The biggest sin is sitting on your ass.
—Florynce Kennedy (1916–2000) American Lawyer, Civil Rights Leader, Feminist, Activist
If we really want to live, we’d better start at once to try.
—W. H. Auden (1907–73) British-born American Poet, Dramatist
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
In the arena of human life the honors and rewards fall to those who show their good qualities in action.
—Aristotle (384BCE–322BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Scholar
Things don’t turn up in this world until somebody turns them up.
—James A. Garfield (1831–81) American Head of State, Lawyer, Educator
If you don’t place your foot on the rope, you’ll never cross the chasm.
Every beginning is hard.
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
Action, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends.
—George Washington (1732–99) American Head of State, Military Leader
Make up your mind to act decidedly and take the consequences. No good is ever done in this world by hesitation.
—Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–95) English Biologist
Psychology is action, not thinking about oneself.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
The wise does at once what the fool does at last.
—Baltasar Gracian (1601–58) Spanish Scholar, Prose Writer
He that is overcautious will accomplish but very little.
—Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) German Poet, Dramatist
With mere good intentions hell is Proverbially paved.
—William James (1842–1910) American Philosopher, Psychologist, Physician
What you theoretically know, vividly realize.
—Francis Thompson (1859–1907) English Poet, Ascetic
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
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.
What the Puritans gave the world was not thought, but action.
—Wendell Phillips (1811–84) American Abolitionist, Lawyer, Orator
This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in.
—Charles Dickens (1812–70) English Novelist
The first step is always the hardest.
If you miss the first buttonhole, you will not succeed in buttoning up your coat.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible.
—George C. Lorimer (1838–1904) American Baptist Clergyman
Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.
—Victor Kiam (1926–2001) American Entrepreneur
Shun idleness. It is a rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant metals.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
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
The end of man is action.
—Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) Scottish Historian, Essayist
The way to get ahead is to start now. If you start now, you will know a lot next year that you don’t know now and that you would not have known next year if you had waited.
—William Feather (1889–1981) American Publisher, Author
Words gain credibility by deed.
—Terence (c.195–159 BCE) Roman Comic Dramatist
Men are alike in their promises. It is only in their deeds that they differ.
—Moliere (1622–73) French Playwright
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
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
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.
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
The hour is ripe, and yonder lies the way.
—Virgil (70–19 BCE) Roman Poet
The great end of life is not knowledge, but action.
—Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–95) English Biologist
To attain happiness in another world we need only to believe something, while to secure it in this world we must needs do something.
—Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935) American Feminist, Writer
Take God for your spouse and friend and walk with him continually, and you will not sin and will learn to love, and the things you must do will work out prosperously for you.
—John of the Cross (1542–1591) Spanish Roman Catholic Mystic
Talking is easy, action difficult.
Delay always breeds danger, and to protract a great design is often to ruin it.
—Miguel de Cervantes (1547–1616) Spanish Novelist
Boast not of what thou would’st have done, but do.
—John Milton (1608–74) English Poet, Civil Servant, Scholar, Debater
The only menace is inertia.
—Saint-John Perse (1887–1975) French Poet, Diplomat
We are very near to greatness: one step and we are safe; can we not take the leap?
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
The beginning is half of every action.
Stagnation is something worse than death: it is corruption also.
—William Gilmore Simms (1806–70) American Poet, Novelist, Historian
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
Above all, try something.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) American Head of State, Lawyer
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
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
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