Motivational Quotes by Henry Ford

  • Women‍‍`s Corner
  • February 17, 2023

Because of his immense popularity during his lifetime and since, numerous sayings have been ascribed to Henry Ford. However, many of these quotes are difficult to properly verify or attribute. Work on collecting and authenticating Henry Ford quotations was begun at Ford Motor Company, possibly as early as the mid-1920s. Staff, interns, and volunteers of the Benson Ford Research Center at The Henry Ford have continued this work, resulting in the list below:

1. "The only true test of values, either of men or of things, is that of their ability to make the world a better place in which to live."

2. "The satisfaction that arises from honest accomplishment is of far more value in the promotion of human happiness than the thrill that comes with the realization of materialistic aspirations."

3. "As members of the Ford Motor organization we are engaged in the production of an article of use for the people of all countries. Our principle is to make our work as profitable for the buyer as for the seller."

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4. "Much depends on people knowing what opportunity means; it doesn't mean a silver platter, it oftener means a spade. Self-help means something sterner than 'help yourself'--reach over and take it."

5. "The genius of the American people is Self-Reliance."

6. "The difference between a good govt. system and its poor administration is easily explained; the chief administrators are not Bosses in the best sense."

7. "A happy & contented nation is an example to the whole world. Where there is contentment there must be peace."

8. "We are always seeking for those things which are in the clouds, not for those that lie at our feet."

9. "Whatever it is, people who have more spare time than people ever had before get the sense of whirlwind pressure,& repeat the common criticism that 'we are going too fast.' Yet the people live longer than ever before, live with less effort, live on a higher plane. Is it possible that this common saying about our rapid pace is just another thoughtless mob suggestion?"

10. "To resent efficiency is a mark of inefficiency."

11. "People who are capable of and fit for freedom liberate themselves from physical thralldom by substituting mind for muscle."

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12. "Man minus the Machine is a slave; Man plus the Machine is a freeman."

13. "Every success is the mother of countless others."

14. "Whatever your goal in life, the beginning is knowledge and experience- or, briefly work."

15. "Getting permanent value out of a job means purpose and fitting means to ends."

16. "Man is a comparative being. Substandard things must go before super-standard things can come."

17. "All life is experience, and one level is exchanged for another only when its lesson is learned."

18. "War is not a matter for the professional pacifist or militarist. It is for the unprofessional people. They finance and fight it, they bear its losses. Therefore, they should have the deciding voice concerning it. To do this, they require all the information upon which decisions are made.

They should know in a difference, whether it is soluble by rational intelligence, or inevitable by force. Not once in a thousand instances would our people (this may not be true of all peoples, however) approve an offensive war. Never would they be lax in defensive action. For this is their country. However, most of their enemies are within it."

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19. "Hard knocks have a place and value, but hard thinking goes farther in less time."

20. "As betting at the race ring adds neither strength nor speed to the horse, so the exchange of shares in the stock market adds no capital to business, no increase in the production and no purchasing power to the market."

21. "A peaceful nation is one that has the means to make war and restrains."

22. "But to do for the world more than the world does for you--that is Success."

23. "The industrial value of leisure as a promoter of the consumption of goods,& thus as a stimulant to business have been proved."

24. "Suppression of progress plays into the hands of the social enemy. Every advance in social justice establishes the nation."

25. "The Model T blazed the way for the motor industry & started the movement for good roads everywhere. It is still the pioneer car in many parts of the world which are just beginning to be motorized."

26. "The depression was just a state of mind. It is over for everyone who has changed his state of mind."

27. "Individualism is what makes cooperation worth living."

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28. "Many people seem to believe that Greenfield Village & the Edison Institute & Museum at Dearborn, with their specimens of earlier type of American life & industry, are just a kind of antiquarian hobby of mine. I do not deny that they have given me a great deal of interest & pleasure.

But the project is vastly more than a hobby. It has very definite purposes, & I hope will have results lasting down the years. One purpose is to remind the public who visit it & sometimes there are thousands a day--of how far& how fast we have come in technical progress in the last century or so. If we have come so far & so fast, is it likely that we shall stop now?"

29. "We wish all users of Ford cars to know what they are entitled to."

