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1. I just love it when people say I can’t do something.

David Andrews (b.1935) Irish politician. Quoted in CNN: The Inside Story (Hank Whittemore; 1990)


2. You can eat an elephant one bit at a time.

Mary Kay Ash (1915-2001) U.S. entrepreneur, business executive and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. Mary Kay (1981)


3. What’s the difference between a guy in the bighouse and the average guy you pass on the street? The guy in the bighouse is a Loser who tried.

Charled Bukowski (1920-94) U.S. poet, novelist and essayist. Notes of a Dirty Old Man (1969)


4. We must just KBO.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British prime minister. 1941. KBO stands for “Keep Buggering On.” Quoted in Finest Hour (Martin Gilbert; 1983)


5. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men of talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent.

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933) U.S. president. Quoted at his memorial service. Attrib.


6. One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remain to  be done.

Marie Curie (1867-1934) French physicist. Letter to her brother (March 18, 1894)


7. The secret of success is constancy to purpose.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81) British prime minister and novelist. Speech (June 24, 1872)


8. Go the extra mile.

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) U.S. motivational author. Think and Grow Rich (1937)


9. Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.

Samuel Johnson (1709-84) British poet, lexicographer, essayist and critic. Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia (1759)


10. A terrace nine stories high

Rises from a handful of earth;

A journey of a thousand miles

Starts from beneath one’s feet.

Laozi (570?-490? B.C.) Chinese philosopher, reputed founder of Daoism. Daode Jing, LXIV


11. Irresolute men are sometimes very persistent in their undertakings, because if they give up their designs they would have to make a second resolution.

Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) Italian poet and scholar. “Sayings of Filippo Ottonieri,” Essays, Dialogues and Thoughts (1827)


12. What I want people to know, as they look at this building and its treasures, is that they are the creations…of hard, plodding work within the reach of all those who wish to make the necessary sacrifice.

Lord Leverhulme (1851-1925) British entrepreneur, philanthropist and cofounder of Unilever. On the official opening of the art gallery at Port Sunlight. Speech, Port Sunlight, near Liverpool, England (1922)


13. Defeat doesn’t finish a man-quit does. A man is not finished when he’s defeated. He’s finished when he quits.

Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-94) U.S. president. July 1969. Quoted in Before the Fall (William Safire; 1973), pt. 3, ch. 4


14. There are no secrets to success: don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence.

Colin Powell (b.1937) U.S. military leader and politician. Colin Powell (1989)


15. There is nothing which persevering effort and unceasing and diligent care cannot overcome.

Seneca (4? B.C.-A.D. 65) Roman politician, philosopher and writer. “Epistle 50,” Lucilium (A.D. 64), sect. 6


16. ‘Tis known by the name of perseverance in a good cause-and of obstinacy in a bad one.

Laurence Sterne (1713-68) British novelist and humorist. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759-67), bk. 1, ch. 17



17. It’s dogged as does it. It ain’t thinking about it.

Anthony Trollope (1815-82) British novelist. The Last Chronicle of Barset ()1867, vol. 1,ch. 61


18. We’re gonna stay on until the end of the world. And when that day comes we’ll cover it, play “Nearer My God to Thee” and sign off.

Ted Turner (b.1938) U.S. founder of Turner Broadcasting Systems. Referring to his ambitions for the then fledgling Cable News Network. Quoted in The Corporate Warriors (Douglas K. Ramsey; 1988)


19. Remember, a person who wins success may have been counted out many times before. He wins because he refuses to give up.

Kemmons Wilson (1913-2003) U.S. entrepreneur, founder and chairman of Holiday Inn. Speech, Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan (September 1996)