As the exhausted old expression you’ve heard a hundred times goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Sure. Got it. Understood. Problem is, knowing about that first step isn’t the hard part. It’s taking it. Especially when it’s looking a big grim outside, or you had a bit of a late one last night, or there’s a Storage Wars marathon on the telly. Sometimes, it seems like that little voice in your head will use any excuse to dissuade you from taking that all-important first stride out the door.

Which is why the words of inspirational people who have achieved truly incredible feats is the perfect place to start when looking to overcome that crippling doubt or negativity. And we’ve got their pearls of wisdom to prove it.

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From conquerors of enormous waves to inventors of the unimaginable, football icons to military heroes, here’s 15 quotes to help, inspire and motivate you to begin your path to greatness…

“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.” – General George S Patton, commander of US troops in Europe during the Second World War

“We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.” – Jesse Owens, four-time Olympic track and field gold medallist

“Make sure your worst enemy doesn’t live between your own two ears.” – Laird Hamilton, professional big wave surfer

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just soft people.” – Bill Bowerman, Nike co-founder

“It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” – Paul “Bear” Bryant, American college football coach with 323 wins and six national championships

“The more difficult the victory, the greater the happiness in winning.” – Pele, three-time World Cup-winning footballer

“A champion is someone who gets up when they can’t.” – Jack Dempsey, world heavyweight boxing champion

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – TS Eliot, poet

“You must expect great things about yourself before you can do them.” – Michael Jordan, six-time NBA champion

“Real courage… It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.” – From To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel

“The difference between winning and losing is most often not quitting.” – Walt Disney, animator and film producer

“If you love what you do and are willing to do what it takes, it’s within your reach. And it’ll be worth every minute you spend alone at night, thinking and thinking about what it is you want to design or build.” – Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison, inventor

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear your out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” – Muhammad Ali, three-time world heavyweight champion boxer

“You’re never a loser, until you quit trying.” – Mike Ditka, American football Hall of Famer