Here are some quotes and thoughts Larry has collected over the years, particularly early in his career. Sometimes you’ll even hear him quote them…
Quotes Larry Likes to Quote
I would rather succeed than have my own way.
Effective communication values the recipient over the sender.
Priorities are easy. Posterioritieswhat jobs not to tackleare tough.
Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.
Reality is the leading cause of stress for those in touch with it.
For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong
It’s amazing what you can accomplish in business if no one cares who gets the credit.
Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.
Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.
It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but…the marriage that sustains your love.
If our lives are the sum total of the choices we’ve made, then we cannot change who we are. But with every new choice we’re given, we can change who we’re going to be.
Keep not your eyes on the gifts of God, but on the God of the gifts.
A gentleman is one who keeps his promises to those who cannot enforce them.
Business has only two basic functionsmarketing and innovation.
Success or failure in business is caused more by the mental attitude even than by mental capacities.
Inspiration is perishable. It’s like fresh fruit or milk—it has an expiration date. If you want to do something, you’ve got to do it now.
Help someone think a little more highly of themselves, and rest assured they will think very highly of you.
Ideas are cheap. Implementation is expensive. Execution is everything.
Anger is a wonderful sign and a terrible strategy.
Larry’s Favorite Quotes
People are empowered not by what they know is true, but by what they believe is possible.
People don’t want information, they want change. Your job as a speaker is to help them believe that change is possible.
A man without a smiling face must not open shop.
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
The secret of living is to find people who will pay you money to do what you would pay to do if you had the money.
The good is always the enemy of the best.
Managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.
Never express yourself more clearly than you think.
Imagination is much more important than intelligence.
Good choices come from experience. Experience comes from bad choices.
A problem well stated is a problem half solved.
Getting the right people, and the right chemistry, is more important than getting the right idea.
Values are the nutrient-rich soil of God’s vision.
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
Most people go to their grave with their music still inside them.
It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
Anyone who is truly successful, continuously successful, must engage in thinking time and study time with regularity. Unfortunately, most people won’t do that, and that’s why they don’t succeed.
‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Half the harm that is done in the world is due to people who want to feel important.
If we treat people as they are, they will stay as they are. But if we treat them for what they might be, and might become, they will become those better selves.
Absolute seriousness is never without a dash of humor.
Love gives, then worries that it has done too little.
Originality consists in trying to be like everybody else–and failing.
If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.
An honest person will receive neither money nor praise that is not due them.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
Life is an attitude. Have a good one.
If one is too lazy to think, too vain to do a thing badly, or too cowardly to admit it, one will never attain wisdom.
Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.
All that is gold does not glitter; not all who wander are lost.
Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live in every experience, painful or joyous, to live in gratitude for every moment, to live abundantly.
Notice the difference between what happens when a man says to himself, I have failed three times, and what happens when he says, I am a failure.
I’ve learned that if someone says something unkind about me, I must live so that no one will believe it.
Swing hard, in case they throw the ball where you’re swinging.
The more human beings proceed by plan, the more effectively they may be hit by accident.
It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience. But a corporation of conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience.
We blew a deadline, ticked everyone off, cost the company a bundle and we did the right thing.
Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.
Whatever you do, do it until your eyes stare blankly. Only at that stage can you achieve success.
Strong people always have strong weaknesses.
I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among the men the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.
By fighting, you never get enough, but by yielding, you get more than you expected.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.
If your problem has a solution, why get angry? If it does not have a solution, why get angry?
Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion, and poor performance. Everything else requires leadership.
Other Great Quotes
Teamwork makes the dream work, but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team.
Things turn out best for people who make the best out of the way things turn out.
One whose good deeds exceed his wisdom, his wisdom will endure; but one whose wisdom exceeds his good deeds, his wisdom will not endure.
The wisest man I have ever known once said to me, "Nine out of every ten people improve on acquaintance," and I have found his words true.
Show me a millionaire, and I’ll show you a person who has been broke at least three times.
The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.
Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.
Poverty says that a child must die so that you can live as you wish.
Nothing is quite so annoying as to have someone go right on talking when you’re interrupting.
