The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about
Effort & Hard Work

How hard you try determines how alive you feel. ~Colin Neenan, "Adult Cheat Sheet," speech at the Staples High School 2019 Baccalaureate, Westport, Connecticut,,

Nothing can replace hard work, he told us, so embrace the grind. ~Dr. SunWolf,

The level path is easy, but it will not bring you to the mountaintop. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

Oh! when I can do hard things, I like to do them a great deal better than I do easy things. ~Chauncey Giles, The Magic Spectacles: A Fairy Story, 1868

Once I set out on my way, I must win my right to go on. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind. ~Author unknown, 1920s

A great work demands a great sacrifice, and who is not capable of a great sacrifice is not capable of a great work. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers," in The Open Court, August 1903

The difference between try and triumph is a little umph. ~Author unknown

A toast today to all the invisible people doing jobs mysteriously getting done. ~Robert Brault, 2017,

To have been faithful! To be able to say: "I have done the thing, and I have put all of myself into it. I have done it with all the brawn of my hands, with all the warmth of my heart, and with all the glow of my soul!" ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

No one understands that you have given everything. You must give more. ~Antonio Porchia (1886–1968), Voces, 1943–1966, translated from the Spanish by W.S. Merwin (1927–2019), c.1968

I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have. ~Coleman Cox, 1922  []

The reason most people do not recognize an opportunity when they meet it is because it usually goes around wearing overalls and looking like Hard Work. ~Author unknown, printed uncredited in Logansport Pharos Tribune (Indiana), May 18th 1921, later commonly attributed to Thomas Edison  []

No one will dispute me when I say that the only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work. ~Harry Golden

You can wait for a miracle, but it's generally a better strategy to meet it halfway. ~Robert Brault,

He had to, so he did, was the motto of General Armstrong's life. "Doing what can't be done is the glory of living," he once said. "For most people," said one of General Armstrong's friends, "an obstacle is something in the way to stop one from going on, but for General Armstrong it merely meant something to climb over; and if he could not climb all the way over, he would get up as high as possible, and then crow!" ~Silas X. Floyd (1869–1923), "Samuel C. Armstrong," Floyd's Flowers: or, Duty and Beauty for Colored Children, 1905

Now I know a refuge never grows
From a chin in a hand in a thoughtful pose
Gotta tend the earth if you want a rose
~Emily Saliers, "Hammer and a Nail," 1990, performed by Indigo Girls,, ♫

The dead level is not life. Give me the stimulus of the up‑grade. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912

I will pick a stony path
      One that's hard to travel,
      I will choose a bitter road
      One that's sharp with gravel.
Thus I'll find how I am built
      My true measurement:
      Easy roads are mockery
      With their soft content.
I will find my spirit out—
      Pin it to a pole:
      If I do no other thing—
      I will know my soul.
~George Elliston, "Discovery," Through Many Windows, 1924

A strong will can accomplish anything... There is no such thing as inspiration, and very little of genius. Dig, blooming under opportunity, results in what appears to be the former, and certainly makes possible the development of what original modicum of the latter one may possess. Dig is a wonderful thing, and will move more mountains than faith ever dreamed of. In fact, Dig should be the legitimate father of all self-faith. ~Jack London, 1899

Though the barriers of life seem formidable, we find when we challenge them that they have no will. ~Robert Brault,

Who waits on Fortune's Knock will rarely win;
Who calls on Fortune, some day finds her in.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Persistence," A Poet's Proverbs: Being Mirthful, Sober, and Fanciful Epigrams on the Universe, with Certain Old Irish Proverbs, All in Rhymed Couplets, 1924

One saves oneself much pain, by taking pains; much trouble, by taking trouble. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

A pint of effort is worth a gallon of excuses. ~William Arthur Ward, Thoughts of a Christian Optimist, 1968

Hard work is the yeast that raises the dough. ~Author unknown

The world expects results. Don't tell others about labor pains. Show them the baby. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)

Those at the top of the mountain didn't fall there. ~Author unknown

May we understand that that which is worth having costs time, costs labor, and sometimes blood. ~Charles F. Raymond, "A Desire," Just Be Glad, 1907

We all have a path to take; sometimes it's hidden under the weeds, so you might have to work a little. ~Mike Dolan, @HawaiianLife, tweet, 2009

