Eben Pagan’s Blog

Great Quotes: Words That Help Us Wake Up

Posted in Communication, Success by ebenpagan on February 10, 2009

I spent some time with a friend today, and he mentioned a wonderful quote from Mark Twain. Here it is…

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”


A great quote can be a lifetime of experience summed up into one line. Great quotes are possibly the most valuable gifts we receive from those who have come before us… from those who have walked the path.

If you’re in the right frame of mind, a powerful quote can help you WAKE UP for a moment. A great quote can instantly transform your view of yourself – and your view of reality.

So what’s the most profound quote you’ve heard? Do you have a favorite?

Let’s create a great collection to share.

In the comments below, leave YOUR favorite and most valuable quotes (with sources, of course!)…

[You can follow me for free on Twitter HERE.]

148 Responses

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  1. Ken said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    A ship is safe it her harbor,
    but that’s not what ships were meant for.

  2. Rahsheen said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    What makes you more powerful than they are is what you can do that they can’t, or what you’re willing to do that they won’t. — Rahsheen Porter

  3. Cheryl C. Cigan said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    Reading is like TV for your mind.

    One of my young readers, eight year old Evan, grandson of my friends Kathy and Rich

    Cheryl C. Cigan

  4. Cynthia Lou said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    “In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia. “ – Anonymous

  5. Cynthia Lou said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    “In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia. “ – Anonymous

    I love quotes! Great post to encourage quote gathering.

  6. Terry Mckissack Jr said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    “All experience is preceded by mind, lead by mind, made by mind”

    The Dhammapada

  7. ClayCotton said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    “You must do the thing you think you cannot do” -Eleanor Roosevelt

  8. ClayCotton said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    “If you could only love enough, you could be the most powerful person in the world.” – Emmett Fox

  9. ClayCotton said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    “It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out.” – Albert Einstein

  10. Scot Velardo said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    “I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. I believe that dreams are more powerful than facts, that hope always triumphs over experience, that laughter is the only cure for grief, and that love is stronger than death.” ~Robert Fulgahm

  11. Woody said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    What is Reality? An icicle forming in fire. – Dogen Zenji

    Everything is impermanent, and therefore changing (fire) yet we always remember things/people the way they were the last time we saw them (icicle).

  12. Bretton MacLean said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds
    -Sir Francis Bacon

  13. Alexis Martin Neely said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    “Don’t believe everything you think” — @kendrathornbury

    Love that you are focused on waking up. It’s my daily practice.

  14. Barbara Winter said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Just one? I have so many so I’m going to leave two favorites.

    I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes. ~ Sara Teasdale

    Anyone or anything that does not bring you alive is too small for you. ~ David Whyte

  15. Clayton said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.” – John Maxwell

  16. Clayton said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    “It doesn’t matter where you have been; it matters where you are going.” – Clayton Webber

  17. Shaun O'Reilly said, on February 10, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    “What you want shows up in conversation. What you expect shows up in behavior.” Les Brown

  18. Garfield said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:01 pm

    If there is a solution to your problem, then there is little need to worry.
    If there is NO solution to your problem…then there is little need to worry.
    Dalai Lama

  19. Marina said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    “If you can’t, you must. If you must, you can.”

    “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”

    “Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!”

    “Live with passion!”

    – Tony Robbins

  20. Michael Ow said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” – Unknown

    My favorite – it’s posted up at my work desk.

  21. Marina said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    “If You had to choose between the World and Her, Which Would You Choose? If You Choose the World, You Would Lose Her. If You Choose Her, She’ll Give You the World.”

  22. Gandhi said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”

  23. Stuart Whitmore said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Opportunities multiply as they are seized.
    — Sun Tzu

    (Tweeted before realizing I should probably post it here…)

  24. AZMike aka Mike Feddersen said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    This quote is often repeated by a marketing guru that I follow(Dan Kennedy). The following is from a coaching program salesletter:

    Here’s the lesson: the late Cavett Robert, the founder of the National Speakers Association, and usually a kind, gentle, overly polite fellow said:

    “Most people are walking around, umbilical cord in hand, looking for a new place to plug it in.”

