Quotes by Orison Swett Marden

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Orison Swett Marden, founder of Success Magazine, is also considered to be the founder of the modern success movement in America. He certainly bridged the gap between the old, narrow notions of success and the new, more ...

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Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.

The Creator has not given you a longing to do that which you have no ability to do.
There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.
No man is beaten until his hope is annihilated, his confidence gone, As long as a man faces life hopefully, confidently, triumphantly, he is not a failure; he is not beaten until he turns his back on life.
You will always have to live with yourself, and it is to your best interest to see that you have good company -- a clean, pure, straight, honest, upright, generous, magnanimous companion.
Man becomes a slave to his constantly repeated acts. What he at first chooses, at last compels.
Begin where you are; work where you are; the hour which you are now wasting, dreaming of some far off success may be crowded with grand possibilities.
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.
Nothing else so destroys the power to stand alone as the habit of leaning upon others. If you lean, you will never be strong or original. Stand alone or bury your ambition to be somebody in the world.
We must give more in order to get more, It is the generous giving of ourselves that produce the generous harvest.
The best thing about giving of ourselves is that what we get is always better than what we give. The reaction is greater than the action.
Every experience in life, everything with which we have come in contact in life, is a chisel which has been cutting away at our life statue, molding, modifying, shaping it. We are part of all we have met. Everything we have seen, heard, felt or thought has had its hand in molding us, shaping us.
No man fails who does his best...
The lack of opportunity is ever the excuse of a weak, vacillating mind. Opportunities! Every life is full of them. Every newspaper article is an opportunity. Every client is an opportunity. Every sermon is an opportunity. Every business transaction is an opportunity -- an opportunity to be polite -- an opportunity to be manly -- an opportunity to be honest -- an opportunity to make friends.
A constant struggle, a ceaseless battle to bring success from inhospitable surroundings, is the price of all great achievements.
The golden rule for every business man is this: Put yourself in your customer's place.
All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.
Our trials, our sorrows, and our grieves develop us...
There is only one thing for us to do, and that is to do our level best right where we are every day of our lives; To use our best judgment, and then to trust the rest to that Power which holds the forces of the universe in his hands.
It is what we do easily and what we like to do that we do well.
Our destiny changes with our thought; we shall become what we wish to become, do what we wish to do, when our habitual thought corresponds with our desire.
When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. We cannot take more than one step at a time.
The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.
Our thoughts and imagination are the only real limits to our possibilities.
What power can poverty have over a home where loving hearts are beating with a consciousness of untold riches of the head and heart?
There is no stimulus like that which comes from the consciousness of knowing that others believe in us.
There is no investment you can make which will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer through your establishment.
Unless you have prepared yourself to profit by your chance, the opportunity will only make you ridiculous. A great occasion is valuable to you just in proportion as you have educated yourself to make use of it.
Success is the child of drudgery and perseverance. It cannot be coaxed or bribed; pay the price and it is yours.
To many a man, and sometimes to a youth, there comes the opportunity to choose between honorable competence and tainted wealth. The young man who starts out to be poor and honorable, holds in his hand one of the strongest elements of success.
Talk happiness. The world is sad enough without your woe.
The sculptor will chip off all unnecessary material to set free the angel. Nature will chip and pound us remorselessly to bring out our possibilities. She will strip us of wealth, humble our pride, humiliate our ambition, let us down from the ladder of fame, will discipline us in a thousand ways, if she can develop a little character, Everything must give way to that. Wealth is nothing, position is nothing, fame is nothing, manhood is everything.
If you do not feel yourself growing in your work and your life broadening and deepening, if your task is not a perpetual tonic to you, you have not found your place.
Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.
There is no failure for the man who realizes his power, who never knows when he is beaten; there is no failure for the determined endeavor; the unconquerable will. There is no failure for the man who gets up every time he falls, who rebounds like a rubber ball, who persists when everyone else gives up, who pushes on when everyone else turns back.
Many a man has finally succeeded only because he has failed after repeated efforts. If he had never met defeat he would never have known any great victory.
Your expectations opens or closes the doors of your supply, If you expect grand things, and work honestly for them, they will come to you, your supply will correspond with your expectation.
Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself, your estimate of your value are largely colored by your environment. Your whole career will be modified, shaped, molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day...
You have not found your place until all your faculties are roused, and your whole nature consents and approves of the work you are doing.
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, unanswerable 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.
Character is the indelible mark that determines the only true value of all people and all their work.
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.
The Universe is one great kindergarten for man. Everything that exists has brought with it its own peculiar lesson. The mountain teaches stability and grandeur; the ocean immensity and change. Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes, -- every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man. Even the bee and ant have brought their little lessons of industry and economy.
It is psychological law that whatever we desire to accomplish we must impress upon the subjective or subconscious mind.
There can be no failure to a man who has not lost his courage, his character, his self respect, or his self-confidence. He is still a King.
Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them... they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.
Obstacles will look large or small to you according to whether you are large or small.
It is the youth who sees a great opportunity hidden in just these simple services, who sees a very uncommon situation, a humble position, who gets on in the world.
There is genius in persistence. It conquers all opposers. It gives confidence. It annihilates obstacles. Everybody believes in a determined man. People know that when he undertakes a thing, the battle is half won, for his rule is to accomplish whatever he sets out to do.
A good system shortens the road to the goal.
Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action.
