Jul 20, 2018

Anatomy Of A Quote

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By: Russ Zalatimo

In this series we will dissect quotes from well-regarded leaders in various arenas and apply their words to our everyday lives.

 

In our Anatomy of a Quote series, we typically select a quote from a noteworthy source of inspiration and dissect it for its meaning. Our selected quote this time has been attributed to one famous orator, though there’s no substantial proof of where it was actually heard for the first time. Still, the internet has run rampant with crediting one such bearded man, known for his way with words. Abraham Lincoln, better known as “Honest Abe” was more than just a President; his infamous Gettysburg Address became the backbone of the nation and Lincoln continued in that direction of providing inspirational words to the American people throughout his life. While there are many quotes that Lincoln is confirmed as known for saying, here’s one that’s speculated as his:

 

“Great things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

 

Sure, it’s certainly on brand with Lincoln’s trademark tenacity and ambition, but no matter where it was first heard, its meaning should be most certainly analyzed.

 

“Great things may come to those who wait…”

 

The saying goes, “good things come to those who wait,” meaning have patience and the best will be yet to come. Patience is in fact a virtue and something we should all practice, but there’s something about waiting that denotes a refrain from action. And in the world of business, being passive is the last thing you must be. This is where the second half of the quote comes into play:

 

“…but only the things left by those who hustle.”

 

Yes, patience can bring you wonderful things, but in business it could merely be the leftovers of what you could have had with the right amount of hustle. Here’s another quote to consider:

 

“Carpe diem.”

 

“Seize the day.”

 

That means to take the 24 hours you are given and make them work for you. You can’t wait to seize. You can wait for the right opportunity, but hoping for progression with no action is futile. So back to the original quote:

 

“Great things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

 

The heart of the meaning is this: while patience can potentially bring great things, simply waiting around for the right opportunities without seizing them yourself can sometimes leave you empty handed. The best opportunities will already be scooped up by those who chase them, not by those who sit and wait for them to happen for them.

 

As an entrepreneur, this advice is key. You may feel at times like striking only at the perceived right moment. Meanwhile someone else will strike while the iron is hot. If there’s something you want, go for it. Hustle for it. Take it before someone else does.

 

And maybe this quote wasn’t first devised by Abraham Lincoln, but it certainly speaks to how he moved throughout American history. Lincoln never waited, and neither should you. Besides, how can you reach any next level by being idle?

Author Profile

R M Zalatimo
R M Zalatimo
Inspire. Empower. Transform. Those are the words that NYC Wealth Innovator, Russ Zalatimo, lives by. From tips on leadership, self-help, and growing entrepreneurship Zalatimo provides the trade secrets to leading a well-rounded life.