Orison Swett Marden Quotes

Home / Writer / Orison Swett Marden Quotes

There is nothing in this world which men desire and struggle for, and that is good for them, of which there is not enough for everybody.
Orison Swett Marden
Power gravitates to the man who knows how.
Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action.
Orison Swett Marden
No employer today is independent of those about him. He cannot succeed alone, no matter how great his ability or capital. Business today is more than ever a question of cooperation.
Orison Swett Marden
The ability to cultivate friends is a powerful aid to success. It is capital which will stand by one when panics come, when banks fail, when business concerns go to the wall.
Orison Swett Marden
Circumstances have rarely favored great men. A lowly beginning is no bar to a great career. The boy who works his way through college may have a hard time of it, but he will learn how to work his way in life, and will usually take higher rank in school and in after life than his classmate who is the son of a millionaire.
Orison Swett Marden
If our dreams are sincere desires to achieve, not mere pipe-dreams, there is something deep within ourselves which comes out to meet them and helps to make them realities.
Orison Swett Marden
Existence is the privilege of effort, and when that privilege is met like a man, opportunities to succeed along the line of your aptitude will come faster than you can use them.
Orison Swett Marden
By constant contemplation of excellence, we clear our selfhood of all dross and impurities.
Orison Swett Marden
Wisdom is knowledge which has become a part of one's being.
When God calls a man to be upright and pure and generous, he also calls him to be intelligent and skillful, and strong and brave.
Orison Swett Marden
Scatter your flowers as you go; you will never go this way again.
The mere fact that so many continue to rise, year after year, out of just such conditions as you may think are fatal to your advancement, ought to convince you that you also can conquer your environment.
Orison Swett Marden
The world takes us at our own valuation. It believes in the man who believes in himself, but it has little use for the timid man: the one who is never certain of himself, who cannot rely on his own judgment, who craves advice from others, and is afraid to go ahead on his own account.
Orison Swett Marden
Necessity has been a priceless spur which has helped men to perform miracles against incredible odds.
Orison Swett Marden
A good system shortens the road to the goal.
When the sacredness of one's word is matched in the attributes of his character throughout, all that constitutes a man, then we find that there is something in a man's life greater than his occupation or his achievements; grander than acquisition or wealth; higher than genius; more enduring than fame.
Orison Swett Marden
Achievement is not always success, while reputed failure often is. It is honest endeavor, persistent effort to do the best possible under any and all circumstances.
Orison Swett Marden
Everybody is struggling for the good things of the world, and all the arguments to prove that they are not desirable are worse than wasted.
Orison Swett Marden
We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest.
Orison Swett Marden
Most of us are at war with ourselves, are our own worst enemies. We expect a great deal of ourselves, yet we do not put ourselves in a condition to achieve great things. We are either too indulgent to our bodies, or we are not indulgent enough.
Orison Swett Marden
I wish I could fill every young man who reads these pages with an utter dread and horror of poverty. I wish I could make you so feel its shame, its constraint, its bitterness that you would make vows against it.
Orison Swett Marden
We make the world we live in and shape our own environment.
There is no investment you can make which will pay you so well as the effort to scatter sunshine and good cheer through your establishment.
Orison Swett Marden
It pays to cultivate popularity. It doubles success possibilities, develops manhood, and builds up character.
Orison Swett Marden
True economy means the wisest expenditure of what we have, everything considered, looking at it from the broadest standpoint. It is not a good thing to save a nickel at the expenditure of twenty-five cents' worth of time.
Orison Swett Marden
Wanted: a man who will not lose his individuality in a crowd, a man who has the courage of his convictions, who is not afraid to say 'No,' though all the world say 'Yes.'
Orison Swett Marden
What is enthusiasm but a passionate belief in what seems to be a high and holy aim – an unselfish devotion to some noble cause – a consecration of heart and mind and soul to the attainment of a great object?
