Quotes and Sayings about Excellence



"Neither a life of anarchy nor one beneath a despot should you praise; to all that lies in the middle a god has given excellence."
- Aeschylus
(Related: Life, God, Anarchy, Excellence, Lies, Praise)

"What we do is look for high standards of excellence in the arts."
- Jane Alexander
(Related: Excellence)

"The sad truth is that excellence makes people nervous."
- Shana Alexander
(Related: Truth, People, Excellence)

"Desire is the key to motivation, but it's determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal - a commitment to excellence - that will enable you to attain the success you seek."
- Mario Andretti
(Related: Success, Motivation, Determination, Goal, Commitment, Desire, Excellence, Key, Pursuit, Will)

"The test of the artist does not lie in the will with which he goes to work, but in the excellence of the work he produces."
- Thomas Aquinas
(Related: Work, Lie, Artist, Excellence, Will)

"Perfect friendship is the friendship of men who are good, and alike in excellence; for these wish well alike to each other qua good, and they are good in themselves."
- Aristotle
(Related: Friendship, Men, Excellence)

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
- Aristotle
(Related: Habit, Act, Excellence)

"Excellence, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean, relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it."
- Aristotle
(Related: Wisdom, Being, Choice, Excellence, Lying, Man, Reason, State)

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."
- Aristotle
(Related: Art, Habit, Virtue, Act, Excellence, Training)

"Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts."
- Aristotle
(Related: Habit, Excellence, Result)

"Yet Aristotle's excellence of substance, so far from being associated with the grand style, is associated with something that at times comes perilously near jargon."
- Irving Babbitt
(Related: Being, Excellence, Jargon, Style)

"Dullness in matters of government is a good sign, and not a bad one - in particular, dullness in parliamentary government is a test of its excellence, an indication of its success."
- Walter Bagehot
(Related: Government, Success, Excellence)

"There is no excellence without labor. One cannot dream oneself into either usefulness or happiness."
- Liberty Hyde Bailey
(Related: Happiness, Dream, Excellence, Labor, Usefulness)

"There is no surer mark of the absence of the highest moral and intellectual qualities than a cold reception of excellence."
- Philip James Bailey
(Related: Absence, Excellence)

"We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started."
- Henry Ward Beecher
(Related: People, Excellence)

"Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere. Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary."
- Warren G. Bennis
(Related: Excellence, Mediocrity)

"I've spent my life pursing excellence as an artist, which is what I always wanted to do anyhow."
- Claire Bloom
(Related: Life, Artist, Excellence)

"It is the growth of advertising in this country which, more than any single element, has brought the American magazine to its present enviable position in points of literary, illustrative and mechanical excellence."
- Edward Bok
(Related: Growth, Advertising, American, Country, Excellence, Literary, Present)

"It is the characteristic excellence of the strong man that he can bring momentous issues to the fore and make a decision about them. The weak are always forced to decide between alternatives they have not chosen themselves."
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(Related: Decision, Excellence, Man)

"When a book raises your spirit, and inspires you with noble and manly thoughts, seek for no other test of its excellence. It is good, and made by a good workman."
- Jean de la Bruyere
(Related: Thoughts, Excellence, Spirit)

"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it."
- Pearl S. Buck
(Related: Work, Excellence, Joy, Word)

"It is my sincere hope that hospitals across Indiana, and America, continue to strive for excellence when it comes to providing medical care. This proposed rule will be harmful to communities who wish to upgrade their medical facilities."
- Steve Buyer
(Related: Medical, Hope, America, Care, Excellence, Hospitals, Will)

"As a consequence, progress has come to mean simply more power, more profit, more productivity, more paper prosperity, all of which are convertible into standards concerned only with size or magnitude rather than quality or excellence."
- Alex Campbell
(Related: Power, Quality, Progress, Excellence, Productivity, Profit, Prosperity)

"Delaware State has established itself as an institution of excellence in its own right and attracts a diversity of students from various races, socio-economic status and locations."
- Michael N. Castle
(Related: Diversity, Excellence, Right, State, Students)

"Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind."
- Marcus Tullius Cicero
(Related: Truth, Faithfulness, Fidelity, Mind, Nothing)

"Mediocre men work at their best; men seeking excellence strive to do better."
- Edwin Louis Cole
(Related: Men, Work, Excellence)

"Each honest calling, each walk of life, has its own elite, its own aristocracy based on excellence of performance."
- James Bryant Conant
(Related: Life, Performance, Aristocracy, Excellence)

"The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence."
- Confucius
(Related: Desire, Excellence, Potential, Succeed, Will)

