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Phillip Adams

  • 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.

Mitch Albom

  • All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.

Alan Alda

  • If you don’t listen deeply, the connection won’t take place…. [You have to be] willing to be changed by the person you’re listening to, where you’re not just waiting for a pause so you can say your thing, but you’re actually letting them have an effect on you if they can.
  • Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you. When I'm willing to let them change me, something happens between us that's more interesting than a pair of dueling monologues. Like so much of what I learned in the theater, this turned out to be how life works, too.
  • When I started out as an actor, I thought, Here's what I have to say; how shall I say it? I began to understand that what I do in the scene is not as important as what happens between me and the other person. And listening is what lets it happen. It's almost always the other person who causes you to say what you say next. You don't have to figure out how you'll say it. You have to listen so simply, so innocently, that the other person brings about a change in you that makes you say it and informs the way you say it.
  • You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can only get there by hard work, by risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful: Yourself.
  • Laugh at yourself, but don't ever aim your doubt at yourself. Be bold. When you embark for strange places, don't leave any of yourself safely on shore. Have the nerve to go into unexplored territory.
  • Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.
  • Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.
  • I'm an angry person, angrier than most people would imagine, I get flashes of anger. What works for me is working out when it's useful to use that anger.

Maya Angelou

  • I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
  • What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks 'the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.' And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I'm writing, I write. And then it's as if the muse is convinced that I'm serious and says, 'Okay. Okay. I'll come.'"


  • Of all the people you will ever know in a lifetime, you are the only person you will never leave or lose. To the questions of life, you are the only answer. To the problems in your life, you are the only solution.
  • We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.
  • Be where your feet are.
  • Any fool can give away product, but it takes brains to sell it.
  • Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers.
  • Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
  • We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
  • If you stumble, make it part of the dance.
  • Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide.


  • One must learn by doing the thing, for though you think you know it, you have no certainty until you try.
  • What lies in our power to do lies in our power not to do.
  • The things we have to learn before we can do, we learn by doing.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
  • Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.
  • We become just by performing just actions, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave actions.

Shawn Ashmore

  • Style is a reflection of your attitude and personality.

Isaac Asimov

  • In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.

Dane Atkinson

  • Focus is so critically important. Saying "no" to great ideas is necessary to get to the brilliant ones. At every step of the way you have to cut towards one path. It's such a hard thing to do as an entrepreneur because you don't really have the confidence in where you're going yourself. You see these little companies building out service brands because they want to have account executives who work with customers, so they try to spin their products into serving three different groups in the first couple of years, and that's a very adverse situation to get into. We all expect services to do one thing right, allow you to search the world or enter 140 characters or post pictures of your friends. It's a very simple formula that you just repeat and rinse all the way to success.

Gary Austin (founder of The Groundlings improv theater co.)

  • You're creating nonsense in order to create NEW sense!

Francis Bacon

  • If we are to achieve results never before accomplished, we must expect to employ methods never before attempted.

Russell Baker

  • When speaking aloud, you punctuate constantly with body language. Your listener hears commas, dashes, question marks, exclamation points as you shout, whisper, pause, wave your arms, roll your eyes, wrinkle your brow. In writing, punctuation plays the role of body language. It helps readers hear you the way you want to be heard.

James Baldwin

  • You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.

Ethel Barrymore

  • You grow up the day you have your first good laugh – at yourself.

Marc Bekoff

  • Play is training for the unexpected.

Alexander Graham Bell

  • Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open.

Warren Bennis

  • Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

Philip Bernardi

  • Few of us get up in the morning and plan exactly what we will say and do throughout the day. Of course, there are times we might privately rehearse something important that we’d like to say. But even in those situations, we must often adjust our speeches according to the verbal or nonverbal response of the person to whom we are speaking.

Josh Billings

  • It is better to know nothing than to know what ain't so.

Gary Ryan Blair

  • Creative risk taking is essential to success in any goal where the stakes are high. Thoughtless risks are destructive, of course, but perhaps even more wasteful is thoughtless caution which prompts inaction and promotes failure to seize opportunity.

Ken Blanchard

  • We are not just our behavior; we are the person managing our behavior.

Paul Bloom

  • Stories turn anonymous strangers into people who matter.

