The act of exerting, or putting into motion or action; the active exercise of any power or faculty; an effort, esp. a laborious or perceptible effort; as, an exertion of strength or power; an exertion of the limbs or of the mind; it is an exertion for him to move, to-day.
I have no faith in human perfectability. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active - not more happy - nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. Edgar Allan Poe
I have found that no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another. Henry David Thoreau
A multitude of causes unknown to former times are now acting with a combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and unfitting it for all voluntary exertion to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor. William Wordsworth
Firmness in enduring and exertion is a character I always wish to possess. I have always despised the whining yelp of complaint and cowardly resolve. Robert Burns
Knowledge is not a passion from without the mind, but an active exertion of the inward strength, vigor and power of the mind, displaying itself from within. Ralph Cudworth