11 Keys to Success From The Quotes of Successful People

- | 60 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Life & Inspiration

man giving key to success

Can you open the doors to success without having the keys to success? Certainly not. That is why; today I’m going to bring together all the success quotes of successful people to unlock the secrets of success.

We find so many successful people around us. The good thing is that most of these people share their reasons of success to help others.

You also want to be successful, don’t you? Therefore, it is essential for you to know how successful people achieved their success.

It is also true that we all have different perceptions and understanding of success.

My criteria of success may be different from that of yours. What you consider as being successful might mean nothing to me.

However, amidst the differences, there are some common keys to success. The doors to success might be different, but the keys remain the same.

To extract the crucial essence of success, I have compiled a few success quotes of successful people from different walks-of-life.

But first, let’s understand the meaning of success.

What is Success

Dictionary defines success as an event that accomplishes its intended purpose. Success is also defined as an achievement, accomplishment, or a victory.

For some, success is a state of prosperity or fame. Most people consider a successful person to be an achiever and winner.

Even the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, completing an objective, or reaching a goal is considered as success.

Going by this, it does not matter is you are the winner or not, because success only implies that there is favorable outcome or the result that you expect or desired.

According to the business directory, the term success is used to describe a person that has achieved his or her personal, financial, or career goals.

Technically, success is an achievement of an action within a specified period or within a specified parameter.

Well, these concepts and definitions of success might hold good for some and not for others. You will know better from the personal accounts of the people who have tread the path of success.

Let’s learn what the successful have to say about success through their success quotes.

“What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.” ~ Margaret Thatcher

“Success is the progressive realization of predetermined, worthwhile, personal goals.” ~ Paul J. Meyer

“The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.” ~Henry Ford

“Success is falling nine times and getting up ten.” ~ Jon Bon Jovi

These quotes give you a fair idea of how successful people define their success.

One fact that emerges by studying the success quotes of successful people is that success may not always be about personal goals.

“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” ~ Bessie Anderson Stanley

“Success is…knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.” ~ John C. Maxwell

Also, success may not even be the achievement of your goals. You can be successful even if you just tried your best to achieve your goal, because success is all about DOING and self-satisfaction.

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” ~ Arthur Ashe

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.” ~ John Wooden

“Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.” ~ Robert Collier

Isn’t it interesting to know the varied views of different successful people about success.

I’ll try to create a definition of success by summarizing these quotes to understand the meaning of success in a better way.

Success is the process of knowing what you want to do in life, planning to achieve those goals, and putting them to action by doing hard work at your best that result in self-satisfaction such that you love doing it, and keep on continually trying or making efforts even after facing failure.

Does it sound right? It is difficult to have a comprehensive definition of success, but you can try to get as close to it as possible.

I think it will help to understand the meaning of success if we try to know what success is not.

“Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.” ~ Erma Bombeck

“Prospering just doesn’t have to do with money.” ~ Joel Osteen

That’s it – success is not always about money and fame. It is a more deeper, vast, and meaningful concept. It is a state of mind that makes us feel good about ourselves.

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” ~ Bob Dylan

“Do something you really like, and hopefully it pays the rent. As far as I’m concerned, that’s success.” ~ Tom Petty

“There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.” ~ Christopher Morley

I am sure many of you will agree with this concept of success.


 “Success is not a destination, but the road that you’re on. Being successful means that you’re working hard and walking your walk every day. You can only live your dream by working hard towards it. That’s living your dream.” ~ Marlon Wayans

Success is living your dream. Do you agree?

I hope these success quotes help you bring some clarity to your meaning of success. I will go on and analyze the contents of success.

Recipe for Success

If you know the recipe for success, you will know how to be successful.

Analyzing from the above-mentioned success quotes, you can infer that success essentially consists of these parts or processes:

  1. Purpose – It is to know your destiny or that you want to do in life.
  2. Target – Create a goal and having an objective to achieve.
  3. Plan – Know how you want to go about to achieve your aim.
  4. Action – Do what you have to do or put in your best efforts or hard work.
  5. Outcome – Try to achieve favorable result that makes you feel good.

I hope you agree that if any of these steps of success are missing, you cannot be successful.

Okay now, as part of the process of creating a recipe, you need first to know the ingredients. So, here they are, the important elements of success.

MUST READ: 4 Personal Qualities That Can Make You Successful

The lock and key of success

Keys to Success

What makes you successful?

Having a purpose, goal, plan, and then implementing them are the processes required for success. The real ingredients of success in your recipe are your personal qualities and responses to situations.

