Quotes

These are quotes that I’ve collected since 2012.
Some don’t seem relevant now. Others have grown new meanings.
I keep them all. Because, eventually, everything old is new again.

Never believe that anti-Semites are completely unaware of the absurdity of their replies. They know that their remarks are frivolous, open to challenge. But they are amusing themselves, for it is their adversary who is obliged to use words responsibly, since he believes in words. The anti-Semites have the right to play. They even like to play with discourse for, by giving ridiculous reasons, they discredit the seriousness of their interlocutors. They delight in acting in bad faith, since they seek not to persuade by sound argument but to intimidate and disconcert. If you press them too closely, they will abruptly fall silent, loftily indicating by some phrase that the time for argument is past.

-Jean-Paul Sartre

[link]

All that truly matters in life is profoundness of experience and impact of activity.

-Sadhguru

[link]

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.

-Rumi

[link]

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them,

But seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

-Kahlil Gibran

[link]

You want to know the certainty of death in life. This is called belief, belonging, identification.

-Sadhguru

[link]

Children do not belong to you, and they do not come from you. They only come through you. It is a privilege that we must appreciate and enjoy, rather than thinking it is our right or trying to determine where they should go and what they should do. As long as they are working towards their wellbeing and they are not doing something negative against their own life, you must wait. For the entire time until the child becomes twenty-one, you must feel like you are still pregnant. Just wait. When the child was inside, you did nothing, right? Just nourished yourself well and waited. Just like that – provide the atmosphere and wait.

-Sadhguru

[link]

Discipline is doing something you hate, like you love it.

-Mike Tyson

[link]

Income without time has no value.

-Timothy Ferriss

[link]

You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.

-Abraham Maslow

[link]

The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.

-Bruce Lee

[link]

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.

-Emily Dickinson

[link]

A ship is always safe at the shore - but that is NOT what it is built for.

-Albert Einstein

[link]

If your plan is for 1 year, plant rice. If your plan is 10 years, plant trees. If your plan is for a 100 years, educate children.

-Confucius

[link]

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

-Buddha

[link]

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

-Jim Ryun

[link]

Step 1: Consider the habit you want to build, e.g. “I want to meditate 10 minutes every day”

Step 2: Make it the absolute smallest possible version of itself; so small that it requires zero motivation/willpower, e.g. “I want to close my eyes and take 3 deep breaths every day”

Step 3: Place this habit immediately following an existing habit, e.g. “After I brush my teeth in the morning, I will close my eyes and take 3 deep breaths”

Step 4: Do this activity, and after each time you do it, reward yourself with a small celebration. It sounds ridiculous but I literally just say “Victory!” and force a smile on my face. The small rush of good-feeling-chemicals will keep you coming back.

-ethanbond (on hackernews) summarizing BJ Fogg

[link]

When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.

The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.

-Ram Dass

[link]

Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love… “Above all, avoid falsehood, every kind of falsehood, especially to yourself.

-Zosima

[link]

Massive action without clearly defined objectives is a form of laziness.

-Timothy Ferriss

[link]

I divide my officers into four classes as follows: The clever, the industrious, the lazy, and the stupid. Each officer always possesses two of these qualities.

Those who are clever and industrious I appoint to the General Staff. Use can under certain circumstances be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy qualifies for the highest leadership posts. He has the requisite nerves and the mental clarity for difficult decisions. But whoever is stupid and industrious must be got rid of, for he is too dangerous.

-General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord

[link]

If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

-Lao Tzu

[link]

Work is love made visible.

-Kahlil Gibran

[link]

And in truth, I’ve never known a man worth his salt who, in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather… a lack of will.

-Vince Lombardi

[link]

To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.

-Carlos Castaneda

[link]

I wonder, I wonder, what you would do if you had the power to dream at night any dream you wanted to dream? And you would, of course, be able to alter your time sense, and slip, say, 75 years of subjective time into 8 hours of sleep.

You would, I suppose, start out by fulfilling all your wishes. You could design for yourself what would be the most ecstatic life: love affairs, banquets, dancing girls, wonderful journeys, gardens, music beyond belief.

And then, after a couple of months of this sort of thing, at 75 years a night, you’d be getting a little taste for something different, and you would move over to an adventurous dimension, where there was sudden dangers involved, and the thrill of dealing with dangers. And you could rescue princesses from dragons, and go on dangerous journeys, make wonderful explosions and blow them up, eventually get into contest with enemies.

And after you’d done that for some time, you’d think up a new wrinkle: to forget that you were dreaming, so that you would think it was all for real, and to be anxious about it. Because it’d be so great when you woke up.