30. "See what a 25-cent raise will do to us," said Mr. Ford. So they figured the daily & monthly cost of a 25-cent increase. "Put on another quarter & see what that will cost," he said. And so they went on,25 cents a step...Finally the wage of $2.34 stood at $4.75--more than 100 percent increase. One of the associates--a good financial head--remarked rather sarcastically that if they were going to be fools, why not be first-class fools & make it $5..."All right," said Mr. Ford, "let's make it $5."

31. "I foresee the time when industry shall no longer denude the forests which require generations to mature, nor use up the mines which were ages in making, but shall draw its raw material largely from the annual produce of the fields. I am convinced that we shall be able to get out of yearly crops most of the basic materials which we now get from forest and mine."

32. "What I greatly hope for these children everywhere, is a new attitude toward life--free from the gullibility which thinks we can get something for nothing; free from the greed which thinks any permanent good can come of overreaching others; and, above all, expectant of change, so that when life gives them a jolt they will be fully prepared to push on eagerly along new lines."

33. "Fairs and public displays", Henry Ford has said, "are the best means we have yet found of showing large numbers of people the real methods of industry."

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34. "No unemployment insurance can be compared to an alliance between a man and a plot of land. With one foot in the land, human society is firmly balanced against most economic uncertainties. With a job to supply him with cash, and a plot of land to guarantee him support, the individual is doubly secure. Stocks may fail, but seedtime and harvest do not fail."

35. "An educated person, I think, is one who not only knows a lot, but knows how to do a lot of things."

36. "We have had just one main purpose during these years, and that is to give the people transportation of the most dependable quality at the lowest possible cost. Our car was called the "Universal Car" thirty years ago, because it fulfilled so many needs; it is "The Universal Car" today for the same reason."

37. "History is more or less bunk."

38. " I don't know anybody so old he can't do something useful. Just give them a chance and see."

39. "America is not a land of money but of wealth-not a land of rich people, but of successful workers."

40. "The basically simple things are best, whether it's automobiles or diets or philosophy."

41. "The young people got me interested in aviation. It is part of the motor age. Development is dependent on power."

42. "What America needs most is aviation."

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43. "I can visualize the time when almost every family will have a small plane in their back yard."

44. "When bankers get into business they usually destroy it.

45. "The Bible does not need advertising by me, but I wish more people could be persuaded to read it. Perhaps if they had been, we should not have this war on our hands. For greed and idleness brought it on."

46. "Whenever you get the idea that you are 'fixed' or that anything is 'fixed' for life, you'd better get ready for a sudden change."

47. "Greatest thing we can produce is character. Everything else can be taken from us, but not our character."

48. "Look beyond the individual to the cause of his misery."

49. "If we had more justice there would be less need of charity."

50. "The only thing you can give a man without hurting him is an opportunity."

51. "You've got to teach youngsters the difference between right and wrong, but you shouldn't try to poke it down their throats. Let them ask the questions and then give them the answers."

52. "Children have helped me a lot."

53. "Trouble with the world today is people don't go to children enough. I don't like old people. I stay away from them."

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54. "There should be rivalry between men and between business."

55. "Competition is the lifeblood of industry."

56. "As far as competition is concerned, that must continue. But we must learn what competition really is. It is a striving to attain the best. To throttle it would mean to stop all progress. Certain men do not need to compete. They are pioneers."

57. I'd like to devote about three years to the elimination of the cow. There's not reason in the world why the chemist can't discover the cow's secret of converting vegetation into dairy products. And there's less reason why the chemist can't do a better job of it after he learns how."

58. "The present method of producing milk is too laborious. I believe that we can make milk by scientific process, eliminating the cow."

59. "..we do not hire a man's history, we hire the man"

60. "The way out of the depression is to start spending and doing things."

61. "Depressions aren't acts of God; like wars, they are the work of a small group of men who profit by them."

62. "Mr. Edison was comfortably well off-he was not a money maker."

63. "Without doubt, Thomas Edison is my greatest contemporary."

64. "Edison, to a greater extent than has ever been recognized, is the father of American industrial methods."

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65. "Although Mr. Edison was called 'The Wizard' of the electrical world and everyone thought that electricity was the coming thing, he actually encouraged me to go with my second car."

66. "What is life but education, anyway?"

