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Quotations for Motivation #31 --- Goals

Updated on September 21, 2015

Quotations on Goals (Set No. 2)

What is the secret that makes a man a champion. Boxer Jim Corbett answered, “Fight one more round.”

The fight does not have to be in the prize ring—it is true of the game of life. Did it ever occur to you that the man who wins may have been counted out several times too, but he didn’t hear the referee? That individual is rare indeed, who does not at some time or other dream of doing big things. Trouble is, so many of us just dream instead of going into action—and when we do get into the arena, maybe we yield to the temptation to quit when we should “fight one more round.”

Not all great-hearted fighters have become champions. Many who have fought on have never seen their names in the lights or in the headlines—but then there is a certain satisfaction for them in knowing that they fought that extra round. Likewise, not all in the greater fight of life and living become leaders and famous—never see their names in print, but that does not prevent one from being a champion! Perhaps an unheralded champion—but a champion nonetheless.

Most of us are timid about some things—we doubt our own capacities or our skills. This seems to be one of the negative traits of our nature, inherited perhaps from that far-off time when our remote ancestors crawled cringing into their caves in terror of some prowling danger. Again, however, when you pause to think of it, had they—our ancestors—not “fought one more round,” you and I would not be here.

When you believe in yourself, in your own powers—be it mental or physical or moral—you can overcome that self-conscious fear of failure and think only of achieving your ambition—of reaching your goal. Your journey toward that accomplishment begins with the first high resolve and the first hard work you put on the job ahead. As James Allen so finely put it: “You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.” That dominant aspiration should be bolstered by the determination to “fight one more round.”

Every man and woman has courage and abilities beyond their own comprehension. Everyone is endowed by nature with talents and mental capacity to do bigger and better things—it’s the “fighting of one more round” that will eventually result in success!

---Earl L. “Jack” Sampson, Williamson Daily News, Williamson, W. Va., June 12, 1948.

Self-determination, self-confidence, free from pride, vanity and boastfulness will bring success. In the lives of some of the great men we find the qualities in the stories of success. There is great will power and steadiness of purpose, the force of character, perseverance and optimism, and methodical habits. If there were no difficulties there would be no success.

The elements of success are dominating purposes, courage and industry. Courage is victory but timidity is defeat. Armed with courage, one need never fear the consequences in the present of opposition. Defeat may be only the threshold of victory.

In order to be of the highest service to their fellow men and their country, young men need to prepare themselves. Play fair with competitors. If you go into politics stress confidence in your policy and refrain from personalities. Discuss issues rather than men. One never gets anywhere by knocking the other fellow. Confidence in oneself and one’s policies will get support and if one’s conscience is clear one does not need to fear the critics.

Adopt a straight and proper course and stick to it. Obstacles will be placed in our way. Don’t go around them or turn back. Climb over them. Do not endeavor to reach your goal by calling attention to the other fellow. Help the other fellow make his goal, for the fullest realization of oneself comes from assisting the other fellow to realize himself.

---J.T.M. Anderson, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Oct. 14, 1929.

We often need to remind ourselves that the achievement must be paid for, that the resistance to the goal must be overcome. Nature herself teaches in a thousand forms and places the inexorable lesson that there is no virtue without sacrifice, no height gained without the arduous climb. Again and again we must conquer our environment.

Some plants may live in the teeth of the storm and in the most exposed places. Others are compelled to solve the problems of drought. One of the most singular features of the Campos of central Brazil are clumps of dwarfish looking shrubs. Actually, they are not shrubs at all, but shoots of buried trees, the branches of which lie on the ground like surface roots. Rather than surrender, these trees have changed their habits. They have buried their trunks for protection. They have stooped to conquer both drought and death.

I have read of another tree of the Angola desert. It lays down on the sand long, leathery ribbons. These are its source of light, air and moisture. The closer it clings the more chance it has of sucking out such humid advantage as is possible. “It grows,” as one has said, “never in height, but always in breadth.”

The earth is full of plant adaptation of one kind or another. From very necessity comes beauty and variety. As we have read: “The dainty fern fingers are a way of conquest. Living in forest glades, the giant trees taking the light, the ferns must divide and subdivide their leaves and spread themselves out to catch every wandering sunbeam. Fern fronds, like all other leaves, are traps for catching sunshine.” Everywhere in nature we find the conquest of environment. Through struggle the victory has been won. In the struggle has come individuality and character.

What a glorious lesson for us all. And how again and again in the careers of the great and true men and women who have conquered their environment we find our inspiration to go through with the hard task, the master our studies, to complete our preparation and to enter life determined to reach the heights of character and achievement.