"I think the challenges for me was to go into the studio with these incredible jazz players and come up to their level of excellence. That's always a challenge."
- Rita Coolidge
(Related: Challenge, Excellence, Jazz)

"We're thrilled to expand our relationship, knowing that with the great team at the Music Group, Word, and Warner Bros., and with their proven record of excellence, we're looking ahead to an even brighter future for Curb."
- Mike Curb
(Related: Music, Excellence, Future, Word)

"You've just got to focus on excellence and try not to be distracted by the news and the rumors and the absurdities of the stories that were coming out."
- James Daly
(Related: Excellence, Focus, News, Rumors)

"When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music."
- Denis Diderot
(Related: Age, Music, Poetry, Excellence, Goodbye, Old, Painting, Superstition, Temperament)

"I mentioned the non-competitive spirit explicitly, because these days, excellence is a fashionable concept. But excellence is a competitive notion, and that is not what we are heading for: we are heading for perfection."
- Edsger Dijkstra
(Related: Excellence, Perfection, Spirit)

"Excellence encourages one about life generally; it shows the spiritual wealth of the world."
- George Eliot
(Related: Life, Wealth, Excellence, Spiritual, World)

"Excellence is a process that should occupy all our days."
- Ted W. Engstrom
(Related: Excellence)

"Find something that you're really interested in doing in your life. Pursue it, set goals, and commit yourself to excellence. Do the best you can."
- Chris Evert
(Related: Life, Goals, Excellence)

"I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business."
- Michael J. Fox
(Related: Business, God, Excellence, Perfection)

"The Olympics remain the most compelling search for excellence that exists in sport, and maybe in life itself."
- Dawn Fraser
(Related: Life, Excellence)

"The idea for which this nation stands will not survive if the highest goal free man can set themselves is an amiable mediocrity. Excellence implies striving for the highest standards in every phase of life."
- John W. Gardner
(Related: Life, Idea, Goal, Excellence, Man, Mediocrity, Nation, Will)

"The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."
- John W. Gardner
(Related: Society, Excellence, Philosophy, Theories, Water, Will)

"Whoever I am, or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach."
- John W. Gardner
(Related: Excellence)

"Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them."
- John W. Gardner
(Related: People, Greatness, Excellence)

"Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well."
- John W. Gardner
(Related: Excellence)

"Excellence means when a man or woman asks of himself more than others do."
- Jose Ortega y Gasset
(Related: Excellence, Man, Woman)

"There are some faults so nearly allied to excellence that we can scarce weed out the vice without eradicating the virtue."
- Oliver Goldsmith
(Related: Virtue, Excellence, Faults, Vice)

"No publisher in America improved a paper so quickly on so grand a scale, took a paper that was marginal in qualities and brought it to excellence as Otis Chandler did."
- David Halberstam
(Related: America, Excellence)

"The companies that survive longest are the one's that work out what they uniquely can give to the world not just growth or money but their excellence, their respect for others, or their ability to make people happy. Some call those things a soul."
- Charles Handy
(Related: Money, Work, Soul, People, Growth, Ability, Excellence, Respect, World)

"We often choose a friend as we do a mistress - for no particular excellence in themselves, but merely from some circumstance that flatters our self-love."
- William Hazlitt
(Related: Friend, Circumstance, Excellence, Self)

"But, I don't want to assume that our tradition of excellence is a guarantee of future excellence."
- Dave Heineman
(Related: Excellence, Future, Tradition, Want)

"It is only through raising expectations and striving for excellence that our children can reach their full potential."
- Brad Henry
(Related: Children, Excellence, Expectations, Potential)

"But I think Steve's main contribution besides just the pure leadership is his passion for excellence. He's a perfectionist. Good enough isn't good enough. And also his creative spirit. You know he really, really wants to do something great."
- Andy Hertzfeld
(Related: Leadership, Excellence, Passion, Spirit)

"Badness you can get easily, in quantity; the road is smooth, and it lies close by, But in front of excellence the immortal gods have put sweat, and long and steep is the way to it."
- Hesiod
(Related: Gods, Excellence, Lies, Quantity, Road)

"The Civil Service is a vital economic asset to the UK - firstly, in the way it creates a framework for excellence in service delivery and secondly, in how it helps organise the best way to deliver modern public services on which both businesses and individuals depend."
- John Hutton
(Related: Excellence, Public, Service)

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."
- Steve Jobs
(Related: Quality, People, Environment, Excellence)

"I believe the destiny of your generation - and your nation - is a rendezvous with excellence."
- Lyndon B. Johnson
(Related: Destiny, Excellence, Nation)

