„Thoughts lead on to purposes; puposes go forth in actions; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny.“

Source: A Dictionary of Thoughts, 1891, pp. 114-115.

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
Tryon Edwards photo
Tryon Edwards57
American theologian 1809 - 1894

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„Watch your thoughts; They become words. Watch your words; They become actions. Watch your actions; They become habits. Watch your habits; They become character. Watch your character; It becomes your destiny.“

—  Laozi semi-legendary Chinese figure, attributed to the 6th century, regarded as the author of the Tao Te Ching and founder of… -604

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Samuel Smiles photo

„Sow a thought, and you reap an act;
Sow an act, and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit, and you reap a character;
Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.“

—  Samuel Smiles Scottish author 1812 - 1904

Saying published anonymously in The Dayspring, Vol. 10 (1881) by the Unitarian Sunday-School Society, and quoted in Life and Labor (1887) by Smiles; this is most often attributed to George Dana Boardman, at least as early as 1884, but also sometimes attributed to William Makepeace Thackeray as early as 1891, probably because in in Life and Labor Smiles adds a quote by Thackeray right after this one, to Charles Reade in 1903, and to William James as early as 1906, because it appears in his Principles of Psychology (1890).
Misattributed
Source: Happy Homes and the Hearts That Make Them

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Charles Reade photo

„Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.“

—  Charles Reade British writer 1814 - 1884

Possibly a misattribution, ascribed to Reade in Notes and Queries (9th Series) vol. 12, 17 October 1903. It appears (as an un-sourced quotation) in Life and Labor (1887) by Samuel Smiles and in the front of The Power of Womanhood by Ellice Hopkins (1899) htm http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13722/13722-h/13722-h..
Apparently a common saying in 19th century. It has been also attributed to an “old Chinese proverb”, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), William Makepeace Thackeray (1811–1863), George Dana Boardman (1828-1903), Frances Elizabeth Caroline Willard (1839-1898), James Allen (1864-1912), Marcus Fabius Quintilianus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quintilian http://www.worldofquotes.com/author/Quintilian-(Marcus-Fabius-Quintilian)/1/index.html and William James.
No original source has ever been isolated. Its structure strongly reflects that of a ""classical Chinese"" set of aphorisms; and it may have been deliberately constructed in that form, by a non-Chinese, to imply an oriental (and, perhaps, far wiser) origin.
Finally, almost all of those who cite the complete piece:
::We sow a thought and reap an act;
::We sow an act and reap a habit;
::We sow a habit and reap a character;
::We sow a character and reap a destiny.
state that, in their view, it was written to expand an embellish the notion that was expressed at Proverbs XXIII:7 (""For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he"").
Attributed

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„The law of the harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit, and you reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny.“

—  George Boardman the Younger American theologian 1828 - 1903

Reported in Phinneys' Calendar (1878), edited by Andrew Beers.

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„This habit of forming opinions, and acting upon them without evidence, is one of the most immoral habits of the mind. … As our opinions are the fathers of our actions, to be indifferent about the evidence of our opinions is to be indifferent about the consequences of our actions.“

—  James Mill Scottish historian, economist, political theorist and philosopher 1773 - 1836

The Westminster Review, vol. 6 (1826), p. 13
Context: This habit of forming opinions, and acting upon them without evidence, is one of the most immoral habits of the mind.... As our opinions are the fathers of our actions, to be indifferent about the evidence of our opinions is to be indifferent about the consequences of our actions. But the consequences of our actions are the good and evil of our fellow-creatures. The habit of the neglect of evidence, therefore, is the habit of disregarding the good and evil of our fellow-creatures.

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„Character is formed from the repeated choice of thoughts and action. Make the right choice - You shall have a firm and noble character.“

—  Chinmayananda Saraswati Indian spiritual teacher 1916 - 1993

Quotations from Gurudev’s teachings, Chinmya Mission Chicago

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„Character is simply habit long continued.“

—  Plutarch ancient Greek historian and philosopher 46 - 127

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„Action is Character.“

—  F. Scott Fitzgerald American novelist and screenwriter 1896 - 1940

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„Every habit and faculty is preserved and increased by correspondent actions,—as the habit of walking, by walking; of running, by running.“

—  Epictetus philosopher from Ancient Greece 50 - 138

How the Semblances of Things are to be combated, Chap. xviii.
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„Actions, looks, words, steps, form the alphabet by which you may spell characters.“

—  Johann Kaspar Lavater Swiss poet 1741 - 1801

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„For every generation, there is a destiny. For some, history decides. For this generation, the choice must be our own. […] Our destiny in the midst of change will rest on the unchanged character of our people, and on their faith.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson American politician, 36th president of the United States (in office from 1963 to 1969) 1908 - 1973

1960s, Inaugural address (1965)
Context: For every generation, there is a destiny. For some, history decides. For this generation, the choice must be our own. [... ] Our destiny in the midst of change will rest on the unchanged character of our people, and on their faith.

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