And then you’d say, well, like children who dare each other on things, how far out could you get? What could you take? What dimension of being lost, of abandonment of your power - what dimension of that could you stand? You could ask yourself this ‘cause you know you’d eventually wake up.

And after you’d gone on doing this, you see, for some time, you’d suddenly find yourself sitting around in this room, with all your personal involvements, problems, etc… talking with me.

How do you know that that’s not what you’re doing? Could be, because after all, what would you do if you were god? Because if you were, well, there is, the Self. In the Upanishads, the basic texts of Hinduism, one of them starts out saying, “In the beginning was the Self, and looking around, it said, ‘I am.'” And thus it is that everyone to this day, when asked, “Who is there?” says, “It is I.”

If you were god, and in this sense that you knew everything, you would be bored. Because, if looking at it from another way, we pushed technology to its furthest possible development, and we had, instead of a dial telephone on one’s desk, a more complex system of buttons, and one touch would give you anything you wanted; Aladdin’s lamp. You would eventually have to introduce a button, labeled, “Surprise.” Because all perfectly known futures, as I pointed out, are past; they have happened, virtually. It is only the true future is a surprise.

-Alan Watts

[link]

It is useless work that darkens the heart. The delight of the nursing mother, of the scholar, of the successful hunter, of the good cook, of the skillful maker, of anyone doing needed work and doing it well, - this durable joy is perhaps the deepest source of human affection and of society as a whole.

-Ursula K LeGuin

[link]

Make your interests gradually wider and more impersonal, until bit by bit the walls of the ego recede, and your life becomes increasingly merged in the universal life. An individual human existence should be like a river — small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being.

-Bertrand Russell

[link]

The mind is a kite and the body is the string. In order to move the kite you must move the string.

-Unknown

[link]

The only way to succeed is if the pain of doing something is less than the pain of doing nothing. You must, therefore, increase the pain of doing nothing.

-Jon Morrow

[link]

I want my pedestal moment, I want to become that big, and what I want to come from that is that kids that aren’t even born today think that they can build a $5 billion dollar company and be a great guy or great gal.

-Gary Vaynerchuck

[link]

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;

If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss[ess];

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your [or our] turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on [to it] when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,

if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count [on you,] with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And - which is more - you’ll be a Man, my son!

-Rudyard Kipling

[link]

Destroy the idea that you have to be constantly working or grinding in order to be successful. Embrace the concept that rest, recovery, and reflection are essential parts of progress towards a successful and ultimately happy life.

-Unknown

[link]

A healthy person wants 10,000 things. A sick person wants just one.

-Confucius

[link]

Every man has two lives. And the second starts when he realizes he has just one.

-Confucius

[link]

There are two great addictions - heroin and a monthly salary.

-Nassim Taleb

[link]

Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for some imaginary tomorrow. When today is complete in and of itself. How do you get there? One is, that you have so much money saved up that your passive income off of that covers your burn rate. Second is, you just drive your burn rate down to zero. Become a monk. Third is, you’re doing something you love. You’re enjoying it so much that it’s not about the money.

-Naval Ravikant

[link]

We thought of life by analogy with a journey, a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, and the thing was to get to that end, success or whatever it is, maybe heaven after you’re dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.

-Alan Watts

[link]

Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.

-G. Michael Hopf

[link]

So one day Jeff Bezos issued a mandate. He’s doing that all the time, of course, and people scramble like ants being pounded with a rubber mallet whenever it happens. But on one occasion – back around 2002 I think, plus or minus a year – he issued a mandate that was so out there, so huge and eye-bulgingly ponderous, that it made all of his other mandates look like unsolicited peer bonuses.

His Big Mandate went something along these lines:

  1. All teams will henceforth expose their data and functionality through service interfaces.

  2. Teams must communicate with each other through these interfaces.

  3. There will be no other form of interprocess communication allowed: no direct linking, no direct reads of another team’s data store, no shared-memory model, no back-doors whatsoever. The only communication allowed is via service interface calls over the network.

  4. It doesn’t matter what technology they use. HTTP, Corba, Pubsub, custom protocols – doesn’t matter. Bezos doesn’t care.

  5. All service interfaces, without exception, must be designed from the ground up to be externalizable. That is to say, the team must plan and design to be able to expose the interface to developers in the outside world. No exceptions.

