Define Success For Yourself and 49 Quotes

What does success mean to you?

Is it a lot of money? Cars? Traveling? Being with family? Doing what you love? 

Society has had the notion that success means having a lot of money, and maybe that’s success for some people, but not for everyone. 

Part of success to me means doing work I love doing, helping others along the way and surrounding myself with family and good friends. 

Success is only a word that has a different meaning to everyone. 

There isn’t “One” way of achieving success, there are multiple.

So one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is, “What does success mean to me?”

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49 Quotes on Success

1) “So first we gotta define success for ourselves then we have to put in the work to maintain it, take that daily tally. Tend our garden. Keep the things that are important to us in good shape.”
Matthew McConaughey

2) ”Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Winston Churchill

3) “The greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires, but in his ability to affect those around him around him positively.”
Bob Marley

4) “There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. …But success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind.” 
Deepak Chopra

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

6) “Success is really nothing more than the progressive realization of a worthy ideal. This means that any person who knows what they are doing and where they are going is a success. Any person with a goal towards which they are working is a successful person.” 
Earl Nightingale

7) “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

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

9) “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.”
Oprah Winfrey

10) “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

11)  “Success is not how high you have climbed, but how you make a positive difference to the world.” 
Roy T. Bennett

12) “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.” 
Mark Twain

13) “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” 
Theodore Roosevelt

14) “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

15) “Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.” 
Dalai Lama XIV

16) “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.” 
Vince Lombardi

17) “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” 
Francis Chan

18) “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” 
Robert T. Kiyosaki

19) “The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”
Zig Ziglar

20) “I find the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.” 
Steve Maraboli

21) “Success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.” 
George Bernard Shaw

22) “The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.”
Stephen Richards

23) “Success is a state of mind. If you want success, start thinking of yourself as a success.” 
Joyce Brothers

24) “And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed!” 
Dr. Suess

25) “I’ve had great success being a total idiot. ” 
Jerry Lewis

26) “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” 
Woody Allen

27) “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” 
Booker T. Washington

28) “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” 
Dale Carnegie

29) “Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury – to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind.” 
Albert Einstein

30) “To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great.” 
Hegel

31) “Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” 
Marianne Williamson

32) “The way of success is the way of continuous pursuit of knowledge.” 
Napoleon Hill

33) “Action is the foundational key to all success.”
Pablo Picasso 

34) “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
Arthur Ashe 

35) “I attribute my success to this—I never gave or took any excuse.”
Florence Nightingale

36) “I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.”
Frank Lloyd Wright 

37) “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Henry Ford

38) “Your true success in life begins only when you make the commitment to become excellent at what you do.”
Brian Tracy

39) “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life—and that is why I succeed.”
Michael Jordan

40) “Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
John Wooden

41) “Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
Benjamin Franklin

42) “What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.”
Margaret Thatcher

43) “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.”
Walter Scott

44) “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

45) “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”
Barack Obama

46) “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”
Bruce Lee

47) “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
Helen Keller

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

49) “Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember–the only taste of success some people get is to take a bite out of you.”
Zig Ziglar

How to Succeed Through Failure

Vincent Van Gogh, Michael Jordan, Thomas Edison, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, Dr. Seuss, Oprah, Steve Jobs, Elvis Presley, Mark Cuban, and just about every other successful person.

What do all these people have in common?

Failure. Rejections. People doubting them.

But they also had & have perseverance & belief in their vision.

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It’s more than a mindset.
It’s a pull.

Life pulls people toward their destiny but few people listen to life.

“Be in the world but not of the world.”

The world tells you to settle. 

Life, the infinite, gives you signs of what you should do—your passions, hobbies, interests, etc.

But the world tells you you can’t do that as a career.
They tell you you’ll fail.

And you will. At first.
But in time you will succeed.

“Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.”
C.S. Lewis

• J.K. Rowling’s original Harry Potter book was rejected 12 times before it was accepted.

• Dr. Suess’s first book was rejected 28 times before it was accepted.

• Stephen King’s first book, Carrie, was rejected by 30 publishers before it was accepted.

• Oprah was told she wasn’t fit to be on television. 

• Steve Jobs was fired from the company that HE CREATED!

• Thomas Edison talks about failing over 10,000 times.

• Walt Disney experienced bankruptcy and a mental breakdown

• Vincent Van Gogh only sold ONE painting during his lifetime…He made over 900 paintings.

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They never gave up because their purpose was never about “money.”

They “failed” over, and over, and over again, and again, and again.

Or maybe they just found a lot of ways that didn’t work.

