Earl Nightingale: The Essence of Success Book Summary





  • I wrote my definite objective on a piece of paper and my earnings doubled in two weeks.
  • The reality we experience will be that of our own creation. Our individual worlds will respond to us in the way in which we see them. They will become for us that which we expect of them. We are the creators of our own surroundings.
  • We must somehow set about discovering what it is within ourselves with the patience and assiduity of a paleontologist on an important dig.
  • Your river will become your burning desire in life and it will find you with energy and enthusiasm.



  • We become what we think about.
  • A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it. (Marcus Aurelius)
  • Everything comes if a man will only wait. I have brought myself by long meditation to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will that will stake even existence for its fulfilment. (Benjamin Disraeli)
  • A man is what he thinks about all day long. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • The great law of the universe simply stated is that if you think in negative terms you will get negative results. If you think in positive terms you will achieve positive results.
  • As ye sow, so shall ye reap.
  • The human mind is the last great, unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant.
  • Familiarity breeds contempt.
  • We must control our thinking. The same rule that can lead a man to a life to success, wealth, happiness and all the things he ever dreamed of for himself and his family – that very same law lead him into the gutter. It’s all in how he uses it: for good or for bad. This is the strangest secret in the world.
  • It seems that most people want so many different things or at least they think they want them. That they’re unable to focus their efforts, their minds, their hearts in anything specific.
  • The establishment of a goal is the key to successful living. And the most important step toward achieving an objective is first to define it. I’m sure you have at least thirty minutes a day in which to list your thoughts about possible goals. Set aside such a period each day for a month. At the end of that time, choose from the possible objectives you have listed the one that seems most important, and record it separately on a single card. Carry this card with you at all times. Think about this objective every day. Create concrete mental images of the goal, as if you’ve already accomplished it. (Dr Ari Kiev)
  • Focus on one objective at a time. Like a servo-mechanic, the brain, set on a target, will call into play those mental processes that will bring your efforts to fruition. Your actions will conform to your expectations, thereby brining about the event. If you believe that you will reach your objective, you will continue to work at a task until you have accomplished it.
  • It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half of the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what may happen. (Herodotus)
  • The key that unlocks energy is desire.
  • Did you ever sit down and make a list of everything you want?
  • People can have anything they want. The trouble is that they don’t know what they want.
  • It is the voyage and the adventures on the way that count, not the arrival itself. (Constantine Cavafy)
  • That we live is not nearly as important as the manner in which we live.
  • Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • Whatever you’re looking for must first be found within you, whether it be peace, happiness, riches or great accomplishments. Everything we do outwardly is only an expression of what we are inwardly.



  • A good deal of frustration and unhappiness could be avoided if people would just do what they know they should do.
  • Pick the things that’s most important to do, and simply begin doing it.
  • Work never killed anyone. It’s worry that does the damage. And the worry would disappear if we’d just settle down and do the work.
  • All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work. Work is not curse; it is the prerogative of intelligence, the only means to manhood, and the measure of civilization. (Calvin Coolidge)
  • Don’t look at the sudden loss of a habit, or a way of life, as the end of the road; see it instead as only a bend in the road that will open up all sorts of interesting possibilities and new experiences. After all, you’ve seen the scenery on the old road for so long, and you obviously no longer like it. (Mary Pickford)
  • Failing is not failing, unless you fail to get up. (Mary Pickford)
  • Vigour is contagious; and whatever makes us either think or feel strongly adds to our power and enlarges our field of action. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • He that can have patience, can have what he will. (Benjamin Franklin)
  • It is not necessary for all men to be great in action. The greatest and most sublime power is often simple patience. (Horace Bushnell)
  • To know how to wait is the great secret of success. (De Maistre)
  • How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees. (Shakespeare)
  • Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. (Rousseau)
  • Write the word patience some place where you’ll see it every day for the next, oh, say 50 or 60 years. You’ll be amazed what this one word can do for your life.
  • A person needs to chip away everything that doesn’t look like the person he or she most wants to become.
  • All that we have is the present moment and the future. They can be anything we want them to be.
  • Have you given much thought to the fact that you create yourself? You do, to an altogether unsuspected extent, simply by the choices you make; by the things you decide to do, or decide not to do.
  • The self is only that which it is in the process of becoming. (Kierkegaard)
  • My observations lead me to the conclusion that human begins have suffered greater deprivations from their fear of life than from its abundance. (Sidney Hood)
  • A person needs to chip away everything that doesn’t look like the person he or she most wants to become.
  • All that we have is the present moment and the future. They can be anything we want them to be.
  • When we put the well-being of people in first place, we’ll never make a mistake. People first, profit last. And the more you do it, the bigger and better your profits become.
  • Every act we perform during the day is goal-achieving, tension-relieving, or unnecessary.
  • Distinguish between the urgent and the important.


