Originally from the Josephson Institute of Ethics:

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“[T]he tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal.  The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.  It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. …  It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for.  Not failure, but low aim is sin.”
    — Benjamin Elijah Mays, American pastor and educator, president of Morehouse College (1895–1984)

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.”
    — Arthur C. Clarke, English science-fiction writer (1917–2008)

“Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities.”
    — Terry Josephson, 20th/21st-century motivational author

For contrast:  Quotes by Leaders of Detroit’s Big Three:

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.”
    — Henry Ford (1863–1947)

“…  Too often we fail to recognize and pay tribute to the creative spirit.  It is that spirit that creates our jobs.”
    — Alfred Pritchard Sloan, Jr., longtime head of GM (1875–1966)

“We have a lot of people revolutionizing the world because they’ve never had to present a working model.”
    — Charles Franklin Kettering, American inventor, longtime GM head of research (1876–1958)

“Forget past mistakes.  Forget failures.  Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it.”
    — William Crāpo Durant, founder of General Motors (1861–1947)

“The real secret of success is enthusiasm….”
    — Walter Percy Chrysler (1875–1940)

Originally from Woopidoo quotations (now defunct):

“In the realm of ideas everything depends on enthusiasm… in the real world all rests on perseverance.”
    — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German novelist, poet, and dramatist (1749–1832)
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world.  The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.  Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
George Bernard Shaw, Irish dramatist (1856–1950)

“I once met an economist who believed that everything was fungible for money, so I suggested he enclose himself in a large bell-jar with as much money as he wanted and see how long he lasted.”
    — Amory Bloch Lovins, American environmentalist (1947–   )

“If you want more, you have to require more from yourself.”
    — Dr. Phillip Calvin McGraw (Dr. Phil), American TV personality and psychologist (1950–   )

Some Great Britons:

“It would indeed be a tragedy if the history of the human race proved to be nothing more than the story of an ape playing with a box of matches on a petrol dump.”
    — William David Ormsby-Gore, 5th Baron Harlech, British diplomat (1918–1985)

“Engineers are extremely necessary for these purposes; wherefore it is requisite that, besides being ingenious, they should be brave in proportion.”
    — attributed to
Isambard Kingdom Brunel, British engineer and inventor (1806–1859)

“Growth that lasts does not threaten our children’s future.  It recognises that our planet is a gift that must be cherished.  That tomorrow is our responsibility as much as today.”
    — Nick Clegg, British politician and former Deputy Prime Minister (1967–   )

“If we use fuel to get our power, we are living on our capital and exhausting it rapidly.  This method is barbarous and wantonly wasteful and will have to be stopped in the interest of coming generations.” (from 1915)
    — Nikola Tesla, Serbo-American inventor (1856–1943)     More about Tesla on main page

“We might be able to stimulate our way back to stability, but we can only invent our way back to prosperity.”
    — Thomas Loren Friedman, New York Times commentator (1953–   )

“It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.”
Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer (1867–1912)

“Flying is always an unpleasant experience.  You wait an hour for every ten minutes you actually spend getting anywhere.”
    — Andrew Aitken Rooney, American newswriter/television commentator (1919–2011)

“A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.”
Richard Buckminster Fuller, American polymath (1895–1983)

“ … people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
    — Steven Paul Jobs, American entrepreneur and visionary (19552011)

“Six Lessons about Technology: … Frictionless always wins.  If you want to place bets on the success of new technologies, examine how much “friction” they eliminate: effort, steps and hassle. … each [innovation], in its way, introduced a new way to let us be lazier.”
    — David Welch Pogue (1963–   )

“Humans … love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’  I try to fight that.”
    —Rear Adm. Grace Brewster Murray Hopper, USN, American computer pioneer (1902–1992)

“[In] 2014.  The lucky few who can be involved in creative work of any sort will be the true elite of mankind, for they alone will do more than serve a machine.”
    — Isaac Asimov, American polymath and science-fiction writer (1920–1992)

