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Quotations for Motivation #12 --- Discouragement

Updated on October 26, 2015

Quotations on Discouragement

Don’t allow your regret for yesterday to overbalance your hope for tomorrow.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., Nov. 7, 1909.

We all have too many days ahead of us to mourn over the days behind us.

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Aug. 8, 1940.

Our past may be dead, but its ghost knows our present address.

---Chelsea H. “C.H.” Kelley, Williamson Daily News, Williamson, W. Va., April 24, 1950.

Many people are apt to frustrate their own progress by taking too serious an interest in the past.

---Burrows Matthews, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Jan. 1, 1931.

Don't be discouraged over past defects. Every heart has been a battlefield and often we have been defeated. What shall we do? Nothing so unfits the eyes for light as to dwell in darkness; the arms for liberty as to wear fetters; and the soldier for victory as to be discouraged by his defects.

‑‑‑M.M. Davis, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Dec. 30, 1895.

If you would do great things you must learn to be deaf to discouragement.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Buffalo Morning Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 24, 1906.

More people fail from discouragement than from misfortune.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Western Kansas World, Wakeweney, Kan., March 5, 1892.

We do not wear out because of difficulties but because of discouragements.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., March 5, 1930.

When men grow discouraged they need to count up their benefits.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Dec. 15, 1937.

I have never found any man staying down and out except by his own consent.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., April 18, 1930.

No one is so hopeless as the man who will not try.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Jan. 15, 1934.

The supreme tragedy of life is to quit trying.

---John Wesley Holland, Lima Recorder, Lima, N.Y., June 12, 1936.

“What’s the use” is the most useless phrase on human lips.

---John Wesley Holland, Suffolk County News, Sayville, N.Y., July 4, 1930.

The man who gives up has submitted himself to a drowsy fatalism.

---J. Marvin Nichols, Amsterdam Evening Recorder, Amsterdam, N.Y., Nov. 19, 1931.

Discouragements are not impossibilities. They only call for a little more determination, a little more perseverance, a little more exertion, a little more willingness to bear fatigue.

---Alfred G. Smith, St. Louis Republic, St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 24, 1902.

Unreasonable expectations account for many discouragements.

---William Jennings Bryan, The Daily Standard Union, Brooklyn, N.Y., June 15, 1912.

All discouragement comes from a lack of courage. When we are discouraged we are lacking in courage.

---A.R. Holderby, Oregon City Courier, Oregon City, Ore., Dec. 27, 1907.

The worst age of all to reach is the discourage.

---John L. Brown, Aurora Daily Star, Aurora, Ill., May 29, 1922.

Keep the sunshine of living faith in your heart and under no circumstances allow discouragement and despondency to take possession of your mind.

—George F. Butler, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 3, 1909.

Discouragement should be only considered an incentive to conquer difficulties and be successful. Knowledge is the key that opens the door of opportunity. Prepare yourselves to do something and do it well, and the opportunity to use your talent will come to you sooner or later. Success in life is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles he has overcome in his struggles with the world. Let the obstacles and discouragements serve as spurs and cause us to press onward and upward, step by step, upon the ladder of success.

---W.T. Francis, St. Paul Globe, St. Paul, Minn., Jan. 16, 1905.

There are some things to remember in this game of growth that we are all playing, things that may not occur to all of you. One of them is this: Don’t be thwarted or discouraged when you find that people don’t always agree with you, especially people whom you admire. No two of us can stand on the same spot at the same time. For that reason, no two of us can look at anything from exactly the same point. No two of us have the same powers of vision. For that reason no two of us can use the same lenses. Be yourself, ever and always. You will then feel your own ability to do your own job, and if you are conscientious and levelheaded about it, the adverse opinion of anyone, no matter how largely that opinion may loom in your mind, has no power to divert you.

---Betsy Root, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 29, 1937.