  • It is not what happens to you in life that makes the difference. It is how you react to each circumstance you encounter that determines the result. Every human being in the same situation has the possibilities of choosing how he will react-either positively or negatively. (R.H. Schuller)
  • Only 8% of your worries are worth concerning yourself about. 92% are pure fog with no substance at all.
  • There are two ways of solving money problems. Augment your means. That is, make more money. Or diminish your wants. Either will do. (Ben Franklin)
  • The 12 things to remember. The value of time. The success of perseverance. The pleasure of working. The dignity of simplicity. The worth of character. The power of example. The influence of life. The obligation of duty. The wisdom of economy. The virtue of patience. The improvement of talent. The joy of originating.
  • We all need reminding. (Will Rogers)
  • The value of time: At first you might think that applies to working, which it does for a part of the time; but it also applies to time spent not working-time spent thinking, or dreaming, or relaxing, or reading, or walking, or indulging in a favourite hobby. The value of time-not to waste it on things that do nothing to help or bring enjoyment.



  • The thing to remember here is that other people are far more interested in themselves than they are in you. You accomplish nothing talking about yourself, but you accomplish a great deal by showing interest in what the other person is saying and doing. You make him feel he or she is important in your eyes and whenever you do this well, you might call it instant friendships.
  • Most of us are luckier than we know, and have much to celebrate. But happiness and joyful celebrating are inconceivable without friends, and it is awful to imagine then loneliness of otherwise fortunate people who have no friends anywhere.
  • Selflessness is the rule in the best of friendships.
  • A friend is an extension of oneself.
  • One of the most mawkish of human delusions is the notion that friendship should be lifelong. The fact is that a man of resilient mind outwears his friendships just as certainly as he outwears his love affairs and his politics. They become threadbare, and every act and attitude that they involve becomes an act of hypocrisy. (H.L. Mencken)



  • A person in authority is not necessarily a saint, an artist, a philosopher or a hero, but he respects truth, appreciates what is beautiful, knows to behave himself, and is courageous in meeting his obligations.
  • There is nothing noble in feeling superiors to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self. (Hindu Proverb)
  • Those who have shown that they can lead their own lives effectively are best fitted to accept responsibility and authority. The true function of leadership is to bring out the best efforts of others, and people most willingly pay heed to those whom they consider most able to direct.
  • The best leaders are almost always those who do not seek leadership, but who have demonstrated in their own lives, in their work and attitude, that they should lead.
  • The leader is the person who acts when the situation requires action.
  • All too often we’re prone to look upon people as they are, instead of in the light of what they might be-what they can be.
  • There exist in each of us deep reservoirs of ability, even genius which we habitually fail to use. It often takes knowledge, care and time to bring ability to the surface.



  • As we reach successive plateaus in life, we begin to imagine ourselves reaching the next one. And that’s our imagination. It leads us on from one idea to another through every day and every year of our lives.
  • It’s a good idea, as we use our imagination, to always strive for simplicity, to avoid the complicated.
  • Imagination, like anything else, needs fuel for production. You can’t have something from nothing.
  • Habit patterns and ways of thinking become deeply established, and it seems easier and more comforting to follow them than to cope with change, even when change may represent freedom and achievement.
  • I have six honest serving men-they taught me all I know: Their names Where and What and When and Why and How and Who. (Rudyard Kipling)
  • You ain’t learning nothing while you’re talking.



  • Thinking in new directions is the definition of genius.
  • Walt Disney used to ask 10 people what they thought of a new idea. If they were unanimous in their rejection of it, he would begin working on it immediately.
  • You know each of us has a gold mine between his ears. If he fails to mine the gold, well, that’s his business. But it’s there-all that we can want and much more.
  • Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it. (Henry Ford)
  • Being broke is a temporary situation; being poor is a state of mind. (Mike Todd)
  • You know, one hour a night adds up quickly to a really enormous amount of time. Time is one few things man can’t buy more of and it’s a good idea to use all of it as wisely as we know how.
  • Ideas are free, yet they’re the most valuable commodities known to man. And great ideas enable the mind that conceive them.






