Notable Quotes
Browse quotes by subject | Browse quotes by author


quotations about opportunity

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.


A man must make his opportunity, as oft as find it.

FRANCIS BACON, Advancement of Learning

Regret of neglected opportunity is the worst hell that a living soul can inhabit.


It's them as take advantage that get advantage i' this world, I think: folks have to wait long enough afore it's brought to 'em.


I think everyone is an opportunist if they have an opportunity.

KATHARINE HEPBURN, Susan Crimp's Katharine Hepburn Once Said...

There is a glass called opportunity
All pregnant with bright prophecies, if man
But read at the propitious moment.
But,--let the fecund second slip and lo!
The globule tumbles from his coward's hands
Splintering a rain of lost forevers
Upon the sunless stretches of the world.

PHILIP MOELLER, The Roadhouse in Arden

If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door.

MILTON BERLE, as quoted in Dana Lightman's POWER Optimism

When the iron is hot, strike.


What is opportunity to the man who can't use it? An unfecundated egg, which the waves of time wash away into nonentity.


Fools wait for opportunities in order to do everything; able men wait only for such chances as they themselves are unable to create.

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

Opportunity is often dressed up in work clothes.

CROFT M. PENTZ, The Complete Book of Zingers

The very lack of opportunity the group faces creates a self-defeating cycle and puts pressure on members to limit their aspirations.

ROSABETH MOSS KANTER, Men and Women of the Corporation

The lack of opportunity is ever the excuse of the weak.

ORISON SWETT MARDEN, The Hour of Opportunity

Opportunities multiply as they are seized; they die when neglected.

JOHN WICKER, Into Tomorrow

Master of human destinies am I!
Fame, love and fortune on my footsteps wait,
Cities and fields I walk: I penetrate
Deserts and seas remote, and passing by
Hovel and mart and palace, soon or late
I knock unbidden once at every gate!
If sleeping, wake: if feasting, rise before
I turn away. It is the hour of fate
And they who follow me reach every state
Mortals desire and conquer every foe
Save death: but those who doubt or hesitate,
Condemned to failure, penury and woe,
Seek me in vain and uselessly implore--
I answer not, and I return no more!

JOHN J. INGALLS, "Opportunity"

Opportunity is latent in the very foundation of human society. Opportunity is everywhere about us. But the preparation to seize upon the opportunity, and to make the most of it, is to be made by every one for himself ... he will be self-made or never made.

ORISON SWETT MARDEN, The Hour of Opportunity

The door of opportunity is always marked PUSH.

BOB GASS, attributed, Discover Your True Potential

Opportunity is the great bawd.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard's Almanac, 1735

The golden opportunity
Is never offered twice; seize then the hour
When fortune smiles and duty points the way;
Nor shrink aside to 'scape the specter fear;
Nor pause, though pleasure beckon from her bower;
But bravely bear thee onward to the goal.


Every man knows that there are moments upon which hang the destiny of years. It is only for the moment that the favorable opportunity is presented. If we miss it, months, months and years are lost. What is the doing of a deed but the sowing of a seed? If it is not sown at the right time, it will not germinate. How priceless are the sunny days of youth, so rich in opportunity. Is it not always the nick of time for an active-minded youth? His brain cells and nerves are plastic, and it is easy to make an impression upon the mind itself, by which life's activities may be so regulated that his success will be as certain as the processes of mechanism. The determining moment is often very brief, and if we are on the watch, and always ready to seize it, it will make all the difference to us between success and failure.

ORISON SWETT MARDEN, The Hour of Opportunity

I think luck is the sense to recognize an opportunity and the ability to take advantage of it. Everyone has bad breaks, but everyone also has opportunities. The man who can smile at his breaks and grab his chances gets on.

SAMUEL GOLDWYN, Forbes Magazine, 1959

O Opportunity! thy guilt is great:
'Tis thou that execut'st the traitor's treason!
Thou set'st the wolf where he the lamb may get;
Whoever plots the sin, thou 'point'st the season;
'Tis thou that spurn'st at right, at law, at reason;
And in thy shady cell, where none may spy him,
Sits Sin, to seize the souls that wander by him.


Opportunity is one of those things that depend greatly on the eye of the beholder.

ANDREW SANCHEZ, Technical Support Essentials

For a lot of people, it seems that opportunity can be the most elusive event in the world. Indeed, I would argue that opportunity is elusive! By that, I don't mean to say that it never happens. In fact, the very opposite is true. Opportunity is always happening all around us, it is literally everywhere. But it is elusive in that, generally speaking, it is in disguise!

R. IAN SEYMOUR, Discover Your True Potential

To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life.

SAMUEL JOHNSON, address to the electors of Great Britain, 1774

Individual opportunity is a powerful component of American ideology, powerful enough to elicit support for the system from all quarters, even from many exploited and unorganized workers who are at their bosses' mercy. If workers destined to be used up and discarded by employers cling nevertheless to "the American Way," it is not because they are ignorant of their destiny, but because they sense it. They feel that their only ray of hope for a satisfying life emanates from the "opportunity" the American system provides.

JEFF SCHMIDT, Disciplined Minds

When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.

ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL, The Electrical Workers' Journal, 1957

We must take the current when it serves
Or lose our ventures.


The successful man is one who had the chance and took it.

ROBER BABSON, attributed, Distilled Wisdom


Life Quotes

Love Quotes

Death Quotes

God Quotes

Wisdom Quotes

Hope Quotes

Success Quotes

Women Quotes

Happiness Quotes

Shakespeare Quotes