Book: Rising Strong: by Brené Brown

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 famous speech in Sorbonne, 23.04.1910

Brene Brown is a big proponent of vulnerability. In 2010 she gave a TED talk about the value of being vulnerable and it turned out to be amazingly popular. The book came out from the talk.

My takeaways

Rising Strong:  by Brené Brown

Artur, could you please focus and talk about the book? Your digressions about all this are interesting, but lets hear about the book itself!

Being broken-hearted is also courageous. Instead of running away, you have to admit, see and own your moment face-down.

Only when you fall you can see what is up.

You need to admit that „the stories we tell ourselves” are not the whole truth. In every relationship, we all have our internal narratives and you cannot just believe that they are the whole truth. And if you believe you share the story about some facts of your relationship – you need to consult them! You could be very surprised how your significant other can believe in a different story about the same thing.

Integrity is choosing courage over comfort. The proper thing instead of cool, fast or easy.

You need to live your values instead of just talking about them.

You have to own your moment of failure.

Give yourself permission to feel

Actual badass isn’t afraid of talking about the fear and failure. He always stands up after being knocked down. Pretending that you didn’t fail is cowardice.

To rise strong after failure, you have to go through:

  1. Reckoning ( enough with this shit! )
  2. Rumbling ( now what? examine your emotions )
  3. Revolution ( change narratives )

Courageous life

  1. Cultivating authenticity: letting go of what people think
  2. Cultivating self-compassion: letting go of perfectionism
  3. Cultivating a resilient spirit: letting go of numbing and powerlessness
  4. Cultivating gratitude and joy: letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark
  5. Cultivating intuition and trusting faith: letting go of the need for certainty
  6. Cultivating creativity: letting go of comparison
  7. Cultivating play and rest: letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth
  8. Cultivating calm and stillness: letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle
  9. Cultivating meaningful work: letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to”
  10. Cultivating laughter, song, and dance: letting go of being cool and “always in control”

For teams

  • What emotions are the people in our team experiencing?
  • What do we need to get curious about?
  • What are the stories that the team members are making up?
  • What can these stories tell us about the relationships within the team, about communication and team culture?
  • What are the key learnings?
  • And how do we act on these key learnings?

MANIFESTO OF THE BRAVE AND BROKENHEARTED 

There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers

Than those of us who are willing to fall

Because we have learned how to rise With skinned knees and bruised hearts

We choose owning our stories of struggle, Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.

When we deny our stories, they define us. When we run from struggle, we are never free.

So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye. We will not be characters in our stories. Not villains, not victims, not even heroes.

We are the authors of our lives. We write our own daring endings.

We craft love from heartbreak, Compassion from shame, Grace from disappointment, Courage from failure. Showing up is our power.

Story is our way home. Truth is our song. We are the brave and brokenhearted.

We are rising strong.

More

My highlights

  • badassery deficit.
  • Engineers Without Borders
  • I want to be in the arena
  • shame-based fear of being ordinary (which is how I define narcissism).
  • “the story that I’m making up”
  • Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.
  • A movement fueled by the freedom that comes when we stop pretending that everything is okay when it isn’t.
  • MANIFESTO OF THE BRAVE AND BROKENHEARTED There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers Than those of us who are willing to fall Because we have learned how to rise With skinned knees and bruised hearts; We choose owning our stories of struggle, Over hiding, over hustling, over pretending. When we deny our stories, they define us. When we run from struggle, we are never free. So we turn toward truth and look it in the eye. We will not be characters in our stories. Not villains, not victims, not even heroes. We are the authors of our lives. We write our own daring endings. We craft love from heartbreak, Compassion from shame, Grace from disappointment, Courage from failure. Showing up is our power. Story is our way home. Truth is our song. We are the brave and brokenhearted. We are rising strong.
  • TEN GUIDEPOSTS FOR WHOLEHEARTED LIVING 1. Cultivating authenticity: letting go of what people think 2. Cultivating self-compassion: letting go of perfectionism 3. Cultivating a resilient spirit: letting go of numbing and powerlessness 4. Cultivating gratitude and joy: letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark 5. Cultivating intuition and trusting faith: letting go of the need for certainty 6. Cultivating creativity: letting go of comparison 7. Cultivating play and rest: letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth 8. Cultivating calm and stillness: letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle 9. Cultivating meaningful work: letting go of self-doubt and “supposed to” 10. Cultivating laughter, song, and dance: letting go of being cool and “always in

Book: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451: A Novel by Ray BradburySurprisingly, the book feels very modern. Contrary to what many people remember from it, the burning of books was not issued by a totalitarian government, but by people themselves.They just didn’t like being offended.

