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Quotations for Motivation #1 --- Goals

Updated on September 21, 2015


The greatest moment in anyone’s life is when they run into an idea to which the future good belongs and when they walk away with the idea that they belong to that idea. No man can give himself to the thing to which the future good belongs without himself becoming greater. Discover that to which the future good of the world belongs and then in your way and your place give yourself unstintingly to it in the most noble way possible. When you run into an idea to which the future good of humanity belongs, give your lives to that idea. There is nothing so powerful in all the world as an idea whose time has come, providing it can find men and women who can implement that idea for the good of the future.

---Walter Lee Bailey, Waterville Times, Waterville, N.Y., June 29, 1944.

To set for oneself a clearly envisioned goal; to keep that objective ever in view; to refuse to be stayed by any discouraging setbacks; to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to forge ahead on one’s way; never to rest content or satisfied with anything less than the fullness of achievement—these are the ways of successful men and women of the world.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Aug. 15, 1954.

To have worthwhile goals in life is to have assets of incalculable worth.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., April 23, 1962.

Without castles in the air there would never have been any palaces on the ground.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Cass County Sun, Linden, Texas, June 30, 1914.

An aimless life is a fruitless life.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Fair Play, Ste. Genevieve, Mo., Nov. 7, 1891.

A better thing than “hitching your wagon to a star” is to put your hand in the hand that moves the star.

---Elijah Powell Brown, The True Democrat, Bayou Sara, La., July 24, 1897.

Some people lead such an aimless existence that they could fire at random without hitting it.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., July 24, 1909.

He alone lives wisely, with ever widening hope and courage and strength, who sees beyond the moment to the wider goal toward which he moves and in the light of which every step he takes wins a wider and nobler meaning.

---W.H. Pulsford, True Republican, Sycamore, Ill., July 2, 1902.

It’s an oversight if you fail to hit the mark.

---Henry Edward Warner, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., Feb. 22, 1916.

It isn’t always the goal that a man reaches that makes him deserving of praise. It’s partly where he started from and how much help he had along the way.

---John Merrill Chilcote, St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., Sept. 12, 1961.

The reason some people never reached their goal is that they never got around to leaving the starting gate.

---John Merrill Chilcote, St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., Oct. 21, 1980.

The value of any goal is proportionate to the difficulties to attaining it.

---John Wesley Holland, Fulton Patriot, Fulton, N.Y., June 5, 1929.

As the Spanish philosopher said, “The road is better than the inn.” Persons who are at the “top” have no more ladders to climb, they see no more mountain tops; they have no more stars to which to hitch their wagon. And yet, one wouldn’t want to lose incentive. What is the answer? The answer is in playing the game—not just to “be at the top of the heap,” but for the love of playing. The most interesting thing about life is living, and the most depressing thing about life is the absence of an aim, a goal. The unknown future is what makes life alluring. Some men play the game of life for the sheer love of playing; others work at the business of life for the sheer lust of attainment—and when they have “attained” the victory or triumph, it turns bitter.

---Earl L. “Jack” Sampson, Williamson Daily News, Williamson, W. Va., April 23, 1953.

Unless you have a definite objective toward which to work you seldom accomplish much.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 5, 1927.

Genius is keeping one eye on the goal despite the applause.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 9, 1931.

He who lives without a goal never profits by any help.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Oct. 22, 1932.

No life can be comfortable that does not have an objective.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., March 8, 1934.

The first step towards success is the choice of a goal.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 4, 1934.

This world belongs to those who can keep their eye on the ultimate goal.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Dec. 30, 1935.

We never reach any goal worthwhile without some sense of exhaustion.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Oct. 2, 1936.

The fellow who has no good aim in life wastes a whole lot of ammunition.

---Hazen Conklin, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., Oct. 27, 1914.

In advancing toward success many lose their way by losing sight of the goal.

---Hazen Conklin, The Evening World, New York, N.Y., Jan. 12, 1915.

It is the man who goes straight to his goal, obstacle or no obstacle, that commands our respect, gets our confidence and gets to the front. He is the man who is sought in an emergency, not the man who is afraid of obstacles, who magnifies difficulties.

---Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., February 1905.

There is a magnetism in a strong, unwavering, lofty aim, which attracts the things that will help us and repels those that will hinder.

---Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., September 1906.

In the early days of railroading, in laying a track through hilly or mountainous regions, engineers went around most of the hills and curves, followed the valleys, and often turned aside from even slight obstructions.

Many young men, in laying the tracks of their careers, follow the methods of early railroad construction. They avoid every hill of difficulty, go around long curves, turn aside from every obstruction, no matter how trifling, and always follow the line of least resistance.

