt  Brecht (1898-1956), German playwright and poet. If there are obstacles, the shortest line between two points may be the crooked one. Galileo (1938).

Samuel Butler (1835-1902), British writer and composer. There are two great rules in life, the one general and the other particular. The first is that every one can in the end get what he wants if he only tries. This is the general rule. The particular rule is that every individual is more or less an exception to the general rule. Note Books. H. Festing Jones, editor (1912).

Michael Caine ( 1933- ), British actor. When you reach the top; that’s when the climb begins. Attributed.

Bliss Carmen (1861-1929), Canadian poet and journalist. It is not under the immediate stress of a great emotion that a great work is produced; most often it is the result of the long, silent cogitation, when the mind sits in autumnal luxury thinking to itself. The Kinship of Nature (1904).

Emily Carr (1871-1945), Canadian painter and writer. Do not try to do extraordinary things but do ordinary things with intensity. Hundreds and Thousands (1966).

Clarke,Arthur C. (1917- ), British writer and scientist. The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. The Lost Worlds of 2001 (1972).

Nadia Comaneci (1962- ), gymnast and trainer. If you go for a little gold every day instead of saving that energy for a big championship, that’s the best way. You have to say, “Let’s see what I can do tomorrow better than I did today.” Comaneci has been described as “perhaps the most celebrated gymnast ever.” At the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, competing for her native Romania, she won seven 10’s and three gold medals, at age 14. Quoted by Frank Litsky in “Comaneci’s Landing in the West Remains Perfect,” New York Times, August 12, 2001.

Joseph Joseph (1857-1924), Polish-born English novelist. It is not the clear-sighted who rule the world. Great achievements are accomplished in a blessed, warm fog. Victory (1915).

Tom Couglin (1946- ), U.S. football coach. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit. Locker room sign placed by Couglin when he was football coach at Boston College. Cited in The Executive’s Book of Quotations, by Julia Vitullo-Martin and J. Robert Moskin (1994).

Marie Curie (1867-1934). Polish-born French chemist and physicist. One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done. Letter (1894).

Peter Drucker (1909- ). Austrian-born U.S. management consultant. Promotion should not be more important than accomplishment, or avoiding instability more important than taking the right risk. Quoted by Laurence J. Peter in Peter’s Quotations (1977).

Thomas Edison (1847-1931), U.S. inventor. There are no rules here. We’re trying to accomplish something. Attributed.

Bob (Robert Chambers) Edwards, 1864-1922, humourist, Calgary Eye Opener publisher. The path to success is paved with good intentions that were carried out. Calgary Eye Opener, Summer Annual, 1920.

Dwight Eisenhower (1890-1969), U.S. general and 34th U.S. president. We succeed only as we identify in life, or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend to that one objective. Speech, April 2, 1957.

George Eliot (pen name of Mary Ann Evans, 1819-80), British novelist. Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds. Adam Bede (1859).

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), U.S. essayist and poet. The house praises the carpenter. Journals (1836).

Epictetus (AD 55-135), Greek stoic philosopher. No great thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen. Discourses.

George Fabricius (1516-71), German classical scholar, philologist and Latin poet. Death comes to all/ But great achievements raise a monument/ Which shall endure until the sun grows cold. In Praise of Georgius Agricola.

Henry Ford (1863-1947), U.S, automobile maker and anti-Semite. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do. Attributed.

Frederick Gardiner (1895-1983), Canadian politician, metropolitan Toronto chairman 1953-61. I knew I would never leave my footprints in the sands of time if I sat in my cabana on the beach. Quoted by Timothy J. Colton in Big Daddy: Frederick G. Gardiner and the Building of Metropolitan Toronto (1980).

John W. Gardner (1912-77), U.S. writer and public official. There occurs at breathtaking moments in history an exhilarating burst of energy and motivation, of hope and zest and imagination, and a severing of the bonds that normally hold in check the full release of human possibilities. The door is opened and the caged eagle soars. Quoted by Arianna Huffington in a speech at Princeton University, February 26, 1993.

Bill Gates (1955- ), Microsoft founder. If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?

