TODO

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A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."

“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

The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well. -Joe Ancis

Don’t treat the likely as guaranteed. Don’t treat the improbable as impossible.

Good design:

  1. Is innovative.
  2. Makes a product useful.
  3. Is aesthetic.
  4. Makes a product understandable.
  5. Is unobtrusive.
  6. Is honest.
  7. Is long-lasting.
  8. Is thorough down to the last detail.
  9. Is environmentally friendly.
  10. Good design is as little design as possible.

How the World Works

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

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

“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.” -John Adams

The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil.” -Sheikh Zaki Yamani, a former Saudi oil minister.

The Devil knows more from being old than from being the Devil.

The easiest way to be disappointed is to expect others to act contrary to their self-interest.

“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” – Albert Einstein

The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.

Freedom

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe themselves to be free. -Goethe

“Men fight for liberty and win it with hard knocks. Their children, brought up easy, let it slip away again, poor fools. And their grandchildren are once more slaves.” -D.H. Lawrence,

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all. -H. L. Mencken

Power

People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.” -Blair Warren

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. -Frederick Douglass

Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back into the same box.

Religion

The disciples are often more zealous than the Prophet.

Progress

“Wherever we look upon this earth, the opportunities take shape within the problems.” -Nelson A. Rockefeller

“There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.”

Religion

Don’t you know there ain’t no Devil, it’s just God when he’s drunk. -Tom Waits

Wars of religion always make me laugh because basically you’re fighting over who has the best imaginary friend.

It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

“Get it wrong, and we call it a cult. Get it right, in the right time and the right place, and maybe, for the next few millennia, people won’t have to go to work on your birthday.” - Dr. Robert Sapolsky

War

“The pioneers of a warless world are the youth that refuse military service.” -Albert Einstein

Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime. -Ernest Hemingway:

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” -George Orwell

The first casualty of every war is the truth.

“In real life the bad guys think they are the good guys”

When old men get angry, young men die.

Evil

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” -Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

History

“The past does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.”

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.” -Napoleon

Politics

The reason our current system isn’t a utopia is that it wasn’t designed by humans. Just as you can look at an arid terrain and determine what shape a river will one day take by assuming water will obey gravity, so you can look at a civilization and determine what shape its institutions will one day take by assuming people will obey incentives. … Just as the course of a river is latent in a terrain even before the first rain falls on it – so the existence of Caesar’s Palace was latent in neurobiology, economics, and regulatory regimes even before it existed. The entrepreneur who built it was just filling in the ghostly lines with real concrete.

“The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” -Plato

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -Plato

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’” -Isaac Asimov

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority. -Ralph W. Sockman

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. -H.L. Menken

Life

“The only thing of which I am sure, is that the distinction between the organic and inorganic is arbitrary; that it is more coherent with our other ideas, and therefore more acceptable, to start with every molecule as a living thing, and then deduce death as the breaking up of an association or corporation, than to start with inanimate molecules and smuggle life into them.” -Samuel Butler

Become your Best Self

Develop a good Attitude

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.” – Charles R. Swindoll

Be happy, and the reason will appear.

“Don’t yuck on someone else’s yum.”

There is a spiritual practice to go to bed everyday like on a death bed, visualizing completely and clearly that I will not wake up tomorrow morning, this is it, this is the end. It does change life profoundly, no computation needed.

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

Seek to Understand

In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

You have two eyes, two ears and one mouth - use them in proportion.

I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you.

“What I cannot create, I do not understand.” -Feynman

If you want to be understood, listen.

Respect

I will treat you like a gentleman, not because you are, but because I am.

Focus on “Is” instead of “Should Be”

Not every starter is a finisher, and not every finisher is a starter, and not every finisher is a good maintainer, either. They’re different things.

Avoid Comparison

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Have Perspective

The average person thinks he isn’t.

Be Humble

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.

Have more than you show, speak less than you know.

Some people are born on Third Base and go through life thinking they hit a triple.

Express Yourself

“The forest would be pretty quiet if only the best birds sang.”

