Samuel Smiles

Samuel
Smiles
1812
1904

Engish Biographer, Author and Reformer

Author Quotes

Enthusiasm ... the sustaining power of all great action.

I'm as happy a man as any in the world, for the whole world seems to smile upon me!

No laws, however stringent, can make the idle industrious, the thriftless provident, or the drunken sober.

The brave man is an inspiration to the weak, and compels them, as it were, to follow him.

The reason why so little is done, is generally because so little is attempted.

Wisdom and understanding can only become the possession of individual men by travelling the old road of observation, attention, perseverance, and industry.

Even happiness itself may become habitual. There is a habit of looking at the bright side of things, and also of looking at the dark side. Dr. Johnson has said that the habit of looking at the best side of a thing is worth more to a man than a thousand pounds a year. And we possess the power, to a great extent, of so exercising the will as to direct the thoughts upon objects calculated to yield happiness and improvement rather than their opposites.

It has been said of dogmatism, that it is only puppyism come to its full growth, and certainly the worst form this quality can assume is that of opinionativeness and arrogance.

Nothing is more common than energy in money-making, quite independent of any higher object than its accumulation. A man who devotes himself to this pursuit, body and soul, can scarcely fail to become rich. Very little brains will do; spend less than you earn; add guinea to guinea; scrape and save; and the pile of gold will gradually rise.

The career of a great man remains an enduring monument of human energy. - The man dies and disappears, but his thoughts and acts survive and leave an indelible stamp upon his race.

The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once.

Woman is the heart of humanity ... its grace, ornament, and solace.

"Give me a standing place," said Archimedes, "and I will move the world" - Goethe has changed the postulate into the precept. "Make good thy standing place, and move the world."

Example teaches better than precept. It is the best modeler of the character of men and women. To set a lofty example is the richest bequest a man can leave behind him.

It is a grand old name, that of gentleman, and has been recognized as a rank and power in all stages of society. To possess this character is a dignity of itself, commanding the instinctive homage of every generous mind, and those who will not bow to titular rank will yet do homage to the gentleman. His qualities depend not upon fashion or manners, but upon moral worth; not on personal possessions, but on personal qualities.

Nothing of real worth can be obtained without courageous working. Man owes his growth chiefly to the active striving of the will, that encounter with difficulty which he calls effort; and it is astonishing to find how often results apparently impracticable are then made possible.

The cheapest of all things is kindness, its exercise requiring the least possible trouble and self-sacrifice.

The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual; and, exhibited in the lives of many, it constitutes the true source of national vigor and strength. Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates.

"Heaven helps those who help themselves" is a well-tried maxim, embodying in a small compass the results of vast human experience. The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual; and, exhibited in the lives of many, it constitutes the true source of national vigour and strength. Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates. Whatever is done for men or classes, to a certain extent takes away the stimulus and necessity of doing for themselves; and where men are subjected to over-guidance and over-government, the inevitable tendency is to render them comparatively helpless.

For want of self-restraint many men are engaged all their lives in fighting with difficulties of their own making, and rendering success impossible by their own cross-grained ungentleness; whilst others, it may be much less gifted, make their way and achieve success by simple patience, equanimity, and self-control.

It is energy - the central element of which is will - that produces the miracle that is enthusiasm in all ages. Everywhere it is what is called force of character and the sustaining power of all great action.

Opportunities ... fall in the way of every man who is resolved to take advantage of them.

The duty of helping one's self in the highest sense involves the helping of one's neighbors.

The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual.

A great deal of what passes by the name of patriotism in these days consists of the merest bigotry and narrow-mindedness; exhibiting itself in national prejudice, national conceit, and national hatred. It does not show itself in deeds, but in boastings--in howlings, gesticulations, and shrieking helplessly for help--in flying flags and singing songs--and in perpetual grinding at the hurdy-gurdy of long-dead grievances and long-remedied wrongs. To be infested by such a patriotism as this is perhaps among the greatest curses that can befall any country.

Author Picture
First Name
Samuel
Last Name
Smiles
Birth Date
1812
Death Date
1904
Bio

Engish Biographer, Author and Reformer