Who first coined the phrase "Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week" ?

I have heard it many times, in rap lyrics and throughout many facets of life, but do not know the origin of the phrase.

thanks, Jordan

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is a corruption of the motto used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ("Seabees") during World War II:

    "The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer."

    Other sources have it just a little different:

    "The difficult we do at once. The impossible takes a bit longer."

    The version you quoted seems to have lost some of the snap of the original.

  • 5 years ago

    Google Books

    The Yale Book of Quotations

    Edited by Fred R. Shapiro

    New Haven, CT: Yale University Press

    2006

    Pg. 327:

    Charles Alexandre de Calonne

    French statesman, 1734-1802

    “Madame, si c’est possible, c’est fait; impossible? cela sefera.”

    “Madam, if it be possible, it is done; if impossible, it shall be done.”

    Quoted in Jules Michelet, Histoire de la Revolution Francaise (1847)

    Pg. 545:

    Fridtjof Nansen

    Norwegian explorer, 1861-1930

    “Never stop because you are afraid—you are never so likely to be wrong. Never keep a line of retreat: it is a wretched invention. The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer.”

    Quoted in Listener, 14 Dec. 1939

    Pg. 664:

    George Santayana

    Spanish-born U.S. philosopher and critic, 1863-1952

    “The Difficult is that which can be done immediately; the Impossible that which takes a little longer.

    Quoted in Reader’s Digest, Nov. 1939

    Pg. 769:

    Anthony Trollope

    English novelist, 1815-1882

    “What was it the French minister said. If it is simply difficult it is done. If it is impossible, it shall be done.”

    Phineas Redux ch. 29 (1873)

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Who first coined the phrase "Difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week" ?

    I have heard it many times, in rap lyrics and throughout many facets of life, but do not know the origin of the phrase.

    thanks, Jordan

    Source(s): coined phrase quot difficult takes day impossible takes week quot: https://shortly.im/FNxQv
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  • 6 years ago

    It's the 'base version' of the General Technics motto in the JD Passos' book 'Stand on Zanzibar'. A hyper-future book.

    • Seán O6 years agoReport

      John Brunner not JD Passos and it was set in 2010

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