---Daniel Alfred Poling, St. Joseph Gazette, St. Joseph, Mo., Oct. 18, 1931.

Big plans stimulate the imagination. See finished things in your mind. Strive for nothing secondary. Associate with those who inspire.

We must all have objectives if we would achieve anything that is worthwhile. Scattered forces, however, have no vital drive to them. The satisfactory life must be controlled by one increasing purpose, toward which all other efforts should trend.

We cannot very well gain an objective without centering every effort we own on its attainment. Each step in growth furnishes light in increasing measure, so that each forward step brings us nearer to the objective in mind.

There is no limit to the storage capacity of the brain. Its cells of knowledge increase as the demand for their use increases. There is the world, and all time, from which to draw.

How futile is an effort unless it spreads and becomes substance for some permanent gain in the world.

A man’s daily thinking, reading, observation, and association are what suggest the caliber of his makeup. His aims and objectives stand out, like spear points, accompanying him everywhere he does. You know what manner of man he is the moment you come in contact with him. Words often mislead or deceive, but character is something imbedded. The roots do not show, but that which is above does.

---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Aug. 5, 1936.

I have learned by experience the necessity of keeping a far‑off goal in mind. The chances are you will never reach all of the goals that you set before you, but at the same time working toward goals will make every day a new day. One's life must be planned like a great building. It cannot be finished in a day, but we must strive toward that far‑off goal if we live constructively.

‑‑‑Wallace Bassett, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, April 8, 1948.

Self‑satisfaction is the foe of progress. It causes us to mistake a milestone for a goal. There is quite a difference between them. One is made to pass by and the other to reach, but we come to the milestone and settle down in satisfaction and miss the high goal.

‑‑‑Arthur T. Allen, Christian Index, Atlanta, Ga., April 1, 1937.

A goal is like a pull up a bar, close enough to reach, but far enough away that we have to stretch for it.

‑‑‑Roger Allen, Affirmative, Billings, Mont., March 1971.

We are happiest in the achievement of difficult goals, and when we achieve them we are increasing our capability to do things; that is, we are progressing. We should never run out of attained goals; that is, after we have achieved certain goals, we should always have others. If we stop striving and growing, we will shrink and lose that which we have attained. We either grow or lose what we have.

‑‑‑James B. Arnold, Fishers of Men, Hamburg, West Germany, July 1963.

Set your mark so high that if you please yourself others must be pleased.

---J. Marvin Nichols, Gainesville Daily Sun, Gainesville, Fla., Aug. 29, 1907.

Your deep desire to attain a certain goal shapes and directs your thinking. It is the motivating influence that forces you to follow certain paths and to engage in certain activities. Be sure your goal in life is worthy of your efforts and satisfying. Let your desires be such that when you come to the shadows of the sunset, you will have no regrets.

—Philip Mallory Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., April 3, 1949.

An achieved goal should become a standard. Standards are fundamental principles of thinking and conduct which make higher goals and greater progress possible.

---Rolf Berger, The Reaper, Zurich, Switzerland, January 1971.

Goals are standards of action.

‑‑‑Robert T. Birkinshaw, Challenger, Mesa, Ariz., November 1969.

Just what is a goal? Try to define it in your own mind. Should we say it's a place in your mind you see what you want to be, but you aren't? A place where you wish to be? It's an objective. It's something to reach out for. If it is non-existent, the only possible way that it can be of any advantage is to bring about its existence--to change from a state of wishful thinking into a state of necessity. There is a real advantage in setting a goal. So many of us are guilty of wishful thinking. As long as it's wishful thinking, it doesn't do us any good. It is when it steers us into activity to bring about its interest into actuality that the good comes from setting goals.

—W. Glenn Harmon, Golden Gateway, San Francisco, Calif., April 1957.

Two types of goals: work goals and personal goals. The former determines the quantity of work we do, and our personal goals determine the quality of this work. Both are essential and prerequisite for success. Too many times we set work goals and eliminate those that are personable, or to the contrary we establish personal attributes to attain and fail to consider good work habits. By application of both of these goals in proper proportion we will be able to obtain our primary goal. In order to acquire this primary goal we have to set goals of secondary importance. The accomplishment of all secondary goals will result in the accomplishment of our primary goal. Too many times, however, we let secondary aims overshadow our primary goal completely.

—Robert G. Aagard, Script and Scroll, Fort Wayne, Ind., October 1958.

A goal is like a pull up a bar, close enough to reach, but far enough away that we have to stretch for it.

