A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“The four seasons are deer, turkey, rabbit and duck” (2/19)
“I saw an ad that said, ‘TV for sale-Volume Stuck on Full.’ I couldn’t turn that down” (2/19)
“The first few weeks of Weight Watchers you’re just finding your feet” (2/19)
“Puns about monorails always make for decent one-liners” (2/19)
“Having just punched a midget selling watches, I know I’ve hit an all time low” (2/19)
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Entry from June 04, 2015
“Don’t wish for it—work for it”

"Don’t wish for it—work for it” is a motivational saying that has been printed on many posters. “Don’t wish for it, work for it!” was in a 1921 classified advertisement in a Buffalo (NY) newspaper. “When you want something done don’t merely wish for it...work for it” was cited in print in 1944. “If you want to be successful don’t wish for it, work for it!” was cited in 1945.

The expression became a popular motivational gym saying by about 2008, with numerous hits on Twitter from early 2009.


Old Fulton NY Post Cards
18 February 1921, Buffalo (NY) Evening News, pg. 30, col. 3 classified ad:
DON’T WISH FOR IT,
WORK FOR IT!
(...)
W. R. DAY & CO., INC.

21 April 1944, Harper (TX) Herald, “Developing Our Souls” by Mary Frances Fletcher, pg. 3, col. 1:
When you want something done don’t merely wish for it...work for it.

Google Books
The Elevator Constructor,
Volume 42
1945
Pg. 12:
If you want to be successful don’t wish for it, work for it!

Google Groups: comp.dcom.modems.cable
John Navas’s site vs. Speedguide.net
krackerjak
1/9/00
(...)
Don’t wish for it....Work for it!

Google Groups: alt.lasik-eyes
my experience thus far
krackerjak
10/5/00
(...)
Don’t wish for it....Work for it!

Google Books
The Proverbs Principle
By Shari Grenier
Bloomington, IN: iUniverse
2008
Pg. 208:
Don’t wish for it. Work for it.

Baltimore (MD) Sun—Ring Posts blog by Kevin Eck
JUNE 14, 2008
Stacy Keibler exposes truth about nude scene
Stacy Keibler shot down a recent story on tmz.com that said she lobbied to do a nude scene in the upcoming film Mercy, but then turned down the role after director Patrick Hoelck acquiesced.
(...)
“My motto has always been: Don’t wish for it, work for it.”

Twitter
Tracy Garcia
‏@howtracygothot
If you want something, don’t wish for it, work for it. Life is too short to wait
7:46 AM - 7 Feb 2009

Twitter
Ian Brown
‏@ianbrownla
“Don’t wish for it...work for it!”
4:42 AM - 4 Mar 2009

Twitter
Core Fit
‏@CoreFit
“If you want something, don’t wish for it, work for it. Life is too short to wait.” - Stephen Hines
9:55 AM - 27 Mar 2009

Google Books
1001 Motivational Quotes for Success
By Thomas J. Vilord
Austin, TX: Live Oak Book Company
2011
Pg. ?:
Don’t wish for it ... work for it!

Daily Mail (UK)
The hard work is paying off! Reese Witherspoon reveals her toned legs in orange shorts after yet another workout
By JENNIFER PEARSON
PUBLISHED: 15:37 EST, 26 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:37 EST, 26 July 2013
(...)
Boost of confidence: Reese emerged from the gym smiling as she walked by a sign that said: ‘Don’t wish for it WORK for it!’

LiveLifeActive
101 Gym Quotes
June 4, 2014 by Erin Weiss
(...)
19. Don’t wish for it, work for it. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityExercise/Running/Health Clubs • Thursday, June 04, 2015 • Permalink