Erma Bombeck

  • If you can laugh at it, you can live with it.

Sharon Anthony Bower

  • There is power in well-chosen words, and often there is equal power in silence. Learning when to talk and when to listen are among the most powerful skills you can develop.
  • The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behavior affect the rights and well being of others.

Ray Bradbury

  • Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things.

Lakhdar Brahim

  • Keep an open mind and be ready to change and adapt to the situation. Don't ask reality to conform to your blueprint, but transform your blueprint to adapt to reality.

Richard Branson

  • Complexity is your enemy. Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.
  • One thing is certain in business: you will make mistakes. When you are pushing the boundaries, mistakes are inevitable--how you react is important.
  • A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.
  • To launch a business means successfully solving problems. Solving problems means listening.

Chris Brogan

  • An inventor creates something that works. An entrepreneur creates something that others will buy.

Peter Brook (author of The Empty Space: A Book about the Theatre)

  • A stage space has two rules: (1) Anything can happen and (2) Something must happen."

Harry Browne

  • The secret of success: Find out what people want and help them get it.

James Bruner

  • [We want students to] experience success and failure not as reward and punishment but as information.

Warren Buffet

  • You have to be able to communicate in life and probably schools underemphasize that. If you can't talk to people or write, you're giving up your potential.

David D. Burns, MD

  • The best way to confront your fears it to stop avoiding the situation you’re most afraid of.

Michael Caine

  • Great acting is about listening to what they are saying ....not waiting to deliver your lines.
  • There is no point in competing with young talent...I just concentrate on getting better each day.

Joseph Campbell

  • We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
  • I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.

Jack Canfield

  • If you are not moving closer to what you want in sales (or in life), you probably aren’t doing enough asking.
  • Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

Dale Carnegie

  • The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  • When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.
  • The person who seeks all their applause from outside has their happiness in another’s keeping.
  • People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.
  • Don't criticize, condemn or complain. Constantly criticizing, condemning and complaining is what breaks most relationships. Instead of criticizing and condemning, figure out how you can solve the problem together. Instead of focusing on blaming the other person for what they did wrong, focus on how you can avoid the problem next time.
  • There are always three speeches for every one you actually give. The one you practiced, the one you gave, and the one you wish you gave.
  • You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.

Jim Carrey

  • You can fail at what you don't want, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love.

Rosanne Cash

  • The key to to let go of fear.

Willa Cather

  • It takes a great deal of experience to become natural.

Coco Chanel

  • To be irreplaceable, one must be different.

Anton Chekhov

  • Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.

Chinese Proverb

  • Teachers open the door. You enter by yourself.

Walter Chrysler

  • The reason so many people never get anywhere in life is because when opportunity knocks, they are out in the backyard looking for four-leaf clovers.

Winston Churchill

  • A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
  • Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Arthur C. Clarke

  • The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.

John Cleese

  • ...when you collaborate with someone else on something creative, you get to places that you would never get to on your own. The way an idea builds as it careens back and forth between good writers is so unpredictable. Sometimes it depends on people misunderstanding each other, and that's why I don't think there's any such thing as a mistake in the creative process. You never know where it might lead.
  • Nothing will stop you from being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.

Christine Comaford-Lynch

  • Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, marketing your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for.

James Bryant Conant

  • Behold the turtle, which only makes progress when it sticks its neck out.


  • A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Brian Conlin

  • If you want someone to remember your brand, engage with you, buy from you, or just tune in -- be creative, be relevant, be smart and know that if you do all those things right, they may remember ONE thing (that's just the way humans work), so you better make sure you know what that one thing is and drive it home.

