All things are difficult before they are easy.
— Thomas Fuller
Iron sharpens iron; scholar, the scholar.
You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.
— Barbara Sher
Often the desire to appear competent impedes our ability to become competent, because we are more anxious to display our knowledge than to learn what we do not know.
— Madeleine de Sablé
The excitement of learning separates youth from old age. As long as you’re learning you’re not old.
— Rosalyn Yalow
My strongest point is my persistence. I never give up in a match. However down I am, I fight until the last ball. My list of matches shows that I have turned a great many so-called irretrievable defeats into victories.
— Bjorn Borg
Character is determined in the second half.
— Bernie Casey
I wrote for twelve years and collected 250 rejection slips before getting any fiction published, so I guess outside reinforcement isn’t all that important to me.
— Lisa Alther
A champion is one who gets up when he can’t see.
— Jack Dempsey
Doers are willing to break through the barriers of pain that stand between themselves and a goal. The pain barriers might be emotional or physical – or both. Doers realize that any goal of substance is not meant to be achieved easily and they will face severe tests of their patience and determination along the path to fulfillment.
— Gary Player
Victory belongs to the most persevering.
— Napoléon Bonaparte
Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
— John Quincy Adams
Many times I have found that my best ideas have come when I thought I could not work for another minute and when I literally had to drive myself to finish the task before a deadline.
— Richard Nixon
It took me twenty years to become an overnight success.
— Eddie Cantor
One thing I’ve noticed in all my years of coaching is that the most successful athletes, the most successful people in all walks of life, in fact, have one thing in common – they persist. They refuse to let anyone tell them their dreams can’t come true. They never waver in their belief in themselves. They refuse to be denied.
— Rick Pitino
The measure of an enthusiasm must be taken between interesting events. It is between bites that the lukewarm angler loses heart.
— Edwin Teale
It’s important to keep trying to do what you think is right no matter how hard it is or how often you fail.
— John Wooden
You learn you can do your best even when it’s hard, even when you’re tired and maybe hurting a little bit. It feels good to show some courage.
— Joe Namath
As long as a person doesn’t admit he is defeated, he is not defeated – he’s just a little behind, and isn’t through fighting.
— Darrell Royal
Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired. You’ve always got to make the mind take over and keep going.
— General George Patton
When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, until it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
— Harriet Beecher Stowe
Triumph often is nearest when defeat seems inescapable.
— B.C. Forbes
As a young man I wrote for eight years without ever earning a nickel, which is a long apprenticeship, but in that time I learned a lot about my trade.
— James Michener
I always laugh when people praised me as an overnight success. Overnight plus nine years of training, sacrifice, hard work and discipline was more like it.
— Mary Lou Retton
My father was a janitor for the city of Seattle and he had a pretty hard life. Not only did he have seven children to raise, he also suffered a number of medical problems. But he took on all of these obligations that he had and he stuck to them. By watching him, I learned the value of perseverance.
— Franklin Raines
No one ever did anything worth doing unless he was prepared to go on with it long after it became something of a bore.
— Douglas Steere
There are lots of people with extraordinary natural talent who never make it. There are also lots of people with very average abilities who do. The difference is that the people in the second group have the discipline to persevere and not back down when things get difficult.
— Mary Lou Retton
It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.
— Albert Einstein
The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem, incessantly, without growing weary.
— Thomas Edison
Somehow over the years folks have gotten the impression that Wal-Mart was just this great idea that turned into an over-night success. But our first Wal-Mart store was totally an outgrowth of everything we’d been doing since 1945 – another case of me being unable to leave well enough alone, another experiment. And like most over-night successes, it was about twenty years in the making.
— Sam Walton
Enthusiasm and persistence can make an average person superior; indifference and lethargy can make a superior person average.
— William Ward
Duty without enthusiasm becomes laborious; duty with enthusiasm becomes glorious.
— Artemus Ward
There is nothing more contagious than exuberance and enthusiasm, and it is sure to get an audience.
— Harry Houdini
No one keeps his enthusiasm automatically. Enthusiasm must be nourished with new actions, new aspiration, new efforts, new vision.
Every memorable act in the world is a triumph of enthusiasm. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles.
— Og Mandino