Any Success in Life Is Made by Going into an Area with a Blind, Furious Optimism

Sylvester Stallone? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Dreamers with visions of riches and success were recently encouraged by advertisements to attend a “Wealth Expo” held in Toronto which covered the topics of real estate and bitcoin.

I saw a sign with a motivational quotation attributed to the Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone who was one of the featured speakers. Apparently, he stated that success in life was eased by an attitude of “blind, furious optimism”. Would you please determine whether Stallone really said this?

Quote Investigator: In 1985 “People” magazine published an article about Sylvester Stallone and his family. Stallone and his wife Sasha had learned that one of their children was affected by autism. The family set up a research fund administered by a non-profit society. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

So far, through two premieres (Staying Alive, Rhinestone), a telethon and private donations, the Stallones have raised about $1 million. “I believe any success in life is made by going into an area with a blind, furious optimism,” he said. “I am not the richest, smartest or most talented person in the world, but I succeed because I keep going and going and going….”

The conclusion and acknowledgments appear below.

Sylvester Stallone should be credited with the statement he made in “People” magazine in 1985.

Image Notes: Picture of partially filled glass by geralt at Pixabay. Picture of Sylvester Stallone at the German premiere of the film “The Expendables 3”; author Michael Schilling; CC BY-SA 3.0; accessed via Wikimedia Commons.

(Great thanks to Andrew Grimm whose inquiry led QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration. A tweet by Grimm pointed to a tweet Kerry K. Taylor that included a picture of the quotation.)


  1. 1985 June 3, People, Sly’s Silent Son by Carl Arrington, Time Inc., New York. (Accessed via archive if People magazine at on April 9, 2018) link