How to Succeed in Life – Through Famous Quotes of the Most Successful People on Earth

This is a repost and a slight modification from my old website.  I thought it would be useful to post again:

Years ago I made it my desire to be successful in life and be able to give back to the world. I was raised on the principle that you should leave the world a better place than when you came.

I have searched high and low, read books, magazines, websites, listened to podcasts, and watched videos seeking guidance in my goals to be, in the words of Borat, a “great success.”

Although the idea of success is different to every person – whether it be money, fame, or something as simplistic as to have a good family life. I have learned that the rules and advice to reach your idea of success are the same everywhere for everyone.

Below is a list of the most common advice that I have collected from those who have made it. Note that in order to make the list, the advice, or some variation, had to of shown up more than once and from more than one person.

So here it is, what one should do in order to become successful.

Convince Your Brain That You Are Already Successful (Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, Problogger.net)

I truly believe that the human mind is far more powerful than anything in the world. This is why navy seals can hold their breath for so long and why people can learn to ignore pain. With the proper training, you can train your mind to do about anything.

Convincing your brain that you have already achieved a goal makes you that much closer to it. I have learned that goals are much more difficult to achieve when they are placed up on a pedestal. Believing that you have attained them already keeps them on your level and makes them easier to achieve.

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” -Bill Cosby

Learn To Go With Your Gut Instinct (Anyone who has ever founded a startup)

I remember a high school teacher of mine telling me to always go with my first instinct on a test. Well the same rule applies in life and in business.  Always do what feels right at the time. Although you probably won’t be right every time, you will be when it really counts.

“When in doubt, don’t.” -Benjamin Franklin

Life Is All About Relationships So Don’t Burn Bridges (Tina Seelig, Stanford Professor)

“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” -Theodore Roosevelt

You will run into the same people over and over again in life so you need to make good relationships now.

You are not going to like everyone and everyone is not going to like you, no matter how nice of a person you are or how much you donate to charity.   Just take a look at Bill Gates.  He and his wife probably donate more to charity than anyone, yet he still had a group of people who hate him.

“Don’t be so petty. Sometimes you have to do business with people you don’t like. It doesn’t mean you have to be like them or like them.” -Donald Trump

Learn to treat all people with respect, no matter what.

“When angry count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” -Thomas Jefferson

Learn Everything You Can On Sales And Marketing

“Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success… The value of an idea lies in the using of it.” -Thomas A. Edison

No matter how cool the newest technology is, it is useless unless it provides value.

Would you use the slick looking iPod if it was difficult to use?  What if it didn’t even play music? Would you use Google if you got back a “No results found” message every time?

Create things with value to the user in mind before anything else.  Then learn to convey your message.

Many Ideas Come Out Of Something That Already Exists

Barbara Carey has used this concept to bring over 100 products to market and acquire more than a dozen patents.

“There’s a way to do it better – find it.”  -Thomas A. Edison

Be Persistent (Napoleon Hill, Barbara Carey)

“I never did anything by accident, nor did any of my inventions come by accident; they came by work… Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.”  -Thomas A. Edison

Successful people do not get that way accidentally nor do they usually achieve great success on the first try.

“All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.” -Mark Twain

Make Mistakes Then Learn From Them

“Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.” -Thomas A. Edison

If the answer is no, find out why. If you get the wrong answer, learn the right one.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill

Know Your Weaknesses And Surround Yourself With Positive People That Can Do What You Cannot

This is similar to the “self-fulfilling prophecy” and why many people who are told that they will never amount to anything often don’t.  If somebody tells you enough times that you are a mongoose, after awhile you will probably start believing them.  Surround yourself with encouraging people that believe in you and you will believe in yourself.

If you are passionate about your idea, it is likely that others will be also and they will want to help you.  Call on those people when you need them.

Learn To Say No

Saying no to someone is better than saying yes and not being able to give 100%. I used to think that I could and should do everything I had an opportunity to do, but have since learned that it is not possible.

“You can do it all, just not all at the same time.” -Tina Seelig

Try New Things And Keep What Works

“When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting I go ahead of it and make trial after trial until it comes.” -Thomas A. Edison

Ideas are like baseball, your going to strike-out more than you hit out of the park and your probably going to bat under .500.

“Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results. I know several thousand things that won’t work.” -Thomas A. Edison

When You Are Ready To Quit, You Are Closer Than You Think (Bob Parsons, Founder of GoDaddy)

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” -Thomas A. Edison

Many things that have failed could of succeeded with a little more effort.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” -Thomas A. Edison

Learn When To Call It Quits (Om Malik)

In contrast you don’t want to beat your head on to a wall repeatedly and expect different results.

As I said above, try lots of things and keep what works. If nothing works and your most creative part of your brain is exhausted. Maybe you should pull the plug. After all, the most important decision that we make everyday is what we spend our time on.

Never Miss An Opportunity

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Always give 100%.

“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.” -Thomas Jefferson

Above is the advice that I have collected on my road to success, I hope it helps others as it has helped me.

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Eliot is a software developer by trade and a entrepreneur by spirit. He has built web software for the likes of YMCA, UPS, FedEx, Ford and Harcourt, and helped launch mobile apps like Coupon Policy, TourWrist, and Pocket Legal.

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One thought on “How to Succeed in Life – Through Famous Quotes of the Most Successful People on Earth

  1. […] relationships may just be what makes our success meaningful in the first place. *Further reading: How to Succeed in Life — Through Famous Quotes of the Most Successful People on Earth “How to Succeed in Life” by Andrew Carnegie Summary of “How to Win Friends and […]