Quotes on changing the world

Amin A.

Scene 2 of Meta Thoughts in Entrepreneurial Story Series

By Amin Ariana — December 2012

Important quotes from thought leaders for makers, entrepreneurs, adventurers and seekers of truth


Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Mark Twain
Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better.
Florence Nightingale
The main difference between a rich person and a poor person is what they do in their spare time.
It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy.
Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple
In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep.
Albert Einstein
The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn, from the book The Startup of You

Risk taking

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher, The Way of Lao-tzu
Do, or do not. There is no try.
Yoda, Star Wars
It is better for a man to go wrong in freedom than to go right in chains.
Thomas H. Huxley, Evolutionist
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
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.
John Elliot
The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
St. Augustine
If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right.
Henry Ford
No matter how rich you are, you want a deal.
Mark Suster, to entrepreneurs in a Stanford class on approaching investors
God does not care about our mathematical difficulties. He integrates empirically.
Albert Einstein
You remake yourself as you grow and as the world changes. Your identity doesn’t get found. It emerges.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn, from the book The Startup of You
A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.
Mark Twain
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain
I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 things that do not work.
Thomas Edison


To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.
Leonard Bernstein
Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.
Pablo Picasso
Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.
Warren Buffet
There is more to life than increasing its speed.
Mohandas K. Gandhi
If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.
Tenzin Gyatso, The 14th Dalai Lama
People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.
Albert Einstein
Whatever the situation, actions, not plans, generate lessons that help you test your hypotheses against reality.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn, from the book The Startup of You
No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn, from the book The Startup of You

Product Design

We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.
Robert Wilensky
Good artists copy. Great artists steal.
Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple, about Macintosh's artistic inspirations
The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.
Albert Einstein
The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.
Albert Einstein
When I'm solving a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
Richard Buckminster Fuller (American architect, systems theorist, author, designer, inventor, and futurist)
You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.
Albert Einstein
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.
Albert Einstein
The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed.
William Gibson

Satisfaction and happiness

Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.
Thích Nhất Hạnh
Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.
Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, publisher of Forbes Magazine
We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
Albert Einstein
All humans are entrepreneurs not because they should start companies, but because the will to create is encoded in human DNA.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn, from the book The Startup of You
When you’re doing work you care about, you are able to work harder and better.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn, from the book The Startup of You
He not busy being born is busy dying.
Bob Dylan


No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.
Stanislaw Jerszy Lec
The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.
Eric Hoffer
Even when men league themselves mightily together to promote tolerance and peace on earth, they are likely to be violently intolerant toward those not of a like mind.
Eric Hoffer
A human being is a part of a whole, called by us 'universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Albert Einstein


After you plant a seed in the ground, you don’t dig it up every week to see how it is doing.
William Coyne, head of R&D at 3M, on micro-management
Before dreaming about the future or marking plans, you need to articulate what you already have going for you – as entrepreneurs do.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn, from the book The Startup of You
If you want to build a strong network that will help you move ahead in your career, it’s vital to first take stock of the connections you already have.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn, from the book The Startup of You

Leadership and inspiration

When you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you achieve it.
The Alchemist
There is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit.
US President Ronald Reagan
It's easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.
Mathematician and US Admiral Grace Hopper
Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
Steven Wright, Comedian
The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.
Steven Wright, Comedian
Half the people you know are below average.
Steven Wright, Comedian
42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.
Steven Wright, Comedian
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
Jack London
There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.
US President Harry Truman
Go forth and be googly!
Garry Boone of Google, at the end of a Google orientation lecture

Amin A.

Written by

Amin Ariana

A software entrepreneur from San Francisco