A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 23, 2014
“If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way: if not, you’ll find an excuse”

"If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way: if not, you’ll find an excuse” has been printed on many posters. The saying is often credited to American motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn (1930-2009), but Rohn was one of many people to use this saying.

“Anybody who wants to, can find a way to do something—anybody who does not want to find a way, will find an excuse” was cited in print in 1957. “Those who want to do a thing will find a way and those who don’t will find an excuse” was cited in 1958. “There’s an old saying ‘some find ways while others find excuses’” was cited in 1973. “If you want to do it you’ll find a way; if not you’ll find an excuse” was cited in 1976. It’s not known who originated the saying.


Google News Archive
4 September 1949, Tuscaloosa (AL) News, pg. 12, col. 6 ad:
I have never been a negative thinker and I will carry nothing negative with me into office. I pledge to use my energy and efforts to find ways that it can be done rather than find excuses why it can not be done.
(Oscar Fair political advertisement.—ed.)

2 October 1957, Omaha (NE) World-Herald, “Iowa Picked by Kiwanians” (AP), pg. 3, col. 1:
Guy V. Keeler, Lawrence, Kas., director of lecture and concernt bureau at the University of Kansas, in his banquet address said “we have too many critics and not enough example.”

Mr. Keeler said, “anybody who wants to, can find a way to do something—anybody who does not want to find a way, will find an excuse.”

10 May 1958, Greensboro (NC) Record, “Merchants Hold Annual Banquet At Reidsville,” pg. A2, col. 6:
“Those who want to do a thing will find a way and those who don’t will find an excuse.”
(Sam D. Bundy, humorist of Farmville.—ed.)

15 August 1973, Springfield (MA) Union, “Kings Trainer Gets Second Chance” by Gene McCormick, pg. 35, col. 5:
“There’s an old saying ‘some find ways while others find excuses.’”

Google Books
The Good Humor Book
By Roland Peterson
Santa Anna, CA: Vision House Publishers
1976
Pg. 113:
If you want to do it you’ll find a way; if not you’ll find an excuse.

20 August 1981, Port Arthur (TX) News, “PAISD solution reached” by Janet Cline, pg. 1, col. 1:
“The person who wants to do something will find a way,” said school board President A.Z. McEIroy. “The person who doesn’t will find an excuse.”

Google News Archive
3 August 1984, Ocala (FL) Star-Banner, “Local Man’s Hobby of Collecting Quotes Used in His Theme Books” by Becky Watson, pg. 4C, col. 4:
“Love will find a way. Indifference will find an excuse.” Author Unknown.

Google News Archive
12 January 1989, The Dispatch (Lexington, NC), “Southmont Has Been Busy With Activity In New Year” by Punkin Stutts, pg. 9, col. 6:
Food for thought: If you want to do something you’ll find a way. If you don’t you’ll find an excuse.

Google Books
Celebrate Selling:
The Consultative-Relationship Way

By Rick Crandall and Aldonna R. Ambler (Institute for Effective Sales and Marketing)
Corte Madera, CA: Select Press
1998
Pg. 14:
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” — Forbes magazine

Google Books
He Who Laughs, Lasts
By Anson R. Nash, Jr.
Xulon Press (XulonPress.com)
2004
Pg. 106:
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. — Gerald P. McNair, Sr.

Google Books
Cognitive Selling:
Proven Fundamentals and Techniques Embraced by the World’s Most Effective Saespeople

By Todd Bermont
Chicago, IL: 10 Step Publications
2004
Pg. 224:
“If you want something done you’ll find a way. If you don’t want something done you’ll find an excuse.” - Donald Trump

Google Books
Cash in a Flash:
Real Money in No Time

By Robert G. Allen and Mark Victor Hansen
New York, NY: Harmony Books
2009
Pg. 64:
Someone once said, “If you really want something, you’ll find a way. If you really don’t, you’ll find an excuse.

Google Books
Finding Your Way:
Timeless and Usable Solutions for Any Leader

By Walter Boston
Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse
2010
Pg. 95:
I once read, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way; if you don’t you will find an excuse.”

Google Books
Quotable Quotes:
Wit and Wisdom from the Greatest Minds of Our Time

By Editors of Reader’s Digest
White Plains, NY: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.
2013
Pg. ?:
A man who wants to do something will find a way; a man who doesn’t will find an excuse. —STEPHEN DOLLEY, JR.

Google Books
Inspirations from the Everyday
By Tandy Balson
Victoria, BC: FriesenPress
2014
Pg. 23:
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” (Jim Rohn)

Twitter
ale★
‏@alee_gamez
when you want something you find a way, when you dont, you find an excuse.
12:45 AM - 23 Jul 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Wednesday, July 23, 2014 • Permalink