Samuel Smiles Quotes

Who is Samuel Smiles?

Samuel Smiles was a Scottish Liberalist author of the classic book Self-Help in 1859 which has been called the bible of mid-Victorian liberalism.

Born December 23, 1812
Died April 16, 1904

Books by Samuel Smiles

Best 19 Quotes by Samuel Smiles

“A place for everything and everything in its place.”

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

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

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

“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.”

“The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honor. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.”

“The experience gathered from books, though often valuable, is but the nature of learning whereas the experience gained from actual life is of the nature of wisdom.”

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“The most influential of all the virtues are those which are the most in request for daily use. They wear the best, and last the longest.”

“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.”

“Truthfulness is at the foundation of all personal excellence.”

“We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.”

Character Quotes

“A man may be accomplished in art, literature, and science, and yet, in honesty, virtue, truthfulness, and the spirit of duty, be entitled to take rank after many a poor and illiterate peasant.”


“Although genius always commands admiration, character most secures respect. The former is more the product of brain-power, the latter of heart-power; and in the long run it is the heart that rules in life. Men of genius stand to society in the relation of its intellect, as men of character of its conscience; and while the former are admired, the latter are followed.”


“Simple honesty of purpose in a man goes a long way in life, if founded on a just estimate of himself and a steady obedience to the rule he knows and feels to be right.”


Products by Samuel Smiles

“When the time arrives in any country when wealth has so corrupted, or pleasure so depraved, or faction so infatuated the people, that honour, order, obedience, virtue, and loyalty have seemingly become things of the past; then, amidst the darkness, when honest men — if, haply, there be such left — are groping about and feeling for each other's hands, their only remaining hope will be in the restoration and elevation of Individual Character.”


Duty Quotes

“There is far too much croaking among young men.”


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“It is not heroes that make history, but history that makes heroes.”

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Happy Homes and the Hearts That Make Them Quotes

“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”

Happy Homes and the Hearts That Make Them

Self-Help Quotes

“Many are the lives of men unwritten, which have nevertheless as powerfully influenced civilization and progress as the more fortunate Great whose names are recorded in biography. Even the humblest person, who sets before his fellows an example of industry, sobriety, and upright honesty of purpose in life, has a present as well as a future influence upon the well-being of his country; for his life and character pass unconsciously into the lives of others, and propagate good example for all time to come.”


“Riches and rank have no necessary connection with genuine gentlemanly qualities. The poor man with rich spirit is in all ways superior to the rich man with a poor spirit.”


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