MUST READ The Philosophy of Success How to WIN by Gene Kizer

Posted By : manager

Posted : October 25, 2020

Winning, and the Philosophy of Success

It is and always has been an American zeal to be first
in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.
– Vince Lombardi

Winning, and the Philosophy of Success

by Gene Kizer, Jr.

Publisher’s Note: This is one of the few non-Southern history articles on this blog but this is such GREAT material I have wanted to publish it for a while. This is Chapter X of my pro-South, 360 page book, The Elements of Academic Success, How to Graduate Magna Cum Laude from College (or how to just graduate, PERIOD!), published in 2014. The words and philosophies of driven, successful people are highly motivational. In this final chapter of the book are 61 pages of powerful quotations from some of the most successful people throughout history. It is thoroughly enjoyable to read material like this but let me warn you: You WILL get fired up! The first few quotations are part of the epigraph, then the bold topic sentences continue from previous chapters.

“Winning is not everything. It is the only thing.”
Vince Lombardi

“Whether you believe you can do a thing or believe you can’t, you are right.”
– Henry Ford

“The longer I live, the more deeply I am convinced that that which makes the difference between one man and another – between the weak and the powerful, the great and the insignificant – is energy, invincible determination, a purpose once formed and then death or victory.”
– Fowell Buxton

“Success or failure in business is caused more by mental attitude even than by mental capacities.”
Walter Dill Scott

“You can really have everything you want. If you go after it. But you will have to want it. The desire for success must be so strong within you that it is the very breath of your life — your first thought when you awaken in the morning, your last thought when you go to bed at night.”
– Charles E. Popplestone

“The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat.”
Napoleon Hill

“People do not lack strength; they lack will.”
Victor Hugo

“Success isn’t a result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.”
Arnold H. Glasow

“It’s not the size of the man in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the man.”
– Teddy Roosevelt

323. Read about success and those who have achieved it.

You can develop a powerful attitude by reading about success and those who have achieved it. There is nothing so motivational as a good story in which the hero bleeds and struggles but refuses to be beaten, and finally wins. Be that protagonist in your own story!

324. Accumulate a library of success books and refer back to them regularly.

The result of reading about success and successful people is the same as when you associate with successful people. Their success and good attitude rub off on you.

Once you go to an online book store such as,,,,, et al., there are links to all the other success and positive mental attitude books. Many of them are also available as audio books.

Walk into a bookstore and look in the self-help and inspiration sections. In the bigger stores, there will be a ton of great books, old and new.

325. Buy the old classic, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.

Think and Grow Rich is the best selling success book of all time. Chapter 1, “The Power of Thought,” starts with:

TRULY, “thoughts are things,” and powerful things at that, when they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence and a BURNING DESIRE for their translation into riches, or other material objects.1

Need I say more.

And let me add “a BURNING DESIRE” for not just “riches or material objects” but intangibles such as graduating magna cum laude! That was as tangible to me as the Atlantic Ocean, and I had a BURNING DESIRE to get there and was willing to sacrifice and work myself into the ground, and I got there. So can you.

Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) wrote several other outstanding books.

326. Buy The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) is another success author who has written numerous books. One of his most famous is The Power of Positive Thinking. Here’s how it starts in Chapter 1, “Believe in Yourself”:

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. But with sound self-confidence you can succeed. A sense of inferiority and inadequacy interferes with the attainment of your hopes, but self-confidence leads to self-realization and successful achievement. Because of the importance of this mental attitude, this book will help you believe in yourself and release your inner powers.2

327. Another classic is the huge 1936 bestseller, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie.

Dorothy Carnegie, wife of author Dale Carnegie, writes this in the Preface to the 2009 reprint:

How to Win Friends and Influence People was first published in 1937… took its place in publishing history as one of the all-time international best-sellers. It touched a nerve and filled a human need that was more than a faddish phenomenon of post-Depression days, as evidenced by its continued and uninterrupted
sales . . .3

This book has sold 15 million copies worldwide. It remains popular today.

Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) wrote several other success books.

328. The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, edited by James Clavell, is an enlightening book of strategy and success.

This great book was written 2,500 years ago in China. Sun Tzu defines supreme excellence:

To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.4

Sun Tzu knew that planning is essential to success on the battlefield.

The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. Thus do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat; how much more no calculation at all!5

329. Planning is also essential in life!

Planning leads to achievement of goals. Not planning leads to floundering.

If you don’t plan, you can’t concentrate your power or evaluate how you are doing. You can’t correct errors or stay on track.

Two millennia after Sun Tzu, and over a century ago, French dramatist and writer, Victor Hugo (1802-1885 – author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Les Misérables) echoed Sun Tzu’s sentiment:

He who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life. The orderly arrangement of his time is like a ray of light which darts itself through all his occupations. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidents, all things lie huddled together in one chaos, which admits of neither distribution nor review.6

330. Read the autobiography of Wal-Mart founder, Sam Walton.

Sam’s 1992 autobiography, Made in America, My Story, by Sam Walton with John Huey, is a powerhouse of inspiration that you will think about every time you walk into Wal-Mart.

I have included some extra quotations here because THIS is how you succeed in business.

