Purpose and Persistence Are Required for Success: Unrewarded Genius Is Almost a Proverb

Calvin Coolidge? Theodore Thornton Munger? M. M. Callen? Orison Swett Marden? Edward H. Hart? Dear Quote Investigator: Many books extolling self-improvement include a didactic passage that begins as follows: Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded … Continue reading Purpose and Persistence Are Required for Success: Unrewarded Genius Is Almost a Proverb

You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying

Albert Einstein? Florence Griffith Joyner? Thomas Edison? Louise Chandler Moulton? Mike Ditka? Elmer Burritt Bryan? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: The following motivational remark has been attributed to the famous scientist Albert Einstein: You never fail until you stop trying. This saying has also been credited to the Olympic-medal-winning athlete Florence Griffith Joyner and the well-known … Continue reading You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying

If I Cease Becoming Better, I Shall Soon Cease To Be Good

Oliver Cromwell? John Andrewes? Earl of Chichester? Mark Antony Lower? Viscount Fauconberg? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: A popular saying extols continuous improvement. Here are four versions: He who ceases to be better ceases to be good. He who ceases to improve, ceases to be good. If I cease becoming better, I shall soon cease to … Continue reading If I Cease Becoming Better, I Shall Soon Cease To Be Good

First Forget Inspiration. Habit Is More Dependable. Habit Will Sustain You Whether You’re Inspired or Not

Octavia Butler? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: Recently, a publisher in Silicon Valley tweeted an illustration of the prominent science fiction author Octavia Butler together with a quotation that offered intriguing advice about writing. The quote began: First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. When were these words written or said by Butler? Quote Investigator: Octavia … Continue reading First Forget Inspiration. Habit Is More Dependable. Habit Will Sustain You Whether You’re Inspired or Not

You Just Can’t Beat the Person Who Never Gives Up

Babe Ruth? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: George Herman Ruth Jr. was one of the greatest baseball players in history. His famous nickname was Babe Ruth. A popular adage about perseverance and tenacity has been attributed to him. Here are three versions I have found: (1) You just can’t beat the person who never gives up. … Continue reading You Just Can’t Beat the Person Who Never Gives Up

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again. Then Quit. There’s No Use Being a Damn Fool About It

W. C. Fields? Stephen Leacock? Justin J. Burns? Henry Morgan? George Burns? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: A well-known saying about persistence has become an energyless cliché: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The following parody version is usually attributed to the famous comedian W. C. Fields: If at first you don’t succeed, … Continue reading If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again. Then Quit. There’s No Use Being a Damn Fool About It

I Have Gotten a Lot of Results! I Know Several Thousand Things That Won’t Work

Thomas Edison? Walter S. Mallory? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: There are many versions of a popular story about the inventor Thomas Edison. He was working on the creation of a practical light bulb or a new battery. He and his team of researchers conducted a series of unsuccessful experiments. The number of negative laboratory tests … Continue reading I Have Gotten a Lot of Results! I Know Several Thousand Things That Won’t Work