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 (1778–1830) English Essayist
Absence of occupation is not rest; a mind quite vacant is a mind distressed.
—William Cowper (1731–1800) English Anglican Poet, Hymn writer
The great happiness of life, I find, after all, to consist in the regular discharge of some mechanical duty.
—Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805) German Poet, Dramatist
The busy have no time for tears.
—Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron) (1788–1824) English Romantic Poet
Beware of a misfit occupation… . Consider carefully your natural bent, whether for business or a profession.
—Marshall Field (1834–1906) American Entrepreneur, Businessperson, Philanthropist
We protract the career of time by employment, we lengthen the duration of our lives by wise thoughts and useful actions. Life to him who wishes not to have lived in vain is thought and action.
—Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann
No thoroughly occupied man was ever yet very miserable.
—Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802–38) English Poet, Novelist
Employment, which Galen calls “nature’s physician,” is so essential to human happiness that indolence is justly considered as the mother of misery.
—Richard Burton (1925–84) Welsh Actor
Writing books is certainly a most unpleasant occupation. It is lonesome, unsanitary, and maddening. Many authors go crazy.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) American Journalist, Literary Critic
I have lived to know that the great secret of human happiness is this: never suffer your energies to stagnate. The old adage of “too many irons in the fire,” conveys an abominable lie. You cannot have too many — poker, tongs, and all — keep them all going.
—Adam Clarke (1762–1832) British Methodist Scholar, Theologian, Clergyman
Literature is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent o people who have none.
—Jules Renard (1864–1910) French Novelist, Dramatist, Short Story Writer, Writer
I take it to be a principal rule of life, not to be too much addicted to any one thing.
—Terence (c.195–159 BCE) Roman Comic Dramatist
Occupation was one of the pleasures of paradise, and we cannot be happy without it.
—Anna Brownell Jameson