Vocation Quotes (10 quotes)
Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select—doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. (1930)
Happiness lies in the absorption in some vocation which satisfies the soul.
His [Henry Cavendish’s] Theory of the Universe seems to have been, that it consisted solely of a multitude of objects which could be weighed, numbered, and measured; and the vocation to which he considered himself called was, to weigh, number and measure as many of those objects as his allotted three-score years and ten would permit. This conviction biased all his doings, alike his great scientific enterprises, and the petty details of his daily life.
Immediately south of nitrogen is phosphorus, which was first isolated by the distillation and treatment of urine—an indication of the lengths to which chemists are prepared to go, or perhaps only a sign of the obsessive, scatological origins of their vocation.
Tell me of what plant-birthday a man takes notice, and I shall tell you a good deal about his vocation, his hobbies, his hay fever, and the general level of his ecological education.
The engineer who counts cost as nothing as compared to the result, who holds himself above the consideration of dollars and cents, has missed his vocation.
The participation in the general development of the mental powers without special reference to his future vocation must be recognized as the essential aim of mathematical instruction.
The reformer [of the body of law] who would seek to improve such a system in any material degree, mistakes his vocation. That task had better be left to time and experience. He will often find it impossible to know what to eradicate and what to spare, and in plucking up the tares, the wheat may sometimes be destroyed. “The pound of flesh” may be removed, indeed, but with it will come, gushing forth, the blood of life.
There is, however, no genius so gifted as not to need control and verification. ... [T]he brightest flashes in the world of thought are incomplete until they have been proved to have their counterparts in the world of fact. Thus the vocation of the true experimentalist may be defined as the continued exercise of spiritual insight, and its incessant correction and realisation. His experiments constitute a body, of which his purified intuitions are, as it were, the soul.
While medicine is to be your vocation, or calling, see to it that you have also an avocation—some intellectual pastime which may serve to keep you in touch with the world of art, of science, or of letters. Begin at once the cultivation of some interest other than the purely professional. … No matter what it is—but have an outside hobby.