Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Work

"Upon every hand we meet with those who have some secret resentment that is ever being nurtured within their hearts. They resent the success, or happiness of some one whom they think is less deserving than they are. They resent the just recognition that comes to others from work and long effort to excel. Or, they may resent being born poor - or resent the fact that they were even born!... Strive to excel, strive to achieve, where others have failed, and you will find no space within your mind to lodge resentment. Resentment is the child of selfishness, foolish envy, and inactivity... Our life upon this earth is too valuable for resentment of any kind. There is so much to do, so much to learn - so little time in which to live and work it all out." - George Matthew Adams

"I pray every single second of my life; not on my knees, but with my work." -

"Honor is not that reward of virtue, for which the virtuous work, but they receive honor from men by way of reward, as from those who have nothing greater to offer. But virtue’s true reward is happiness itself, for which the virtuous work, whereas if they worked for honor, it would no longer be virtue, but ambition." -

"The happy man needs friends... not, indeed, not make use of them, since he suffices himself, nor to delight in them, since he possesses perfect delight in the operation of virtue, but for the purpose of a good operation, namely, that he may do good to them, that he may delight in seeing them do good, and again that he may be helped by them in his good work." -

"Garden work consists more in uprooting weeds than in planting seed. This applies also to teaching." - Berthold Auerbach

"Cheerfulness sharpens the edge and removes the rust from the mind. A joyous heart supplies oil to our inward machinery, and makes the whole of our powers work with ease and efficiency." - Arthur Aughey

"Begin; to begin is half the work. Let half still remain; at gain begin this, and thou wilt have finished." - Austonius, fully Decimus Magnus Ausonius

"I cannot teach you the ten principles of service. But a little child and a thief can show you what they are. From the child you can learn three things: He is merry for no particular reason; never for a moment is he idle; when he needs something, he demands it vigorously. The thief can instruct you in seven things: He does his service by night; if he does not finish what he has set out to do, in one night, he devotes the next night to it; he and those who work with him love one another; he risks his life for small gains; what he takes has so little value for him that he gives it up for a very small coin; he endures blows and hardship, and it matters nothing to him; he likes his trade and would not exchange it for any other." - Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, aka Maggid of Mezeritch

"To succeed, one must possess an effective combination of ability, ambition, courage, drive, hard work, integrity and loyalty." - Harry F. Banks, real name possibly Harry Band

"As a remedy against all ills - poverty, sickness, and melancholy - only one thing is absolutely necessary: a liking for work." - Charles Pierre Baudelaire

"Your actions, in passing, pass not away, for every good work is a gain of seed for eternal life." - Tristan Bernard, born Paul Bernard

"It is our duty to give meaning to the life of future generations by sharing our knowledge and experience; by teaching an appreciation of work well done and a respect for nature, the source of all life; by encouraging the young to venture off the beaten path and avoid complacency by challenging their emotions." - Paul Bocuse

"Give up the notion that there is a final state to attain. Spiritual life consists of ongoing practice undertaken as a lifetime work. This realization breeds humility, especially when we realize that in our initial infatuation with enlightenment, we underestimate the amount of inner work necessary to free us from our addictive patterns of thought and behavior." - Stephan Bodian

"The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of work." - Sarah T. Bolton, fully Sarah Tittle Barrett Bolton

"Only by his action can a man make (himself/his life) whole... You are responsible for what you have done and the people whom you have influenced. In the end it is only the work that counts." - Margaret Bourke-White

"When a book raises your spirit, and inspires you with noble and courageous feelings, seek for no other fuel to judge thy work by; it is good, and made by a good worksman." - Jean de La Bruyère

"The Cosmos is not dead matter but a living Presence, the soul of man is immortal... the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all... the foundation principle of the world is what we call love and that the happiness of every one is in the long run absolutely certain." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"The life which is in man is eternal, as all life is eternal; that the soul of man is as immortal as God is; that the universe is so built and ordered that without any peradventure all things work together for the good of each and all; that the foundation principle of the world is what we call love, and that the happiness of every individual is in the long run absolutely certain." - Richard Maurice Bucke, often called Maurice Bucke

"Be a lamp unto yourselves! Work out your liberation with diligence! Fill your mind with compassion!" - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"Decay is inherent in all component things. Work out your own salvation with diligence." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"Make no little plans, they have no magic to stir men's blood. Make big plans, aim high in hope and work and let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty." -

"In addition to the inflation, we have stagnating productivity. People don’t work the way they used to." - Arthur Burns, fully Arthur Frank Burns

"Every man's work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself, and the more he tries to conceal himself the more clearly his character appear in spite of him." - Samuel Butler

