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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #30 --- Work

Updated on November 9, 2015

Quotations on Work

Work your brains and keep in touch with people. Do something for others and forget yourselves.

---George F. Butler, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill, Jan. 22, 1905.

Hard work today may make work easier tomorrow.

---T.G. Pasco, The Citizen, Berea, Ky., Sept. 20, 1899.

The man who doesn’t enjoy his work is under a terrific life sentence.

---Liston Dickson Elkins, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., May 7, 1937.

The road to plenty runs wet with perspiration.

---Liston Dickson Elkins, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Sept. 13, 1937.

Some fellows prefer to be boosted along rather than to rise by their own exertions.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., March 15, 1908.

The man who is afraid to work deserves to be scared to death.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., Nov. 30, 1909.

If some people spent as much time in hustling for what they can do without, they would be well supplied with the necessities of life.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., Dec. 16, 1909.

Some men would work if given a chance but there are others who refuse to take chances.

---Frank Hilton Greer, Oklahoma State Capital, Guthrie, Okla., Aug. 25, 1910.

Work alone gives value to rest.

---Elijah Powell Brown, Hennessey Clipper, Hennessey, Okla., May 14, 1903.

Unless you have a willingness to work it is a waste of time to hunt for a job.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 5, 1927.

The hardest work always pays some dividend in character.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 23, 1930.

By learning to work with intelligence we win the right to rest with assurance.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., March 9, 1931.

Work is the key that unlocks the door to the greatest treasures.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Dec. 15, 1931.

One principal reason why some men are so useless is because they have never learned to work under difficulty.

---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Nov. 24, 1936.

Willingness to work is only the beginning of the struggle; keeping at it is where most of us fail.

---E.W. “Ed” Howe, Youngstown Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio, Sept. 9, 1911.

One man willing to do things is worth a million willing to suggest things.

---E.W. “Ed” Howe, Youngstown Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio, Sept. 9, 1911.

The most tired people are those who don’t do any work.

---Carl J.G. Brown, Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kan., Nov. 29, 1919.

A certain man who never seems able to get to work on time always manages to reach a football game on time.

---Carl J.G. Brown, Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kan., Dec. 5, 1929.

To succeed, you must plan, work, sweat, struggle, suffer and be criticized. In other words, if you are to succeed you must not “kid” yourself.

---Carl J.G. Brown, Atchison Daily Globe, Atchison, Kan., Oct. 17, 1929.

In the affairs of life it is not learning, it is not intellect, that tells so much as character, not brains so much as heart. The best kind of character, however, like all other excellences, is developed by great labor and self-discipline. Then, if habit be the basis of character, how necessary that our habits be good. While correct habits depend largely on self-discipline and self-denial, bad habits spring up like pernicious weeds, unaided and untrained, to choke out the plants of virtue. If we would rise in the scale of development to that height which our life intended, we must be industrious; we must persevere in all that is good, honest, and upright; we must labor, without which there is no excellence. There is nothing which so unfits a man for successful effort as idleness. “I don’t believe,” said Lord Stanley, “that an unemployed man, however amiable and otherwise respectable, ever was or can be really happy.” Nature intended that man should be busy. The bicycle falls the moment it stops; industry keeps many a man from falling. Our nobility is justly our own, merited by our own efforts, our own industry, our own persistency, and our own development.

---Morton R. Martin, Holt County Sentinel, Oregon, Mo., May 28, 1897.

The true utopia is a place where everybody is busy. The opportunity to work is presumably what every honest man wants. The man out of work is a potential trouble-maker whose physical and moral wellbeing will continue to deteriorate as long as he is idle. The faculties become dimmed with disuse and the natural vitality oozes away until the man has lost the initiative to improve his circumstances. Poverty with all the evils in its train overtakes him and involves his family in the general ruin. The idler in the last stages of his decline will not infrequently take to debauchery and crime. This is often the history of the man out of work.

---Lucius W. Nieman, Milwaukee Journal, Milwaukee, Wis., Aug. 4, 1918.