    And that’s the secret reason why a properly structured and presented consultation or coaching program is easy to sell. People desperately want somebody to tell them what to do.
    I don’t mean this cynically, or with disdain for people either. WE ALL NEED advice, guidance, coaching, and sometimes, somebody to tell us what to do. You and I are probably a whole lot more independent and self-reliant than the majority of businesspeople, and that’s as it should be. But even I look for somebody to simply tell me what to do, in certain situations. For my health, after being diagnosed with diabetes, I worked hard to crack the code myself, made progress but couldn’t quite get it. Eventually I found a doctor (in Texas) with the missing pieces of information, who told me what to do, and I did it. I am now single, after 22 years of marriage, and feeling horribly ignorant and clumsy about, well, what to do. I’m open to somebody telling me. Everybody has something going on in their lives or their businesses or
    both for which they’d welcome good advice.

    That umbilical quote should be taken in the best possible context, it’s how I want you to take it. While we all are looking for help, for someone ‘to make it all better’ just realize if YOU take back your power, you are capable of infinitely more than you ever thought you were. My mother was fond of saying, “You are created in GOD’s image and GOD doesn’t make junk.”

  25. Vicki Zerbee said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    What You Think, You Look. What You Think, You Do. What You Think, You Are. -Dr. Forrest C. Shaklee

  26. Brent said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    “Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”
    –Albert Einstein

  27. Joe Bliss said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    “I don’t come to bow, I come to conquer.”

    – Bob Marley

    “Find out just what any man will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on him.”

    – Frederick Douglass

  28. MelGG said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”

    -Milton Berle

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

    -Eleanor Roosevelt

  29. Yoda said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Try not, do or do not, there is no try. -Yoda

  30. Rich said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half of the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what might happen – Herodotus

  31. DonovanMc said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle.

  32. Karen (Imagin' That) said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    “Freedom is like taking a bath– you have to keep doing it every day!” …Florynce Kennedy

  33. Drew Pennbrook said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    “Instinct and reason are two signs of our dual nature. With instinct and reason we have an incapacity for proving anything which no amount of dogmatism can overcome. Yet we have an idea of truth which no amount of skepticism can overcome.” – Blaise Pascal

    “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eyes.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery “The Little Prince”

  34. Jesse said, on February 10, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    “When we’re in our heads, we don’t have appreciation for the things we view as undesirable.” -My friend Scott

  35. Denise Nabinger said, on February 10, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    Dance like nobody’s watching. Sing like you have a great voice. Love like you’ve never been hurt.

  36. Greg Turner said, on February 10, 2009 at 11:09 pm

    “What if Martin Luther King Had A Dream, but Gave You His Excuse to Not Follow It?” -My friend Mike

  37. Ron Reed said, on February 10, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    “The purpose to life is a life of purpose”
    – Robert Bryne

    … and…

    “Every man dies, but not every man really lives”
    William Wallace, from the movie “Braveheart”

  38. Ron Reed said, on February 10, 2009 at 11:30 pm


    Great subject!

    “Dale Carnegie’s Scrapbook” – a Treasury of the Wisdom of the Ages…

    … one of the best collections of quotes based on inspirational and practical advice on courage and self-confidence, enthusiasm, faith, friends and the joys of living.

    A 110% true recommendation.

    -Ron Reed

  39. Rhen said, on February 10, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    “No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.”
    — Confucius

  40. javid poornasir said, on February 10, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    I love this blog posting.
    Thanks cous.

    Here are some questions/quotes in my Blackberry memopad..
    I do it everyday.. or sometimes just send it to my twitter and check it there later on in the week.. too many ideas to just throw away

    After you start only thinking positive, you come to realize that negativity is just weakness. (that doesn’t mean I’m NEVER negative b’cuz i do always try to take everything into accountability.. u kno what i mean)

    Is deconstruction reconstruction? (regarding what is going on with the world)

    Thinking tastes nasty sometimes.

    (this is regarding me in soccer, but can be applied to so many aspects of life)
    If all i got isn’t enough, I still gave it my all. Now I just need to work on making it persistant.

    We were made human beings to be. What humanity has created for itself is anything but that. We r like slaves to tech..

    Why do I always feel as if I’m going to die so young?

    Trust the process.

    Yeah you do it good, but we do it so much better.

    How I would love for someone to give me money and watch me play with it.


  41. Brian Armstrong said, on February 11, 2009 at 12:09 am

    “The greatest risk is not taking one”

  42. Haider said, on February 11, 2009 at 12:55 am

    “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.” ~ Francis Bacon

  43. Stephan said, on February 11, 2009 at 1:25 am

    “What is is. What isn’t isn’t.” Ron Smothermon

  44. Wayne said, on February 11, 2009 at 2:17 am

    “You must first give without want, before you can have.” This little quote from Mike Dillard has help me realize what it really means to be successful.

