1. All the effort in the world won’t matter if you’re not inspired.
2. Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.
3. Be of good cheer. Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.
4. People die all the time. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. So you should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets. Fairly, and if possible, sincerely. It’s too easy not to make the effort, then weep and wring your hands after the person dies.
5. What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
6. When you reach for the stars, you are reaching for the farthest thing out there. When you reach deep into yourself, it is the same thing, but in the opposite direction. If you reach in both directions, you will have spanned the universe.
7. Now we cannot…discover our failure to keep God’s law except by trying our very hardest (and then failing). Unless we really try, whatever we say there will always be at the back of our minds the idea that if we try harder next time we shall succeed in being completely good. Thus, in one sense, the road back to God is a road of moral effort, of trying harder and harder. But in another sense it is not trying that is ever going to bring us home. All this trying leads up to the vital moment at which you turn to God and say, “You must do this. I can’t.
8. Never give up.
It’s like breathing—once you quit, your flame dies letting total darkness extinguish every last gasp of hope. You can’t do that. You must continue taking in even the shallowest of breaths, continue putting forth even the smallest of efforts to sustain your dreams. Don’t ever, ever, ever give up.
9. Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.
10. If you’re not gonna go all the way, why go at all?
11. I know I have a pretty good sense for music, but she was better than me. I used to think it was such a waste! I thought, ‘If only she had started out with a good teacher and gotten the proper training, she’d be so much further along!’ But I was wrong about that. She was not the kind of child who could stand proper training. There just happen to be people like that. They’re blessed with this marvelous talent, but they can’t make the effort to systematize it. They end up squandering it in little bits and pieces. I’ve seen my share of people like that. At first you think they’re amazing. Like, they can sight-read some terrifically difficult piece and do a damn good job playing it all the way through. You see them do it, and you’re overwhelmed. you think, ‘I could never do that in a million years.’ But that’s as far as they go. They can’t take it any further. And why not? Because they won’t put in the effort. Because they haven’t had the discipline pounded into them. They’ve been spoiled. They have just enough talent so they’ve been able to play things well without any effort and they’ve had people telling them how great they are from the time they’re little, so hard work looks stupid to them. They’ll take some piece another kid has to work on for three weeks and polish it off in half the time, so the teacher figures they’ve put enough into it and lets them go to the next thing. And they do that in half the time and go on to the next piece. They never find out what it means to be hammered by the teacher; they lose out on a certain element required or character building. It’s a tragedy.
12. When we love someone our love becomes demonstrable or real only through our exertion – through the fact that for that someone (or for ourself) we take an extra step or walk an extra mile. Love is not effortless. To the contrary, love is effortful.
13. Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.
14. It is not given to us to know what difference we can make, and perhaps we can make no difference at all. But that is no reason not to make the attempt,” said Saliman quietly. “The Light shines more brightly in the darkness
15. Do the best you can in every task, no matter how unimportant it may seem at the time. No one learns more about a problem than the person at the bottom.
16. Nothing […] will ever be attempted, if all possible objections must be first overcome.
17. Sit still with me in the shade of these green trees, which have no weightier thought than the withering of their leaves when autumn arrives, or the stretching of their many stiff fingers into the cold sky of the passing winter. Sit still with me and meditate on how useless effort is, how alien the will, and on how our very meditation is no more useful than effort, and no more our own than the will. Meditate too on how a life that wants nothing can have no weight in the flux of things, but a life the wants everything can likewise have no weight in the flux of things, since it cannot obtain everything, and to obtain less than everything is not worthy of souls that seek the truth.
18. The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.
19. I carve things of wood because things made by effort are more real than things made by wishing.
20. Trying and getting hurt can’t possibly be worse for you than being… stuck.
21. The object of a New Year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears, and new eyes.
22. A sign of power in a man is not only when people follow what he suggests, but also when people make a conscious effort to do the exact opposite of what he suggests.
23. Constant effort and frequent mistakes are the stepping stones to genius.
24. The labours of men of genius, however erroneously directed, scarcely ever fail in ultimately turning to the solid advantage of mankind.
25. And no one ever told me about the laziness of grief. Except at my job–where the machine seems to run on much as usual–I loathe the slightest effort. Not only writing but even reading a letter is too much.
26. Without balance, a life is no longer worth the effort.
27. We are not to expect to be translated from despotism to liberty in a featherbed.
28. People pretend not to like grapes when the vines are too high for them to reach.
29. There are only two kinds of men in this world: Honest men and dishonest men. …Any man who says the world owes him a living is dishonest. The same God that made you and me made this earth. And He planned it so that it would yield every single thing that the people on it need. But He was careful to plan it so that it would only yield up its wealth in exchange for the labor of man. Any man who tries to share in that wealth without contributing the work of his brain or his hands is dishonest.
