Over the past 20 years, I have collected a number of interesting quotations which summarize my thoughts on success. Let me share them with you.

To begin you cannot succeed without a plan. Plans not only improve the likeliness of your success, they also improve the lives of the people around you. While you may personally be able to “wing it”, those around you generally find “winging it” very uncomfortable.

Success

1. The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted: attributed their success in business to hard work.

2. a. The gaining of fame or
prosperity: an artist spoiled by success. b. The extent of such gain.

3. One that is successful: The plan was a success.

4. Obsolete. A result or an outcome.

[Latin successus, from past participle of succêdere, to succeed. ]
(Random House Webster’s College Dictionary)

The operative term in the above definition is plan. Even if no one ever sees your plan, even if you put your plan in a drawer and don’t look at it for a 3 months, 6 months or a year, build a plan.

You set your own limits

“People think that at the top there isn’t much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the
top.”

Margaret Thatcher (b. 1925), British Conservative politician, prime minister. Daily Telegraph (London, 30 Sept. 1988.

Thatcher’s words echo those attributed to Daniel Webster c. 1801, rejecting advice that he stay out of the crowded legal profession: “There is always room at the top.”

Make it happen

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them. ”

George Bernard Shaw

Success is never as easy as it seems

“People seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved.”

Anne Sullivan (1866-1936), U.S. educator of the deaf and blind. Letter, 30 Oct. 1887 (published in Helen Keller, The Story of My Life, 1903), of teaching Helen Keller.

Take a chance

“Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes furthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The ‘sure thing’ boat never gets far from shore.”

Dale Carnegie

Open your eyes

“People only see what they are prepared to see.”

Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Know when to bite your tongue

“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 (1879-1955), German-born U.S. scientist. Quoted in: Observer (London, 15 Jan. 1950).

Don’t take yourself too seriously

“Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility.”

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish artist. Vogue (New York, 1 Nov. 1956).

Stay in control – use your emotions to your advantage

“Nothing gives a person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”

Thomas Jefferson

You are never done …

“Nothing recedes like success.”

Bryan Forbes (b. 1926), British author, actor, filmmaker. Quoted in: Observer (London, 19 Dec. 1971).

Never burn a bridge

“Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.”

Wilson Mizner (1876-1933), U.S. dramatist, wit. Quoted in: Alva Johnson, The Incredible Mizners (1953).