Barbara Corcoran

  • Take some time to sit down and figure out how your big rival is promoting their brand and plan something smarter and more creative for yours!
  • If you stand back and analyze the best way to do something, you'll be standing there forever. Follow your gut and jump right in!
  • The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.
  • Instead of assuming everything you're being told is the truth, ask plenty of questions.
  • I've never had a really creative idea sitting at my desk. All the big ideas that made a difference happened when I was playing outside.
  • Learn to fail well! All the best things that happened in my business happened on the heels of failure.
  • If people like you, they're going to want to do business with you. And if they don't you're going to have an almost insurmountable obstacle to overcome.
  • When you feel stuck and can't seem to move ahead, always remember that you don't have to get it right, you just have to get it going!
  • Confidence is overrated. It's when we're uncomfortable and looking for answers that we learn and grow the most.
  • When you're in business, if you have some sort of gimmick it's a huge advantage.
  • Stop putting it off! Procrastination breeds guilt, guilt breeds depression, and depression breeds failure.
  • Figure out what past efforts amounted to nothing and label them your "not to do" list. Post the list where you'll see it.
  • If you have an idea, immediately move on it. To start that fire and get it burning's everything.
  • The most effective way to build a brand is not by spending millions in advertising, but by finding a clever way to keep your name in the press.
  • Good salesmanship is nothing more than maximizing the positive and minimizing the negative.
  • Harebrained schemes often lead to great discoveries.
  • I have found, whether you have a tiny business or a big business, if you don't jump on something right away, it's like a bird flying by--it flies off.
  • You can't always study to be an entrepreneur. Sometimes, you just have to jump.
  • The biggest challenge in business is not the competition. It's what goes on inside your own head.
  • Leaders come in two flavors, expanders and containers. The best leadership teams have a mix of both.
  • Empathy for the people you're working with and being aware of their needs...that's the "big kahuna" in managing people.

Bill Cosby

  • In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.

Kevin Costner (as Billy Chapel in the movie For Love of the Game)

  • Clear the mechanism.

Stephen R. Covey

  • Between stimulus and response is our greatest power--the freedom to choose.
  • Begin with the end in mind.
  • Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.
  • I am NOT a product of my circumstances. I AM a product of my decisions.

Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi

  • Repeatedly we question the necessity of our actions and evaluate critically the reasons for carrying them out. But in flow there is no need to reflect, because the action carries us forward as if by magic.

e. e. cummings

  • To be nobody-but-yourself--in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you everybody else--means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting... Does this sound dismal? It isn't. It's the most wonderful life on earth.

Leonardo da Vinci

  • Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.

Charles Darwin

  • It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

Donald Dell

  • I can't tell you how many times I arrived prepared for a negotiation, only to have someone or something come up that upset or changed the deal I thought I was doing. The only way to protect yourself one hundred percent against this situation is to assume there is something you don't know. This advice will not only keep your mind up to speed with the deal and force you to consider other parties' motivations, but it will also keep your ego in check.

Max DePree

  • We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.

John Dewey

  • Arriving at one point is the starting point to another.

Isak Dinesen

  • To be a person is to have a story to tell.

Walt Disney

  • The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.

Stephen Dolley Jr.

  • A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse.

Peter Drucker

  • Quality in a product or service is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.
  • The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.

John Dryden

  • We first make our habits and then they make us.

Nancy Duarte

  • Personal stories are the emotional glue that connects your audience to your message.

Professor Albus Dumbledore (character in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)

  • It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.

Amelia Earhart

  • The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.

Clint Eastwood

  • An awful lot of good movies have gone unrecognized, and an awful lot of bad movies have had tremendous recognition. As long as you keep that in mind, you are never really disappointed.

Thomas Edison

  • When there’s no experimenting there’s no progress. Stop experimenting and you go backward. If anything goes wrong, experiment until you get to the very bottom of the trouble.

Albert Einstein

  • The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
  • In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
  • Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.
  • Nothing happens until something moves.
  • When we all think alike, no one thinks very much.
  • We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

  • Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.

Harv Eker

  • The more comfort becomes a priority, the more contracted you become with fear.

T. S. Eliot

  • We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
  • When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost--and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl.

Albert Ellis

  • Strong feelings are fine; it’s the overreactions that mess us up.
  • Whenever you avoid alarming situations, you almost always increase your anxiety about them.
  • The goal…is not to change your desires and wishes but to persuade you to stop demanding that you absolutely must have what you wish—from yourself, from others, and from the world. You can by all means keep your wishes, preferences, and desires, but unless you prefer to remain needlessly anxious, not your grandiose demands.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • The ancestor of every action is a thought.
  • Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
  • Don't be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.

Nora Ephron

  • Whatever you choose, however many roads you travel, I hope that you choose not to be a lady. I hope you will find some way to beak the rules and make a little trouble out there. And I also hope that you will choose to make some of that trouble on behalf of women. (Wellesley's Class of 1996 commencement speech)
  • How could I ever say no to you...and yet I am.