  45. Big Daddy said, on February 11, 2009 at 3:29 am

    Give GOD your best, first…He will lead you to His best for your life…

  46. Mwangi - the Displaced African said, on February 11, 2009 at 4:10 am

    The old classic, though I don’t know who said it,

    “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are,” and a humorous one:

    “I love mankind, its people I can’t stand”

  47. Nick Platten said, on February 11, 2009 at 4:22 am

    “… Time is the school in which we learn, Time is the fire in which we burn.”

    from the end of Delmore Schwartz poem “Calmly We Walk Through This April’s Day”

  48. Johnson said, on February 11, 2009 at 4:34 am

    “Success is something you attract by the person you become”

  49. Johnson said, on February 11, 2009 at 4:36 am

    “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”

    “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school”

  50. jawad said, on February 11, 2009 at 4:48 am

    we know that ve have born and we know that we will die ,,,,,,, fait for your disear ——–hye Eben My quot is live in yourlife as you will die Tomorrow and live toward heaven as you will live forever … i will explain it soon … your far friend Jawad

  51. Mike Morgan said, on February 11, 2009 at 5:18 am

    “People don’t care how much you know–until they know how much you care.” John C. Maxwell

    Excellent quote for teachers at all levels.

  52. John Hannafin said, on February 11, 2009 at 6:59 am

    “There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

  53. Eric said, on February 11, 2009 at 7:02 am

    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”


  54. Caleb Jennings said, on February 11, 2009 at 7:07 am

    “I may not change the world, but I am sure to spark the mind that will.” – Tupac Shakur

    “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame someone else.” – Unknown (From “The Compassionate Samurai” by Brian Klemmer)

    “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

    “Compassionate Samurai give without thought of personal gain. Average people give when there’s something in it for them, and it doesn’t cost too much.” – The Compassionate Samurai by Brian Klemmer

  55. Laura Clough said, on February 11, 2009 at 7:08 am

    I use this quote regularly for motivation:

    “Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.”

    ~ Ellen Goodman

  56. Goal setting Nick ;) said, on February 11, 2009 at 7:21 am

    “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

  57. Garret Lamson said, on February 11, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Great Thread. I’m a Quote-Aholic! Here’s some of my favorites I’ve collected over the years:

    “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”
    -Mark Twain

    “Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal.”
    -Don Shula

    “Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.”
    -Winston Churchill

    “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right.”
    -Henry Ford

    “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 99 who have only interests.”
    -John Stuart Mill

    “It’s hard to hate somebody when you know them.”

    “There are two rules to success in life: 1. Don’t tell people everything you know.”

    “The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it’s unfamiliar territory.”
    -Paul Fix

    “I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me.”
    -Dudley Field Malone

    “Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”
    -Donald Trump

    “Be assured that if you knew all, you would pardon all.”
    -Thomas Kempis

    “Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.”
    -Will Rogers

    “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”
    -Niels Bohr

    “Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.”
    -Henri Bergson

    “To make pleasures pleasant, shorten them.”
    -Charles Buxton

    “Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
    -Thomas Edison

    “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission”

    “We usually know what we can do, but temptation shows us who we are.”
    -Thomas Kempis

    “My richness consists not in the extent of my possessions; but in the fewness of my wants.”
    -J. Brotherton

    “It’s never crowded along the extra mile.”
    -Wayne Dyer

    “Some people see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not?.”
    -Robert F. Kennedy

    “You live yourself into new ways of thinking, not think yourself into new ways of living.”
    -Richard Rhor

    “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
    -John Wooden

    “Most men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and continue as if nothing happened.”
    -Winston Churchill

    “After all is said and done, more is said than done.”

  58. Corey Quinn said, on February 11, 2009 at 8:42 am

    “Worry about being better; bigger will take care of itself.”
    Gary Comer (1929–2006)
    American entrepreneur
    founder of Lands’ End

    “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”
    Thomas Edison (1847–1931)

  59. Alex said, on February 11, 2009 at 9:47 am

    If you’re going through hell, KEEP GOING. – Winston Churchill.

  60. Pratik Stephen said, on February 11, 2009 at 10:15 am

    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. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.

    Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

    We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

    ~ Nelson Mandela

  61. Clay Collins said, on February 11, 2009 at 10:50 am

    We do have a sense of what we are here for in the world. But we also know it is very difficult.

    The world is motion. To enter into that motion is a ride. And it ends in *death.*

    No one has succeeded in bringing into life the love they wanted to. Jesus, Moses, Mohammad, Gandhi, whoever you want to look at as a character in history who has done their best to bring love, to bring consciousness, into the world has had very limited success.

