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Quotations about Goals

Occasionally ask, "What is the connection between what I want most in life and anything I plan to do today?" ~Robert Brault,

The important thing is to strive towards a goal which is not immediately visible. That goal is not the concern of the mind, but of the spirit. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière, 1986 was a most mortifying reflection for any man to consider what he had done, compared with what he might have done. ~Samuel Johnson, as quoted by James Boswell

Some of the world's greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible. ~Doug Larson, United Feature Syndicate, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1995

A goal is a dream with a deadline. ~Author unknown

...and only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out just how far one can go. ~T. S. Eliot, 1931

The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; it is essentially a part of it. —Roman Saying
~Charles de Lint, Dreams Underfoot, 1993

And lastly, a deadline is negative inspiration. Still, it's better than no inspiration at all. ~Rita Mae Brown, Starting from Scratch: A Different Kind of Writers' Manual, 1988

Have I made of life a treadmill, forever stepping but never getting on? Have I made of it a wheel flying round and round, but unbelted and without end or aim? ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

Still, I should like to remind you at the end of it all, that success on an occasion of this kind, valuable and important as it is, is in reality only putting the foot upon one rung of the ladder which leads upwards; and that the rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man's foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher. I trust that you will all regard these successes as simply reminders that your next business is, having enjoyed the success of the day, no longer to look at that success, but to look forward to the next difficulty that is to be conquered. ~Thomas Henry Huxley, "On Medical Education," speech, 1870

The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. ~J. M. Power, in The Sign, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1922

You can't go back and make a new start, but you can start right now and make a brand new ending. ~James R. Sherman  []

God gives us dreams a size too big so that we can grow in them. ~Author unknown

It is never too late to be what you might have been. ~Unattributed saying c. 1881 that likely evolved from Adelaide Anne Procter's poem containing the line "We always may be what we might have been"; sometimes also quoted as "It is never too late to be who you might have been" and mistakenly attributed to George Eliot; see

Motivation is when your dreams put on work clothes. ~Author unknown

We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal. ~Robert Brault,

Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try. ~Yoda, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, 1980, screenplay by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan

Garbage clutters the house that has no dream. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2012

You can find inspiration from others but determination is solely your responsibility. ~Dodinsky

If it came true, it wasn't much of a dream. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

As a general rule, Providence seldom vouchsafes to mortals any more than just that degree of encouragement which suffices to keep them at a reasonably full exertion of their powers. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hell! there ain't no rules around here! We are tryin' to accomplish somep'n! ~Albert Einstein, c.1903, quoted by Martin André Rosanoff in "Edison in His Laboratory," Harper's Magazine, September 1932  []

It is only the first step that is difficult. ~French proverb

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

One's dream is defeated not by unsolvable problems, but by all the more-or-less satisfactory solutions that kill it forever. ~Robert Brault,

I tell you that as long as I can conceive something better than myself I cannot be easy unless I am striving to bring it into existence or clearing the way for it. That is the law of my life. ~Bernard Shaw

I'm pretty sure it's a simple matter of climbing over that seemingly high (but actually rather unimpressive) obstacle. ~Jeb Dickerson, @JebDickerson, tweet, 2009

There is no greater mistake than to try to leap an abyss in two jumps. ~David Lloyd George

The shortest distance between two points assumes you know where you're going. ~Robert Brault,

Word by word the big books are made. ~French proverb

The greatest dreams are always unrealistic. ~Will Smith

All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible. ~T. E. Lawrence

Map out your future, but do it in pencil. ~Jon Bon Jovi, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 2002

Most people would succeed in small things, if they were not troubled with great ambitions. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882), "Drift Wood, A Collection of Essays: Table-Talk," Prose Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1857

The moral of this fable is that if you're not sure where you're going, you're liable to end up someplace else. ~Robert F. Mager, Preparing Objectives for Programmed Instruction, 1961

Robert Mager, in his book on objectives, told a fable, the moral of which is this:  If we do not know where we are going, we may end up somewhere else. I would like to stretch that thought even further:  If we do not know where we are going, we may end up somewhere else, and not even know it! ~Hilliard Jason, "A Glimpse of Tomorrow," 1967

In my lecture, Destiny Lies Ahead, I tell my students, "If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else." ~Laurence F. Peter, The Peter Principle, 1969

When you're going around in circles, it is not progress to report a sharp increase in circles completed. ~Robert Brault,

You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. ~Charles C. Noble

Visualize your long-term goals to paint your short-term actions on the canvas of now. ~Terri Guillemets

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single happy delusion that it can be done without a stop-over. ~Robert Brault,

As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death. ~Bernard Shaw

Dreams are as powerful as swords. ~Terri Guillemets

If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it;
Every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1881

One may as much miss the Mark, by aiming too high, as too low. ~Proverb

Stop being your own pest.
Start doing your own best.
~Terri Guillemets, "Self-stumbling," 1997

Establishing goals is all right if you don't let them deprive you of interesting detours. ~Doug Larson, United Feature Syndicate, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1988

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