Is it having lots of money? A big house? A meaningful job? Maybe it's how much adventure you seek or the places you've traveled. 

Whatever your definition of success is, chances are you've struggled to achieve the success you dream of at least once in your life. And perhaps you're still struggling. If so, that's OK--I'm here to help.

You see, I believe that success isn't defined by achievements or how many material possessions one has, but rather how we meet our universal need for being challenged intellectually, living a life aligned with our purpose, and regularly experiencing fulfillment and meaning.

Below are 27 quotes in which top thought leaders share their views on success--and I'm pretty sure they'll change the way you think about your own life. 

1. "If you're offered a seat on a rocket ship, don't ask what seat! Just get on." 

2. "I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that's how you grow. When there's that moment of Wow, I'm not really sure I can do this, and you push through those moments, that's when you have a breakthrough."

Marissa Mayer

3. "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."

Barack Obama

4. "The formula of happiness and success is just, being actually yourself, in the most vivid possible way you can."

Meryl Streep

5. "Don't worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow."

Oprah Winfrey

6. "Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose."

Bill Gates

7. "The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda."

John C Maxwell

8. "Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them." 

Seth Godin

9. "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time."

Thomas Edison

10. "Embrace what you don't know, especially in the beginning, because what you don't know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else." 

Sara Blakely

11. "Success isn't about how much money you make, it's about the difference you make in people's lives."

Michelle Obama

12. "There are secret opportunities hidden inside every failure." 

Sophia Amoruso

13. "Dreams are lovely but they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It's hard work that makes things happen. It's hard work that creates change."

Shonda Rhimes

14. "Run to the fire, don't hide from it."

Meg Whitman

15. "I raise my voice not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back."

Malala Yousafzai 

16. "If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less-fortunate person, just as you were helped." 

Melinda Gates

17. "The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you're very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble." 

Serena Williams

18. "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently."

Warren Buffett

19. "It always seems impossible until it's done." 

Nelson Mandela

20. "Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don't let these feelings stop them."

T. Harv Eker

21. "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." 

Dale Carnegie

22. "The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it." 

J.M. Barrie

23. "In business, successful people reach goals, not quotas."

Stephen Jermyn

24. "Failure is success if we learn from it."

Malcolm Forbes

25. "Lean in, speak out, have a voice in your organization, and never use the word, 'sorry'."

Trish Bertuzzi

26. "We need to accept that we won't always make the right decisions, that we'll screw up royally sometimes - understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it's part of success."

Arianna Huffington

27. "Stick to your true north―build greatness for the long term."

Ruth Porat

Published on: Sep 9, 2019
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