  • Fortune favors the audacious.

Craig Ferguson

  • ...slow down and self-edit and ask yourself the three things you must always ask yourself before you say anything: "Does this need to be said?" "Does this need to be said by me?" "Does this need to be said by me now?"

Tim Ferriss

  • You are who you associate with.
  • Information is useless if it is not applied to something important or if you will forget it before you have a chance to apply it.
  • Learn to be difficult when it counts. [H]aving a reputation for being assertive will help you receive preferential treatment without having to beg or fight for it every time.
  • Being able to quit things that don't work is integral to being a winner.
  • Most people are fast to stop you before you get started but hesitate to get in the way if you're moving.
  • To enjoy life, you don't need fancy nonsense, but you do need to control your time and realize that most things just aren't as serious as you make them out to be.
  • If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.
  • The question you should be asking isn't, "What do I want?" or "What are my goals?" but "What would excite me?"
  • A person's success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.
  • People will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.
  • What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.
  • For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn't conspire against you, but it doesn't go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. "Someday" is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it's important to you and you want to do it "eventually," just do it and correct course along the way.

James D. Finley

  • Nothing encourages creativity like the chance to fall flat on one's face.

Henry Ford

  • Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.
  • You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do.

Linda Formichelli

  • The best way to learn is not to study and to read, but to do.

Victor Frankl

  • Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude.

Benjamin Franklin

  • You may delay, but time will not.
  • An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.
  • By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
  • [W]hen you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble with those men all their prejudices, their passions, their errors of opinion, their local interests, and their selfish views.


  • You cannot teach a person anything. You can only help them discover it in themselves.
  • All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.

Mahatma Gandhi

  • The future depends on what we do in the present.
  • You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

Allen Ginsberg

  • To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.

Malcolm Gladwell

  • We must learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction.

Seth Godin

  • In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.
  • Seek out habits that help you overcome fear or inertia. Destroy those that do the opposite.
  • If you don't get it built, the work doesn't matter.
  • Learning is not watching a video, learning is taking action and seeing what happens.
  • Just about anything worth doing is worth doing better.
  • Letting your customers set your standards is a dangerous game, because the race to the bottom is pretty easy to win. Setting your own standards--and living up to them--is a better way to profit. Not to mention a better way to make your day worth all the effort you put into it.
  • The sound of a small bell during a dark night is louder than the din of traffic outside your window during rush hour. Surprise and differentiation have far more impact than noise does.

Gail Godwin

  • Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theater.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  • Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
  • Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.
  • Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.
  • What is not started will never get finished.
  • Whoever strenuously endeavors, him we can rescue.

Natalie Goldberg

  • Play around. Dive into absurdity and write. Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure.
  • Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.

Marshall Goldsmith

  • Almost everyone I meet is successful because of doing a lot of things right, and almost everyone I meet is successful in spite of some behavior that defies common sense.

Martha Graham

  • There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all time, that expression is unique.

Vivian Greene

  • Life is not about waiting for the storms to's about learning how to dance in the rain!

Wayne Gretzky

  • You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Kasper Gutman (character in The Maltese Falcon)

  • Talking's something you can't do judiciously unless you keep in practice.

Col. Chris Hadfield

  • The danger is different from the fear. ... [practice] what to do if things go wrong, as well as right.

Harriett Hall, MD

  • I learned…over and over in the ER: don’t be too quick to panic, because things are usually not as bad as your imagination represents them. Or as someone once instructed interns, “In case of cardiac arrest, stop and take your own pulse first.”

Sidney J. Harris

  • The two words "information" and "communication" are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.

Joel Hawes

  • Aim at the sun, and you may not reach it; but your arrow will fly far higher than if aimed at an object on a level with yourself.

S. I. Hayakawa

  • The meanings of words are not in the words, they are in us.

Chip Heath

  • The first problem of communication is getting people's attention.
  • The most basic way to get someone's attention is this: Break a pattern.

Brad Henry

  • A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.

Robert Herjavec

  • The difference between a dream and a goal is a deadline.