  • Listening really is the key to good conversation. You can’t learn much with your own mouth open. Whatever you say has to be something you already know.
  • Being a good conversationalist is a little like walking a tightrope; it must be done in perfect balance. A good conversationalist is not only a good speaker, with a wide range of interests and knowledge, he is also an excellent, interested listener and very comfortable to be around.
  • The best conversationalist is the best listener.
  • If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is work, Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut. (Albert Einstein)
  • Good conversation is an art, and, like any art, must be learned. As in learning anything, listening is the best way to go about it. We not only make friends this way, we might even learn something.
  • Speaking with passion but without the facts is like making a beautiful dive into an empty pool. (Leroy Ramsey)
  • Make sure your mind is in gear before you set your mouth in motion.
  • Why do you say that? If you get another absurd generalization ask, Would you mind being specific about that? Ask questions such as Why? And How do you know?
  • Why do you say that? Or exactly what do you mean by what you just said?
  • Talk is by far the most accessible of pleasures. It costs nothing in money, it is all profit, it completes our education, founds and fosters our friendships, and can be enjoyed at any age and in almost any state of health. (Robert Louis Stevenson)



  • Sell the sizzle, no the steak. (Elmer Wheeler)
  • Our main purpose is to get the people to buy what we have to say. We’re not trying to win prizes as orators, arm swingers or podium thumpers. We’re there to sell the people on an idea, to transfer out enthusiasm for our subject to our listeners.
  • A writer is dear and necessary for us only in the measure in which he reveals to us the inner working of his soul. (Leo Tolstoy)
  • The best ways to form the right habits is to do something you know you should be doing, every day. The more you do it, the easier it becomes-the more competent and confident you become-and the work becomes steadily better. Also, the more you do, the more ideas you get for future work.
  • I guess we all know that the longer you put off what you know very well you should be doing, the more you dread doing it. Finally, because of our procrastination, the job looms far larger than it did in the beginning until we finally, in a kind of desperation, itch into it and discover that it really wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought it was going to be. We should have done it at once, in the beginning, without wasting all that time-storing up all that apprehension and being miserable sidestepping our responsibilities.
  • You know, if every day each of us would just do the things we know very well we really should be doing, we’d always be ahead of the game, instead of lagging forever behind and then having to run like mad to catch up.



  • The most important element necessary to make an effective speech is to be interesting. If you cannot make what you have to say interesting, you shouldn’t be making a speech in the first place.
  • Our responsibility in attempting to get others to do things we want them to do is to be interesting. A little thought, a little planning, will usually do the trick.
  • The purpose of the speech is not to talk about you but rather the subject matter.
  • The difference, I think, between a memorable speech and an ordinary one is usually the degree of involvement on the part of the speaker.
  • The ideas are the important thing. If you’re successful in getting the ideas across from your mind to the minds of your audience, you’re as successful as a speaker is supposed to be. Audience have a way of knowing when you’re more interested in what you’re saying than in how you appear.
  • The person who does a lot of speaking will usually have a fine library and be a good reader and have a good working knowledge of his language. If you’re writing a speech and you’re not sure of your grammar, especially syntax, have a person who’s more knowledgeable on the language edit it for you.
  • The good speaker is like the good salesman who’s more interested in how great his product is and in helping the customer than in his commission check.
  • Or the fine actor who so loses himself in his part that the character he’s playing takes the stage and the actor actually disappears. You’ve heard it said of some actors, that no matter what part they’re playing they’re still themselves. Well, it’s the same with speakers. Few of them have the interest in what they’re saying and in the audience enough to forget themselves. For practice in writing your own speeches, I recommend that you simply start writing them. Write two or three speeches and see how they come out. Remember to keep your sentences very short so you can breathe in the right places. And keep your copy lean and muscular.
  • A good conversationalist will make a good speaker. He’s sensitive to the presence of others. His antennae are forever alert, picking up signals from his audience and involving them in his talk. Good conversation is one of the great joys of human commerce. Good conversation should be like the game of tennis, in which the ball is struck back and forth with each player participating equally, bores are like golfers who just keep hitting their own ball, over and over and over again.
  • The good speaker is able to achieve a marvellous give-and-take with his audience, just as a good conversationalist does with the person he’s with.



  • Our success in most any type of activity will always be in exact ratio to our ability to influence people. And the best way I know to influence people is to care enough, to know enough, to serve them well.



