Joke Origin: To Double Your Money You Should Simply Fold Your Bills and Put Them in Your Pocket

Kin Hubbard? Will Rogers? Elbert Hubbard? Abe Martin? Max Eastman? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: Proselytizers for get-rich-quick schemes are ubiquitous online. A popular joke describes a comically easy way to obtain illusory wealth. Here are two versions: (1) To get rich you should convert your money to bills. Next, you should fold the bills, …

Never Explain. Your Friends Don’t Require It, and Your Enemies Won’t Believe You, Anyway

Elbert Hubbard? Victor Grayson? P. G. Wodehouse? Benjamin Jowett? E. A. Isaacs? Apocryphal? Question for Quote Investigator: Explaining one’s beliefs and motivations is typically worthwhile, but sometimes it seems to be futile. Here are two versions of a germane remark: (1) Never explain. Your friends don’t require it, and your enemies won’t believe you, anyway. …

Quote Origin: Never Retract. Never Explain. Get It Done and Let Them Howl

Benjamin Jowett? Nellie McClung? Elbert Hubbard? Lionel Arthur Tollemache? James Kay-Shuttleworth? Ralph Lingen? George Otto Trevelyan? Wilbur F. Storey? Frederic William Farrar? Benjamin Disraeli? John Arbuthnot Fisher? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: Accomplishing a difficult task when facing strong opposition takes a forceful personality. Here are three pertinent guidelines for persevering: (1) Never retract. Never …

Genius Is Really Only the Power of Making Continuous Efforts

Elbert Hubbard? Robert Burns Wilson? Dale Carnegie? Kin Hubbard? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: A short motivational piece of about 130 words begins with the following sentence: “Genius is really only the power of making continuous efforts.” The piece has been attributed to aphorist Elbert Hubbard and poet Robert Burns Wilson. Would you please explore this …

There Is Really No Insurmountable Barrier, Save Your Own Inherent Weakness of Purpose

Elbert Hubbard? Kin Hubbard? Ralph Waldo Emerson? Robert Burns Wilson? Henry Austin? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: Success is often achieved via persistence. Here is a popular elaboration of this notion: There is no defeat except from within. There is really no insurmountable barrier, save your own inherent weakness of purpose. This remark has been attributed …

What Man Can Conceive, Man Can Achieve

Robert Owen? Elbert Hubbard? Orlando K. Fitzsimmons? Sidney Abram Weltmer? O. A. Hawkins? Anonymous? Dear Quote Investigator: An optimistic rhyming maxim highlights the enormous potential for positive accomplishments. Here are three versions: (1) What humanity can conceive, humanity can achieve. (2) What man can conceive, man can achieve (3) Man can achieve what man can …

Do Not Take Life Quite So Seriously—You Surely Will Never Get Out of It Alive

Elbert Hubbard? Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle? William J. Crawford? Walt Kelly? Pogo? Pierre Daninos? Alphonse Allais? Julien Green? Dear Quote Investigator: There is a trenchant family of fatalistic sayings concerning the solemnity of life. Here are four examples: Don’t take life too seriously; you’ll never get out of it alive. You mustn’t take life …

Find Out What You Like Doing Best and Get Someone To Pay You for Doing It

Katharine Whitehorn? Confucius? Elbert Hubbard? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: A generation of social media stars began by sharing their passions, e.g., playing video games, applying makeup, preparing meals, or animating short tales. Lucrative careers became possible with support from advertisers, patrons, and merchandise deals. Vocational advice from decades ago is especially pertinent today: Find something …

Two Necessities In Doing a Great and Important Work: A Definite Plan and Limited Time

Elbert Hubbard? H.C. Peters? Leonard Bernstein? Dear Quote Investigator: Dreaming about accomplishing a vaguely defined magnificent task at some unknown future date is unhelpful. True progress is made by formulating a plan and adopting a clear deadline. This notion has been attributed to U.S. publisher Elbert Hubbard and U.S. composer Leonard Bernstein. Would you please …

We Should Utilize Natural Forces and Thus Get All of Our Power. Sunshine Is a Form of Energy, and the Winds and the Tides Are Manifestations of Energy

Thomas Edison? Elbert Hubbard? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: The famous inventor Thomas Edison supposedly foresaw the potential of solar energy more than one hundred years ago. He wanted to replace the burning of fuels with the collection of natural energy from the sun, wind, and tides. Did Edison really express this viewpoint? Would you please …

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