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advice quotes

Abigail Van Buren:

People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.

Adlai Stevenson:

We should be careful and discriminating in all the advice we give. We should be especially careful in giving advice that we would not think of following ourselves. Most of all, we ought to avoid giving counsel which we don't follow when it damages those who take us at our word.

Aeschylus:

It is easy when we are in prosperity to give advice to the afflicted.

African proverb:

It takes a village to raise a child.

Agatha Christie:
Good advice is always certain to be ignored, but that's no reason not to give it.
Albert Camus:

I shall tell you a great secret my friend. Do not wait for the last judgement, it takes place every day.

Albert Schweitzer:

Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly if they even roll a few more upon it.

Alfonso the Wise (attributed):

Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.
13th century


Anna Quindlen:

Recently a young mother asked for advice. What, she wanted to know, was she to do with a 7-year-old who was obstreperous, outspoken, and inconveniently willful? "Keep her," I replied.... The suffragettes refused to be polite in demanding what they wanted or grateful for getting what they deserved. Works for me.

Bessie Stanley (adapted; erroneously attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson):
Success

To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.


Bill Cosby:

A word to the wise ain't necessary, it's the stupid ones who need the advice.

Carolyn Wells:

Advice is one of those things it is far more blessed to give than to receive.

Charles A. Beard:

All the lessons of history in four sentences:
Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power.
The mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small.
The bee fertilizes the flower it robs.
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.

Erica Jong:

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.

Francis Bacon, sr.:

He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.

G. K. Chesterton:

I owe my success to having listened respectfully to the very best advice, and then going away and doing the exact opposite.

Georg C. Lichtenberg:

One's first step in wisdom is to question everything - and one's last is to come to terms with everything.

George Burns:

Too bad that all the people who really know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair.

Gloria Steinem:

I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.

Gracián:

Good things, when short, are twice as good.

Harry S Truman:

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

Heinrich Heine:

He only profits from praise who values criticism.

Henri Nouwen:


When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

Horace:

Whatever advice you give, be brief.

James Callaghan:

A leader must have the courage to act against an expert's advice.

Karl Barth:


Grace must find expression in life, otherwise it is not grace.

Lillian Hellman:

If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.

Louisa May Alcott:
When women are the advisers, the lords of creation don't take the advice till they have persuaded themselves that it is just what they intended to do; then they act upon it, and if it succeeds, they give the weaker vessel half the credit of it; if it fails, they generously give her the whole.
in Little Women

Marcus Aurelius:

If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.

Margaret Fuller:
Beware of over-great pleasure in being popular or even beloved.
Mark Twain:

Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest.
message to Young People's Society, Greenpoint Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, New York, February 16, 1901


Nelson Algren:

Never play cards with any man named "Doc."
Never eat at any place called "Mom's."
And never, never, no matter what else you do in your whole life, never sleep with anyone whose troubles are worse than your own.

Oscar Wilde:

The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself.

Pamela Glenconner:

Bitter are the tears of a child: Sweeten them.
Deep are the thoughts of a child: Quiet them.
Sharp is the grief of a child: Take it from him.
Soft is the heart of a child: Do not harden it.

Pete Seeger:

"Do-so" is more important than "say-so."

Rabindranath Tagore
:

He who is too busy doing good finds no time to be good.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Go put your creed into the deed,
Nor speak with double tongue.


Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (probably erroneously):
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
Ramona L. Anderson:

People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.

Robert Frost:

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.

Samuel Smiles:

It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done.

Thomas Fuller:

If better were within, better would come out.
Thomas Jefferson:

A Decalogue of Canons for observation in practical life:
1. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.
3. Never spend your money before you have it.
4. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.
5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.
6. We never repent of having eaten too little.
7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.
8. How much pain have cost us the evils which never have happened.
9. Take things always by their smooth handle.
10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.
(letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, 1825)

Thomas Jefferson:

Take care that you never spell a word wrong. Always before you write a word, consider how it is spelled, and, if you do not remember, turn to a dictionary. It produces great praise to a lady to spell well.
to his daughter Martha


W. Somerset Maugham:


Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.

Woody Guthrie:

Take it easy -- but take it.

action quotes

Albert Einstein:

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.

Alex Noble:

If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.

