Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Achievement

"Freedom often means little more than the effective coordination of humanity in the achievement of economic ends." - Murray Bookchin

"The full-grown modern human being who seeks but refuge finds instead boredom and mental dissolution, unless he can be, even in his withdrawal, creative. He can find the quality of happiness in the strain and travail only of achievement and growth. And he is conscious of touching the highest pinnacle of fulfillment which his life-urges demand when his is consumed in the service of an idea, in the conquest of the goal pursued." - Robert Briffault, fully Robert Stephen Briffault

"Not in the achievement, but in the endurance of the human soul, does it show its divine grandeur and its alliance with the infinite God." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"We live in an age to which self-restraint is hateful. Our emphasis is placed on achievement. Restraint without achievement is nothing, but achievement without restraint is worse." - Ralph Tyler Flewelling

"We're worn into grooves by Time - by our habits. In the end, these grooves are going to show whether we've been second rate or champions, each in his way in dispatching the affairs of every day. By choosing our habits, we determine the grooves into which Time will wear us; and these grooves that enrich our lives and make for ease of mind, peace, happiness - achievement." - Frank Bunker Gilberth, Sr.

"There is no great achievement that is not the result of patient working and waiting." - Josiah Gilbert Holland, also Joshua Gilbert Holland

"Consumption, celebrity and the quest for perfection in this world are all subject to the law of diminishing returns: each successive acquisition and achievement will mean less than the one before. Diminishing returns are finally leading to diminished expectations about the promise of finding happiness without caring for our souls. Perhaps we are now ready to reject the hucksters of materialisms that have lured us down so many dead ends, and start again on the road that will lead us back to God." - Arianna Huffington, born Arianna Stassinopoulos

"The aim [of education] is to develop a sincere faith in the holiness of life and sense of responsibility for enabling the... people to make its contribution to the achievement of a good life." -

"Vigilance in watching opportunity; tact and daring in seizing upon opportunity; force and persistence in crowding opportunity to its utmost possible achievement - these are the martial virtues which must command success." - Austin Phelps

"Five minutes, just before going to sleep, given to a bit of directed imagination regarding achievement possibilities of the morrow, will steadily and increasingly bear fruit, particularly if all ideas of difficulty, worry or fear are resolutely ruled out and replace by those of accomplishment and smiling courage." -

"Life's greatest achievement is the continual re-making of yourself so that at last you know how to live." - Winfred Rhoades, fully Winfred Chesney Rhoades

"Reverence requires imagination and vital warmth; it requires least actual achievement or power. The child is weak and superficially foolish, the teacher is strong, and in an everyday sense wiser than the child. The teacher without reverence, or the bureaucrat without reverence, easily despises the child for these outward inferiorities." -

"When is a man free? Now when he is driftwood on the stream of life... free of all cares or worries or ambitions... He is not free at all... To be free in action, in struggle, in undiverted and purposeful achievement, to move forward towards a worthy objective across a fierce terrain of resistance, to be vital and allow in the exercise of a great enterprise - that is to be free, and to know the joy and exhilaration of true freedom. A man is free only when he has an errand on earth." - Abba Hillel Silver

"The goal of life is imminent in each moment, each thought, word, act, and does not have to be sought apart from these. It consists in no specific achievement, but the start of mind in which everything is done, the quality infused into existence. The function of man is not to attain an object, but to fulfill a purpose; not to accomplish but be accomplished." - Stephen Berrien Stanton

"Sacredness of human life! The world has never believed it! It has been with life that we settled our quarrels, won wives, gold and land, defended ideas, imposed religions. We have held that a death toll was a necessary part of every human achievement, whether sport, war, or industry. A moment’s rage over the horror of it, and we have sunk into indifference." - Ida Tarbell, fully Ida Minerva Tarbell

"The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become." -

"Four steps to achievement: plan purposefully, prepare prayerfully, proceed positively, pursue persistently." -

"Toscanini's eightieth birthday, someone asked his son, Walter, what his father ranked as his most important achievement. The son replied, "For him there can be no such thing. Whatever he happens to be doing at the moment is the biggest thing in his life - whether it is conducting a symphony or peeling an orange."" - Ardis Whitman, fully Ardis Rumsey Whitman

"We can accomplish almost anything within our ability if we but think we can! Every great achievement in this world was first carefully thought out... Think - but to a purpose. Think constructively. Think as you read. Think as you listen. Think as you travel and eyes reveal new situations. Think as you work daily at your place in life. There can be no advancement or success without serious thought." - George Matthew Adams

"The humorous man recognizes that absolute purity, absolute justice, absolute logic and perfection are beyond human achievement and that men have been able to live happily for thousands of years in a state of genial frailty." - Brooks Atkinson, fully Justin Brooks Atkinson

"What looks like a loss may be the very event which is subsequently responsible for helping to produce the major achievement of your life." - Srully Blotnick

"Thought is the original source of all wealth, all success, all material gain, all great discoveries and inventions, and of all achievement." - Claude M. Bristol

"Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It is a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment." - Eric Butterworth

"Faith that the thing can be done is essential to any great achievement." - Thomas N. Carruthers

"Happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it." - Fyodor Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski

"The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible." - Mary Baker Eddy

"Take it for granted that the greater your achievement the more genuine will be the surprise of your friends and neighbors." - Joseph Farrell, fully Joseph Patrick Farrell

"Even a mistake may turn out to be the one thing necessary to a worthwhile achievement." - Henry Ford

"Democracy is always a beckoning goal, not a safe harbor. For freedom is an unremitting endeavor, never a final achievement." - Felix Frankfurter

"It has always seemed to me that ruthlessness and arrogant self-confidence constitute the indispensable condition for what, when it succeeds, strike us as greatness. And I also believe that one ought to differentiate between greatness of achievement and greatest of personality." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"It may be difficult, too, for many of us, to abandon the belief that there is an instinct towards perfection at work in human beings, which has brought them to their present high level of intellectual achievement and ethical sublimation and which may be expected to watch over their development as supermen. I have no faith, however, in the existence of any such internal instinct and I cannot see how this benevolent illusion is to be preserved. The present development of human beings requires, as it seems to me, no different explanation from that of animals. What appears in a minority of human individuals as an untiring impulsion towards further perfection can easily be understood as a result of the instinctual repression upon which is based all that is most precious in human civilization." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"The State of Israel will prove itself not by material wealth, not by military might or technical achievement, but by its moral character and human values." -

"There is no great achievement that is not the result of patient working and waiting." -

"Overcoming of all the usual barriers between the individual and the Absolute is the great mystic achievement. In mystic states we both become one with the Absolute and we become aware of our oneness." - William James

"The outstanding achievement of twentieth-century physics is not the theory of relativity with its welding together of space and time, or the theory of quanta with its present apparent negation of the laws of causation, or the dissection of the atom with the resultant discovery that things are not what they seem; it is the general recognition that we are not yet in contact with the ultimate reality. We are still imprisoned in our cave, with our backs to the light, and can only watch the shadows on the wall." -

"Keep a definite goal of achievement constantly in view. Realize that work well and worthily done makes life truly worth living." -

"Useful and useless, achievement and failure, are all relative, and none are necessarily consistent over time." -

"The future is not a gift - it is an achievement." - Leonard Lauder, fully Leonard A. Lauder

"If you are to find rewarding satisfaction in your work, if your life is to be rich and purposeful and crowned with high achievement, it is important you continue to be a growing person. Education is a continuing process. It does not end with the termination of your schooling. Education continues from the beginning of life to the end of life, and balanced growth throughout one's entire life is important for every individual." - Henry T. Maschal

"Solitude is important to man. It is necessary to his achievement of peace and contentment. It is a well into which he dips for refreshment for his soul. It is his laboratory in which he distills the pure essence of worth from the raw materials of his experiences. It is his refuge when the very foundations of his life are being shaken by disastrous events." - Margaret E. Mulac

"The aim of a true philosophy must lie, not in futile efforts towards the complete accommodation of man to circumstances in which he chances to find himself, but in the maintenance of a kind of candid discontent, in the face of the very highest achievement." -

"The total achievement of science hitherto is but a recognition of a small fraction of the creative thoughts by which the world is made." - Ehrenfried Pfeiffer

"The great achievements have always been individualistic. Indeed, any original achievement implies separation from the majority. Though society may honor achievement, it can never produce it." - George Charles Roche III

"We want to get rid of the militarist not simply because he hurts and kills, but because he is an intolerable thick-voiced blockhead who stands hectoring and blustering in our way to achievement." - H. G. Wells, fully Herbert George Wells

"The eternal secret of all great art, yes of every mortal achievement... Concentration." - Stefan Zweig

"You will to believe that because you are an individual expression of God there is purpose, real and meaningful in your life, and you will to believe that to achieve this purpose you are also equipped with the talent and potential necessary for its achievement. Will to believe it!... It is the originality in each of us and not our uniformity which gives life its deepest meaning." - Marcus Bach, fully James Marcus Bach

"A goal-oriented life locates the purposed of life in the achievement of a goal, which is necessarily tied to a discrete moment in time… But we also exist across time, and when our life’s goals are fixed so narrowly on moments that are only briefly the present, we fail to do justice to the enduring aspect of human life… Moments slip away and so if life’s purpose is tied to moments. Although moments can play a part, in order to find a purpose which is truly fulfilling, we also need to find a way of living which is worthwhile in itself. Life is rarely an undiluted pleasure that our own attitudes are themselves important to our sense of well-being." - Julian Baggini

"If we see life’s purpose as the achievement of future goals, several problems arise. If we are mortal, the problem is simply that there will come a time when we have no future. Life would end with meaning unfulfilled, since death would eventually rob us of the future where the purposes for our actions lie." - Julian Baggini

"I feel that art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think that art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction." - Saul Bellow

"Art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm… an arrest of attention in the mist of distraction." - Saul Bellow