‘Wal-Mart is the finest-managed company we have ever followed. We think it is quite likely the finest-managed company in America, and we know of at least one investor who thinks it is the finest-managed company in the world. We do not expect to find another Wal-Mart in our lifetime . . .’ – Margaret Gilliam, First Boston, around 19927

‘(Sam Walton) is the greatest businessman of this century.’ – Harry Cunningham, Kmart Founder8

‘I’ve known Sam since his first store in Newport, Arkansas, and I believe that money is, in some respects, almost immaterial to him. What motivates the man is the desire to absolutely be on top of the heap.’ – Charlie Baum, Early Wal-Mart Partner9

‘I remember him saying over and over again: go in and check our competition. Check everyone who is our competition. And don’t look for the bad. Look for the good. If you get one good idea, that’s one more than you went into the store with, and we must try to incorporate it into our company. We’re really not concerned with what they’re doing wrong, we’re concerned with what they’re doing right, and everyone is doing something right.’ – Charlie Cate10

‘ (Sam Walton) is less afraid of being wrong than anyone I’ve ever known. And once he see he’s wrong, he just shakes it off and heads in another direction.’ – David Glass11

‘. . . If you take someone who lacks the experience and the know-how but has the real desire and the willingness to work his tail off to get the job done, he’ll make up for what he lacks. And that proved true nine times out of ten. It was one way we were able to grow so fast.’ – Ferold Arend12

From Sam himself:

Even when I was a little kid in Marshall, Missouri, I remember being ambitious. . . . I was so competitive that when I started Boy Scouts in Marshall I made a bet with the other guys about which one of us would be the first to reach the rank of Eagle. Before I made Eagle in Marshall, we had moved to the little town of Shelbina, Missouri  population maybe 1,500  but I won the bet; I got my Eagle at age thirteen – the youngest Eagle Scout in the history of the state of Missouri at the time.13

This is a big contradiction in my makeup that I don’t completely understand to this day. In many of my core values  things like church and family and civic leadership and even politics  I’m a pretty conservative guy. But for some reason in business, I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been.14

I can tell you this, though: after a lifetime of swimming upstream, I am convinced that one of the real secrets to Wal-Mart’s phenomenal success has been that very tendency. Many of our best opportunities were created out of necessity. The things that we were forced to learn and do, because we started out underfinanced and undercapitalized in these remote, small communities, contributed mightily to the way we’ve grown as a company.15

One way I’ve managed to keep up with everything on my plate is by coming in to the office really early almost every day, even when I don’t have those Saturday numbers to look over. Four-thirty wouldn’t be all that unusual a time for me to get started down at the office.16

Around 1976 and 1977, we definitely got the message that Kmart – with 1,000 stores – thought Wal-Mart – with 150 – had gotten too big for its britches…. In 1976, we had a session of our discounters’ trade group in Phoenix, and a lot of guys were talking about ways to avoid competing with Kmart directly. I got a little mad and told everybody they ought to stand up and fight them. I made it clear we planned to.17

If American business is going to prevail, and be competitive, we’re going to have to get accustomed to the idea that business conditions change, and that survivors have to adapt to those changing conditions. Business is a competitive endeavor, and job security lasts only as long as the customer is satisfied. Nobody owes anybody else a living.18

This book is full of GOLD for entrepreneurs and people who plan business careers, especially in retail and marketing. There is a TON more extremely valuable information in this enjoyable book. It should be required reading for everybody in business.

331. Read some of Donald Trump’s books.

[Publisher’s Note: It is fascinating to look back on this, now that Trump is president (Oct. 2020). You can see how these traits served him well the past four years. This is a great book full of valuable material. He has several others out there just like this.]

I read Think Big and Kick Ass, in Business and Life, by The Donald, co-authored with Bill Zanker. This book is full of highly motivational material and excellent advice such as:

To be a success the most important thing is to love what you do. You have to put in long hours and face enormous challenges to be successful. If you do not love what you do, you will never make it through. If you love your work, the difficulties will be balanced out by the enjoyment.19

All successful people are high-energy people who are passionate about what they do. Find a passion that energizes you!20

Do not look for approval from others. That is a sure sign of weakness.21

Some people carry around a lot of mental baggage, which destroys their focus. Get rid of it. It just gets in the way and slows you down.22

The worse hell you will ever face is the hell you create with your own mind. It is much worse than the hell other people create for you. So instead of dwelling on all the negatives, think about what you want. Think about all the good things you are going to do in life. Keep focused on your goal and never give up. Besides, bad times bring great opportunities.23

332. When you read an exceptionally motivational quotation, look up the person saying it and read a brief bio. Learn something about an accomplished person.

Just Google them and Wikipedia or somewhere will pop up. It makes the quotation so much more meaningful if you know a little about the person saying it. You don’t have to read much, just skim a few paragraphs and read what you want.

In the compilations below, there are hundreds of the most famous, accomplished men and women of all time whose stories and quotations are highly motivational.

One of them is Orison Swett Marden, founder of Success magazine and author of numerous books on success.

Also, Marden’s original inspiration, Samuel Smiles. Smiles wrote hundreds of articles and twenty-five books including Self-Help, a best-selling classic celebrating achievement and self-reliance. It was published in 1859 but is still powerful reading and just as relevant today. The principles are the same.