  6. Anyone who doesn’t do this will be fired.

  7. Thank you; have a nice day!

-Steve Yegge

[link]

One day, you will be dead. Each year that passes after your death, fewer and fewer people will remember who you were, what you did or what your face looked like. Eventually, you’ll be completely forgotten. Who cares if that side project you put out sucked or not. Might as well put it out there and see what people think. There’s a good chance too that the project won’t even be remembered even by the time you die. The best way to get experience is to do things, so given that no one is going to remember, might as well try to do it. Your successes won’t be remembered along with your failures.

-tjkrusinski on Hacker News

[link]

I think positivity, and good, is practical advice to building an empire and I want to be the poster child of the person that built the biggest, baddest empire and did it being a good dude along the way.

-Gary Vaynerchuck

[link]

Someone once told me the definition of Hell: The last day you have on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.

-Unknown

[link]

You will come to understand that you were taking care of them because it made YOU feel good, it made YOU happy to see them smiling and without a care in the world — and that was extremely selfish of you. While you were feeling satisfied with yourself, you were slowly eating away at their own dreams and ambitions. You were adding material things to their lives, but subtracting the most precious gifts of all: independence and growth.

-Kobe Bryant on taking care of family after a windfall

[link]

The design must be simple, both in implementation and interface. It is more important for the implementation to be simple than the interface. Simplicity is the most important consideration in a design.

- http://jehanne.io

[link]

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

[link]

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive. For what the world needs is more people who have come alive.

-Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman

[link]
  1. Be patient. No matter what.
  2. Don’t badmouth: Assign responsibility, not blame. Say nothing of another you wouldn’t say to him.
  3. Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
  4. Expand your sense of the possible.
  5. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
  6. Expect no more of anyone than you can deliver yourself.
  7. Tolerate ambiguity.
  8. Laugh at yourself frequently.
  9. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
  10. Never forget that, no matter how certain, you might be wrong.
  11. Give up blood sports.
  12. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.
  13. Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)
  14. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
  15. Avoid the pursuit of happiness. Seek to define your mission and pursue that.
  16. Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
  17. Praise at least as often as you disparage.
  18. Admit your errors freely and soon.
  19. Become less suspicious of joy.
  20. Understand humility.
  21. Remember that love forgives everything.
  22. Foster dignity.
  23. Live memorably.
  24. Love yourself.
  25. Endure

-John Perry Barlow on Life and Work

[link]

We are human beings, not human doings.

-Doylene Chan

[link]

How you do anything, is how you do everything.

-Unknown

[link]

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

-Benjamin Franklin

[link]

Whatever you really want, wants don’t get met consistently, standards do.

-Tony Robbins

[link]

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

-Theodore Roosevelt

[link]

Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.

-Michael Jordan

[link]

Most people will never be successful because most people remain children, consciously, and never evolve. They remain purely self-indulgent and self-absorbed. They never develop convictions that drive them to dedicate their lives to a particular service and audience. They aren’t willing to learn and transform themselves for a commitment. Instead, they only commit to something so long as it benefits them. Once things get tough, their ‘commitment’ disappears. In order to be truly successful, and to make an enormous impact on the world, you must give yourself fully to something. It can’t be about you anymore. You must be driven to serve. To help other people, and to solve specific problems.

-Benjamin Hardy

[link]

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

-Abraham Lincoln

[link]

Be everything to everybody and you’ll be nothing for yourself.

-John Rushton

[link]

You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything. 

-Greg McKeown

[link]

Of course I agree with the preacher of Ecclesiastes that there is a time to love and a time to die—and when my skein runs out I hope to face the end calmly and in my own way. For most situations, however, I prefer the more martial view that death is the ultimate enemy—and I find nothing reproachable in those who rage mightily against the dying of the light.

-Stephen Jay Gould

[link]

Life gets interesting when we fail, because it’s a sign that we’ve surpassed ourselves.

-Clemenceau

[link]

A man is honorable in proportion to the personal risks he takes for his opinion.

-Nassim Taleb

[link]

