Mark Twain knew the secret to his success. He needed to steer clear of people who belittled his ambitions if he wanted to be great. And Eleanor Roosevelt learned from experience that courage means doing that thing that you think you cannot do. 

So, if you want to leave your mark on this world, I have good news: You do not have to go it alone. You can learn from others who have  aspired to greatness and achievement. 

Here are 25 quotes from successful people across many industries who can inspire you and point you the way toward excellence.

1. "The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain

2. "Strive not to be a success, but to be of value." - Albert Einstein

3. "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose." - Dr. Seuss

4. "If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it every time." - Zig Ziglar

5. "Where there is no vision, there is no hope." - George Washington Carver

6. "Be so good they can't ignore you." - Steve Martin

7. "Nothing will work unless you do." - Maya Angelou

8. "The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket." - Will Rogers

9. "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." - Jack Welch

10. "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure." - Colin Powell

11. "If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased." - Katharine Hepburn

12. "I have always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come." -  Michael Jordan

13. "Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

14. "It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela

15. "Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything." - George Bernard Shaw

16. "No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it."-  Andrew Carnegie

17. "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

18.  "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." - John Wayne

19. "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." -Thomas Edison

20. "Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them and reward them. If you do all these things effectively, you can't miss." - Lee Iacocca

21. "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams

22. "If you don't drive your business, you will be driven out of business." - B.C. Forbes

23. "Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree long ago." - Warren Buffet

24."Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve." - J.K. Rowling

25. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Gretzky

If you want to do something great with your life, look to others who successfully walked this same path before you. Then apply their wisdom that is borne out of experience -- and watch yourself get even closer to what you  hope to achieve.

Published on: Feb 23, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.