The following is a compilation of motivational quotations occasionally sent to the karate email list.
Browse and enjoy!

There was a student studying the martial arts. One day the student asked his instructor how long it would take to achieve the rank of black belt. The instructor responded that it would take two years.

The student then asked how long it would take to advance to black belt if he practiced twice as hard and twice as long every day. The instructor responded that it would take four years.

Puzzled, the student then asked how long it would take to advance to black belt if he practiced four times as hard and four times as long every day. The instructor responded that it would take eight years.

Even more puzzled, the student then asked how long it would take to advance to black belt if he practiced eight times as hard and eight times as long every day. The instructor responded that it would take sixteen years.

The student, feeling very frustrated at this point, asked why it would take longer to earn a black belt when he was trying harder and practicing constantly to earn it. The instructor responded "If you have one eye constantly on the black belt, that only leaves one eye to focus on what you are currently learning."

The point to take from this is don't get too caught up in thinking about the next belt after the one you are preparing for, but to keep your focus where it belongs and be the best at the level you are currently. Everything you learn is the foundation for what you will learn next. Build strong foundations and strive for excellence in what you are doing at this moment.

Do not undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.
Do not set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
Do not take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would your life, for without them, life is meaningless.
Do not let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past nor for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.
Do not give up when you have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying. It is fragile thread that binds us to each other.
Do not be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that we learn how to be brave.
Do not shut love out of your life by saying it is impossible to find. The quickest way to receive love is to give love. The fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly.
Do not dismiss your dreams. To be without dreams is to be without hope. To be without hope is to be without purpose.
Do not run through life so fast that you forget not only where you have been but also where you are going. Life is not a race but a journey to be savored each step of the way.


It takes strength to be firm.
It takes courage to be gentle.

It takes strength to stand guard.
It takes courage to let down your guard.

It takes strength to conquer
It takes courage to surrender.

It takes strength to be certain.
It takes courage to have doubt.

It takes strength to fit in.
It takes courage to stand out.

It takes strength to feel a friend's pain.
It takes courage to feel your own pain.

It takes strength to hide feelings.
It takes courage to show them.

It takes strength to endure abuse.
It takes courage to stop it.

It takes strength to stand alone.
It takes courage to lean on another.

It takes strength to love.
It takes courage to be loved.

It takes strength to survive.
It takes courage to live.

"Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."
--Vince Lombardi

You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.
--Michael Jordan

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
--John Wooden

If you train hard, you'll not only be hard, you'll be hard to beat.
--Herschel Walker

Most games are lost, not won.
--Casey Stengel

The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you have lost.
--George Shultz

Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.
--William A. Ward

Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

To succeed...You need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.
--Tony Dorsett

You Are
You are strong
when you take your grief and teach it to smile.
You are brave
when you overcome your fear and help others to do the same.
You are happy
when you see a flower and give it your blessing.
You are loving
when your own pain does not blind you to the pain of others.
You are wise
when you know the limits of your wisdom.
You are true
when you admit there are times you fool yourself.
You are alive
when tomorrow's hope means more to you than yesterday's mistake.
You are growing
when you know what you are but not what you will become.
You are free
when you are in control of yourself and do not wish to control others.
You are honorable
when you find your honor is to honor others.
You are generous
when you can take as sweetly as you can give.
You are humble
when you do not know how humble you are.
You are thoughtful
when you see me just as I am and treat me just as you are.
You are merciful
when you forgive in others the faults you condemn in yourself.
You are beautiful
when you don't need a mirror to tell you.
You are rich
when you never need more than what you have.
You are you
when you are at peace with who you are not.

"Success is a journey, not a destination."

"Be decisive, even if it means you'll sometimes be wrong."


1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three R's:
Respect for self
Respect for others and
Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

What's the difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to be believable.

People with goals succeed because they know where they're going.
--Earl Nightingale

If you expect anyone else to believe in you, you have to believe in yourself first.

Give a man a hand and he'll run it all over you.
--Mae West

Dream as if you will live forever,
Live as if you will die today.
--James Dean

It's not what you look at that maters, it's what you see.
--Henry David Threau

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.

If you refuse to accept anything but the best, you'll get the best.
Begin to live as you wish to live.


Don't worry about failure.
Worry about the chances you miss when you don't even try.

--A message published in the Wall Street Journal

One who makes no mistakes never makes anything.


Sometimes there is no next time, no second chance, no time out, sometimes...it's now or never.

We become what we give ourselves the power to be.

Always aim for achievement, and forget about success.
--Helen Hayes

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.

--George Bernard Shaw

Countless unseen details are often the only difference between mediocre and magnificent.


"I will not yield to evil...unless she's cute."


Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise; risking more than others think is safe. Dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

On the road to success one thing is certain, there is never a crowd on the extra mile.


The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.

--Joe Paterno

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
--Robert F. Kennedy

The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you have lost.

--George Schultz


It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.

--Archie Griffin, two-time Heisman Trophy winner (5'9")

I've always made a total effort, even when the odds seemed entirely against me.
I never quit trying; I never felt that I didn't have a chance to win.

--Arnold Palmer

Ask not what your teammates can do for you. Ask what you can do for your teammates.

--Magic Johnson

What are the actions and attributes of a leader?
What is it that makes him different from others?

1.A leader is always full of praise.
2.A leader learns to use the phrases "thank you" and "please" on his way to the top.
3.A leader is always growing.
4.A leader is possessed with his dreams.
5.A leader launches forth before success is certain.
6.A leader is not afraid of confrontation.
7.A leader talks about his own mistakes before talking about someone else's.
8.A leader is a person of honesty and integrity.
9.A leader has a good name.
10.A leader makes others better.
11.A leader is quick to praise and encourage the smallest amount of improvement.
12.A leader is genuinely interested in others.
13.A leader looks for opportunities to find someone doing something right.
14.A leader takes others up with him.
15.A leader responds to his own failures and acknowledges them before others have to discover and reveal them.
16.A leader never allows murmuring from himself or others.
17.A leader is specific in what he expects.
18.A leader holds accountable those who work with him.
19.A leader does what is right rather than what is popular.
20.A leader is a servant.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.


Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

--Thomas Jefferson

Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Courage is not the absence of fear,
But a belief that something else is more important than the fear.