20 Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes that Apply to Business

Eleanor Roosevelt

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of former president Franklin Roosevelt, played many roles throughout the course of her life. Not only did she walk by the side of her husband the president, she also was influential when it came to promoting her husband’s ‘New Deal’ policies, and she was an important figure when it came to standing up for and promoting civil rights. It was during her tenure as the longest-running First Lady, and after, that she was able to accomplish so much in the world and give so much guidance and clarity (Her husband, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, held the office for a total of four terms).

Anna Eleanor was born into social prominence and privilege to Elliot B. and Anna Rebecca Roosevelt (nee Hall). Famous relatives on her family tree included Theodore Roosevelt, and tennis champs Edward Ludow Hall and Valentina Gill ‘Vallie’ Hall III; she was niece to all three. She had a life of privilege, but she as knew the feeling of rejection quite well.Because of her somewhat plain and homely countenance she was called ‘Granny’ by her own mother, while other family and friends referred to her as ‘ugly duckling’. Lonely, insecure, and starving for affection and attention., she got herself through those hardships, and all those after, with her positive attitude and persistent, honest character.

Later, after losing her mother and a brother, Elliot, Jr., to diphtheria in less than six-months time, and then her alcoholic father later to terrible seizure suffered after taking a bad fall during a fit of delirium tremens, she raised her other brother, Hall, as per her dying father’s request. She provided for him for the remainder of his life. Eleanor stayed actively involved in her pursuits in the years to come, and held her head high while overcoming the obstacles of life as they came. The strength and power behind her positive attitude becomes clear when we ponder the following quote, written by Eleanor at the tender age of only fourteen years:

“…no matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and loyalty are stamped upon her face all will be attracted to her.”

Indeed, Roosevelt managed to beat the odds and rise from the ashes of her pain, and that in many ways. She married her father’s fifth-cousin, Franklin, later on (which was met with her mother’s stern disapproval) and proceeded to have six children with him over the years. But Eleanor struggled with being a mother, and her mother-in-law bore much of the responsibilty of raising the kids.she was painfully aware of the trouble she had in this area, and it troubled her often.

Eleanor discovered an affair in 1918 that her husband was having with her own social secretary, and he was hoping to actually leave her for the woman. But due to the approaching race and subsequent election, Franklin was strongly encouraged to stay in the union. She knew the truth of the matter, however, and though they remained married on paper it went no further. The pair, during the later years of the marriage, were mostly partners in politics, and this is where they seemed to be comfortable.

Yes, she lived a very emotionally painful and burdensome life to that point, and many other dilemmas and trials were to follow. While all of that is loved and respected, most of us are most familiar with her words of encouragement, of motivation, and of truth. Roosevelt left with us a vast foray of quoted wisdom, knowledge, and unforgettable life lessons that are used actively for improvement of life and self to this very day. These quotes are the very thing we use to honor her in today’s article.

Below are twenty of Eleanor Roosevelt’s quotes, but not just any quotes. They are quotes that apply directly to business in a very straightforward and useful manner. Did she mean them exclusively in the context of business? Not always. But they certainly did an amazing amount of good for those i business all over the world, and anyone will admit regularly seeing motivational quote posters here and there bearing her words.

Yes, twenty quotes, and wonderful quotes they are. Grab your favorite beverage and snack. Get cozied up in your favorite comfy spot, and read on. If some of the following don’t move you to tears, they will move you…forward…in your mind and life. Read on…

1. “Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”

What are you thinking about? Are you brainstorming for tomorrow, or are you busy gossiping at the water cooler? What you do consistently, even in your spare time, is going to determine your success.

2. “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”

It may not mention business directly, but the implications are obvious: You can be successful in your career without a drop of happiness in your life. But if your life is happy, the rest will inevitably fall into place. Walk in your true path and be true to yourself; you will find professional success.

3. “It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.”

Yes, it’s easy to want to simply pass things to the next guy, especially when we have our own work piled before us. But how often we do this is really what is in question here, along with what the motive is behind the passing. Always be willing to put your own motives under scrutiny. This is how you will come to have trust in yourself.

4. “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously; this s how character is built.”

