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 strong. Because some day in life you will have been all of these.
Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved. The real milestones are less prepossessing. They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and almost never leave. Our lives are measured by those.
The heights by great men reached and kept / Were not attained by sudden flight, / But they, while their companions slept, / Were toiling upward in the night.
The freedom to fail is vital if you’re going to succeed. Most successful people fail from time to time and it is a measure of their strength that failure merely propels them into some new attempt at success.
Success is somebody else’s failure. Success is the American Dream we can keep dreaming because most people in most places including thirty million of ourselves live wide awake in the terrible reality of poverty.
Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed.
Keep feeling the need for being first. But I want you to be the first in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence. I want you to be the first in generosity.
Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. it’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.
The crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.
The man who is anybody and who does anything is surely going to be criticized, vilified, and misunderstood. This is part of the penalty for greatness, and every man understands, too, that it is no proof of greatness.
My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that’s nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.