An industrious dunce is often more successful in life than his learned neighbor. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

Lend a Hand to drag the Sled uphill;
Earn your Right to know the Coaster's Thrill.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Sportsmanship," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Nothing puts me on better terms with myself than getting to understand some difficult point, and yet I so seldom set myself to master difficult things. I ought to try it more often. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance"  [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908). —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Put in 5% more effort than "there's only so much I can do" and you'll be way ahead of the game. ~Terri Guillemets

As we learn to do things well we love to do them, and after doing a few things that are quite hard to do we become very fond of doing hard things. I hope these little children will always love to do hard things. ~Sara E. Wiltse, Kindergarten Stories and Morning Talks, 1890

Abundance comes not at your Beck.
The Fowls must Scratch before they Peck.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Thrift," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

Enthusiasm sets the Embers glowing,
But only Work can keep the Fire going.
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Persistence," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

If you feel you are down on your luck, check the level of your effort. ~Robert Brault,

No matter what it is, if you aren't happy striving for it, you won't be happy achieving it. ~Robert Brault,

Resist the urge to do more. Do less better... Over commitment is one of the greatest ways to dilute our effectiveness. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, The College Blue Book, 1995,

Now, my dear boy, let us see how you and I can... do hard things without looking for praise, only for usefulness. ~G. A. C., "Knights, Enchanters, and Giants," in The Quiver, 1870

We work for praise, and dawdle once we have it. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

A machine is doing its best work when it makes the least noise. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

If you've climbed the jutting trees to your lofty goal,
you've far outdone the unscathed ladder climbers.
~Terri Guillemets

People know you for what you've done, not for what you plan to do. ~Author unknown

Most people, upon reaching the top, look down and enjoy the view. The smart money is on looking up and finding new mountains to climb. ~Jeb Dickerson, @JebDickerson, tweet, 2009

The best angle from which to approach any problem is the try-angle. ~Author unknown, c.1920s

We gain no easier advantage than by relentlessly pursuing our goal while others pursue an advantage. ~Robert Brault,

Let us remember then that we were made to do hard things, not easy, for if we do nothing but what is easy we will not go forward; then, as there is no standing still in the universe, we will degenerate, so that by doing something a little harder each time we prepare ourselves against something really hard. ~The Agricultural Journal (British Columbia), 1921

You're either changing your life or you're not. No waiting for this or that or better weather or other hurdles. Hurdles are the change. ~Terri Guillemets

My morning choices are having a good tussle. Procrastination was winning, but Make Your Bed & Good Breakfast just kicked his butt. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, @wildthyme, tweet, 2009,

Plough deep, while Sluggards sleep... ~Benjamin Franklin, 1756

Let the dragon in your soul be the keeper of your dreams — and breathe fire on all those who dare to tread, including your own demons and laziness. ~Terri Guillemets

The wings of a phoenix will take you only so far, it is up to you to jump from his back and land on your own two feet. ~Jessica McKenzie, @jmcknz14, May 2011 entry to The Quote Garden create your own quote contest on Twitter, @quotegarden

Man stands for long time with mouth open before roast duck flies in. ~Chinese proverb

The trick to playing second fiddle is to play it like second Stradivarius. ~Robert Brault,

The view is better when it is earned. ~Author unknown

Yes, to be a good parent, you have to sacrifice, but this is not a requirement of parenting, it is a requirement of being good at something. ~Robert Brault,

Do not waste a minute, not a second, in trying to demonstrate to others the merit of your own performance. If your work does not vindicate itself, you cannot vindicate it, but you can labor steadily on to something which needs no advocate but itself. ~Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "Letter to a Young Contributor," The Atlantic Monthly, April 1862

Success is a ladder you cannot climb with your hands in your pockets. ~American proverb

Sometimes in life you have an appointment with destiny, and sometimes you just have to get destiny to squeeze you in. ~Robert Brault,

Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. ~Chinese proverb

Seek, or others will find. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1904, George Horace Lorimer, editor

We lack resolve and blame fate, mistaking the drift for the tides. ~Robert Brault,

He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him. ~Proverb

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Last saved 2023 Feb 22 Wed 20:28 PST