work - work 2

If people knew how hard I have to
work to gain my mastery, it would
not seem wonderful at all.



What you need to do is think of work as "vocation."  This word may seem stilted in its tone, but it has a wisdom within it.  It comes from the Latin word for calling, which comes from the word for voice.  In those meanings it touches on what work really should be.  It should be something that calls to you as something you want to do, and it should be something that gives voice to who you are and what you want to say to the world.

Kent Nerburn

Work is effort applied toward some end.  The most satisfying work involves directing our efforts toward achieving ends that we ourselves endorse as worthy expressions of our talent and character.

William J. Bennett
A man who visited a Quaker sanitarium in 1774 was shocked to see that the patients who were mentally ill were busy spinning flax.  He thought these poor unfortunates were being exploited--until the Quakers explained that they found that their patients actually improved when they did a little work.  It was soothing to the nerves.

Dale Carnegie

God gave us work, not to burden us, but to bless us, and useful work, willingly, cheerfully, effectively done, has always been the finest expression of the human spirit.

Walter R. Courtenay
Hard work has made it easy.  That is my secret.  That is why I win.

Nadia Comaneci

The things, good Lord, that we pray for, give us the grace to labor for.

Thomas More

Blessed are they who have found their work.
Let them ask no other blessedness.

Thomas Carlyle

All work is empty save where there is love.

Khalil Gibran


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Manual labor to my father was not only good and decent for its own sake but,
as he was given to saying, "it straightened out one's thoughts"--a contention which
I have since proved on many occasions:  indeed, the best antidote I know to a
confused head or to tangled emotions is to work with one's hands.  To scrub a floor
has alleviated many a broken heart, and to wash and iron one's clothes has 
brought order and clarity to many a perplexed and anxious mind.

Mary Ellen Chase


St. Francis of Assisi was hoeing his garden when someone asked
what he would do if he were suddenly to learn that he would
die before sunset that very day.  "I would finish hoeing my garden,"
he replied.

Louis Fischer


Even at the venerable age of eighty, Master Hyakujo worked alongside his students
on the monastery grounds.  He gardened, pruned trees, and cleaned up just as the
younger monks did.  They dared not ask him to stop, so the students, not wishing
to see their old master work so hard, hid his tools.
   That day the master did not eat.  He did not eat the next day, nor the one after.  The
students thought, "Perhaps the master is angry at missing his tools, and so the
students returned them to their proper place.
   That day the master worked and ate his food as always.  In the evening, he gave a
simple teaching:  "No work, no food."

Traditional Zen Buddhist story

God give me work
Till my life shall end
And life
Till my work is done.

Epitaph on an old English tombstone

Work--although we sometimes curse it--is a blessing.  Work, the
work that is a real expression of the spirit, focuses our energy and
allows us to be whole.  Maybe our real work isn't our job; maybe
we feel whole when we're carpentering or cooking or writing, and
we think of these as "hobbies" or "just stuff I do."  If we could bring
to our jobs the concentration and pride with which we turn a chair
leg or roll up sticky buns, we would exalt our working days.  The
jobs we do, the work for which we're paid, are deeply important to
most of us.  When we find work we can love, and do it as well
as we're able, we've earned a victory in life.

Karen Casey
The Promise of a New Day



The only thing that separates successful people from the
ones who aren't is the willingness to work very, very hard.

Helen Gurley Brown

There are four stenographers in my office and each of us is assigned to take letters from several men.  Once in a while we get jammed up in these assignments.  One day, when an assistant department head insisted that I do a long letter over, I started to rebel.  I tried to point out to him that the letter could be corrected without being retyped--and he retorted that if I didn't do it over, he would find someone else who would!  I was absolutely fuming!  But as I started to retype this letter, it suddenly occurred to me that there were a lot of other people who would jump at the chance to do the work I was doing.  Also, that I was being paid a salary to do just that work.  I began to feel better.  I suddenly made up my mind to do my work as if I actually enjoyed it--even though I despised it.  Then I made this important discovery:  If I do my work as if I really enjoy it, then I do enjoy it to some extent.  I also found I can work faster when I enjoy my work.  So there is seldom any need now for me to work overtime.  This new attitude of mine gained me the reputation of being a good worker.  And when one of the department superintendents needed a private secretary, he asked for me for the job--because, he said, I was willing to do the extra work without being sulky!  This matter of the power of a changed mental attitude has been a tremendously important discovery to me.  It has worked wonders!

Vallie G. Golden

work - work 2

There is a perennial nobleness, and even sacredness, in work.  Were a person
ever so benighted, or forgetful of his or her high calling, there is always hope
in the person who actually and earnestly works, in idleness alone is there
perpetual despair.  Consider how, even in the meanest sort of labor, the whole
soul of a person is composed into real harmony.  One bends oneself with free
valor against the task; and doubt, desire, sorrow, remorse, indignation, despair
itself, shrink murmuring, far off into their caves.  The glow of labor in a person
is a purifying fire, wherein all poison is burnt up; and of smoke itself
there is made a bright and blessed flame.

Thomas Carlyle

I do not like work--no person does--but I like what is in work--the
chance to find yourself.  Your own reality--for yourself, not for
others--what no other person can ever know.

Joseph Conrad


The secret of joy in work is contained in one word--excellence.
To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.

Pearl S. Buck



As a physician, I have had the happiness of seeing work cure many persons
who have suffered from trembling palsy of the soul which results from
overmastering doubts, hesitations, vacillation and fear. . . . Courage given us
by our work is like the self-reliance which Emerson has made forever glorious.

