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ACTION
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[ Also see Ability Acting Activity Adventure Deeds Doing Effort Employment Excitement Exercise Exertion Idleness Inaction Inactivity Labor Life Man Quiet Recreation Rest Sleep Theories Thought Vivacity Work ]

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.
      - Friedrich Engels

The materials of action are variable, but the use we make of them should be constant.
      - Epictetus

Zeus hates busybodies and those who do too much.
      - Euripides, quoted by Emerson

Not alone to know, but to act according to thy knowledge, is thy destination,--proclaims the voice of my inmost soul. Not for indolent contemplation and study of thyself, nor for brooding over emotions of piety,--no, for action was existence given thee; thy actions, and thy actions alone, determine thy worth.
      - Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Our acts our angels are, or good or ill,
  Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.
      - John William Fletcher

Our acts, our angels are, or good or ill,
  Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.
      - John William Fletcher

Man is his own star, and the soul that can
  Render an honest and a perfect man,
    Commands all light, all influence, all fate,
      Nothing to him falls early or too late.
        Our acts, our angles are, or good or ill,
          Our fatal shadows that walk by us still.
      - John William Fletcher,
        Upon an Honest Man's Fortune (l. 33)

It is by acts and not by ideas that people live.
      - Jacques Anatole I. France (Jacques Anatole Thibault)

Our actions are our own; their consequences belong to Heaven.
      - Saint Francis of Assisi

If you think you can temper yourself into manliness by sitting there over your books, it is the very silliest fancy that ever tempted a young man to his ruin. You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself one.
      - James Anthony Froude

Action is the proper fruit of knowledge.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

A man of action, forced into a state of thought, is unhappy until he can get out of it.
      - John Galsworthy

A bold onset is half the battle.
      - Giuseppe Garibaldi

Nothing is more terrible than active ignorance.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nothing is more terrible than to see ignorance in action.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To act is easy; to think is hard.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To be active is the primary vocation of man.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Words are good, but there is something better. The best is not to be explained by words. The spirit in which we act is the chief matter. Action can only be understood and represented by the spirit. No one knows what he is doing while he is acting rightly, but of what is wrong we are always conscious.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

A fiery chariot, borne on buoyant pinions,
  Sweeps near me now! I soon shall ready be
    To pierce the ther's high, unknown dominions,
      To reach new spheres of pure activity!
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
         (bk. I, sc. 1)

Be content to act, and leave the talking to others.
      - Baltasar Gracian (used pseudonym Lorenzo Gracian)

Adventure is not outside a man; it is within.
      - David Grayson (pseudonym of Ray Stannard Baker)

Remember you have not a sinew whose law of strength is not action; you have not a faculty of body, mind, or soul whose law of improvement is not energy.
      - E.B. Hall

There is no word or action but may be taken with two hands,--either with the right hand of charitable construction, or the sinister interpretation of malice and suspicion; and all things do succeed as they are taken. To construe an evil, action well is but a pleasing and profitable deceit to myself; but to misconstrue a good thing is a treble wrong,--to myself, the action, and the author.
      - Joseph Hall

Indolence is a delightful but distressing state; we must be doing something to be happy. Action is no less necessary than thought to the instinctive tendencies of the human frame.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

The men of action are, after all, only the unconscious instruments of the men of thought.
      - Heinrich Heine


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