Napoleon Hill

  • Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.
  • Remember, the thoughts that you think and the statements you make regarding yourself determine your mental attitude. If you have a worthwhile objective, find the one reason why you can achieve it rather than hundreds of reasons why you can't.
  • People buy personalities as much as merchandise, and it is a question if they are not influenced more by the personalities with which they come in contact than they are by the merchandise.
  • Wise men, when in doubt whether to speak or to keep quiet, give themselves the benefit of the doubt, and remain silent.

Vicki Hoefle

  • Parenting wisdom comes when you shut your mouth, open your ears, and observe with your eyes. Until then, it's all guessing games.
  • Who do you feel like cooperating with? Someone who bosses you around or someone who trusts and respects you?

Richard Holbrooke

  • (On negotiation) It's an improvisation on a theme. You know where you want to go, but you don't know how to get there. It's not linear.

Thomas L. Holdcroft

  • Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on us.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

  • Make it happen: Greatness is not where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it--but sail we must, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.

Sherlock Holmes

  • I have trained myself to notice what I see.

John Holt

  • We learn to do something by doing it. There is no other way.
  • The answers that stick are in response to the questions we ask.

Sochiro Honda

  • 90% of success is failure.

Dan Horan

  • Simplicity is really important. It's got to be simple, and sometimes to make something simple you have to really, really study everything about it. It might turn out to be complex, but you have to present it simply, particularly when it comes to people: when people buy something, they don't want a lecture.

Lena Horne

  • It's not the load that breaks you down; it's the way you carry it.

J. D. Houston

  • If you want something in your life you've never had, you'll have to do something you've never done.

Aldous Huxley

  • The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.

Lee Iacocca

  • I only wish I could find an institute that teaches people how to listen. Business people need to listen at least as much as they need to talk. Too many people fail to realize that real communication goes in both directions.
  • You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere.

Shafqat Islam

  • Multiple people have told me this: if you're not getting told "no" enough times a day, you're probably not doing it right or you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough. I think that's a good piece of advice for anybody building a company because you hear "no" so many times. And I think that's normal, that's a good thing, that you're trying to do something that's disruptive, that's groundbreaking, that there's going to be naysayers.

C.D. Jackson

  • Great ideas need landing gear as well as wings.

Susan Jeffers

  • We cannot escape fear. We can only transform it into a companion that accompanies us on all our exciting adventures... Take a risk a day--one small or bold stroke that will make you feel great once you have done it.

Spencer Johnson

  • What would you do if you weren't afraid?

Erica Jong

  • I have accepted fear as part of life - specifically the fear of change...I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back...."
  • And the trouble is if you don't risk anything you risk even more.

Michael Jordan

  • 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.

James Joyce

  • Mistakes are our portals of discovery.

Carl Jung

  • The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

Daniel Kahneman (psychologist, author of Thinking, Fast and Slow)

  • The confidence people have in their beliefs is not a measure of quality of evidence but of the coherence of the story the mind has managed to construct.

Draper L. Kaufman, Jr.

  • Those who do not create the future they want must endure the future they get.

John Keating (character in the movie Dead Poets Society)

  • You must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all.
  • Why do I stand up here? Anybody? I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.
  • No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
  • There's a time for daring and there's a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.


  • To dare is to lose one's footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.

Stephen King

  • The road to hell is paved with adverbs.

Martin Luther King Jr.

  • If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.
  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
  • We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood--it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, "too late."

Professor Kingsfield (in The Paper Chase)

  • Through my questions, you learn to teach yourself. learn to analyze...train your mind.

Rudyard Kipling

  • Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.

Takeru Kobayashi

  • [H]uman beings...make a limit in their mind of what their potential is. They decide, "I've been told this," or "this is what society tells me," or they've been made to believe something. If every human being actually threw away those thoughts...the potential of human beings is great, it's huge, compared to what they actually think of themselves.

Darren LaCroix

  • The biggest mistake made by emerging speakers is that they discount their own experience.

David Lai

  • When I was growing up my father would always tell me, "We all only have 24 hours a day. It's what we choose to do with that time that defines us. It's the one thing you can never get back."

Louis L'Amour

  • There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.

Ann Landers

  • Experience is pure gold. Experience is what you get when you don't get what you wanted.


  • Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

D. H. Lawrence

  • Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.

Bruce Lee

  • To know oneself is to study oneself in action with another person.
  • Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.

