Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919) American Poet, Journalist
Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of living.
We need the iron qualities that go with true manhood. We need the positive virtues of resolution, of courage, of indomitable will, of power to do without shrinking the rough work that must always be done.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Work will win when wishy washy wishing won’t.
—Thomas S. Monson (b.1927) American Mormon Religious Leader
The right man can make a good job out of any job.
—William Feather (1889–1981) American Publisher, Author
One of the most effective means for transcending ordinary and moving into the realm of extraordinary is saying yes more frequently and eliminating no almost completely. I call it saying yes to life. Say yes to yourself, to your family, your children, your coworkers, and your business…
—Wayne Dyer (b.1940) American Motivational Writer, Author, Motivational Speaker
Plaster thick, some will stick.
Luck? I don’t know anything about luck. I’ve never banked on it, and I’m afraid of people who do. Luck to me is something else: hard work—and realizing what is opportunity and what isn’t.
—Lucille Ball (1911–89) American Actor, Comedian, Model
What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.
—Tim Ferriss (b.1977) American Self-help Author
Whatsoever we beg of God, let us also work for it.
Too many of those with unrealized aspirations have set them aside due to fear of failure. The bigger the dream, the greater the fear. Doing less than our best allays this fear. I could have done better if I’d tried, we assure ourselves. Among the least appreciated reasons for doing superficial, second-rate work of any kind is the comfort of knowing it’s not our best that’s on the line. By not trying too hard, we avoid learning what our true potential is, and having to fulfill it. Doing our best can be deeply threatening. It forces us to consider what we’re actually capable of accomplishing. Once we learn that lesson, we can’t unlearn it. Our true potential becomes both a shining light we can follow and an oppressive burden of expectation that might, or might not, be met.
Make a decision that from now on, your thoughts do not run you, you run your thoughts. From now on, your mind is not the captain of your ship, you are the captain of the ship, and your mind works for you.
—T. Harv Eker (b.1954) American Motivational Speaker, Lecturer, Author
Attention is psychic energy, and like physical energy, unless we allocate some part of it to the task at hand, no work gets done.
—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (b.1934) Hungarian-American Psychologist
Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or anything else, is always a portrait of himself, and the more he tries to conceal himself the more clearly will his character appear in spite of him.
We always compare our labor with its results. We do not devote more effort to a given task if we can accomplish it with less; nor, when confronted with two toilsome tasks, do we choose the greater. We are more inclined to diminish the ratio of effort to result, and if, in so doing, we gain a little leisure, nothing will stop us from using it, for the sake of additional benefits, in enterprises more in keeping with our tastes.
Man’s universal practice, indeed, is conclusive in this regard. Always and everywhere, we find that he looks upon toil as the disagreeable aspect, and on satisfaction as the compensatory aspect, of his condition. Always and everywhere, we find that, as far as he is able, he places the burden of his toil upon animals, the wind, steam, or other forces of Nature, or, alas! upon his fellow men, if he can gain mastery over them. In this last case, let me repeat, for it is too often forgotten, the labor has not been lessened; it has merely been shifted to other shoulders.
—Frederic Bastiat (1801–50) French Political Economist
The days you work are the best days
—Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986) American Painter
You can employ men and hire hands to work for you, but you will have to win their hearts to have them work with you.
—William J. H. Boetcker (1873–1962) American Presbyterian Minister
The first duty of a human being is to assume the right relationship to society—more briefly, to find your real job, and do it.
—Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860–1935) American Feminist, Writer
A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work. Worry upsets our whole system, work keeps it in health and order.
—John Lubbock (1834–1913) English Politician, Biologist
Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
If you have a job without aggravations, you don’t have a job.
—Malcolm S. Forbes (1919–1990) American Publisher, Businessperson
I do not like work even when someone else does it.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
The same man cannot be skilled in everything; each has his special excellence.
—Euripides (480–406 BCE) Ancient Greek Dramatist
When we’re unemployed, we’re called lazy; when the whites are unemployed it’s called a depression.
—Jesse Jackson (b.1941) American Baptist Civil Rights Activist, Minister
Blessed is that man who has found his work.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher
I’ve always believed that if you put in the work, the results will come. I don’t do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results.
—Michael Jordan (b.1963) American Sportsperson, Businessperson
Work alone will efface the footsteps of work
—James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) American Painter, Etcher
Good-morrow to thee; welcome:
Thou look’st like him that knows a warlike charge:
To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to’t with delight.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
All I was doing was trying to get home from work.
—Rosa Parks (1913–2005) American Civil Rights Leader
You are innately designed to use your personal power. When you don’t, you experience a sense of helplessness, paralysis, and depression—which is your clue that something is not working as it could. You, like all of us, deserve everything that is wonderful and exciting in life. And those feelings emerge only when you get in touch with your powerful self.
—Susan Jeffers (1938–2012) American Psychologist, Self-Help Author
The idea that to make a man work you’ve got to hold gold in front of his eyes is a growth, not an axiom. We’ve done that for so long that we’ve forgotten there’s any other way.
Luck is always waiting for something to turn up. Labor, with keen eyes and strong will, always turns up something. Luck lies in bed and wishes the postman will bring news of a legacy. Labor turns out at six o’clock and with busy pen or ringing hammer, lays the foundation of a competence. Luck whines. Labor whistles. Luck relies on chance, labor on character.
Work with some men is as besetting a sin as idleness with others.
No thoroughly occupied person was ever found really miserable.
—Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864) English Writer, Poet
Are you doing the kind of work you were built for, so that you can expect to be able to do very large amounts of that kind and thrive under it? Or are you doing a kind of which you can do comparatively little?
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
Not only our future economic soundness but the very soundness of our democratic institutions depends on the determination of our government to give employment to idle men.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) American Head of State, Lawyer
There is no boon in nature. All the blessings we enjoy are the fruits of labor, toil, self-denial, and study.
—William Graham Sumner (1840–1910) American Polymath, Academic, Historian, Sociologist, Anthropologist
A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; what he has said or done otherwise shall give him no peace.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
One of the saddest things is that the only thing that a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can’t eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours—all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.
—William Faulkner (1897–1962) American Novelist
I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent of labor, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours. But if work is interpreted to be a definite performance in a specified time according to a rigid rule, then I may be the worst of idlers.
—Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) Serbian-American Electrical Engineer, Inventor
The work praises the man.
Work is nothing but the slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great images in whose presence [His Or Her] heart first opened.
—Albert Camus (1913–60) Algerian-born French Philosopher, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist, Author
Give me love and work—these two only.
—William Morris (1834–96) British Designer, Craftsman, Poet, Writer
In all cases where doubt crops up, ask yourself, “If I had a gun to my head and had to do it, how would I do it?” It’s not as hard as you think.
—Tim Ferriss (b.1977) American Self-help Author
My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was less competition there.
—Indira Gandhi (1917–84) Indian Head of State
Because all things are necessary to man’s complete unfoldment, all things in human life are the work of God.
—Wallace Wattles (1860–1911) American New Thought Author
Never work before breakfast. If you have to work before breakfast, get your breakfast first.
—Josh Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw) (1818–85) American Humorist, Author, Lecturer
Anyone who thinks hard work will never hurt you has never had to pay to have it done. Jesus now has many lovers of his Heavenly Kingdom, but few bearers of his cross.
—Thomas a Kempis (1379–1471) German Religious Priest, Writer
Work is as much a necessity to man as eating and sleeping.—Even those who do nothing that can be called work still imagine they are doing something.—The world has not a man who is an idler in his own eyes.
—Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767–1835) German Philosopher, Linguist, Statesman