100 Famous Quotes about Success

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What exactly is success? How can we define it? It seems as if everyone wants to be successful in life. We all are pursuing success. Still, most of us have absolutely no clue how we can accomplish success. Do we even understand what it truly means to be “successful?” Or are we simply repeating the definition of success that media and society has placed in our mind?


If you ask 100 people on the street about their definition of success, you’ll most likely receive 100 different answers. For many, being successful in life is closely associated with having a lot of money. This group of people defines success purely based on material accomplishments. Others define success through the level of power and control they can exert over others.

But what is being successful really all about? Is it really all about wealth, material possessions and power? Or is it also about living ones dream, enjoying each moment, living life to the fullest and making room for individual unfoldment?

The joy of being successful

No matter how we define success, we can definitely agree upon the fact that a sense of accomplishment can be extraordinarily empowering. Knowing that you’re successful enriches your perception of life. To be more precise: your perception of the importance of the role you play in life.

Success can be extremely motivating. It empowers us to continue the pursuit of our dreams. The following quotes about being successful will provide you the necessary inspiration that drives you to perform towards your goals.

Famous Quotes about Success

In the following you can find our handpicked selection of some of the most inspiring and motivating success quotes from great leaders, famous authors and truly wise men and women.

Popular Quotes on Being Successful in Life

1. If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.
Tony Gaskins

Build your own dreams

2. Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.
Albert Einstein

Strive to be of value

3. The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Vidal Sassoon

Success comes before work

4. I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.
Herbert Bayard Swope

The formula for failure

5. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

Dream, explore and discover

6. First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.
Mahatma Gandhi

At the beginning they ignore you

7. The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.
Mark Caine

The first step toward success

8. Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.
Henry David Thoreau

Success comes to those

9. The best revenge is massive success.
Frank Sinatra

Massive success is the best revenge

10. If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.
Jim Rohn

Settle for the ordinary

11. Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.
Les Brown

12. Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.
Dale Carnegie

stepping-stones

13. In the end, it’s not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away.
Shing Xiong

The amount of your breaths doesn't matter

14. A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
David Brinkley

Laying a foundation with bricks

15. Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out.
John Wooden

Things work out best

16. 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

17. Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out.
Robert Collier

Success is the sum of small efforts

18. Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

Success is walking from failure

19. Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.
Jim Rohn

20. Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.
Thomas J. Watson

21. Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
Albert Schweitzer

Key to happiness

22. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
Oliver Goldsmith

Our-greatest-glory

23. It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.
Theodore Roosevelt

It's hard to fail

24. I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.
Abraham Lincoln

Inspiring Success Quotes

25. Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.
Joshua J. Marine

Challenges make life interesting

26. Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.
Denis Waitley

27. Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.
John F. Kennedy

Dare to fail

28. Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.
Larry Winget

29. There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.
Ray Goforth

30. Our greatest fear should not be of failure… but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.
Francis Chan

Our greatest fear

31. I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.
G. K. Chesterton

During the exact opposite

32. It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.
Leonardo da Vinci

33. It’s not about how much you do, but how much love you put into what you do that counts.
Mother Teresa

34. When you can’t change the direction of the wind, just adjust your sails.
H. Jackson Brown Jr

Changing the direction of the wind

35. Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.
Carl Bard

36. My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.
Oprah Winfrey

37. Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
Pablo Picasso

38. To be successful you must accept all challenges that come your way. You can’t just accept the ones you like.
Mike Gafka

Accept all challenges

39. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
Thomas A. Edison

40. Success is just a war of attrition. Sure, there’s an element of talent you should probably possess. But if you just stick around long enough, eventually something is going to happen.
Dax Shepard

41. No one is going to hand me success. I must go out and get it myself. That’s why I’m here. To dominate. To conquer. Both the world, and myself.
Lily-Rose M. Depp

Dominate and conquer

42. Success? I don’t know what that word means. I’m happy. But success, that goes back to what in somebody’s eyes success means. For me, success is inner peace. That’s a good day for me.
Denzel Washington

43. The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try. Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.
Debbi Fields

44. The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.
Henry Ford

The secret of a successful life

45. Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.
John Maxwell

46. The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance. Success comes from within, not from without.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

47. If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.
Ray Kroc

If you work only for money

48. Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman

49. People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves, they have the first secret of success.
Norman Vincent Peale

50. Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and ablities were used in a way that served others.
Marianne Williamson