30. To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness.
31. When I have tried and failed, I shall have failed.
32. Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everybody I’ve ever known.
33. The master of the garden is the one who waters it, trims the branches, plants the seeds, and pulls the weeds. If you merely stroll through the garden, you are but an acolyte.
34. If you’re going to do something, strive to do it better than anyone else. Do it all the way. If you’re going to half-ass it, why bother?
35. I don’t know where this pressure came from. I can’t blame my parents because it has always felt internal. Like any other parent, my mother celebrated the A grades and the less-than-A grades she felt there was no need to tell anybody about. But not acknowledging the effort that ended in a less than perfect result impacted me as a child. If I didn’t win, then we wouldn’t tell anyone that I had even competed to save us the embarrassment of acknowledging that someone else was better. Keeping the secret made me think that losing was something to be ashamed of, and that unless I was sure I was going to be the champion there was no point in trying. And there was certainly no point to just having fun.
36. It’s no use saying, “We are doing our best.” You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.
37. We forget that every good that is worth possessing must be paid for in strokes of daily effort. We postpone and postpone until those smiling possibilities are dead… By neglecting the necessary concrete labor, by sparing ourselves the little daily tax, we are positively digging the graves of our higher possibilities.
38. If I had caused the cloud, it was my duty to make an effort to dispel it.
39. Men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed.
40. Walls don’t fall without effort.
41. Only super-efforts count.
42. Healey’s First Law Of Holes: When in one, stop digging.
43. No matter our talent, we all know in the midnight of our souls that 90 percent of what we do is less than our best.
44. One bulb at a time. There was no other way to do it. No shortcuts–simply loving the slow process of planting. Loving the work as it unfolded. Loving an achievement that grew slowly and bloomed for only three weeks each year.
45. Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
46. Heroes and scholars represent the opposite extremes… The scholar struggles for the benefit of all humanity, sometimes to reduce physical effort, sometimes to reduce pain, and sometimes to postpone death, or at least render it more bearable. In contrast, the patriot sacrifices a rather substantial part of humanity for the sake of his own prestige. His statue is always erected on a pedestal of ruins and corpses… In contrast, all humanity crowns a scholar, love forms the pedestal of his statues, and his triumphs defy the desecration of time and the judgment of history.
47. If there is one lesson I’ve learned from failure and success, it’s this. I am not the outcome. I am never the result. I am only the effort.
48. He is beginning to master wisdom when he tries to learn how not to try.
49. I’m bred for farm work, and for such folk, the only A’s you get come from effort. Strife and strain are all the world can offer, and they temper you into something unbreakable because Lord knows they’ll try — without let up — to break you.
50. I found out it is just as hard to make a movie that you are not proud of as it is to make one you love.
51. There is never a traffic jam created from people going the extra mile
52. There is no state of being called “trying”.
53. Do not let your good ideas to spend your brain energy, do it with all the effort because the shadow of the success can become a reality only with hard work.
54. You know, I know I should be just as panicky as you about the filthy work – one wants to do nothing in the evenings, certainly not spread rotten books around & dredge for a ‘line’. It must be like still being a student, with an essay to do after a week’s drinking, only you haven’t had the drinking. Quite clearly, to me, you aren’t a voluntary worker, from the will: you do it by intuitive flashes, more like an act of creation, & when the flashes don’t come, as of course they don’t, especially when the excess energy of undergraduate days is gone, then it is a hideous unnatural effort.
55. It’s not about perfect. It’s about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that’s where transformation happens. That’s how change occurs.
56. The easiest way to gain someone’s trust is to deserve it. This should be pretty easy, assuming you’re just being you and being real. Minimal effort too.
57. The number of those who undergo the fatigue of judging for themselves is very small indeed.
58. No human face is exactly the same in its lines on each side, no leaf perfect in its lobes, no branch in its symmetry. All admit irregularity as they imply change; and to banish imperfection is to destroy expression, to check exertion, to paralyze vitality. All things are literally better, lovelier, and more beloved for the imperfections which have been divinely appointed, that the law of human life may be Effort, and the law of human judgment, Mercy.
59. Only in death will we have our own names since only in death are we no longer part of the effort. In death we become heroes.
60. There were those who loved liberty, who cried out to live their own lives, to strive, to rise above, to achieve, and those bent on the mindless equality of stagnation brought about through the enforcement of an artificial, arbitrary, gray uniformity–those who wanted to transcend through their own effort, and those who wanted others to think for them and were willing to pay the ultimate price.