Marcus Lemonis

  • The best advice I ever got was from Lee Iacocca.... It was get into a business where you can be a big fish, not the little fish. Get into a business where you can be a change agent, where you can make a difference.

Claude Levi-Strauss

  • The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as ask the right questions.

Alex Lickerman

  • Silence gets you out of the way and creates a space others will fill in with themselves.

Roger Love

  • All speaking is public speaking, whether it's to one person or a thousand.

Antonio Machado

  • Traveler, there is no path. The path must be forged as you walk.

Harvey Mackay

  • A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves.

Nelson Mandela

  • Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.

Alfred Mander

  • Thinking is skilled work. It is not true that we are naturally endowed with the ability to think clearly and logically--without learning how, or without practicing.... People with untrained minds should no more expect to think clearly and logically than people who have never learned and never practiced can expect to find themselves good carpenters, golfers, bridge-players, or pianists.

Wilma Mankiller

  • Friends describe me as someone who likes to sing and dance along the edge of the roof. I try to encourage young women to be willing to take risks, to stand up for the things they believe in, and to step up and accept the challenge of serving in leadership roles.
  • I hope many of you will be people that question why things are and why we have to do them the way we have always done them. I hope you will take some risks, exert some real leadership on issues, and if you will, dance along the edge of the roof as you continue for life.

Bob Marley

  • Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?

Ralph Marston

  • Being positive in a negative situation is not naïve. It's leadership.

Steve Martin

  • Be so good they can't ignore you.

Abraham Maslow

  • When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.

W. Somerset Maugham

  • A good style should show no sign of effort. What is written should seem a happy accident.

Matthew McConaughey

  • Try not to make a straight line crooked.

M. H. McKee

  • Wisdom is knowing the right path to take. Integrity is taking it.


  • 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.

James Michener

  • I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.

A. A. Milne

  • Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.

Thomas S. Monson

  • Cooperativeness is not so much learning how to get along with others as taking the kinks out of ourselves, so that others can get along with us.

Dexter Morgan (character in the TV series Dexter)

  • My dad used to say, "Be careful what you think you know about someone; you're probably wrong."

Bill Murray (as Tripper Harrison in the movie Meatballs)

  • It just doesn't matter!

W. H. Murray

  • Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

John Naisbitt

  • Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it.

Thomas Neiel

  • Of those who say nothing, few are silent.

Lady Dorothy Nevill

  • The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place, but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

Thach Nguyen

  • Leadership begins with listening to others with your full attention.

Friedrich Nietzsche

  • And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.

Anais Nin

  • We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are.
  • Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.
  • And then the day came, when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Peggy Noonan

  • A speech is poetry: cadence, rhythm, imagery, sweep! A speech reminds us that words, like children, have the power to make dance the dullest beanbag of a heart.

Joyce Carol Oates

  • The first sentence can't be written until the final sentence is written.

David Ogilvy

  • You cannot bore someone into buying your product.

Kevin O'Leary

  • What are the most important qualities that make a successful entrepreneur? The ability to communicate. The ability to express your idea with certainty. That's how you become a leader--even if you are unsure, your ability to explain your vision and your direction is the attribute you need the most. ... Articulate your idea in 90 seconds or less....

Peggy O'Mara

  • Be careful how you speak to your children. One day it will become their inner voice.

P.J. O'Rourke

  • There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.

George Orwell

  • To see what is in front of one's nose requires a constant struggle.

A. Owen

  • Mere words are cheap and plenty enough, but ideas that rouse and set multitudes thinking come as gold from the mines.

Thomas Paine

  • To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.


  • People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the minds of others.
  • I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.

Louis Pasteur

  • Chance favors the prepared mind.

Dr. Linus Pauling

  • The way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.

John Allen Paulos

  • Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.

Randy Pausch

  • Brick walls are there for you to show how badly you want it.

Joseph Chilton Pearce

  • To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong.

Tom Peters

  • Effective listening is a professional achievement--achieved only through hard work.

Bill Phillips

  • The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.


  • Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.

William Plomer

  • Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.

Col. Sherman Potter (M*A*S*H, the TV series)

  • Just remember: There's a right way and a wrong way to do everything, and the wrong way is to keep trying to make everybody else do it the right way.

Marcel Proust

  • We don't receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.