Richard C. Cabot


But is work something we have the right to escape?  And can we escape it
with impunity?  We are probably the first entire people ever to think so.  All
the ancient wisdom that has come down to us counsels otherwise.  It tells us
that work is necessary to us, as much a part of our condition as mortality; that
good work is our salvation and our joy; that shoddy or dishonest or self-serving
work is our curse and our doom.  We have tried to escape the sweat and sorrow
promised us in Genesis--only to find that, in order to do so,
we must forswear love and excellence, health and joy.

Wendell Barry


Work is life.  Not having something to do with one's life,
something important or unique to your talents or
however you put it, is a bigger killer than cancer.

Ray Mungo


If your dream is a big dream, and if you want your life to work
on the high level that you say you do, there's no way around
doing the work it takes to get you there.

Joyce Chapman


We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!


Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary,
and he gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure
would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done
that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and
thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.

Elisabeth Elliot
Discipline: The Glad Surrender


Do not depend on the hope of results. You may have to face
the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even
achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what
you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and
more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the
rightness, the truth of the work itself. You gradually struggle
less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people.
In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship
that saves everything.

Thomas Merton


Work has to include our deepest values and passions and
feelings and commitments, or it's not work.  It's just a job.

Matthew Fox


There is a big difference between service and working for the sake of
getting something.  When you serve, you are not tied to the outcome.
You are not invested in what people do as a result of what you do, or
what people think about what you are doing.  You give what you have
because it makes you feel good.  You give what you have because you
know that the unique way in which you do what you do will make someone
else feel good.  In situations when your service is not rewarded by
monetary or public recognition, you are not depleted or defeated.
You are encouraged to take your service to a higher level.
You are inspired to pour more love into your work.

Iyanla Vanzant


You cannot do good work if you take your mind off the work
to see how the community is taking it.

Dorothy L. Sayers


Perhaps the majority of active people have lost their freshness and
buoyancy of spirit in their work, have lost their mental elasticity,
and they work in a mechanical, perfunctory way.  They regard
their work as more or less of a misfortune or a drudgery from
which they would like to get away, and from which they expect
to be released when they get a little farther along, a little higher up.
Most people are looking and hoping for release from work, and
yet all history and all experience prove that busy people, people
who are constantly occupied, are the happiest.  In fact, idleness
is a great human curse.  It is an absolute foe of happiness.

Orison Swett Marden
The Joys of Living


In a culture that sometimes equates work with suffering, it is
revolutionary to suggest that the best inward sign of vocation
is deep gladness--revolutionary but true.  If a work is mine to
do, it will make me glad over the long haul, despite the difficult
days.  Even the difficult days will ultimately gladden me, because
they pose the kinds of problems that can help me grow
in a work if it is truly mine.

Parker J. Palmer
The Courage to Teach

Another time, a truck driver pulled his truck to the side of the road
and said, "I heard you say over television something about that
endless energy and I just wanted to tell you I had it one time.
I was marooned in a town by a flood. I got so bored that I finally
offered to help and I got interested in getting people out. I worked
without eating, I worked without sleeping, and I wasn't tired...But I
don't have it anymore." I said, "Well, what are you working for now?"
"Money," he said. I said, "That should be quite incidental. You have
the endless energy only when you are working for the good of the
whole--you have to stop working for your little selfish interests."
That's the secret of it. In this world you are given as you give!

Peace Pilgrim


If you love the work you do, you are going to put all of yourself
into it, giving freely of energy and of your talents.  When you give
of yourself, when you work for the joy of achievement, when you
share your bounty with others, the gift of appreciation, tangible
or intangible, becomes a part of your daily life.  Tangible
appreciation could be a monetary return or a gift from someone
for work accomplished.  Intangible appreciation could be
gratitude from others for what you have done and a good
reputation.  On the other hand, if you're working for the pay
check, willing to do only what you believe you're getting paid
to do and no more, chances are you'll grow to despise your job.

John Marks Templeton
Worldwide Laws of Life

work - work 2

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Everybody has heard the phrase "Work hard, play hard."  But I tell my
teams "Work hard, play hard.  Don't get the two confused and move
quickly from one to the other."  The difference is subtle, but I
believe it's crucial for success.
  I think the biggest mistake people make is they waste time and happiness
by mixing work and play.  Impatience causes all of us to want want to find
an immediate conclusion instead of inching our way towards perfection.
This often leads us to wish we were playing when we're working, and on
the flipside, worrying about work when we're playing.  In this way, we fail
to get the most out of or enjoy either of them.

Bill Resler
The Heart of the Team

Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs.  Every
time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger.  If you do the little
jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.

Dale Carnegie


Work silently. . . . Work is worship.  When there is joy in the work itself,
why do you want the fruit of it?  Make work itself worship.  That is possible
only when you surrender to God and allow him to work through you.
It means absence of ego-sense.

Papa Ramdas

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it.
Autograph your work with excellence.


My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people:
those who do the work and those who take the credit.  He told me
to try to be in the first group.  There is much less competition.

Indira Gandhi


No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into
existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted
to the sower to see the harvest.  All work that is worth
anything is done in faith.

Albert Schweitzer



Alone in his car heading west, it's easy for Jason
to feel sorry for himself and mad at the world.  But
then he gives a ride to Hector and learns that life
isn't nearly as negative as we sometimes see it,
and that the prejudice and discrimination that
he's experiencing aren't unique to him--and aren't
impossible to overcome.  The friendship between
this young man and his 70-year-old passenger is
an inspiring story of love and dealing with
obstacles in our lives.    
Book - Kindle



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