In our day, however, railroad engineers, in laying a track, follow as direct a route as possible. They go through hills, tunnel mountains, and span huge gorges, not only because a straight line is the shortest distance between two points, and thus saves time, but also because it lessens the risk of being wrecked.

A young man who believes that making a life is more important than making a living will follow the methods of the modern railroad engineer. He will not shrink from the obstacles that spring up in his path. He will not creep around hills or mountains of difficulty. He will forge the way to his goal by the shortest and most direct route, no matter what opposes his passage.

It costs a railroad company more to tunnel mountains and span chasms than it would to build its road around those difficulties, but the time saved to its passengers and the risks avoided by following the safest and most direct route than trebles its profits.

So, it costs a young man more in energy and perseverance to span abysses of ignorance, to force his way through mountains of difficulty in order to attain a sound education and special training for his work; it takes more effort and self-denial to build a straight, well-made road through the hilly, rock-strewn country of Life, than to make a long, winding, uneven road by avoiding the hills and rocks of opposition; but, like the engineer, you will find yourself more than triply paid for your trouble in forcing your way through all the obstacles to your goal.

A straight road for one’s career means honesty, the respect of those who have any dealings with you, the confidence of your bank, good credit, a high standing in your community, influence, individual power, enlarged opportunities for doing good, and, crowning good of all, it means self-approval.

---Orison Swett Marden, Success Magazine, New York, N.Y., February 1903.

Keeping one’s mental objectives clear is a most salutary one for anyone. One does not progress in more than haphazard fashion when one’s endeavors are not practically ordered. To this extent, self-analysis is as advisable as a periodic physical examination. There may be a tendency, however, in burgeoning minds to go into the thing too deeply and thus become over-serious and introspective. Even a wise old physician will, in his own cases, not trust entirely his own diagnosis.

Persons who have lived considerably, who have broadened out, had a variety of contacts and have learned to know something about human nature from observation of others, are in a somewhat better position than the comparatively young to analyze their own mental and emotional motivations with the advantage of such an objective background. They have learned the most important thing, not to take themselves too seriously. One’s psychological processes are quite apt to be in order in proportion as one lives with order and restraint. Beyond that, one need not worry about one’s interior situation.

---Burrows Matthews, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 20, 1934.

Perhaps the main reason a great many persons never get anywhere in this world is because they never go anywhere. They hesitate, ponder, discuss and even brag about where they hope to get, but they never get organized, never get going.

It is said that travel broadens a man. Travel, however, is not so necessarily one of movement of physical person as movement of mind. Individuals broaden out by going on mental journeys as well. Whenever the decision is made to get somewhere and then prosecuted, there comes that new vantage of mental viewpoint which underscores all human progress. Trying things is the important personal take-off.

---Burrows Matthews, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Jan. 15, 1935.

“Confidence is a sword in the hand of a soldier.” A goal that is worth attaining is not only worth fighting for—it is worth waiting for—so long as you keep on hustling while you wait. It is worth repeated efforts. It is worth being placed above petty difficulties and discouragement, nay, above BIG difficulties and discouragements.

---The Evening World, New York, N.Y., May 14, 1914.

A goal is a dream with leadership.

—Mike Clark, Build Your House on the Rock, Lake Charles, La., Nov. 7, 1995.

A sense of proportion is essential to the effective attainment of any great objective.

—Franklin D. Roosevelt, New York Times, New York, N.Y., June 13, 1935.

An unrealistic goal is worse than no goal at all.

—Thomas B. Neff, New York New York City Mission, New York, N.Y., March 1975.

Achieving a goal is being true to a realistic expectation.

—John M.R. Covey, As a Man Thinketh, Provo, Utah, March 16, 1970.

If you don't know where you are going in life, or why you wish to get there, how can you even hope to arrive?

—Napoleon Hill, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, March 1, 1957.

Have a definite aim in life. If you find a man on top of a mountain you can take it for granted that he had to climb to get there.

—Billy Sunday, Jackson Daily News, Jackson, Miss., Jan. 3, 1925.

One who fails to set up a goal, sets up a goal to fail.

—Roger P. Beynon, Zion's Builder, Independence, Mo., January 1968.

To reach any goal, there is one essential–the start. It is paradoxical that you can see the finish of anyone who never starts anything.

—W.A. MacKenzie, The Leesburg Morning Commercial, Leesburg, Fla., March 4, 1927.