Orison Swett Marden
Character is the indelible mark that determines the only true value of all people and all their work.
Orison Swett Marden
The hand cannot reach higher than does the heart.
It is every one's sacred duty to keep himself in a condition to do the biggest thing possible to him.
Orison Swett Marden

We make the world we live in and shape our own environment.
You will never succeed while smarting under the drudgery of your occupation, if you are constantly haunted with the idea that you could succeed better in something else.
Orison Swett Marden
Enthusiasm will steady the heart and strengthen the will; it will give force to the thought and nerve to the hand until what was only a possibility becomes a reality.
Orison Swett Marden
The achievements of willpower are almost beyond computation. Scarcely anything seems impossible to the man who can will strongly enough and long enough.
Orison Swett Marden
All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.
Orison Swett Marden
Believe with all your heart that you will do what you were made to do. Never for an instant harbor a doubt of it.
Orison Swett Marden
When we are sure that we are on the right road there is no need to plan our journey too far ahead. No need to burden ourselves with doubts and fears as to the obstacles that may bar our progress. We cannot take more than one step at a time.
Orison Swett Marden
Be larger than your task.
There is inestimable blessing in a cheerful spirit. When the soul throws its windows wide open, letting in the sunshine, and presenting to all who see it the evidence of its gladness, it is not only happy, but it has an unspeakable power of doing good.
Orison Swett Marden
Never allow yourself to dwell upon your weaknesses, deficiencies, or failures. Holding firmly the ideal and struggling vigorously to attain it will help you to realize it.
Orison Swett Marden
The great aim of your life should be to keep your powers up to the highest possible standard, to so conserve your energies, guard your health, that you can make every occasion a great occasion.
Orison Swett Marden
The most fascinating person is always the one of the most winning manners; not the one of greatest physical beauty.
Orison Swett Marden
Should you be so unfortunate as to suppose you are a genius, and that 'things will come to you,' it would be well to undeceive yourself as soon as possible. Make up your mind that industry must be the price of all you obtain, and at once begin to pay down.
Orison Swett Marden
The Creator has not given you a longing to do that which you have no ability to do.
Orison Swett Marden
It is just as important to set apart time for the development of our aesthetic faculties as for cultivating the money-getting instinct. A man cannot live by bread alone. His higher life demands an impalpable food.
Orison Swett Marden
You have not found your place until all your faculties are roused, and your whole nature consents and approves of the work you are doing.
Orison Swett Marden
The most irresistible charm of youth is its bubbling enthusiasm. Youth sees no darkness ahead – no defile that has no outlet – it forgets that there is such a thing as failure in the world and believes that mankind has been waiting all these centuries for him to come and be the liberator of truth and energy and beauty.
Orison Swett Marden
The secret of success lies in that old word, 'Drudgery,' in doing one thing long after it ceases to be amusing; and it is 'this one thing I do' that gathers me together from my chaos, that concentrates me from possibilities to powers, and turns powers into achievements.
Orison Swett Marden
Nothing that the mind of man can conceive is impossible.
Strength of will is the test of a young man's possibilities. Can he will strong enough and hold whatever he undertakes with an iron grip?
Orison Swett Marden
We fail to see that we can control our destiny; make ourselves do whatever is possible; make ourselves become whatever we long to be.
Orison Swett Marden
The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.
Orison Swett Marden
We advance on our journey only when we face our goal, when we are confident and believe we are going to win out.
Orison Swett Marden
Put the uncommon effort into the common task… make it large by doing it in a great way.
Orison Swett Marden
Open eyes will discover opportunities everywhere; open ears will never fail to detect the cries of those who are perishing for assistance; open hearts will never want for worthy objects upon which to bestow their gifts; open hands will never lack for noble work to do.
Orison Swett Marden
Every youth owes it to himself and to the world to make the most possible out of the stuff that is in him.
Orison Swett Marden
A strong, successful man is not the victim of his environment. He creates favorable conditions. His own inherent force and energy compel things to turn out as he desires.
