Work Quotes

Positive views of work

  • “It is one of the strange ironies of this strange life [that] those who work the hardest, who subject themselves to the strictest discipline, who give up certain pleasurable things in order to achieve a goal, are the happiest people.” – Brutus Hamilton
  • “Let us realize that the privilege to work is a gift, that power to work is a blessing, that love of work is success.” – David O. McKay
  • “Work is the grand cure of all the maladies and miseries that ever beset mankind” – Thomas Carlyle
  • “The greatest analgesic, soporific, stimulant, tranquilizer, narcotic, and to some extent even antibiotic–in short, the closest thing to a genuine panacea — known to medical science is work.” – Thomas Szasz, M.D.
  • “The phrase ‘work – life balance’ tells us that people think that work is the opposite of life. We should be talking about life – life balance.” Patrick Dixon – Building a Better Business 2005 p182
  • “We work to better ourselves, and the rest of humanity” ~ Capt. Picard (Speaking of work in the 24th Century)
  • “We bwork”

    Negative views of work

  • “The morality of work is the morality of slaves, and the modern world has no need of slavery.” Bertrand Russell
  • “My young men shall never work. Men who work cannot dream, and wisdom comes to us in dreams.” Smoholla
  • “It has become an article of the creed of modern morality that all labour is good in itself; a convenient belief to those who live on the wealth of others” William Morris, Useful Work vs Useless Toil 1885
  • “If work were so pleasant, the rich would keep it for themselves.” Mark Twain
  • “Why is it easier to fire a person who does the work of ten than those ten whose work he does?” Leonid S. Sukhorukov
  • “Work is for people who can’t fish.” – unknown

    Alternative views on work

  • “If you behave as if the meaning of our life consisted in being able to work so many hours a day, you rake away from all sick people the right to live and the justification for their existence.” – Viktor Frankl, M.D., Ph.D.
  • “Work that is pure toil, done solely for the sake of the money it earns, is also sheer drudgery because it is stultifying rather than self improving.” – Mortimer Adler
  • “Hard work is damn near as overrated as monogamy.” – Huey P. Long
  • “Though thousands of people indulge themselves in it regularly, and even develop a taste for it, there is no doubt in my mind (and that of scientists whom I employ to prove it) that Work is a dangerous and destructive drug, and should be called by its right name, which is Fatigue.” – Robertson Davies, The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks
  • “I spent a busy day today, but got little done. This is because I am at last becoming perfect in the art of seeming busy, even when very little is going on in my head or under my hands. This is an art which every man learns, if he does not intend to work himself to death.” – Robertson Davies, The Table Talk of Samuel Marchbanks
  • “Don’t sacrifice your life to work and ideals. The most important things in life are human relations. I found that out too late.” – Katharine Susannah Prichard


