Viktor Frankl on Success

“Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater.” 

~ Viktor Frankl

Buddha on Vigilance

Well now, bhikkhus, my counsel is: experience is disappointing; through vigilance you succeed.

~ Buddha

Charlie Munger on Expectations

“This modern world is radically different and I’m not sure if I were starting out in your world how well I would do,” he said. “It would be a lot harder than it was to get ahead in the world the way it was when I came up. My best advice, I think you would be happier if you reduced your expectations.”

Charlie Munger  / FT, February 12 2020

Malcolm Cowley on Success

“They tell me that success is a terrible test of people. Thank God I’ve never had to undergo it.”

~ Malcolm Cowley

Karine Polwart on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

Ambition without purpose is empty. Talent without focus is often squandered. A lot of what matters is turning up, being persistent and taking opportunities. And believing you’re entitled to try.

~ Karine Polwart / Financial Times, August 16th 2019

David Brooks on Work

Furthermore, living a great life is more important than producing great work. A life devoted to one thing is a stunted life, while a pluralistic life is an abundant one.

~ David Brooks / New York Times, 29 July 2019

Professor Green on Success

I thought success would bring me happiness – fuck me, was I wrong. Attaching your happiness to your goals is like a game of pin the tail on the donkey. You’re happy for a second, then you pin your happiness on something or, worse, someone else.

~ Professor Green / Guardian, 27th July 2019

Charlie Munger on Learning

I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.

~ Charlie Munger

Gyles Brandreth on Success in Business

“I asked Alan Sugar for the secret of success in business. He said: ‘Do something you love and something you know.’ ”

~ Gyles Brandreth

Francis Spufford on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

I suppose there must be an irreducible minimum of talent required to make things with words, but after that a lot of it is learnt skills, and a willingness to go on playing with patterns. You also need, if not ambition, then chutzpah: an unreasonable determination to do it because you want to. You can’t be authorised to write books. You have to appoint yourself to it.

~ Francis Spufford / Financial Times, October 13, 2017

Chris Riddell on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

My friend Neil Gaiman says that, as a freelance, you need talent, you need to be dependable and you’ve got to be likeable. Neil says two out of the three will lead to success.

~ Chris Riddell

Randy Newman on Ambition

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

Ambition. People I’ve met who’ve been enormously successful, mainly in music, have really wanted it a great deal. They also had talent, but I think it was their drive that propelled them forward.

~ Randy Newman / Financial Times, August 04, 2017

Jools Holland on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

People who are successful have a certain sort of determination. You need a bit of luck as well. And a little bit of couldn’t-care-less-ness.

~ Jools Holland / Financial Times, July 27, 2018

Rona Munro on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

Graft and talent are the two things you need. Ambition can lead you to some false summits.

~ Rona Munro / Financial Times, May 03, 2019

Lena Headey on Success

Ambition or talent: which matters more to success?

I think it’s resilience. Ambition can trip you up, talent doesn’t always get recognised.

~ Lena Headey / Financial Times, April 12 2019

Plutarch on Success

“Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.”

~ Plutarch

Sophocles on Honour

“Rather fail with honour than succeed by fraud.”

~ Sophocles

Simon Kuper on Success

”  … once you correct for high birth, success goes to the people who want it most.”

~ Simon Kuper

Winston Churchill on Work

“Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.”

~ Winston Churchill