“The quantity of civilization is measured by the quality of imagination.”
    — Victor Hugo, French writer (1802–1885)

… When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly and unquestionably.
    — Walter Elias Disney (1901–1966)

“Business was originated to produce happiness, not to pile on millions. … The man who depends on his bank account to insure him a happy life reaps disappointment.”
    — Bertie Charles Forbes, Scottish-born American founder of Forbes Magazine (1880–1954)

“The most successful CEOs I know didn’t start out intent on making money – rather, they had a vision of how their product or service would change things, and the money followed.”
    — Barack Hussein Obama (1961–   )

“An entrepreneur is someone who dares to dream the dreams and is foolish enough to try to make those dreams come true.”
    — Vinod Khosla, Indian-American venture capitalist (1955–   )

“The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented.”
    — Dennis Gabor, Hungarian-born British physicist and inventor (1900–1979)

The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.
    — Carl Gustav Jung, Swiss psychiatrist (1875–1961)

“The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before.”
    — Neil Gaiman, English writer (1960–   )

“The future is not laid out on a track. It is something that we can decide, … we can probably make it work the way that we want to.”
   — Alan Curtis Kay, American computer innovator (1940–   )

“Nothing replaces highly talented people — white-hot passionate thinkers in love with doing challenging things.”
    — Abe Karem, Israeli-American aerospace pioneer (1937–  )

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”
Albert Einstein, German-Swiss-American physicist (1879–1955)

“The only way to improve the chances for finding winners is to keep all the choices open and try them all.”
Freeman John Dyson (Slashdot Interview), English-American Mathematician and theoretical physicist (1923– 2020)
“Always make new mistakes.”
    — Esther Dyson, Technology analyst and former journalist (1951–   )

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”
Harry S Truman (1884–1972)

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
    — Armandine Aurore Lucille Dupin Dudevant (George Sand), French novelist (1804–1876)

Excellence is not an act but a habit.  The things you do the most are the things you will do the best.”
    — Marva Collins, American educator (1936–2015)

“Nature does not demand that we be perfect.  It requires only that we grow.”
    — Rabbi Joshua Loth Liebman (1907–1948)

“For the majority of us, the past is a regret, the future an experiment.”
    — Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)  (1835–1910)

Change is the law of life.  And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
    — John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917–1963)

“Do not go where the path may lead ;  go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
    — attributed to
Ralph Waldo Emerson🔎, American Transcendentalist philosopher, essayist, and poet (1803–1882)

“… Build up, build up a highway! / Clear the road! / Remove all obstacles / From the road of My people!”
Isaiah 57:14

It is not … the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts.  ….  It is simply service that measures success.”
    — George Washington Carver, American inventor, botanist, and educator (1864?–1943)

“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.”
    — Jonathan Harshman Winters III, American comedian (1925– 2013)

“I’m creative.  I’m not re-creative, I don’t follow what everybody else does.”
    — Donald Byrd, American jazz musician (1932–2013)


“It has never been my object to record my dreams, just the determination to realize them.”
    — Emmanuel Radnitzky (Man Ray), American photographer and artist (1890–1976)

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
    — Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez, Colombian writer (1927–2014)

… the greatest doer must also be a great dreamer.
    — Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)

“It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”
    — Robert Hutchings Goddard, American inventor of the liquid-fueled rocket (1882–1945)

“If you will it, it is no dream.”
    — Theodor Herzl, Founder of modern Zionism (1860–1904)

“Dream – Think – Build”
    — Various sources:  
1   2   3   4

  . . . and finally . . .

“I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others. … I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”
    — Thomas Alva Edison (1847–1931)

“If someday they say of me that in my work I have contributed something to the welfare and happiness of my fellow man, I shall be satisfied.”
    — George Westinghouse (1846–1914)

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Text last updated:  2021 June 23
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