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These Quotations, Proverbs, and Sayings Can Make a Difference

Quotations, sayings, and aphorisms often have great wisdom, and sometimes humor. Here are thoughts about study, learning, and other topics covered in Making A's in College

Some are old, some might be corny, a few are funny, and many are inspiring.

Why are they here? What do they have to do with college success? 

It's simple. Lots of very smart and observant people have said lots of good, witty, and memorable things about the road you are now traveling. 

Salespeople use inspirational quotations all the time. So do writers and motivational speakers. So do teachers, preachers, writers, success coaches and politicians.

When you find some quotations you like, write them down, put them where you can see them, and think about the wisdom in these short lines.


“There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.” (Lord Chesterfield,1740)

Some people think they are busy when they are only confused.

When lost, it is better to stand still than to run in the wrong direction.

The best thing to spend on your children is your time.

The easiest way to find more time is to turn of the television and the computer.

Past experience should be a guidepost . . . not a hitching post.

The palest ink is stronger than the sharpest memory. (Chinese proverb)

The largest room in the world is the room for improvement.

If you don't climb the mountain, you can't see the view.

You can't get anywhere unless you start.

Do it now! Today will be yesterday tomorrow.

If you're going to climb, you've got to grab the branches, not the blossoms.

Begin where you are.  But don't stay where you are.

Knowing without doing is like plowing without planting.

The best time to do something is between yesterday and tomorrow.

To get anything done, you'll usually have to do it before you're ready.

You don't climb a hill by just looking at it.

Our ship would come in sooner. . . if we'd swim out to meet it.

There's no sense aiming for the goal with no arrow in your bow.

Many people have good aim in life . . . but they never throw the ball at the target  (or pull the trigger).

It's not the load that wears you down . . . it's the way your carry it.

Failure isn't the worst thing in the world.  The worst thing is not to try.

A farmer doesn't plow a field by turning it over in his mind.

We make our future by the best use of the present.

Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.

Ideas (or study skills) are interesting things--they don't work unless you do.

A mistake proves you stopped talking long enough to do something.

Say your prayers at night . . . and then do something to make them come true.

Success = aspiration + inspiration + perspiration

Acting without thinking is like shooting without aiming.

One thing doesn't change. It's the same in 1996 as it was in 1776. You are still judged by what you do.

You are judged not only by what you do, but also by what you don't do.

Choice, not chance, determines your destiny.

Education is not received.  It is achieved.

Happiness is a by-product of achievement.

If library cards were used more, and credit cards less, the level of intelligence would go up dramatically.

When a man says he is going to do something tomorrow. . . ask him what he did yesterday.

The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.

It does no good to sit up and take notice if you keep sitting.

You can't make a hit with the bat on your shoulder.

Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you sit there long enough.

Some carve out a future, while others just whittle away at the time.

It's what you do when you have nothing to do that reveals who you are.

The bee that makes the honey doesn't hang around the hive.

A person going nowhere can be sure of reaching his destination.

The greatest danger for most of is is not that our aim is too high and we miss it . . . but that our aim is too low and we reach it.

The worst boss you can have is a bad habit.

You hardly notice your habits . . . until they are too strong to break.

Good habits are usually formed; bad ones we just fall into.

You can conquer a bad habit easier today than tomorrow.

We first make our habits, then our habits make us.

Form good habits; they're as hard to break as bad ones.

Habit is a rope. We weave a thread of it every day until it is almost impossible to break.

Your life can't go according to plan if you have no plan.

If life is a game, you have to know where the goal posts are.

A person going nowhere can be sure of reaching the destination.

We don't know what the future holds; but we do know who holds the future.

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.

You can't have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all day today.

It's a good idea to take an interest in the future because that's where you'll spend the rest of your life.

We make our future by the best use of the present. 

Don't worry about the future: prepare for it.

It's better to look where you're going than to see where you've been.

A wise man learns by the experience of others.

An ordinary person learns by his or her own experience.

A fool learns by nobody's experience.

Most failures excel at making excuses.

The person who really wants to do something finds a way: other people find excuses.

Let's hope higher education doesn't go much higher.

The money we save on education today will be spent on jails tomorrow.

Shortchange your education now and you may be short of change the rest of your life.

Education is not received.  It is achieved.

If you think getting an education is expensive try not getting one.

Choice, not chance, determines our destiny.

When you need to make a choice and don't make it--that itself is a choice.

It's much wiser to choose what you say than to say what you choose.

Your language (vocabulary) is an index of your mind.

The toughest thing about success is that you've got to keep being a success. (Irving Berlin)

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. (Vidal Sassoon)

If you don't know where you are going, you will probably wind up somewhere else.  (Dr. Lawrence J. Peters)

Everyone is the child of his own works. (Ancient Proverb)

The gods help them that help themselves. (Aesop)

Nothing is more difficult and .... more important, than to be able to decide.  (Napoleon)

He who hesitates is lost.

It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well. (Renee Descartes)

Nothing, unless difficult, is worthwhile.   (Ovid, 10 AD)

Secret of success--an absolute, ungovernable, curiosity (Larry King)

To succeed, it is necessary to accept the world as it is and rise above it.    (Michael Korda)

To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.

Ready, fire, aim.

Procrastination is the thief of time.

To choose time is to save time. (Francis Bacon)

I recommend you to take care of the minutes, for hours will take care of themselves    (Lord Chesterfield, 1747, letter to his son)

Lost time is never found again. (Benjamin Franklin)

No pain . . . no gain

You see . . . but you do not observe.   (Sherlock Holmes)

"I'm not smart.  I try to observe.  Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why."  (Bernard Baruch)


When you find more good sayings, song lyrics, or quotations about learning, send them to us. We'll post them here. 

copyright © 2011 by Workbooks Press (a division of Hickory Cove Music since 1984)