Longer quotes generally contain more meaning and depth than one liners, although one liners often double up as useful rules of thumb. I’ll look into that in a separate post.
There are a few long quotes in particular that I have found myself reading over and over again through the years, providing a well of perspectives from which I draw motivation. Here are 5 favourites:
1. “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”
- Theodore Roosevelt (US President, 1901-1909)
2. “Entrepreneurship is a game of risks versus rewards. It’s you against the world, with the odds in the world’s favor. It’s exciting, frightening, frustrating and fulfilling — sometimes all in the same day. In an increasingly paternalistic civilization, it is one of the few remaining endeavors where a small group, banding together in common cause, can apply their skill, savvy, guts and determination to changing the world, and see it happen. For those who are up to it, it’s the only game there is.”
- Peter H. Schmidt (Co-Founder, Lifting Mind)
3. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
- Michael Jordan (Legendary NBA Player)*
*Hat tip to Jamie Quint
for first leading me to this one.
4. “Defeat is a state of mind. No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as reality. To me, defeat in anything is merely temporary, and its punishment is but an urge for me to greater effort to achieve my goal. Defeat simply tells me that something is wrong in my doing; it is a path leading to success and truth.”
- Bruce Lee (Martial Artist & Actor, 1940-1973)
5. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Stay hungry, stay foolish.”
- Steve Jobs (Co-Founder & CEO, Apple)
And finally a bonus quote that I found in the introduction of Guy Kawasaki’s popular book on entrepreneurship, “The Art of The Start