Orison Swett Marden
One can make no better investment than the cultivation of a taste for the beautiful, for it will bring rainbow hues and enduring joys to the whole life. It will not only greatly increase one's capacity for happiness, but also one's efficiency.
Orison Swett Marden
No man can stand still; the moment progress is not made, retrogression begins. If the blade is not kept sharp and bright, the law of rust will assert its claim.
Orison Swett Marden
The great opportunity belongs to him who can see it, to him who can grasp it. The better part of your chance is right inside of you.
Orison Swett Marden
No man can be ideally successful until he has found his place. Like a locomotive he is strong on the track, but weak anywhere else.
Orison Swett Marden
When we begin to desire a thing, to yearn for it with all our hearts, we begin to establish relationship with it in proportion to the strength and persistency of our longing and intelligent effort to realize it.
Orison Swett Marden
The great thing in life is efficiency. If you amount to anything in the world, your time is valuable, your energy precious. They are your success capital, and you cannot afford to heedlessly throw them away or trifle with them.
Orison Swett Marden
If you would make the most of yourself, cut away all of your vitality sappers; get rid of everything which hampers you and holds you back, everything which wastes your energy, cuts down your working capital. Get freedom at any cost.
Orison Swett Marden
He who improves an opportunity sows a seed which will yield fruit in opportunity for himself and others.
Orison Swett Marden
Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.
Orison Swett Marden
A will finds a way.
He has missed the finest lesson of culture and experience who has not learned how to enjoy without owning.
Orison Swett Marden
There is only one thing for us to do, and that is to do our level best right where we are every day of our lives; To use our best judgment, and then to trust the rest to that Power which holds the forces of the universe in his hands.
Orison Swett Marden
The man who practises unselfishness, who is genuinely interested in the welfare of others, who feels it a privilege to have the power to do a fellow-creature a kindness – even though polished manners and a gracious presence may be absent – will be an elevating influence wherever he goes.
Orison Swett Marden
The man who would forge to the front in this competitive age must be a man of prompt and determined decision.
Orison Swett Marden
Golden opportunities are nothing to laziness, but industry makes the commonest chances golden.
Orison Swett Marden
The sort of man you will make of yourself, how you will be regarded by the world, whether people will admire and respect or despise you, whether you win the approval or the condemnation of your Maker – all this is in your own hands.
Orison Swett Marden
Put variety into your mental bill of fare as well as into your physical. It will pay you rich returns.
Orison Swett Marden
Wanted: a man who is larger than his calling, who considers it a low estimate of his occupation to value it merely as a means of getting a living.
Orison Swett Marden
Analyzing what you haven't got as well as what you have is a necessary ingredient of a career.
Orison Swett Marden
Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young. A good laugh makes us better friends with ourselves and everybody around us.
Orison Swett Marden
It is psychological law that whatever we desire to accomplish we must impress upon the subjective or subconscious mind.
Orison Swett Marden
A constant struggle, a ceaseless battle to bring success from inhospitable surroundings, is the price of all great achievements.
Orison Swett Marden
If we hold the poverty thought, the penury thought, the thought of lack, we cannot demonstrate abundance. We must hold the plenty thought if we would reach plenty.
Orison Swett Marden
Whoever uplifts civilization is rich though he die penniless, and future generations will erect his monument.
Orison Swett Marden
Obstacles are like wild animals. They are cowards but they will bluff you if they can. If they see you are afraid of them… they are liable to spring upon you; but if you look them squarely in the eye, they will slink out of sight.
Orison Swett Marden
The best thing about giving of ourselves is that what we get is always better than what we give. The reaction is greater than the action.
Orison Swett Marden
Live in the very soul of expectation of better things, in the conviction that something large, grand, and beautiful will await you if your efforts are intelligent, if your mind is kept in a creative condition and you struggle upward to your goal.