    So will you.

    That is, if you are looking for a result in your giving you will be disappointed.

    The only result you will have in your giving is death. You will die giving.

    Your choice is, do you want to die giving everything – giving your gifts – or do you want to die still holding back. Unable to give everything.

    –David Deida

  62. Jochen said, on February 11, 2009 at 10:56 am

    “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why its called the present.”

  63. Dan Braun said, on February 11, 2009 at 10:58 am

    John Milton was a FAILURE. In writing Paradise Lost, his aim was to “JUSTIFY the WAYS OF GOD to MEN.” Inevitably, he fell short and wrote only a MONUMENTAL poem.

    Beethoven, whose music was conceived to TRANSCEND FATE, was a FAILURE, as was Socrates, whose ambition was TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY by making them REASONABLE and JUST.

    The SUREST, NOBLEST way to FAIL is to set one’s standards TITANICALLY HIGH.

    The FLIP SIDE of that proposition also seems true. The SUREST way to SUCCEED is to keep one’s striving LOW.

    Many people, by EXTERNAL standards, will be “SUCCESSES.” They will own homes, eat in better restaurants, dress well and, in SOME instances, perform socially useful work. Yet fewer people are putting themselves ON THE LINE, making as much of their MINDS and TALENTS as they might.

    Frequently, SUCCESS is what people SETTLE FOR when they can’t think of something NOBLE enough to be worth FAILING at.

    — Laurence Shames, in the New York Times, quoted in Feb., 1990, Reader’s Digest
    (caps emphasis mine)

  64. Therese said, on February 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    The future depends on what we do in the present happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony Gandhi

    “The Greatest Human Quest is what one must do in order to become a Human Being”

  65. Andy said, on February 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    In honor of February, how about some black history quotes.

    See here. http://whoisandywarner.com.

    Or, here is one…

    The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself–the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us–that’s where it’s at.

    – Jesse Owens

  66. Bryan Bliss said, on February 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.
    Lao Tzu

  67. Bryan Bliss said, on February 11, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.
    Lao Tzu

  68. Dr. David Weiman said, on February 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    “There are two kinds of people in the world. One kind separates people into two kinds of people, and the other kind doesn’t.” — Mark Twain

    Great topic, Eben!

  69. Jerry Jordan said, on February 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    “A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.”
    William James

    “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.”
    – Elvis Costello, Martin Mull, Frank Zappa , etc.

  70. Lisa Wilder said, on February 11, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Eben…LOVE this! I am such a quote junkie. My current fave:

    The Powerful Woman’s Motto: Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says…”Oh shit…she’s awake!!” – unknown

  71. Joshua said, on February 11, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    “Children do what feels good; adults devise a plan & follow it”.
    -Dave Ramsey

    “Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them”
    -Orison Swett Marden

    “If you do the things you need to do, when you need to do them
    — then later —
    you will be able to do the things you want to do, when you want to do them.
    -A Sign on the Wall at Jimmy John’s

    “Until you do, you are, at best, getting ready.”
    -Jay Abraham

  72. Anita Fiander said, on February 11, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up. ~Jesse Jackson

  73. Margaret said, on February 11, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” Wayne Dyer. My 18 year old grand-daughter had this tattooed on her torso (in Spanish so she knows what it says but not everyone else does) after she had lost her left leg below the knee in a car accident. It is very touching and awesome for her to think that way. I am very proud of her.

  74. Deniz said, on February 11, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    -Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. – Native American Proverb

    -Do what is right. Be pure. At the end of the way is freedom. Till then patience. – Buddha

  75. Lisa Wilder said, on February 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    @Pratik Stephen – LOVE the quote you shared. It’s one of my favorites.

    For those of you who are making note of some (or all) of these great quotes…I just wanted to let you all know that although that quote is often attributed to Nelson Mandela it’s actually a quote from Marianne Williamson.

  76. Ed Page said, on February 11, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    “Never let what you can’t do get in the way of what you can.” — Unknown

  77. WidgetWoman said, on February 11, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Then indecision brings its own delays
    And days are lost lamenting o’er lost days.

    Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute.
    What you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
    Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

    – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  78. Jaya said, on February 11, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    “Without haste, but without rest.” ~Goethe, Motto

    “For we cannot command nature except by obeying her.” ~Bacon

    “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
    Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of It.”
    ~Edward Fitzgerald, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

    And, my own: “The way out is within.”

