22 Quotes That Will Motivate You To Succeed

Image via Unsplash/Kelley Bozarth

Because everyone needs a little motivation sometimes.

1. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

Churchill was the prime minister of England not just once (during World War II), but twice (the second time was in the 1950s). He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. If anyone can be considered an expert on success, it’s Churchill.

2. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.” — Maya Angelou

Being successful isn’t just about how much money you make or how other people see you.

3. “As human beings we have unlimited potential and imagination. The worst thing you can do is be a conformist and buy into conformity. It’s the worst possible thing. It’s better to be outrageous. It’s better to hang out with the sages, the people open to possibilities, even the psychotics. You never know where you’ll find the geniuses of our society.” — Deepak Chopra

Inspiration comes from unexpected places; tap into your potential by allowing your creativity and imagination to run wild.

4. “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” — Steve Jobs

Unless you’re the owner of Grumpy Cat, you might not be able to quit your day job for a while, and that’s perfectly OK.

5. “It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” — Herman Melville

The author of classics like “Moby-Dick” and “Bartleby, the Scrivener” was not a great success during his lifetime; he sold only a few copies of “Moby-Dick” and died in almost complete obscurity. Now his novels are considered essential components of literary history — and they’re most certainly original.

6. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill

You don’t have to force yourself to be an optimist to be successful, but incorporating a few characteristics of optimism into your outlook can’t hurt.

7. “Why am I doing the work I’m doing? Why am I friends with this person? Am I living the best life I possibly can? Questions are often looked upon as questions of doubt, but I don’t see it that way at all. I question things to stay present, to make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” — Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Questioning yourself constantly helps you keep your perspective and avoid falling into a rut; it allows you to challenge yourself.

8. “If you fall out of favor, you quickly stop being part of the conversation. But it can take one great project to turn things around. All you need is one hit or one great idea well-executed, and everybody’s talking about you again.” — Chris O’Donnell

This doesn’t just apply to actors; whether you’re starting a new business or trying to get ahead in your current career, it’s important to know how to stay relevant and on the cutting edge.

9. “Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” — Michelle Obama

Instead of thinking about how successful you are financially, think about how many people you’ve had a positive impact on.

10. “If you want to achieve greatness, stop asking for permission.” — Anonymous

If we all listened to everyone who said “No,” we’d probably never do anything.

11. “To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” — Anonymous

Those who are afraid that they’ll make a mistake or look stupid are far less likely to take risks — and those who don’t take risks don’t have as many opportunities for success.

12. “Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.” — Salvador Dalí

Dalí wasn’t concerned with being perfect or pleasing people, but still managed to be quite a successful artist and cultural icon. Also, no one’s perfect, so don’t waste your time trying to be something impossible.

13. “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

Being passionate about something isn’t a guarantee of success, but it’s definitely a good strategy.

14. “Life is too short to dwell on what might have been.” — Hillary Clinton

Part of being successful is looking toward the future and all the opportunities it holds instead of living in the past and surrounding yourself with insecurities and “what-ifs.”

15. “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” — Coco Chanel

Chanel’s advice doesn’t mean you should give up when you’re unsuccessful; it just means that in order to get ahead, you need to be able to recognize the difference between opportunities and dead ends. Don’t waste time and effort on the dead ends.

16. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

Don’t just become successful because you want to be — become successful because you want to make a difference.

17. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt

There’s nothing like wise advice that also makes you feel a little bit inadequate. Roosevelt meant this in an encouraging way, though; if you want to be the best you can, start thinking that way.

18. “I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.” — Joan Rivers

Authenticity is a big part of success. If you know how to reveal essential truths or get at the root of what people want, you already have a solid foundation.

19. “When I dare to be powerful — to use my strength in the service of my vision — then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” Audre Lorde

Part of empowering yourself is learning how to be confident and, most importantly, to use that confidence. Sharpen your vision and put 100 percent toward it; you might find yourself feeling less afraid of what might happen.

20. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas Edison

He’s loved by many and hated by many, but it’s undeniable that Thomas Edison was a huge success. He also has a point here; failure is just part of the process of elimination that leads you closer and closer to success.

21. “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” — Thomas Jefferson

Very few people spend their lives just stumbling into lucky situations. Even if it seems like someone is always lucky, there’s a good chance that they secretly worked pretty hard to get where they are.

22. “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” — Ralph Nader

By instilling a sense of leadership in others, you become even more successful by having spurred them on toward their own success. Unless your plan is to become a dictator, an army of followers won’t get you anywhere.