Discouragement is one of the most formidable enemies of the human family. It is to our mental powers what paralysis is to our physical being. The gradual growth of discouragement upon us culminates in the paralyzing of our will power, the mainspring of all our efforts and ambitions. Discouragement in the spiritual realm impedes our progress and often makes a wreck of those who otherwise would be living epistles in the Christian work. Well might this gigantic enemy be compared to a great weight fastened to the individual. If he progresses at all it will be slow and painful. From personal experience and observation, I believe an individual is more susceptible when his health is below par. It is then we are easily overcome by this giant who is half brother to the demon, despair.

‑‑‑Ella M. Prothro, Sabine Index, Many, La., Feb. 23, 1940.

The fog of discouragement blights our spirits and destroys our strength. When one can't see clearly things lose their importance, and one becomes vulnerable to failure. That is, a discouraged man is always a weak man. A discouraged man sees "obstacles in his opportunities rather than opportunities in his obstacles." A discouraged man focuses his attention on his troubles. A discouraged man looks down rather than up.

---Sterling W. Sill, College of Southern Utah Lecture Series, Cedar City, Utah, May 1959.

At the very best, life for me must not be less than perfect; however, this is not just cause for discouragement. If we expect things that can never be so, .we are making our discouragement; and perhaps the most harmful kind. We must be sure to discard all unjustified expectation, if we wish to win the fight against discouragement.

‑‑‑Bob Wear, Hereford Brand, Hereford, Texas, Jan. 13, 1982.

To fill today's hours with regrets of yesterday and fear of tomorrow is to have no today filled with sunshine.

---Oliver G. Wilson, The Wesleyan Methodist, Syracuse, N.Y., Nov. 20, 1957.

Don’t get discouraged—think how long it takes an alarm clock to get recognition!

---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 8, 1930.

When a man gets down, he is nearly as hard to get on his feet again as a horse with a broken leg.

---E.W. “Ed” Howe, Youngstown Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio, Nov. 4, 1911.

A man isn't beaten so long as he's not discouraged.

‑‑‑The Chicago Daily News, Chicago. Ill., Oct. 29, 1920.

Disappointment is not a sufficient reason for discouragement.

‑‑‑Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 21, 1904.

Living in the past only puts the headlight on the rear platform.

‑‑‑Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Sept. 18, 1904.

Discouragements are the obstacles put in your path to determine whether you really want your goal or only think you do.

---Chinook Opinion, Chinook, Mont., July 12, 1945.

It may be said that a man's courage is proportionate to the amount of discouragement he can withstand without becoming discouraged.

‑‑‑The Christian Science Monitor, Boston, Mass., Sept. 12, 1911.

When a person is discouraged, it generally shows in his face, in his actions, in his voice, in the manner in which he takes hold of things.

—Homer Bair, Kansas City Post, Kansas City, Mo., April 17, 1919.

When a man resigns to fate, his resignation is usually accepted.

—Burris A. Jenkins, Kansas City Post, Kansas City, Mo., Jan. 25, 1920.

The greatest mistake is giving up.

—Frank Crane, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., Sept. 2, 1920.

The man most certain to be a failure is he who considers himself one. Egotism, self-gratulation, conceit avoided, of course; but they are pygmy evils compared with discouragement and lack of nerve. When a man conceives himself to be upon the down grade he does himself a more serious injury than the combined efforts of all the world outside can accomplish. He locks his own prison door and throws the key outside, beyond his reach.

—Harlan Read, Morgan Messenger, Berkeley Springs, W.Va., July 4, 1912.

There are two ways to take a failure; we may become discouraged, disheartened, disjointed and quit the fight; or we may take it as a challenge to the best there is in us and redoubling our energies go in with all our might for victory.

—J. Benjamin Lawrence, Baptist Record, Jackson, Miss., May 10, 1917.

Victims of discouragement little realize the tremendous damage they are doing to themselves when they allow this fatal enemy of their happiness, their efficiency, to get lodgement in their minds. Nobody does good work when thoroughly discouraged. There is no spontaneity in it, no resourcefulness, no inventiveness, no originality, no enthusiasm. It is mechanical, lifeless.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 11, 1917.