  • Your rewards will be determined by the way you do your job, multiplied by the number of people you serve.
  • If a person isn’t happy with his rewards, he should take a good, long look at his contributions. This may see, like a hard, cruel way of looking at things, but laws are good or bad only in the way we look at them.
  • You can compare a human life to a plot of land. The yard in front of your home. Anyone can tell by looking at the front yard how much attention it’s being given. There is no such things as a poor looking yard that’s getting a lot of care and attention. Similarly, there is not, in all of the world a bad looking plot of ground that’s getting a lot of care and attention. If we take an average, sort of lackadaisical attitude toward our rounds, they’ll reflect exactly that and never get a second glance from anyone passing by. It’s the same exact thing with life. We’ll get back-we much get back-exactly what we put into it; no more, no less. If we don’t like the rewards we’re receiving, we should examine our service, our contribution.
  • Growth and increase are a part of mankind and all of nature. It is inherent in each of us to desire more.
  • No one can become rich in any way without serving others. Anyone who adds to prosperity must prosper in turn.
  • All human activities are based on the desire for increase-people seeking more food, more clothes, more knowledge, more pleasure, more life.
  • How much does it cost to give love, respect and consideration to those near you? Very little, just a little extra effort. Yet love, respect, and consideration are priceless to the person receiving them. This is the key: give more than you receive in everything you do. In this way, you are building a great credit for yourself that must come to you in some form, sooner or later. You are taking out less than you are putting in, and by so doing you are building a tidal wave of future prosperity. This is the law of increase. It is understood and followed undeviatingly by every successful businessperson, artist, professional and worker, by every successful mother and father and friend. It is the most striking attribute of all successful people, companies and institutions.
  • As you find new and better ways of giving more in use value than you are receiving in money, more and more people will turn to you.
  • The picture you project, the way in which you communicate to every person you come in contact with during the day is a reflection of your total personality, the picture you project is determined by how you feel inside.
  • 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)
  • To become successful and outstanding at something, we don’t have to come up with something new; we need only find ways of doing it better.
  • If you want to succeed at something, just do it better.
  • The respect for excellence never changes. It still commands the highest price; it is still revered wherever we find it. And the people performing the work have gained for themselves two precious assets. They have gained the kind of security that lasts a lifetime, of course. They never need worry about income. There is always a ready market for the best. And their work is a source of satisfaction and joy to them. They derive deep satisfaction from being uncommon people turning out uncommonly fine products or services.


  • The exciting story unfolding upon this inner screen is one which is invented every second of your life – yesterday, tomorrow, but most important, right now. Since you are the dramatist, the director and the actor, you can change the story as it unfolds. Now. This instant. And for your whole lifetime.
  • Worry is a good example of the synthetic experience. When a person worries about something he projects himself mentally, emotionally, even physically, into a situation that hasn’t even occurred.
  • Four steps to a healthy self-image: (1) Forgive others; (2) Forgive yourself; (3) see yourself at your best-choose confidence instead of frustration; and (4) keep up with yourself-march to your own drummer, and don’t worry about what others are doing. (Dr. Maxwell Maltz)
  • Of all the traps and pitfalls in life, self-dis-esteem is the deadliest, and the hardest to overcome; for it is a pit designed and dug by our own hands, summed up in the phrase, ‘It’s no use-I can’t do it. (Dr. Maxwell Maltz)
  • Stop carrying around a mental picture of yourself as a defeated, worthless person. Stop dramatizing yourself as an object of pity and injustice. (Dr. Maxwell Maltz)
  • But the biggest secret of self-esteem is this: begin to appreciate other people more; show respect for any human being merely because he is a child of God and therefore a thing of value. Stop and think when you’re dealing with people. You’re dealing with a unique, individual creation of the Creator of all. Practice treating other people as if they had some value-and surprisingly enough your own self-esteem will go up. For real self-esteem is not derived from the great things you’ve done, the things you own or the mark you’ve made-but an appreciation of yourself for what you are.



  • Calmness is the rarest quality in human life. It is the poise of a great nature, in harmony with itself and its ideals. It is the moral atmosphere of a life self-reliant and self-controlled. Calmness is singleness of purpose, absolute confidence and conscious power ready to be focused in an instant to meet any crisis. (William George Jordan)
  • The words ‘know thyself’ are still two of the most important words ever put together. Do you know why people sometimes-quite often, as a matter of fact-have inferiority complexes? It’s because their thinking is based on a false premise. The false premise is that they compare themselves to other people what this is actually something they should never do, since no two human beings are alike. Everybody on earth is inferior to everyone else on earth in certain areas- and superior in other areas.
  • You as a personality are not in competition with any other personality simply because there is not another person on the face of the earth like you, or in your particular class. You are an individual. You are unique. You are not ‘like’ any other person. You are not ‘supposed’ to be like any other person, and no other person is ‘supposed’ to be like any other person, and no other person is ‘supposed’ to be like you. (Dr. Maxwell Maltz)
  • God did not create a standard person and in some way label that person by saying, ‘This is it.’ He made every human being individual and unique, just as He made every snowflake individual and unique. (Dr. Maxwell Maltz)
  • The need for praise is basic to everyone. With it, a person blooms and grows. Without it, he tends to shrink and withdraw into himself.
  • With a little effort, a person can form the habit of smiling and saying “hello” first. Nineteen times out of 20, you’ll get a favourable response.
  • Throw open the doors and windows of your mind and heart to others, and reap a harvest of friends.
  • It is in the expectation of happiness that much happiness itself is found. And it takes courage to expect happiness. (Mark Van Doren)
  • Man is meant for happiness and this happiness is in him, in the satisfaction of the daily needs of his existence. (Leo Tolstoy)
  • All happiness depends on courage and work. (Honore Blazac)
  • Happiness is the only sanction of life. Where happiness fails, existence remains a mad and lamentable experiment. (George Santayana)



