How Mike Tyson, An Ax & The French Revolution Might Be The Key To Your Success


Titling this blog post, “30 Awesome Quotes” didn’t have the same je ne sai quoi as the one I chose.

These following, not often repeated quotes, have inspired me, led me, shocked me and caused me to think many minutes more than I probably should have.

I wanted to share them with you in the hope that one of those four effects will befall you when you read them.

Some of these quotes have similar meanings, while some seem to contradict each other. The point is, like the elusive universal law of physics tying everything together, so far no one has uttered the universal quote.

Utilize different quotes for inspiration depending on where you are in your life, where you need a push or where you might need some guidance. Or, as Mike Tyson will show you, when you might need a good punch in the face.

On Time

I can always regain lost territory.  A single second, never. –Napoleon

The best time to get to work on it was yesterday. Failing that, today will do.Chris Guillebeau

Any way you slice it, the sands of time slip through your hourglass relentlessly, unapologetically, and without pause. Try not to have too many of these in life: “I wish I had  ____________________ sooner.”

On Hard Work

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.Mark Twain

How many pessimists end up desiring the things they fear, in order to prove that they are right?Robert Mallet

Create like a god. Command like a king. Work like a slave. –Constantin Brancusi

Good judgment comes from experience but experience often comes from bad judgment. – Dan Stanford

You can be or do whatever you want just by showing up. If you want to be an author, show up to write your manuscript every day, show up to writing classes, show up to make phone calls to editors. Doesn’t it make sense that someone who arrives at the door of opportunity has more success than someone just sitting at home?Tom Peters

Discipline is hard—harder than trustworthiness and skill and perhaps even than selflessness. We are by nature flawed and inconstant creatures. We can’t even keep from snacking between meals. We are not built for discipline. We are built for novelty and excitement, not for careful attention to detail. Discipline is something we have to work at.Atul Gawande

Lucky people pay more attention to what’s going on around them than unlucky people.Richard Wiseman

What’s the takeaway here? Basically, there is no room to play the victim and there really are no corners to cut. Sorry, I wish Life’s Scratch-Off game were different. You can read all the tips, tricks and how-to’s you want, but in the end, the bodily fluids: blood, sweat and tears are going to have to show their face.

On Identity

I’ve never hated a job because of what it took from me – all china jobs take a lot from you, especially the best ones.  I hate a job because it never allowed me to give enough to the world.Hugh MacLeod

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.Marianne Williamson

But every practitioner has always had a vague sense, in the back of their mind, if they bothered to think about it, that they really have no idea what they’re doing.Mark Earls

To be passionate about something in your life, you need to learn how to be yourself. You’re easily persuaded by others if you don’t know who you are. – Luis Gonzales

Keep your promises because of who you are, not because of who they are.Tim Sanders

Ownership. Own everything you do, and control what you can control. Keep your word. Be yourself. Create what you want to create. Inevitably you’ll get a chance whether you’re ready for it or not, and the only thing that will keep your ship and your wits afloat will be how genuine you are. Not everyone will like you or what you have to say, but everyone will respect authenticity.

On Groups

In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.Charles Darwin

The short answer to the question of what makes people happy is this: other people.Tina Rosenberg

Our ability to simultaneously pursue our own goals while being mindful and supportive of other people’s goals is fundamental to human life – so fundamental, in fact, that we actually have trouble turning it off.Clay Shirky

We are who we surround ourselves with. Clay Shirky’s statement was one of the founding realizations for Colipera. Together we are all better.

On Fear

Ignorance and arrogance are the artist and entrepreneur’s indispensable allies. She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be—and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off anyway.Steven Pressfield

When we ship, we’ll be judged. The real world will pronounce upon our work and upon us. When we ship, we can fail. When we ship, we can be humiliated. When we ship, we open ourselves to judgment in the real world. Nothing is more empowering, because it plants us solidly on Planet Earth and gets us out of our self-devouring, navel-centered fantasies and self-delusions. Ship it. – Tom Peters

A hero is a man who is afraid to run away. – English Proverb

We are scared because people are watching. We are scared because of the statuses we have within our groups, within our society, within our culture. Being scared is 100% natural. It will never go away. Henry Fonda was still throwing up before every performance until he was 75. Don’t think you’ll ever get rid of fear. You’re just going to have to give it small doses of chloroform along the way to let you live out your genius.

On Preparation

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.Mike Tyson

If I only had an hour to chop down a tree, I would spend the first forty-five minutes sharpening my ax.Abraham Lincoln

Two of my favorite quotes. Mike Tyson is right. Abraham Lincoln is right. There will always be unknowns and your plan might never work exactly as you envisioned it, but a prepared brain will be more adept to adapt. Plan enough, and then get ready for the ride.

On Culture

The single biggest misconception in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.George Bernard Shaw

Technology that appears in your life between birth and your 15th birthday is not technology at all, but just ‘natural’; technology that appears between your 15th and 35th birthday is wow-technology; and anything that appears after your 35th birthday is ‘unnatural’.Douglas Adams

All that evil needs to flourish is for good people to see nothing—and get paid for it.Edmund Burke

Civilization advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them.Alfred North Whitehead

We are phenomenal suckers for flattery.Robert Cialdini

Common sense, in other words, is not so much a worldview as a grab bag of logically inconsistent, often contradictory beliefs, each of which seems right at the time but carries no guarantee of being right any other time. Duncan Watts


Culture is a complex organism. We are constantly awash in instances where we feel powerless in responding to the events taking place around us. The key is to be aware of our surroundings. Question things, double check things, don’t assume things, and always be mindful about why you’re doing the things you’re doing.

On Health

Researchers have found a direct connection between health and emotion. Physical health is better when people experience more positive moods and fewer negative moods, possibly because mood influences the immune system.Teresa Amabile

In terms of stress relief and sensual pleasure, running is what you have in your life before you have sex. The equipment and desire come factory installed; all you have to do is let ’er rip and hang on for the ride.Chris McDougall

Cheer up. Go for a run. Take care of your body. It’s the only one you’ve got. It will perform and fight for you if you give it the things it needs. Obviously we all know that joy makes you smile, but did you also know that smiling brings you joy? Smile.

On We Go.

Which was your favorite? What inspires you?

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