Louis Gerstner (1942- ), CEO of IBM 1993-2002. Watch the turtle. He only moves forward by sticking his neck out. New York Times, March 27, 1993.

Winston Groom (1943- ), U.S. writer, former Army captain and Vietnam War veteran. Try not to screw up. This will satisfy a few people, and amaze everybody else. The Wit and Wisdom of Forrest Gump.” (1994.)

Henry Grunwald (1922-2005), U.S. journalist, Time magazine editor. Everything can be learned, including, to a very large extent, to be what you are not. You can learn to be pretty if you are plain, charming if you are dull, thin if you are fat, youthful if you are aging, how to write though you are inarticulate, how to make money though you are not good with figures. Time, July 5, 1976.

Dag Hammarskjold, (1905-61), Swedish statesman and diplomat, United Nations secretary-general 1953-61.Never measure the height of a mountain, until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was. Markings (1964).

Rex Harrison (1908-1990), British actor.There’s always a struggle, a striving for something bigger than yourself in all forms of art. And even if you didn’t achieve greatness — even if you fail, which we all must — everything you do in your work is somehow connected with your attitude toward life, your deepest secret feelings. Obituary, New York Times, June 3, 1990.

Stephen Hawking (1942- ), British theoretical physicist.  My disability has had remarkably little effect on my career. Obviously it has affected my life, but I am happier now than before the disease began. I have a real sense of achievement in having been successful despite my condition… I think people should have the right to die if they want. It is one of the few rights a seriously ill person has left. But, having said that, I don’t think I would ever avail myself of that right. Interview. Disabilities magazine, October, 1993.

Brooks Hays (1898-1082 ), U.S. lawyer, educator, presidential aid, and Congressional representative. Back of every achievement is a proud wife and a surprised mother-in-law. December 2, 1961. New York Herald Tribune,

William Hazlitt (1778-1830), English essayist.
Those who have done nothing, fancy themselves capable of everything; while those who have exerted themselves to the utmost only feel the limitations of their powers. Characteristics (1823).

He who does nothing renders himself incapable of doing any thing; but while we are executing any work, we are preparing and qualifying ourselves to undertake another. “On Application to Study,” The Plain Speaker (1826).

Andy Higgens, Canadian track and field coach.  It’s an immense failure of our country — not just in athletics but in arts and business, in our children’s lives — that the only real way to achieve is to be No. 1. That’s a tragedy. Comment during the 1992 Summer Olympics. Maclean’s, August 3, 1992.

Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), New Zealand mountaineer, first person to climb Mount Everest. When we reached the summit [of Mount Everest], one of the thoughts I had was that we’d really only done half the job — we still had to get to the bottom again. Quoted by Pamela Wallin in Speaking of Success: Collected Wisdom, Insights and Reflections (2002.)

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-94), U.S. physician and writer. The world’s great men have not commonly been scholars, nor its great scholars great men. The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (1858).

Homer, 8th century BC Greek poet A man dies still if he has done nothing, as one who has done much. Iliad.

Eugenio Maria de Hosotos (1839-1903), Puerto Rican educator, social reformer and journalist. To live is to climb the Andes: the more one climbs, the steeper become the precipices. “Hombres e ideas,” Obras.

John Humphrey, business consultant and industrialist. Setting specific goals means that you know the specific   bearings of where you want to wind up — and you don’t. So you run the risk that the goals you set will become constraints. They will limit you in an environment that’s constantly changing — unless you’re continually refining them, that is. Don’t get me wrong: people will still want to have a sense of where they’re heading. That’s a very important part of motivation. But if you’re working with people to reset your course, you don’t really have a goal in the traditional sense of the word. What you have is a direction.  ps for Business Communicators, Spring, 1998.

T.H. Huxley (1825-95), British biologist. The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher. On Medical Education.

George (Punch) Imlach (1918-87), Canadian hockey player, coach and manager. A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. Quoted by Scott Young in Heaven and Hell in the NHL: Punch Imlach’s Own Story (1982).