Nido Qubein

  • It's not enough to create value, you have to interpret the value for your prospects and customers so that they can feel the value emotionally and empirically.

Gregory Rabassa

  • Every act of communication is an act of translation.

Ayn Rand

  • To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you are doing and that’s real power.

James Randi

  • No matter how smart or well-educated you are, you can be deceived.

Joshua Reynolds

  • There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.

Wesley Branch Rickey

  • Things worthwhile generally don't just happen. Luck is a fact, but should not be a factor. Good luck is what is left over after intelligence and effort have combined at their best. Negligence or indifference is usually reviewed from an unlucky seat. The law of cause and effect and causality both work the same with inexorable exactitudes. Luck is the residue of design.

Pat Riley

  • The will to win is important. The will to prepare is vital.

Samantha Riley

  • The most important thing to do is set goals. Training is a waste of time if you don't have goals.

Eloise Ristad

  • The sheer rebelliousness in giving ourselves permission to fail frees a childlike awareness and clarity…When we give ourselves permission to fail, we at the same time give ourselves permission to excel.

Frederick Robertson

  • The true aim of everyone who aspires to be a teacher should be not to impart his own opinions, but to kindle minds.

Tony Robbins

  • A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided.

Ken Robinson

  • If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original.

Theodore Roethke

  • I learn by going where I have to go.

Mr. (Fred) Rogers

  • Play opens up a part of the mind that may have become closed. It's the things and people we play with who make a great difference in our life.
  • What makes the difference between wishing and realizing our wishes? Lots of things, and it may take months or years for your wish to come true, but it's far more likely to happen when you care so much about a wish that you'll do all you can to make it happen.
  • You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.

Jim Rohn

  • I found that when you start thinking and saying what you really want, then your mind automatically shifts and pulls you in that direction. And sometimes it can be that simple, just a little twist in vocabulary that illustrates your attitude and philosophy.
  • Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.

Eleanor Roosevelt

  • You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
  • No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
  • Do one thing every day that scares you.
  • It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.

Philip Roth

  • The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.

Patrick Rothfuss

  • It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.

J. K Rowling

  • No story lives unless someone wants to listen.

John Ruskin

  • What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do.

Bertrand Russell

  • In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.

Carl Sagan

  • Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

Dorothy Sarnoff

  • Make sure you have finished speaking before your audience has finished listening.

Adam Savage (co-star, Mythbusters)

  • Sometimes my brain writes a check that reality can't cash.

Diane Sawyer

  • I think the one lesson I have learned is that there is no substitute for paying attention.

Avi Schneider

  • It's one thing to listen to sound advice and tactics during a lecture or workshop and another thing altogether to try to maintain clarity of thought sufficient to implement those tactics when your adrenalin is called up in fight or flight's grip. .... To overcome reflexive response, a good deal of training and practice is required. Logic alone will not do it.

Rod Serling

  • Ideas are born from what is smelled, heard, seen, experienced, felt, emotionalized.

Dr. Seuss

  • Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.
  • Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.
  • Why fit in when you were born to stand out?
  • So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.
  • We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours -- we join up with them -- and fall in mutual weirdness -- and call it love.

William Shakespeare

  • The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.

Roger C. Shank

  • Learning is about failure and recovery from failure.

George Bernard Shaw

  • The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew every time he sees me, while all the rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.
  • The greatest problem with communication is the assumption that it has taken place.
  • People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.

Gail Sheehy

  • Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.
  • If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow we are not really living.

George Shinn

  • Growth means change and change involves risk, stepping from the known to the unknown.

Nate Silver

  • Data-driven predictions can succeed--and they can fail. It is when we deny our role in the process that the odds of failure rise. Before we demand more of our data, we need to demand more of ourselves.

Paul Simon

  • Improvisation is too good to leave to chance.

Isaac Bashevis Singer

  • We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks, but by his actions.

Dr. Devi Singh

  • Experimentation is the quest for how to improve things, the insatiable desire to pursue perfection and excellence. Experimentation and innovation is the bedrock of change, and remember, sometimes you have to create what you want to be a part of, for which you need the courage to change.

Paul Smith

  • Experience is the best teacher. A compelling story is a close second.

Sidney Smith

  • A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage.

