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Get into Action: 77 Thoughts on Motivation

You have a fire inside you, a frictional energy, read these thoughts, think about them and let them propel you into action.

1. “I paint very large pictures. I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is painting something very grandiose and pompous. The reason I paint them, however – I think it applies to other painters I know – is precisely because I want to be very intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it.” - Mark Rothko
2. “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” - Henry Ford
3. “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” -T.S. Eliot
4. “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” - Albert Einstein
5. “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” - Goethe
6. “The best way out is always through.” - Robert Frost
7. “Work spares us from three evils: boredom, vice, and need.” - Voltaire
8. “We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” - Emerson
9. “When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.” - Nelson Mandela
10. “It's kind of fun to do the impossible.” - Walt Disney
11. "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." - Steve Jobs
12. "The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success." - Bruce Feirstein
13. "In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed - they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, five hundred years of democracy and peace, and what did they produce? - the cuckoo clock.
"
-Orson Wells
14. "Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal." - Nietzsche
15. “Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.” - Leonardo da Vinci
16. “It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.” - Mark Twain
17. “Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.” - Maya Angelou
18. “Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.” - George S. Patton
19. “Action expresses priorities.” - Mahatma Gandhi
20. “Live the life you've dreamed” - Henry David Thoreau
21. “It's a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.” - William Somerset Maugham
22. "I hated every minute of training, but I said, 'Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.' " - Muhammad Ali
23. “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” - Pablo Picasso
24. “What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” - Goethe
25. “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” - Tesla
26. “Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.” - Machiavelli
27. “Eureka! I've got it.” - Archimedes
28. “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
29. “The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible — and achieve it, generation after generation.” - Pearl S. Buck
30. “A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” - Richard branson
31. "There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose the ventures before us"
- William Shakespeare
32. “Hell! There ain't no rules around here! We're trying to accomplish somep'n” - Thomas Edison
33. “There are those who are so scrupulously afraid of doing wrong that they seldom venture to do anything.” - Vauvenargues
34. “Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that assures the successful outcome of any venture” - William James
35. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” - André Gide
36. “Age considers; youth ventures.” - Rabindranath Tagore
37. “Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you're going to do now and do it.” - Billy Durant
38. “The two important things I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavour is taking the first step, making the first decision.” - Robyn Davidson
39. “It's not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It's because we dare not venture that they are difficult.” - Seneca
40. “Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever.” - Phillip Adams
41. “Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.” - Demosthenes
42. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” - Winston Churchill
43. “In Ourselves are Triumphs and Defeats.” -Longfellow
44. “It matters not the number of years in your life. It is the life in your years.” - Abraham Lincoln
45. “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” - Mark Twain
46. “As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.” - Chanakya
47. “The ones who want to achieve and win championships motivate themselves.” - Mike Ditka
48. “Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated.” - Lou Holtz
49. “You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” - Michael Jordan
50. “One of the things that my parents have taught me is never listen to other people's expectations. You should live your own life and live up to your own expectations, and those are the only things I really care about.” - Tiger Woods
51. “Men give away nothing so liberally as their advice.” - François de La Rochefoucauld
52. “I still feel like I gotta prove something. There are a lot of people hoping I fail. But I like that. I need to be hated.” -Howard Stern
53. “It's funny how all the magazines can dwell on my race, but they could never say that my shit is whack because they know my shit is tight!” - Eminem
54. “Actors search for rejection. If they don't get it they reject themselves.” - Charlie Chaplin
55. “No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess” - Newton
56. “Where ambition can cover its enterprises, even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexible of passions.” - David Hume
57. “Anyone can dabble, but once you've made that commitment, your blood has that particular thing in it, and it's very hard for people to stop you.” - Bill Cosby
58. “Learning is not child's play; we cannot learn without pain” - Aristotle
59. “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” - Einstein
60. “Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what he loves.” - Blaise Pascal
61. “When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn. ” - John Wesley
62. “One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.” - E. M. Forster
63. “Take our 20 best people away, and I will tell you that Microsoft will become an unimportant company” - Bill Gates
64. “When you innovate, you’ve got to be prepared for everyone telling you you’re nuts.” -Larry Ellison
65. “A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them: they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world.” - Sigmund Freud
66. “Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power.” - Clint Eastwood
67. “Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory.” - Sun Tzu
68. “Do not sleep under a roof. Carry no money or food. Go alone to places frightening to the common brand of men.” - Miyamoto Musashi
69. “He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.” - Michel de Montaigne
70. “All that counts in life is intention.” - Andrea Bocelli
71. “Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.” - Cicero
72. “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool.” - Feynman
73. “We should not teach children the sciences; but give them a taste for them.” - Jean Jacques Rousseau
74. “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” - Emerson
75. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” - Thomas Edison
76. "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark." - Michelangelo
77. “Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” - Buddha

After readers' requests, we have made "77 Thoughts on Motivation" into a poster! You can now get that extra boost of motivation on your wall.


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99 Comments


  1. Thanks for compiling these quotes. I loved it!

    Some of my favorites:

    “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life”. ~ Sandra Carey

    “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses”. ~ George Washington Carver

    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” ~ Plato

  2. WOW,
    NICE ,77 THOUGHTHS ON THE NATURE OF MOTIVATION.
    thanks for motivate me.

  3. Carlie says:

    Very well put together. I see that you took some real time and effort to pu this post together. Well done.

