Success is a term denoting the achievement of aims or attaimment of goals, or levels of social status, and is often used specifically to mean financial profitability. People who achieve their goals are frequently termed "successes".
- 'Tis not in mortals to command success,
But we'll do more, Sempronius,—
We'll deserve it.
- Joseph Addison, Cato, A Tragedy (1713), Act I, scene 2
- Obedience is the mother of success, and success the parent of salvation.
- Aeschylus (525-456 B.C.), Greek tragedian. The Seven Against Thebes, l. 224
- The secret of success is never believing you are successful.
- Jeffrey Archer, British politician and writer. From his interview with Martyn Lewis in Lewis' book, Reflections on Success (1997)
- Success is full of promise till men get it; and then it is last year's nest from which the bird has flown.
- Henry Ward Beecher, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 567
- I don't think that success has got anything to do with money — money for me isn't a way of keeping the score, so that's what it isn't.
- If we choose to see the obstacles in our path as barriers, we stop trying. If we choose to see the obstacles as hurdles, we can leap over them. Successful people don't have fewer problems. The have determined that nothing will stop them from going forward.
- Ben Carson, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, p. 232
- What is important – what I consider success – is that we make a contribution to our world.
- Ben Carson, Think Big (p. 261)
- Nothing comes easy. Nothing is given to you. Whatever you do, you've got to work for it and earn it. Whatever reward you get you've go to know that you've had your input into that success. There's no substitute for hard work. And if you want to be well known or well liked, you have to put yourself out for people.
- Jack Charlton, British football manager. From his interview with Martyn Lewis, in his book, Reflections on Success (1997)
- If you believe you're a success, crikey, I should think it will come up and get you by the...tail.
- Dame Judy Dench, British actress. From her interview with Martyn Lewis, in his book, Reflections on Success (1997)
- I fear the popular notion of success stands in direct opposition in all points to the real and wholesome success. One adores public opinion, the other, private opinion; one, fame, the other, desert; one, feats, the other, humility; one, lucre, the other, love; one, monopoly, and the other, hospitality of mind.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), American writer. 'Success', Society and Solitude (1870)
- The compensation of a very early success is a conviction that life is a romantic matter. In the best sense one stays young.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), American author. 'Early Success', an essay first published in American Cavalcade (Oct. 1937), The Crack-Up, edited by Edmund Wilson (1945)
- Nothing recedes like success.
- Bryan Forbes, British author, actor, filmmaker. As quoted in the Observer (UK) newspaper (19th Dec. 1971)
- My definition of success is doing what you love. I feel many people do things because they feel they have to, and are hesitant to risk following their passion.
- Tony Hawk, American businessman, entrepreneur, skateboard pro. Interviewed by Gary Cohn for Entrepreneur Magazine (October 2009)
- 'Tis a lesson you should heed,
Try, try again.
If at first you don't succeed,
Try, try again.
- William Edward Hickson (1803–1870) Try and Try Again
- For me success was always going to be a Lamborghini. But now I've got it, it just sits on my drive.
- Curtis Jackson [50 Cent], American Rapper. From his interview with Louis Gannon for Live magazine, The Mail on Sunday (UK) newspaper, (25 October 2009)
- Achieving success is an unquantifiable notion – indeed, success carries with it an aura of money and power, and things like that, which – certainly for me – would be detrimental.
- Sir Cameron Mackintosh, British theatre producer and businessman. From his interview with Martyn Lewis in Lewis' book, Reflections on Success (1997)
- I've had marvellous and incredible luck, and devoted parents, sisters, friends, and teachers. What more can one ask? These things contribute enormously. Probably the major part of one's success is due to these factors.
- Yehudi Menuhin, as stated in his interview with Martyn Lewis in Lewis' book, Reflections on Success (1997)
- There are a lot of dark sides to success, but the light side of it is the ability to be opportunistic, and to be able to do things.
- Anita Roddick, British businesswoman. From her interview with Martyn Lewis, as recorded in his book, Reflections on Success (1997)
- It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood: who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
- Theodore Roosevelt, address at the Sorbonne, Paris, France, (23 April 1910)
- Failure makes success so much sweeter, and allows you to thumb your nose at the crowds.
