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Effort

  • ... no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost. Sometime, somewhere, somehow we shall find that which we seek.

  • ... a pint can't hold a quart; but if it holds a pint it is doing all that can be expected of it.

  • Reaching toward perfection in any one thing should lift us higher in all things; it should beget a habit of application and thoroughness.

  • To succeed in anything, one always works a little harder than one feels possible.

  • The highest ideal man can form of his own powers, is that which he is destined to attain. Whatever the soul knows how to seek, it cannot fail to obtain. This is the law and the prophets. Knock and it shall be opened, seek and ye shall find. It is demonstrated; it is a maxim.

  • We hope, plan, execute; will it be in vain? / Or will the future be the past again?

  • Whatever you undertake aim to make yourself perfect in it, for if it is worth doing at all, it is worth doing well.

    • Abigail Adams,
    • to John Quincy Adams (1780), in L.H. Butterfield, ed., Adams Family Correspondence ()
  • Everything that's worth having is some trouble.

  • The person who wants to make it has to sweat. There are no short cuts. And you've got to have the guts to be hated. That's the hardest part.

  • We do what we can. The results are none of our business.

  • No one can arrive from being talented alone. God gives talent, work transforms talent into genius.

    • Anna Pavlova,
    • in Arthur Henry Franks, ed., Pavlova: A Biography ()
  • As is the case in all branches of art, success depends in a very large measure upon individual initiative and exertion, and cannot be achieved except by dint of hard work.

    • Anna Pavlova,
    • "Pages of My Life," in Arthur Henry Franks, ed., Pavlova: A Biography ()
  • To strive tirelessly and at all times to reach one's goal — therein lies the secret of success.

    • Anna Pavlova,
    • in Arthur Henry Franks, ed., Pavlova: A Biography ()
  • If enough people think of a thing and work hard enough at it, I guess it's pretty nearly bound to happen, wind and weather permitting.

  • I try. I am trying. I was trying. I will try. I shall in the meantime try. I sometimes have tried. I shall still by that time be trying.

    • Diane Glancy,
    • "Portrait of the Lone Survivor," Lone Dog's Winter Count ()
  • It is in the nature of any effort to leave something serviceable behind it.

  • People are not the best because they work hard. They work hard because they are the best.

  • We know that if you plan too long / nothing happens and things get worse and that / most everything is found in the action / and instinctively we get that the scariest thing / isn't dying, but not trying at all.

  • A peacock that rests on his feathers is just another turkey.

  • With great effort comes great gratification.

  • How long do I try to get water from a stone? / It's like having a bad boyfriend in a good band.

  • To try to be better is to be better ...

  • To know that one has never really tried — that is the only death.

    • Marie Dressler,
    • in Marie Dressler with Mildred Harrington, My Own Story ()
  • She can't win if she's not at the table ...

  • Any thing worth doing at all is worth doing well.

  • It's a simple formula: do your best and somebody might like it.

  • I've always tried to go a step past wherever other people expected me to end up.

    • Beverly Sills,
    • in Mona Kerby, Beverly Sills: America's Own Opera Star ()
  • If you have a great ambition, take as big a step as possible in the direction of fulfilling it. The step may only be a tiny one, but trust that it may be the largest one possible for now.

  • ... the unwillingess to try / is worse than any failure.

  • We learn the magical lesson that making the most of what we have turns it into more.

  • You can't climb the ladder of life with your hands in your pockets.

  • ... a surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.

  • Even those who lose the battle are not cowards — if they have fought.

  • ... trying is usually an indication of being stuck. Trying to make something happen is not making it happen. Trying to observe the mind is not the same as observing it.

  • Do not feel entitled to anything you do not sweat or struggle for.

  • Failure is no shame — but not making the attempt is despicable.

  • I wish that we gave more gold stars for trying instead of for winning. Because what happens is that we learn over the years that sometimes it's easier not to try, than to risk failing.