Orison Swett Marden
If you would attract good fortune, you must get rid of doubt. As long as that stands between you and your ambition, it will be a bar that will cut you off. You must have faith. No man can make a fortune while he is convinced that he can't.
Orison Swett Marden
You are never to allow a shadow of doubt to enter your mind that the Creator intended you to win in life's battle.
Orison Swett Marden
It is the idle man, not the great worker, who is always complaining that he has no time or opportunity.
Orison Swett Marden
Unless you have prepared yourself to profit by your chance, the opportunity will only make you ridiculous. A great occasion is valuable to you just in proportion as you have educated yourself to make use of it.
Orison Swett Marden
The quality of your work, in the long run, is the deciding factor on how much your services are valued by the world.
Orison Swett Marden
Regard every suggestion that your life may be a failure, that you are not made like those who succeed, and that success is not for you, as a traitor, and expel it from your mind as you would a thief from your house.
Orison Swett Marden
If you do not feel yourself growing in your work and your life broadening and deepening, if your task is not a perpetual tonic to you, you have not found your place.
Orison Swett Marden
There is no stimulus like that which comes from the consciousness of knowing that others believe in us.
Orison Swett Marden
Every man ultimately falls into the company with which he affiliates. And he is the strongest who draws men to himself, who creates the company; and this is through having a positive quality – courage and physical prowess.
Orison Swett Marden
Work faithfully, and you will put yourself in possession of a glorious and enlarging happiness.
Orison Swett Marden
Economize in other things if you must, wear threadbare clothes if necessary, but never cheat your body or brain by the quality and quantity of your food. Poor, cheap food which produces low vitality and inferior brain force is the worst kind of economy.
Orison Swett Marden
No one is mocked with the yearning for that which he has no ability to attain. If he holds the right mental attitude and struggles earnestly, honestly toward his goal, he will reach it, or at least approximate to it.
Orison Swett Marden
Nothing else so destroys the power to stand alone as the habit of leaning upon others. If you lean, you will never be strong or original. Stand alone or bury your ambition to be somebody in the world.
Orison Swett Marden
There can be no failure to a man who has not lost his courage, his character, his self respect, or his self-confidence. He is still a King.
Orison Swett Marden
Your expectations opens or closes the doors of your supply, If you expect grand things, and work honestly for them, they will come to you, your supply will correspond with your expectation.
Orison Swett Marden
No one can make the most of himself until he looks upon his life as a magnificent possibility, the materials for a great masterpiece, to mar or spoil which would be a great tragedy.
Orison Swett Marden
In order to keep himself at the top of his condition, to obtain complete mastery of all his powers and possibilities, a man must be good to himself mentally; he must think well of himself.
Orison Swett Marden
The Universe is one great kindergarten for man. Everything that exists has brought with it its own peculiar lesson.
Orison Swett Marden
Whatever you do, don't discourage your dreaming propensity. Your heart's desires are not empty vaporings. They foreshadow possible realities. Man was made to aspire, to look upward.
Orison Swett Marden
What power can poverty have over a home where loving hearts are beating with a consciousness of untold riches of the head and heart?
Orison Swett Marden
More men are ruined by underestimating the value of money than by overestimating it. Let us, then, abandon the affectation of despising money, and frankly own its value.
Orison Swett Marden
Sweeter than the perfume of roses is a reputation for a kind, charitable, unselfish nature; a ready disposition to do to others any good turn in your power.
Orison Swett Marden
Many a man has finally succeeded only because he has failed after repeated efforts. If he had never met defeat he would never have known any great victory.
Orison Swett Marden
Without this tremendous passion for power, influence, and advantage which money gives, how could nature develop the highest type of man? Without this infinite longing, whence would come the discipline which industry, perseverance, tact, sagacity, and frugality give?
Orison Swett Marden
Our dreaming capacity gives us a peep into the glorious realities that await us further on. It is the evidence of things possible to us.