- Wilbur Smith. 'The Secrets of My Success', an interview for Live magazine, the Mail on Sunday (UK) newspaper, December 5 2010
- To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.
- Robert Louis Stevenson, 'El Dorado', Virginibus Puerisque (1881)
- The secret to success is the willingness to serve without aspiring for rewards.
- Alhaji Alieu Ebrima Cham Joof, (the Serer and Gambian historian). From : Joof, Alh. A.E. Cham. "Gambia, Land of our heritage" p IV; and The Point Newspaper : "Tribute to Late Alhagie A. E. Cham Joof". Compiled by Mr Momodou Jammeh, Kanuma Village Lower Nuimi District
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 759-62.
- Médiocre et rampant, et l'on arrive à tout.
- Be commonplace and creeping, and you attain all things.
- Pierre de Beaumarchais, Barbier de Seville, III. 7
- That low man seeks a little thing to do,
Sees it and does it:
This high man with a great thing to pursue,
Dies ere he knows it.
That low man goes on adding one to one,
His hundred's soon hit:
This high man, aiming at a million,
Misses an unit.
- Robert Browning, Grammarian's Funeral
- Better have failed in the high aim, as I,
Than vulgarly in the low aim succeed
As, God be thanked! I do not.
- Robert Browning, The Inn Album, IV
- We are the doubles of those whose way
Was festal with fruits and flowers;
Body and brain we were sound as they,
But the prizes were not ours.
- Robert Burton, Song of the Unsuccessful
- They never fail who die
In a great cause.
- Lord Byron, Marino Faliero, Act II, scene 2
- Be it jewel or toy,
Not the prize gives the joy,
But the striving to win the prize.
- Pisistratus Caxton (First Earl Lytton), The Boatman
- These poor mistaken people think they shine, and they do indeed, but it is as putrefaction shines, — in the dark.
- Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, Letters. Compare Cowper, Conversation, 675
- Now, by St. Paul, the work goes bravely on.
- Colley Cibber, Richard III (Altered) (1700), Act III, scene 1
- Hast thou not learn'd what thou art often told,
A truth still sacred, and believed of old,
That no success attends on spears and swords
Unblest, and that the battle is the Lord's?
- William Cowper, Expostulation, line 350
- One never rises so high as when one does not know where one is going.
- Oliver Cromwell to M. Bellièvre. Found in Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz
- Th' aspirer, once attain'd unto the top,
Cuts off those means by which himself got up.
- Samuel Daniel, Civil War, Book II
- Three men, together riding,
Can win new worlds at their will;
Resolute, ne'er dividing,
Lead, and be victors still.
Three can laugh and doom a king,
Three can make the planets sing.
- Mary Caroline Davies, Three, published in American Magazine (July, 1914)
- Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne'er succeed.
- Emily Dickinson, Success (Ed. 1891)
- Rien ne réussit comme le succès.
- Nothing succeeds like success.
- Alexandre Dumas, Ange Pitou, Volume I, p. 72
- The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong.
- Ecclesiastes, IX. 11
- If the single man plant himself indomitably on his instincts, and there abide, the huge world will come round to him.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Of the American Scholar, in Nature Addresses and Lectures
- If a man has good corn, or wood, or boards, or pigs to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles, or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad, hard-beaten road to his house, tho it be in the woods. And if a man knows the law, people will find it out, tho he live in a pine shanty, and resort to him. And if a man can pipe or sing, so as to wrap the prisoned soul in an elysium; or can paint landscape, and convey into oils and ochers all the enchantments of spring or autumn; or can liberate or intoxicate all people who hear him with delicious songs and verses, 'tis certain that the secret can not be kept: the first witness tells it to a second, and men go by fives and tens and fifties to his door.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Works, Volume VIII. In his Journal. (1855), p. 528. (Ed. 1912)
- If a man write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mouse-trap than his neighbor, tho he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.
