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quotations about consistency

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.


Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead.


Consistency is the horror of the world.

BRENDA UELAND, If you Want to Write

Consistency is a virtue for trains.

STEPHEN VICINCZEY, Truth and Lies in Literature

Consistency, madam, is the first of Christian duties.


Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.

OSCAR WILDE, Aristotle at Afternoon Tea

I hope in these days we have heard the last of conformity and consistency. Let the words be gazetted and ridiculous henceforward.


Having, then, once introduced an element of inconsistency into his system, he was far too consistent not to be inconsistent consistently, and he lapsed ere long into an amiable indifferentism which to outward appearance differed but little from the indifferentism.

SAMUEL BUTLER, The Way of All Flesh

Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.


Nothing that is not a real crime makes a man appear so contemptible and little in the eyes of the world as inconsistency, especially when it regards religion or party. In either of these cases, though a man perhaps does but his duty in changing his side, he not only makes himself hated by those he left, but is seldom heartily esteemed by those he comes over to.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Sep. 5, 1711

The secret of success is consistency of purpose.

BENJAMIN DISRAELI, attributed, 1001 Motivational Quotes for Success

No intelligent person ever considers a change of opinion to be inconstancy.

CICERO, Epigram ad Atticum

It is the want of consistency which has caused more secret uneasiness, and more relative discord, than almost any other failing concocted with a man's character.

W. S. MARTIN, attributed, Day's Collacon

What is the most rigorous law of our being? Growth. No smallest atom of our moral, mental, or physical structure can stand still a year. It grows--it must grow smaller or larger, better or worse--it cannot stand still. In other words, we change--and must change, constantly, and keep on changing as long as we live. What, then, is the true Gospel of consistency? Change. Who is the really consistent man? The man who changes. Since change is the law of his being, he cannot be consistent if he's stuck in a rut.

MARK TWAIN, "Consistency," The Complete Essays of Mark Twain

I suppose it's too bad people can't be a little more consistent. But if they were, maybe they would stop being people.

BUDD SCHULBERG, What Makes Sammy Run?

Of course I'm inconsistent! Only logicians and cretins are consistent!

TOM ROBBINS, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.

JOHN C. MAXWELL, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth

The man who spends one-half of the day in studying what is just, and the other half in practicing what is so, shows a knowledge of consistency.

J. A. JAMES, attributed, Day's Collacon

There are those who would misteach us that to stick in a rut is consistency, and a virtue, and that to climb out of the rut is inconsistency, and a vice.

MARK TWAIN, "Consistency," The Complete Essays of Mark Twain

Inconsistency is the only thing in which men are consistent.


Faithfulness is to the emotional life what consistency is to the life of the intellect--simply a confession of failure.

OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Irresolution on the schemes of life which offer themselves to our choice, and inconstancy in pursuing them, are the greatest and most universal causes of all our disquiet and unhappiness.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Spectator, Sep. 5, 1711

Consistency, thou art a jewel.


Consistency is a jewel, but too much jewelry is vulgar.

EVAN ESAR, 20,000 Quips & Quotes

Consistency is the enemy of enterprise, just as symmetry is the enemy of art.

BERNARD SHAW, attributed, Bernard Shaw: The Lure of Fantasy

The most consistent men are not more unlike to others, than they are at times to themselves.

CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon; or, Many Things in Few Words

In a doctrine so simple, consistency is no merit.

LORD ACTON, letter to Mary Gladstone, December 14, 1880

It's the jewel worth wearing;
It's the anchor worth weighing;
It's the thread worth weaving;
It's a battle worth winning.

CHARLES SWINDOLL, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life

Inconsistency is the bugbear of fools! I wouldn't give a damn for a fellow who couldn't change his mind with a change of conditions.

JOHN ARBUTHNOT FISHER, attributed, From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow


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