One starts an action simply because one must do something.
—T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) American-born British Poet, Dramatist, Literary Critic
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
To the timid and hesitating everything is impossible because it seems so.
—Walter Scott (1771–1832) Scottish Novelist, Poet, Playwright, Lawyer
Never mistake motion for action.
—Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) American Author, Journalist, Short Story Writer
Put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
When I am idle and shiftless, my affairs become confused; when I work, I get results… not great results, but enough to encourage me.
—E. W. Howe (1853–1937) American Novelist, Editor
Can anything be sadder than work unfinished? Yes; work never begun.
—Christina Rossetti (1830–94) English Poet, Hymn Writer
The way to do is to be.
—Laozi (fl.6th Century BCE) Chinese Philosopher, Sage
Four steps to achievement: plan purposefully, prepare prayerfully, proceed positively, pursue persistently.
—William Arthur Ward (1921–94) American Author
Put your heart, mind, intellect, and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.
—Sivananda Saraswati (1887–1963) Indian Hindu Spiritual Teacher
So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.
—Lee Iacocca (1924–2019) American Businessperson
To believe a business impossible is the way to make it so. How many feasible projects have miscarried through despondency, and been strangled in their birth by a cowardly imagination.
—Jeremy Collier (1650–1726) Anglican Church Historian, Clergyman
Who waits until the wind shall silent keep will never find the ready hour to sow.
—Helen Hunt Jackson (1830–85) American Novelist, Civil Rights Activist
Success, which is something so simple in the end, is made up of thousands of things, we never fully know what.
—Rainer Maria Rilke (1875–1926) Austrian Poet
Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
And now, Lord, what wait I for?
—The Holy Bible Scripture in the Christian Faith
To be is to do.
—Plato (428 BCE–347 BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher, Mathematician, Educator
Everyone must row with the oars he has.
There is no such thing as a long piece of work, except one that you dare not start.
—Charles Baudelaire (1821–67) French Poet, Art Critic, Essayist, Translator
Common sense does not ask an impossible chessboard, but takes the one before it and plays the game.
—Wendell Phillips (1811–84) American Abolitionist, Lawyer, Orator
Conditions are never just right. People who delay action until all factors are favorable do nothing.
—William Feather (1889–1981) American Publisher, Author
He who desires but acts not breeds pestilence.
—William Blake (1757–1827) English Poet, Painter, Printmaker
Necessity of action takes away the fear of the act, and makes bold resolution the favorite of fortune.
—Francis Quarles (1592–1644) English Religious Poet
Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.
—Henry Ford (1863–1947) American Businessperson, Engineer
My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that’s nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.
—Helen Hayes (1900–93) American Actor, Philanthropist
You can’t get rich sitting on the bench.
—Phil Linz (1939–2020) American Baseball Player
Find a need and fill it.
—Ruth Stafford Peale (1906–2008) American Self-Help Author, Speaker
We don’t have enough time to premeditate all our actions.
—Luc de Clapiers, marquis de Vauvenargues (1715–47) French Moralist, Essayist, Writer
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Courage has genius, power, and magic in it. Only engage, and then the mind grows heated. Begin it and the work is completed.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
The ordinary man is involved in action, the hero acts. An immense difference.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher
The opportunity is often lost by deliberating.
—Publilius Syrus (fl.85–43 BCE) Syrian-born Roman Latin Writer
He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg.
Who hesitate and falter life away, and lose tomorrow the ground won today.
—Matthew Arnold (1822–88) English Poet, Critic
Procrastination is the thief of time; year after year it steals, till all are fled, and to the mercies of a moment leaves the vast concerns of an eternal state. At thirty, man suspects himself a fool; knows it at forty, and reforms his plan; at fifty chides his infamous delay, pushes his prudent purpose to resolve; in all the magnanimity of thought, resolves, and re-resolves, then dies the same.
—Edward Young (1683–1765) English Poet
The very first step towards success in any occupation is to become interested in it.
—William Osler (1849–1919) Canadian Physician
It is only when I daily with what I am about, look back and aside instead of keeping my eyes straight forward, that I feel these cold sinkings of the heart. But the first broadside puts all to rights.
—Walter Scott (1771–1832) Scottish Novelist, Poet, Playwright, Lawyer
How, then, find the courage for action? By slipping a little into unconsciousness, spontaneity, instinct which holds one to the earth and dictates the relatively good and useful … By accepting the human condition more simply, and candidly, by dreading troubles less, calculating less, hoping more.
—Henri Frederic Amiel (1821–81) Swiss Moral Philosopher, Poet, Critic
Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
The greatest secret of success in life is for a person to be ready when their opportunity comes.
—Benjamin Disraeli (1804–81) British Head of State
Now or never was the time.
—Laurence Sterne (1713–68) Irish Anglican Novelist, Clergyman
I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen.
—Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) American Architect
The best place to succeed is where you are with what you have.
—Charles M. Schwab (1862–1939) American Businessperson
Thirteen virtues necessary for true success: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
All know the way, but few actually walk it.
All glory comes from daring to begin.
—Eugene F. Ware
Three outstanding qualities make for success: judgement, industry, health. And the greatest of these is judgement.
—Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook (1879–1964) Canadian-born British Politician, Journalist
More powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin.
Wishing does not make a poor man rich.
The emotions are not always subject to reason … but they are always subject to action. When thoughts do not neutralize an undesirable emotion, action will.
—William James (1842–1910) American Philosopher, Psychologist, Physician