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

-Ira Glass

[link]
  1. Remade website to be more professional looking, faster, more focused towards SEO, mobile friendly. I could write many pages on this :) but following online guides will get you in the ballpark
  2. Started writing interesting content. Truly good content is a PITA and you need to be a decent writer to make something compelling, but our first good article got us more traffic than the entire site with over 100 content pages.
  3. New tools. everything linked together to see where our sales were coming from. Phone system, website, live chat, in person. All of our leads funneled into one system. We could see what was getting people and what wasn’t
  4. Online advertising. Locally first, expand AD reach as campaign becomes more nationally competitive. Make sure all the tools you setup continue to track where all these leads are coming from
  5. Better “convincing” of clients that we’re legit. Company T-Shirts and swag. Hotel-type exaggerated pictures of our team and office. Meet the team page. Professional website like I mentioned earlier. FB, google maps, yellowpages, wherever we could get a free listing. Automated scheduling systems for client meetings, phone tree for calls, tons of previous work repurposed as marketing material for clients to see. Listing our bigger clients on our website. 800 phone #. All the hallmarks of a big successful business even though we weren’t exactly gave clients a much bigger confidence in our abilities and enabled us to charge more.
  6. Marketing toward high value targets – we needed to get the ear of C level and VP’s. Concentrating on the fact that we were a US company without outsourcing. Marketing to wealthy areas “doctorville” we called it. Targeted marketing to business corridors. We went deep, going as far as checking the AS of your IP address and whether any services were running on it. A surprising amount of the time would could link an IP back to a company, so we could quietly market to your company just from you visiting our site.
  7. competitive research. Found our biggest local competitors. Quietly outbid them on all their ad keywords. Even more quietly made sure we had all the backlinks they did on search. Got a list of their clients one way or another, marketed directly to their clients already knowing their weaknesses from our clients who previously worked with those competitors. One competitor hosted their own servers, so I figured out who owned the IP and tracked ownership of the company through their email server. Another put their email address at the bottom of all public sites they wrote, a simple targeted google search returned all/most of their clients’ sites. Another had a “client login” page setup on all of their sites that had a redirect to their main page. Searching for backlinks using SEO tools revealed most of these client sites. Lots more. It took a lot of creative thinking and some failures :)

-79d697i6fdif answering “what’s your top growth strategy?"

[link]

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

-Goethe

[link]

I want to be my own reader.

-Kartik Subbu when asked who does he want to write for

[link]

..if you simply change your goal from “writing well” to “writing badly,” you will be a veritable fucking fountain of material, because guess what, man, we don’t like to admit it, because we’re raised to think lack of confidence is synonymous with paralysis, but, let’s just be honest with ourselves and each other: we can only hope to be good writers. We can only ever hope and wish that will ever happen, that’s a bird in the bush. The one in the hand is: we suck. We are terrified we suck, and that terror is oppressive and pervasive because we can VERY WELL see the possibility that we suck. We are well acquainted with it.

We know how we suck like the backs of our shitty, untalented hands. We could write a fucking book on how bad a book would be if we just wrote one instead of sitting at a desk scratching our dumb heads trying to figure out how, by some miracle, the next thing we type is going to be brilliant. It isn’t going to be brilliant. You stink. Prove it. It will go faster. And then, after you write something incredibly shitty in about six hours, it’s no problem making it better in passes, because in addition to being absolutely untalented, you are also a mean, petty CRITIC.

You know how you suck and you know how everything sucks and when you see something that sucks, you know exactly how to fix it, because you’re an asshole. So that is my advice about getting unblocked. Switch from team “I will one day write something good” to team “I have no choice but to write a piece of shit” and then take off your “bad writer” hat and replace it with a “petty critic” hat and go to town on that poor hack’s draft and that’s your second draft. Fifteen drafts later, or whenever someone paying you starts yelling at you, who knows, maybe the piece of shit will be good enough or maybe everyone in the world will turn out to be so hopelessly stupid that they think bad things are good and in any case, you get to spend so much less time at a keyboard and so much more at a bar where you really belong because medicine because childhood trauma because the Supreme Court didn’t make abortion an option until your unwanted ass was in its third trimester.

-Dan Harmob

[link]

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts.

-William Shakespeare

[link]

Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.

-Paul Tillich

[link]

To burn always with this hard, gem-like flame, to maintain this ecstasy, is success in life.

-Walter Pater

[link]

If your friend was standing next to you and their hair was on fire, that fire would be the only thing they really cared about in this world. It wouldn’t matter if they were hungry, just suffered a bad breakup, or were running late to a meeting—they’d prioritize putting the fire out. If you handed them a hose—the perfect product/solution—they would put the fire out immediately and go on their way. If you handed them a brick they would still grab it and try to hit themselves on the head to put out the fire. You need to find problems so dire that users are willing try half-baked, v1, imperfect solutions.

-Michael Seibel on product/market fit

[link]

The customers are buying the product just as fast as you can make it – or usage is growing just as fast as you can add more servers. Money from customers is piling up in your company checking account. You’re hiring sales and customer support staff as fast as you can.

-Marc Andreesen on product/market fit

[link]

Understand the difference between dreams, goals, and expectations. Dreams live in far off places. They may come to us while we walk, hike, bike or take a shower. I like to think of dreams as the shining gemstones, just out of reach. Knowing that we have the desire to reach out and grab these gemstones gives us the motivation to get out of bed each morning.