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

“I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is a step forward.”
Thomas A. Edison

The world laughed at them. And they will laugh at you if you try to attempt anything great, anything outside the “norm.”

Laugh with them. It is funny. And it will be even more funny when you make it, because it’s not about the critics and it’s not even about you. Your life’s work has a deeper purpose. It is life living through you.
It is Love.

As you begin to follow your life’s purpose, and it is hard in the beginning when you are experiencing failures, but the pull toward your purpose will grow within you. Your vision will be tested but your belief in it will grow as you persevere through the difficult times.

“Gold is tested by fire, and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation.”
Sirach 2:5-7

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.”
J.K. Rowling

Don’t fear failure. Fear never trying.

A research study found that one of the top 5 things a person on their deathbeds regrets is never living a life true to themselves.

 

More inspiring quotes to help you persevere through failure:

“The phoenix must burn to emerge.”
 Janet Fitch

“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you. It is good to have a failure while you’re young because it teaches you so much. For one thing it makes you aware that such a thing can happen to anybody, and once you’ve lived through the worst, you’re never quite as vulnerable afterward.”
Walt Disney

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

“Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.”
George Eliot

“Failure is success if we learn from it.”
Malcolm Forbes

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
Johnny Cash

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
Napoleon Hill

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
Steve Jobs

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
Michael Jordan

“Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.”
Amelia Earhart

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
Robert F. Kennedy

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.”
Henry Ford

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”
Zig Ziglar

“Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.”
Oprah Winfrey

“It is fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
Bill Gates

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
Winston Churchill

“Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”
John Wooden

“Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
Dale Carnegie

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.”
J.K. Rowling

Let Memento Mori Inspire You

“Memento Mori” means to keep in mind that you will die.

2,000 years ago it was popular for Roman generals to keep this idea in mind. 

As generals paraded around their cities in horse led chariots after victorious battles, they kept aides behind them to whisper into their ears, “Memento Mori.”

Generals knew the fleetingness of life and wanted to keep the reminder close by so that their egos didn’t get the best of them. It’s easy for our ego to inflate and make us believe we are bigger than death, especially after achieving success. So it is a humble reminder to remember your death. To remember that you, and everyone around you, is going to die.

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A Memento Mori painting by Vincent Van Gogh

Many artists, philosophers, and rulers have used “Memento Mori” to inspire them.

Instead of letting the idea of death scare them, as many do, they used it to create urgency and a deeper perspective, seeing life as a gift and not as suffering.

You’ve probably heard of people who have experienced a near death experience and came out of it with a new inspiration for living fully. You don’t need a near death experience to change your life. “Memento Mori” can be your inspiration and guide to living a full life.

 

Here are some famous names of the past who were inspired by the reminder of death, Memento Mori:

“Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”
Buddha

“Every third thought shall be my grave.”
William Shakespeare

“Philosophy is “about nothing else but dying and being dead.”
Socrates

“To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.”
Michel de Montaigne

“People who are excited by posthumous fame forget that the people who remember them will soon die too. And those after them in turn. Until their memory, passes from one to another like a candle flame, gutters and goes out.”
Marcus Aurelius

“So this is how a thoughtful person should await death: not with indifference, not with impatience, not with disdain, but simply viewing it as one of the things that happens to us. Now you anticipate the child’s emergence from its mother’s womb; that’s how you should await the hour when your soul will emerge from its compartment.”
Marcus Aurelius

“Stop whatever you’re doing for a moment and ask yourself: Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?”
Marcus Aurelius

Find more Marcus Aurelius ideas on death & other subjects here

 

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Vanity Painting by Philippe de Champaigne

 

The reminder of death still inspires many modern day entrepreneurs, artists, and others:

“There’s something coming for all of us. It’s called death. Rather than fearing it, it can become one of our greatest counselors. So, if this was the last week of your life, what would you cherish most? How would you live? How would you love? What truth would you tell today?”
Tony Robbins

“It’s easy to lose track of that mortality, to forget time, to think that you’re going to live forever. The idea that you’re gonna die and that life is short is only depressing if you’re thinking about it wrong. If you’re thinking about it right it should give you a sense of priority. It should even give you a sense of meaning; it should let you know what’s important, what you’re trying to do while you’re here on this planet.”
Ryan Holiday

“The reason I believe in it(death as motivation) is because it’s ultimately practical. It’s the guiding light and the fire and ambition that drives me toward legacy and living my best life.”
Gary Vaynerchuk

 

Will you look death in the face?

Are you ready to let death inspire you?

Do it and see how your life changes for the better…

Memento Mori