People are much more honest with their actions than their words.
“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” — George Bernard Shaw
“Patience is not passive, on the contrary, it is concentrated strength.” ― Bruce Lee
Active in the moment but patient with the results.
“We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans — because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That’s why we paint, that’s why we dare to love someone- because we have the impulse to explain who we are. Not just how tall we are, or thin… but who we are internally… perhaps even spiritually. There’s something, which impels us to show our inner-souls. The more courageous we are, the more we succeed in explaining what we know.”
— Maya Angelou
“Culture is a perversion. It fetishizes objects, creates consumer mania, it preaches endless forms of false happiness, endless forms of false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to diminish themselves and dehumanize themselves by behaving like machines.” –Terence McKenna
“Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up. But the writing is a way of not allowing those things to destroy you.”
— John Edgar Wideman
Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.
As Paul Graham observed, “prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.” Those extrinsic motivators are fine and can feel life-affirming at the moment, but they ultimately don’t make it thrilling to get up in the morning and gratifying to go to sleep at night — and, in fact, they can often distract and detract from the things that do offer those deeper rewards.
Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.
To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.
Be as religious and disciplined about your sleep as you are about your work.
We tend to wear our ability to get by on little sleep as some sort of badge of honor that validates our work ethic. But what it really is is a profound failure of self-respect and of priorities. What could possibly be more important than your health and your sanity, from which all else springs?
When people tell you who they are, believe them.
However, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.
“Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.”
The myth of overnight success is just that — a myth — as well as a reminder that our present definition of success needs serious retuning.
The flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.
Question your maps and models of the universe, both inner and outer, and continually test them against the raw input of reality.
Our maps are still maps, approximating the landscape of truth from the territories of the knowable — incomplete representational models that always leave more to map, more to fathom, because the selfsame forces that made the universe also made the figuring instrument with which we try to comprehend it.
First-principles thinking is a competitive advantage because almost no one does it.
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us.”
— Daniel Burnham
“The older we get, the more we need our friends—and the harder it is to keep them.”
I think that the highest privilege one can have in life is the liberty of failing as much as needed without having to quit the game.
“He was the greatest conqueror the world ever knew because he was more open to learning than any other conqueror has ever been.”
→ The Legend of Genghis Khan
The only thing people hate more than the truth is the person who dare to speak it.
Go beyond what you like and dislike…
What appears to be luck is often preparation and patience.
Mastering your circumstances starts with being ready.
“(There is a) remarkable asymmetry between the ways our mind treats information that is currently available and information we do not have. An essential design feature of the associative machine is that it represents only activated ideas. Information that is not retrieved (even unconsciously) from memory might as well not exist. System 1 excels at constructing the best possible story that incorporates ideas currently activated, but it does not (cannot) allow for information it does not have.”
— Daniel Kahneman
I ended up realizing that if anyone makes me mad, they own me. So, I try to not get mad anymore — Mike Tyson
Anger is a way to give control of your brain over to others. The news has been doing it for years. They use anger to get your attention and drain your life.
Don’t get mad at randoms. Just be silent.
“Dogmatism and skepticism are both, in a sense, absolute philosophies; one is certain of knowing, the other of not knowing. What philosophy should dissipate is certainty, whether of knowledge or ignorance.”
— Bertrand Russell
A lot of people miss useful ideas hiding in plain sight because they search for accuracy.
If you dismiss an idea because it is not 100% correct, you miss many ideas that are perfectly useful.
The real test for an idea, theory, or advice is utility. The more useful, the better.
Stop looking for that next YouTube video and start applying whatever you already know.
Everyone has an emotional blind spot when they fight. Work out what yours is, and remember it.
Laugh shamelessly at your own jokes.
Your religion should be in your actions.