Samuel Smiles Quotes

Who was Samuel Smiles?

Quotes by Samuel Smiles on The Cite Site Samuel Smiles was a Scottish Liberalist author in the New Thought Movement.

He wrote the classic book 'Self-Help' in 1859 which has been called the bible of mid-Victorian liberalism.

Smiles is also the great-great-grandfather of Bear Grylls, a well-known adventurer.

Born December 23, 1812
Died April 16, 1904
Aged 91 years old

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Best 112 Quotes by Samuel Smiles – Page 1 of 4

“Admiration of great men, living or dead, naturally evokes imitation of them in a greater or less degree.”

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

“Character is property. It is the noblest of possessions.”

“Enthusiasm... the sustaining power of all great action.”

“Good character is property. It is the noblest of all possessions.”

“He who labours not, cannot enjoy the reward of labour.”

“He who never made a mistake, never made a discovery.”

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“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. Hope sweetens the memory of experiences well loved.

It tempers our troubles to our growth and our strength. It befriends us in the dark hours, excites us in bright ones. It lends promise to the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement to determination.”

“Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles.”

“I'm as happy a man as any in the world, for the whole world seems to smile upon me!”

“Idleness of the mind is much worse than that of the body: wit, without employment, is a disease – the rust of the soul, a plague, a hell itself.”

“It is a grand old name, that of gentleman, and has been recognized as a rank and power in all stages of society. To possess this character is a dignity of itself, commanding the instinctive homage of every generous mind, and those who will not bow to titular rank will yet do homage to the gentleman.

His qualities depend not upon fashion or manners, but upon moral worth; not on personal possessions, but on personal qualities.”

“It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done.”

“It is idleness that is the curse of man – not labour. Idleness eats the heart out of men as of nations, and consumes them as rust does iron.”

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“It's not enough to have a dream, Unless you're willing to pursue it. It's not enough to know what's right, Unless you're strong enough to do it.

It's not enough to learn the truth, Unless you also learn to live it. It's not enough to reach for love, Unless you care enough to give it.

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.”

“Knowledge conquered by labor becomes a possession – a property entirely our own.”

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“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.”

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“Length of years is no proper test of length of life. A man's life is to be measured by what he does in it and what he feels in it.”

“Man cannot aspire if he looked down; if he rise, he must look up.”

“Marriage like government is a series of compromises. One must give and take, repair and restrain, endure and be patient.”

“Men cannot be raised in masses as the mountains were in he early geological states of the world. They must be dealt with as units; for it is only by the elevation of individuals that the elevation of the masses can be effectively secured.”

“Men must necessarily be the active agents of their own well-being and well-doing they themselves must in the very nature of things be their own best helpers.”

“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.”

“The best-regulated home is always that in which the discipline is the most perfect, and yet where it is the least felt. Moral discipline acts with the force of a law of nature.”

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

“The great and good do no die even in this world. Embalmed in books, their spirits walk abroad.

The book is a living voice. It is an intellect to which one still listens.”

“The wise man... if he would live at peace with others, he will bear and forbear.”

“There is a dignity in the very effort to save with a worthy purpose. It produces a well-regulated mind; it gives prudence a triumph over extravagance; it gives virtue the mastery over vice; it puts the passions under control; it drives away care; it secures comfort.

Saved money, however little, will serve to dry up many a tear — will ward off many sorrows and heartburnings, which otherwise might prey upon us.”

“Those who aren't making mistakes probably aren't making anything.”

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

“Work is one of the best educators of practical character.”

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“What is so impressive as silence, and what carries with it so much dignity? It is the very essence of self control and authority, and what is more pitiful than a man overcome of his anger? The noisy breakers beat against the shores in vain, they only carry with them destruction; but the mighty silent depth of the ocean carries a fleet on its bosom.”

More quotes by Walter C. Lanyon


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Samuel Smiles Sources