  4. Thanks for compiling these quotes. I loved it!
    very good information

  5. Great motivational quotes. Keep 'em coming.

  6. anthuwin says:

    These are all powerful words by powerful people.I enjoyed it very much!

  7. Mike says:

    It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.
    E.E. Cummings

  8. Umar Jamil says:

    Awesome Post! I really liked it :)

  9. Fabulous motivational quotes I have ever seen in my life.

  10. Sandy Bowers says:

    I still read my motivation calendar each day.....have read many of them....the new ones for me were inspirational.
    But I loved no 13....

  11. These are very inspirational. I have forwarded them to my staff. Also we have created one for the lead industry. Lowering your lead budget is like telling your staff to stop making money and go home for the day.
    ~ Lead Publisher circa 2012

  12. akshay kumar says:

    the quote which has really striked my mind is a man cannot discover the new oceans unless he has the courage to leave the sight of the shore
    .

  13. novi says:

    dandy post, i like this...

  14. Without motivation, you can't touch the sky, I will keep this blog and read it at the beginning of my day, so I can stay motivated.

  15. Dushyant Kaul says:

    Thanks for posting the quotes from the most powerful people who are/were also normal human beings like us.But their contribution towards the society cannot be measured......They are the real gems

    I liked 15th

    15. “Life is pretty simple: You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works. You do more of what works. If it works big, others quickly copy it. Then you do something else. The trick is the doing something else.” - Leonardo da Vinci

  16. Dr Elawad says:

    Really great motivational quotes. As a doctor & a teacher, i find the number one reason for most students not achieving their full potential lies in motivation... and a few powerful quotes go a long way! Thanks indeed.

  17. metalmen says:

    all quotes have very embolden words that encouraged us.

  18. Daft Gadgets says:

    Action expresses priorities in one of the best, but they're all good

  19. million28 says:

    “We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.” - Emerson
    Great motivational quote. Love it.

  20. ketut marsa says:

    Very great and helpful motivation, and some time you sould also thinking about your self what you sould do to find your succes because your succes is in your hand..

  21. GL Williams says:

    I like Walt Disneys comment. Its kind of fun to do the impossible. When that has happened in my life and other that I have been around, it was more than a day, it was something else.

  22. jim says:

    Love your neighbor as yourself.

  23. Nils Vesk says:

    Neat collection. Some of them are my favorites already, innovative people who made it to the top.

  24. Jason says:

    This is a great compilation of motivational quotes. Thank you so much for taking the time to put these together. There were several on here that I've not come across before.

  25. Simon Wakefield says:

    Awe Inspiring...

  26. H Bhanot says:

    Very nice motivational quotes..

  27. Tyson Nilson says:

    This is very useful to read, to get in business you need to have a strong attitude and believe in yourself.

  28. Gary Nichols says:

    It is true, motivation is important in any digital business venture. I think that quote from Edison is brilliant. For those of us who are already motivated, I highly recommend going to the Funding Discovery and Monetization conference in San Diego Sept. 12-13 (http://coastalshows.com/) This conference is a pivotal event for the digital media industry where startups, entrepreneurs and incubator companies can meet face-to-face in an unprecedented format to further funding goals. Investors and funds will meet directly with new,exciting and disruptive digital media companies. This kind of access presents only available to participants at the FDM Conference and the speed meetings a chance to move into the stratosphere of success. For details on how to be a part of this golden opportunity, visit our website. You cannot afford to miss this unprecedented opportunity to meet face-to-face with your future partners for successful business development. Register today!

  29. Paige says:

    Awesome thoughts! I will definitely be using these for motivation at work everyday!

  30. Doja says:

    Love love love these! So inspirational!

  31. Ben Koshkin says:

    Outstanding!

    Ben Koshkin

  32. amaranta says:

    Just loved it. I'm inspired. Be careful, i'm gonna eat the world

  33. Mary Carrol says:

    All 77 really motivated thoughts. I like the most this one
    "We should not teach children the sciences; but give them a taste for them.”

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  1. [...] • 77 Great thoughts on the nature of motivation. [...]

  2. [...] Thoughts on motivation Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Published: December 12, 2011 Filed Under: Uncategorized [...]

  3. [...] 34. “Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that assures the successful outcome of any venture” - William James 33. “There are those who are so scrupulously afraid of doing wrong that they seldom venture to do anything.” - Vauvenargues Ideas, Strategy & Creatives & Get into Action: 77 Thoughts on... - StumbleUpon [...]

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  6. [...] from Michaelangelo and Aristotle to Freud, Abe Lincoln and Churchill. You can find the list on dudye.com. This entry was posted in leadership by Tom Bishop. Bookmark the [...]

  7. [...] of Thoughts on Motivation Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponPinterestTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like [...]

  8. [...] Get into action: 77 thoughts on motivation: I'm a fan of quotes. I've always wanted to start a little quote library for myself. The only problem is that so many of them are mis-attributed, and so many times I find an interesting quote and want to share it, but don't want to contribute to the problem of mis-attributed quotes so I research and find out that the dude never even said that. -Michael Scott [...]

  9. [...] Se remonter le moral et garder sa motivation en vérifiant que les grands hommes aussi ont eu des sceptiques en face d’eux [...]

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