With the start of the Olympics just around the corner, we bring you a collection of quotes from people of varying degrees of fame and glory, some sure to make you think.

Prayer alone doesn’t give you courage. You need to make the effort and pray.

Evander Holyfield, boxer who, among other achievements, unwillingly fed Mike Tyson his ear.

Of course there’s anxiety and pressure. The only way to push all that aside is to practice in the way you know is right.

Ryoko Tamura, judo champion, one of the few women to have won medals at five consecutive Olympic Games.


This feeling, that you want to drive the best you can and get the best result, and achieve your hopes and goals – this feelings gives me strength.

Ayrton Senna, Brazilian racing icon


As long as you persevere in your efforts without losing sight of a good goal, you will be saved in the end.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German writer, artist, and politician; wrote Faust


Most people think that success only comes one step at a time. But this is an unfortunate misunderstanding.

Jay Abraham, marketing “genius”


Complacency is a person’s biggest enemy. One should spurn fate, ridicule death, embrace only ambition, and forget wisdom and favor and fear.

William Shakespeare, you know who


Every event is a reflection of the mind. Therefore, if you continue striving earnestly and with a pure heart, you will achieve.

Kazuo Inamori, philanthropist, Japanese entrepreneur and the founder of Kyocera Corporation and KDDI Corporation
(more sayings by Inamori)


In order for a person to advance, he must take the first step. In the long run, there is nothing wasted in life.

Soichiro Honda, founder of Honda Motor Co., Ltd.


Our lives are worth exactly the effort we put into them.

– François Mauriac, French author, laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature


A person’s biggest enemy is that which is in his own breast.

Seneca, Roman rhetorician and writer


The harder you work, the luckier you get.

Gary Player, South African professional golfer and widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of golf


Those who work hard will know hope, while those who are lazy will know unhappiness.

– Yasushi Inoue, Japanese writer famous for his serious historical fiction of ancient Japan and the Asian continent


We don’t run away because we are afraid. We are afraid because we run.

William James, American psychologist and philosopher


I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Thomas Edison, again, come on, you know who. Lightbulb guy? Records?


The trick to making your dreams come true is to want them like crazy.

Kansai Yamamoto, one of the leaders in Japanese Contemporary fashion, in particular during the 1970s and 1980s


After you firmly learn the form, get used to destroying the form.

Kankuro Nakamura, Japanese kabuki, television, and film actor


Effort will always be rewarded. If you don’t achieve a reward, then it means you haven’t made a real effort yet.

– Sadaharu Oh, baseballl player who hit more homers than Hank Aaron and played for the Tokyo Giants