333. Compilations of success quotations are jam-packed with crackling, buzzing electricity.

One can get lost in a bliss of quotations about success, determination, desire, discipline, achievement and the other things humans are geared to do.

These types of books show you the minds and raw drive of men and women determined to make things happen in their lives. They are the movers, shakers and achievers of the world, and will not be denied.

Compilations of success quotations can be read over and over throughout one’s life for a shot of motivation or pure pleasure.

Here are a few I love:

“You know from past experience that whenever you have been driven to the wall, or thought you were, you have extricated yourself in a way which you never would have dreamed possible had you not been put to the test. The trouble is that in your everyday life you don’t go deep enough to tap the divine mind within you.”
 Orison Swett Marden

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

“You learn that, whatever you are doing in life, obstacles don’t matter very much. Pain or other circumstances can be there, but if you want to do a job bad enough, you’ll find a way to get it done.”
 Jack Youngblood

“This force, which is the best thing in you, your highest self, will never respond to any ordinary half-hearted call, or any milk-and-water endeavor. It can only be reached by your supremest call, your supremest effort. It will respond only to the call that is backed up by the whole of you, not part of you; you must be all there in what you are trying to do. You must bring every particle of your energy, unswervable resolution, your best efforts, your persistent industry to your task or the best will not come out of you. You must back up your ambition by your whole nature, by unbounded enthusiasm and a determination to win which knows no failure…. Only a masterly call, a masterly will, a supreme effort, intense and persistent application, can unlock the door to your inner treasure and release your highest powers.”
 Orison Swett Marden

“Get into a line that you will find to be a deep personal interest something you really enjoy spending twelve to fifteen hours a day working at, and the rest of the time thinking about.”
 Earl Nightingale

“Success is not measured by what a man accomplished, but by the opposition he has encountered, and the courage with which he has maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds….”
 Orison Swett Marden

“It is not ease, but effort — not facility, but difficulty, that makes men. There is, perhaps, no station in life in which difficulties have not to be encountered and overcome before any decided measure of success can be achieved.”
 Samuel Smiles

“There are no gains without pains.”
 Benjamin Franklin

“There is no success without hardship.”

“The measure of a man is the way he bears up under misfortune.”

“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”
 Thomas Paine

“No pain, no palm; no thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.”
– William Penn

“People who have accomplished work worthwhile have had a very high sense of the way to do things. They have not been content with mediocrity. They have not confined themselves to the beaten tracks; they have never been satisfied to do things just as others do them, but always a little better. They always pushed things that came to their hands a little higher up, a little farther. It is this little higher up, this little farther on, that counts in the quality of life’s work. It is the constant effort to be first-class in everything one attempts that conquers the heights of excellence.”
– Orison Swett Marden

“He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.”
– Edmund Burke

“The very greatest things — great thoughts, discoveries, inventions — have usually been nurtured in hardship, often pondered in sorrow, and at length established with difficulty.”
– Samuel Smiles

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”
– Epictetus

“This above all: to thine own self be true.”
– William Shakespeare

“Know thyself.”
– Socrates

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
– Mary Pickford

“It’s not over until it’s over.”
– Yogi Berra

“What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.”
– Alexander Graham Bell

“If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying, ‘Here goes number seventy-one!’”
– Richard M. DeVos

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”
– John D. Rockefeller

“Success… seems to be connected with action. Successful men keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”
– Conrad Hilton

“‘Where there is a will there is a way,’ is an old and true saying. He who resolves upon doing a thing, by that very resolution, often scales the barriers to it, and secures its achievement. To think we are able, is almost to be so — to determine upon attainment is frequently attainment itself.”
– Samuel Smiles

“When your desires are strong enough you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve.”
– Napoleon Hill

“I have brought myself, by long meditation, to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

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

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out where the strong stumbled, or how the doer 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 short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in 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 fails while daring greatly. His place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

“The beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread, but every time we repeat the act we strengthen the strand, add to it another filament, until it becomes a great cable and binds us irrevocably thought and act.”
– Orison Swett Marden

“The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might of the force of habit — and must understand that practices are what create habits. He must be quick to break those habits that can break him — and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires.”
– J. Paul Getty

“Any act often repeated soon forms a habit; and habit allowed, steadily gains in strength. At first it may be but as a spider’s web, easily broken through, but if not resisted it soon binds us with chains of steel.”
– Tryon Edwards

“I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”
– Colonel Harland Sanders

“All men who have achieved great things have been dreamers.”
– Orison Swett Marden

“Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success.”
– David Joseph Schwartz

“We lift ourselves by our thought, we climb upon our vision of ourselves. If you want to enlarge your life, you must first enlarge your thought of it and of yourself. Hold the ideal of yourself as you long to be, always, everywhere — your ideal of what you long to attain — the ideal of health, efficiency, success.”
– Orison Swett Marden

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”
– James Allen

“Music should be something that makes you gotta move, inside or outside.”
– Elvis Presley

“Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.”
– Elvis Presley

334. The most powerful success material I ever read was compiled by American philosopher and writer, Elbert Hubbard, and published in 1923 with title Elbert Hubbard’s Scrap Book.