Goals are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time bound items. Goals are things we’re actually going to do and commit to doing. I equate expectations to a yardstick.

When ideas, dreams or goals come into our conscious and unconscious minds we develop a measuring sticking and we hold everything up to this measuring stick.

When people, events, or experiences don’t measure up the our internal expectations we go berserk. This freak out may happen internally or it may happen externally, but all the same it happens. This deflates our ability to grow and progress in our companies and lives.

-Heather Osgood

[link]

Our forefathers had civilization inside themselves, the wild outside. We live in the civilization they created, but within us the wilderness still lingers. What they dreamed, we live, and what they lived, we dream.

-T. K. Whipple

[link]

Organizations are not a source of security but they are a source of identity.

-Bill Taylor, on Loyalty at Work

[link]

If your morals make you dreary, depend on it, they are wrong.

-Robert Louis Stevenson

[link]

Nobody should start to undertake a large project. You start with a small trivial project, and you should never expect it to get large. If you do, you’ll just overdesign and generally think it is more important than it likely is at that stage. Or worse, you might be scared away by the sheer size of the work you envision. So start small, and think about the details. Don’t think about some big picture and fancy design. If it doesn’t solve some fairly immediate need, it’s almost certainly over-designed. And don’t expect people to jump in and help you. That’s not how these things work. You need to get something half-way useful first, and then others will say “hey, that almost works for me”, and they’ll get involved in the project.

-Linus Torvalds

[link]

The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

-George Eliot (Middlemarch)

[link]

Man’s commonest weakness, his aversion to being unpleasantly conspicuous, pointed at, shunned, as being on the unpopular side. Its other name is Moral Cowardice, and is the supreme feature of the make-up of 9,999 men in the 10,000.

-Mark Twain

[link]

What man actually needs is not some tension-less state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.

-Viktor Frankl

[link]

We are in an age that assumes the narrowing trends of specialization to be logical, natural, and desirable. Consequently, society expects all earnestly responsible communication to be crisply brief. Advancing science has now discovered that all the known cases of biological extinction have been caused by overspecialization, whose concentration of only selected genes sacrifices general adaptability. Thus the specialist’s brief for pinpointing brevity is dubious. In the meantime, humanity has been deprived of comprehensive understanding. Specialization has bred feelings of isolation, futility, and confusion in individuals. It has also resulted in the individual’s leaving responsibility for thinking and social action to others. Specialization breeds biases that ultimately aggregate as international and ideological discord, which in turn leads to war.

-Buckminster Fuller

[link]

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

-Mark Twain

[link]

A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.

-François-René de Chateaubriand

[link]

Make mistakes of ambition and not mistakes of sloth. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.

-Machiavelli

[link]

Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.

-Bruce Lee

[link]

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

[link]

I am in the habit of looking not so much to the nature of a gift as to the spirit in which it is offered.

-Robert Louis Stevenson

[link]

I came over from Greece when I was 17 and started out working in a market. I worked so much that I supported my mother, my father, and put my brother through college. Now my kids have everything, and don’t appreciate anything. You Americans cut ‘em off when they’re 18. And that’s probably for the best. But we can’t do that, cause we’re Greek. They’re ours until they’re married.

-Greek Immigrant from the site “Humans of New York

[link]

“The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.

-Pascal

[link]

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

-George Bernard Shaw

[link]

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires, seek discipline and find your liberty.

-Frank Herbert (Dune)

[link]

Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.

-Abraham J. Heschel

[link]

For every one of us, living in this world means waiting for our end. Let whoever can win glory before death. When a warrior is gone, that will be his best and only bulwark… Endure your troubles today. Bear up and be the man I expect you to be.

-Beowulf

[link]

Truth = Honesty

Love = Compassion

Courage = Valor

Truth + Love = Justice

Truth + Courage = Honor

Love + Courage = Sacrifice

Truth + Love + Courage = Spirituality

The absence of Truth, Love, and Courage is Pride, the opposite of which is Humility.

-Steve Pavlina

[link]

Money is made on a competitive plane. Wealth is made on a creative plane.

-Wallace Wattles

[link]

Purpose, and to be thoroughly wedded to that purpose, is three quarters of salvation. It is sad to reflect how much motiveless insipidity there is among us that is steadily resolving itself into ethical rot, for no other reason than that it has never been awakened into vigor and electrified into effect by the touch of a supreme purpose.

-Charles Henry Parkhurst

[link]

We do not win our strength and stability by mastering ideas, but by being mastered by them—held in their grip.

-Charles Henry Parkhurst

[link]

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.

-Robert Louis Stevenson

[link]