  • The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. (John Milton)
  • My mind to me a kingdom is. Such present joys therein I find that it excels all other bliss that earth affords. Every person’s mind is his kingdom. And he as the reigning monarch decides what kind of a kingdom it is to be; bleak or bountiful, rich or poor, interesting or dull,happy or unhappy. (Geoffrey Chaucer)
  • The most important moment of our lives is when we understand that we can fashion our minds as we will.
  • Trying to shut down the mind by turning a mental switch is virtually impossible. But turning it to something new will let the tired part refresh itself. This is why golf, tennis, fishing and other participation sports are important to good health. You can be a spectator at a sporting event and still worry, but you can’t play and worry.
  • Thinking helps make you happy, and that’s very important. And the more we learn, the greater our experiences, the more possibilities we put into the thinking raw material pile. And thinking is the father of creation.
  • The four simple steps in straight thinking. Step one: Separate facts from opinions and analyse the facts. Step two: Define the real problem and consider possible solutions. Step three: Secure evidence on possible solutions. And step four: Weigh the evidence and arrive at a sound conclusion.
  • Imagination is the key to motivation. (Rene Descartes)
  • Ideas are the world’s most valuable things. Ideas are the product of the human mind, the world’s acknowledged winner in the “most valuable” category.
  • Every time one man puts an idea across, he find ten men who thought of it before he did-but they only thought of it. There has never been a monopoly when it comes to getting good ideas, but the number of people who will take the raw material of a good idea and from it fashion reality in the world is small, indeed.
  • Nothing in this world is so powerful as an idea whose time has come. (Victor Hugo)
  • There is nothing in this world of less value than an idea about which nothing is done.
  • It is believed that the most fortunate people on earth are those who have found an idea that’s bigger than they are, that fills their lives with constant interest, challenge and struggle.
  • Good comedians are among the highest paid of the world’s performers: people need to laugh. You can’t feel worried or depressed when you’re convulsed with laughter. It seems to have a beneficial effect on the human mind and organs. We’re the only creatures on earth who can laugh; and the only ones with enough problems to need it.



  • Why bother with continuing education, continuing to study? Why learn all that, go to all that work and bother, just to carry it to the grave? But that isn’t the way it works. We don’t carry it to the grave; we pass it along and often in a new and more enlightened form, sometimes even with a brand new idea that brightens the pathway ahead for those who follow.
  • Individuals who remain vital have learned not to be imprisoned by fixed habits, attitudes and routines. We build our own prisons and serve as our own jailers. But if we build the prisons ourselves, we can tear them down ourselves. If we are willing to learn, the opportunities are everywhere.
  • Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)



  • Adversity introduces a person to himself. On the occasion of every accident that befalls you, remember to turn yourself and inquire what power you have for turning it to use. (Epictetus)
  • Opportunity beckons more surely when misfortune comes upon a person than it ever does when that person is riding the crest of a wave of success. It sharpens a person’s wits, if he will let it, enabling him to see more clearly and evaluate his situation with a more knowledgeable judgement.
  • There’s only one form of security we can attain during our lives. It’s inner security-the kind that comes from courage, experience and the ability and willingness to learn, to grow, to attempt the unknown. Security isn’t what the wise person looks for; it’s opportunity. And once we begin looking for that, we find it on every side. You can measure opportunity with the same yardstick that measures the risk involved. They go together.
  • Adversity introduces a person to himself. That’s when we get to really know ourselves; that’s when we come face to face with the real person we are and the stage of our maturity or growth to that point.
  • People who do well in the world by being creative and willing to take a calculated risk are people who manage to overcome the fear of laughter. Any time you attempt anything in which you risk failure, you run the risk of having people laugh at you.
  • Sometimes the price of a laugh has met the slamming of a door to fame and fortune, or even immortality.
  • Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates and Copernicus and Galileo and Newton and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • So what is failure? Failure does not come to a person because he is not recognized by the multitudes during his lifetime or ever. Our success or failure has nothing to do with opinions of others. It has only to do with our own opinion of ourselves and what we’re doing.
  • The only person that can be called a failure is that person who tries to succeed at nothing. Success, as far as person is concerned, does not lie in achievement. It lies in striving, reaching, attempting.
  • Any person who decides upon a course of action he deems to be worthy of him and sets out to accomplish that goal is a success right then and there.
  • In all walks of life, the most successful believe in something. This has a tendency to make the going a little tougher for a while, but they almost always wind up ahead of the game eventually.
  • People who play it too safe take the greatest risks. Did you know that? In the long haul, the intelligent risk-takers develop the greatest security. It’s a wise person who learned the important of risk taking.
  • Living itself is a risky business. If we spent half as much time learning how to take risks as we spent avoiding them, we wouldn’t have nearly so much to fear in life. (E. Paulo Torrance)
  • In all walks of life, the most successful people are risk-takers. By that, I mean they risk believing in their own ideas, striking out toward their own goals, standing up for what they believe to be right. They take the risk of being different when they believe in something. This has a tendency to make the going a little tougher for a while, but they almost always wind up ahead of the game eventually. Risk-takers realize there’s nothing wrong with an occasional failure.