I ran across Elbert Hubbard’s Scrap Book when I was in my early 20s, the edition with copyright 1923 “By The Roycrofters” (published posthumously by William H. Wise & Company, Roycroft Distributors, New York City).

The title page states, almost as a subtitle:

Containing the inspired and inspiring selections gathered during a lifetime of discriminating reading for his own use.

This 228 page book has subject, author and poetry indices, and is a product of the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th century. It is ornate and decorative with hard brown covers tied together by cloth ribbon through three holes on the left-hand side.

335. Elbert Hubbard’s Scrap Book is powerful.

Inside is some of the best writing and philosophy in the history of the world by people who lived from ancient times right up to Hubbard’s death in 1915.

The flavor of Elbert Hubbard’s Scrap Book is definitely 19th century and before. Hubbard and his wife, Alice, died aboard the RMS Lusitania after it was torpedoed by the German submarine, Unterseeboot 20, on May 7, 1915 off the coast of Ireland two years before the United States entered World War I.

I read large parts of this book and found it so powerful and inspiring, it changed my life and has been a strong source of power and inspiration my entire life.

It also gave me a certain wisdom to have read the words of so many brilliant people across time.

336. Here are a few of the most powerful quotations for me from Elbert Hubbard’s Scrap Book.

“No one has success until he has the abounding life. This is made up of the many-folded activity of energy, enthusiasm and gladness. It is to spring to meet the day with a thrill at being alive. It is to go forth to meet the morning in an ecstasy of joy. It is to realize the oneness of humanity in true spiritual sympathy.”
– Lillian Whiting

“He who would do something great in this short life must apply himself to work with such a concentration of his forces as, to idle spectators who live only to amuse themselves, looks like insanity.”
– Francis Parkman, Jr.

“I never work better than when I am inspired by anger. When I am angry I can write, pray, and preach well; for then my whole temperament is quickened, my understanding sharpened, and all mundane vexations and temptations depart.”
– Martin Luther

“Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money and power and influence. Single-handed the enthusiast convinces and dominates where the wealth accumulated by a small army of workers would scarcely raise a tremor of interest. Enthusiasm tramples over prejudice and opposition, spurns inaction, storms the citadel of its object, and like an avalanche, overwhelms and engulfs all obstacles. It is nothing more or less than faith in action.

“Faith and initiative rightly combined remove mountainous barriers and achieve the unheard of and miraculous.

“Set the gem of enthusiasm afloat in your plant, in your office, or on your farm; carry it in your attitude and manner; it spreads like contagion and influences every fiber of your industry before you realize it; it means increase in production and decrease in costs; it means joy, and pleasure, and satisfaction to your workers; it means life, real, virile; it means spontaneous bedrock results – the vital things that pay dividends.”
– Henry Chester

“A great deal of talent is lost in the world for want of a little courage. Everyday sends to their graves obscure men whom timidity prevented from making a first effort; who, if they could have been induced to begin, would in all probability have gone great lengths in the career of fame. The fact is, that to do anything in the world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can. It will not do to be perpetually calculating risks and adjusting nice chances; it did very well before the Flood, when a man would consult his friends upon an intended publication for a hundred-and-fifty years, and live to see his success afterwards; but at present, a man waits, and doubts, and consults his brother, and his particular friends, till one day he finds he is sixty yeas old and that he has lost so much time in consulting cousins and friends that he has no more time to follow their advice.”
– Sydney Smith

“Oh, the eagerness and freshness of youth! How the boy enjoys his food, his sleep, his sports, his companions, his truant days! His life is an adventure, he is widening his outlook, he is extending his dominion, he is conquering his kingdom. How cheap are his pleasures, how ready his enthusiasms! In boyhood I have had more delight on a haymow with two companions and a big dog – delight that came nearer intoxication – than I have ever had in all the subsequent holidays of my life.

“When youth goes, much goes with it. When manhood comes, much comes with it. We exchange a world of delightful sensations and impressions for a world of duties and studies and meditations. The youth enjoys what the man tries to understand. Lucky is he who can get his grapes to market and keep the bloom under them, who can carry some of the freshness and eagerness and simplicity of youth into his later years, who can have a boy’s heart below a man’s head.”
– John Burroughs

“Believe me when I tell you that thrift of time will repay you with a usury of profit beyond your most sanguine dreams; and that waste of it will make you dwindle alike in intellectual and moral stature, beyond your darkest reckoning.”
– W. E. Gladstone

“If time be of all things most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality, since lost time is never found again; and what we call time enough always proves little enough. Let us then be up and doing, and doing to a purpose; so by diligence shall we do more with less perplexity.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“There are two ways of being happy: We may either diminish our wants or augment our means — either will do — the result is the same; and it is for each man to decide for himself, and do that which happens to be the easiest.

“If you are idle or sick or poor, however hard it may be to diminish your wants, it will be harder to augment your means.

“If you are active and prosperous or young or in good health, it may be easier to augment your means than to diminish your wants.