Amazon Link

The artifitial chatter created by “walls” and “families” is very reminiscent about modern society. We dont like uncomfortable ideas  as it seems and are offended A LOT. We should be offended more. And feel more. Its human and it’s a part of life.

The society in the book always chased happiness, which made them deeply unhappy. They started chasing self-destructive vices: driving with insane speeds, tv all the time, etc.

“Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority”

Modern tendency to being outraged is actually one of the reasons, we have the „fake news problem” –  check out “Confessions of a Media Manipulator”.

My highlights

  • Federico Fellini who, when asked about his work, said, ‘Don’t tell me what I’m doing, I don’t want to know.’ The grand thing is to plunge ahead and
  • Have you seen the two-hundred-foot-long billboards in the country beyond town? Did you know that once billboards were only twenty feet long? But cars started rushing by so quickly they had to stretch the advertising out so it would last.
  • It didn’t come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank
  • Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man? Me? I won’t stomach them for a minute. And so when houses were finally fireproofed
  • You ask Why to a lot of things and you wind up very unhappy indeed, if you keep at it.
  • you don’t want a house built, hide the nails and wood. If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none.
  • Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn Iowa grew last year.
  • Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority.

Book: Moonshots in Education: Blended Learning in the Classroom by Esther Wojcicki

Moonshots in Education: Blended Learning in the Classroom by Esther Wojcicki

I met Esther Wojcicki during EU Hackathon devoted to education (which I kinda won).

She is a most amazing person, the most decorated highschool teacher in US, mother the founder of personal genetic sequencing company , ceo of youtube and mother in law of this guy.

Amazon Link

„Moonshots in Education” is a handbook for improving education situation in United States. It gives lots of examples from around the world how to make education less stagnant and more practical.

My takeaways are:

  • Everything should be a project, learning by doing is the best way to go
  • Enough with the grades!
  • Empower kids, you’ll be amazed

I immediately wanted to give this book to my mom (the teacher) but there is no Polish translation and most of the examples are tightly coupled with US reality so they could be easily refuted in the basis of not applying to Polish day-to-day.

My view on current education system.

I treat the topic of education very seriously. My mom is a teacher, I spent total of 7 years in colleges, earning 2 master degrees. I really, really wanted it to be all that was promised to be.I now consider it harmful for the vast majority of people to attend college.

I strongly believe, that the current educational system is useless because:

  • It focuses on theoretical instead of practical. Who in the workplace makes you take a test?
  • The whole environment is NOT designed to make learning better, it is designed to make TEACHING easier. Knowledge is standarized to make materials easier, tests are administered to makes sure teachers are following along
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_cycle.  By making people follow the same curriculum, you will loose at least 50% of your students

I think it is even harmful, because:

  • If it were more personalized, you could cut time for knowledge transfer by 70% for each kid
  • Kids loosing interest at early stages reinforce their opinion thet learning is not for them and become effectively disabled for life, since lifelong learning is extremely needed now
  • Kids WANT to learn, but school destroys that motivation
  • Higher education is preparing people for a different world. After university, the will think:
    • „If I do bare minimum, I’ll get an A”
    • „There is always a handbook for everything”
    • „I can take as much time as I want and learn everything on a topic”
    • „Having theoretical knowledge is enough for anything”

I will not even start on how school is missing on practical life skills.

After school we leave children asking themselves questions, full of useless knowledge and dread for learning.

„But we’re doing the best we can, it’s better then nothing!”

NO IT ISN’T.

There is abundance of free material that is lightyears better than what we are offering at so called „educational institutions” . Youtube, Khan Academy and others are free and ripe with knowledge that is interesting, of superior quality and in the medium kids are used to.

Plus, they can consume it at their own curriculum.

Let’s take advantage!

