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Quotations for Motivation #42 --- Purpose

Updated on March 7, 2011

Quotations on Purpose (Set No. 2)

Have you a purpose of your own? Are you trying to improve something? Is your desire to make yourself proficient in any line of work? Have you an idea that you are trying to express? Have you set up before you a mark that is higher than you can conveniently reach? Are you giving any thought to what you may be doing five years from now? Are you looking steadfastly in any direction with the determination of traveling it? Have you a purpose of your own?

The status of a man's life depends largely on how he answers those questions. Many persons can answer them all in the affirmative. But many more–a great many more–could not answer even one of them without stopping to take stock of their thoughts and to see if they really have a purpose. Most people are content to spend their lives carrying out the purposes of others. They work only for the pay. They care more for the pay than for the purpose. Give them the pay and you can have the purpose, for all they care. And in this manner millions of unsatisfactory, unhappy, unsuccessful lives are spent.

If you, in any degree, belong to the latter class, why not look the matter squarely in the face? Why not have a purpose of your own? You can still serve another's purpose--can serve it even better; you can still have the pay, and yet be working out your own purpose. The salesman merely becomes a better salesman. All good purposes tend in the same direction and can go hand in hand.

—Waldo Pondray Warren, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Dec. 8, 1907.

A purposeless man is a spineless man–he floats, never swims–he goes with the tide like trash–he never leads, and is often too weak to follow. He is in the way like a body of death. He’s “dead and don’t know it.” He breathes without life–looks without seeing, hears without heeding–tastes without assimilation, and feels without appreciation. His associates are the living dead. Purpose is a passport to destiny.

—J.J. Wicker, Religious Herald, Richmond, Va., Jan. 6, 1938.

In order to achieve any distinction whatever, one should as early as possible cut clear his purpose, his aim, the flame that shall burn always before his eyes. A mere desire to succeed in this or that will not suffice; for if there is not a definite purpose to make a distant goal, energy will be sidetracked, short-circulated, and wasted on every hand.

Aim may be described as a specific desire to achieve a more or less vividly imagined end. In some people aim matures in childhood, and is often due to marked ability along certain lines. ...

In most people, however, aim is an offspring of their education. By coming into contact with many lines of work, a particular subject fires the ambition and gives one the determination to make it one's life work. ...

However the aim be produced, it must be clearly defined, so that it can most powerfully stimulate the will. The diffused rays of the sun that but mildly warm you, if concentrated by a lens could set the world afire. Aim's backbone is interest and sorry indeed is the struggle without it. The man and the woman who are continuously bored by their work have either an unhealthy mental attitude or a wrong goal. Note the difference between the scientist working ceaselessly, tirelessly, exultantly, over a discovery, and the languid, shiftless fellow who drags himself from this to that and complains at every step. The first has a purpose, aim and interest which thrill his whole soul, enable him to concentrate, and which prevent fatigue; while the other fellow getting no "kick" out of life, strikes feebly and wildly into a sea more vast than the total of human knowledge--a sea so great that sporadic effort can make no impression.

When you have a purpose and an interest, attention and concentration follow automatically. The man who looks at achievement as a great game, does not lack the ability to concentrate nor does he grope for inspiration.

—Kenneth M. Sweezey, Specialty Salesman Magazine, Atlanta, Ga., September 1926.

Every person has two eyes but he has only one vision unless there is something the matter with the nerves of his eyes.

Should he receive a blow on the head or take certain drugs or strong drink, the nerves become jangled and he sees double or triple. The eyes are then working at cross purposes.

It is important that one's two eyes should pull together and work in harmony.

So it is equally important that one's ends and aims in life should be focused, concentrated, gathered up into one definite and single purpose.

A man cannot look up with one eye and down with the other, to the right with one eye and to the left with the other. Neither can one serve a fine, high purpose part of the time and a low, unworthy purpose the rest of the time. One cannot hold with the hare and run with the hounds.

A dominating purpose to serve and help other men and women cannot exist side by side with the selfish purpose to look out for number one all the time.

Abraham Lincoln said, "This country cannot exist half slave and half free." Neither can a man exist half public spirited and half selfish. He must be either the one thing or the other.

A man should regard his business by which, of course, he lives and amasses influence and power, as a means by which to serve his fellow man. It does not make a great deal of difference what his business is, so long as it is legitimate. But it does make a world of difference how he carries it on, whether for himself simply and solely or for the people he has to deal with.

—Burris A. Jenkins, Kansas City Post, Kansas City, Mo., April 4, 1919.

With a noble purpose, a high endeavor and a useful end in view, you shall make yourself a master in your line.

A man may know that he has found his place when his work is a pleasure to him. If you long for the time to quit you are in the wrong job. If you go to work with no more delight than you left it your job belongs to some other man. When you have found your true calling, you will not find nature putting any barriers in your path of progress.

