1. A rose, no matter how beautiful, still has to contend with thorns.
2. When climbing the ladder of success, haters, not gravity, try to pull you down.
3. It is easier to pluck a flower than to nurture it; which is why some would prefer to destroy your talents than nurture them.
4. If birds sing without worrying about who is listening to them, and monkeys dance without worrying about who is watching them, and hyenas laugh without worrying about who is mocking them, then you too must do what you do best without worrying about who is ridiculing you.
5. The greater the fruit a tree bears, the greater the number of stones thrown at it.
6. When a rock transforms into a diamond, lesser stones will not speak of its beauty, but of its unpolishedness.
7. Don’t let mediocre people talk you out of your dreams; lions have little in common with sheep.
8. Be like seeds; do not see dirt thrown at you as your enemy, but as ground to grow.
9. Work while they talk, strive while they mock, persevere while they jeer, and succeed while they hate.
10. The higher you rise, the smaller your enemies.
11. If a lion turned every time small dogs barked at it, it would be the laughing stock of the jungle.
12. To avoid enemies, say nothing; to avoid critics, do nothing; and to avoid haters, be nothing; but to avoid mediocrity, ignore them all.
13. The larger the bricks your enemies throw at you, the larger the palace you are going to build.
14. A rose does not answer its enemies with words, but with beauty.
15. Be like the sun; never let the opinions of those who hate you dull your shine.
16. If they throw sticks at you, build a house. If they throw stones at you, build a mansion. If they throw bricks at you, build a palace.
17. Hardship makes you strong. Problems make you shrewd. Critics make you brave. Enemies make you wise.
18. Let them judge you, but remain virtuous. Let them criticize you, but remain wise. Let them misunderstand you, but remain kind. Let them hate you, but remain exceptional.
19. As only dead leaves allow the wind to blow them to and fro, never allow yourself to be swayed by popular opinion.
20. Haters, like parrots, talk much but cannot fly. Dreamers, like eagles, say nothing but conquer the skies.
“It’s too risky,” said doubters.
“It’s too difficult,” said scoffers.
“It’s pointless,” said mockers.
“It’s impossible,” said haters.
“It’s already done,” said believers.”
~ Matshona T Dhliwayo