Will Smith

  • If you're always ready, you don't have to get ready.

Socrates (character in Way of the Peaceful Warrior)

  • The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

Viola Spolin

  • The techniques of the theater are the techniques of communicating.
  • The purpose of the games is to transcend the thinking process and knock on the door of the intuition.
  • Through spontaneity we are re-formed into ourselves.
  • We learn through experience and experiencing, and no one teaches anyone anything... If the environment permits it, anyone can learn whatever he chooses to learn; and if the individual permits it, the environment will teach him everything it has to teach.
  • Fear freezes you.
  • Play touches and stimulates vitality, awakening the whole person--mind, body, intelligence and creativity.
  • The unknown is where we go to find new things and intuition is how we find them.

Ben Stein

  • Could Congress really do its work if it held its sessions by teleconferencing? Could the Supreme Court? Nothing can replace the spark of intelligence that travels from person to person at meetings.

Jim Stovall

  • Control what you can, acknowledge what you cannot.

Theodore Sturgeon

  • 90% of everything is crap. (Sturgeon's Law)

James Surowiecki

  • The best collective decisions are the product of disagreement and contest, not consensus and compromise.

Lawrence E. Suskind

  • Sharing power is a critical part of getting people to take responsibility for their own futures.

Chuck Swindoll

  • I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.


  • Who is wise? He who learns from everyone.

Hunter S. Thompson

  • Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.

Henry David Thoreau

  • Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.
  • It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
  • The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when one asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.

Howard Thurman

  • Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Alvin Toffler

  • Change is not merely necessary to life--it IS life.

Eckhart Tolle

  • Whatever the present moment contains, accept it, as if you had chosen it. Always work with it--not against it.

Leo Tolstoy

  • Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Brian Tracy

  • Develop the winning edge; small differences in your performance can lead to large differences in your results.
  • The more clearly defined and keenly desired your goals, the more of your natural creativity will be released for goal attainment.
  • Ideas are a dime a dozen, but people who put them into effect are extremely rare. Be the minority and make it happen.
  • Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.
  • The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear.

Mark Twain

  • I’ve suffered a great many catastrophes in my life. Most of them never happened.
  • It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
  • The difference between the right word and almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.
  • 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.
  • Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
  • Habit is habit, and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time.
  • The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
  • Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.
  • Censorship is telling a man he can't have a steak just because a baby can't chew it.

Vincent Van Gogh

  • I am always doing what I can't do yet in order to learn how to do it.


  • To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.

Wernher von Braun

  • I have learned to use the word "impossible" with the greatest caution.

Kurt Vonnegut

  • We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.
  • Practice any matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow."

Alice Walker

  • The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.

Margie Warrell

  • Communication is defined not by what is being said but by what is being heard. For this reason, it is vital that you gain a good appreciation of how other people will listen -- interpret, process, and assign meaning -- to what you have to say before you can influence them effectively.

Booker T. Washington

  • Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him and to let him know that you trust him.

Thomas J. Watson, Sr.

  • It is a common mistake to think failure is the enemy of success. Failure is a teacher-a harsh one, but the best. Put failure to work for you.
  • So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can, because that's where you will find success: on the far side of failure.

Alan Watts

  • Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.

Dennis Weaver

  • To get what you want, stop doing what isn’t working.

Oscar Wilde

  • Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.

Robin Williams

  • Being in the same room with people and creating something together is a good thing.

Oprah Winfrey

  • I was once afraid of people saying, "Who does she think she is?" Now I have the courage to stand and say, "This is who I am."

Larry Winget

  • Everything in your life gets better when you get better, and nothing is ever going to get better until you get better.

D.W. Winnicott

  • It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.

Bill Withers

  • You can't get to wonderful without passing through alright.

Lee Ann Womack

  • I think you can have moderate success by copying something else, but if you really want to knock it out of the park, you have to do something different and take chances.

William Paul Young

  • You have to take the time to prepare the soil if you want to embrace the seed.

Zig Ziglar

  • It's not what you've got, it's what you use that makes a difference.
  • If it doesn't challenge you it won't change you. We only expand by demand. Use every challenge as an opportunity to stretch yourself and become better. It's the only way to ultimately win.

William Zinsser

  • The game is won or lost on hundreds of small details.

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