If you have been boring in the same hole for years, without striking oil, you have either got too short an augur or you are in the wrong hole. If you are sure you are in the wrong place, get on the right track. If you are on the right track you will not be wondering whether the rails are laid down right, you will know it by the way things run.

In the right place you will be resourceful, happy and contented; you will expand and grow. ... Capital is not what a man has but what he is.

—Madison C. Peters, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 1, 1913.

Tact and talent you have. Add purpose, determined purpose, without which other qualifications in business are almost useless. Work is related to genius. Do well all you understand to do, and do it better than others if you can. Will to be what you wish, then be it.

—Moses Thatcher, Southern Star, Chattanooga, Tenn., April 22, 1899.

A great purpose challenges, inspires, fortifies life. What a tragedy when men do not dream dreams, see visions, when they live little lives, when they do not have lofty purposes and ideals! The little things of life wear one out. The little plans, the little dilettante programs are the tax on life. ... What a tonic to life are big thoughts, big dreams, big programs, big purposes, big ideals! Sometimes a man will grow more in half an hour than he has grown in a quarter of a century.

—George W. Truett, Baptist Standard, Dallas, Texas, May 6, 1920.

Without character no steadiness of purpose can exist with him or her who is to take his place in the ranks of life and fill his component part of the great among life's toilers–without well-informed convictions in faith and duty–the contrast of life cannot be appreciated or its conflicts entered by the valiant spirits that know no defeat, listens to no compromise, but sustained by the armor of truth maintains its principles till victory crowns all noble effort.

—Tullius C. Tupper, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., June 18, 1900.

The most successful man is a man with an unwavering aim. Oh, the power of a great purpose. It has changed the face of the world. ... Concentration and consecration of life upon one purpose should be the dream of every heart.

—Herbert Whiting Virgin, The Prairie, Canyon, Texas, Aug. 9, 1920.

Without the bread of noble purpose man dies too easily. Random purpose will not nourish the deep yearnings which distinguish man from other animals. For man is more than hunger, thirst, and sexual drive; more than a creature of habit or a circuit of biological impulses. Alone among the animals man may choose against his hungers; he may discipline his desires so that they become servant rather than master. Only man may reflect and choose purpose for living that is beyond himself. And he is never fully man until this choice is made.

—Browning Ware, Beaumont Enterprise, Beaumont, Texas, Jan. 21, 1966.

Singleness of purpose is a good horse to help draw the load of life.

—Ernest C. Wareing, Western Christian Advocate, Cincinnati, Ohio, July 9, 1925.

Failure is more frequently due to lack of plan and purpose than to a lack of power to perform. The man who has a goal and keeps driving will surprise everyone, including himself, at the success he will pile up.

—OIiver G. Wilson, The Wesleyan Methodist, Syracuse, N.Y., July 11, 1956.

Do everything with a definite purpose in mind. And be sure that the purpose has merit and worth.

—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., Aug. 10, 1948.

Serving a purpose usually leads to mastering the situation.

—Benjamin Arstein, San Antonio Express, San Antonio, Texas, June 8, 1911.

Purpose can only be applied to an intelligent personality. Purpose is opposed to chance. ... The progress which we find in the world is an evidence of purpose.

—William P. King, The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 21, 1926.

The greatness of a man is in proportion to the nobility of his purposes.

—DeWitt McMurray, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Dec. 1, 1911.

Purpose motivates attitude.

—Robert L. Mitchell, Indian Israel, Holbrook, Ariz., August 1965.

Planning and plugging without a purpose of time–you will never get there because you are not going anywhere.

—R.B. Moore, San Antonio Register, San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 30, 1932.

Genius is only the power of making continuous efforts. The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it–so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it. How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success. As the tide goes clear out, so it comes clear in. In business, sometimes prospects may seem darkest when really they are on the turn. A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure, may turn to glorious success. There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat from within, no really insurmountable barrier except our own inherent weakness of purpose.

Scott County News, Oneida, Tenn., Jan. 31, 1930.

You can't have purpose without "pep."

Carson City News, Carson City, Nev., Oct. 6, 1921.

Patience gives a big push to any purposes.

Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Aug. 21, 1904.

Purposes, like eggs, unless they be hatched into actions, will turn into rottenness.

Michigan Farmer, Detroit, Mich., March 14, 1887.

Delay puts out the fire of purpose.

River Press, Fort Benton, Mont., Jan. 3, 1934.

Purpose is the edge and point of character, it is the superscription on the talent. Character without it is blunt and torpid; genius without it is bullion–splendid and uncirculated.

Ogden Junction, Ogden, Utah, Feb. 2, 1870.

As a rule, the successful man is not always the one of unusual ability, but rather than man who has a bulldog grip on a definite purpose. Just as well give a man like that plenty of elbow room.

Pocatello Tribune, Pocatello, Idaho, Nov. 5, 1920.


Submit a Comment

  • brightforyou profile image

    Helen Lewis 

    7 years ago from Florida

    Voted up ~ some good quotes here!


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