  • The experts say that each of us has deep reservoirs of ability which we habitually fail to use simply because we fail to develop ourselves to our true stature, and there are, lurking in our daily work as in ourselves, acres of diamonds.
  • If you don’t expect much, you won’t be disappointed when you don’t get much. But that’s just the problem: If you don’t expect much, you’re ruling out the chance of winning. The world is full of people who don’t have much because they don’t expect much. They’re not trying for more, so how in the world are they going to get more?
  • In all things it is better to hope than to despair. (Goethe)
  • The fundamental principle of human action is that men seel to gratify their desires with the least exertion. (Henry George)
  • People are forever saying, “I’d give anything…” But the fact remains that they don’t; they give very little, often nothing, to do the things they say they’d give anything to do.
  • The stars are those who have simply given their dedication, their singleness of purpose, their days and nights, weeks and months and years.
  • Each of us has the time and the opportunity. If we say we haven’t, we’re trying to kid ourselves. Everybody ought to become great at something. What is it that you would give anything to become? Then give it, and you’ll become it.
  • Sometimes it seems as though there are far too many spectators and not enough players. Maybe we’re so busy watching the world and everyone else, we forget we have one of our own to win.
  • The better prepared, the more skilled and experienced we become, the larger the opportunity we can handle because we’ve learned to handle the problems that go with it. But at the same time, you can’t handle a large opportunity if you permit yourself to be bothered by small problems.
  • Opportunities and problems come in all sizes, from the very small to the very large. There’s no such thing as an opportunity without problems or problems without opportunities; they’re two sides of the same coin. But it’s how we react to them that determines what sort of people we are and how serene or frustrated, successful or unsuccessful we ultimately become.
  • As we’ve said before, a person is only as large as the things he lets bother him; he’s only as big as the things he lets interest him.
  • The strong, calm person is always loved and revered. He is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm. Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balance life? It does not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing these blessing, for they are always sweet, serene and calm. The exquisite poise of character which we call serenity is the last lesson of culture; it is the flowering of life, the fruitage of the soul. (James Allen)






  • We live by faith or we do not live at all. (Harold Blake Walker)
  • I tell you, it’s no joke to paint a portrait. Into the painting of every picture that’s worth…there comes a period of doubt and despair. The artist, however, goes on with his work, beyond his doubt, to creative achievement. (William Morris)
  • Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. And we need to exchange a life of doubt diversified by faith, to a life of faith diversified by doubt.
  • It is what you believe in that will determine the course of your life, what happens to you and your ultimate destiny.
  • As you believe, so shall it be done unto you.
  • What you believe is what will happen to you. For belief is faith, and faith is still the greatest power on earth.
  • The greater our faith, the greater we become.
  • According to our faith will it be done unto us.
  • Sometimes it appears that there’s a hidden guide someplace whose duty it is to test men and women through all sorts of discouraging experiences. Those who pick themselves up and keep trying after getting knocked down, arrive. It’s an uncanny things, but it works. And this hidden guide lets no one enjoy great achievement without passing the persistence test, it seems. And those who can’t take it simply don’t make the grade.
  • Every failure brings with it the seed of an equivalent advantage.
  • The last of the human freedom is to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances. (Viktor Frankl)
  • Fear makes come true that which one is afraid of. (Viktor Frankl)
  • A coward dies a thousand deaths…a brave man dies but once.
  • Fear is ignorance. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • If you want to change attitudes, start with a change in behaviour. (William Glasser)
  • If you could have as a gift your dearest wish fulfilled, the wish that lies closer to your heart, the thing that you want most in the world, what would you choose? (Paul Speicher)
  • What a new face courage puts on everything. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated. And the exact opposite of being appreciated is to be laughed at.
  • Laughter is the severest form of criticism, and the fear of criticism keeps us from doing a lot of things. It keeps us from doing a lot of things we should not do.
  • Courage is the finest of human qualities because it guarantees all the others. (Winston Churchill)
  • We should want to grow into individuals, with individual goals, individual thinking, individual action. And that we will be happiest if we will do our work as best we possibly can, even though it may be the fashion for most of the rest to slide along as easily as possible.
  • Conduct is the greatest profession. Behaviour is the perpetual revealing of us. What a man does, tell us what he is. (F. D. Huntington)
  • What are some of things you’ve avoided recently, out of fear?
  • Choose one thing and promise yourself to do it anyway, in spite of your fear. If you fail, try again.
  • When things start to look bleak, remember that you have the power to change them and that you’re the only creature on earth with that kind of power.