—Roger Allen, Affirmative, Billings, Mont., March 1971.

We are happiest in the achievement of difficult goals, and when we achieve them we are increasing our capability to do things; that is, we are progressing. We should never run out of attained goals; that is, after we have achieved certain goals, we should always have others. If we stop striving and growing, we will shrink and lose that which we have attained. We either grow or lose what we have.

—James B. Arnold, Fishers of Men, Hamburg, West Germany, July 1963.

An achieved goal should become a standard. Standards are fundamental principles of thinking and conduct which make higher goals and greater progress possible.

—Rolf Berger, The Reaper, Zurich, Switzerland, January 1971.

Goals are standards of action.

—Robert T. Birkinshaw, Challenger, Mesa, Ariz., November 1969.

The shifting of goals can become merely a habit of excuse making if we always do the thing we like most. It is not advisable to shift purposes too often. But we must meet everyday's need and decide the wisest course to take, not straying too far from the ultimate aim.

—Claire Stewart Boyer, Utah Farmer, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 18-25, 1925.

It is important that we make sure that the goal toward which we labor is a worthy one. The speed with which we travel is less important than the fixed purpose, the sustained effort which will enable us to achieve it. Making sure one is right in his understandings and then massing all his energy to carry through to the end–these are important considerations. The man who so wisely said, “Be sure you’re right, then go ahead,” might have added this, to wit, “Be sure you’re wrong before you quit.” While life lasts one must look upon each new achievement as a challenge and a beginning. Mile posts marking the way were not intended as camping grounds.

—Hugh B. Brown, Millennial Star, London, England, Oct. 19, 1939.

Happiness is not aimlessly pursuing general long-range goals, but organizing specifically to approach short-range ideals with long-range possibilities.

—Bayne McMillan, Scottish Mission, Edinburgh, Scotland, April 30, 1968.

A goal acts as a seed that sprouts dreams and desires into realization and accomplishments. A goal is the very beginning of any success, and he who has no goals becomes a subject of apathy, indecision and failure.

—Mark A. Ellison, Excalibur, Arcadia, Calif., October 1969.

Hard work or the lack of it may mean the difference between success and failure. But you will be surprised, if work is well planned and if you have a definite goal, how easy it is and how much enthusiasm you develop. You will have ambition that you never knew was there. As you go forward, time will slip by and the days will never be long enough because what you are doing will be a pleasure instead of a trial, when you see your plan unfold into reality. Life will never cease to be a pleasure and you will be successful in carrying out your well-laid plans.

—Leo Ellsworth, Harvester, Winter Park, Fla., June 1961.

I would like to underline some characteristics of a good goal. It should be within your reach, not so easy so it does not require any special effort but not impossible so it does not bring discouragement. It should be precise. Nothing is worse than a vague goal like to be a better person. ... This will not help. Be very specific. It will help you go step by step. That way you will see your progress, feel better about yourself and take courage for the next step. It should be timed. You should fix a date for reaching a goal. ... It should be followed up [by somebody else]. ... You need someone to report to. ... I feel that we do not need to know more but to do better.

—Pierre H. Euvrard, The Most Excellent News Letter, Durban, South Africa, October 1992.

The words "success" and "progression" are synonymous. Success cannot evade one who seeks progress and avoids backslides. Actually, we are competing, and will always be competing, only with ourselves and we can better ourselves a limitless number of times. Progression or beating our best comes as a result of meeting short-range goals; short-range goals, when totaled, equal lofty long-range goals.

—Richard M. Eyre, Easterner, New York, N.Y., March 1965.

A high jumper puts up a cross bar because he wants to attain a certain height. The cross bar in itself is not the goal he is trying to reach. It represents the height he wants to attain. If the bar were the goal in mind, he could put it at a much lower height and clear it almost every time. The bar is only an aid to achieve the end for the high jumper. Suppose the bar were not placed upon the uprights, this would not hinder the high jumper from trying to jump as high as he could nor would it make the height any less desirable to attain. Why then is the bar placed on the uprights? It is a goal that the high jumper is trying to reach. It is an aid to help him do his very best. It is a measure of his performance. He is able to measure his success or failure accurately. He has a standard to judge by. So it is with personal goals. We set goals and have goals to guide us to a worthwhile end. If we do not set up standards, we will be like the high jumper without the cross bar. We would not have a standard to jump to or reach for to help us with our ultimate goal. Like the cross bar, short-range goals are not the final end or destination. They are only the cross bars or the incentive to reach our highest goal. Without goals or standards in mind, we would not know what we should be aiming at to attain our purposes. It is not in just achieving a goal that we are successful, most important it is in what the goal represents.

