Quotations about   willpower

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KING : Am I the strongest or am I not?
BECKET: You are, today. But one must never drive one’s enemy to despair. It makes him strong. Gentleness is better politics. It saps virility. A good occupational force must never crush, it must corrupt.

Jean Anouilh (1910-1987) French dramatist
Becket, Act 2 (1959) [tr. Hill (1961)
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The lines remain intact in Edward Anhalt's 1964 screenplay.
Added on 17-Sep-20 | Last updated 17-Sep-20
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It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.

Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964) American general
Speech, Republican National Convention, Chicago (7 Jul 1952)
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Added on 23-Jul-20 | Last updated 23-Jul-20
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To array a man’s will against his sickness is the supreme art of medicine.

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American clergyman and orator
Norwood; or, Village Life in New England, Vol. 1, ch. 6 (1867)
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Added on 16-Mar-20 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
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Convinced that character is all and circumstances nothing, [the Puritan] sees in the poverty of those who fall by the way, not a misfortune to be pitied and relieved, but a moral failing to be condemned, and in riches, not an object of suspicion but the blessing which rewards the triumph of energy and will.

R. H. Tawney (1880-1962) English writer, economist, historian, social critic [Richard Henry Tawney]
Religion and the Rise of Capitalism, ch. 4 (1926)
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Added on 15-Dec-16 | Last updated 17-Apr-20
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How should I be able to govern others when I don’t know how to govern myself?

François Rabelais (1494-1553) French writer, humanist, doctor
Gargantua and Pantagruel, 1.52 (1532-1552) [tr. Cohen (1955)]
Added on 30-Nov-15 | Last updated 30-Nov-15
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It is easier to write ten volumes of philosophy than to put one principle into practice.

Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) Russian novelist and moral philosopher
Diary (17 Mar 1847)
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From his earliest diary entry, when he was 18. Variants:
  • "It is easier to produce ten volumes of philosophical writing than to put one principle into practice."
  • "It is easier to write ten volumes on theoretical principles than to put one principle into practice."
Added on 9-Jul-15 | Last updated 9-Jul-15
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The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 26:41
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Added on 22-Apr-14 | Last updated 22-Apr-14
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It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
(Attributed)
Added on 12-Nov-13 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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