Some of history’s most extraordinary, most accomplished legends live on not through accomplishments but through quotes. If you want to go down in history, choose your words carefully and publish them online. You might end up like these 12 people whose words have stood the test of time.
1. Winston Churchill
It isn’t easy to comprehend how many legendary quotes the former British Prime Minister uttered in his decorated 90-year life. A master motivator who guided a nation through World War II, Churchill’s words are the equivalent of a flame under your rear end:
“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
2. Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s easy to feel like every business venture, artistic endeavor, or experience is just a copy of something that already exists. Let Ralph Waldo Emerson remind you that there is always a way to forge something wholly original:
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
3. Oscar Wilde
Humans have a destructive knack for comparing ourselves to others. We hop on the hamster wheel and run the rat race, and before we know it, we’ve spent our life trying to keep up with the Joneses. Oscar Wilde has something profound to say about it:
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
4. Yogi Berra
Most people do not know how many All-Star games Yogi Berra made, but even non-baseball fans may recognize one of his Yogi-isms. For instance, the phrase “it ain’t over ’til it’s over” has been attributed to Yogi, and it’s one of the most enduring ways to say “never give up.”
5. Thomas Edison
While Thomas Edison qualified as a workaholic, he remains a giant of history for good reason. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
6. Helen Keller
Helen Keller said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.”
Helen couldn’t see, but we know she could touch. Therefore, I think it’s worth absorbing her advice on the importance of heartfelt connection being essential to a worthwhile life.
7. John Quincy Adams
Our Founding Fathers were some of the most literate, wise, ambitious, and idealistic men of their time, so we should probably heed their advice. The sixth president of the United States (and one of the founders’ sons), John Quincy Adams, gave a perspective on leadership that is more topical than Neosporin:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.”
8. Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln said many words of great consequence, including but not limited to The Gettysburg Address. However, one Lincoln quote seems readymade for an Instagram post and is wiser than even Honest Abe may have appreciated:
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
9. Eleanor Roosevelt
With Netflix, food delivery, and Amazon making it possible to live a life of constant comfort, we must remember that comfort is the enemy of greatness. Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt has golden advice for us all: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
10. Tony Robbins
Whether or not you’re interested in shelling out the money for a Tony Robbins seminar, there’s no denying the man can motivate. His words are like a verbal boot to one’s behind.
“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.”
11. John Wooden
The legendary UCLA Bruins basketball coach was known as part philosopher, part head coach. With quotes like this, it’s easy to see why he’s one of the most revered figures ever in athletics:
“Do not let making a living prevent you from making a life.”
12. Thomas Jefferson
Whether it relates to your job, your relationships, or any other matter of importance, Thomas Jefferson believes that luck correlates directly with work ethic: “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
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