Johann Wolfgang von GoetheJohann Wolfgang von Goethe, (1749-1832) German writer, statesman

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Quote

“How can you come to know yourself? Never by thinking; always by doing. Try to do your duty, and you'll know right away what you amount to.”

Johann Wolfgang von GoetheJohann Wolfgang von Goethe
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ratings and Comments

Me Again
  • Reply
Me Again    6/3/08

One Million Stars for this quote of great significance to the development of Self.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

I have heard a riddle like this, "you do what you are , you are what you do". What we do changes us. That is the beauty of education, as a child (person) moves from grade to grade this riddle unfolds in them.

Mike, Norwalk

Thinking is way over rated? A free and liberated thinker doesn't have to live as a slave, participating in compelled compliance, license, governmental larceny, victimless crimes, torture for information, etc. to know such is wrong. If you do the same thing while expecting a different result is an example of not thinking. Ultimate knowledge can only be achieved by doing. (-; think first, then do, or you'll end up a democrat or republican ;-)

E Archer, NYC

I agree. Actions speak louder than words. We may think we are free and noble, but often our actions say otherwise. It is not enough to declare our rights, we must exercise them, or we indeed do not have them.

  • Reply
RobertSRQ    6/3/08

Yes, JUST DO IT! this was my quote for today: Attitude is far more than how you react to others or situations – it’s a way. A positive attitude is something very deep within you that keeps you clear of obstacles like negative thoughts, anger, pride, prejudice, and indifference. Attitude is like the sun that rises in the morning, the smell of nature, the dust in your nostrils, and the unfathomable ability to do the same thing day in day out. But, most of all, it’s the great joy it returns to you – for attitude is the gate to happiness and spiritual feedom. The greatest attribute afforded good attitude is the Thoughtfulness and kindness you have towards all creatures, for without them attitude is just a word written in the sand.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Beautiful stuff Robert. A further word on this chicken and egg riddle "do or be what you are or you are what you do" was summed up by Frank Sinatra when he intoned, "dobedobedo".

Ken, Allyn, WA

Your intentions mean nothing to me. How you treat me means everything. How many government programs have started out with lofty, seemingly moral intent to have unintended consequences destroy peoples' lives? Probably all of them.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Sometimes Ken it may be better to do something with good intentions than to do nothing at all. Take the immigration fence for example. Also ghetto graffiti has the good intention of being an art form. Some prefer a different type art but the graffiti artist in his own mind is well intentioned.

Robin, Chesterton

Great Buddhist thinking; the Lotus Sutra.


Get a Quote-a-Day!

Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box daily.