Your personal keys of success make the difference. Let’s study some more success quotes of the successful to help reach to a conclusion.

The keys to success are:

1. Desire and Dream

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” ~ Napoleon Hill

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” ~ Bill Cosby

“You don’t have to be a genius or a visionary or even a college graduate to be successful. You just need a framework and a dream.” ~ Michael Dell

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way.” ~ Robert Kiyosaki

2. Belief

“They succeed, because they think they can.” ~ Virgil

“Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.” ~ Lydia M. Child

3. Preparation

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” ~ Confucius

“Education is the key to success in life, and teachers make a lasting impact in the lives of their students.” ~ Solomon Ortiz

“If you want to be truly successful invest in yourself to get the knowledge you need to find your unique factor. When you find it and focus on it and persevere your success will blossom.” ~ Sydney Madwed

“Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.” ~ Bobby Unser

“One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

4. Confidence and Willpower

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” ~ Arthur Ashe

“Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt or fear.” ~ Dan Millman

“All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure.” ~ Mark Twain

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” ~ Vince Lombardi

5. Courage and Dedication

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” ~ Vince Lombardi

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” ~ Swami Sivananda

“Success is about dedication. You may not be where you want to be or do what you want to do when you’re on the journey. But you’ve got to be willing to have vision and foresight that leads you to an incredible end.” ~ Usher

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success.” ~ Swami Vivekananda

6. Attitude

“Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity. Successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.” ~ William James

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.” ~ Mario Andretti

“For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” ~ Walter Scott

7. Hard work

“Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.” ~ J. Paul Getty

“Action is the foundational key to all success.” ~ Pablo Picasso

“There is simply no substitute for hard work when it comes to achieving success.” ~ Heather Bresch

“While most are dreaming of success, winners wake-up and work hard to achieve it.” ~ Unknown

“Focused, hard work is the real key to success. Keep your eyes on the goal, and just keep taking the next step towards completing it. If you aren’t sure which way to do something, do it both ways and see which works better.” ~ John Carmack

8. Sincerity

“The secret of success is sincerity.” ~ Jean Giraudoux

“Diligence is the mother of good fortune.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

“Success isn’t measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.” ~ Mike Ditka

“I attribute my success to this – I never gave or took any excuse.” ~ Florence Nightingale

8. Enthusiasm

“Flaming enthusiasm, backed up by horse sense and persistence, is the quality that most frequently makes for success.” ~ Dale Carnegie

“There is little success where there is little laughter.” ~ Andrew Carnegie

“The real secret of success is enthusiasm.” ~ Unknown

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

9. Perseverance

“If you wish to succeed in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.” ~ Joseph Addison

“No one succeeds without effort… Those who succeed owe their success to perseverance.” ~ Ramana Maharshi

“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” ~ Bill Bradley

“Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.” ~ Louis Pasteur

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” ~ Napoleon Hill

“Success is almost totally dependent upon drive and persistence. The extra energy required to make another effort or try another approach is the secret of winning.” ~ Denis Waitley

10. Principles

“Success is more permanent when you achieve it without destroying your principles.” ~ Walter Cronkite

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“Honesty and integrity are absolutely essential for success in life – all areas of life. The really good news is that anyone can develop both honesty and integrity.” ~ Zig Ziglar

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” ~ Albert Einstein

11. Failure

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Winston Churchill

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” ~ Michael Jordan

“The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again in a different way.” ~ Dale Carnegie

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping-stones to success.” ~ Dale Carnegie

“Failure is success if we learn from it.” ~ Malcolm Forbes

“If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.” ~ Thomas J. Watson

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” ~ George S. Patton

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” ~ Booker T. Washington

DO READ: How to Rise Up Every Time You Fall

Keyboard keys failure and success

The inclusion of failure as a key to success might have surprised you. Well, you need to take failure in your stride because it is very much a part of success.

You know that failures are the stepping-stones to success. Never be afraid to fail – those who fear failure can never really be successful.

Eventually, we are responsible for our success or failure. And, this quote says it best:

“Problems or successes, they all are the results of our own actions. Karma. The philosophy of action is that no one else is the giver of peace or happiness. One’s own karma, one’s own actions are responsible to come to bring either happiness or success or whatever.” ~ Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

But interestingly, you don’t have to worry much about how to be successful if you just follow this:

“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” ~ David Frost

What do you think?

I have used 72 success quotes of successful people to explain the key to success. However, probably many more quotes can complement the topic.