  • Yes, I will. I suppose those three small words, quietly spoken or silently resolved, have been responsible for more human achievement than all the other words in the English language.
  • Nothing in the world will take the place of persistence. And there isn’t a record in the world that will not be broken by it. And it all comes from an individual’s coming face-to-face with himself and saying, Yes, I will.
  • To succeed as persons requires that we become highly productive people to who quality is more important than quantity. Truly successful people are maturing people who grow more productive and more interesting as they grow older. They never run out of interesting and challenging things to do.
  • So, what is failure? Failure does not come to a person because he is not recognized by the multitudes during his lifetime. Our success or failure has nothing to do with the opinions of others. It has only to do with our opinion of ourselves and what we’re doing.
  • The only person who could be called a failure is that person who tried to succeed at nothing. Success, as far as a person is concerned, does not lie in achievement. It lies in striving-reaching-attempting. Any person who decides upon a course of action he deems to be worthy of him as a person, and sets out to accomplish that goal, is a success right then and there.
  • Failure consists not in failing to reach our goals, but rather in not setting one. Failure consists of not trying.
  • Success is an individual thing and only the person involved can be responsible for what success is to him.
  • People who succeed are people who believe they can succeed. Success, until it has been won, is a mental thing. A man has only his mental picture and his belief, until he has achieved his goal. Belief in himself is one of man’s most difficult accomplishments.
  • Mature, intelligent people realize that failure is just as much a part of success as success is a part of every failure.
  • Success in life is a matter not so much of talent or opportunity as of concentration and perseverance. (C. W. Wendte)
  • Now, if you want to get rich, you have only to produce a product or service that will give people greater use value than the price you charge for it. How rich you get will be determined by the number of people to who you can sell this product or service.
  • Give to every person with whom you deal more than you take from him.
  • Must give him more in use value than the cash value of the thing involved.
  • People vote with their money, and they’d vote for you in a minute if you’ll give them greater use value for their money than they’re now getting.
  • Thinking is the one thing everyone has to do on his own. Each of us has a gold mine between his ears – that goes without saying. But digging in it is the world’s hardest work. Yet it would richly repay those who go to trouble to dig in it every day.
  • You never know what a man can do until he has been given sufficient incentive to strive to his utmost to bring out the God-given abilities within him. (James F. Lincoln)
  • If a man does only what is required of him, he is a slave; the moment he does more than is required, he becomes a free man. We all have work to do in this world; it is the doing of just a little more that leads to happiness and contentment. (A. W. Robertson)
  • Do the thing and you will have the power; but they that do not the thing have not the power. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • As I started to do the thing – the thing I’d been thinking and planning to do – I began to discover that I had hidden talents I had never suspected. Ideas came to me that I was able to turn into more successful business. In short, when I had enough faith to start to do the thing. I did find that I had the power. I had it all along and hadn’t realized it. (Clifford Echols)
  • If people only knew how hard I worked to gain mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all. (Michelangelo)
  • It’s a funny thing about life – if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it. (Somerset Maugham)
  • If you want to turn your dreams into reality, you’re going to have to take a chance. There’s no playing it safe. As long as you keep one foot on first base, it’s impossible to get to second. You simply begin and you will find the ability.
  • Be choosy, therefore, about what you set your heart on; for if you want to achieve it strongly enough – you will. (Ashley Montagu)


  • We need only to perform successfully each act of a single day to enjoy a successful day. If you will only do each day the things you know you should do and do them as well as you can, you can rest assured that you will be successful all the years of your life.
  • A lifetime consists of years, months, weeks and days. The basic unit of a lifetime is a single day. And a single day in our careers is made up of certain acts that each of us must perform.
  • Don’t try to do tomorrow’s or next week’s work today. Just do today’s as best you can, and leave tomorrow’s for tomorrow. And remember that it’s important not to slight a single act during the day, because sometimes we do not know how really important some little act may be.
  • Only those individuals who are willing to try again after their failures, those who seem to have some strange inner knowledge that success can be theirs if they just stay with it long enough, finally win their diploma in life.
  • I have never known a successful man or woman whose success did not hinge on some failure or another.
  • It is impossible to succeed without suffering. If you are successful and have not suffered, someone has suffered for you; and if you are suffering without succeeding, it is so that you may succeed later or that someone many succeed after you. But there is no success without suffering.
  • Successful people are dreamer who have found a dream too exciting, too important, to remain in the realm of fantasy. Day by day, hour by hour, they toil in the service of their dream until they can see it with their eyes and touch it with their hands.
  • Succeeding in life is not a matter of luck or chance or circumstance, but only a matter of preparation – of doing what they are given to do each day they bet they can, and holding firm to the certain knowledge that their time will come and that they’ll be ready for it when it does.
  • The devil tempts all other men, but idle men tempt the devil. (Turkish Proverb)
  • He has achieved success who has worked well, laughed often and loved much. (Elbert Hubbard)



