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Quotes of the day: Samuel Smiles

Published Monday, December 22, 2014 @ 7:12 PM EST
Dec 22 2014

Samuel Smiles (December 23, 1812 - April 16, 1904) was a Scottish author and government reformer. He is most known for writing Self- Help, which "elevated [Smiles] to celebrity status: almost overnight, he became a leading pundit and much-consulted guru." (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A place for everything, and everything in its place.

An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing.

Even happiness itself may become habitual. There is a habit of looking at the bright side of things, and also of looking at the dark side.

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.

Labor is still, and ever will be, the inevitable price set upon everything which is valuable.

Life will always be to a large extent what we ourselves make it.

Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever.

Men who are resolved to find a way for themselves will always find opportunities enough; and if they do not find them, they will make them.

Mere political reform will not cure the manifold evils which now afflict society. There requires a social reform, a domestic reform, an individual reform.

No laws, however stringent, can make the idle industrious, the thriftless provident, or the drunken sober.

Progress, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.

The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.

The duty of helping one's self in the highest sense involves the helping of one's neighbors.

The greatest slave is not he who is ruled by a despot, great though that evil be, but he who is in the thrall of his own moral ignorance, selfishness, and vice.

The reason why so little is done, is generally because so little is attempted.

The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once.

The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual.

We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.

Wisdom and understanding can only become the possession of individual men by travelling the old road of observation, attention, perseverance, and industry.

Categories: Quotes of the day, Samuel Smiles


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