The most important of life’s battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul.
—David O. McKay (1873–1970) American Mormon Religious Leader
We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.
—May Sarton (1912–95) American Children’s Books Writer, Poet, Novelist
It is really true what philosophy tells us, that life must be understood backwards. But with this, one forgets the second proposition, that it must be lived forwards.
—Soren Kierkegaard (1813–55) Danish Philosopher, Theologian
The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.
—Walter Bagehot (1826–77) English Businessperson, Essayist, Journalist
Don’t be a cynic and disconsolate preacher. Don’t bewail and moan. Omit the negative propositions. Challenge us with incessant affirmatives. Don’t waste yourself in rejection, or bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.
—Walt Disney (1901–66) American Entrepreneur
Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realize it! Life is a game, play it! Life is Love, enjoy it.
—Sathya Sai Baba (1926–2011) Indian Hindu Religious Leader
There is nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in man.
—Sean Connery (b.1930) Scottish Actor, Film Producer
Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.
—William Bennett (b.1943) American Politician, Political Theorist, Government Official
Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect.
—Margaret Mitchell (1900–49) American Author, Novelist
There is no education like adversity.
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) British Head of State
My faith runs so very much faster than my reason that I can challenge the whole world and say, “God is, was and ever shall be.”
—Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948) Indian Hindu Political leader
The challenge of social justice is to evoke a sense of community that we need to make our nation a better place, just as we make it a safer place.
—Marian Wright Edelman (b.1939) American Civil Regrets Advocate, Humanitarian, Lawyer
Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.
—Bruce Lee (1940–73) Hong-Kong-born American Sportsperson, Actor, Philosopher, Film Director, Screenwriter
Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.
—Kofi Annan (1938–2018) Ghanaian Statesman, International Diplomat
Remember, always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.
—Richard Nixon (1913–94) American Head of State, Lawyer
The hardest times for me were not when people challenged what I said, but when I felt my voice was not heard.
There’s only one boss: the customer. He can fire everybody from the chairman on down simply by spending his money elsewhere.
—Sam Walton (1918–92) American Entrepreneur, Businessperson
Reality challenges and rewards. I believe our best days are yet to come.
—George W. Bush (b.1946) American Head of State, Businessperson
It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out; it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.
—Robert W. Service (1874–1958) Scottish Poet, Author
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–68) American Civil Rights Leader, Clergyman
For every mountain, there is a miracle.
—Robert H. Schuller (1926–2015) American Christian Televangelist, Author
If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.
—Marie Curie (1867–1934) Polish-born French Physicist, Chemist
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
The heights charm us, but the steps do not; with the mountain in our view we love to walk the plains.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
—John F. Kennedy (1917–63) American Head of State, Journalist
Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.
—Bernice Johnson Reagon (1942–73) American Singer, Composer, Scholar, Social Activist
Optimists enrich the present, enhance the future, challenge the improbable and attain the impossible.
—William Arthur Ward (1921–94) American Author
If someone says can’t, that shows you what to do.
—John Cage (1912–92) American Composer, Philosopher, Poet, Artist
It is time for us all to stand and cheer for the doer, the achiever — the one who recognizes the challenge and does something about it.
—Vince Lombardi, Jr. (1913–70) American Football Player, Coach
There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.
—James Baldwin (1924–87) American Novelist, Social Critic
By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.
—Robert Frost (1874–1963) American Poet
Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.
—Orison Swett Marden (1850–1924) American New Thought Writer, Physician, Entrepreneur
Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector. It encourages a man to be expansive, even reckless, while lie detectors are only a challenge to tell lies successfully.
—Graham Greene (1904–91) British Novelist, Playwright, Short Story Writer
Don’t be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard.
—Colin Powell (b.1937) American Military Leader
Mountains cannot be surmounted except by winding paths.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.
—Gail Sheehy (b.1937) American Journalist, Writer