My highlights

  • There have been countless studies on learning and memory, and one prominent takeaway message is this: It’s not just the content, or what you’re learning, but also the details of when and how things are presented
  • grit, tenacity, and perseverance
  • Research 101
  • It’s not all about you
  • “Why spend hours ‘talking’ science to students when they can experiment themselves?
  • Joyce’s students played paleontologist as they used the technology to turn a 2D sketch of bones to 3D printed models.
  • then the problem would be on the way to be solved
  • learningaccelerator.org
  • MONSTER PHYSICS
  • Edutopia.org
  • “At present, there are very few examples of the preparation of teachers for the online environment.”
  • flipped classroom
  • In South Korea, according to a UNESCO report, pre-service teacher training in information communication technology (ICT) began in the mid-1990s at elementary and secondary teacher-training institutions
  • Five-Year Strategy plan “were mostly skewed towards the training of generic IT skills.”
  • It was preparing kids for the factory model; today we are preparing kids for a world we cannot even conceptualize. They need to think, not follow directions. We need to move forward, take a risk; we have the tools and the skills to change the classroom and make learning exciting and relevant for all students

Book: The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World

The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World by Randall E. Stross

To say Thomas Edison is an iconic figure is an understatement. His image is so deeply entrenched within culture that its hard to separate what is truth and what is fiction and what constitutes a fact.

Amazon Link

The image of genius who just cant stop innovating was appealing and convenient for journalists of the era. Multiple headlines were screaming describing amazing pace of spitting out new machines and businesses.

While Thomas Edison was without a doubt a great innovator, he was a lousy businessman. He had a knack for getting public excited but he often under-delivered on his promises of bringing ideas to market and changing lives with them.

He was a resident of Menlo Park only for a short time ( 7 years? )and most of hes subsequent career he wanted to come back to that isolated place where he could innovate with peace

(all this reminds me of skunkworks approach that 10x the output by isolating employees and providing singular focus)

All in all, his life seemed pretty drab.

All the successes had were like startup unicorns that flare out when he failed to make his products commercially available. He really just wanted to be left in peace in his laboratory.

General Electric is a company that was founded by his efforts and continues to flourish to this day, but it shunned his name from the title in 1892.

Tesla vs Edison

edisons_nightmare

Oatmeal sells this great print

The epic „Battle of currents” between Tesla and Edison is a very compelling story. Two wizards of the modern age fighting for the future of all electricity is a compelling story.

Yes, it may have gone too far and yes, Edison has electrocuted an elephant. There were also a stories of current „leaking” into the ground and electrocuting a bit people standing above the lines.

But he was really just trying to innovate and hew as convinced about superiority of
direct current.

My highlights

  • In his spare time, Edison spent time with a small chemistry laboratory that he set up in the baggage car. Flammable chemicals did not travel as well as the printing press. When a bottle of phosphorus fell and set the car on fire, the conductor ejected Edison, his chemical laboratory, and his printing press.
  • The vote recorder was a bust, and the lesson Edison drew from the experience was that invention should not be pursued as an exercise in technical cleverness, but should be shaped by commercial needs.
  • Edison was disinclined to drink with his fellows because it would pull him off track, interfering with the greater pleasures: tinkering, learning, problem solving
  • The isolation of the Menlo Park setting infused the laboratory with a feeling of unbounded creative freedom
  • which also meant that little interest could be mustered for fixing problems with older products like the electric pen.
  • The fault, Edison was told by another manager, was with the customers’ “prejudice and stupidity.”
  • This was a short-lived idea—only a month later, Edison wrote in a laboratory notebook in an agitated hand: “My wife Dearly Beloved Cannot invent worth a Damn!!”

Book: How Proust Can Change Your Life: by Alain de Botton

How Proust Can Change Your Life:  by Alain de Botton

What I understood from the book was, that it really is important to stop and marvel at everyday life, which can be very profound.

Ultimately, the goal is to see the world through artists eyes and particular object of the art is not very important. It is the perception, the noticing of the details in particular way that constitutes work of art

And maybe particular life.

Amazon Link

Proust was very sick, and didn’t leave his home much and was considered a failure by his family.

Later, when his work was acclaimed and people were trying to summarize his work.

Even contests were held to summarize it in 1 minute.

Whlch was quite ridiculous because that was precisely beside the point of the main message in the book.

The school of life

Alain de Botton considers himself a ‚Äěpractical philosopher‚ÄĚ.

He is on a mission to make philosophy answer practical questions again, instead of debating the meanings of words.

