If deeds are wanting, all words appear mere vanity and emptiness.
Nothing else so destroys the power to stand alone as the habit of leaning upon others. If you lean, you will never be strong or original. Stand alone or bury your ambition to be somebody in the world.
—Orison Swett Marden (1850–1924) American New Thought Writer, Physician, Entrepreneur
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
The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher
Ideas are one thing, and what happens is another.
—John Cage (1912–92) American Composer
Boast not of what thou would’st have done, but do.
—John Milton (1608–74) English Poet, Civil Servant, Scholar, Debater
The keen spirit seizes the prompt occasion; makes the thought start into instant action, and at once plans and performs, resolves, and executes!
The first step is always the hardest.
Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) British Head of State
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
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
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
Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.
—Victor Kiam (1926–2001) American Entrepreneur
Many are called but few get up.
—Oliver Herford (1863–1935) American Writer, Artist, Illustrator
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
I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
“Mean to” don’t pick no cotton.
Every beginning is hard.
Beginnings are apt to be shadowy and so it is the beginnings of the great mother life, the sea.
—Rachel Carson (1907–64) American Naturalist, Science Writer
The hour is ripe, and yonder lies the way.
—Virgil (70–19 BCE) Roman Poet
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
To do nothing at all is the most difficult thing in the world, the most difficult and the most intellectual.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
To sit back hoping that someday, some way, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last—but eat you he will.
—Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) American Head of State
Delay not to seize the hour.
—Aeschylus (525–456 BCE) Greek Playwright
Above all, try something.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) American Head of State, Lawyer
He who is outside the door has already a good part of his journey behind him.
The wise does at once what the fool does at last.
—Baltasar Gracian (1601–58) Spanish Scholar, Prose Writer
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
Just as there is no loss of basic energy in the universe, so no thought or action is without its effects, present or ultimate, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.
—Norman Cousins (1915–90) American Journalist, Author, Academic, Activist
Words without actions are the assassins of idealism.
—Herbert Hoover (1874–1964) 31st American President