Unless a capacity for thinking be accompanied by a capacity for action, a superior mind exists in torture.
—Benedetto Croce (1866–1952) Italian Philosopher, Literary Critic
I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841–1935) American Jurist, Author
The keen spirit seizes the prompt occasion; makes the thought start into instant action, and at once plans and performs, resolves, and executes!
I myself must mix with action lest I wither by despair.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–92) British Poet
What the Puritans gave the world was not thought, but action.
—Wendell Phillips (1811–84) American Abolitionist, Lawyer, Orator
Eighty percent of success is showing up.
—Woody Allen (b.1935) American Film Actor, Director
He who is outside the door has already a good part of his journey behind him.
To avoid an occasion for our virtues is a worse degree of failure than to push forward pluckily and make a fall.
—Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–94) Scottish Novelist
Indifference and inaction must always pay a penalty.
—William Feather (1889–1981) American Publisher, Author
The individual activity of one man with backbone will do more than a thousand men with a mere wishbone.
—William J. H. Boetcker (1873–1962) American Presbyterian Minister
Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible.
—George C. Lorimer (1838–1904) American Baptist Clergyman
Our chief defect is that we are more given to talking about things than to doing them.
—Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964) Indian Head of State
There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
—John F. Kennedy (1917–63) American Head of State, Journalist
Stagnation is something worse than death: it is corruption also.
—William Gilmore Simms (1806–70) American Poet, Novelist, Historian
Shun idleness. It is a rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant metals.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
Psychology is action, not thinking about oneself.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
The most important thing about getting somewhere is starting right where we are.
—Bruce Fairchild Barton (1886–1967) American Author, Advertising Executive, Politician
You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.
—James Anthony Froude (1818–94) British Historian, Novelist, Biographer, Editor
In putting off what one has to do, one runs the risk of never being able to do it.
—Charles Baudelaire (1821–67) French Poet, Art Critic, Essayist, Translator
To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult of all.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
Inspirations never go in for long engagements; they demand immediate marriage to action.
—Brendan Behan (1923–64) Irish Poet, Novelist, Playwright
To be always intending to live a new life, but never to find time to set about it; this is as if a man should put off eating and drinking and sleeping from one day and night to another, till he is starved and destroyed.
Boast not of what thou would’st have done, but do.
—John Milton (1608–74) English Poet, Civil Servant, Scholar, Debater
One of the reasons why so few of us ever act, instead of react, is because we are continually stifling our deepest impulses.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
That is the principal thing: not to remain with the dream, with the intention, with the being in the mood, but always forcibly to convert it into all things.
—Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) Austrian Poet
Well done is better than well said.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Action, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends.
—George Washington (1732–99) American Head of State, Military Leader
Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.
—Herbert Hoover (1874–1964) 31st American President
Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) British Head of State
If a man wants his dreams to come true, he must wake up.
We must not waste life in devising means. It is better to plan less and do more.
—William Ellery Channing (1780–1842) American Unitarian Theologian, Poet
If you can talk brilliantly about a problem, it can create the consoling illusion that it has been mastered.
—Stanley Kubrick (1928–99) American Film Director, Writer, Film Producer, Photographer
Things don’t turn up in this world until somebody turns them up.
—James A. Garfield (1831–81) American Head of State, Lawyer, Educator
Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.
—Victor Kiam (1926–2001) American Entrepreneur
A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much, and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing at all.
—Georges Bernanos (1888–1948) French Author
Words are mere bubbles of water, but deeds are drops of gold.
To do anything truly worth doing, I must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in with gusto and scramble through as well as I can.
—Og Mandino (1923–96) American Self-Help Author
Act—act in the living present.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
Action is eloquence.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
Do noble things, do not dream them all day long.
—Charles Kingsley (1819–75) English Clergyman, Academic, Historian, Novelist
Delay not to seize the hour.
—Aeschylus (525–456 BCE) Greek Poet
Delay always breeds danger, and to protract a great design is often to ruin it.
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) Spanish Novelist
To know just what has do be done, then to do it, comprises the whole philosophy of practical life.
—William Osler (1849–1919) Canadian Physician
Ideas are one thing, and what happens is another.
—John Cage (1912–92) American Composer
If you don’t place your foot on the rope, you’ll never cross the chasm.
As long as you can start, you are all right. The juice will come.
—Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) American Author, Journalist, Short Story Writer
If you want a thing done, go. If not, send. The shortest answer is doing.
If we really want to live, we’d better start at once to try.
—W. H. Auden (1907–73) British-born American Poet, Dramatist
Every man feels instinctively that all the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than a single lovely action.
—James Russell Lowell (1819–91) American Poet, Critic
Talking is easy, action difficult.