Quotes with action
Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
A Voice Crying in the Wilderness (Vox Clamantis in Deserto) (1990)
I've always really loved action films, but I don't see myself as a superhero girl, so my Lois Lane is a mere mortal full of imperfections.
We become just by performing just action, temperate by performing temperate actions, brave by performing brave action.
For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.
Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and insensibly approximate to the characters we most admire. In this way, a generous habit of thought and of action carries with it an incalculable influence.
Intuitions and Summaries of Thought (1862)
There is a maxim, 'Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.' It is a maxim for sluggards. A better reading of it is, 'Never do today what you can as well do tomorrow,' because something may occur to make you regret your premature action.
The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point. It is not this discovery that is interesting, but the consequences and rules of action drawn from it.
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
There is no fate that plans men's lives. Whatever comes to us, good or bad, is usually the result of our own action or lack of action.
The mind moves by instincts, associations and premonitions and not by fixed dates or completed processes. Action and reaction will occur simultaneously: or the cause actually be found after the effect. Errors will be resisted before they have been properly promulgated: notions will be first defined long after they are dead.
The Victorian Age in Literature (1913)
As soon as questions of will or decision or reason or choice of action arise, human science is at a loss.
If we desire to do what will please God, and what will help men, we presently find ourselves taken out of our narrow habits of thought and action; we find new elements of our nature called into activity; we are no longer running along a narrow track of selfish habit.
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
The superior man acts before he speaks, and afterwards speaks according to his action.
When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.
As in political so in literary action a man wins friends for himself mostly by the passion of his prejudices and by the consistent narrowness of his outlook. But I have never been able to love what was not lovable or hate what was not hateful, out of deference for some general principle.
Some Reminiscences (1912)
Vacillating people seldom succeed. They seldom win the solid respect of their fellows. Successful men and women are very careful in reaching decisions and very persistent and determined in action thereafter.
Envy, jealousy, ambition, any kind of greed are passions; love is an action, the practice of human power, which can be practiced only in freedom and never as a result of compulsion.
The Art of Loving (1956)
Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.
Mistakenly attributed to Thomas Jefferson.
We still by no means think decisively enough about the essence of action.
When a state has claims upon another, it may not always be best to enforce them by arms. The public interest must be consulted before action.
Art of War. Originally published in 1862.
So act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.
Convictions are the mainsprings of action, the driving powers of life. What a man lives are his convictions.
Don't go into great detail describing places and things. Unless you're Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language or write landscapes in the style of Jim Harrison. But even if you're good at it, you don't want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.
From Leonard's 10 Rules of Writing, as appeared in The New York Times (July 16, 2001)
During my years in Congress and for the four decades since, I've been labeled a bleeding-heart liberal. It was not meant as a compliment, but I gladly accept it. My heart does sometimes bleed for those who are hurting in my own country and abroad. A bleeding-heart liberal, by definition, is someone who shows enormous sympathy towards others, especially the least fortunate. Well, we ought to be stirred, even to tears, by society's ills. And sympathy is the first step toward action. Empathy is born out of the old biblical injunction Love the neighbor as thyself. There's a hopelessly far left lost liberal cause for you.
Were those who issued the approval to use Agent Orange criminals? Were they committing a crime against humanity? Let's look at the law. Now what kind of law do we have that says these chemicals are acceptable for use in war and these chemicals are not. We don't have clear definitions of that kind. I never in the world would have authorized an illegal action. I'm not really sure I authorized Agent Orange. I don't remember it, but it certainly occurred, the use of it occurred while I was Secretary.
The Fog of War
Once asked what action he would recommend if a person were to feel a nervous breakdown coming on: “Lock up your house, go across the railroad tracks, and find someone in need and do something for him.
Any genuine philosophy leads to action and from action back again to wonder, to the enduring fact of mystery.
Tropic of Cancer (1934)
I would not leave anything to a man of action as he would be tempted to give up work; on the other hand, I would like to help dreamers as they find it difficult to get on in life.
A remorseful change of mind renders even a noble action base, whereas the determination which is grounded on knowledge and reason cannot change even if its actions fail.
However resplendent an action may be, it should not be accounted great unless it is the result of a great design.
Criticism is necessary and useful; it is often indispensable; but it can never take the place of action, or be even a poor substitute for it. The function of the mere critic is of very subordinate usefulness. It is the doer of deeds who actually counts in the battle for life, and not the man who looks on and says how the fight ought to be fought, without himself sharing the stress and the danger.
When wages are based on commission, piece rate, or a bonus or premium system, the stimulus to action is constantly presented. Every stroke of the hammer, every sale made, every figure added increases the wage. The wage thus continuously beckons the work to greater accomplishment.
Increasing Human Efficiency in Business - A contribution to the psychology of business (1911)
Out of anger comes controversy, out of controversy comes conversation, out of conversation comes action.
Love is more than three words mumbled before bedtime. Love is sustained by action, a pattern of devotion in the things we do for each other every day.
When a person comes to die, no matter what their talents and influence and genius, if they die unloved their life must be a failure to them and dying is a cold horror. It seems to me that if you or I choose between two courses of thought or action we should remember our dying and try so to live that our death brings no pleasure to the world.
To have integrity the individual cannot merely be a weathervane turning briskly with every doctrinal wind that blows. He must possess key loyalties and key convictions which can serve as a basis of judgment and a standard of action.
Happiness is in action, and every power is intended for action; human happiness, therefore, can only be complete as all the powers have their full and legitimate play.
The philosophy of happiness, lectures on the crisis of being, and the progress of being (1869)
Without dreams, there can be no courage. And without courage, there can be no action.
Who wants to be consistent? The dullard and the doctrinaire, the tedious people who carry out their principles to the bitter end of action, to the reductio ad absurdum of practice. Not I.
The Decay of Lying (1889)
I rejected the way in which morality was discussed - as though it was an abstract thing. It was so boring and pointless! The book also showed me as I wrote it that I hated utilitarianism [the English moral philosophy that regards the right action as the one that has the best consequences for human well-being]. I used to have very pious utilitarian views. But I came to see that consequentialist reasoning could just lead you on and on in the wrong direction.
Talking about his first book. Interview with Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian (November 29, 2002)