The school of life is a great project and I urge you to check out their merchandise like this, this and this

Another amazing project worth checking out is The Book of Life where they try to summarize answers to big life questions

My highlights

  • Less greedily, more importantly, going by slowly may entail greater sympathy
  • A woman whom we need and who makes us suffer elicits from us a whole gamut of feelings far more profound and more vital than does a man of genius who interests us
  • Only when plunged into grief do we have the Proustian incentive to confront difficult truths, as we wail under the bedclothes, like branches in the autumn wind
  • The incident emphasizes once more that beauty is something to be found, rather than passively encountered,
  • Even the finest books deserve to be thrown

Book: Tools of Titans – Wise

Tools of Titans” is a summary of Tim Ferris’s amazingly popular podcast. The caliber of people presented there is spectacular and the depth of knowledge amazing. I let myself split my book summary similarly to how TF has split it:

„Wise” part is pretty cohesive with „Wealthy”. Honestly, only after reviewing these notes I can see that this division is pretty arbitrary and TF really wanted to create a homage to Benjamin Franklins “Healthy, Wealthy & Wise”

Great questions, continued

  • what would I tell my 25-year-old self?’
  • ‘What are actually my ultimate goals in life, and how can I optimize toward them?’
  • [when we judge someone to be angry/bad] ‘Has this person slept? Have they eaten? Is somebody else bugging them?’
  • Talk to people about a thing they didn’t think they were going to talk about.
  • ‘When I had the opportunity, did I choose courage over comfort?
  • “Did I spend today chasing mice or hunting antelope?”
  • What do I spend a silly amount of money on? How might I scratch my own itch?
  • What are the worst things that could happen?
  • Is this the most audacious endeavor I can possibly conceive of?

Just be yourself – ( Making flaw into an asset continued )

I realy believe that good and bed are often entanged and once yoi get rid of the bad you loose good too.

  • It pays to write what you know.
  • it is so much less work just to be yourself.”
  • “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken”:
  • Tell the Truth. It’s the Easiest Thing to Remember

Ego is the enemy

As Ryan Holiday has put it, Ego is indeed the enemy. Most of our problems stem from the fact that we overfocus on ourselves.

  • Robbins: “Focus on me = suffering”
  • when you’re standing at the edge of your horizon, at death’s door, you can be much more in tune with the cosmos.”
  • Definitions of success are widely varied

