Take back the beauty and wit you bestow upon me; leave me my own mediocrity of agreeableness and genius, but leave me also my sincerity, my constancy, and my plain dealing; ’tis all I have to recommend me to the esteem either of others or myself.
—Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762) English Aristocrat, Poet, Novelist, Writer
Little things affect little minds.
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) British Head of State
Mediocrity requires aloofness to preserve its dignity.
—Charles G. Dawes (1865–1951) American Head of State, Investor, Politician
Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
The status quo is leaving the building, and quickly.
—Seth Godin (b.1960) American Entrepreneur
There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.
—Peter Drucker (1909–2005) Austrian-born Management Consultant
One would like to be grand and heroic, if one could; but if not, why try at all? One wants to be very something, very great, very heroic; or if not that, then at least very stylish and very fashionable. It is this everlasting mediocrity that bores me.
—Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–96) American Abolitionist, Author
In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.
—Robert G. Ingersoll (1833–99) American Lawyer, Orator, Agnostic