Since he was such a successful man, reading quotes from John D. Rockefeller is incredibly motivational. Rockefeller lived from 1839 to 1937, during which time he became one of the world’s richest men. In 1870 Rockefeller built a refinery near Cleveland, Ohio, which he later incorporated into the very successful Standard Oil Company. Standard Oil became so successful that Rockefeller had a monopoly in the oil business and became known as a ruthless businessman. Rockefeller’s monopoly led to anti-monopoly laws, like the Sherman Antitrust Act. While he was incredibly shrewd when it came to business, Rockefeller did put his money to good use; in his later life he became devoted to philanthropy, founding several universities. As you can see, Rockefeller was a very prosperous man, which should make it no surprise that quotes from John D. Rockefeller are very motivating.
1 Go for Greatness
One of my favorite quotes from John D. Rockefeller is, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” I have found that sometimes it can be scary to set lofty goals and try and achieve them, especially if things are going pretty good. The risk of failure when you are content with life can be that much more frightening. However, if you have a chance to make things even better, it makes sense to take it. There have been several times in my life where I have taken a giant leap and the rewards have been grand. What I learned from those experiences is that it never hurts to attempt to achieve great things.
When something terrible in life happens, it can be easy to let that event take you down. Yet, terrible events can be looked at as opportunities to improve your life. As Rockefeller stated, “I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity.” When I became very injured and had to move in with my family, it was very difficult to do. However, over time I began to look at my situation as opportunity to recover and spend time with my family. As terrible as the injury was, there was an opportunity in it that allowed me to get to spend time with family members I had not seen in quite some time. As you go through life, try to remember that disasters are just opportunities.
3 New Paths for Success
There are many versions of the idea of taking the road less traveled. Yet, I am fond of Rockefeller’s declaration, “If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success.” If you look at some of the most successful people, you will find that they followed their own path. Rockefeller is one example, but Bill Gates is a more current model of the success that occurs through breaking out on your own. This doesn’t mean you have to invent the next great gadget. Rather, it might mean you do something different from your family, or you find a way to become a successful entrepreneur. Traveling down a different path can be exciting, and if you are successful the rewards are immeasurable.
4 Money Isn’t Everything
I am not sure the statement, “If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it,” is entirely true. However, what I do know is money can only make a person so happy, but having passion for what you do can make you happy and make you push harder for success. Not everyone is lucky enough to find their passion, but if you do have a passion and can work it into a career, chances are you will be successful. You may have to be creative, which is where finding a new path comes in.
The following words by Rockefeller are extremely profound: “I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” As a ballet dancer, I have watched many girls achieve great things through perseverance, especially since I had the opportunity to attend one of the top ballet schools in the country. It never ceased to amaze me when I would see a young girl execute something very technical and difficult with grace and beauty. Having experienced my own technical abilities improve through determination, I always knew that they were able to perform these beautiful steps through their perseverance. Obviously, perseverance doesn’t just lead to success in ballet or sports, it leads to success in almost any area of your life, and is a wonderful quality to cultivate.
Rockefeller believed very strongly in having a good reputation and character, which is evident through his assertion, “The most important thing for a young man is to establish a credit…a reputation, character.” Obviously we can extend this quote to include young women as well. Having a good reputation can take you very far in life. If people trust and respect you, they will be willing to help you reach your goals. I know I am willing to help anyone I respect. Also, I look up to people who are role models and have a good character. Because I want to be a role model for others, I have worked hard to be a trustworthy and reputable person.
I mentioned earlier that having passion about what you do can take you very far. Passion is not that different from having singleness of purpose, which Rockefeller considered to be essential for success. Rockefeller emphasized that “singleness of purpose is one of the chief essentials for success in life, no matter what may be one’s aim.” Having singleness of purpose means living a purpose driven life. If you feel you have purpose in your life, everything you do will have meaning, which is very important not just for a successful life, but also for a happy life. Finding a purpose, whether it be big or small, will help you feel motivated.
While some may consider his business practices hard nosed, no one can deny that Rockefeller was successful. Many of his quotes come from his experiences of how he achieved success. I find Rockefeller’s quotes to be very motivational, especially as a young person who wants to have a successful career. Which quote from Rockefeller did you find to be the most motivational?