Favourite Quotes

I always find quotes really good for a swift blast of inspiration, focus or motivation. Here then is a selection that I have found useful, wise or meaningful over the years…

  1. Business
  2. Failure
  3. Faith
  4. Investing
  5. Life
  6. Motivation
  7. Running
  8. Sports
  9. Success
  10. Writing


  • ‘What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night, and in between does what he wants to do.’ – Bob Dylan, Singer-songwriter
  • ‘Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.’ – Farrah Gray, American businessman and philanthropist
  • ‘Turnover is vanity, profit is sanity, cashflow is reality.’ – Old business adage


  • ‘We are all failures – at least the best of us are.’ – J M Barrie, Scottish author and playwright, creator of Peter Pan
  • ‘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, country music icon and author
  • ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’ – Thomas A. Edison, prolific inventor and businessman
  • ‘No human ever became interesting by not failing. The more you fail and recover and improve, the better you are as a person. Ever meet someone who’s always had everything work out for them with zero struggle? They usually have the depth of a puddle. Or they don’t exist.’ – Chris Hardwick, Comedian, TV personality and author
  • ‘Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.’ – Robert F. Kennedy, 35th President of the USA, assassinated in 1963
  • ‘When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.’ – Eloise Ristad, musician and author
  • ‘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, creator of Harry Potter, and first author to become a billionaire through a book concept
  • ‘Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.’ – Denis Waitley, motivational writer and speaker


  • ‘When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me.’ – Erma Bombeck, American humourist
  • ‘Success is not measured by what you are compared to others; success is what you are compared to what you could be.’ – Bill Gothard, minister and founder of the Institute in Basic Life Principles


  • ‘And if they insist on trying to time their participation in equities, they should try to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.’ – Warren Buffet, American investor, business magnate and philanthropist
  • ‘If you’re driving a truck across a bridge that says it holds 10,000 pounds and you’ve got a 9,800 pound vehicle, if the bridge is 6 inches above the crevice it covers, you may feel okay, but if it’s over the Grand Canyon, you may feel you want a little larger margin of safety’ – Warren Buffet
  • ‘You must leave yourself an enormous margin of safety. You build a bridge that 30,000-pound trucks can go across and then you drive 10,000 pound trucks across it. That is the way I like to go across bridges.’ – Warren Buffet
  • ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’ – Chinese Proverb


  • ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ – Akeelah & the Bee
  • ‘There were people who went to sleep last night, poor and rich and white and black, but they will never wake again. And those dead folks would give anything at all for just five minutes of this weather or ten minutes of plowing. So you watch yourself about complaining. What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.’ – Maya Angelou, author, poet and human rights activist
  • ‘There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.’ – Aristotle, Ancient Greek philosopher
  • ‘The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!’ – Rocky Balboa
  • ‘The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.’ – Walt Disney, animator, film producer & co-founder of Walt Disney Productions
  • ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ – George Eliot, English novelist & translator (real name Mary Ann Evans – used a mans name to be taken seriously)
  • ‘The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist & poet
  • ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.’ – Henry Ford, American industrialist
  • ‘Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.’ – Joshua J. Marine
  • ‘Love many, trust few, and always row your own canoe’ – old adage about independance
  • ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’ – Eleanor Roosevelt, politician, diplomat and activist. 1st Lady to F D Roosevelt


  • ‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.’ – Wayne Gretzky, Canadian ice hockey player and coach
  • ‘I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.’ – Michael Jordan, American basketball player
  • ‘Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. You gotta dream; you gotta protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. You want something – go get it. Period.’ – The Pursuit of Happiness
  • ‘I’d rather be partly great than entirely useless.’ – Neal Shusterman, young adult author


  • ‘The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.’ – John Bingham, author and long distance runner
  • ‘Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.’ – Tom Fleming, New York City Marathon winner 1973 & 1975
  • ‘For me, running is both exercise and a metaphor. Running day after day, piling up the races, bit by bit I raise the bar, and by clearing each level I elevate myself. At least that’s why I’ve put in the effort day after day: to raise my own level. I’m no great runner, by any means. I’m at an ordinary, or perhaps more like mediocre level! But that’s not the point. The point is whether or not I improved over yesterday. In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be.’ – Haruki Murakami, author of What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
  • ‘Ask yourself: Can I give more? The answer is usually: Yes.’ – Paul Tergat, Kenyan professional marathoner
  • ‘If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.’ – Emil Zatopek, 1952 Olympic triple gold medalist in 5,000m, 10,000m & Marathon


  • ‘All of you chumps are gonna bow when I whip him. All of you! I know you got him, I know you got him picked, but the man’s in trouble – I’m gonna show you how great I am!’ – Muhammad Ali, 1960 Olympic gold medalist, and first (and so far only) three time lineal world heavyweight champion


  • ‘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, businessman, investor and author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad
  • ‘Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.’ – C.S. Lewis, Irish author of The Chronicles of Narnia, writer, poet and Christian apologist


  • ‘Don’ tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass’ – Anton Chekov, Russian playwright and short story writer
  • ‘I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.’ – Somerset Maugham, British playwright & novelist
  • ‘Don’t get it right, just get it written.’ – James Thurber, American cartoonist, writer and celebrated wit

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