    Great post, comments and inspiration! Have to check back for more.

    ~Jaya, http://twitter.com/TRex_DigiLab

  79. Roy Mulchand said, on February 11, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    “The heights of great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, for they while their companions slept, were toiling onwards through the night.”

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Keep up the good work Eben!

  80. Jarrett Holly said, on February 11, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    “To solve the human equation, we need to add love, subtract hate, multiply good, and divide between truth and error.” ~Janet Coleman~

  81. Richard Furr said, on February 12, 2009 at 12:37 am

    “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss

    To say “I love you” one must first be able to say the “I.” -Ayn Rand

    “We learn more by looking for the answer to a question and not finding it than we do from learning the answer itself.” – Lloyd Alexander

  82. Riaan said, on February 12, 2009 at 3:08 am

    If you’re in control, You’re not going fast enough

    Original context was mountain biking, but I guess it’s a good way to live life too. Speaking of mountain biking, Another one that you can only really understand when you’re riding a piece of singletrack on your own through a quiet forest:

    The world is my church, the wind in my ears is the choir and my handlebars are the alter I pray at.

  83. Ben Bryant said, on February 12, 2009 at 3:58 am

    “all that is not given is lost” Indian Proverb

  84. barry shah said, on February 12, 2009 at 8:05 am

    To have more you must become more – Peter Murphy

  85. Christopher S said, on February 12, 2009 at 11:44 am

    “The most important question you could ever ask is: ‘Is the Universe a friendly place?'”-Einstein

    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”- Einstein

    He got it

  86. Matthew said, on February 12, 2009 at 1:12 pm


    Here are my favorites:

    “Be the change that you want to see in the world” Gandhi

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond imagination. It is our light more than our darkness which scares us. We ask ourselves – who are we to be brilliant, beautiful, talented, and fabulous. But honestly, who are you to not be so?

    You are a child of God, small games do not work in this world. For those around us to feel peace, it is not example to make ourselves small. We were born to express the glory of god that lives in us. It is not in some of us, it is in all of us. While we allow our light to shine, we unconsciously give permission for others to do the same. When we liberate ourselves from our own fears, simply our presence may liberate others.”

    – Marianne Williamson in Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles

    “Every man dies, but not every man really lives”
    William Wallace, from the movie “Braveheart”

  87. Karen Maxon said, on February 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    “Being right can stop all the momentum of a very interesting idea.” -Robert Rauschenberg

  88. Tiffany said, on February 13, 2009 at 10:17 am

    I have a few:

    “Be the Change you wish to see in the world” – Ghandi

    “In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity” – Einstein

    “Eagles don’t chase flies” – Unknown

  89. Jared Prazen said, on February 13, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Here’s a long, but GREAT one…

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.

    So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

    Theodore Roosevelt

  90. Dirk said, on February 13, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Steve Jobs talking about the time when founding apple:

    I was actually a fruitarian at that point in time. I ate only fruit. Now I’m a garbage can like everyone else.

  91. Alex Taylor said, on February 14, 2009 at 2:38 am

    Great idea for a blog post. Lots of great quotes. Here’s another one:

    “The world is full of suffering; it is also full of overcoming it.” – Helen Keller

  92. Bedrich Bohuslav said, on February 14, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I found some powerful ones here, some I knew, some I didn’t. Thank you for them. I have myself many, many quotes that inspire me, but these are the TOP FIVE.

    5. It all comes down to one thing. Get busy living or get busy dying. I heard this one in The Shawshenk Redemption.

    4. If you understand, the things are the way they are. If you don’t understand, the things are the way they are. Old Buddhism saying quoted by Brad Blanton in his book Radical Honesty

    3. There is no reason to apologize for what you want in your life. Rick H

    2. When once you tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there have you been and there you will always long to return. As far as I know, this should be Leonardo daVinci.

    And the Number one…

    1. One still must have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star. Friedrich Nietzsche

    Yes, Eben, you’ve helped me to most of these quotes. You’ve helped me a lot. Thank you. I hope one day I can shake your hand… well, actually, I’ll make sure I’ll do it. B

  93. […] listing of some very inspirational quotes here.  The medium these quotes were provided was Twitter.  Two things: 1. If you have not signed up […]

  94. Mike Myers said, on February 16, 2009 at 2:15 am

    Here’s my all-time-favorite:

    “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
    – Aristotle, Philosopher

  95. Kris said, on February 16, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    “To laugh often and much;
    To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
    To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
    To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
    To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
    To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
    This is to have succeeded.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  96. George Bigger said, on February 17, 2009 at 12:04 am

    My own credo:

    “I am only willing to defend MY current position of ignorance,
    until someone else convinces me to adopt THEIRS…” (GeoB)

  97. David O. said, on February 17, 2009 at 7:38 am

    “Money doesn’t make people happier. Look at me… With $50 million, I’m just as happy as with $51 million”

    Arnold Schwarzenegger.