  • “If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”
  • “Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.” – Bill Gates
  • “Sometimes you have to rent a room instead of work.” – Master Shake
  • “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison
  • “The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get into the office.” – Robert Frost
  • “There is no substitute for hard work.” – Thomas Edison
  • “Everything comes to he who hustles while he waits.” – Thomas 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 Edison
  • “Great ideas originate in the muscles.” – Thomas Edison
  • “The phrase “working mother” is redundant.” – Jane Sellman
  • “Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.” – Bette Davis
  • “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work… I want to achieve immortality through not dying.” – Woody Allen
  • “I have never known a man who died from overwork, but many who died from doubt.” – Charles Horace Mayo
  • “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “No other technique for the conduct of life attaches the individual so firmly to reality as laying emphasis on work; for his work at least gives him a secure place in a portion of reality, in the human community.” – Sigmund Freud
  • “If you don’t want to work you have to work to earn enough money so that you won’t have to work.” – Ogden Nash
  • “The biggest mistake we could ever make in our lives is to think we work for anybody but ourselves.” – Brian Tracy
  • “Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it. Autograph your work with excellence.” – Unknown
  • “When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: ‘Whose?'” – Don Marquis
  • “I won’t take my religion from any man who never works except with his mouth” – Carl Sandburg
  • “Experience is an asset of which no worker can be cheated, no matter how selfish or greedy his immediate employer may be.” – Napoleon Hill
  • “Vision is where tomorrow begins, for it expresses what you and others who share the vision will be working hard to create. Since most people don’t take the time to think systematically about the future, those who do, and who base their strategies and actions on their visions, have inordinate power to shape the future.” – Burt Nanus
  • “The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work.” – Richard Bach
  • “The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.” – Robert Frost
  • “To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.” – Bette Davis
  • “The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “Striving for success without hard work is like trying to harvest where you haven’t planted.” – David Bly
  • “All work done mindfully rounds us out, helps complete us as persons.” – Marsha Sinetar
  • “You must always work not just within but below your means If you can handle three elements, handle only two. If you can handle ten, then handle only five. In that way the ones you do handle, you handle with more ease, more mastery, and you create a feeling of strength in reserve.” – Pablo Picasso
  • “For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of our tasks; the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
  • “It is not work that kills men; it is worry. Worry is rust upon the blade.” – Henry Ward Beecher
  • “The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.” – Robert Frost
  • “My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.” – Indira Gandhi
  • “When I was young I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures, so I did ten times more work.” – Bernard Shaw
  • “Early to bed, early to rise Work like hell and advertise.” – Ted Turner
  • “Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.” – J.M. Barrie
  • “If A equals success, then the formula is: A = X + Y + Z, X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream?” – Homer Simpson
  • “Work makes one free” – Slogan above the gate at Auschwitz concentration camp
  • “I slip from workaholic to bum real easy.” – Matthew Broderick
  • “The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “You’ve achieved success in your field when you dont know whether what youre doing is work or play.” – Warren Beatty
  • “There’s a time when you have to separate yourself from what other people expect of you, and do what you love. Because if you find yourself 50 years old and you aren’t doing what you love, then what’s the point?” – Jim Carrey
  • “I don’t believe people die from hard work. They die from stress and worry and fear — the negative emotions. Those are the killers, not hard work. The fact is, in our society today, most people don’t understand what hard work is all about.” – A.L. Williams Businessman
  • “When God wanted sponges and oysters, He made them and put one on a rock and the other in the mud. When He made man, He did not make him to be a sponge or an oyster; He made him with feet and hands, and head and heart, and vital blood, and a place to use them, and He said to him, Go Work.” – Henry Ward Beecher
  • “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” – Elbert Hubbard
  • “Work – other people’s work – is an intolerable idea to a cat. Can you picture cats herding sheep or agreeing to pull a cart? They will not inconvenience themselves to the slightest degree.” – Dr. Louis J. Camuti
  • “Lose this day loitering, ‘Twill be the same story Tomorrow — and the next more dilatory. Then indecision brings its own delays, and days are lost lamenting overdays! Are you ernest? Seize this very minute! What you can do, or dream you can – begin it! Courage has genius, power and magic in it. Only engage, and the mind grows heated. Begin it, and the work will be completed.” – Goethe
  • “If a man does only what is required of him, he is a slave. If a man does more than is required of him, he is a free man.” – Chinese Proverb
  • “Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.” – Albert Einstein
  • “First secure an independent income, then practice virtue.” – Greek Proverb
  • “Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi
  • “It is amazing what can be accomplished when nobody cares about who gets the credit.” – Robert Yates
  • “The nice thing about teamwork is that you always have others on your side.” – Margaret Carty
  • “No problem is insurmountable. With a little courage, teamwork and determination a person can overcome anything.” – B. Dodge
  • “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” – Henry Ford
  • “People have been known to achieve more as a result of working with others than against them.” – Dr. Allan Fromme
  • “It’s not true that the more sex that you have, the more it interferes with your work. I find that the more sex you have, the better work you do.” – H. G. Wells
  • ‘I found it hard working really long hours when I was my own boss. The boss kept giving me the afternoon off.’ John O’Farrell – The Best a Man Can Get (1999)
  • “For every man who gets a dollar he didn’t sweat for, someone else sweated to produce a dollar he never received.” Bill Haywood
  • “If in doubt, work harder.” John de Koning
  • “Work and play they’re never okay to mix” Jimmy Eat World taken from their song “Work”
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