Public Life Quotes

Selected Quotations on how to succeed in public life

"We must not forget that days may come when our patience, our endurance and our fortitude will be tried to the utmost. In those days, let us see to it that no heart grows faint and that no courage be found wanting. . ." Sir Robert Borden, Canadian Prime Minister

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt

"Success is a great deodorant. It takes away all your past smells." Elizabeth Taylor

"You can't stand up for Canada with a banana for a backbone." John Diefenbaker

“Prime ministers require the hide of a rhinoceros, the morals of St. Francis, the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the leadership of Napoleon, the magnetism of a Beatle and the subtlety of Machiavelli.” Lester B. Pearson, Canadian Prime Minister

"I don't mind being a symbol but I don't want to become a monument. There are monuments all over the Parliament Buildings and I've seen what the pigeons do to them."  Tommy Douglas, Former Saskatchewan Premier and Leader of the Federal New Democratic Party

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." Maya Angelou

"The ruling quality of leaders adaptive capacity, is what allows true leaders to make the nimble decisions that bring success. Adaptive capacity is also what allows some people to transcend the setbacks and losses that come with age and to reinvent themselves again and again."  Warren G. Bennis

"A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom."  Bob Dylan

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and Third by experience, which is the bitterest." Confucius

"Patience is the companion of wisdom."  St. Augustine

"A man's accomplishments in life are the cumulative effect of his attention to detail." John Foster Dulles

"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world." George Washington Carver

"To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice."  Confucius

"By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest."Confucius

"The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.  Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.  It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved."  William Jennings Bryan

"Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm."  Sir Winston Churchill

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence."  George Washington

"A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds." Francis Bacon

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit." Aristotle

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."  Anatole France

"Opportunity doesn’t knock. You knock, opportunity answers."  Proverb

"The harder you work, the luckier you get." Gary Player

"In simplest terms, a leader is one knows where he want to go and gets up and goes." John Erskine

"Leaders keep their eyes on the horizon, not just on the bottom line."  Warren G. Bennis

"Nothing succeeds like success."  Alexandre Dumas

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other."  Abraham Lincoln

"We cannot insure success, but we can deserve it."  Joseph Addison

"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune:
Omitted, all the voyage of their lives
Is bound in the shallows and in miseries…
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures."  Shakespeare

"Fortune may have yet a better success in reserve for you and they who lose today may win tomorrow."  Cervantes

''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

"Victory belongs to the most persevering." Napoleon Bonaparte
"We must become the change we want to see in the world." Mohandas Gandhi

''We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.'' Herman Melville

''We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.'' - Aristotle

''I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is to try to please everyone.'' Bill Cosby

''Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.''  Plato

"Wisdom is the power to put our time and our knowledge to the proper use."  IBM founder Thomas J. Watson

"All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter." Edmund Burke

"Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof; it is temporary expedient; often wise in party politics, almost sure to be unwise in statesmanship." James Russell Lowell

"Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom."  Thomas Jefferson

"The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

"I don't let my mouth say nothin' my head can't stand."  Louis Armstrong.

"Well done is better than well said." Benjamin Franklin

"Recognition is the greatest motivator." - Gerard C. Eakedale

"When I want your opinion I'll give it to you." Laurence J. Peter

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."  Mahatma Gandhi

"We cannot solve today's problems using the mindset that created them."  Albert Einstein

"Those who cannot forgive others break the bridge over which they themselves must pass."  Confucius

"The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas."  Linus Pauling

"A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit."  D. Elton Trueblood

"Slight not what's near through aiming at what's far."  Euripides

"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

"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity."  Louis Pasteur

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The highest reward for a man's toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it."  John Ruskin

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant."  Robert Louis Stevenson

"To see things in the seed, that is genius."  Lao-tzu

"We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excel in those which can also make use of our defects."  Alexis de Tocqueville

"A few observations and much reasoning lead to error; many observations and a little reasoning to truth."  Alexis Carrel

"Talent develops in tranquility, character in the full current of human life."  Goethe

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being."   Goethe

"Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket, and do not pull it out and strike it merely to show you have one. If you are asked what o'clock it is, tell it, but do not proclaim it hourly and unasked, like the watchman."  Lord Chesterfield

