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1. Some men are just as firmly convinced of what they think as others are of what they know.

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) Greek philosopher and scientist. Nicomachean Ethics (4th century B.C.)


2. I’ve learned the perimeter of my circle of confidence.

Warren Buffett (b.1930) U.S. entrepreneur and financier. Quoted in Treasury of Investment Wisdom (Bernice Cohen; 1999)


3. Trust comes back to the character, behavior, and values of the company. You only achieve trust and retain it if you behave in a way which inspires trust.

Dominic Cadbury (b.1940) British business executive. Quoted in The Winning Streak Mark II (Walter Goldsmith and David Clutterbuck; 1997)


4. Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks on great and honorable courses with a sure hope and trust in itself.

Cicero (106-43 B.C.) Roman orator and statesman. Rhetorical Invention (1st century B.C.), bk. 1


5. Danger breeds best on too much confidence.

Pierre Corneille (1606-84) French playwright. Le Cid (1636)


6. I am very careful about bringing people into my confidence. I want to see the color of their eyes.

  1. Gerald Corrigan (b.1941) U.S. investment banker and managing director of Goldman Sachs. Referring to becoming president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis. New York Times (December 30, 1984)


7. Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.

Charles Darwin (1809-82) British scientist and evolutionary theorist. The Descent of Man (1871)


8. Confidence as an outgoing act is directness and courage in meeting the facts of life, trusting them to bring instruction and support to a developing self.

John Dewey (1859-1952) U.S. philosopher and educational theorist. Human Nature and Conduct (1922)


9. I see before me the statue of a celebrated minister, who said that confidence was a plant of slow growth. But I believe, however gradual may be the growth of confidence, that of credit requires still more time to arrive at maturity.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81) British prime minister and novelist. Speech (November 9, 1867)


10. I always went into an area that was in last place, with a philosophy, “you can’t fall off the floor.”

Michael Eisner (b.1942) U.S. chairman and C.E.O. of the Disney Corporation. Speech (June 1994)


11. Self-trust is the essence of heroism.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82) U.S. essayist, lecturer, and poet. “Heroism.” Essays First Series (1841)


12. Speak what you think to-day in words as hard as cannon-balls and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82) U.S. essayist, lecturer, and poet. “Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1841)


13. The greatest success is confidence.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82) U.S. essayist, lecturer, and poet. “Behavior,” The Conduct of Life (1860)


14. We should do everything both cautiously and confidently at the same time.

Epictetus (55?-135?) Greek philosopher. Discourses (2nd century A.D.), bk.2


15. Whether you believe you can, or whether you believe you can’t, you’re absolutely right.

Henry Ford (1863-1947) U.S. industrialist, automobile manufacturer, and founder of Ford Motor Company. Attrib.


16. We often take a minimal level of trust and honesty for granted and forget that they pervade everyday economic life and are crucial to its smooth functioning.

Francis Fukuyama (b.1952) U.S. economist and writer. Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity (1995)


17. The superior confidence which people repose in the tall man is well merited. Being tall, he is more visible than other men and being more visible, he is much more closely watched.

J.K. Galbraith (b.1908) U.S. economist and diplomat. The Scotch (1964)


18. Attempt easy tasks as if they were difficult, and difficult as if they were easy: in the one case that confidence may not fall asleep, in the other that it may not be dismayed.

Baltasar Gracian (1601-58) Spanish writer and priest. The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)


19. Building up the confidence of an organization can sometimes lead to feelings of arrogance and superiority towards those on whom you are actually dependent for making a living.