My clippings

  • when you’re standing at the edge of your horizon, at death’s door, you can be much more in tune with the cosmos.”
  • What bullshit excuses do you have for not going after whatever it is that you want?
  • To “fix” someone’s problem, you very often just need to empathically listen to them.
  • don’t encourage more incompetence by rewarding it.
  • It always, always shows in the work when you resent it.
  • “What’s very fortunate, beautiful, wonderful, and also, in a weird way, tragic about modern society, is that crisis has been removed.
  • “The future is already here—it’s just unevenly distributed.”—William Gibson
  • code to AudioMolly.com, The Glitch Mob, and Infected Mushroom.
  • BlockBlock on OS X,
  • Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield.
  • what would I tell my 25-year-old self?’
  • the definition of success is being cool with your parents, your grandparents [if still alive], and your kids. Being able to navigate the difficult task of dealing with each other as human beings.”
  • ‘What are actually my ultimate goals in life, and how can I optimize toward them?’
  • Tony Robins Dickensian process
    • What has each belief cost you in the past, and what has it cost people you’ve loved in the past? What have you lost because of this belief? See it, hear it, feel it.
    • What is each costing you and people you care about in the present? See it, hear it, feel it.
    • What will each cost you and people you care about 1, 3, 5, and 10 years from now? See it, hear it, feel it.
  • In a world of distraction, single-tasking is a superpower.
  • afraid of, what I’m ashamed of, who I’m pretending to be, who I really am, where I am versus where I thought I’d be. . . . If you watched yourself from afar, if you met yourself, what would you say to yourself?
  • ‘Has this person slept? Have they eaten? Is somebody else bugging them?’
  • it: I am not busy. I am the laziest ambitious person I know.
  • And nature is still technically free, even if human beings have tried to make access to it expensive.
  • Cocktail Techniques by Kazuo Uyeda
  • Write about a time when you realized you were mistaken. Write about a lesson you learned the hard way. Write about a time you were inappropriately dressed for the occasion. Write about something you lost that you’ll never get back. Write about a time when you knew you’d done the right thing. Write about something you don’t remember. Write about your darkest teacher. Write about a memory of a physical injury. Write about when you knew it was over. Write about being loved. Write about what you were really thinking. Write about how you found your way back. Write about the kindness of strangers. Write about why you could not do it. Write about why you did. Spirit animal: Jaguar
  • “What is it that they can’t afford to say or think?”
  • It pays to write what you know.
  • it is so much less work just to be yourself.”
  • “Cynicism is a disease that robs people of the gift of life.”
  • “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken”:
  • “The teppanyaki grill. It’s a little tabletop grill [search “Presto 22-inch electric griddle”].
  • If you can’t see yourself working with someone for life, don’t work with them for a day.
  • Reading (learning) is the ultimate meta-skill and can be traded for anything else.
  • “You get paid for being right first, and to be first, you can’t wait for consensus.”
  • Be willing to fail or succeed on who you really are. Don’t ever try to be anything else.
  • “For me, a convenient place to work is a remote place among strangers where there is good swimming.”
  • Sleep with Me:
  • was, whenever we meet someone who we know doesn’t care about meeting us, my wife and I always try and come up with a trick question that throws them off. They kind of have to answer, or have
  • Talk to people about a thing they didn’t think they were going to talk about.
  • Once you don’t start at the beginning, your life just gets so much simpler.” TF: Search “5 great examples of in medias res” for more on this approach. In medias res literally means “into the middle things”
  • what I learned during the day that I want to be talking about it at 1:00 in the morning? And
  • “I cultivate empty space as a way of life for the creative process.”
  • Belief #1—It’s rarely a zero-sum game
  • the entanglement is fundamental to their being.
  • i realy believe that good and bed are often entanged and once yoi get rid of the bad you loose good to
  • “One of the biggest mistakes that I observed in the first year of Jack’s life was parents who have unproductive language around weather being good or bad.
  • ‘Look, Dada, it’s such a beautiful rainy day,’
  • I still use “mini-retirements” à la The 4-Hour Workweek a few times a year.
  • mini retiremeents ?
  • ‘When I had the opportunity, did I choose courage over comfort?’”
  • “Did Shakespeare Invent Love?” by Nerdwriter.
  • Brain Games,
  • Tell the Truth. It’s the Easiest Thing to Remember
  • the expression from Glengarry Glen Ross? ‘Always tell the truth. It’s the easiest thing to remember.’ . .
  • The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler,
  • What do I spend a silly amount of money on? How might I scratch my own itch?
  • What are the worst things that could happen?
  • People’s IQs seem to double as soon as you give them responsibility and indicate that you trust them.
  • People don’t like being sold products, but we all like being told stories. Work on the latter.
  • What might I put in place to allow me to go off the grid for 4 to 8 weeks, with no phone or email?
  • “Did I spend today chasing mice or hunting antelope?”
  • 15 pull-ups, 50 push-ups, 100 sit-ups 15 pull-ups (different grip), 50 push-ups 10 pull-ups (first grip) 10 pull-ups (second grip)
  • ‘Is this an itch, or is it burning?’
  • Is this the most audacious endeavor I can possibly conceive of?
  • “What assets might we have?”
  • ‘Try to look bigger. . . .’”
  • “The key is to do it early. Do it while you’re still shooting. First impression is everything. I’ll cut a trailer while I’m still shooting and send it to a studio. They’ll try to make their own, over and over, and they can’t get that first thing they saw out of their heads, ‘It’s still not as good as the one we saw.’”
  • “Let me see, what I can learn from this?”
  • “Enjoy it.”
  • What is something you believe that other people think is insane?
  • What obsessions do you explore on the evenings or weekends?
  • What have you changed your mind about in the last few years? Why?

Book: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

War of Art is a book about creative struggle. Pressfield writes about Resistance as the ultimate nemesis of creativity, a Darth Vader of any creative endeavour.

It applies to enterpreneurs, poets, moviemakers and writers alike. If you want to make something worthwhile, you will be harassed by resistance. Even if you are trying to loose weight, resistance is there to try to stop you.

Amazon Link

My takeway is:

Don’t wait for inspiration. Combat resistance and do the work. Do it for the sake of your art, not to get ahead.

Feel fear? You’re on the right track.

