Motivational quotes can make a surprisingly big difference, lifting your spirits when you're down and encouraging you to even greater heights when you've hit a plateau.

That's because success is an outcome. Becoming successful--however you choose to define "success," since everyone's definition should be different--starts with belief: in yourself, in your ideas, and in the people around you.

Here are some great motivational quotes to draw from when you need a lift:

  1. "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something--your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." --Steve Jobs
  2. "Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it." --Henry David Thoreau
  3. "If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the ordinary." --Jim Rohn
  4. "Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life--think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success." --Swami Vivekananda
  5. "If you are willing to do more than you are paid to do, eventually you will be paid to do more than you do." --Anonymous
  6. "Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." --Winston Churchill
  7. "Whenever you see a successful person, you only see the public glories, never the private sacrifices to reach them." --Vaibhav Shah
  8. "Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value." --Albert Einstein
  9. "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." --Charles Darwin
  10. "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt
  11. "The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success." --Bruce Feirstein
  12. "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great." --John D. Rockefeller
  13. "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." --Albert Einstein
  14. "There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed." --Ray Goforth
  15. "Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." --Robert Collier
  16. "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear." --Mark Twain
  17. "Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone." --Pablo Picasso
  18. "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." --Mark Twain
  19. "The successful warrior is the average man, with laserlike focus." --Bruce Lee
  20. "Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better." --Jim Rohn
  21. "The No. 1 reason people fail in life is because they listen to their friends, family, and neighbors." --Napoleon Hill
  22. "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." --Margaret Thatcher
  23. "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." --Thomas A. Edison
  24. "What would you attempt to do if you knew you would not fail?" --Robert Schuller
  25. "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing." --Abraham Lincoln
  26. "Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential." --John Maxwell
  27. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." --Maya Angelou
  28. "Much of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they've started." --David Allen
  29. "Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it." --Greg Anderson
  30. "You never regret being kind." --Nicole Shepherd
  31. "Success at the highest level comes down to one question: Can you decide that your happiness can come from someone else's success?" --Bill Walton
  32. "Do what you have always done and you'll get what you have always got." --Sue Knight
  33. "Think of what you have rather than of what you lack. Of the things you have, select the best and then reflect how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them." --Marcus Aurelius
  34. "Happiness is where we find it, but very rarely where we seek it." --J. Petit Senn
  35. "To be content means that you realize you contain what you seek." --Alan Cohen
  36. "Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian." --Shari R. Barr
  37. "View your life from your funeral: Looking back at your life experiences, what have you accomplished? What would you have wanted to accomplish but didn't? What were the happy moments? What were the sad? What would you do again, and what wouldn't you do?" --Victor Frankl
  38. "Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time ... serenity, that nothing is." --Thomas Szasz
  39. "To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart." --Eleanor Roosevelt
  40. "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." --William Arthur Ward
  41. "Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others." --Robert Louis Stevenson
  42. "The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets people to do the greatest things." --Ronald Reagan
  43. "Power isn't control at all--power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn't someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own." --Beth Revis
  44. "Don't tell people how to do things; tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." --George S. Patton Jr.
  45. "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." --Dwight D. Eisenhower
  46. "Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan." --John F. Kennedy
  47. "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." --Peter F. Drucker
  48. "Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing." --Albert Schweitzer
  49. "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." --Eleanor Roosevelt
  50. "Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them." --John C. Maxwell
  51. "The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones." --Brandon Sanderson
  52. "Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another." --John C. Maxwell
  53. "You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out." --Steve Jobs
  54. "A leader ... is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind." --Nelson Mandela
  55. "Being responsible sometimes means pissing people off." --Colin Powell
  56. "Do you know that one of the great problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas." --Margaret Thatcher
  57. "A leader is a dealer in hope." --Napoleon
  58. "The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it." --Theodore Roosevelt
  59. "If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see." --Henry David Thoreau
  60. "I cannot trust a man to control others who cannot control himself." --Robert E. Lee
  61. "Consensus: the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values, and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects; the process of avoiding the very issues that have to be solved, merely because you cannot get agreement on the way ahead. What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner: 'I stand for consensus?'" --Margaret Thatcher
  62. "A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go but ought to be." --Rosalynn Carter
  63. "There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust." --Klaus Balkenhol
  64. "You get in life what you have the courage to ask for." --Nancy D. Solomon
  65. "In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are." --Max De Pree
  66. "People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision." --John Maxwell
  67. "Always remember, son, the best boss is the one who bosses the least. Whether it's cattle or horses or men, the least government is the best government." --Ralph Moody
  68. "If you really want the key to success, start by doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing." --Brad Szollose
  69. "Give as few orders as possible. Once you've given orders on a subject, you must always give orders on that subject." --Frank Herbert
  70. "The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes." --Tony Blair
  71. "Wisdom equals knowledge plus courage. You have to not only know what to do and when to do it, but you have to also be brave enough to follow through." --Jarod Kintz
  72. "In a battle between two ideas, the best one doesn't necessarily win. No, the idea that wins is the one with the most fearless heretic behind it." --Seth Godin
  73. "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." --Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  74. "Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability." --Patrick Lencioni
  75. "Leadership is an action, not a position." --Donald McGannon
  76. "Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way." --Ronald Reagan
  77. "I cannot give you a formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody." --Herbert Bayard Swope
  78. "Show me the man you honor and I will know what kind of man you are." --Thomas John Carlisle
  79. "A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason." --J.P. Morgan
  80. "If you spend your life trying to be good at everything, you will never be great at anything." --Tom Rath
  81. "Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar." --Orrin Woodward
  82. "Don't blow off another's candle, for it won't make yours shine brighter." --Jaachynma N.E. Agu
  83. "Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision." --Peter F. Drucker
  84. "When you put together deep knowledge about a subject that intensely matters to you, charisma happens. You gain courage to share your passion, and when you do that, folks follow." --Jerry Porras
  85. "A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit." --John Maxwell
  86. "A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." George Patton
  87. "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." --William Arthur Ward
  88. "Silent gratitude isn't very much to anyone." --Gertrude Stein
  89. "The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you." --John E. Southard
  90. "Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it." --Tom Hopkins
  91. "You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do." --Eleanor Roosevelt
  92. "Low self-confidence isn't a life sentence. Self-confidence can be learned, practiced, and mastered--just like any other skill. Once you master it, everything in your life will change for the better." --Barrie Davenport
  93. "Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people." --Andre Dubus
  94. "Do. Or not do. There is no try." --Yoda
  95. "Rarely have I seen a situation where doing less than the other guy is a good strategy." --Jimmy Spithill
  96. "The best revenge is massive success." --Frank Sinatra
  97. "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me." --Ayn Rand
  98. "The only way to do great work is to love what you do." --Steve Jobs