I have always looked at accomplishing goals as soul push-ups. Make your goals fair and honest ones, but make them realistic and within reach. We must have something for which we should reach, and we must reach it. Let's begin now to set and to accomplish our goals, and thereby improve ourselves and get out of our ruts. Remember: "The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth."

—V. Stanley Benfell, The Canadian, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 1958.

The altitude of your goals will determine the attitude of your going.

—Len G. Broughton, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., June 14, 1923.

You must have long-range goals to keep you from being discouraged by short-range failures.

—Charles C. Noble, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., June 11, 1966.

Long-range goals help us establish direction. Short-range goals detail the step-by-step process leading to the desired end. While long-range goals are somewhat idealistic, short-range goals should be small enough that one is not overwhelmed by them.

—Wallace G. Bennett, The Advocate, Berks, England, Aug. 12, 1972.

Aimlessness is more fatal than poverty.

—O.D. Henley, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, June 6, 1940.

Success is not one, but a series, of goals.

—Ellis O. Jones, Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, Philadelphia, Pa., June 1912.

Goals acted upon increase accomplishments; on the other hand, those only dreamed about have little or no positive effect on accomplishment and usually detract from performances. To act upon goals requires their being specific and short-ranged. Goals that come in the distant future are achieved only by accomplishing daily, weekly and monthly goals. These short-range goals must be specific and easily understood. Goals are mutually enhancing–that is, by accomplishing one, you move toward the accomplishment of others.

—J. Talmage Jones, Northern Lights, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, January 1965.

It is a law of life, and it conditions all progress, that we must keep our faces toward the future. To look backward or to lose sight of the goal ahead is perilous. Idealization always foreruns realizations. The one who never visualizes the future will never reap the reward of effectual dreaming.

—Louis W. Larsen, Liahona The Elders Journal, Independence, Mo., Dec. 27, 1910.

It is commonly said that the happiest persons are those who live most in the present, who waste no time in vain regrets and remorse for the past and who do not look ahead to worry about the future. But this attitude is not calculated to bring the largest and finest happiness. In the opinion of this writer, those who live most thoughtfully and get the most out of it are those who are not living too much in the present. They are not tied to the day and its difficulties. They are casting their minds and souls ahead. Their imagination is in play. They see themselves in a new and better day. They are moving toward goals beyond their present achievements. However good the day, they live in the expectancy of a better one. They never complain, but never cease to hope.

—Grove H. Patterson, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Feb. 20, 1930.

The goals which we set for ourselves must be attainable, that is, they must not be so far out in "outer space" that they can't be reached. The goals ought to be reachable enough so that we all taste of success occasionally. The most worthless goal in the world is one that is so easily reached that there is no challenge. One of the greatest goals that any of us could have in life is to do well the simple little things that we need to do each and every day. Why is it that most of us would rather halfheartedly try something than to earnestly do little things within our reach? Doing little things well gives us a feeling of success.

—Glen L. Rudd, Harvester, Winter Park, Fla., January 1968.

It is better to strive for the stars and drag our feet in the tree tops than to strive for the tree tops and drag our feet in the mud.

—Lyle R. Peterson, Golden Gateway, Oakland, Calif., February 1967.

It is wonderful to dream and set goals, but set goals above that which is average--average is too close to failure!

—Roger E. Rees, Golden Gateway, Oakland, Calif., February 1968.

Some men have wasted so much time in getting an aim in life that they have forgotten how to pull the trigger.

—Charles Stelzle, New York Observer, New York, N.Y., July 25, 1907.

It doesn't do much good to set high goals while you're busy creating unsurmountable obstacles.

Houston Post, Houston, Texas, April 5, 1963.

Many who strive for a goal fall short of success because they fail to distinguish between mere labor and progressive work.

Utah Chronicle, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 30, 1926.

It has been found that the average person uses a very small amount of his innate capacity to think and to accomplish. One of the main reasons is failure to simplify. We sometimes make tasks or assignments difficult for ourselves without really realizing it. There are only so many hours each day and only so many days in a week and in a year. To make the most of them we must simplify to the point where we are doing only those things which lead to our goal.

Westate, Denver, Colo., December 1963.

Goals are incentive to activity. Take away the incentive to labor and humanity becomes loafers. "No goal" is the epitaph that can be hung on every indifferent [person]. ... Goals in life indicate your rating. They prophesy to the world the trend of our best self.

—LeRoy M. Anderson, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, April 13, 1908.

Some men fail to reach their goal because their ambition is fired before adjusting their aim.

—Benjamin Arstein, San Antonio Express, San Antonio, Texas, March 1, 1911.


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