- Mrs. Sarah S. B. Yule credits the quotation to Emerson in her Borrowings (1889), asserting that she copied this in her handbook from a lecture delivered by Emerson. The "mouse-trap" quotation was the occasion of a long controversy, owing to Elbert Hubbard's claim to its authorship. This was asserted by him in a conversation with S. Wilbur Corman, of N. W. Ayer & Son, Philadelphia, and in a letter to Dr. Frank H. Vizetelly, Managing Editor of the Standard Dictionary. In The Literary Digest for May 15, 1915, "The Lexicographer" reaffirmed his earlier finding, "Mr. Hubbard is the author"
- One thing is forever good;
That one thing is Success.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Fate
- Born for success, he seemed
With grace to win, with heart to hold,
With shining gifts that took all eyes.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, In Memoriam, line 60
- If you wish in this world to advance,
Your merits you're bound to enhance;
You must stir it and stump it,
And blow your own trumpet,
Or trust me, you haven't a chance.
- W. S. Gilbert, Ruddigore
- Successfully to accomplish any task it is necessary not only that you should give it the best there is in you, but that you should obtain for it the best there is in those under your guidance.
- George W. Goethals. In the Nat. Assoc. of Corporation Schools Bulletin. Feb., 1918
- Die That ist alles, nichts der Ruhm.
- Ja, meine Liebe, wer lebt, verliert * * * aber er gewinnt auch.
- Yes, my love, who soever lives, loses, * * * but he also wins.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Stella. I
- Somebody said it couldn't be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn't," but he would be one
Who wouldn't say so till he'd tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.
- Edgar A. Guest, It Couldn't be Done
- Ha sempre dimostrato l'esperienza, e lo dimostra la ragione, che mai succedono bene le cose che dipendono da molti.
- Like the British Constitution, she owes her success in practice to her inconsistencies in principle.
- Thomas Hardy, Hand of Ethelberta, Chapter IX
- Sink not in spirit; who aimeth at the sky
Shoots higher much than he that means a tree.
- George Herbert, The Church Porch
- Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci.
- He has carried every point, who has mingled the useful with the agreeable.
- Horace, Ars Poetica (18 BC), 343
- Quid te exempta juvat spinis e pluribus una.
- What does it avail you, if of many thorns only one be removed?
- Horace, Epistles, II. 2. 212
- Peace courts his hand, but spreads her charms in vain;
"Think nothing gain'd," he cries, "till naught remain."
- Samuel Johnson, The Vanity of Human Wishes, line 201
- When the shore is won at last,
Who will count the billows past?
- John Keble, Christian Year, Stanza John the Evangelist's Day, Stanza 5
- Il n'y a au monde que deux manières de s'élever, ou par sa propre industrie, ou par l'imbécilitè des autres.
- There are but two ways of rising in the world: either by one's own industry or profiting by the foolishness of others.
- Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, VI
- Rien ne sert de courir: il faut partir à point.
- To win a race, the swiftness of a dart
Availeth not without a timely start.
- Jean de La Fontaine, Fables, VI. 10
- To win a race, the swiftness of a dart
- Facile est ventis dare vela secundis,
Fecundumque solum varias agitare per artes,
Auroque atque ebori decus addere, cum rudis ipsa
- It is easy to spread the sails to propitious winds, and to cultivate in different ways a rich soil, and to give lustre to gold and ivory, when the very raw material itself shines.
- Marcus Manilius, Astronomica, 3
- Tametsi prosperitas simul utilitasque consultorum non obique concordent, quoniam captorum eventus superæ sibi vindicant potestates.
- Yet the success of plans and the advantage to be derived from them do not at all times agree, seeing the gods claim to themselves the right to decide as to the final result.
- Ammianus Marcellinus, Annales, XXV. 3
- In tauros Libyci ruunt leones;
Non sunt papilionibus molesti.
- The virtue lies
In the struggle, not the prize.
- Richard Monckton Milnes (Lord Houghton), The World to the Soul, 9. 1
- J'ai toujours vu que, pour réussir dans le monde, il fallait avoir l'air fou et être sage.