So, do contribute your favorite success quotes in the comments.

Share Your Thoughts –

What is your concept of success? What are the keys of success that you use to be successful?

Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos

Show Comments

60 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Kapil Heera

    2015-01-15 at 2:49 pm

    Hello Harleen,

    Thanks for sharing such a great article regarding quotes of successful peoples, you know what i love to write motivational quotes and stories, i give at least 1 hour to read the motivational stories because it motivates us to work hard.

    warm regards
    kapil heera

  2. Adeel Sami

    2015-01-12 at 12:38 pm

    Hello Vinay!

    Thank you for the addition of such great quotes! I spend most of the time reading quote and leader-ship stories and that’s the exactly one I wanted to read!


  3. Salifu Junior

    2014-12-27 at 11:05 pm

    What an inexhaustibl list. This article has summarized exactly what needs to be learnt when one is seriously in need of being counted among the successful people. Although not written in the traditional “article” form i do believe it is more powerful because of the quotes from people who have already made it in life.

  4. Ashish Kumar

    2014-12-21 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Vinay sir,

    Thank you so much for sharing these superb and motivated Quotes from the Successful People. These quotes inspire us to achieve our goal and provide us very positive energy.

    You have very beautifully explained and mentioned these quotes. thank you so much for sharing this awesome article 🙂

  5. Noelia

    2014-12-16 at 10:34 pm

    Hi Vinay, thank you for this inspirational post and the thought behind it.
    I believe that these many quotes reveals a basic truth, which we should explore and follow. This is true for every topic, not just success but also happiness, attitude, slef-improvement, relationship, etc

  6. Abrar Mohi Shafee

    2014-12-13 at 11:53 am

    Hi Vinay,

    Quotes play a really important in one’s life. It can always keep us pumped up.

    As being a blogger, I feel depressed often not getting expected result. Sometimes my mind got some evil thoughts that blogging us not for me.

    But in that situation, I choose to read some quotes. And that dramatically strips away the monotonous blogging experience. Again I become passionate to success.

    So quotes can be actually great to keep us connected with the industry.

  7. Sachin

    2014-12-07 at 10:42 pm

    Hello people i am always inspire to these kind of information about success like this
    its really successful article for all of you
    Thanks for sharing

  8. Majharul Hossain

    2014-11-28 at 11:30 pm

    Really inspiring! “Success” the universal word which everyone wants to achieve. But somebody fails and somebody get! Keep away yourself from destruction to make your dream come true!
    It’s my point of view.

  9. Michael Gregory II

    2014-11-28 at 10:40 am

    Success is finding your self fulfillment after going through a stages of self developments. Every day, we find ways to build ourselves up and make us stronger. We occasionally deal with internal thoughts that could be negative and in turn make us depressed. But it’s up to us to determine how we change that mindset. From there, we take action and set forth our course of self development.

  10. Parth Patel

    2014-11-25 at 2:18 pm

    Great description though I believe success is the path you need to find on your own. Success is not achievement rather its a path you need to walk on.
    My own quote : Always be satisfied with god but never be satisfied with yourself.

  11. Monu Kumar

    2014-11-15 at 4:45 pm

    Respected Harleena Madam & Vinay Sir,
    I hope you both are fine. Firstly, I would like to represent my feelings regarding this inspirational article. Now I would like to tell you a tragedy of my life regarding motivation. Before 1 year I was working in a networking company and they were charged the employees with only one motivational quote that is ” Leadership is the power of a successful person.” Why I am telling this thing to you. Because now I am a blogger and I have a list of the best inspirational quotes. But these all quotes are not in my computer guide which has inspired me.
    “What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” ~ Bob Dylan is very unique, motivational and awesome quote for me.
    In last I would like to give a statement for Vinay Sir that is sir: I like those people who inspired me. And you are unique for me. So, sir thanks from heart for sharing this very inspirations list of quotes.

  12. Chery Schmidt

    2014-10-16 at 3:14 am

    Hello Harleena and Vinay, I love all these quotes and I am copying the ones I don’t have an adding them to my collection.. LOL

    Yes I do agree Success is living our dream.. MY Dream is simple! Spending quality time with my family.. I did miss out on my children’s childhood and did make a promise when my first grandson was born No to miss out on theirs..

    Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

  13. Nitin mohan

    2014-09-27 at 10:53 pm

    success quotes are great for blog success its great idea i don‘t usually use such quotes but now im inspired from your post to do so and your blog is so good for blogger like us and its my first comment on your blog

  14. Jackson Nwachukwu

    2014-09-05 at 11:06 pm

    This is my first time on this blog and I can bet that it’s best thing that has happened to me!

