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The SUCCESS 25's Legends in Personal Development

In the first-ever SUCCESS 25 list—which premiered in the January 2015 issue of SUCCESS— we salute 2014’s most influential leaders in personal growth. In this list, to kick off the celebration, we’ve chronicled the most successful achievement philosophers of all time.

Dive into the words from these legends that will shape your life:

Maya Angelou (1928–2014)

Writer, singer, activist, philanthropist, filmmaker: Maya Angelou was many things to many people, and when she passed away this year, the public mourning was palpable. Her message of equality, resilience and compassion inspired millions, and she wrote some three dozen books including best-sellers, (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize) and .

Born in Arkansas, Angelou faced a broken family, poverty, sexual abuse and violence—amid the Great Depression and rampant racism—before age 10. But she worked hard and pursued her love of the arts. Around 1960, Angelou began to focus on writing and participating in the civil rights movement.

Over the next 55 years, her contributions were many and great, and she received more than 50 honorary degrees, as well as the Presidential Medal, the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”

Dale Carnegie (1888–1955)

Be friendly, smile, don’t criticize. When Dale Carnegie wrote those principles in, he became a guru to millions. Since its 1936 publication, the book has sold more than 15 million copies and is one of the all-time best-sellers.

Born to a Missouri farming family, Carnegie attended college, moved to New York City and began teaching public speaking. He soon realized that people also needed training in getting along with others, but there was no working handbook on human relations. So, after 15 years of research, he published, which moved to the top of the best-seller list and has remained on the list since then.

More opportunities followed, including a syndicated newspaper column and a national radio program. Carnegie also penned another best-seller .

Carnegie’s work continues to attract some of the most successful people in the world, including a 20-year-old Warren Buffett, and Lee Iacocca when he began his automotive career; both attended Carnegie’s training course.

“Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.

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