10) Do no harm (Hippocratic oath): Good choice in whittling it down from the original "Try not to mess up but if you do make sure you have a damn good lawyer."

9) If you’re going through hell, keep going (Winston Churchill): Aides talked him out of his first choice, "A good bottle of Johnny Walker Black is all I need."

8) I think, therefore I am (Descartes): Initially he wanted to go with "I think I think... don't I?... I mean, I had to think to say that, right?" but it was judged too long... and just really stupid.

7) Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all (Helen Keller): She fought hard for "See me, feel me, touch me, heal me" but her handlers assured her it'd never catch on.

6) Be prepared (Scouts): It was immediately cut down from it's full length "Be prepared if the scout master tries anything funny" as being too negative.

5) Seize the day (Roman poet Horace): His original "Seize the minute" was deemed alarmingly deficient and a major contributor to his eventual nickname "Half-assed Horace".

4) Just do it (Nike): Amazing what a marketing team coming up empty-handed and a pissed off CEO's last three words before storming out of the room, slamming the door, can accomplish.

3) To Thine Own Self Be True (William Shakespeare): It was set to be "Be true to yourself" but then Will had to "Shakespeare" it all up, claiming something about how that was part of his brand and all.

2) If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants (Isaac Newton): Much more noble than his original "Don't sit under the apple tree unless you're prepared to get conked on the head."

And the number one famous motto that initially needed tweaking before going public:

1) Walk softly and carry a big stick (Theodore Roosevelt): "Hit 'em smack dab in the middle of the head with a two-by-four" was tossed out as being just a bit too on the nose.