Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Elbert Green Hubbard

American Writer, Printer, Publisher and Philosopher

"A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in on the experience."

"A creed is an ossified metaphor."

"Action is thought tempered by illusion."

"A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness."

"All success consists in this: you are doing something for somebody - benefiting humanity - and the feeling of success comes from the consciousness of this."

"An enemy is anyone who tells the truth about you."

"All noise is waste. So cultivate quietness in your speech, in your thoughts, in your emotions. Speak habitually low. Wait for attention and then your low words will be charged with dynamite."

"Any man who has a job has a chance."

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."

"As a rule, the man who can do all things equally well is a very mediocre individual."

"Be yourself and speak your mind today, though it contradict all you have said before."

"Character is the result of two things: Mental attitude and the way we spend our time."

"Be yourself and think for yourself; and while your conclusions may not be infallible they will be nearer right than the conclusions forced upon you by those who have a personal interest in keeping you in ignorance."

"Cultivate only the habits that you are willing should master you."

"Culture is only culture when the owner is not aware of its existence. Capture culture, hog-tie it, and clap your brand upon it, and you find the shock has killed the thing you loved. You can brand a steer, but you cannot brand deer."

"Each knock is a boost."

"Do your work with your whole heart, and you will succeed - there's so little competition."

"Don't make excuses, make good."

"Every life is its own excuse for being."

"Happiness is a habit - cultivate it."

"Home is where the heart is."

"Human service is the highest form of self-interest for the person who serves."

"If you want work well done, select a busy man - the other kind has no time."

"If pleasures are the greatest in anticipation, just remember that this is also true of troubles."

"It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test."

"Let a man once see himself as others see him, and all enthusiasm vanishes from his heart."

"Success consists in the climb."

"The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today."

"Live truth instead of professing it."

"Love goes to those who are deserving - not to those who set snares for it and who lie in wait. The life of strife and contest never wins."

"Learn from your mistakes, but don't cry over them. We best redeem the past by forgetting it."

"Men are not punished for their sins, but by them."

"Love, we say, is life; but love without hope and faith is agonizing death."

"Never explain. Your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway."

"Morality is largely a matter of geography."

"Strong men can always afford to be gentle. Only the weak are intent on "giving as good as they get.""

"The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you."

"The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live."

"There is no failure except in no longer trying... The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it: so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it."

"To avoid criticism do nothing, say nothing, be nothing."

"The recipe for perpetual ignorance is: Be satisfied with your opinions and content with your knowledge."

"The only sure-enough sinner is the man who congratulates himself that he is without sin."

"We work to become, not to acquire."

"We are punished by our sins, not for them."

"The happiness of life depends less on what befalls you than the way in which you take it."

"Thinkers help other people to think, for they formulate what others are thinking. No person writes or thinks alone; thought is in the air but its expression is necessary to create a tangible spirit of the times."

"What others say of me matters little, what I myself say and do matters much."

"A few conquer by fighting, but it is well to remember that more battles are won by submitting."

"Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you."

"Art is not a thing: it is a way."