- Le succès de la plupart des choses dépend de savoir combien il faut de temps pour réussir.
- The success of most things depends upon knowing how long it will take to succeed.
- Charles de Montesquieu, Pensées Diverses
- How far high failure overleaps the bound
Of low successes.
- Lewis Morris, Epic of Hades, Story of Marsyasy
- Aut non tentaris, aut perfice.
- Either do not attempt at all, or go through with it.
- Ovid, Ars Amatoria, Book I. 389
- Acer et ad palmæ per se cursurus honores,
Si tamen horteris fortius ibit equus.
- A man can't be hid. He may be a pedler in the mountains, but the world will find him out to make him a king of finance. He may be carrying cabbages from Long Island, when the world will demand that he shall run the railways of a continent. He may be a groceryman on the canal, when the country shall come to him and put him in his career of usefulness. So that there comes a time finally when all the green barrels of petroleum in the land suggest but two names and one great company.
- Dr. John Paxton, sermon, He Could not be Hid (Aug. 25, 1889). Extract from The Sun (Aug. 26, 1889)
- He that will not stoop for a pin will never be worth a pound.
- Pepys, Diary (Jan. 3, 1668). Quoted as a proverb by Sir W. Coventry to Charles II
- Successus improborum plures allicit.
- The success of the wicked entices many more.
- Phaedrus, Fables, II. 3. 7
- Sperat quidem animus: quo eveniat, diis in manu est.
- It may well be doubted whether human ingenuity can construct an enigma of the kind which human ingenuity may not, by proper application resolve.
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Gold Bug
- Say, shall my little bark attendant sail,
Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale?
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle 4, line 385
- In medio spatio mediocria firma locantur.
- It is best for man not to seek to climb too high, lest he fall.
- Free rendering of the Latin by Lord Chief Justice Popham in sentencing Raleigh to death, quoting Nicholas Bacon
- Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
- Psalms. LXXV. 6
- Qui bien chante et bien danse fait un métier qui peu avance.
- Singing and dancing alone will not advance one in the world.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions, V
- He that climbs the tall tree has won right to the fruit,
He that leaps the wide gulf should prevail in his suit.
- Walter Scott, The Talisman, Chapter XXVI
- Honesta quædam scelera successus facit.
- Success makes some crimes honorable.
- Seneca, Hippolytus, 598
- Such a nature,
Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow
Which he treads on at noon.
- Didst thou never hear
That things ill-got had ever bad success?
- To climb steep hills
Requires slow pace at first.
- Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.
- A great devotee of the Gospel of Getting On.
- Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Act IV
- Have I caught my heav'nly jewel.
- Sir Philip Sidney, Astrophel and Stella, Song II. Merry Wives of Windsor, Act III, scene 3, line 45
- Who shootes at the midday Sunne, though he be sure, he shall never hit the marke; yet as sure he is, he shall shoot higher than who ayms but at a bush.
- Sir Philip Sidney, Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, p. 118. (Ed. 1638)
- And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.
- Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Voyage to Brobdingnag, Part II, Chapter VII
- There may come a day
Which crowns Desire with gift, and Art with truth,
And Love with bliss, and Life with wiser youth!
- Bayard Taylor, The Picture of St. John, Book IV, Stanza 86
- Attain the unattainable.
- Alfred Tennyson, Timbuctoo
- You might have painted that picture,
I might have written that song;
Not ours, but another's the triumph,
'Tis done and well done — so 'long!
- Edith M. Thomas, Rank-and-File
- Not to the swift, the race:
Not to the strong, the fight:
Not to the righteous, perfect grace:
Not to the wise, the light.
- Henry Van Dyke, Reliance
- (He) set his heart upon the goal,
Not on the prize.
- William Watson, Tribute to Matthew Arnold, Spectator (Aug. 30, 1890)
- Faith, mighty faith, the promise sees,
And looks to that alone;
Laughs at impossibilities,
And cries it shall be done.
- Charles Wesley, Hymns
- Others may sing the song,
Others may right the wrong.
- John Greenleaf Whittier, My Triumph