37 Quotes on Motivation From the World's Most Influential Leaders Motivation is the backbone of success.

By Rose Leadem

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Antoine Antoniol | Getty Images

Without motivation, you can forget about success. In fact, motivation and hard work are crucial elements to achieving your dreams -- they're what push you towards the top and help you stand out from the rest.

Related: 10 Leadership Quotes From the World's Most Influential Leaders

And motivation isn't just important in business, it applies to every aspect of life. To be successful professionally, socially, mentally, even physically, it is the driving force that will take you there.

Without motivation, some of today's most successful entrepreneurs and leaders wouldn't be where they are. Just look at Mark Zuckerberg or Barbara Corcoran -- it took motivation to learn new skills and launch extremely successful businesses. It took motivation for J.K. Rowling to write her Harry Potter series, and it took motivation for Barack Obama to run for president.

Related: 8 Quotes on Success From Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and More

Whether you're in high school or you're well into your career, motivation is the backbone to your success. If you're not sure where to get started, check out these 37 quotes on motivation from the world's most influential leaders, past and present.

Barack Obama

"Progress will come in fits and starts. It's not always a straight line. It's not always a smooth path." -- Barack Obama

Barbara Corcoran

"Don't you dare underestimate the power of your own instinct." -- Barbara Corcoran

Thomas Edison

"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits." -- Thomas Edison

Related: 10 Inspiring Quotes From the Fearless Jeff Bezos

Sheryl Sandberg

"Sharing emotions builds deeper relationships. Motivation comes from working on things we care about." -- Sheryl Sandberg

Jeff Bezos

"When it's tough, will you give up, or will you be relentless?" -- Jeff Bezos

J.K. Rowling

"The discipline involved in finishing a piece of creative work is something on which you can truly pride yourself." -- J.K. Rowling

Thomas Jefferson

"Determine never to be idle. No person will have the occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any." -- Thomas Jefferson

Related: 10 Motivational Quotes from Facebook Genius Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

"Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough." -- Mark Zuckerberg

Donald Trump

"Think big and make it happen." -- Donald Trump

Larry Page

"If you're changing the world, you're working on important things, you're excited to get up in the morning." -- Larry Page

Albert Einstein

"If you want to live a happy life tie it to a goal, not to people or things." -- Albert Einstein

Steve Jobs

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle." -- Steve Jobs

Paul Allen

"Any crusade requires optimism and the ambition to aim high." -- Paul Allen

Richard Branson

"For a startup, if your idea doesn't work, not many people will have noticed. Keep pushing on to the next idea." -- Richard Branson

Steve Case

"You shouldn't focus on why you can't do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions." -- Steve Case

Sergey Brin

"Any conversation I have about innovation starts with the ultimate goal." -- Sergey Brin

Lady Gaga

"Even if the whole world turns their back on you, you still have yourself." -- Lady Gaga

Warren Buffett

"Predicting rain doesn't count. Building arks do." -- Warren Buffett

Tim Cook

"Be the best, not the first." -- Tim Cook

Mark Cuban

"If you're prepared and you know what it takes, it's not a risk. You just have to figure out how to get there. There is always a way to get there." -- Mark Cuban

Coco Chanel

"My life didn't please me, so I created my life." -- Coco Chanel

Michael Dell

"Whether you've found your calling, or if you're still searching, passion should be the fire that drives your life's work." -- Michael Dell

Ellen Degeneres

"When I go hiking and I get over the hill, that means I'm past the hard part and there's a snack in my future. That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned." -- Ellen Degeneres


Jack Dorsey

"Success is never accidental." -- Jack Dorsey

Tim Ferriss

"Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask." -- Tim Ferriss

Martha Stewart

"Sometimes, I shake if I have to do something that I have never done before -- maybe not noticeably, but inside. But I'll do it because I know it's not an insurmountable task." -- Martha Stewart

Bill Gates

"Find others with the same interests, see the barriers, and find ways to cut through them." -- Bill Gates

Alfred Hitchcock

"Do you remember the fun we had when we started all those years ago? We didn't have any money then, did we? We didn't have any time either. But we took risks." -- Alfred Hitchcock

Daymond John

"Be inspired by the success of others but don't be intimidated by it." -- Daymond John

Elon Musk

"If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it." -- Elon Musk

LeBron James

"There's a moment every morning when you look in the mirror: Are you committed, or are you not?" -- LeBron James

Gary Vaynerchuk

"Your legacy is being written by yourself. Make the right decisions." -- Gary Vaynerchuk

Tony Robbins

"Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions." -- Tony Robbins

Daniel Lubetzky

"Pursuing what you believe in already constitutes success regardless of the outcome." -- Daniel Lubetzky

Andy Warhol

"The idea is not to live forever. It is to create something that will." -- Andy Warhol

Steven Spielberg

"Don't turn away from what's painful. Examine it. Challenge it." -- Steven Spielberg

Oprah Winfrey

"I feel that luck is preparation meeting opportunity." -- Oprah Winfrey
Rose Leadem is a freelance writer for Entrepreneur.com. 

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