51. People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.
Dale Carnegie

People rarely succeed

52. Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired.
Robert Strauss

53. It is impossible to escape the impression that people commonly use false standards of measurement — that they seek power, success and wealth for themselves and admire them in others, and that they underestimate what is of true value in life.
Sigmund Freud

54. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Dalai Lama XIV

Business Success Quotes

55. The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.
Steve Jobs

56. If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.
James Cameron

57. Entrepreneurs average 3.8 failures before final success. What sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.
Lisa M. Amos

58. I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
Thomas Jefferson

59. To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart.
Thomas Watson, Sr.

60. You’ve got to say, I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough I can have it. It’s called perseverance.
Lee Iacocca

61. Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.
David Rockefeller

62. A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.
Richard Branson

63. Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.
Lou Holtz

64. The essential question is not, “How busy are you?” but “What are you busy at?”
Oprah Winfrey

65. You may only succeed if you desire succeeding; you may only fail if you do not mind failing.
Philippos

66. Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them.
Vaibhav Shah

67. Success is finding satisfaction in giving a little more than you take.
Christopher Reeve

68. In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
Bill Cosby

69. The only thing that stands between you and your dream is the will to try and the belief that it is actually possible.
Joel Brown

70. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
John Wooden

71. The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.
Benjamin Disraeli

72. A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success.
Joyce Brothers

73. Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
Warren Buffett

Even more famous success quotes…

74. If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.
Albert Einstein

75. Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.
John D. Rockefeller

76. The No. 1 reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbors.
Napoleon Hill

77. Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.
Truman Capote

78. Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.
George Bernard Shaw

79. Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.
Robert Collier

80. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.
George S. Patton

81. At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.
Steve Maraboli

82. Rich people have small TVs and big libraries, and poor people have small libraries and big TVs.
Zig Ziglar

83. Success is simple. Do what’s right, the right way, at the right time.
Arnold H. Glasow

84. When you do what you fear most, then you can do anything.
Stephen Richards

85. To be successful you need friends and to be very successful you need enemies.
Sidney Sheldon

86. Success is getting what you want… Happiness is wanting what you get.
Dale Carnegie

87. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
Winston Churchill

88. A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions–as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all.
Friedrich Nietzsche

89. You’re not obligated to win. You’re obligated to keep trying. To the best you can do everyday.
Jason Mraz

90. The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success.
Bruce Feirstein

91. Success is… knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and
sowing seeds that benefit others.
John C. Maxwell

92. My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me, or defeated me; it has only strengthened me.
Steve Maraboli

93. The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.
Thomas A. Edison

94. It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.
Herman Melville

95. A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.
Bob Dylan

Sayings about Success

96. He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;
Who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children;
Who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
Who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
Who has left the world better than he found it,
Whether an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;
Who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory a benediction.
Bessie Anderson Stanley

97. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions.
Henri J. M. Nouwen

98. Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it…
Wilferd Peterson

99. To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.
Winston S. Churchill

100. Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.
Victor E. Frankl

I hope you enjoyed this handpicked selection of the most famous quotes about being successful.

There may be days when we wake up feeling not at all motivated to pursue our dreams. We might not even feel inspired to continue reaching out for the stars. However, being truly successful in life means that we will have find strategies that help us to overcome these inevitable bad days.

Success is not a destination that can be reached instantly. It’s the culmination of every effort that we’ve ever made in order to achieve it. Only by going through hardship and difficult times we learn to get back up on our feet after each failure. It’s the willingness to keep going no matter what that will eventually help us to achieve success.

Feel free to share your favorite success quote in the comment section below!

Photo credit: Steven Worster


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About Author

Steve is the founder of Planet of Success, the #1 choice when it comes to motivation, self-growth and empowerment. This world does not need followers. What it needs is people who stand in their own sovereignty. Join us in the quest to live life to the fullest!

15 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing, Steve!

    I think we all make our own definition of what success is. I do believe it’s a mindset game. Many will never actually believe that they can be successful, while others might deem the simple act of being born makes you a success.

    That’s why I’m picking Joel’s quote as my favourite:
    The only thing that stands between you and your dream is the will to try and the belief that it is actually possible. Joel Brown

    What if you tell yourself that success is easy and that you’re dreams are actually within reach? How do you feel about telling yourself that you’re already a success and anything from here on in is just a bonus?

    • Well, Joel, I find this is an excellent mindset. I’ve never considered it from this perspective, but I like it tremendously. Thanks for sharing your opinion, this was very valuable.

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