Jesse Jackson (1941- ), U.S. cleric, civil rights leader, and politician. If I can conceive of it and believe it, I can achieve it. It’s not my aptitude but my attitude that will determine my altitude – with a little intestinal fortitude!  Ebony (1988).

John Harvey Jones (1924-2008) British business executive and television personality. Everyone in a well-run organization should feel himself under some pressure. People’s self-confidence grows when they achieve more. I am firmly of the opinion that most people in the world only achieve a fraction of what they are capable. Making it Happen: Reflections on Leadership (1988).

Ryszard Kapuscinski (1932- ), Polish journalist. Our salvation is in striving to achieve what we know we’ll never achieve. Granta, no. 15, 1985.

Jack Kerouac (1922-69). You have to believe in life before you can accomplish anything. That is why dour, regular-houred, rational-souled State Department diplomats have done nothing for mankind. Why live if not for excellence? On The Road (1957).

Jean Kerr (1923-2003), U.S. playwright and humorist. Teach a highly educated person that it is not a disgrace to fail and he must analyze every failure to find its cause.  He must learn how to fail intelligently, for failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. Strategy and Business (1997.)

Peter Koestenbaum (1928- ), German writer and scholar. Some people are more talented than others. Some are more educationally privileged than others. But we all have the capacity to be great. Greatness comes with recognizing that your potential is limited only by how you choose, how you use your freedom, how resolute you are — in short, by your attitude. And we are all free to choose our attitude. Interview. Fast Company, March  2000.

John Kotter (1947-) U.S. academic. The goal of a big business person should be to create a new organization that feels and operates like a smaller business, yet retains the resource advantages of big business. The New Rules (1995).

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004), Swiss-born U.S. psychiatrist and author. The more we are making advancements in science, the more we seem to fear and deny the reality of death. On Death and Dying (1969.)

Arthur F. Lenehan (1913-77), U.S. editor and epigrammatist, founding editor of Leadership magazine. If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. Leadership, Vol. G/No. 9C.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-82), U.S. poet.
Lives of great men all remind us/ We can make our lives sublime,/ And, parting, leave behind us/ Footprints on the sands of time. A Psalm of Life (1839).

The heights by great men reached and kept/ Were not attained by sudden flight/ But they, while their companions slept,/ Were toiling upward in the night. The Ladder of Saint Augustine (1858).

Elizabeth Mackay, U.S. lawyer. I’m not the kind of person who externalizes things, to say, “O.K., what did you expect? You started this late; of course it wasn’t going to work.” Forget that. Don’t be a victim. You do the best you can and at the end of the day you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “Did I do the best I could do?” And that’s about it. On a career change, heading for law school after more than 20 years as one of Wall Street’s top investment strategists. Interview, New York Times Magazine, September 2, 2001.

Harvey Mackay, U.S.  business executive and columnist. Mistakes? Every company makes them. Ford had the Edsel; Coke abandoned its franchise product; IBM over-emphasized mainframes… You’ll never stub your toe if you walk backward, but you’ll always be heading in the wrong direction. Better to take an occasional wrong turn. Quote, October, 1994.

Don Marquis (1878-1937), U.S. humorist and journalist. I get up in the morning with an idea for a three-volume novel and by nightfall it’s a paragraph in my column. O Rare Don Marquis (1962).

Abraham Maslow (1908-1970), U.S. psychologist. A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. Motivation and Personality (1954).

Bernadette McAliskey (1947- ), Northern Irish politician and political activisit. To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else. The Price of My Soul (1969).

Nellie McClung (1893-1951), Canadian suffragette and writer. Never retreat, never explain, never apologize. Get the thing done and let them howl. Quoted by Mary Lile Benham in Nellie McClung (1975).

Dan McGraw, U.S/ journalist, editor and author. (1961- ). I broke the rules because I didn’t know them. Journalist and author Dan McGraw credits his success to breaking the rules. McGraw left his native Cleveland with only a high school education, and “worked my way up from nothing — no training in journalism schools, no internship, just a succession of jobs and firings, always using freelance writing to make an end run on the Ivy League writing establishment.” First and Last Seasons: A Father, a Son and Sunday Afternoon Football (2000).