"The noblest search is the search for excellence."
- Lyndon B. Johnson
(Related: Excellence)

"Those who attain any excellence, commonly spend life in one pursuit; for excellence is not often gained upon easier terms."
- Samuel Johnson
(Related: Life, Excellence, Pursuit)

"When he died, Emerson was thought of as the representative American writer par excellence, and his point of view was still so potent that William James was honored to be asked to speak at a centenary celebration."
- Howard Mumford Jones
(Related: Thought, American, Excellence, Writer)

"There is no real excellence in all of this world which can be separated from right living."
- David Starr Jordan
(Related: Excellence, Living, Right, World)

"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
(Related: Dignity, Excellence, Humanity, Importance, Labor)

"My philosophy all my life has been the pursuit of excellence."
- John Kluge
(Related: Life, Excellence, Philosophy, Pursuit)

"But God, who is the Eternal Mind, is undoubtedly of excellence, complete and perfect in every part."
- Lactantius
(Related: God, Excellence, Mind)

"Therefore let men withdraw themselves from errors; and laying aside corrupt superstitions, let them acknowledge their Father and Lord, whose excellence cannot be estimated, nor His greatness perceived, nor His beginning comprehended."
- Lactantius
(Related: Men, Father, Greatness, Beginning, Errors, Excellence)

"I have always struggled to achieve excellence. One thing that cycling has taught me is that if you can achieve something without a struggle it's not going to be satisfying."
- Greg LeMond
(Related: Excellence, Struggle)

"The tourist who moves about to see and hear and open himself to all the influences of the places which condense centuries of human greatness is only a man in search of excellence."
- Max Lerner
(Related: Greatness, Excellence, Man, Open)

"Wherever modern translations of marked excellence were already in existence efforts were made to secure them for the Library, but in a number of instances copyright could not be obtained."
- James Loeb
(Related: Excellence, Existence)

"Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence."
- Vince Lombardi
(Related: Excellence, Perfection)

"The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor."
- Vince Lombardi
(Related: Life, Quality, Commitment, Excellence)

"Simplicity in character, in manners, in style; in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(Related: Character, Excellence, Manners, Simplicity, Style)

"In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(Related: Character, Excellence, Simplicity, Style)

"In today's global economy, however, it is important to raise the bar of excellence even higher. Today's students must be prepared to compete effectively on an international level."
- Kenny Marchant
(Related: Economy, Excellence, Students, Today)

"Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude."
- Ralph Marston
(Related: Attitude, Excellence, Skill)

"Let America first praise mediocrity even, in her children, before she praises... the best excellence in the children of any other land."
- Herman Melville
(Related: America, Children, Excellence, First, Land, Mediocrity, Praise)

"I wanted the press to become something of a movement. Not a movement committed to a particular "ism," but a gathering together of writers with an aesthetic approach to literature and with a lust for excellence."
- John Metcalf
(Related: Excellence, Literature, Lust, Press, Writers)

"Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort."
- Paul J. Meyer
(Related: Accident, Commitment, Effort, Excellence, Planning, Productivity, Result)

"Perfection has to do with the end product, but excellence has to do with the process."
- Jerry Moran
(Related: End, Excellence, Perfection)

"Healthcare providers will compete to offer the best record of patient safety at the lowest prices. Hospitals and patients will benefit from having accurate information about areas of excellence and areas that must be improved."
- Timothy Murphy
(Related: Excellence, Healthcare, Hospitals, Information, Safety, Will)

"Excellence always sells."
- Earl Nightingale
(Related: Excellence)

"What starts the process, really, are laughs and slights and snubs when you are a kid. If your anger is deep enough and strong enough, you learn that you can change those attitudes by excellence, personal gut performance."
- Richard M. Nixon
(Related: Anger, Change, Performance, Deep, Excellence)

"We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent."
- Barack Obama
(Related: Time, Idea, Excellence, Trying)

"The pursuit of excellence is less profitable than the pursuit of bigness, but it can be more satisfying."
- David Ogilvy
(Related: Excellence, Pursuit)

"The Dark Side of the Moon has flash - the true flash that comes from the excellence of a superb performance."
- Alan Parsons
(Related: Performance, Excellence, Moon)

"Such discussions help us very little to enjoy what has been well done in art or poetry, to discriminate between what is more and what is less excellent in them, or to use words like beauty, excellence, art, poetry, with a more precise meaning than they would otherwise have."
- Walter Pater
(Related: Art, Beauty, Poetry, Excellence, Help, Meaning, Words)

"When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality."
- Joe Paterno
(Related: Performance, Confidence, Excellence, Reality)