We must be willing to put our thoughts, will, and decisions under the microscope. If we don’t like what we see, we must then be strong enough to begin to change things up, whatever that may require. In the professional realm, reaching true success depends on this primarily.

5. “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Growth, in any department of our lives, requires risk, and risk is scary. We must be willing to thing outside the box and put our best foot forward and venture into unknown territory. Not only does this assist us in overcoming our fears, but it also matures us, both personally and professionally.

6. “You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.”

This one is fairly self-explanatory, but deserves to be touched on because it really is at the very core of success. Attitude is everything, weighing in even above hard work. You can work hard your entire life and get nowhere. Check your attitude if your feel things stagnating, and do it with brutal honesty. This will lead you to the making the change happen that you long to see.

7. “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader; a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.”

True leaders are not in it for themselves by any means. Rather, their primary concern happens to be those they lead. In their humble thoughts they realize their limitations, and they embrace the need for others, as those following are the future.

8. “For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others.”

We’ve all heard ‘There is no ‘I’ in ‘team’. So it is true. None of us can make the combined dream happen alone, and life, in and of itself, is a combined venture. You are not an island, and your success depends on your ability to run with the pack. Just make sure you are running as hard and as fast as you can, so as to help win the race.

9. “You must do the things you think you cannot do.”

If climbing the ladder professionally is what you dream about, you have to be willing to try…and sometimes fail…and try yet again. At the top you simply won’t find quitters or non-starters.

10. “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

Be proactive! If you choose to do nothing you are simply standing still…stagnating. You really can’t complain that nothing is moving forward if you have chosen not to move forward yourself.

11. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Don’t be afraid of your dreams, no matter how they look or feel to you. The fact is that nothing that is would have ever been were it not for someone’s dream.

12. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”

As humans, self-discipline is essential to our success, for without it, our own will has a tendency to try and take over, and that for the negative. But when it comes to our dealings with others, compassion, charity, and love will take us farther than we ever thought we could go.What we get in return is the greatest of rewards in all of life’s aspects.

13. “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

If you sit around with stars in your eyes all the time, you may be coming up with some really great ideas, but absolutely nothing is getting done. Progress requires both dreaming and taking action; wisdom tells us when each is appropriate.

14. “What you don’t do can be a destructive force.”

Simply put, no action at all is as detrimental as taking the wrong action…and most of the time it is moreso. Never be satisfied to make believe that something isn’t happening, or to simply turn the other cheek to what needs done. It will result in professional (and personal) suicide.

15. “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

Being in a position of leadership does not mean you have achieved perfection. In fact, it is a posion which will enable you to learn more than ever before. Take advantage of this…don’t shirk it. You’ll be giving up on the education of a lifetime.

16. “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.”

It has been said that wisdom is the proper application of the knowledge we have, which means that we do not misuse that knowledgte. What we know helps us to survive in a hard world. How we use it can actually rise us up above that hard world.

17. “I could not, at any age, be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on.”

Being a wallflower will get you nowhere. You must be willing to speak up and step out. Be the motivating factor in a world that is content to watch. You’re true level of success is up to you entirely.

18. “If someone betrays you once, it’s their fault. If they betray you twice, it’s your fault.”

This is a profound truth, and all of us must be on our guard against those who wish to usurp in any way. As the Bible says, we must be as gentle as lambs while being as shrewd as snakes. Only then will we be ready for the people and situations with ill will.

19. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

So, you think you can’t do it? You think you don’t measure up, even though you have all the right stuff? At least, that’s what everyone tells you. You must refuse to entertain any such thoughts or actions. Your refusal is your power. Say no to the negative at all times, and continue to reach for your goals and dreams.

20. “A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.”

It’s funny but true. The very same obstacle can either hold you back or move you forward, but it all goes back to how you look at the obstacle. Don’t be afraid to take the time to look at it from all angles, and take care in your solution…it’s best to be positive and proactive at all times. The difference in outcome will be staggering.

Indeed, Eleanor Roosevelt was a force to be reckoned with. If she had a poor mindset, she took charge and refused to allow it to remain that way. And the proof shows even today; this was a woman who had control of her life, and she shared how she gained it very, very articulately, with all of us. Take the time to read more of her quotes, which you can find easily online. Apply them to your life daily. You will be utterly surprised at how things change for you in the future.


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