George Moore (1852-1932), Irish novelist. Everybody sets out to do something, and everybody does something, but no one does what he sets out to do. Attributed.

Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), prime minister of India, 1947-64. The mere act of aiming at something big makes you big. Strive for great accomplishments and you will accomplish much, but do not become so enamored of the desire to accomplish that you are enslaved by your own desires. Cited in Leadership, March 12, 1996.

Georgia O’Keefe (1887-1986), U.S. painter. Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest. Georgia O’Keeffe (1976).

Lester B. Pearson (1897-1972), Canadian prime minister 1963-68 and Nobel peace laureate. I had done it by hard work and long hours, by making it evident that I was available for whatever was to be done; by welcoming every opportunity for new and more responsible duties; and by accumulating all the experience possible in all the varied aspects of my profession. Mike (1972).

Wilder Penfield (1891-1976), Canadian neurosurgeon. Superlative achievement comes more often from the man who broadens the basis of his own culture all through life without lessening the intensity of work in his chosen field. Address, University of Melbourne Medical School, August, 1962.

Kelly Perkins (1961- ), heart transplant survivor. You basically live in fear for so long that you’re afraid to push your limits at all. And so it’s very freeing to be able to push those limits and to succeed and know you’re back. Two years after his heart transplant, Perkins, a 36-year-old California real estate appraiser, climbed 14,495-foot Mount Whitney, in California, the highest peak in the lower 48 states, a feat no other heart transplant is known to have achieved. Associated Press, September 27, 1997.

H. Ross Perot (1930- ), U.S. business executive, politician and philanthropist. Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility and commitment. Quoted by Michael Meyer in The Alexander Complex (1989).

Pope John XXIII (1881-1963). Here I am at the end of the road and at the top of the heap. On succeeding Pius XII. Time, November 24, 1958.

Prochnow Herbert Prochnow (1897-1998 ), U.S. bank executive, public speaker, and author. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Toronto Globe and Mail, May 17, 1995.

Michael A. Rhine, founder of consulting firm Empowerment Now! Without focus you are acting as a flashlight — merely showing what might be if you accomplished what you set out to do. With focus, however, you become a powerful laser that achieves and goes straight through your goal on its way to even better things. Motivational Manager, January, 1998.

Anthony Robbins (1960- ), U.S. motivational writer and lecturer. If you believe you can or if you believe you can’t, you’re right. U.S. News & World Report, January 23, 1995.

Diane Ruble, Emeritus professor of psychology, New York University. If you bask in feeling good, you never accomplish anything.  A criticism of parents and teachers who focus on self-esteem as a goal rather than as a by-product of competent behavior in child rearing and education. Quoted by Susan Bolotin in “The Disciples of Discipline,” New York Times Magazine, February 14, 1999.

Anthony Rucci, U.S. business executive and business managementprofessor.  A compelling place to work does not mean a nice place to work. We want people to feel some degree of anxiety, the stress of achievement-oriented people. Speaking as Sears Reobuck senior vice president. New York Times, January 7, 1996.

Jeanne Sauvé (1922-1991) French Canadian journalist, politician, and Canada’s first woman governor-general. I was asked to prepare a little program and I never stopped. London Times, November 29, 1985.

William Schulz, executive director, Amnesty International USA. My father would have loved an electronic listmaker. He kept lists of everything he had to do in a tiny yellow spiral notebook. He so loved making lists and noting accomplishments of tasks that he would sometimes write down something he’d already done just to be able to put a line through it. Wired, January, 1999.

Beverley Sills (1929-2007), U.S. soprano. You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try. Reader’s Digest, February, 1994.

Andrew Smith (1957- , ballet dance instructor and former principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada.If you don’t want to hold spears all your life — if you want to be the best — you have to be possessed. Toronto Star, May 6, 1995.

Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995), U.S. Republican Senator. When people keep telling you that you can’t do a thing, you kind of like to try it. On her candidacy for the Republican nomination for the 1964 U.S. presidential elections. Time, February 7, 1964.