—T.P. DeSpain, Scottish Mission, Edinburgh, Scotland, June 4, 1968.

We must be goal oriented, plan for action minded and success determined. Goal mindedness will cause us to travel fast on the road to success. A positive plan of action will open the door to the accomplishment of our goals. Our success will thrill us and lead us on to greater achievement. Just what is goal setting, and what is not? Goal setting is not daydreaming. Goals may be imaginative and visionary, but not in the same sense as fantasy and daydreaming. Goals are the beginning of positive action, a track to run on, a course to follow. Goals are the expressed and written desires to improve one's lot and to be just a little better tomorrow than one was today. There is much to be said about a person's plan of action. To begin, you must realize and evaluate your performance of the past month. Write down your weak points, discuss them and resolve, at once, not to let them be weak points in your progress and action for the month to come. Next, you should decide on some priorities of values. That is, discussing and realizing what specific goals should be set. You plans for action will guide and encourage you daily and weekly. It will help remind you constantly of your week by week progress in the attainment of your goals that month. What will be the result of becoming goal oriented and plan for action minded? You will be successful. You will be success determined.

—Kevin R. Nield, Spirit of Texas, Dallas, Texas, January 1971.

One of the truisms of modern social science is the statement, "If we define things as real, they are real in their consequences." In part, reality is a creation of mind and spirit. Faith, whatever its object, does produce consequences. These consequences may not always be the intended ones; nevertheless, they stem from our definitions about what is real. Thus, we form the future by our definitions of it. As an architect's sketches determine the shape of his building, so our goals shape our achievements. But the nature of their impact, and the extent of it, depend on several factors, including our realistic expectation, how specific and attainable the objective, the energy one can commit, and the priority of a given goal among one's other objectives. Our expectations differ from our hopes. We would like our hopes to be realized, but we are convinced that our expectations will come to pass. The difference is between hoping that something will happen and knowing it will. If our objectives are to have their greatest impact, they must be defined clearly enough that at any point, we can measure our progress. It is much less effective for us to promise ourselves, "Tomorrow I will be a better person," leaving "better" safely undefined, than to decide, "Tomorrow I will spend at least five hours . . . ." The critical difference is that, in the latter example, one knows if he has achieved the objective; in the former, the nebulous definition of "better" permits rationalization. It is the difference between the carpenter who says, "Today I was a better carpenter," and the one who can report, "Today I finished a cabinet." It is also important that our goals be attainable. We need to see ourselves as capable, successful people. If we constantly experience failure in reaching our goals, the image, "I am one who fails," may become part of the self-concept, with long-range negative consequences. Sometimes the objective must be adjusted downward, so that we can tell ourselves, "I am one who succeeds," at least part of the time. The energy one is willing to commit to a given goal is an important part of the final self-evaluation, even when our goal is not attained. Sometimes we can live with partial achievement if we know in our hearts we have "fought a good fight" and yet been frustrated beyond our control, or perhaps by an unrealistic goal. Far more destructive to the self-concept--and thus more apt to spawn failure--is the knowledge deep within oneself that his efforts have been halfhearted, and consequently that he himself is responsible for the objective not reached. Finally, there is the matter of priorities, of competition among many goals, and of long-range versus short-range objectives. A successful architect of a building or a life must pay attention to the total master plan as well as to the details of day-to-day construction. Dreaming about the magnificence of the final structure at the expense of careful attention to the daily, practical matters is a sure road to non-achievement.

—Howard M. Bahr, Pathfinder, Mercer Island, Wash., January 1972.

Often times we believe that the extra mile must always be a physical mile. But the physical second mile is simply a fruit or an expression of another second mile. This could be called the intangible, or the immeasurable second mile. It is the second-mile attitude. Going the second mile begins with goals and ambitions, continues through planning and organization, and concludes with the actions of accomplishment. Perhaps we could add one more phase--the enjoyment of a job well done. Second-mile goals and ambitions extract performances worthy of our potential. Our ambitions to win and not simply to participate; to establish something constructive and lasting rather than merely filling up a spot and going through the motions; to be tenacious in seeking primary goals rather than being satisfied with the achievement of secondary goals; to work a little harder than required, but even more important, to make all our work, the first and second miles, effective. However, the intelligent and successful man realizes that without a plan, without organized effort, much "second-mile going" will be necessary simply to repair earlier miscues of time and effort; thus we seem to run fast but get nowhere. A great swimmer is smooth, not a thrasher. A good crew eliminates all superfluous motion. Oft times we are not effective because we don't take extreme care. Though we go the physical second mile, in reality we accomplish nothing more. We fail to organize our day and our work schedule and we become very tired while spinning our wheels. The final step in our second-mile cycle is physical effort. Ambition and organization mean nothing until they develop into action.