    I got so carried away by Virgil’s quote: “They succeed, because they think they can.”

    Once you believe in yourself, attaining greater heights will be guaranteed. These are really awesome quotes.

    Thanks for sharing.


  15. Catherine Holt

    2014-08-15 at 3:25 pm

    Success is certainly living your dream which is different for every single person. But in order to define what success is, you have to know what it means for YOU. One person’s success could be your nightmare!

    I love Christopher Morley’s quote….success is being able to live the way you want. Once you do that, you are truly living life 🙂

  16. Nanda Rahmanius

    2014-08-15 at 2:24 pm

    Hi Vinay,

    Glad to see you on the Harleena’s blog 😉

    Indeed, it is remarkable quote. If you want to succeed, then we must learn from successful people. No doubt about it. 🙂

    I really love the quotes for “hard work”
    That quote makes me motivated to do more than what I could. Thank you for this great quote, Vinay. 😀


  17. dawatech

    2014-08-13 at 12:54 pm

    Great and inspirational quotes, is such a nice thing to start the day with this inspirational words. thks !

  18. Adrienne

    2014-08-12 at 9:53 pm

    Hi Vinay,

    Good to see you again here at Harleena’s blog. You two make quite the pair now.

    I’m a little late getting by here to share my thoughts on this topic but I do love quotes. Any type of uplifting quote is a good one in my book.

    People have different views as to what success means to them. To me it might mean one thing while to others it might be another but I think of all the quotes you just shared here that Joel Osteen’s stand out the most for me.

    I do think though that all of the qualities that you mentioned definitely have something to do with success. Failure stands out to me the most though because without having failed we wouldn’t know how great it feels to finally achieve something would we!

    Thank you for your post and I hope you both are enjoying your start to this week.


  19. Carol Amato

    2014-08-09 at 7:31 pm

    Hi Harleena and Vinay,

    I enjoy quotes, so when I saw your article, I had to check it out. Yes, I agree – it’s a great idea to keep in touch with what successful people are doing so as to glean from them if it fits our business model.

    Success is different for everyone, I completely agree, as each of us has different goals.

    I love John C. Maxwell’s quote: “Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sewing seeds that benefit others.”

    Yes, I think your summarization of the definition of success does sound right. 🙂

    In your list of essential parts of the process, I think people most often lack a real actionable plan – I know I did for a while.

    Thanks for the thought-inspiring article.

    Am sharing right now. Have a wonderful weekend.
    – Carol

  20. Minakshi Srivastava

    2014-08-09 at 2:42 pm

    Hello Harleena Mam and Vinay Sir,

    Thank you very much for getting me inspired today.What a great compilation of inspirational and motivational quotes.

    I always find time to motivate others and myself with great quotes 🙂

    This one has always inspired me “Go for the moon.If You don’t get it, you’ll still be heading of a star” – Bruce Barton

    Fear of failure is one of the main factors stopping people getting what they want in their life but If we don’t have confidence, we’ll always find a way not to win.

    Thank you so much Vinay sir and Harleena Mam for this inspiring post 🙂

    Minakshi Srivastava

  21. Welli

    2014-08-07 at 8:06 pm

    This post can never be more timely for me. I have been at a cross roads after a disappointing exam result and not sure how to proceed but I have read some inspiring words here which have given me strength to try again. Thanks

  22. umashankar

    2014-08-07 at 4:13 pm

    Nice collection of quotes. Thank you for this inspiring post.

  23. Lorraine Reguly

    2014-08-07 at 8:14 am

    Success, to me, is having freedom – freedom to work, eat, sleep, and vacation, etc. when you want. It’s also having great relationships with your family and friends, and enjoying daily living. I think the latter is something we all tend to forget to do because we are so busy working all the time!

  24. Andrew M. Warner

    2014-08-07 at 12:01 am

    Hi Vinay,

    Good collection of quotes.

    Success is a big topic that everybody talks about from time to time and that people want. But I find that the real key to success is to be willing to fail. Not plan to fail, just be willing to fail. Because you can only learn from your mistakes. Your successes will never teach you anything.

    The true problem with success is that it goes around disguised as work.

    Really great post here and I’ll be using some of these success quotes I’m sure.

    Have a great week.

    – Andrew

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11 Keys to Success From The Quotes of Successful People

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