The very best habit of life is the habit of building, because it calls for the exercise of industry–that quality of action demanding earnest, steady and continued attention to any useful or productive work or task–manual or mental–in which you may be engaged. Build ever, therefore, with diligence, investing your best effort and strongest exertion, with a deep love of your labor, and an abiding interest in its accomplishment; bend to the completion of your chosen life’s work with application, concentrating all your powers upon it with utmost intensity. Add patience by working on, in spite of the annoyances which you will encounter; and, by unswerving devotion of heart and principle, bring constancy to your purpose. Exercising these qualities, the trait of perseverance to triumph over hindrances and difficulties cannot be withheld from you.

—William Spry, Improvement Era, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 1912.

No man is poorer by disposing of his labor to advantage, but he is always better of than when idling away his time. That makes him poor and mischievous, but when his mind is active in benefitting himself and his fellow creatures he grows better all the time. True happiness consists in doing all the good we can, and the more good we do the better we feel.

—Brigham Young, Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 11, 1868.

Work usually comes easy to people who work hard.

---Carl A. Wilhelm, The Telegraph-Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, April 10, 1929.

Some people hope for the best and others work for it.

---Carl A. Wilhelm, The Telegraph-Herald, Dubuque, Iowa, Sept. 10, 1929.

Work for the future. Most of us have borrowed into it.

---Carey Williams, Beaumont Enterprise, Beaumont, Texas, Aug. 26, 1956.

Hard work never kills anybody, but many a man is not going to give it an opportunity.

---Carey Williams, Beaumont Enterprise, Beaumont, Texas, May 19, 1960.

Work is the power hammer that forges the dross iron of humanity into the finest steel. Work produces the countless drops of perspiration by means of which the sunshine of years allows the inner eye of man to look upon life's rainbow. Work is the pestle and mortar that gathers from a thousand scented hours of industry the one drop of precious perfume of happiness.

—William L. Hunter, Industrial Education Magazine, Peoria, Ill., March 1927.

Work is the greatest refuge for those driven by despair; it is a field of forgetfulness of those things we would not remember; it is the prime minister of reformation, working changes with its magic touch which never can be wrought by the harsh hands of pains and penalties. Work is the tryst-tree of ideality and action, where mind and matter meet in a fulness of joy. Work demands sincerity, it develops the duty-doing power, it furnishes the conditions for fortitude. Loyalty to labor bespeaks fidelity for friends.

—George H. Brimhall, Young Woman’s Journal, Salt Lake City, Utah, November 1921.

Work is the means by which we come into complete possession of ourselves.

—H.W. Knickerbocker, Houston Daily Post, Houston, Texas, June 2, 1930.

Inspiration plants seeds, but toil must grow them.

—W.A. MacKenzie, The Leesburg Morning Commercial, Leesburg, Fla., April 2, 1927.

Nobody ever died from overwork, but overshirk has killed quite a few.

—Bill Copeland, Sarasota Journal, Sarasota, Fla., May 18, 1965.

He who keeps his mind on his work goes ahead: he who keeps his work on his mind goes nuts.

—Lee R. Call, Star Valley Independent, Afton, Wyo., May 21, 1970.

There is a difference between joyous work and joyless toil.

—Elbert Hubbard, quoted in Deseret Evening News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 30, 1905.

The dignity of labor is the greatest of all dignities; the genius of work is the greatest of all geniuses.

—Charley Broadway Rouss, Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia, Pa., July 22, 1899.

When we try to live without effort we usually find life running out on us.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 9, 1933.

To work with a song in our heart is to cut our load in half.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Oct. 5, 1937.

There are no short cuts to where we ought to be. It takes downright hard work to get there. Inspiration is to a great extent only perspiration. If we are to achieve we must not be afraid of work. We must glory in the dignity of work.

—Ernest Lyon Waldorf, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Jan. 22, 1921.

"Almost" never accomplishes anything.

—Phil H. Armstrong, Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, Fla., May 24, 1925.

Work is the actualization of potential.

—Gregory Bailey, Reaper, Zurich, Switzerland, December 1969.

Work brings inner satisfaction of having produced something of quality.

—W. Dean Belnap, Salt Lake Tribune, Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug. 27, 1977.

Work is a blessing. It helps preserve the proper balance in life.

—N.D. Bigelow, Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee, Wis., Jan. 31, 1921.

Work is the creative exercise of the very best in us, and the fashioning principle of a better world.