“But if you are wise, you will do both at the same time, young or old, rich or poor, sick or well; and if you are very wise you will do both in such a way as to augment the general happiness of society.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“The power of a man increases steadily by continuance in one direction. He becomes acquainted with the resistances and with his own tools; increases his skill and strength and learns the favorable moments and favorable accidents. He is his own apprentice, and more time gives a great addition of power, just as a falling body acquires momentum with every foot of the fall.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“There is but one straight road to success, and that is merit. The man who is successful is the man who is useful. Capacity never lacks opportunity. It can not remain undiscovered, because it is sought by too many anxious to use it.”
– Bourke Cockran

“I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.”
– Edward Gibbon

“If the world does owe you a living, you yourself must be your own collector.”
– Theodore N. Vail

“He is not only idle who does nothing, but he is idle who might be better employed.”
– Socrates

“Every year I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing, and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well. No one ever yet was the poorer in the long run for having once in a lifetime ‘let out all the length of all the reins.’”
– Mary Chalmondeley

“The law of worthy life is fundamentally the law of strife. It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we can scarcely mark their progress.”
– Charles Dickens

“Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.”
– John Quincy Adams

“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.”
– Samuel Johnson

“Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it every day, and last we can not break it.”
– Horace Mann

“Affection can withstand very severe storms of vigor, but not a long polar frost of indifference.”
– Sir Walter Scott

“When one begins to turn in bed it is time to turn out.”
– Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

“Except a living man there is nothing more wonderful than a book! A message to us from the dead – from human souls we never saw, who lived, perhaps thousands of miles away. And yet these, in those little sheets of paper, speak to us, arouse us, terrify us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers.”
– Charles Kingsley

“The men whom I have seen succeed best in life have always been cheerful and hopeful men, who went about their business with a smile on their faces, and took the changes and chances of this mortal life like men, facing rough and smooth alike as it came.”
– Charles Kingsley

“‘Letting well enough alone’ is a foolish motto in the life of a man who wants to get ahead. In the first place, nothing is ‘well enough,’ if you can do it better.

“No matter how well you are doing, do better. There is an old Spanish proverb which says, ‘Enjoy the little you have while the fool is shunting for more.’

“The energetic American ought to turn this proverb upside down and make it read, ‘While the fool is enjoying the little he has, I will hunt for more.’

“The way to hunt for more is to utilize your odd moments. Every minute that you save by making it useful, more profitable, is so much added to your life and its possibilities. Every minute lost is a neglected by-product — once gone, you will never get it back.”
– Arthur Brisbane

“Among the aimless, unsuccessful or worthless, you often hear talk about ‘killing time.’

The man who is always killing time is really killing his own chances in life; while the man who is destined to success is the man who makes time live by making it useful.”
– Arthur Brisbane

“The ladder of life is full of splinters, but they always prick the hardest when we’re sliding down.”
– William L. Brownell

“Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.”
– Victor Hugo

“Fifty is the old age of youth; sixty is the youth of old age in 2012.”
– Gene Kizer, Jr.

“It is customary to say that age should be considered because it comes last. It seems just as much to the point that youth comes first. And the scale fairly kicks the beam if you go on to add that age, in a majority of cases, never comes at all. Disease and accidents make short work of even the most prosperous persons. To be suddenly snuffed out in the middle of ambitious schemes is tragic enough at the best; but when a man has been grudging himself his own life in the meanwhile, and saving up everything for the festival that was never to be, it becomes an hysterically moving sort of tragedy which lies on the confines of farce…. To husband a favorite claret until the batch turns sour is not at all an artful stroke of policy; and how much more with a whole cellar – a whole bodily existence! People may lay down their lives with cheerfulness in the sure expectations of a blessed mortality; but that is a different affair from giving up with all its admirable pleasures, in the hope of a better quality of gruel in a more than problematic, nay, more than improbable old age. We should not compliment a hungry man who should refuse a whole dinner and reserve all this appetite for the desert before he knew whether there was to be any dessert or not. If there be such a thing as imprudence in the world, we surely have it here. We sail in leaky bottoms and on great and perilous waters; and to take a cue from the dolorous old naval ballad, we have heard the mermaids singing, and know that we shall never see dry land any more. Old and young, we are all on our last cruise. If there is a fill of tobacco among the crew, for God’s sake, pass it round and let us have a pipe before we go!”
– Robert Louis Stevenson

“You want a better portion than you now have in business, a better and fuller place in life. All right, think of that better place and you in it. Form the mental image. Keep on thinking of that higher position, keep the image constantly before you, and – no, you will not suddenly be transported into the higher job, but you will find that you are preparing yourself to occupy the better position in life – your body, your energy, your understanding, your heart will all grow up to the job – and when you are ready, after hard work, after perhaps years of preparation, you will get the job and the higher place in life.”
– Joseph H. Appel

“Why should we call ourselves men, unless it is to succeed in everything, everywhere? Say of nothing, ‘This is beneath me,’ nor feel that anything is beyond our powers. Nothing is impossible to the man who can will.”
– Honoré Mirabeau

“The man who starts out with the idea of getting rich won’t succeed; you must have a larger ambition. There is no mystery in business success. If you do each day’s task successfully, stay faithfully within the natural operations of commercial law, and keep your head clear, you will come out all right.”
– John D. Rockefeller

“I owe all my success in life to having been always a quarter of an hour beforehand.”
– Horatio Lord Nelson

“The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed.”
– Lloyd Jones

“To love and win is the best thing; to love and lose the next best.”
– William Makepeace Thackeray

By Robert Louis Stevenson

The streets are full of human toys,
Wound up for threescore years;
Their springs are hungers, hopes and joys,
And jealousies and fears.