  98. Gery Craig said, on February 17, 2009 at 9:17 am

    “Do the thing you fear to do and the death of fear is certain” Ralph Waldo Emerson

    “While the difficult takes time, the impossible just takes a little longer” Art Berg

  99. Glen Roscovich said, on February 17, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    “When all else fails, read the directions.”

  100. Mary Nguyen said, on February 18, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    I LOVE quotes, and have some of my favourite ones framed.


    — Unknown

    I love your blog! Definitely my style.

    PS. How was dinner with Dave Logan? Extraordinary I bet.

  101. Alex Schleber said, on February 18, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Lot’s of good stuff, thanks everyone. I’ll add:

    “You get 100% of what you don’t ask for.”

    (Unsure as to who first said this. Anyone know?)

  102. Richard Marginson said, on February 19, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I’ve missed more than 9,000 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

  103. Walter said, on February 20, 2009 at 9:06 am

    “Understanding is a three-edged sword. There’s your side, their side and the truth in-between.”

    “The only way to get pertinent information is to ask impertinent questions.”

    — J.M. Straczynski

  104. Jacki Smith said, on February 20, 2009 at 9:51 am

    “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
    — Henry Ford

    “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.”
    -Og Mandino

    “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”
    -Robert Louis Stevenson

    “Fearlessness is not the absence of fear. It’s the mastery of fear. It’s about getting up one more time than we fall down.” -Arianna Huffington

    “The most important thing in life is to stop saying ‘I wish’ and start saying ‘I will.’ Consider nothing impossible, then treat possibilities as probabilities.” -David Copperfield

  105. Jon said, on February 20, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

    -Gustave Flaubert

  106. John Schmidt said, on February 21, 2009 at 2:47 am

    “Live Simply So That Others May Simply Live.” -Mahatma Gandhi

    “Our task must be to free ourselves . . . by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
    “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” -Albert Einstein

  107. Elizabeth Grant said, on February 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

    –George Eliot

  108. Gail Leopold said, on February 21, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Fail to Plan and you Plan to Fail. ~ Harvey Mackay

    When one teaches, two learn. ~ Robert Heinlein

    Why not go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is. ~ Mark Twain

  109. n1gel said, on February 23, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I love this one:

    “LIFE should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive, well preserved body, but RATHER to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body and mind thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming…WOO HOO – What A Ride!”

  110. Will said, on February 27, 2009 at 10:00 am

    “Life is to short to be small”. Bengeman Disraili.

  111. Dave Bryant said, on February 28, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    “A mans mind expanded by a new idea never goes back to its original dimension.”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson (I think)

    “Everyone acts in accordance with their level of awareness.”

    Not sure

  112. Adryenn Ashley said, on March 1, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    It’s not an obstacle, it’s an opportunity! – Adryenn Ashley

  113. Cari said, on March 2, 2009 at 6:28 am

    “Live to the point of tears.” ~Albert Camus

  114. Drew Matthew Maifeld said, on March 4, 2009 at 9:37 am

    “Heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads.”

    -Henry David Thoreau

  115. Sammy Foster said, on March 4, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    “The mind is not a vessel that needs filling, but wood that needs igniting.”
    Mestrius Plutarchus

  116. Jim Niswonger said, on March 8, 2009 at 3:42 am

    Almost anything you can do at this moment is insignificant, but it’s imperative that you do it. – Gandhi

    The test of character is not persistence when you expect a light at the end of the tunnel. The true test is performance and persistence when you see no light coming. – James Arthur Ray

    Wisdom is a legitimate theory in ACTION.

    To fear failure is easy, but to fear the right thing at the right time in the right way and to act appropiately is not easy. Fear regret more than you fear failure.

  117. Thomas O'Duffy said, on March 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Some of my favourite quotes:

    “Reality is an illusion created by a lack of alcohol.”

    “In times of change, the learners will inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”
    – Eric Hoffer

    “Humanities greatest advances are not in it’s discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
    – Bill Gates

    “When you’re sure enough to be unsure, but never unsure enough not to do it, thats when you know you’re going in the right direction.”
    – Richard Bandler

    “I used to be able to finish any sentence but now I.”