67. "I believe in 100% Theory and 100% Practice. Theory without practical application is futile."

68. "A man's college and university degrees mean nothing to me until I see what he is able to do with them."

70. "Teach children not to be gullible."

71. "A nation that knows how to work will never suffer."

72. "In teaching the children at Greenfield Village, we are trying to get back some of the solid McGuffey qualities."

73. "Greatest thing in life is experience. Even mistakes have value."

74. "..That is what we are put in the world for, to get experience and to help others get it. It is the one thing no one can take away from us."

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75. "Faith is one of the most effective tools in the human equipment. I believe that faith works."

76. "The greatest day of my life was the day I married Mrs. Ford."

77. "I attribute whatever I may have been able to accomplish in life far more to my wife than to anything else and to everything else put together. But I cannot flatter myself that I found her because I was a 'good picker', I believe profoundly that we are guided, led, in such momentous matters."

78. "There can be no bosses in our country except the people. The job of the government is to serve, not to dominate."

79. "If governments would only understand that if people are left alone they'll work out their own salvation."

80. "Most of the sickness in the world is caused by eating too much."

81. "Every one knows that insufficient rest and gorging are not good for anyone, either physically or mentally."

82. "The time is coming when man will be able to determine the length of his lifespan by controlling his diet."

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83. "History doesn't mean dates and wars and textbooks to me; it means the unconquerable pioneer spirit of man."

84. "When I went to our American history books to learn how our forefathers harrowed the land, I discovered that the historians knew nothing about harrows. Yet our country has depended more on harrows than on guns or speeches. I thought that a history which excluded harrows, and all the rest of daily life, was bunk. And I think so yet."

85. "President Hoover has done everything any one could do to bring about improvement in business and industry. Everything President Hoover has advised or tried to put into effect has been sound."

86. "The unhappiest man on earth is the one who has nothing to do."

87. "Idleness is the reason for many of our troubles."

88. "A monopoly of jobs in this country is just as bad as a monopoly of bread!"

89. "This group (the union organizers) is asking us to sit still while it sells our men the jobs that have always been free."

90. "The great need of the world has always been for leaders. With more leaders we could have more industry. More industry, more employment and comfort for all."

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91. "Life, as I see it, is not a location, but a journey. Life flows."

92. "Machines were devised not to do a man out of a job, but to take the heavy labor from man's back and place it on the broad back of the machine."

93. "Machinery was invented by labor for labor-serving purposes. The wheel is the basis of the machine."

94. "Four women have helped me: mother, sister, mother-in-law and wife."

95. "Music and song are, in my opinion, so fine and necessary a part of life that without them we cannot be said really to live at all."

96. "Poetry without music may be beautiful, but music gives poetry wings and elevates it into song. That may be the reason for our love of song-it has wings and lifts us; with proper songs, it is a nourishing spiritual exercise."

97. "Life is neither old or new, ancient or modern, but simply more or less vivid-any song or musical composition will live that expresses or reproduces this vividness of life.-From this you will see that I believe that music fills a great place. The teaching of it goes far to restore the balance and richness of life, and-I might add- the unit of life also."

98. "I haven't put a pencil to a piece of paper, working out a problem, in years; I do it in my head."

99. "'Every man is entitled to make a darn fool of himself at least once in a lifetime.' -Regarding Great War Peace Ship"

100. "Public officials are all right if they stay in their proper sphere and perform their proper functions but when they get greedy for wider scope and more power and money they lose their value and become parasites."

101. "People didn't want war..we were forced in fast we finish it depends on how free a hand our generals and admirals have. The less interference they get from the politicians the quicker they'll end it."

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102. "I wouldn't have the Presidency or any political office-don't want anything to do with it nor have politics have anything to do with me."

103. "When prices go up, business goes down."

104. "You can't tell me you can make any system or country work with low wages and high prices, and high wages with high prices don't mean anything when the prices eat up the wages and don't leave anything over."

105. "Profits are not financial-they're social. Everybody profits from industry. Politicians don't understand profits because they can pay bills out of taxation."

106. "Three most deleterious things of modern life in their present order of importance are: tobacco, alcohol and intemperate eating. Both alcohol and tobacco are taboo in plants."

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