Orison Swett Marden
Unless generosity of spirit prevails among men, there can never be upon earth an ideal life.
Orison Swett Marden
Do not waste time dreaming of great faraway opportunities; do the best you can where you are. Open your petals of power and beauty and fling out the fragrance of your life in the place that has been assigned to you.
Orison Swett Marden
The waste of life occasioned by trying to do too many things at once is appalling.
Orison Swett Marden
What we do for a living does not matter so much as how we do it. It is the spirit in which we do our work that counts, and that counts through all eternity.
Orison Swett Marden
Do not give up your dream because it is apparently not being realized, because you cannot see it coming true. Cling to your vision with all the tenacity you can muster. Keep it bright; do not let the bread-and-butter side of life cloud your ideal or dim it.
Orison Swett Marden
One of the secrets of a successful life is to be able to hold all of our energies upon one point, to focus all of the scattered rays of the mind upon one place or thing.
Orison Swett Marden
The greatest thing a man can do in this world is to make the most possible out of the stuff that has been given him. This is success, and there is no other.
Orison Swett Marden
The size of your accomplishments, the quality of your achievement, will depend very largely on how big a man you see in yourself, what sort of image you get of your possible self, yourself at your best.
Orison Swett Marden
No one has a corner on success. It is his who pays the price.
All men who have achieved great things have been great dreamers.
No man fails who does his best.
When the mind has once formed the habit of holding cheerful, happy, prosperous pictures, it will not be easy to form the opposite habit.
Orison Swett Marden
Every man must play the part of his ambition. If you are trying to be a successful man, you must play the part.
Orison Swett Marden
Poverty itself is not so bad as the poverty thought. It is the conviction that we are poor and must remain so that is fatal.
Orison Swett Marden
We are all the products of our own thoughts. Whatever we concentrate upon, that we are.
Orison Swett Marden
History furnishes thousands of examples of men who have seized occasions to accomplish results deemed impossible by those less resolute. Prompt decision and whole-souled action sweep the world before them.
Orison Swett Marden
To many a man, and sometimes to a youth, there comes the opportunity to choose between honorable competence and tainted wealth. The young man who starts out to be poor and honorable, holds in his hand one of the strongest elements of success.
Orison Swett Marden
Discouragement, fear, doubt, lack of self-confidence, are the germs which have killed the prosperity and happiness of tens of thousands of people.
Orison Swett Marden
The man who has no money is poor, but one who has nothing but money is poorer. He only is rich who can enjoy without owning; he is poor who though he has millions is covetous.
Orison Swett Marden
Our visions are the plans of the possible life structure, but they will end in plans if we do not follow them up with a vigorous effort to make them real, just as the architect's plans will end in his drawings if they are not followed up and made real by the builder.
Orison Swett Marden
Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes – every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man.
Orison Swett Marden
Life is a great university for the unfolding of the mind, for developing character. In choosing our life work, when we are free to choose, we should remember this, and choose that which will call the biggest man or woman out of us and not that from which we can coin the most dollars.
Orison Swett Marden
The true doctrine is that labor – systematic, effective, congenial labor – is not only a necessity, but is the source of the highest enjoyment.
Orison Swett Marden
There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow.
Orison Swett Marden
Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.
Orison Swett Marden
With five chances on each hand and one unwavering aim, no boy, however poor, need despair. There is bread and success for every youth under the American flag who has energy and ability to seize his opportunity.
Orison Swett Marden
There is an infinite difference between a little wrong and just right, between fairly good and the best, between mediocrity and superiority.
Orison Swett Marden
It is what we do easily and what we like to do that we do well.
There are powers inside of you which, if you could discover and use, would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become.
Orison Swett Marden
It is the hopeful, buoyant, cheerful attitude of mind that wins. Optimism is a success builder; pessimism an achievement killer.
Orison Swett Marden
If a thing seems to you worth working for at all, if it appears to you of moment enough to challenge any effort, then put into what you do all the enthusiasm of which you are capable, regardless of criticism.
