Robert Frost? David Frost? Anonymous?
Dear Quote Investigator: While listening to a TEDx talk I heard an interesting motivational quotation attributed to the popular American poet Robert Frost:
Don’t aim for success if that’s what you want. Do what you love and believe in, and it will follow.
I doubt that the versifier of rural life said this, and I have been unable to locate a citation. Would you please help trace this statement?
Quote Investigator: QI has found no substantive evidence that Robert Frost employed this saying. The linkage was probably caused by confusion with another person whose last name was Frost.
In 1985 a columnist in the “Courier-Post” of Camden, New Jersey published a multiple-choice quiz asking readers to identify the creators of various quotations. The answer section stated that television host and journalist David Frost authored the following. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1
“I think success is a crappy, trendy word. Don’t aim for success if you want it. Just do what you love doing and it will come naturally.”
Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.
- 1985 October 2, Courier-Post, Out of the mouths of celebrities: Name the famous folks who’ve made some infamous statements by Jerry Holderman (Special to the Courier-Post), Quote Page 11D, Column 3, Camden, New Jersey. (Newspapers_com) ↩