Alexander Pope:

Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.

Alfred Adler:

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

Alfred North Whitehead:

We cannot think first and act afterward. From the moment of birth we are immersed in action, and can only fitfully guide it by taking thought.

Anais Nin:

Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living.

Anatole France:

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.

Ann Radcliffe:

One act of beneficence, one act of real usefulness, is worth all the abstract sentiment in the world.

Annie Dillard:

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.

Aristotle:

Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by doing just acts, temperate by doing temperate acts, brave by doing brave acts.

Arnold Toynbee:

Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, with takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice.

Benjamin Disraeli:

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.

Benjamin Franklin:

There are no gains without pains.

Benjamin Jowett:

We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.

Bishop Desmond Tutu:

We must not allow ourselves to become like the system we oppose.

Cesar Chavez:

The first principal of nonviolent action is that of noncooperation with everything humiliating.

Charlotte Whitton:

Big words seldom accompany good deeds.

Colleen C. Barrett:

When it comes to getting things done, we need fewer architects and more bricklayers.

Cyrus Curtis:

There are two kinds of people who never amount to much: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who can do nothing else.

Danilo Dolci:

It's important to know that words don't move mountains. Work, exacting work moves mountains.

Dhammapada:

Just as a flower, which seems beautiful has color but no perfume, so are the fruitless words of a man who speaks them but does them not.

Edmund Burke:

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

Edmund Burke:

All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.

Edmund Burke (attributed):

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Edward Ericson:

The cosmos is neither moral or immoral; only people are. He who would move the world must first move himself.

Edward Everett Hale:

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

Edwin Markham:

We have committed the Golden Rule to memory; let us now commit it to life.

Elbert Hubbard:

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

Eleanor Roosevelt:

You must do the things you think you cannot do.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

This entry continued ...
Ella Williams:

Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it.

Epictetus:

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.

Epictetus:

In a word, neither death, nor exile, nor pain, nor anything of this kind is the real cause of our doing or not doing any action, but our inward opinions and principles.

Ernest Hemingway:

Never mistake motion for action.

Franklin D. Roosevelt:

It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something.

Frederick Douglass:

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.

Frederick Douglass:

Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.

George Bernard Shaw:

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent in doing nothing.

George Eliot:

The most solid comfort one can fall back upon is the thought that the business of one's life is to help in some small way to reduce the sum of ignorance, degradation and misery on the face of this beautiful earth.

Georges Bernanos:

A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much,
and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing at all.

Goethe:

Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction.

Goethe:

Quite often, as life goes on, when we feel completely secure as we go on our way, we suddenly notice that we are trapped in error, that we have allowed ourselves to be taken in by individuals, by objects, have dreamt up an affinity with them which immediately vanishes before our waking eye; and yet we cannot tear ourselves away, held fast by some power that seems incomprehensible to us. Sometimes, however, we become fully aware and realize that error as well as truth can move and spur us on to action. Now because action is always a decisive factor, something really good can result from an active error, because the effect of all that has been done reaches out into infinity. So although creative action is certainly always best, destroying what has been done is also not without happy consequence.

Goethe:

Knowing is not enough; we must apply!

Harold Nicolson:

We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts.

Helen Keller:

I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.

Helen Keller:

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

The heights by great men reached and kept / Were not attained by sudden flight, / But they, while their companions slept, / Were toiling upward in the night.

Herman Melville:

We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.

Holocaust Museum, Washington, DC:

Thou shalt not be a victim. Thou shalt not be a perpetrator. Above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.

Hugh Prather:

To live for results would be to sentence myself to continuous frustration. My only sure reward is in my actions and not from them.

Jane Addams:

Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.

Jimmy Carter:

I have one life and one chance to make it count for something . . . I'm free to choose what that something is, and the something I've chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands -- this is not optional -- my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.

Joe Hill:

I will die like a true-blue rebel. Don't waste any time in mourning -- organize.

John Andrew Holmes:

Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both.

John Dewey:

Conflict is the gadfly of thought. It stirs us to observation and memory. It instigates to invention. It shocks us out of sheeplike passivity, and sets us at noting and contriving.

John Dewey:

Arriving at one point is the starting point to another.

John F. Kennedy:

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

John Locke:

I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.