"In judging others, folks will work overtime for no pay." - Charles Edwin Carruthers

"Work isn't to make money; you work to justify life." - Marc Chagall, born Moishe Shagal

"There is time for work. And time for love. There leaves no other time." -

"All that a man does outwardly is but the expression and completion of his inward thought. To work effectually, he must think clearly; to act nobly, he must think nobly. Intellectual force is a principal element of the soul’s life, and should be proposed by every man as the principal end of his being." - William Ellery Channing

"Every human being has a work to carry on within, duties to perform abroad, influences to exert, which are peculiarly his, and which no conscience but his own can teach." - William Ellery Channing

"There is no mean work save that which is sordidly selfish; there is no irreligious work save that which is morally wrong; while in every sphere of life “the post of honor is the post of duty.”" - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"When a person realizes he has faults, he is in a much better situation than one who does not realize it since he can now work on improving himself." -

"There is no truer and more abiding happiness than the knowledge that one is free to go on doing, day by day, the best work one can do, in the kind one likes best, and that this work is absorbed by a steady market, and thus supports one's own life. Perfect freedom is reserved for the man who lives by his own work and in that work does what he wants to do." -

"To make a man happy, fill his hands with work, his heart with affection, his mind with purpose, his memory with useful knowledge, his future with hope, and his stomach with food. The devil never enters a man except one of these rooms be vacant." - Frederick Evan Crane

"Repentance, to be of any avail, must work a change of heart and conduct." - Theodore Cuyler, fully Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

"Originality and the feeling of one's own dignity are achieved only through work and struggle." - Fyodor Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski

"To crush, to annihilate a man utterly, to inflict on him the most terrible of punishments so that the most ferocious murderer would shudder at it and dread it beforehand, one need only give him work of an absolutely, completely useless and irrational character" - Fyodor Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski

"The vital force in business life is the honest desire to serve. Business, it is said, is the science of service. He profits most who serves best. At the very bottom of the wish to render service must be honesty of purpose, and, as I go along through life, I see more and more that honesty in word, thought, and work means success. It spells a life worth living and in business clean success." - Abba Eban, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban

"Give work rather than alms to the poor. The former drives out indolence, the latter industry. There are two kinds of charity, remedial and preventative. The former is often injurious in its tendency; the latter is always praiseworthy and beneficial." - Tyron Edwards

"Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." - Albert Einstein

"Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs." - Albert Einstein

"Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men - above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received. My peace of mind is often troubled by the depressing sense that I have borrowed too heavily from the work of other men." - Albert Einstein

"Don't think too much about yourselves. Try to cultivate the habit of thinking of others; this will reward you. Nourish your minds by good reading, constant reading. Discover what your lifework is, work in which you can do most good, in which you can be happiest. Be unafraid in all things when you know you are in the right." - Charles W. Eliot

"When your property or possessions sustain some damage or loss, work on yourself to accept the Almighty’s judgment with love. Realize you were born without any belongings and you will eventually leave the world without belongings. You need not identify with your possessions since they are not an integral part of you." - Eliyahu de Vidas,

"Work is life and good work is good life." - James W. Elliot

"Most of us are like snowflakes trying to be like each other, yet knowing full well that no two snowflakes are ever identical. If we were to devote the same amount of energy in trying to discover the true self that lies buried deep within our own nature, we would all work harmoniously with life instead of forever fighting it." -

"Freedom does not consist in the dream of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives or systematically making them work towards definite ends. This holds good in relation both to the laws of external nature and to those which govern the bodily and mental existence of men themselves - two classes of laws which we can separate from each other at most only in thought but not in reality. Freedom of the will therefore means nothing but the capacity to make decisions with knowledge of the subject." - Friedrich Engels

"He would really benefit mankind must reach them through their work." - Henry Ford

"I sincerely believe that the word "relationships" is the key to the prospect of a decent world. It seems abundantly clear that every problem you will have - in your family, in your work, in our nation, or in this world - is essentially a matter of relationships, of interdependence." - Clarence Francis

"The seven sins of the world. Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle." -

"What a man accomplishes in a day depends upon the way in which he approaches his tasks. When we accept tough jobs as a challenge to our ability and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm miracles can happen. When we do our work with a dynamic conquering spirit we get things done." - Arland Gilbert

"To comprehend a man's life, it is necessary to know not merely what he does, but also what he purposely leaves undone. There is a limit to the work that can be got out of a human body or a human brain, and he is a wise man who wastes no energy on pursuits for which he is not fitted; and he is still wiser who, from among the things that he can do well, chooses and resolutely follows the best." - William Ewart Gladstone