Quotes on Effort
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568. Academia; Effort
"That eminence of learning is not to be gained without labour, at least equal to that which any other kind of greatness can require, will be allowed by those who wish to elevate the character of a scholar; since they cannot but know that every human acquisition is valuable in proportion to the difficulty of its attainment."
Johnson: Rambler #21 (May 29, 1750)

639. Effort
"He that embarks in the voyage of life, will always wish to advance rather by the impulse of the wind than the strokes of the oar; and many founder in the passage, while they lie waiting for the gale that is to waft them to their wish."
Johnson: Idler #2 (April 22, 1758)

674. Ambition; Effort; Wealth
"It is true ... that many have neglected opportunities of raising themselves to honour and to wealth, and rejected the kindest offers of fortune; but, however their moderation may be boasted by themselves, or admired by such as only view them at a distance, it will be, perhaps, seldom found that they value riches less, but they dread labour or danger more than others; they are unable to rouse themselves to action, to strain in the race of competition, or to stand the shock of conquest; but though they, therefore, decline the toil of climbing, they nevertheless wish themselves aloft, and would willingly enjoy what they dare not seize."
Johnson: Rambler #58 (October 6, 1750)

739. Effort; Quality; Value
"Where there is no difficulty there is no praise."
Johnson: Dryden (Lives of the Poets)

793. Effort; Time
"Not only in the slumber of sloth, but in the dissipation of ill directed industry, is the shortness of life generally forgotten. As some men lose their hours in laziness, because they suppose that there is time enough for the reparation of neglect; others busy themselves in providing that no length of life may want employment; and it often happens that sluggishness and activity are equally surprised by the last summons, and perish not more differently from each other, than the fowl that received the shot in her flight, from her that is killed upon the bush."
Johnson: Rambler #71 (November 20, 1750)

933. Effort; Idleness; Relativity
"No man can perform so little as not to have reason to congratulate himself on his merits, when he beholds the multitude that live in total idleness, and have never yet endeavoured to be useful."
Johnson: Rambler #83 (January 1, 1751)

938. Effort
"It is never without grief that I find a man capable of ratiocination or invention enlisting himself int he secondary class of learning; for when he has once discovered a method of gratifying his desire of eminence by expense rather than by labour, and known the sweets of a life blessed at once with the ease of idleness and the reputation of knowledge, he will not easily be brought to undergo again the toil of thinking, or leave his toys and trinkets for arguments and principles; arguments which require circumspection and vigilance, and principles which cannot be obtained but by the drudgery of meditation."
Johnson: Rambler #83 (January 1, 1751)

1,072. Action/Inaction; Effort; Fear; Novelty
"There is no snare more dangerous to busy and excursive minds than the cobwebs of petty inquisitiveness, which entangle them in trivial employments and minute studies, and detain them in a middle state, between the tediousness of total inactivity and the fatigue of laborious efforts, enchant them at once with ease and novelty, and vitiate them with the luxury of learning. The necessity of doing something and the fear of undertaking much sink the historian to a genealogist, the philosopher to a journalist of the weather, and the mathematician to a constructor of dials."
Johnson: Rambler #103 (March 12, 1751)

1,136. Effort; Hope
"All industry must be excited by hope."
Johnson: Rambler #117 (April 30, 1751)

1,205. Awe; Effort; Intimidation; Patience
"It is common for those who have never accustomed themselves to the labour of inquiry, nor invigorated their confidence by conquests over difficulty, to sleep in the gloomy quiescence of astonishment, without any effort to animate inquiry or dispel obscurity. What they cannot immediately conceive they consider as too high to be reached, or too extensive to be comprehended; they therefore content themselves with the gaze of folly, forbear to attempt what they have no hopes of performing; and resign the pleasure of rational contemplation to more pertinacious study or more active faculties."
Johnson: Rambler #137 (July 9, 1751)

1,545. Effort
He that floats lazily down the stream, in pursuit of something borne along by the same current, will find himself indeed moved forward; but unless he lays his hand to the oar, and increases his speed by his own labour, must be always at the same distance from that which he is following.

Johnson: Adventurer #69 (July 3, 1753)

1,598. Life; Complacency; Effort
"To strive with difficulties, and to conquer them, is the highest human felicity; the next is, to strive, and deserve to conquer: but he whose life has passed without a contest, and who can boast neither success nor merit, can survey himself only as a useless filler of existence; ad if he is content with his own character, must owe his satisfaction to insensibility."
Johnson: Adventurer #111 (November 27, 1753)

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