They move their eyes, their lips, their Hands;
They are marvelously dressed;
And here my body stirs or stands,
A plaything like the rest.

The toys are played with till they fall,
Worn out and thrown away.
Why were they ever made at all!
Who sits to watch that play!

337. Other quotations by Elbert Hubbard himself.

“There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.”

“At last we must admit that the man who towers above his fellows is the one who has the power to make others work for him; a great success is not possible any other way.”

“To remain on earth you must be useful. Otherwise, Nature regards you as old metal and is only watching for a chance to melt you over.”

“Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.”

“Life is just one damned thing after another.”

“To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.”

“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

“You can lead a boy to college, but you can’t make him think.”

“We awaken in others the same attitude of mind we hold toward them.”

“The love we give away is the only love we keep.”

“Prison is a Socialist’s Paradise, where equality prevails, everything is supplied and competition is eliminated.”

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”

338. Find and clip stirring words anywhere, and make them yours.

This was an ad in the Wall Street Journal, December 5, 1985 sponsored by United Technologies of Hartford, Connecticut. At the bottom, it read “How we perform as individuals will determine how we perform as a nation.”

To the Kid on the End of the Bench

Champions once sat where you’re sitting, kid. The Football Hall of Fame (and every other Hall of Fame) is filled with names of people who sat, week after week, without getting a spot of mud on their well-laundered uniforms. Generals, senators, surgeons, prize-winning novelists, professors, business executives started on the end of a bench, too. Don’t sit and study your shoe tops. Keep your eye on the game. Watch for defensive lapses. Look for offensive opportunities. If you don’t think you’re in a great spot, wait until you see how many would like to take it away from you at next spring practice. What you do from the bench this season could put you on the field next season as a player, or back in the grandstand as a spectator.

339. There are excellent success-quotation websites on the Internet. Search for “success quotations.”

The great thing about quotation websites is the vast amount of information, all cataloged by author and subject. Do a Google search for “success quotations” or “famous quotations” and all kinds of things will pop up.

A good website is The Quotations Page at Their home page boasts that it is the oldest quotation website, established in 1994, and today (March, 2013) has 27,000 quotations from 3,100 authors with more added daily.24 There are extensive quotations, from Aristotle to Elizabeth Clarkson Zwart. It’s a philosophical feast! And all are categorized by author and subject. Here are three:

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature …. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
– Helen Keller

“Duty then is the sublimest word in the English language. You should do your duty in all things. You can never do more, you should never wish to do less.”
– Gen. Robert E. Lee

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”
– George Washington Carver

340. Another good website is Here are a few from H. L. Mencken

Henry Louis “H. L.” Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956), the “Sage of Baltimore,” was one of the most influential American writers of the twentieth century, a journalist, editor, satirist and critic of American culture. Several of his books are still in print.

“An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that they will also make better soup.”

“Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time.”

“It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods.”

“No married man is genuinely happy if he has to drink worse whiskey than he used to drink when he was single.”

“No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes that she were not.”

“Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

“The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God’s children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil.”

341. More from

Here’s one from the guy who wrote God Bless America:

Irving Berlin, May 11, 1888-September 22, 1989, was a brilliant American composer and songwriter who wrote God Bless America, White Christmas, There’s No Business Like Show Business, and many other great songs.

“Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force.”
– Irving Berlin

“I honestly think it is better to be a failure at something you love than to be a success at something you hate.”
– George Burns

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.”
– Booker T. Washington

“Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.”
– Booker T. Washington

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”
– Pablo Picasso

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.”
– David Frost

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.”
– Voltaire

“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”
– Voltaire

“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
– Aristotle

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self.”
– Aristotle

“Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way.”
– Aristotle

“Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just, by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.”
– Aristotle

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”
– Aristotle

“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.”
– Aristotle

“Youth is easily deceived because it is quick to hope.”
– Aristotle

“Love begets love, love knows no rules, this is same for all.”
– Virgil

“Love conquers all.”
– Virgil

“Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to Love.”
– Virgil

“When I don’t know whether to fight or not, I always fight.”
– Horatio Lord Nelson

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
– William Shakespeare, from As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”
– William Shakespeare, from Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene II

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
– William Shakespeare, from Macbeth, Act V, Scene V

“Nothing is really good or bad in itself – it’s all what a person thinks about it.”
– William Shakespeare, from Hamlet, Act II, Scene II

“This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
– William Shakespeare, from Hamlet, Act I, Scene III

“Courage is the greatest of all virtues, because if you haven’t courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others.”
– Samuel Johnson

“If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.”
– Samuel Johnson

“Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings.”
– Samuel Johnson

“So far is it from being true that men are naturally equal, that no two people can be half an hour together, but one shall acquire an evident superiority over the other.”
– Samuel Johnson

“The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”
– Samuel Johnson

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading in order to write. A man will turn over half a library to make a book.”
– Samuel Johnson

“There is no private house in which people can enjoy themselves so well as at a capital tavern …. No, Sir; there is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.”
– Samuel Johnson

“Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“Speak ill of no man, but speak all the good you know of everybody.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“One ought never to turn one’s back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!”
– Winston Churchill

342. Know Vince Lombardi, immortal coach of the Green Bay Packers.

Coach Lombardi won numerous championships including the first two Super Bowls for the 1966 and ’67 seasons. He never had a losing season in the NFL. He is the epitome of drive, determination, blood, sweat and achievement.