"Losing a game is heartbreaking. Losing your sense of excellence or worth is a tragedy."
- Joe Paterno
(Related: Excellence, Losing, Sense, Tragedy, Worth)

"If we are a metaphor of the universe, the human couple is the metaphor par excellence, the point of intersection of all forces and the seed of all forms. The couple is time recaptured, the return to the time before time."
- Octavio Paz
(Related: Time, Excellence, Metaphor, Universe)

"Excellent firms don't believe in excellence - only in constant improvement and constant change."
- Tom Peters
(Related: Change, Excellence, Improvement)

"Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer."
- Rick Pitino
(Related: Quality, Ability, Excellence)

"If you want people to listen, you have to have a platform to speak from, and that is excellence in what you do."
- William Pollard
(Related: People, Excellence, Want)

"If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude."
- Colin Powell
(Related: Attitude, Habit, Excellence)

"I think the definition of an artist is not necessarily tied into excellence or talent; an artist is somebody who, if you took away their freedom to make art, would lose their mind."
- Richard Price
(Related: Art, Talent, Artist, Excellence, Freedom, Mind)

"Don't strive to be perfect. Strive for excellence."
- Victoria Principal
(Related: Excellence)

"The Athenians are right to accept advice from anyone, since it is incumbent on everyone to share in that sort of excellence, or else there can be no city at all."
- Protagoras
(Related: Advice, Excellence, Right)

"A common danger tends to concord. Communism is the exploitation of the strong by the weak. In Communism, inequality comes from placing mediocrity on a level with excellence."
- Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
(Related: Communism, Danger, Excellence, Exploitation, Inequality, Mediocrity)

"All human excellence is but comparative. There may be persons who excel us, as much as we fancy we excel the meanest."
- Samuel Richardson
(Related: Excellence, Fancy, May)

"Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better."
- Pat Riley
(Related: Excellence, Result)

"The true spirit of delight, the exaltation, the sense of being more than Man, which is the touchstone of the highest excellence, is to be found in mathematics as surely as poetry."
- Bertrand Russell
(Related: Poetry, Being, Delight, Excellence, Man, Mathematics, Sense, Spirit)

"Life's like a play: it's not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters."
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca
(Related: Life, Acting, Excellence)

"I had spent many years pursuing excellence, because that is what classical music is all about... Now it was dedicated to freedom, and that was far more important."
- Nina Simone
(Related: Music, Excellence, Freedom, Now, Years)

"What house, bloated with luxury, ever became prosperous without a woman's excellence?"
- Sophocles
(Related: Excellence, Luxury, Woman)

"Poetry is an art, and chief of the fine art; the easiest to dabble in, the hardest in which to reach true excellence."
- Edmund C. Stedman
(Related: Poetry, Art, Excellence)

"Poetry is an art, the easiest to dabble in, but the hardest to reach true excellence."
- J. G. Stedman
(Related: Poetry, Art, Excellence)

"As a preacher of the Gospel, our late venerable Bishop must have been heard, to form an adequate conception of his superior excellence and commanding eloquence."
- John Strachan
(Related: Eloquence, Excellence)

"The secret of living a life of excellence is merely a matter of thinking thoughts of excellence. Really, it's a matter of programming our minds with the kind of information that will set us free."
- Charles R. Swindoll
(Related: Life, Thoughts, Excellence, Information, Living, Programming, Thinking, Will)

"Next to excellence is the appreciation of it."
- William Makepeace Thackeray
(Related: Appreciation, Excellence)

"America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor."
- Paul Tsongas
(Related: Hope, America, Compassion, Excellence, Valor)

"To see victory only when it is within the ken of the common herd is not the acme of excellence."
- Sun Tzu
(Related: Victory, Excellence)

"To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
- Sun Tzu
(Related: Enemy, Excellence, Fight, Fighting)

"Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
- Sun Tzu
(Related: Enemy, Excellence, Fighting)

"By appreciation, we make excellence in others our own property."
- Voltaire
(Related: Appreciation, Excellence, Property)

"The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value."
- Charles Dudley Warner
(Related: Excellence, Lies, Value)

"Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way."
- Booker T. Washington
(Related: Excellence)

"If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work."
- Thomas J. Watson
(Related: Work, Excellence, Today, Want)

"Excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism."
- Oprah Winfrey
(Related: Excellence, Racism, Sexism)

"I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. And that's how I operate my life."
- Oprah Winfrey
(Related: Life, Excellence, Racism, Sexism)

"It is something we have always excelled at and prided ourselves at - the excellences of our stage performance."
- James Young
(Related: Performance)