My highlights

  • an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.
  • Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet.
  • It is the root of more unhappiness than poverty, disease, and erectile dysfunction.
  • Call it overstatement but I’ll say it anyway: it was easier for Hitler to start World War II than it was for him to face a blank square of canvas.
  • RESISTANCE IS INVISIBLE
  • RESISTANCE IS INTERNAL
  • RESISTANCE IS INSIDIOUS
  • RESISTANCE IS IMPERSONAL
  • Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.
  • RESISTANCE IS UNIVERSAL
  • The warrior and the artist live by the same code of necessity, which dictates that the battle must be fought anew every day.
  • RESISTANCE NEVER SLEEPS
  • RESISTANCE PLAYS FOR KEEPS
  • Resistance has no strength of its own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer Resistance
  • RESISTANCE IS FUELED BY FEAR
  • RESISTANCE ONLY OPPOSES IN ONE DIRECTION
  • RESISTANCE IS MOST POWERFUL AT THE FINISH LINE
  • The danger is greatest when the finish line is in sight. At this point, Resistance knows we’re about to beat it. It hits the panic button. It marshals one last assault and slams us with everything it’s got.
  • Resistance by definition is self-sabotage. But
  • The awakening artist must be ruthless, not only with herself but with others. Once you make your break, you can’t turn around for your buddy who catches his trouser leg on the barbed wire.
  • Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it’s the easiest to rationalize.
  • Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives.
  • Anything that draws attention to ourselves through pain-free or artificial means is a manifestation of Resistance.
  • Creating soap opera in our lives is a symptom of Resistance. Why put in years of work designing a new software interface when you can get just as much attention by bringing home a boyfriend with a prison record?
  • Dad gets drunk, Mom gets sick, Janie shows up for church with an Oakland Raiders tattoo. It’s more fun than a movie. And it works: Nobody gets a damn thing done.
  • Doctors estimate that seventy to eighty percent of their business is non-health-related. People aren’t sick, they’re self- dramatizing.
  • Casting yourself as a victim is the antithesis of doing your work. Don’t do it. If you’re doing it, stop.
  • We overthrow the programming of advertising, movies, video games,
  • The fundamentalist entertains no such notion. In his view, humanity has fallen from a higher state. The truth is not out there awaiting revelation; it has already been revealed. The word of God has been spoken and recorded by His prophet, be he Jesus, Muhammad, or Karl Marx.
  • Fundamentalism is the philosophy of the powerless, the conquered, the displaced and the dispossessed.
  • Fundamentalism and art are mutually exclusive. There is no such thing as fundamentalist art.
  • The humanist believes that humankind, as individuals, is called upon to co-create the world with God.
  • The paradox seems to be, as Socrates demonstrated long ago, that the truly free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.
  • The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.
  • The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work.
  • order for a book (or any project or enterprise) to hold our attention for the length of time it takes to unfold itself, it has to plug into some internal perplexity or passion that is of paramount importance to us.
  • What counted was that I had, after years of running from it, actually sat down and done my work.
  • What better way of avoiding work than going to a workshop? But what I hate even worse is the word support.
  • Oh yeah? Have you ever gone a week without a rationalization?
  • Somerset Maugham if he wrote on a schedule or only when struck by inspiration. “I write only when inspiration strikes,” he replied. “Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”
  • I’m keenly aware of the Principle of Priority, which states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.
  • The years have taught me one skill: how to be miserable. I know how to shut up and keep humping.
  • Marines love to be miserable.
  • All of us are pros in one area: our jobs.
  • 1)   We show up every day.
  • 2)   We show up no matter what.
  • 3)   We stay on the job all day.
  • 4)   We are committed over the long haul.
  • 5)   The stakes for us are high and real.
  • We accept remuneration for our labor.
  • We do not overidentify with our jobs.
  • The amateur, on the other hand, overidentifies with his avocation, his artistic aspiration.
  • We master the technique of our jobs.
  • We have a sense of humor about our jobs.
  • We receive praise or blame in the real world.
  • the more important its accomplishment is to the evolution of your soul, the more you will fear it and the more Resistance you will experience facing it.
  • It uses his own enthusiasm against him.
  • The amateur believes he must first overcome his fear; then he can do his work. The professional knows that fear can never be overcome. He knows there is no such thing as a fearless warrior or a dread-free artist.
  • The professional respects his craft. He does not consider himself superior to it.
  • The professional cannot allow the actions of others to define his reality
  • “Good for you,” he said without looking up. “Start the next one today.”
  • that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred.
  • “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.”
  • I was the salty old Gunny. The power to take charge was in my hands; all I had to do was believe it.
  • When we deliberately alter our consciousness in any way, we’re trying to find the Self.
  • We come into this world with a specific, personal destiny. We have a job to do, a calling to enact, a self to become.
  • There’s a problem with the hierarchical orientation, though. When the numbers get too big, the thing breaks down. A pecking order can hold only so many chickens.
  • The artist must operate territorially. He must do his work for its own sake.
  • When the hack sits down to work, he doesn’t ask himself what’s in his own heart. He asks what the market is looking for.
  • 1)   A territory provides sustenance.
  • 2)   A territory sustains us without any external input.
  • 3)   A territory can only be claimed alone.
  • 4)   A territory can only be claimed by work.
  • 5)   A territory returns exactly what you put in.
  • If I were the last person on earth, would I still do it?
  • Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.