Orison Swett Marden
One should live between extravagance and meanness. Don't save money by starving your mind. It is false economy never to take a holiday, or never to spend money for an evening's amusement or for a useful book.
Orison Swett Marden
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them.
Orison Swett Marden
If you would make the most of yourself, never picture yourself as anything different from what you would actually be, the man or woman you long to become.
Orison Swett Marden
Every young man or woman should weigh the matter well before concluding that a college education is out of the question.
Orison Swett Marden
Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself, your estimate of your value are largely colored by your environment. Your whole career will be modified, shaped, molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day.
Orison Swett Marden
It is like the seed put in the soil – the more one sows, the greater the harvest.
Orison Swett Marden
The influential man is the successful man, whether he be rich or poor.
If you are ambitious to talk well, you must be as much as possible in the society of well-bred, cultured people. If you seclude yourself, though you are a college graduate, you will be a poor converser.
Orison Swett Marden
He is the richest man who enriches his country most; in whom the people feel richest and proudest; who gives himself with his money; who opens the doors of opportunity widest to those about him; who is ears to the deaf, eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame.
Orison Swett Marden
Our destiny changes with our thought; we shall become what we wish to become, do what we wish to do, when our habitual thought corresponds with our desire.
Orison Swett Marden
A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work. Worry upsets our whole system; work keeps it in health and order.
Orison Swett Marden
The golden rule for every business man is this: 'Put yourself in your customer's place.'
Orison Swett Marden
What is needed by him who would succeed in the highest degree possible is careful planning. He is to accumulate reserved power, that he may be equal to all emergencies.
Orison Swett Marden
Those who have accomplished great things in the world have been, as a rule, bold, aggressive, and self-confident. They dared to step out from the crowd and act in an original way. They were not afraid to be generals.
Orison Swett Marden
Nearly all the great improvements, discoveries, inventions, and achievements which have elevated and blessed humanity have been the triumphs of enthusiasm.
Orison Swett Marden
Our trials, our sorrows, and our grieves develop us.
The forthputting of willpower is a means of strengthening willpower. The will becomes strong by exercise. To stick to a thing till you are master is a test of intellectual discipline and power.
Orison Swett Marden
You cannot measure a man by his failures. You must know what use he makes of them. What did they mean to him. What did he get out of them.
Orison Swett Marden
No matter where your lot may be cast, no power on earth can keep you from making a man of yourself, a superb character, a masterpiece.
Orison Swett Marden
Many a man owes his advancement very largely to his ability to converse well. The ability to interest people in your conversation, to hold them, is a great power.
Orison Swett Marden
There is not a single indication in man's wonderful mechanism that he was created for a life of poverty. There is something larger and grander for him in the divine plan than perpetual slavery to the bread-winning problem.
Orison Swett Marden
There can be no great courage where there is no confidence or assurance, and half the battle is in the conviction that we can do what we undertake.
Orison Swett Marden
Success is the child of drudgery and perseverance. It cannot be coaxed or bribed; pay the price and it is yours.
Orison Swett Marden
Charm of personality is a divine gift that sways the strongest characters and sometimes even controls the destinies of nations.
Orison Swett Marden
Our thoughts and imagination are the only real limits to our possibilities.
Orison Swett Marden
There is no surer token of a little mind than to imagine that anything in the way of physical labor is dishonoring.
Orison Swett Marden
One of the greatest boons that can ever come to a human being is to be born on a farm and reared in the country. Self-reliance and grit are oftenest country-bred.
Orison Swett Marden
Form the habit early in life of leaving your business at the store or wherever you may be employed. Never carry it home to mar the peace of your family; if you do, you will soon drive out the sunshine.
Orison Swett Marden
Just try the effect of putting beauty into your life, a little every day. You will find it magical. It will broaden and light up your outlook upon the world as the acquisition of money or fame never can.
Orison Swett Marden