Motivational quotes from Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon Library & BirthplaceRichard Nixon Library & Birthplace (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

Of the Vietnam War, Richard Nixon once said, “No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now.”

That same sentiment could be applied to Nixon himself.

Always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty.

More than 40 years after resigning the Oval Office, Nixon is arguably the most misunderstood president. Today people so often seem to only remember him for Watergate, not for his indelible role in shaping the world today.

The reality is, he may be the most astute president. His observations — some of which were made 50 or so years ago — still ring true.

To that end, here are some inspirational quotes from the man himself:

The Quotable Richard Nixon
“If you take no risks, you will suffer no defeats. But if you take no risks, you win no victories.”
“Defeat doesn’t finish a man, quit does. A man is not finished when he’s defeated. He’s finished when he quits.”
“Greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes and you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”Nixon’s Farewell Address, Aug. 9, 1974
“Always give your best. Never get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember: Others may hate you. But those who hate you don’t win, unless you hate them. And then, you destroy yourself.”Nixon’s Farewell Address, Aug. 9, 1974
“Life isn’t meant to be easy. It’s hard to take being on the top–or on the bottom. I guess I’m somewhat of a fatalist. You have to have a sense of history, I think, to survive some of these things. . . . Life is one crisis after another. ”Interview, as relayed via The Washington Post, June 17, 1984

About the author

Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo loves to travel anywhere, anytime, taking pictures and notes. An award-winning reporter, Todd revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He is owner of The DeFeo Groupe and also edits The Travel Trolley and Railfanning.org.

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