    “Religious wars are two people fighting over who’s imaginary friend is better.”
    – Robert Anton Wilson

    “In an evolving society, people who stand still go backwards.”
    – Robert Anton Wilson

    “It is our mission in life to radiate heaven.”
    – Joan Weisman

    This is one of my favourite personal philosophies:

    “You honour the universe by having a good time in it.”

  118. Ben Livingston said, on March 17, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    “LIVE like it’s your last day on earth,
    LOVE like you’ve never been hurt,
    DANCE like nobody’s watching,
    WORK like you don’t need the money,
    SING like nobody’s listening,
    TRY like you can’t fail”

    Original Author is either Mark Twain or Satchel Paige

    Three parts were then added on at a later date by unknown authors

  119. Brad said, on March 18, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    “Prosperity proves the fortunate, adversity the great.”

  120. Zaira Nubile said, on March 24, 2009 at 8:32 am

    “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think”.

  121. Žiga Kunstelj said, on March 27, 2009 at 10:29 am

    If you want to reach a goal, you have to go for it. Regadless casualties.
    Their wounds will heal.

  122. Scott said, on March 27, 2009 at 11:54 am

    “Some men see things as they are and say why – I dream things that never were and say why not.” – George Bernard Shaw

  123. Leslie said, on April 1, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    “Make every action an offering to your highest self.” – Dr. Fred Kofman

  124. Jan Sichman said, on April 2, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    Hi Eben ,

    I have not Your Phone No. to ring U, so just short message. THANK YOU,
    U changed my life and I`m starting business from scrach.

    Would U like be my mentor?


    Jan Sichman

  125. Rathana said, on April 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    “Art calls for complete mastery of techniques, developed by reflection within the soul”
    -Bruce Lee- R.I.P

  126. Jesse Niesen (Debt Free ASAP Blog) said, on April 16, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Thank you Eben. Once again, brilliant ideas and incredibly valuable content. Thank you for all you’ve done. Here’s a few quote I refer to over and over to “wake me up”…

    “YOU ARE THE FORCE THAT PLAYS WITH YOUR mind and uses your body as its favorite toy to play and have fun with. That is the reason you are here: to play and have fun. We are born with the right to be happy, with the right to enjoy life. We are not here to suffer. Whoever wants to suffer is welcome to, but we don’t have to suffer.”
    — Don Miguel Ruiz

    “You can learn more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation.”
    — Plato

    “The hardest love to learn is that which is dark, the kind that causes the most pain. It is up to the soul to look past that dirty love and regain the beauty that illuminated so bright before… pure love.”
    — Jenny McCarthy

    “The downside is almost always reversible or transient.”
    — Ryan Holiday

    * From “Stoicism 101: A Beginner’s Guide for Entrepreneurs” on Tim Ferris’s blog: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/04/13/stoicism-101-a-practical-guide-for-entrepreneurs/

    “I came that they might have life and have it more ABUNDANTLY.”
    — Jesus Christ, John 10:10

    And finally… a FEW GREAT “Reminders for the Advanced Soul” QUOTES from Richard Bach’s “Illusions”:

    “Remember where you came from, where you’re going, and why you created the mess you got yourself into in the first place…”

    “Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. Teaching is reminding others that they know just as well as you. You are all learners, doers, and teachers…”

    “There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.”

    “You are never given a wish without being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”

    “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they’re yours.”

    “The world is your exercise-book, the pages on which you do your sums.
    It is not reality, although you can express reality there if you wish. You are also free to write nonsense, or lies, or to tear the pages.”

    “Every person, all the events of your life, are there because you have drawn them there. What you choose to do with them is up to you.”

    “In order to live free and happily, you must sacrifice boredom. It is not always an easy sacrifice.”

    “Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.”

    “The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”

    “You’re going to die a horrible death, remember. It’s all good training, and you’ll enjoy it more if you keep the facts in mind. Take your dying with some seriousness, however. Laughing on the way to your execution it not generally understood by less advanced lifeforms, and they’ll call you crazy.”

    “Everything above may be wrong!”