Robert Sternberg (1949- ), U.S. psychologist and academic. A lot of things matter more [than IQ] — how hard you work to achieve your goals, motivation and practical smarts. You see a lot of Phi Beta Kappas who wear the key and that’s the last big thing they ever achieve. Toronto Globe and Mail, June 13, 2000.

Barbara Streisand (1942- ), U.S. singer, actor, director and film producer. I can say, “I am terribly frightened and fear is terrible and awful and it makes me uncomfortable.” Or I could say, “Get used to being uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable doing something that’s risky.” But so what? Do you want to stagnate and just be comfortable? Speech Writer’s Newsletter, June 1, 1997.

Lester Thurow (1938), U.S. management consultant. A competitive world has two possibilities for you.  You can lose.  Or, if you want to win, you can change. “60 Minutes,” CBS-TV, February 7, 1988.

Ted Turner (1938- ), U.S. media entrepreneur. Inspiration and passion usually go together. If you are going to try to persuade others to go with you, it certainly doesn’t hurt that you’ve got very strong convictions about where you are going. Like Columbus did, for instance, to discover the New World. And, if you’ve got passion and conviction, you’re more likely to be inspiring. If you’re inspired yourself and you’re passionate about something, you’re more likely to succeed at it, and you’re more likely to get others to come with you. Bits & Pieces, July 13, 2000.

William Van Horne (1843-1915), U.S.-born Canadian railway builder. The biggest things are always the easiest to do because there is no competition. My Canadian Memories (1920).

Marquis de Vauvenargues (1715-47), French soldier and moralist. To achieve great things we must live as though we were never going to die. Reflections and Maxims (1746).

Jon Vickers (1926- ), Canadian opera singer. I never went around trying to drum up business for myself. I loathe the thought of personal publicity. It would have turned my stomach to have a personal publicist. I thought if I did something well enough, people would ask me to do it again. Described by art critic Matthew Gurewitsch as “a pillar of the world’s most important opera houses for three decades,” Vickers left his native Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, to conquer the world stage. New York Times, November 19, 2000.

James D. Watson (1928- ), 1953 co-discoverer of  the structure of DNA, with Francis Crick. It is necessary to be slightly underemployed if you want to do something significant. Quoted by Horce Freeland Judson in The Eighth Day of Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Biology (1979).

Katherine Whitehorn (1926- ), British journalist and author. Too great an emphasis on equality must in the end lead to a rejection of excellence. An elite becomes something to be denounced, not something to which any American is encouraged to aspire. London Observer, January 26, 1997.

Tennessee Williams (1911-83), U.S. playwright.  I used to have a cousin who could open a beer bottle with his teeth. That was his only accomplishment, all he could do — he was just a human bottle-opener. And then one day, at a wedding party, he broke his front teeth off! Streetcar named Desire (1947).

Tom Wolfe (1931- ), U.S. journalist and author. The idea was to prove at every foot of the way up… that you were one of the elected and anointed ones who had the right stuff and could move higher and even — ultimately, God willing, one day — that you might be able to join that special few at the very top, that elite who had the capacity to bring tears to men’s eyes, the very Brotherhood of the Right Stuff itself. The Right Stuff (1979).

Sharon Wood (1957- ), Canadian mountaineer and guide, first North American woman to climb Mt. Everest. I discovered it wasn’t a matter of physical strength, but a matter of psychological strength. The conquest lay within my own mind to penetrate those barriers of self-imposed limitations and get through to that good stuff — the stuff called potential, 90% of which we rarely use. Motivational Manager, October, 1998.

Hilary Hinton (Zig) Ziglar (1926- ), U.S. author, salesman and motivation speaker. Seventeen years ago I went on a diet and exercise program. I lost 37 pounds in 10 months by losing 1.9 ounces per day. I wrote “See You at the Top,” a 384-page, 2,000,000-copy bestseller, by writing an average 1.26 pages every day for 10 months. People who are successful at whatever they do reach their objectives by a series of little things they do every day. Courtship After Marriage (1996).


6 Responses to Sayings tell secrets of achievement

  1. Greetings! Very helpful advice on this article! It is the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

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