Power gravitates to the man who knows how.
There are powers inside of you which, if you could discover and use, would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become.
No one has a corner on success. It is his who pays the price.
What keeps so many employers back is simple unwillingness to pay the price, to make the exertion, the effort to sacrifice their ease and comfort.
When a man feels throbbing within him the power to do what he undertakes as well as it can possibly be done, and all of his faculties say amen to what he is doing, and give their unqualified approval to his efforts, -- this is happiness, this is success.
Achievement is not always success, while reputed failure often is. It is honest endeavor, persistent effort to do the best possible under any and all circumstances.
Every germ of goodness will at last struggle into bloom and fruitage... true success follows every right step.
Opportunities? They are all around us... There is power lying latent everywhere waiting for the observant eye to discover it.
He is the richest man who enriches his country most; in whom the people feel richest and proudest; who gives himself with his money; who opens the doors of opportunity widest to those about him; who is ears to the deaf; eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. Such a man makes every acre of land in his community worth more, and makes richer every man who lives near him.
The influential man is the successful man, whether he be rich or poor.
But how shall I get ideas? Keep your wits open! Observe! Observe! Study! Study! But above all, Think! Think! And when a noble image is indelibly impressed upon the mind -- Act!
There is something greater than wealth, grander even than fame -- manhood, character, stand for success... nothing else really does.
If we put the emphasis upon the right things, if we live the life that is worth while and then fail, we will survive all disasters, we will out-live all misfortune. We should be so well balanced and symmetrical, that nothing which could ever happen could throw us off our center, so that no matter what misfortune should overtake us, there would still be a whole magnificent man or woman left after being stripped of everything else.
The glow of satisfaction which follows the consciousness of doing our level best never comes to a human being from any other experience.
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.
It is like the seed put in the soil -- the more one sows, the greater the harvest.
No young man starting in life could have better capital than plenty of friends. They will strengthen his credit, support him in every great effort, and make him what, unaided, he could never be. Friends of the right sort will help him more -- to be happy and successful -- than much money...
You cannot measure a man by his failures. You must know what use he makes of them. What did they mean to him. What did he get out of them.
We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, when we are confident and believe we are going to win out.
Make it a life-rule to give your best to whatever passes through your hands. Stamp it with your manhood. Let superiority be your trademark...
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 so them, but always a little better. They always pushed things that came to their hands a little higher up, this little farther on, that counts in the quality of life's work. It is constant effort to be first-class in everything one attempts that conquers the heights of excellence.
Put the uncommon effort into the common task... make it large by doing it in a great way.
Superiority -- doing things a little better than anybody else can do them.
The greatest thing a man can do in this world is to make the most possible out of the stuff that has been given him. This is success, and there is no other.
Great men are but common men more fully developed and ripened.
There is an infinite difference between a little wrong and just right, between fairly good and the best, between mediocrity and superiority...
Doing common things uncommonly well.
Just make up your mind at the very outset that your work is going to stand for quality... that you are going to stamp a superior quality upon everything that goes out of your hands, that whatever you do shall bear the hall-mark of excellence.
It is those who have this imperative demand for the best in their natures, and who will accept nothing short of it, that holds the banners of progress, that set the standards, the ideals, for others.
It is just the little difference between the good and the best that makes the difference between the artist and the artisan. It is just the little touches after the average man would quit that makes the master's fame.
We make the world we live in and shape our own environment.
A strong, successful man is not the victim of his environment. He creates favorable conditions. His own inherent force and energy compel things to turn out as he desires.
The man who has no money is poor, but one who has nothing but money is poorer. He only is rich who can enjoy without owning; he is poor who though he has millions is covetous.
You will never succeed while smarting under the drudgery of your occupation, if you are constantly haunted with the idea that you could succeed better in something else.
No man can be ideally successful until he has found his place. Like a locomotive he is strong on the track, but weak anywhere else.
This is the test of your manhood: How much is there left in you after you have lost everything outside of yourself?
Be larger than your task.
No employer today is independent of those about him. He cannot succeed alone, no matter how great his ability or capital. Business today is more than ever a question of cooperation.
We fail to see that we can control our own destiny; make ourselves do whatever is possible; make ourselves become whatever we long to be.
Whatever our creed, we feel that no good deed can by any possibility go unrewarded, no evil deed unpunished.
There can be no great courage where there is no confidence or assurance, and half the battle is in the conviction that we can do what we undertake.
Concentration is the factor that causes the great discrepancy between men and the results they achieve... the difference in their power of calling together all the rays of their ability and concentrating on one point.
The giants of the race have been men of concentration, who have struck sledge-hammer blows in one place until they have accomplished their purpose. The successful men of today are men of one overmastering idea, one unwavering aim, men of single and intense purpose.
The world is sad enough without your woe.
Resolve that whatever you do, you will bring the whole man to it; that you will fling the whole weight of your being into it.
The greatest trouble with most of us is that our demands upon ourselves are so feeble, the call upon the great within of us so weak and intermittent that it makes no impression upon the creative energies; it lacks the force that transmutes desires into realities.
You know from past experiences 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.
The size of your accomplishments, the quality of your achievement, will depend very largely on how big a man you see in yourself, what sort of image you get of your possible self, yourself at your best.
The hand cannot reach higher than does the heart.
We cannot rise higher than our thought of ourselves.
Wisdom is knowledge which has become a part of one's being.
The waste of life occasioned by trying to do too many things at once is appalling.
The quality of your work, in the long run, is the deciding factor on how much your services are valued by the world.
Every youth owes it to himself and to the world to make the most possible out of the stuff that is in him...