  127. Cristinel said, on April 17, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    “The world is like a ride in an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills and it’s very brightly coloured and it’s very loud and it’s fun……for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “hey – don’t worry, don’t be afraid, EVER, because, this is just a ride…” …It’s just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.” —————— The Late Bill Hicks, Comedian

  128. Laura said, on April 25, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Oscar Wilde “To Define is to Limit”.

  129. Ricardo said, on April 27, 2009 at 10:05 am

    “I have immortal longings in me”
    William Shakespeare

  130. William W said, on May 11, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    I used to sit on the banks with a raft and watch the water roll lazily by. One day I pushed my raft into the shallows of the water and found the water moved swifter than I thought. My raft was actually a boat. Then, after some time, I rowed my little boat into deeper water. There were great storms, mighty winds, tremendous waves, and sometimes I felt so alone. But I have noticed my little rowboat is now a mighty ship manned by my friends and loved ones; and beautiful calm seas, warm sunny days, and nights filled with comfortable dreams always double after a storm. Now, I could never go back and sit on the bank. In fact, I search for deeper water. Such is life when lived.
    – B. D. Gulledge

  131. Randal said, on May 15, 2009 at 3:22 am

    “You don’t have to live your life the way other people expect you to”…dunno who said it but I have it on my desk at work to remind me that my online business I am trying to get off the ground will become a reality when I apply these message here.

  132. Jay said, on May 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    I’m glad I found this blog and will definitely be checking it out regularly. Eban kicks ass.

    People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.
    ~ Zig Ziglar

    “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

    It is never wise to try to appear to be more clever than you are. It is sometimes wise to appear slightly less so.
    ~ William Whitelaw

    “To make yourself something less than you can be – that too is a form of suicide”
    ~Benjamin Lichtenberg

    “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
    ~ Charles Darwin

    “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill”
    ~ Barbara W. Tuchman

    “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
    — Stephen Hawking

    “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.
    – T.S. Elliot

    And finally, just a lyric from a song that I find striking

    Wake up, you’re sleeping. Wake up, you’re sleeping behind the wheel.
    ~ Senses Fail (band)

  133. Art Pablico said, on May 30, 2009 at 6:46 am

    The human mind is like a parachute, it does’nt function unless it’s open.

  134. Gina La Piana said, on May 30, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    “The life your living… Is the life your leading to”. Gina La Piana

  135. stonerpreneur said, on June 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Oscar Wilde, at customs: “I have nothing to declare but my genius.”

    Also (not quotes, but my favorite succinct life lessons so far):

    Everything is related.

    Everything is relative.

    You cannot fail if you decide not to.

  136. Michael Strathmore said, on June 10, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    “Man’s mind once stretched by a new idea, never regains it’s original dimension.”
    – – – Oliver Wendell Holmes

  137. David Masterson said, on June 13, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” –Peter Druker

  138. croz said, on June 14, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Gratitude is the power cord to the universe. Plug it in and enjoy the gifts you are bound to receive

    An original Croz quote

  139. croz said, on June 14, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Just set a goal, have faith in it and the universe will take you on the ride of your life

    An original Croz quote

  140. Michael said, on July 5, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    “All miracles involve a shift in perception.” – A Course in Miracles

    “All fear is the fear that unhappiness will happen.” – Bruce Di Marsico

    “We first make our habits, then our habits make us” – John Dryden

    “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake up to find it was all vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, and make things happen.” – T.E. Lawrence

  141. Sharon Woodard said, on July 14, 2009 at 10:29 am

    “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

  142. Mike said, on July 18, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things, the books you read and the people you meet.

    – Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

    Some very good quotes on success, leadership, action, determination etc can be found on my page: http://mikesvault.com/quotations/index.html

  143. Prathna said, on August 1, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    “Every goal is achieveble, and every height is attainable. For only you can set up your own goals, and only you put up your own limits.”

  144. Kimi Hendrix said, on August 6, 2009 at 5:52 am

    “When I go to work I don’t get mad, I get payed”

  145. Oleg said, on August 12, 2009 at 5:22 am

    it takes 20 years to make a reputation and it takes 5 seconds to ruin it–warren buffet

  146. Dave in Larryville said, on August 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    “Your ability to think is God’s gift to you… what you think about is your gift to yourself.”

    Prem Rawat

  147. Eddie Calva said, on August 23, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    “One day you will understand that there’s a difference between knowing the path and going it.” The Matrix (Morpheus to Neo)

    “There is nothing unalterable within our habits expept for our belief that they are.” Moshe Feldenkrais

    “Man is condemnded to freedom of choice.” Jean-Paul Sartre

    “The very essence of romance is uncertainty.” Oscar Wilde

    “Of what would be women’s power without men’s vanity?”
    Marie Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830-1916)

    “Love can not be seeked – only be found”

  148. Atul Rana said, on February 2, 2010 at 4:11 am

    “Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

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