  • Belongs to that vast army whose members make it their business to spend their lives focusing on the wrong things.
  • Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness: on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way. (John Stuart Mill)
  • The happiest people are usually the busiest people, and almost always those who business consists of serving others in some way: By losing themselves in what they’re doing and where they’re going, happiness quietly joins them and becomes part of them.
  • The fact is that most of the ingredients necessary for happiness are present in the lives of most people everyday. They are things and conditions for which we need not wait. And most of them are things we’re so used to, we take them for granted.
  • Many of our miseries are merely comparative; we are often made unhappy, not by the presence of any real evil, but by the absence of some fictitious good. (Samuel Johnson)
  • The miserable are very talkative. And they are…aren’t they? (Hindu Proverb)
  • Greatness and peace and happiness are simply not proper ends for any human soul to set for itself. They are the by-products of life that has held steady like a ship at sea to some true course worth sailing. (Paul Scherer)
  • We need to become self-actualizing. (Abraham Maslow)
  • A person should have his roots deep in a great, moving current – a moving stream of conscious direction – in which will keep him sailing steadily toward the destination he has chosen regardless of the economic and social winds which blow first this way and then that on the surface.
  • In such a life, there is no great hurry, no frantic running about, no doubt or confusion. Instead, each day he moves a little way along his course – steadily, unrelentingly. In one day, he doesn’t seem to make much headway to the casual observer, but like the iceberg – if you come back in a week, you will no longer find him at the exact latitude and longitude of a week ago. And in a year, he will have covered a really marvellous distance.
  • The almost unbelievable cumulative effect of time well spent. His steady, unswerving use of time seems to make it compound until in a very few years he is miles ahead of all but the few who live as he does.
  • A point of education that I can never too much insist upon is this tenet that every individual man has a bias which he much obey, that it is only as he feel and obeys this that he rightly develops and attains his legitimate power in the world. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)



  • We come to an understanding that to kill time, as we so aptly put it, is really nothing more than to kill a little part of ourselves since time is all we have.
  • In a life where death is inevitable, never worry about anything.
  • There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. (George Santayana)
  • One of the neatest tricks in the world is to learn to enjoy the present, since the present is the only time we will ever own. Distance is no longer a serious obstacle due to modern means of travel. But time remains unconquerable.
  • In interviews with very old people – people who realize that their remaining time is drawing to a close – you frequently hear them say, “I waited too long to start living”
  • Look well to this one day, for it and it alone is life. In the brief course of this one day lie all the verities and realities of your existence; the pride of growth, the glory of action, the splendour of beauty. Yesterday is only a dream, and tomorrow is but a vision. Yet each day, well lived, makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and each tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this one day, for it and it alone is life. (4,500 year old Sanskrit Writing)
  • When a person finds himself, when he stops imitating and envying others, there is something in his nature that says to him, “This is it. You’ve found your road at last.”
  • There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance, that imitation is suicide, that he must take himself for better or worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through the toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. Trust thyself: Every heart vibrates to that iron string. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • There are two identity traps: (1) the belief that you should be someone other than yourself; and (2) the assumption that others will do things in the way that you would. These are the basic traps, of which many others are variations. In the first trap, you necessarily forfeit your freedom by requiring yourself to live in a stereotyped, pre-determined way that doesn’t consider your own desires, feelings and objectives. The second trap is more subtle but just as harmful to your freedom. When you expect someone to have the same ideas, attitudes and feelings that you have, you expect him to act in ways that aren’t in keeping with his nature. As a result, you’ll expect and hope that people will do things they’re not capable of doing. (Harry Browne)
  • By changing himself, he changes his surroundings. If a person understands this, he understands, at the same time, why he is king over everything else.
  • The only thing about a man that is a man…is his mind. Everything else, you can find in a pig or a horse. (Archibald MacLeish)
  • If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavours to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. (Henry David Thoreau)
  • The truth most of us miss in that great quotation is that success – beyond anything we might now imagine – lies in wait for those who can put together enough courage to actually live the life they imagine.
  • The most commonly voiced thought after taking such a step is, “Why didn’t I do this years ago?”
  • Listen, reach back, re-examine your motives, and they write your worries in the sand
  • Everyone who makes it has a mentor.
  • You’ve got to have mentors along the way. (Lee Iacocca)
  • We should never forget that we are setting an example for others – example is the school of mankind – and that the flame of a candle is not diminished when it is used to light another.








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