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Theodore RooseveltThe only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.

—  Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1919, American President [1901-1909]

Brian WeirIn order to be walked on, you have to be lying down.

—  Brian Weir, American music composer

Francis BaconThere is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding and that which is lost by not trying.

—  Francis Bacon, 1561-1626, English philosopher

Edmund BurkeThe only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

—  Edmund Burke, 1729-1797, British statesman & philosopher

Lao-TzuWhen nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.

—  Lao-Tzu, 6th cent. BC, Chinese philosopher

Arthur SchopenhauerMen need some kind of external activity, because they are inactive within.

—  Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher

Lao-TzuDoing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.

—  Lao-Tzu, 6th cent. BC, Chinese philosopher

La RochefoucauldNobody deserves to be praised for goodness unless he is strong enough to be bad, for any other goodness is usually merely inertia or lack of will-power.

—  La Rochefoucauld, 1613-1680, French writer

Theodore RooseveltTo sit home, read one's favorite paper, and scoff at the misdeeds of the men who do things is easy, but it is markedly ineffective. It is what evil men count upon the good men's doing.

—  Theodore Roosevelt, 1858-1919, American President [1901-1909]

Albert EinsteinThe world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.

—  Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, German-Jewish physicist

Blaise PascalNothing is so intolerable to man as being fully at rest, without a passion, without business, without entertainment, without care.

—  Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662, French thinker

George Bernard ShawA perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

George Bernard ShawChess is a foolish expedient for making idle people believe they are doing something very clever, when they are only wasting their time.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

Winston ChurchillI never worry about action, but only about inaction.

—  Winston Churchill, 1874-1965, British Prime Minister, Nobel 1953

George Bernard ShawThe only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

Lao-TzuHe who acts, destroys; he who grasps, loses. Therefore the Sage does not act, and so does not destroy; he does not grasp, and so he does not lose.

—  Lao-Tzu, 6th cent. BC, Chinese philosopher

George Bernard ShawA life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

John KennedyThere are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.

—  John Kennedy, 1917-1963, American President [1961-1963]

John KennedyDante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality.

—  John Kennedy, 1917-1963, American President [1961-1963]

     (Dante didn’t say that)

Edmund BurkeNobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

—  Edmund Burke, 1729-1797, British statesman & philosopher

Samuel BeckettNothing happens. Nobody comes, nobody goes. It's awful.

—  Samuel Beckett, 1906-1989, Irish writer, Nobel 1969

Paul ValeryHaving precise ideas often leads to a man doing nothing.

—  Paul Valery, 1871-1945, French poet

Will DurantNothing is often a good thing to do and always a good thing to say.

—  Will Durant, 1885-1981, American historian & philosopher

Fyodor DostoyevskyThey won't let me ... I can't be ... good!

—  Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1821-1881, Russian writer

Elbert HubbardDo nothing, say nothing, and be nothing, and you'll never be criticized.

—  Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer

Harry TrumanImperfect action is better than perfect inaction.

—  Harry Truman, 1884-1972, American President [1945-1953]

Calvin CoolidgeIt is not industry, but idleness, that is degrading.

—  Calvin Coolidge, 1872-1933, American President [1923-1929]

Zig ZiglarYou don't drown by falling in water; you only drown if you stay there.

—  Zig Ziglar, 1926-2012, American self-help writer

Lou HoltzIf what you did yesterday seems big, you haven't done anything today.

—  Lou Holtz, 1937-, American football coach

Lou HoltzThe only people who aren't going to be criticized are those who do absolutely nothing

—  Lou Holtz, 1937-, American football coach

Henry FordVision without execution is just hallucination.

—  Henry Ford, 1863-1947, American industrialist, founder of FORD

Georg Christoph LichtenbergThe sure conviction that we could if we wanted to is the reason so many good minds are idle.

—  Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, 1742-1799, German author of maxims

Samuel JohnsonIf you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary be not idle.

—  Samuel Johnson, 1709-1784, English writer

Funny Quotes

Karl KrausI don't like to meddle in my private affairs.

—  Karl Kraus, 1874-1936, Austrian writer


Italian proverbSince the house is on fire, let’s keep ourselves warm.

—  Italian proverb

English proverbThe devil finds work for idle hands to do.

—  English proverb

German proverbHe who rests grows rusty.

Wer rastet, der rostet.

—  German proverb


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2017: Manolis Papathanassiou