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Thoughts on Success

In my new journey of discovering and learning the upright bass, or string bass, or double bass, or bass fiddle, or whatever you want to call it, I came across a gentleman by the name of John Clayton.  John is a grammy nominated bassist, composer and conductor who as a teenager studied bass with the legendary Ray Brown.  On John’s website I discovered a booklet that he has made available called the “self management book”, which I think is awesome as I know that I need an ongoing dose of self-managment to keep me on track.  If you are interested you can download a copy of the booklet from John’s “Learn” page on his site.

The last page in the book, titled “Thoughts” contains a collection of many of those motivational quotes that I think we have all heard during our lives.  Because they are so good and deserve to be seen often I am republishing them below.


  • If one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams and endeavors to lead a life which they have imagined, they will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. –THOREAU
  • The key to happiness is having dreams.  The key to success is making dreams come true.
  • DO IT NOW. You become successful the moment you start moving toward a worthwhile goal.
  • RISK. You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
  • Success is a journey, NOT a destination.
  • Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your mind off your goals.
  • ATTITUDE. If it is to be, it is up to me.
  • EXCELLENCE. The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the little extra.
  • EXCELLENCE can be obtained if you…
    1. Risk more than others think is safe.
    2. Dream more than others think is practical.
    3. Expect more than others think is possible.
  • SUCCESS. The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.  –VINCE LOMBARDI
  • PERSISTENCE. Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.        –CALVIN COOLIDGE