John Harvey-Jones (b.1924) British management adviser, author, and former chairman of ICI. Warning against building up the company’s confidence at the expense of customers and suppliers. Managing to Survive (1993)


20. As is our confidence, so is our capacity.

William Hazlitt (1778-1830) British essayist and journalist. Characteristics (1823)


21. If the public doesn’t believe the message conveyed by your product and its promotion, the marketing game is lost.

Robert Heller (b.1932) British management writer. The Supermarketers (1987)


22. A reasonable probability is the only certainty.

Ed Howe (1853-1937) U.S. journalist and writer. Country Town Sayings (1911)


23. The better people think they are, the better they will be. Positive self-image creates success.

Liisa Joronen (b.1944) Finnish C.E.O. of SOL (formerly Lindstrom). Interview in The Winning Streak Mark II (Walter Goldsmith and David Clutterbuck; 1997)


24. The confidence which we have in ourselves gives birth to much of that which we have in others.

Francois La Rochefoucauld (1613-80) French epigrammatist. Reflections or, Sentences and Moral Maxims (5th ed.; 1678)


25. In times of great prosperity it’s easy to forget that investors commit capital because they have a basic confidence in the quality and integrity of America’s markets. That faith does more than fuel markets-it makes markets possible.

Arthur Levitt, JR. (b.1931) U.S. author and former chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Speech to the New York City. “Renewing the Covenant with Investors” (May 10, 2000)


26. If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) U.S. president. Quoted in Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories (Alexander K. McClure; 1904)


27. The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.

Walter Lippmann (1889-1974) U.S. political commentator, editor, and writer. “Roosevelt has Gone,” New York Herald Tribune (April 14, 1945)


28. Confidence placed in another often compels confidence in return.

Livy (59 B.C.-A.D. 17) Roman historian. History of Rome (26 B.C.-A.D. 15)


29. My parents…gave me the biggest gift a parent can give a child: Confidence.

Elizabeth MacKay, U.S. investment strategist and managing director of Bear Stearns. Quoted in Women of the Street (Sue Herera; 1997)


30. I don’t really see the hurdles. I sense them like a memory.

Edwin Moses (b.1955) U.S. athlete. Attrib.


31. No one can build or construct anything beautiful unless he has faith.

Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) Indian prime minister. Quoted in Glorious Thoughts of Nehru (N. B. Sen; 1964)


32. Confidence is a mark of respect-and respect is appreciated by anyone of courage and honor.

Anne-Marie-Louise D’ Orleans (1627-93) French noblewoman and author. Mademoiselle’s Portrait Gallery (1657)


33. If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else.

Laurence J. Peter (1919-90) Canadian academic and writer. The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong (co-written with Raymond Hull; 1969)


34. You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow.

Robert M. Pirsig (b.1928) U.S. author. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), pt. 2, ch. 13


35. Confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom; youth is the season of credulity.

William Pitt (1708-78) British prime minister. Speech to the House of Commons (January 14, 1766)


36. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) U.S. reformer, author, and first lady. You learn by Living (1960)


37. Lack of confidence is not the result of difficulty; the difficulty comes from lack of confidence.

Seneca (4? B.C.-A.D. 65) Roman politician, philosopher, and writer. Letters to Lucilius (1st century A.D.)


38. There’s one blessing only, the source and cornerstone of beatitude-confidence in self.

Seneca (4? B.C.-A.D. 65) Roman politician, philosopher, and writer. Letters to Lucilius (1st century A.D.)


39. One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven’t and don’t.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Irish writer and critic. The Apple Cart (1929), Act 1


40. When it comes to mergers, hope triumphs over experience.

Irwin Stelzer (b.1932) U.S. economist. Quoted in Treasury of Investment Wisdom (Bernice Cohen; 1999)


41. If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) U.S. writer. Walden, or Life in the Woods (1854), Conclusion


42. All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) U.S. writer. Letter to Mrs. Foote (December 2, 1887)


43. They can do all because they think they can.

Virgil (70-19 B.C.) Roman poet. Aeneid (26-19 B.C.)


44. Confidence is a thing not to be produced by compulsion. Men cannot be forced to trust.

Daniel Webster (1782-1852) U.S. statesman, orator, and lawyer. Speech in the Senate (1834)


45. Las Vegas has always represented the tremendous freedom to do nutty things.

Steve Wynn (b.1942) U.S. hotel entrepreneur. Economist (1996)