"You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them."  Malcolm Forbes

"Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in."  Alan Alda

"A ship ought not to be held by one anchor, nor life by a single hope."  Epictetus

"In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."  Bertrand Russell

"The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else."  Martina Navratilova

"They also serve who only stand and wait."  John Milton

"It is a bit embarrassing to have been concerned with the human problem all one's life and find at the end that one has no more to offer by way of advice than "try to be a little kinder." Aldous Huxley

"The secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for."  Dostoyevsky 

"The art of acceptance is the art of making someone who has just done you a small favor wish that he might have done you a greater one."  J. Russell Lynes

"It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." John Andrew Holmes

"They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel."  Carl W. Buechner

"We should measure affection, not like youngsters by the ardour of its passion, but by its strength and constancy."  Marcus Tullius Cicero

"Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you."  Carl Sandburg, poet (1878-1967)

"There is no such thing as a 'self-made' man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts."  George Matthew Adams

"Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears."  Marcus Aurelius

"The man who thinks he can do without the world is indeed mistaken; but the man who thinks the world cannot do without him is mistaken even worse."  Francois, duc de La Rochefoucauld

"It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory."  W. Edwards Deming

"It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself."  Eleanor Roosevelt

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."  Oscar Wilde

"Education: That which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge." Mark Twain

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro".  Hunter Thompson

"Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good."   Vaclav Havel

"Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity a greater."   William Hazlitt

"One of the criteria by which we measure the worth of public figures is whether or not their brand of bull is in step with the current Zeitgeist." John MacLachlan Gray, Canadian Playwright

"The common man, no matter how sharp and tough, actually enjoys having the wool pulled over his eyes, and makes it easier for the puller." P.T.Barnum

"It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating." Oscar Wilde.

"I do not think you want too much sincerity in society. It would be like an iron girder in a house of cards." W. Somerset Maugham

"The secret of a leader lies in the tests he has faced over the whole course of his life and the habit of action he develops in meeting those tests." Gail Sheehy

"The secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so they believe they are clever as he." Karl Kraus

"Let sleeping dogs lie." Sir Robert Walpole, British Prime Minister

"To speak, and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks." Ben Johnson.

"Obviously we don't have 300 million people. We haven't got a big army. We don't have Hollywood. We're a medium small-sized country. We have to do what medium small-sized countries do, which—even though we're not smarter than other people—is to make ourselves seem to be smarter. We have to work harder and know more than other people. John Ralston Saul

"I have not the particular shining bauble or feather in my cap for crowds to gaze at or kneel to, but I have the power and resolution for foes to tremble at." Oliver Cromwell

"The longer the title, the less important the job." George McGovern

"You are remembered for the rules you break." Douglas MacArthur

"It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it." Sam Levenson

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." Winston Churchill

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." W B Yeats

"When I have to choose between voting for the people or the special interests, I always stick with the special interests. They remember. The people forget." Senator Henry Fountain Ashurst

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Martin Luther King Jr.

"One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant." John Locke

"When I look at myself, I’m devastated; when I compare myself with others, I’m consoled." Old Québecois saying

"If you're not very clever you should be conciliatory." Benjamin Disraeli

"It is more honorable to repair a wrong than to persist in it."  Thomas Jefferson

"When ideas fail, words come in very handy." Goethe

"All rising to great place is by a winding stair." Francis Bacon

"Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge where there is no river." Nikita Khrushchev

"I suppose flattery hurts no one, that is, if he doesn’t inhale." Adlai Stevenson

"It is not necessary to understand things to argue about them." Pierre de Beaumarchais

"A court is an assembly of noble and distinguished beggars." Talleyrand

"In politics, stupidity is not a handicap." Napoleon

"To plunder, to lie, to show your arse, are three essentials for climbing high." Aristophanes

"Fortune rarely accompanies anyone to the door." Gracian Proverb

"We all have enough strength to endure the troubles of others." La Rochefoucauld

"In order to succeed in the world people do their upmost to appear successful." La Rochefoucauld

"The word virtue is as useful to self-interest as the vices." La Rochefoucauld

"To praise princes for virtues they do not possess is to insult them without fear of consequences." La Rochefoucauld

"For God’s sake, don’t say yes until I’ve finished talking." Darryl Zanuck

"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book." Ronald Reagan


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