Is your motivation flagging? Here are some wise words from great thinkers about how to rediscover inspiration.

Successful people find inspiration wherever they can, and that often means turning to others' words of wisdom. Meaningful quotes have long been passed down from generation to generation, and for good reason. An insightful quote can inspire you to overcome obstacles, appreciate your own achievements, or pursue needed life changes. The most powerful quotes can help drive you to aspire to the loftiest heights of true success.

In this post, we will look at another seven inspirational career quotes and how they can help you in your career development. Throughout the piece, you will also find links to other resources on our site that provide relevant information that can help you with your job search and career advancement. 

You can find the first part of this quote series here: Inspirational Career Quotes to Power Your Career Development, Part 1.

Avoid indecision

“A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.”—General George S. Patton

Apparently, the good general's actual quote was a little more colorful than this, but the sentiment remains the same. You will never accomplish anything if you wait for a perfect plan. That was true for General Patton in World War II and is just as true in your personal and professional life. If you have a good plan that you can execute today, do it. Whether it is a job opportunity or a plan to seek a promotion with your current employer, there is nothing to gain by waiting for some imagined perfect confluence of events. Strike while the opportunity presents itself, because you never know what tomorrow or next week may bring.

For example, remember that job posting that you planned to review after you perfected your resume? Check out our great post, The Early Bird Gets the Job: The Best Time to Submit Your Resume to learn why you should act decisively now rather than waiting for perfection.

Success is built by effort, over time

"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out."—Robert Collier

American self-help guru and author Robert Collier's insight into success seems simple, but it remains a profound truth that too many people never realize. Success is not something that just happens to you; it is something that you achieve over time through daily effort. And while some people may experience it sooner than others, success is something that everyone can create if they remain diligent and committed to seeing their efforts accumulate and bear fruit. Commit yourself to achieving something small each day.

You can gain more insight into how you can accomplish those daily successes by reading the post, Career Success: 10 Tips on How to Be Successful at Work.

Make sure you have the right goals

“We work to become, not to acquire.”—Elbert Hubbard

American writer and philosopher Elbert Hubbard made this noteworthy observation more than a century ago, reminding us that work should be about more than the mere acquisition of wealth or material goods. Your career path can only truly fulfill you when it leads you to become the absolute best version of yourself. To achieve that, your career goals should be aligned with your broader vision of that best version of you.

To get some great advice about how you can set the goals you need to chart that path, check out this great article: 5 Steps Career-Savvy Professionals Take to Define Their Goals.

Imagination empowers success

“Dreams are extremely important. You can't do it unless you imagine it.”—George Lucas

The creative genius behind the Star Wars universe is a big believer in the power of dreams, as this quote demonstrates. When applied to your own life, it is a powerful reminder of just how important it is to be able to imagine your own success. Whether you are an athlete, an actor, or a job seeker, you can never achieve more than you can effectively imagine. In fact, if you cannot envision yourself succeeding, then failure is a certainty.

If you are struggling to imagine yourself succeeding in your job search, or just need a motivational pick up at work, be sure to read the piece, 7 Motivation Tips for Job Seekers to Keep You Going.

Never wait for opportunity

“If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.”—Milton Berle

With more than eight decades in the entertainment industry, Uncle Miltie knew a thing or two about opportunity. This quote is one of his best, and perfectly captures the can-do spirit of successful entertainers like Berle. Rather than wait around for that perfect job or promotion, go out and make your own opportunity. Carve your own path in the world and take hold of the success you desire.

Millions of Americans are currently doing just that, as they participate in the ongoing Great Reshuffle of labor and talent. To learn more about how you can start building your own door to opportunity, read Leveraging the Labor Shortage to Advance Your Career.

Self-confidence is power

"A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory."—Arthur Golden

Doubt can be one of the biggest obstacles to career success, and it often manifests during the job search process or when you are seeking a promotion. When your mind is clouded with doubt about your own capabilities, qualifications, or worthiness, it is difficult to see a path to success. All too often, those plagued by self-doubt are hesitant to move forward with their career plans; many lose out on wonderful opportunities because they listen to the doubting voice within their own minds.

Are you struggling with doubt that is holding you back from the success you know you deserve? Do you need some help elevating your confidence as you continue to search for a better job? If so, check out the post, Boost Your Job Search Confidence in 5 Simple Steps.

Choose your company wisely

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."—Mark Twain

This quote was attributed to Twain in orator gay Zenola MacLaren's 1938 memoir, Morally We Roll Along, and offers sound advice for all of us. Anyone who tries to make you feel small or incapable of achieving your dreams can hinder your progress down the path to success. This is true whether the negativity comes from a friend, co-worker, or supervisor. Such people are never good for your mental health or stability. On the other hand, encouraging and uplifting voices can help to inspire you to become all that you were meant to be.

If you are experiencing negative feedback that is preventing you from moving forward, you may be stuck in a toxic work environment. Our post, Signs You're in a Toxic Work Environment & How to Handle It is a great place to begin if you are ready to start overcoming that negativity.


No matter how clear your career path might seem, chances are that you will need inspiration from time to time to help keep you focused and on the right course. Hopefully, inspirational career quotes like these can help you to find the strength and clarity you need to continue to push toward your goals.

Take action immediately once that advancement opportunity arises; keep your resume up-to-date with TopResume's Resume Review!

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