Quotes provide a snippet of wisdom from those who have gone before. Below is a list of quotes on life, leadership, and war. Some fit in multiple categories and are where I felt they fit in the moment I read them.This page will continue to grow as more quotes come to our attention. Feel free to tweet these or share more!


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

“Restlessness is discontent — and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man — and I will show you a failure.” -Thomas Edison

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -Anais Nin

“Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” -Confucius

“You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind.” -Darwin P. Kingsley

“Persistent people begin their success where others end in failure.” -Edward Eggleston

“Modern morality consists in accepting the standard of one’s age. I consider that for any man of culture to accept the standard of his age is a form of the grossest immorality.” -Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.” -Sir Winston Churchill

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” -Bertie C. Forbes

“A fanatic is someone who can’t change his mind, and won’t change the subject.”  -Sir Winston Churchill

“Mediocre people don’t like high achievers and high achievers don’t like mediocre people.” -Coach Nick Saban

“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the da

y to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” – Lawrence of Arabia; Seven Pillars of Wisdom

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“Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be!” -Miguel de Cervantes; Don Quixote

“‘Beauty is Truth, Truth is Beauty,’ That is all ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.” -John Keats

“When you come to the end of the rope, tie a knot and hang on.” –Franklin Roosevelt

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close to success when they gave up.” -Thomas Edison

“The true test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” -Sir Winston Churchill

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill…The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.” -Dr. Charles Swindoll

“Winning is not normal and those who constantly win follow an ‘abnormal’ path. The discipline, dedication and sacrifices are incomprehensible to those thousands standing outside, looking in, who are capable of joining the winning team, yet unwilling to pay the price of admission. Winners win in a fair effort, on a level playing field; because they deserve to win… they willingly pay their dues in full, time after time, after time.” -Unknown


“Regard your Soldiers as your children and they will follow you into the deepest valleys. Look on them as your own beloved sons and they will stand by you even unto death.” -Sun Tzu; The Art of War

“Character may be manifested in the greater moments, but it is made in the small ones.” -Phillips Brook

“The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion.” –G.K. Chesterton

“Speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret.” -Lawrence Peter

“Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.” –Booker T. Washington

“Character is always doing the right thing, even when no one is looking. Pride is doing everything to the best of your ability. And, Perseverance is the mental and emotional strength to never admit defeat and always strive for excellence, knowing that failures will  come along the way.” -Unknown

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
-Edward Hale

“Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.” -James Michner

“An apology is a good way to have the last word.” –Unknown

“The ideal life is in our blood and never will be still. Sad will be the day for any man when he becomes contented with the thoughts he is thinking and the deeds he is doing, — where there is not forever beating at the doors of his soul some great desire to do something larger, which he knows that he was meant and made to do.” -Phillips Brooks

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.” –Theodore Roosevelt

“Be an example to your men in your duty and in private life. Never spare yourself, and let the troops see that you don’t in your endurance of fatigue and privation. Always be tactful and well mannered, and teach your subordinates to be the same. Avoid excessive sharpness or harshness of voice, which usually indicates the man who has shortcomings of his own to hide.” -Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

“A [leader] does not abide within his tent while his men bleed and die upon the field. A [leader] does not dine while his men go hungry, nor sleep when they stand at watch upon the wall. A [leader] does not command his men’s loyalty through fear nor purchase it with gold; he endures for their sake. That which comprises the harshest burden, a [leader] lifts first and sets down last. A [leader] does not require service of those he leads but provides it to them. He serves them, not they him.” -Steven Pressfield; Gates of Fire

“Age wrinkles the body.  Quitting wrinkles the soul.”  -General Douglas MacArthur

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” -President Abraham Lincoln

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” -Stephen Hawking

“There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” -Seth Godin

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“Any fool can criticize, condemn, & complain but it takes character & self control to be understanding & forgiving.” -Dale Carnegie

“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.” -Warren G. Bennis

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”-Jim Rohn

“Impossible is not a fact, it’s an opinion.” -Muhammad Ali

“Winning means you’re willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else.” –Vince Lombardi

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” -Peter Drucker

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” -John Wooden

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” – Arthur Ashe

“Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain” –Henry Ford

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” -Nelson Mandela

“Never, never, never quit.” –Winston Churchill

“Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“It’s a perpetual motion machine that is fueled on a weird mix of dissatisfaction and eternal hope.” -Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk


“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” -Sun Tzu; The Art of War

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of Freedom must like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.”  Thomas Paine; Common Sense

“The god of War hates the man who hesitates.”  -Euripides

“The harder you work the harder it is to surrender.” –Vince Lombardi

“A combat infantryman’s job is like playing infield in baseball. You are always thinking. What am I going to do if the ball’s hit to me? You must constantly evaluate threats.” –Staff Sgt. David Bellavia; House to House

“I hold it to be one of the simplest truths of war that the thing which enables an Infantry Soldier to keep going with his weapons is the near presence or the presumed presence of a comrade.” -Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall

“Be convinced that to be happy means to be free and that to be free means to be brave. Therefore do not take lightly the perils of war.” –Thucydides

“Once we have a war there is only one thing to do. It must be won. For defeat brings worse things than any that can ever happen in war.” – Ernest Hemingway

“It is that peculiar soldiers’ humor which springs from the experience of shared misery and often translates poorly to those not on the spot and enduring the same hardship.” -Steven Pressfield; Gates of Fire

“Morale is a state of mind. It is steadfastness and courage and hope. It is confidence and zeal and loyalty. It is élan, esprit de corps and determination. It is staying power, the spirit which endures to the end—the will to win. With it all things are possible, without it everything else, planning, preparation, production, count for naught.” -General George C. Marshall

“Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his Soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals, he is unfit to command. He is unfit to appraise the cost of an objective in terms of human lives. To spend lives, knowingly, deliberately—even cruelly—he must steel his mind with the knowledge that to do less would cost only more in the end. For if he becomes tormented by the casualties he must endure, he is in danger of losing sight of his strategic objectives. Where the objective is lost, the war is prolonged and the cost becomes infinitely worse.” -General Omar Bradley

“We know not of the future, and cannot plan for it much, But we can hold our spirits and our bodies so pure and high, we may cherish such thoughts and such ideals, and dream such dreams of lofty purpose, that we can determine and know what manner of men we will be whenever and wherever the hour strikes that calls to noble actions….No man becomes suddenly different from his habit and cherished thought.” -Brigadier General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

“It is the discipline which is the soul of armies, as indeed the soul of power in all intelligence. Other things—moral considerations, impulses of sentiment, and even natural excitement—may lead men to great deeds; but taken in the long run, and in all vicissitudes, an army is effective in proportion to its discipline.” ~Brigadier General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

“War remains the decisive human failure.” -John Kenneth Galbraith

“Politics is the womb in which war develops.” -Carl Von Clausewitz; On War

“Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions.” -Ulysses S. Grant

“There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet the enemy.” -George Washington

“The statesman who yields to war fever… is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.” -Sir Winston Churchill

“Never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter.” -Sir Winston Churchill

“I think that technologies are morally neutral until we apply them. It’s only when we use them for good or evil that they become good or evil.” -William Gibson

“The commander in the field is always right and the rear echelon is wrong,unless proved otherwise.” -General Colin Powell

“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” -General Colin Powell

“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” -General Norman Schwarzkopf

“In battle it is not syllogisms that will keep the reluctant nerves and muscles to their post in the third hour of the bombardment. The crudest sentimentalism about a flag or a country or a regiment will be of more use.” -C.S. Lewis; The Abolition of Man

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” -Mike Tyson