—L. Thomas Fife, Fishers of Men, Hamburg, West Germany, April 1965.

Goals serve as motivators. They inspire us and serve as progress-markers as we review our personal progress. There is no success without goals and it is interesting to note that the success seen is never greater than those goals set to achieve it.

—Kellen B. Fisher, Fishers of Men, Hamburg, West Germany, September 1973.

If I find myself living to seemingly little avail, if I seem to be getting nowhere from day to day, if there is too little joy for me, or too little lasting satisfaction, perhaps I will do well to examine myself to see if there is in my life a centralized theme. How can I be a success if every day is devoted to achieve a different goal or if every hour finds me with a different object in view? Joy and satisfaction come only when there is a sense of accomplishment from day to day, from year to year. There can be no accomplishment and no real joy if my life has no theme to give it direction. He who lives every day to a definite goal that is the same from one year to the next will find himself reaching that goal. Whether that goal is a standard of conduct or an opportunity for service it will be realized. Like a piece of music with a central theme such a life will be recognized and remembered by others and it will be a source of satisfaction to the one who makes it. Let your life have a theme. Let your life have harmony.

—Vernald William Johns, Garland Times, Garland, Utah, May 8, 1930.

Goals are powerful. They have the power to pull us up over the obstacles. Keep your mind on your goal and you will never see the obstacles. ... The closer to the goal we come, the harder, the faster and more efficient we work. ... We know that we become what we think about. When we have no goals we become frustrated, fearful, confused and self-conscious. All we need to do is set our sights on a goal.

—L. Boyd Johnson, Harvester, Winter Park, Fla., October 1961.

In setting goals and doing something about them, your life will be more meaningful to you, you will be much happier, and you will accomplish much more in your life. You'll go onto fewer tangents if you set goals. You'll go on fewer dead end roads. Take an inventory of where you're going and what you want to be. Set your priorities.

—Thomas B. Neff, New York New York City Mission, New York, N.Y., June 1976.

In setting our goals we must set them high enough to keep us working to attain them.

—Robert Reeder, Harvester, Winter Park, Fla., October 1961.

To arrive nowhere is to be going nowhere. That is where one arrives with utmost certainty. You see, unless we have a goal in mind and an aim and an ambition and we stick with it, we are liable to arrive nowhere. That is where one arrives with utmost certainty.

—LeGrand Richards, Featured Speeches of the Year, Rexburg, Idaho, Oct.. 17, 1967.

To attempt to achieve a goal without an organized plan is as useless as putting blindfolds on two boxers and expecting them to scientifically defend themselves.

—Milton W. Russon, Harvester, Victoria, Australia, January 1969.

A goal gives direction to your efforts. We can never achieve a desired destiny without pointing ourselves in the right direction. Direction is very desirable, but how can we set a goal that will give us the desired direction and help us obtain the desired result? This can be done if one can follow a few simple rules. First, we have to know what we want. Now this must be something within reason, something that we can attain. One wouldn't set a short-range goal to swim the English Channel if he hadn't yet learned how to swim across the calm of a swimming pool. We must also be specific in what we want to obtain. Generalities lead us nowhere but to confusion. Next we add the specific time limit to our goal in order to intensify our goal and to help ourselves check our progress toward it. And the final word is work. No goal can be successful without this final touch. Now that we know how to make the goals, what about the success that we are going to see by making such goals? To see how a goal brings about success, let us look at a painter. He first sees a beautiful scene that he would like to paint--that finished scene is his goal. He sets a time period for work and begins. He first applies the undercoat colors. These are not often as bright and colorful as what he wanted for his end result, but he continues to work because he still has his picture in mind. He diligently applies that drab undercoat–never giving up in his seemingly futile efforts. Then at that final moment, he applies the touch-up colors. These add brilliance to the dark forms on his canvas. The result, of course, is a masterpiece. This is how goals can help us to be successful. They help us to overlook the seemingly apparent failures of today to gaze upon the masterpiece of tomorrow. Goals are the road signs to the future.

—Donald L. Smith, The Key, Munich, West Germany, Oct. 5, 1971.

Note: More quotations on Goals can be found in this Hub: Quotations for Motivation #1


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