Top 10 General George S. Patton Quotes

Guest Post by Maggie Stokes

General George Smith Patton Jr. was considered to be one of the most successful combat generals is U.S. History.  He was known for his overwhelming and ruthless personality along with his daring attack and defense techniques. Patton was nicknamed ‘Old Blood and Guts’ due to his lust for battle and his iron-fisted drive.

Below is a list of my top ten General George S. Patton quotes along with a brief description of what they mean to me.

1.  “There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear.”George S. Patton

general patton

My top 10 General George S. Patton quotes of all time.

My Take: Fear is something everyone battles with and at times it can be your worst enemy. Fear can also be used by your enemies as a means to control you.  This quote is ranked number one because of the fact that at times it can be beneficial to look inward and seek wisdom from your fears. For example, you may have a fear of being reprimanded therefore you would follow all rules. Other times it is more beneficial to ignore your fear in order to better yourself and others. For example a victim of domestic abuse may be fearful to leave their partner because of threats made to them. It would be more beneficial for the victim to ignore that fear and leave their partner anyway bettering themselves and their family.  It all comes down to timing.

2.  “Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their ingenuity.”George S. Patton (War As I Knew It, 1947)

My Take: This quote really spoke to me. When you are in any sort of leadership position odds are you are going to have a task that needs to be delegated. Micromanagement is tedious, time consuming and leads your followers to dislike you. When you give someone the goal of a project and let them use their own thoughts and ideas you are more likely to get a finished product that everyone enjoyed being a part of, and is proud of the end result.

3.  “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”George S. Patton

My Take: We all have those moments when we just want to let go. This quote is brilliant; it goes to show that courage is attainable even in the darkest of places. If you hold on and keep pushing forward you can overcome the darkest of fears.

4.  “In case of doubt, push on just a little bit further.”George S. Patton

My Take: All goals are attainable. At times it may seem like the universe is working against you but if you are persistent and you push on, anything is possible.

5. “If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.”George S. Patton

My Take: The mind is a wonderful thing. It is unique to each individual. I like this quote because it sends the message of originality.  Great minds may think alike but no two thoughts should ever be exactly the same, ever.

6.  “Pressure makes diamonds.”George S. Patton

My Take: Ever hear someone say they work better under pressure? I know it’s true for me. Some of my best work has been produced under the pressure to meet a deadline or the pressure to simply produce the best product possible. Patton was right with this one not only metaphorically but physically as well. Natural diamonds are said to be one of the strongest natural resources. They are made from coal that has been placed under high pressure at high.  Temperatures 87 to 120 mi into the Earth’s mantle. That goes to say a lot about pressure.

7.  “Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic among men.”George S. Patton

My Take: Courage comes in many forms. Moral courage or the courage to stick up for what is right is the type of courage that is hard to come by. Situations where you have the choice between doing the right thing or doing what has been conveyed as the right thing to do is often the time when moral courage comes into play. It is important to remember the value of morality and not to allow yourself to be defeated.

 8.  “A pint of sweat will save a gallon of blood.”George S. Patton

My Take: This quote made the top 10 list because it reminds us that a little elbow grease goes a long way. If we take our time to think things through and put in our all we can avoid making any mistakes.

9.  “Success is how high you bounce back when you hit the bottom.”  –George S. Patton

My Take: Anyone can be successful in anything. True success comes from failure. If you fail at something, don’t allow yourself to be defeated. The only way to go from the ground is up. If you had everything and then lost it you are a more successful person once you have climbed back up to the top.

10.  “By perseverance, study, and eternal desire, any man can become great.”-George S. Patton

My Take: Like I have mentioned before, anyone can be successful in anything. If you really want something you can have it, you just have to work for it. Don’t give up on your dreams just because you feel you are unworthy. If you have the drive and desire to learn and the ability to keep pushing yourself when motivation is low you can become great in everything you do.

Thanks for reading my top 10 General George S. Patton quotes.


Margaret Elizabeth is an aspiring author currently in her junior year at Valencia College. Besides being an active member of the student body and Vice President of leadership for her Phi Theta Kappa Chapter, Chi Epsilon, she works at home as a freelance writer writing articles on leadership and self development.   Being a survivor of domestic abuse she wanted to do something to give back to the community. She just recently launched her Etsy shop, SecretStashDIY, where she sells custom hats and accessories. One third of her proceeds goes towards starting a non-profit organization to help victims of domestic violence find safe homes and receive the counseling needed to lead a healthy life.


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11 thoughts on “Top 10 General George S. Patton Quotes”

  1. Obviously #6 quote caught my eye – being a woman! “Pressure makes diamonds.” Those three simple words are, however, extremely powerful! I know that when I am put under pressure, whether it be a deadline for a writing project, when I was in college and was submitting a huge mid-term paper, or just something that took a lot of me I was at my best and performed fairly well. But, I always tried not to do this, simply because I do not handle stress very well. I love, however, how George S. Patton says that pressure makes diamonds, I’m guessing he was noticing how quality ends up compromised if something is strewn out for long extended periods of time. Which I have to agree! He was a smart guy needless to say.

  2. Thanks for this article Maggie. I’ve always wondered if there was any significance to the Patton statue at West Point facing away from the library. My brother is a Patton buff and always mentions that the general’s other nickname was Georgie. Also, it is interesting that George C. Scott, who shared a first name with Patton, was almost exactly the same height as the military hero. Scott was 6’1″ and Patton was a half inch taller than that.

  3. This is such a fun and amazing post. I’ve always been enthralled with Patton ever since I was a child and my grandfather showed me the movie “Patton.” I think my favorite quote from this list is, “If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.” I think this demonstrates his individuality and is a quote we should all remember in everyday life.

    1. That is a great General Patton quote, Chad. Patton was one of my heroes as a child. He is one of the primary reasons I joined the Army. The movie “Patton” is one of my favorite military movies of all time, too. He was a brilliant tactician and leader. I’m not sure if he would survive in today’s political Army, but we could definitely use more leaders like him!

      1. There is absolutely no way a general like Patton could survive in today’s Army. Everything is too political as you said.

  4. A few years ago I was lucky enough to find a set of 70 cards entitled “Patton on Leadership.” Each card has a lesson, drawn from the book Patton on Leadership: Strategic Lessons for Corporate Warfare. There are many that I like, but since space is limited I’ll mention one of my favorites: “You keep moving and the enemy cannot hit you. When you dig a foxhole, you dig your grave.” There are times a little cover from enemy fire is nice (remember I’m an infantryman!), but when you go into the defense, you surrender the initiative to the enemy. You’re just waiting to react to whatever he decides to do. It’s the same way in life; you can either take action or sit back and let life happen to you.

    1. Great points Daniel.

      I believe that life is what we make of it. If we want something we have to go out and make it happen. That’s what the leaders do.

      Success does not come to us. We go get it!


  5. Great, great, GREAT POST, Chuck! As an Armor buff, Patton is one of my dearest heroes. His quotes span both military and civilian life and offer motivation and inspiration to all. SO hard for me to pick just one as my favorite, but I think today’s choice would have to be “Pressure makes diamonds”. Reminds me that life is all about challenges and the pressure. But, if you work hard and are able to handle the pressure, you will be greatly rewarded by your success!

    1. Great points, Justin. I’ve always found that the best leaders thrive under pressure. In fact, that’s what they enjoy the most. It’s like the star basketball player who wants the ball with two seconds left on the clock!

      Thanks for sharing your comments.


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