Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.

Interview with Bell published in How They Succeeded (1901) by Orison Swett Marden, Ch. 2.

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More from Alexander Graham Bell

Perseverance must have some practical end, or it does not avail the man possessing it. A person without a practical end in view becomes a crank or an idiot. Such persons fill our asylums.

The nation that secures control of the air will ultimately control the world.

Attributed

I had made up my mind to find that for which I was searching even if it required the remainder of my life. After innumerable failures I finally uncovered the principle for which I was searching, and I was astounded at its simplicity. I was still more astounded to discover the principle I had revealed not only beneficial in the construction of a mechanical hearing aid but it served as well as means of sending the sound of the voice over a wire. Another discovery which came out of my investigation was the fact that when a man gives his order to produce a definite result and stands by that order it seems to have the effect of giving him what might be termed a second sight which enables him to see right through ordinary problems. What this power is I cannot say; all I know is that it exists and it becomes available only when a man is in that state of mind in which he knows exactly what he wants and is fully determined not to quit until he finds it.

As quoted in Making a Habit of Success: How to Make a Habit of Succeeding, How to Win With High Self-Esteem (1999) by MacK R. Douglas, p. 45.

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.

Attributed

Mr. Watson, come here, I want you.

First words spoken into the telephone (1876)