A leader is someone who can take a group of people to a place they don’t think they can go.
Implementing the second-best idea now is a better strategy than doing the best idea a week from now. It’s a bigger risk to delay making decisions than to make marginal ones.
The primary responsibility of a leader is to define reality.
A great sailor can sail even with a torn canvas.
The life of the creative man is lead, directed, and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes.
People who know the same things are not long the best company for each other.
I will be brief. Not nearly so brief as Salvador Dali, who gave the world’s shortest speech. He said I will be so brief I have already finished, and he sat down.
The value of information is inversely proportional to its probability.
There is a great man who makes every man feel small. But the real great man is the man who makes every man feel great.
Every great mistake has a halfway moment, a split second when it can recalled and perhaps remedied.
All liberality should have frugality for its basis and support.
Daydreaming is its own reward. Without its daydreams, the self is apt to shrink down to the size and shape of the estimation of others.
Beware of looking back to what you once were, when God wants you to be something you have never been.
People need loving the most when they deserve it the least.
Praise to a human being represents what sunlight, water, and soil are to a plantthe climate in which one grows best.
When wealth is centralized, the people are dispersed. When wealth is distributed, the people are brought together.
Being very rich, as far as I am concerned, is having a margin. The margin is being able to give.
The theoretician’s prayer: ‘Dear Lord, forgive me the sin of arrogance, and Lord, by arrogance I mean the following…’
The real tragedy of life is not in being limited to one talent, but in the failure to use that one talent.
It takes a pretty evenly balanced man to be as strong in prosperity as in adversity.
When a friend speaks to me, whatever he says is interesting.
Popularity is a form of success that’s seldom worth the things we had to do to obtain it.
If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.
Money will buy a fine dog, but only love will make him wag his tail.
Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad name.
Let your speech be better than silence, or be silent.
I color outside the lines because there’s a lot more room there.
When a singer sings, he stirs up the air and makes it hit any passing eardrums. But if he is good, he knows how to keep it from hurting.
If one advances confidently in the direction of their dreams, and endeavors to lead a life which they have imagined, they will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
Good deeds speak for themselves. The tongue only interrupts their eloquence.
Joy seems to me a step beyond happinesshappiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes, when you’re lucky. Joy is a light that fills you with hope and faith and love.
Are you worried about pressure? I look at it this way: Pressure is having to do something you are not totally prepared to do.
It’s easier to find someone with people skills and teach them technical skills, than to find someone with technical skills and teach them people skills.
A smile is the whisper of laughter.
You never step in the same river twice.
The biggest reason for success in entrepreneurship is not brilliance. It’s not creative genius. It’s the simple ability to not quit when things are really bad.
Success consists of going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.
There are times in our lives when we have to realize that our past is precisely what it is, and we cannot change it. But we can change the story we tell ourselves about it. And by doing that, we can change the future.
I used to ask God to help me. Then I asked if I might help Him. I ended up by asking Him to do His work through me.
The two essential parts to science are data and theory. Put simply, it is scientific to collect data about the world, to build theories to explain the data, and then to test these theories against further data. Whether data come before theory, or theory comes before data, is irrelevant. It only matters that both are present.
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
Tips for Thriving
Here’s miscellaneous advice Larry has received or discovered over the years:
For effective evangelism marketing, it’s better to be clear than clever.
Share the credit. Take the blame.
Smile when you say no.
If someone looks good, tell them.
Tell your mom the good things that happen to you.
Write down your goals. Even if you never look at the paper again, there is power in writing them down.
Send thank you notes. People never get enough personal mail.
Communicate with passion, with a smile on your face.
Be quick to apologize with words. Be quicker to apologize with your heart.
Have your next goal in mind long before you reach your current one. The joy is in the journey, not the destination
Never put anything in writing that you don’t want the whole world to read.
When you’re in an uncomfortable situation, throw your shoulders back, hold your head high, and keep your mouth shut.
Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.
Here’s the secret of success: Work hard doing the next right thing.
Do or do not. There is no try.
Don’t tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done.
Ideas are cheap; execution is everything.