What It Takes to be Number One

From the Lombardi web site,

Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.

There is no room for second place. There is only one place in my game, and that’s first place. I have finished second twice in my time at Green Bay, and I don’t ever want to finish second again. There is a second place bowl game, but it is a game for losers played by losers. It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.

Every time a football player goes to play his trade he’s got to play from the ground up – from the soles of his feet right up to his head. Every inch of him has to play. Some guys play with their heads. That’s O.K. You’ve got to be smart to be number one in any business. But more importantly, you’ve got to play with your heart, with every fiber of your body. If you’re lucky enough to find a guy with a lot of head and a lot of heart, he’s never going to come off the field second.

Running a football team is no different than running any other kind of organization – an army, a political party or a business. The principles are the same. The object is to win – to beat the other guy. Maybe that sounds hard or cruel. I don’t think it is.

It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That’s why they are there – to compete. To know the rules and objectives when they get in the game. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules – but to win.

And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. There is something in good men that really yearns for discipline and the harsh reality of head to head combat.

I don’t say these things because I believe in the ‘brute’ nature of man or that men must be brutalized to be combative. I believe in God, and I believe in human decency. But I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour – his greatest fulfillment to all he holds dear – is that moment when he has to work his heart out in a good cause and he’s exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.
– Coach Vince Lombardi26

343. Other quotations by Vince Lombardi, also on the website.

“Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price.”

“Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

“The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.”

“Teams do not go physically flat, but they go mentally stale.”

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

344. Powerful statements about Vince Lombardi by some of his players, from the book Lombardi, Winning Is the Only Thing, edited by Jerry Kramer.27

Jerry Kramer played at Green Bay for 11 years as an offensive lineman. During that time, the Packers won five National Championships and the first two Super Bowls. He’s most famous for the 1967 NFL Championship Game known as the Ice Bowl played against the Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay in sub-zero temperatures.

The Packers were down 17-14 with 16 seconds left in the game. It was third and goal from the two-foot line. If they ran and didn’t score, the clock would run out and they would lose. The smarter play was a pass, so that if incomplete it would stop the clock and give them enough time to set up for the tying field goal to go into overtime.

Kramer assured Quarterback Bart Starr he could block on the frozen ground so Starr called a right 31 wedge with himself keeping.

On the snap, Kramer and center Ken Bowman instantly executed a perfect double-team block on the Cowboy’s Jethro Pugh and Starr got across the goal line! The Packers had won one of the greatest NFL games in history, 21-17.

Kramer is in the Green Bay Hall of Fame and his jersey retired. He is the author of several books including the best-selling Instant Replay, with Dick Schaap. He was also a sports commentator.

Alex Wojciechowicz28

Vince went into every game with the attitude, ‘I’m here to die, are you?’ He was ready to kill himself to win. He never said much. He was a leader by example. One game, someone hit him in the mouth, and he played the whole sixty minutes, cut and bleeding, then went and got about twenty stitches in his mouth.

Bart Starr29

I wasn’t mentally tough before I met Coach Lombardi. . . . To win, you have to have a certain amount of mental toughness. Coach Lombardi gave me that. He taught me that you must have a burning desire to win. It’s got to dominate all your waking hours. It can’t ever wane. It’s got to glow in you all the time.

. . . And in 1960, when we had to beat Los Angeles in the final game of the season to clinch the conference title, I was really ill. I got violently sick to my stomach during the game. But I kept playing—I was mentally tough; I wouldn’t give in to my sickness—and we won the game.

I wanted to be one of the best quarterbacks in pro football, and I knew I didn’t have the strongest arm in the world. I knew I wasn’t the biggest guy or the fastest. But Coach Lombardi showed me that, by working hard and using my mind, I could overcome my weaknesses to the point where I could be one of the best.

The heart of his system was preparation. He prepared us beautifully for every game, and for every eventuality. That—more than the words of encouragement he occasionally gave me—was what built up my self-confidence. Thanks to Coach Lombardi, I knew—I was positive—that I would never face a situation I wasn’t equipt to handle.

Paul Hornung30

I don’t believe any team went into its game each Sunday as well prepared as we were. We knew just what to expect.

For instance, if we were playing the Baltimore Colts and we had the ball on the left side of the field between the forty-yard lines, we knew that, on third down, the Colts would throw up a zone defense against us. And we knew exactly how to attack that zone. The quarterback knew which plays to call, and the linemen knew how to adjust. Every single one of our linemen knew what a zone was. Hell, before Vince got there, even our quarterbacks—I was one of them—didn’t know what a zone was. We just called some kind of pass on third down, and that was it. If it went incomplete, we just figured it was a bad pass. Vince made us the smartest team in football.

Frank Gifford31

I can remember sneaking out some nights after curfew in Oregon, and sometimes I’d come back in pretty late, and the lights would still be on in his room. I realized then the kind of work he was putting in. He had to be exhausted, but he never showed it. He’d be out on the field the next day, going full speed, driving himself every minute.

