Sometimes you have to look back to go forward, learning from others’ experiences and soaking up their infinite knowledge as you go. Luckily, the decades before us gave rise to some of the brightest minds in history—and judging from all their accomplishments, they definitely knew a thing or two about success.
Related: 5 Must-Live-By Rules From History’s Masterminds
But achieving great things isn’t limited to the well-known—you, too, can live a victorious life, thriving in full realization of your wildest dreams. These 15 famous success quotes are just what you need to get started. Take the wisdom of those before you and make it your own.
1. “Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” —Dale Carnegie
2. “Try not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.” —Albert Einstein
3. “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”—Booker T. Washington
4. “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” —Truman Capote
5. “The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do, well.” —Henry W. Longfellow
6. “I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” —George S. Patton
7. “Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the result.” —Oscar Wilde
9. “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” —Henry David Thoreau
10. “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” —Winston Churchill
11. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” —Thomas A. Edison
12. “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other one thing.”—Abraham Lincoln
13. “The secret of success is to do the common thing uncommonly well.” —John D. Rockefeller Jr.
14. “All successful men have agreed in one thing—they were causationists. They believed that things went not by luck, but by law; that there was not a weak or a cracked link in the chain that joins the first and last of things.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Conduct of Life
15. “The secret of success is to know something nobody else knows.” —Aristotle Onassis
Related: 5 Things You Need for a Successful Mindset
Lydia Sweatt is the web producer for SUCCESS.com. She recently earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Arlington and is a Dallas native. She enjoys painting, a hefty taco and discovering new music.