—Gerald Bordelon, The Shreveport Times, Shreveport, La., Sept. 4, 1966.

It makes no difference how smart you are; the old cow won't back up to you, while you are sitting in the shade, to be milked.

—Cotton Simms, Panhandle Herald, Panhandle, Texas, Oct. 5, 1928.

Most of the evil in the lives of men comes into reality through one thing–idleness. Work is the only cure for the miseries that afflict the soul. The normal human being is so made that he cannot live at his best or even do well unless he has work to do. The more work, the more his time is occupied in some kind of production, the healthier he is, the happier he is and the better citizen he makes. Very few are hurt by overwork. Weariness is a normal condition after work. Sleep and rest and good food restore the mind and body. Men don’t break down from overwork. They fall and break because they are not at ease in their minds. They are not doing their best and they know it. They are broken down by conflicts. The conflict on the inside of people is the fight between what they know they ought to do and what they seek to escape doing, or it is between the appeal of idleness and the appeal of work. They are not clean in their minds and hence their bodies do not function as they should. ... To have nothing to do is to live in a condition of misery. ... By work I mean the mental activity directed toward the accomplishment of a desirable result.

—Grove H. Patterson, Toledo Blade, Toledo, Ohio, Aug. 21, 1943.

The self-centered people one meets are invariably the type known as idlers, or at least near-idlers, for it is a fact which admits of little argument that the person whose time and thoughts are fully occupied spends comparatively little time thinking of self.

Self-centered men and women you will generally find are those who are not compelled to work, and lacking employment of any kind or any worthwhile aim in life, aside from nursing their feelings and catering to their selfish personal whims and fancies, they are bored, restless, and sooner or later miserably discontented.

Work is a sort of life-giver, and we might add mind-saver, and the average busy man or woman deprived of active work and given nothing else to do is very apt to go to pieces. Let a woman who has lived an active, busy life give up her regular work and very soon she will be fretting over trifles which earlier would have failed to claim her attention, she will worry over herself, give an undue amount of thought to her personal comforts and end by thinking of herself to such an extent that she will become nervous, perhaps ill, and certainly old and broken. The great and shining virtue of work is the fact that it tends toward self-forgetfulness. We cannot expend a great amount of time thinking of ourselves if we are busily engaged in other and worthier pursuits. We haven't the time.

We shouldn't waste time pitying the men and women with work to do, but rather direct our sympathies toward the idlers and the near-idlers who are foolishly fretting away their existence and being tyrannized over by the largely exaggerated importance of SELF.

Work means self-forgetfulness, and self-forgetfulness means happiness, or at least a wholesome content that is a rather good substitute for happiness.

Work--systematic work--not overwork, is what each and every human being needs, and the persons we should pity are the ones so unfortunate as to have no real aim in life and no wholesome work or interests to occupy their time and energies, and so raise them above the petty, youth-killing, body and mind-racking thoughts of SELF, SELF, SELF.

—Harriot Russell, Houston Daily Post, Houston, Texas, June 9, 1915.

We recognize, in the general diffusion of true knowledge, and the universal practice of well-directed industry and economy, the elements of unbounded prosperity and independence; they form the bulwarks of our defense, and are the source of our freedom. ... Our labor is our wealth; by it we bring to ourselves the luxuries of life, ornament the earth with beautiful dwellings and gardens, build cities, and bring forth the rich fruits of the earth from her prolific bosom.

—Brigham Young, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Dec. 14, 1854.

There are two kinds of people in the world–the doers and the donefors.

Piatt County Republican, Monticello, Ill., March 16, 1916.

There are people who would rather create the appearance of activity than accomplish something.

River Press, Fort Benton, Mont., March 18, 1936.

The hard job looks a good deal more difficult while we sit and contemplate it than it does after we have rolled up our sleeves and gone to work.

Utah Farmer, Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 25, 1934.

Those who dodge work are apt to be dodged by the reward.

Wheeling Intelligencer, Wheeling, W.Va., Jan. 4, 1909.

Work is the fuel of life. The more work, the more life. Energy sinks to its lowest point when there is nothing to do.

Zion's Herald, Boston, Mass., Dec. 20, 1905.


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