Vinny believes in the Spartan life, the total self-sacrifice, and to succeed and reach the pinnacle that he has, you’ve got to be that way. You’ve got to have total dedication. The hours you put in on a  job can’t even be considered. The job is to be done . . . I saw the movie, Patton, and it was Vince Lombardi.

Sam Huff32

I love football, I love the game more than anything in the world, but my dedication equals one-third of his. It’s his life. I remember one time we were watching some films, Kansas City versus Green Bay in the Super Bowl. On one play, Jimmy Taylor took off through tackle and broke to the outside and went for the touchdown. I think he carried about three guys with him. Lombardi, watching, was up and screaming, ‘Look at that sonuvabitch run!’ I guarantee he’d seen that film two hundred times, but he couldn’t contain his enthusiasm.

Norb Hecker33

Of course, Vince admired great speakers. He had a record of Gen. MacArthur’s famous speech to the cadets at West Point, the one about love, honor and duty, and he used to  play that record over and over in the coaches’ room. You got tears in your eyes listening to it; it was fantastic.

345. If you draw power from other sources such as your faith or family, then nurture them too. Nurture all sources of power.

Put a lot into whatever gives you power! You can’t get more out than you put in. Put a lot in! Especially if your effort is multiplied.

Don’t listen to what anybody else says. Follow your heart. It’s YOUR life and it’s shorter than you think. Know yourself, as Socrates said. To thine own self be true, as Shakespeare said. Go after everything you want! Play the game with heart from the bottoms of your feet to the top of your head, as Lombardi said!

Having a philosophy of success in your mind will unleash a power you never knew you had. It is something that stays with you, something you can rely on to be there for you always! Nurture it! Promote it. You will be happy and fulfilled doing so.

346. Do things that give you confidence. I ran four marathons!

I ran 26.2 mile races four times – the Island Marathon (Isle of Palms, SC early 1980s, my best time: 3 hrs., 23 mins.), the Savannah Marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, and the Shut-In Ridge Run (I count this as a marathon because it was more grueling – 17 miles up Little Pisgah!).

My marathons were difficult goals and I went after them with a vengeance. I also ran over fifty 10Ks and races of other distances. I had a blast doing so.

I think back on those days and it gives me a good feeling to know I had the guts to take on huge challenges and was man enough to make them happen. I will always feel great about my marathons and NOBODY can take them away from me.

347. I was determined to graduate magna cum laude, one of the greatest goals of my life.

And in the process, I ended up achieving History Departmental Honors and the Outstanding Student Award for the History Department, as well the Rebecca Motte American History Award the year before.

I was determined and was not going to be denied. I was willing to do whatever it took, and that meant long, long hours and TOTAL commitment.

I achieved my goals and those victories are mine to savor forever.

348. And now my goal is to help YOU do it!

Just imagine how good graduating magna cum laude will make you feel! Not to mention what you’ll learn! And you’ll feel that way the rest of your life. It’s like winning an Olympic Gold Medal!

Of course if you’ve been playing too hard, just graduating, PERIOD, will make you feel pretty damn good too!

349. Do things that discourage self-consciousness.

Self-consciousness diverts focus in a critical way from your goals to your self. Don’t paralyze yourself with self-consciousness. It ruins everything and is a waste of time.

Take on things that scare you! Jump out of a plane. Run a marathon. Anything that you know is a weakness, attack it. Even if you attack in a small way. Put yourself on the road to overcoming all problems, especially shyness and things that make you self-conscious.

Keep yourself positive. Keep your goals before you. Whatever is causing you to be self-conscious or ineffective, defeat it! You have the power. Use it.

350. Keep your body strong and fit.

It’s hard to have a mind like a steel-trap if your body is flab. Shape up! Walk, run, bike ride. Go to the gym. Lift weights. Swim. Be physical. You will not believe how much better you look and feel, and how much more you will enjoy life.

351. America is a land of unlimited opportunity.

It is and always has been an American zeal to be first in anything we do, and to win, and to win, and to win.
– Vince Lombardi

Decide what you want then GO GET IT! There is nothing in your way except your own self.

You’ve only got one life and it’s short, though it might not seem short.

I know it is hard for young people to see far into the future. Y’all have an immortality mindset just like the old man and old woman walking down the street once had.

And that’s fine. It’s normal. It’s human.

The way for young people to go into the future as if you have a road map is first pursue what you love! Pursue the things that stimulate and motivate you, and pursue them HARD and with great vigor.

Then, just stay on track. Do things that help you such as more education, more experiences, staying in shape, eating healthy, being happy, having fun. Make sure you don’t get hooked on anything like cigarettes, drugs, gambling . . . anything that controls you instead of you controlling it!

If your interests change, pursue your new interest with just as much energy. I know people who graduated from law school then decided they didn’t want to practice law and got into other fields.

I know people in other fields who decided they wanted to go to law school at middle age and did that.

I know people who have become writers at all ages, and LOTS of people who have started businesses at all ages!

There is simply no limit in America. Give back to your country and make sure it stays a land of individual freedom and responsibility, and unlimited opportunity!

Go have a GREAT life! I hope I have added to it.

– Gene



Philosophy of Success How to WIN
Philosophy of Success How to WIN
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