Those who have the faith to master life never carry around with them the griefs of yesterday. If you are worn out, exhausted at the end of the day, why not try examining yourself to see how much energy you have thrown away today by lamenting the past. Wrap up your failures of today in a nice bundle and throw them completely away. Start tomorrow morning with a new page, a new chance, a new hope. You can dare to have faith in tomorrow. You can dare to have hope and when hopes fail and dreams begin to fade, take hold of these things which never fade, change or decay. In this life you have to venture to achieve. Venture means the chance that we might stumble or even fall, but every fall and stumble are not lost; they only prove that we are on a mortal roadway, that through faith in the eternal things we can pick ourselves up and try again. Suppose every time we fall, we paused to ask the question, "What can I learn from this fall?" "How can I use this to help someone else?" When we fall we are not interested in learning of helping. But this is not the way of faith.

—Eugene M. Frank, The Topeka Daily Capital, Topeka, Kan., Jan. 1, 1952.

Did you ever realize that when you cling to a bitter past, to painful, negative thoughts, you are keeping in your mental powerhouse, at the very source of your force, mind thieves infinitely worse and more dangerous to your peace of mind, your welfare, than thieves who steal money or merchandise? Those insidious mental robbers are pilfering your energy, sapping your vitality, ruining your happiness, weakening your efforts, taking the snap, the vim, the vigor out of your brain and your muscle. They are robbing you of success and happiness. Mind is the medium by which we could coin out of our life assets success or failure; and everything depends upon keeping our mental machinery clear and clean, so that it will not be choked by the slag of any depressing thought or emotion. You can make this day the grandest opportunity or the greatest disappointment that ever came to you. You can enter on it free of the mental loads you have been carrying for years; you can come to it with an unworried, unfretting brain. You can come to it unfettered by bitter memories of a disappointing or painful past, free to express the best that is in you; determined to keep at the top of your condition physically and morally fit to do the biggest thing that is possible to you; or you can come to it weighed down with all the worries and anxieties, handicapped by the bitter memories of your failures, mistakes and blunders, all the wounds and regrets of the past. It is up to you to march ahead with the new or old, whether you shall make a splendid showing, a grand success, or lag behind in a dread past and make a miserable showing, a wretched failure of the rest of your life.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 4, 1917.

The trouble with most of us is that we are discouraged by the long distance ... between us and the goal, and we get impatient because we cannot go by leaps and bounds. I have talked with a great many men--"down and outers"--who in going over their experiences have almost invariably said: "How I wish I had kept on as I began!" But they thought they were not getting on fast enough to they became discouraged and turned back. They quit their first enterprise and took the wrong turning. "Turn backers," "quitters" never "get anywhere" or accomplish anything of note. They are constantly starting at new things and so their lives are scrappy, filled with half-finished tasks. They go a little way into many things, but turn back when they strike thorns. It is dangerous to quit under temporary discouragement. No one is in a condition to know what is best and right to do when he is discouraged. When the mind is warped, the judgment is twisted, one does not see the situation clearly; his perspective is at fault. There are multitudes of failures in the world who might have been great successes if they had the nerve, the stamina and the grit to hold on.

—Orison Swett Marden, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., July 7, 1919.

Discouragement is a cross between lack of confidence and being sorry for yourself.

—Roberta Lyndon, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 12, 1939.

Living in the past so dims your eyes that you overlook the jewels of the future.

—W.A. MacKenzie, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 27, 1923.

The discouraged man can't fight. He is whipped already. The discouraged man is a coward in the struggle of life, whether he realizes it or not. The discouraged man doesn't appreciate the joys of today because of his lugubrious anticipations of the troubles of tomorrow.

—DeWitt McMurray, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 22, 1923.

Every time you conquer discouragement you have added to your arsenal of courage.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 31, 1930.

The man who knows how to suffer a disappointment and yet never slacken his efforts for success is the man who in time writes his name on the roll of honor. The man who is down under the weight of disappointment is in a sad condition.

—A.J. Gearheard, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Feb. 9, 1919.

Discouragement can cripple a man quicker than misfortune.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, Nov. 6, 1924.

