These are some of my favorite quotes. While many of them were intended for different things, if interpreted in the context of research and graduate studies, I think they capture the essence of high-quality research.

Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than an exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise.

John Tukey (co-inventor of the FFT algorithm)

It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.

Harry S. Truman

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.

Maya Angelou

Premature optimization is the root of all evil.

Donald Knuth (inventor of LaTeX; author of The Art of Computer Programming)

To be persuasive, we must be believable.
To be believable, we must be credible.
To be credible, we must be truthful.

Edward R. Murrow

You can’t think yourself out of a writing block;
you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.

John Rogers (screen writer, including Transformers)

Nothing will work unless you do.

Maya Angelou

The sated day is never first,
the best day is a day of thirst.
Yes, there is goal and meaning in our path,
but it’s the journey that’s the labor’s worth.

Karin Boye (Swedish poet, translator unknown)