acting on the potential for improvement in your current situation

a.k.a. industry, productiveness

Complementary virtues

Contrasting vices

  • laziness
  • sloth

Virtues possibly in tension


How to acquire or strengthen it

Tip: do the most important thing first every day (jamesclear.com/productivity-tip)

Notes and links

Mentioned elsewhere

Inspirational quotes

  • “If a man does not ask himself, ‘What am I to make of this?’ ‘What am I to make of that?’ — there is nothing whatever I can make of him.” (Analects of Confucius, XV.XV)
  • “The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much…” (Ecclesiastes 5:12)
  • “[T]hose pleasures are most valuable, not which is most excellent in the fruition, but which are most productive of engagement and activity in the pursuit.” ―William Paley
  • “The most outstanding gifts can be destroyed by idleness” ―Montaigne
  • “Physical work… is a necessary condition of life… If a man does not work at necessary and good things, then he will work at unnecessary and stupid things.” —Tolstoy
  • “There is a perennial nobleness, and even sacredness, in work. Were he never so benighted, forgetful of his high calling, there is always hope in a man that actually and earnestly works: in idleness alone there is perpetual despair.” —Thomas Carlyle
  • “We cry to God Almighty, ‘how can we escape this agony?’ Fool, don’t you have hands? Or could it be God forgot to give you a pair? Sit and pray your nose doesn’t run! Or, rather, just wipe your nose and stop seeking a scapegoat.” —Epictetus, Discourses 2.16
  • “Whether you like to or not, acquire the habit of working hard, then you won’t have to work hard. Idleness does not make work easy, it ensures that work will be hard.” — Crates (Cynic virtues), letter to Hermaiscus