John Wesley:

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.

Kahlil Gibran:

A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.

Kalidasa:

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;
But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

Kenneth Patton (adapted):

By the choices and acts of our lives, we create the person that we are and the faces that we wear. By the choices and acts of our lives we give to the world wherein our lives are lived, hoping that our neighbors will find our contributions to be of worth, and hoping that the world will be a little more gracious for our time in it.

Laurence J. Peter:

There are two kinds of failures: those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.

Leo Tolstoy:

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

Lin Yutang:

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.

Lloyd Jones:

Those who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try nothing and succeed. (adapted)

Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Thatcher:

If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman.

Marian Wright Edelman:

If you don't like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it You just do it one step at a time.

Marian Wright Edelman:

It's time for greatness -- not for greed. It's a time for idealism -- not ideology. It is a time not just for compassionate words, but compassionate action.

Marian Wright Edelman:

A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back -- but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you.

Marian Wright Edelman:

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.

Marian Wright Edelman:

You really can change the world if you care enough.

Mark Twain:

There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.

Mary Oliver:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Michael Hanson:

To will is to select a goal, determine a course of action that will bring one to that goal, and then hold to that action till the goal is reached. The key is action.

Mohammed:

Our true wealth is the good we do in this world. None of us has faith unless we desire for our neighbors what we desire for ourselves.

Mohandas Gandhi:

The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems.

Moliere:

It is not only for what we do that we are held responsible, but also for what we do not do.

Noam Chomsky:

The most effective way to restrict democracy is to transfer decision-making from the public arena to unaccountable institutions: kings and princes, priestly castes, military juntas, party dictatorships, or modern corporations.

Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Greatness is not in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. We must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it -- but sail we must and not drift, nor lie at anchor.

Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Consciously or unconsciously we all strive to make the kind of a world we like.

Paul Ricoeur:

The moral law commands us to make the highest possible good in a world the final object of all our conduct.

Paulo Freire:

Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.

Pearl S. Buck:

When good people in any country cease their vigilance and struggle, then evil men prevail.

Pearl S. Buck:

The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible -- and achieve it, generation after generation.

Pearl S. Buck:

You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings.

Pete Seeger:

"Do-so" is more important than "say-so."

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Do not believe that possibly you can escape the reward of your action.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Skill to do comes of doing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

The ancestor of every action is a thought.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

The thing done avails, and not what is said about it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Do not say things. What you are stands over you the while, and thunders, so that I cannot hear what you say to the contrary.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

It is the duty of men to judge men only by their actions. Our faculties furnish us with no means of arriving at the motive, the character, the secret self. We call the tree good from its fruits, and the man, from his works. (sermon, October 15, 1826)

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory.

Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (probably erroneously):
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
Reinhold Niebuhr:

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite a virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.

Rita Mae Brown:

Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.

Robert Collyer:

A man's best friends are his ten fingers.

Robert F. Kennedy:

Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.

Robert Frost:

The world is filled with willing people; some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.

Robert L. Stevenson:

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labour.

Rudyard Kipling:

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing: -- "Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade.

Talmud (attributed):

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
From a speech given in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1910


Thomas Alva Edison:

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.

Thomas Carlyle:

Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance.

Thomas H. Huxley:

The great end of life is not knowledge but action.

Thomas Jefferson:

I'm a great believer in luck and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

Thomas Jefferson:

It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.

Tom Robbins:

The bottom line is that (a) people are never perfect, but love can be, (b) that is the one and only way that the mediocre and vile can be transformed, and (c) doing that makes it that. We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.
Still Life With Woodpecker


Ursula K. LeGuin:

Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.

Vaclav Havel:

Genuine politics -- even politics worthy of the name -- the only politics I am willing to devote myself to -- is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole.

Victor Frankl:

We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by doing a deed; (2) by experiencing a value; and (3) by suffering.

Victor Hugo:

Our acts make or mar us, -- we are the children of our own deeds.

W. Clement Stone:

When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.

Walter Linn:

It is surprising what a man can do when he has to, and how little most men will do when they don't have to.

William James:

He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had tried and failed.

Woody Guthrie:

Take it easy -- but take it.

Yoda:

Do, or do not. There is no try.

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