Discouragement is stickability without the stick. Discouragement is nourished always by past events, living in the yesterdays.

—Earl W. Harmer, Some Suggestions for Latter-day Saint Missionaries, Salt Lake City, Utah (year of publication not given).

Living in the past is not the proper thing. There's enough trouble in the present to keep you busy every day.

—Frank L. Stanton, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 7, 1908.

A habit easily acquired but very dangerous is this--looking back! Go ahead, look ahead, think ahead and you will get ahead. Even though your knees shake and your lips quiver, go right ahead! There is nothing so dead as the dead past. When you make a business of living it over again in your mind, you are keeping company with the ghosts of yesterday. You hear the voices, you see the action, you feel the emotion–then you spend sleepless nights. Haven't you heard–"no man puts his hand to the plow and then turns back." If he did he would plow in circles instead of a straight line. To contribute to the spirit of the time, go forward. Voltaire said, "He who has not the spirit of his age has all the misery of it." To reflect often brings remorse, but to hope is to enjoy. Hope ever urges us on and tells us that tomorrow will be better. The road ahead may look dangerous. There may be difficulty around the corner–but the road back means hopeless failure. We must think of the undiscovered as friendly. "I wish I could live my life over again"–Did you ever hear that? What foolish, wishful thinking! Live for today. It soon wears out and dies with the setting sun--there is another day fresh and unused.

—Carlysle H. Holcomb, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, May 16, 1953.

Are we discouraged by failure? Then we will fail. Are we inspired by the promise of success? Then we will succeed. Most of our little failures and little successes are unimportant in the battle of life. They are only the testing of the enemies' lines, the finding of the weak spots and the strong points. In the hour of skirmish lost or in the zeal of skirmish won, it is well to remember that the real battle is yet to be fought. The man who is stricken in heart by the little defeats and the man who is palsied in mind by the little victories will be on an equal when the test comes. The man who, in defeat, can put his finger on the cause of his defeat, the where, when and why, is already on the ultimate road to victory and the man who, in victory, knows how he won and where and why, will win again.

Scott County News, Oneida, Tenn., June 11, 1926.

Discouragement is the uncertain, slippery and crumbling strip that edges the abyss of despair. It is hard enough to face discouragement even when we have brought it upon ourselves by carelessness and folly, but when it comes after incessant labor, exacting care and infinite patience, then it is that the iron enters our souls and we feel there is no longer any use to try. Discouragement may give a man pause but it should never stop him. How many failures does it take to make success? Ask Burbank, Edison, Ford, Robert Fulton, George Stephenson, Pallisay, Michelangelo–any of these who have achieved success! The distance between failure and success is measured by the length of the patience and determination you have–sometimes by inches, sometimes by moments, sometimes by the merest flash of time.

—William Carter, New York Times, New York, N.Y., Feb. 1, 1926.

Do you become discouraged? Do you feel you lack the qualities for success? Does it often seem that you go round in circles, as it were? There is a way out. Probably what you need to do is to think--that is, to really think. ... Very few people, only one out of several thousand, have taxed their heads to do this, or even to attempt it. Thinking leads to ingenuity, which is the ability to see ourselves out of sorrow--out of difficulties. This is why very few people have ingenuity. ... Probably the way out for you is to think permit thought to take the place of impulse.

—Julian Pennington, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., June 23, 1935.

Becoming discouraged not only blocks the wheels of progress, but it ties them with an iron chain. Failure may act as an intensifier of our determination.

—R.B. Moore, San Antonio Register, San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 19, 1932.

[People] suffer discouragements. There are reasons for this. They underestimate the appreciation of people, and they underestimate the value of what they are doing. ... Perhaps our biggest mistake is that of underestimating the value of the thing we are doing or saying. We should not worry about it for if it has value it will perpetuate itself.

—Floyd Poe, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Dec. 10, 1951.

One of the hardest things to do is to keep from getting discouraged when you haven't any courage.

—Duncan M. Smith, Morgantown Daily Post, Morgantown, W.Va., April 9, 1906.


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