“Painting what you see is like writing what you read.” -T. Murdock

Set Goals

We become what we think about.

Clarify your goals, gain knowledge through spaced repetition, preserve health, work steadily, minimize stress, refuse interruption, and never resist sleep when tired.

Hunter S Thompson: “To put our faith in tangible goals would seem to be, at best, unwise. So we do not strive to be firemen, we do not strive to be bankers, nor policemen, nor doctors. We strive to be ourselves. I don’t mean that we can’t be firemen, bankers, or doctors, but that we must make the goal conform to the individual, rather than make the individual conform to the goal. A man must choose a path which will let his abilities function at maximum efficiency toward the gratification of his desires. In doing this, he is fulfilling a need (giving himself identity by functioning in a set pattern toward a set goal), he avoids frustrating his potential (choosing a path which puts no limit on his self-development), and he avoids the terror of seeing his goal wilt or lose its charm as he draws closer to it (rather than bending himself to meet the demands of that which he seeks, he has bent his goal to conform to his own abilities and desires). In short, he has not dedicated his life to reaching a predefined goal, but he has rather chosen a way of life he KNOWS he will enjoy. The goal is absolutely secondary.“

Plan for the Future

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans were useless, but planning was indispensable.” - Dwight D. Eisenhower

A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. -Wayne Gretzky

Months of development work can save hours of planning!

Improve YOUR World

The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.

Be Prepared

Failure to plan is planning to fail. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Two is one, and one is none.

  • Redundancy, backups, etc

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” -Seneca

Grab opportunity with both hands - with one hand it might slip away and never come back.

Build Good Habits

“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” - Warren Buffett

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle

“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us” –John Dryden

Be Honest

  • Those who are brutally honest often enjoy the brutality over the honesty.

Aspire to be Better

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, setup a life you don’t need to escape from.

It’s never too late to be who you might have been -George Elliot

“Humans can be better than they are, so let’s do that.” -James S.A. Corey

To change the world around you, you must first change the world within you.

Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.

“You have two lives. The second one begins when you realize you only have one.” - Confucius

Set Boundaries

Do no harm. Take no shit.

You teach people how to treat you.

Be Polite

‘Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naïve, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as “empty,” “meaningless,” or “dishonest,” and scorn to use them. No matter how “pure” their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best.

“Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” -Winston Churchill

Make Good Decisions

Don’t make decisions when you are angry or make promises when you are excited.

Avoid Indecision

We’ve tried nothing, and we’re all out of ideas.

Avoid Sliding

A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Slow Down, Don’t Hurry

There’s nothing more permanent than a temporary solution.

Focus

He who chases two rabbits catches none.

Educate yourself

The dullest pencil is better than the sharpest mind.

If you think the cost of education is expensive, consider the cost of ignorance.

“Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries.” -Anne Herbert

Don’t Talk too Much

Let silence be your goal for the most part; say only what is necessary, and be brief about it. On the rare occasions when you’re called upon to speak, then speak, but never about banalities like gladiators, horses, sports, food and drink — common-place stuff. Above all, don’t gossip about people, praising, blaming or comparing them.” -Epictetus

Always be Learning

Knowledge and productivity are like compound interest. The more you know, the more you learn; the more you learn, the more you can do; the more you can do, the more the opportunity. I don’t want to give you a rate, but it is a very high rate. Given two people with exactly the same ability, the one person who manages day in and day out to get in one more hour of thinking will be tremendously more productive over a lifetime. -Richard Hamming

Practice does not make Perfect. Only Perfect Practice makes Perfect.

When experts disagree, it is often because it doesn’t make much difference.

Everyone you ever meet, knows something you don’t. -Bill Nye

“Seven social sins: - politics without principles - wealth without work - pleasure without conscience - knowledge without character - commerce without morality - science without humanity, - worship without sacrifice.” -Ghandi

“I teach and they run away. I listen and they come. My strength is my silence.” –Akiane

“Computers have let mankind make mistakes faster than any other invention, with the possible exception of tequila and handguns.

The optimist thinks this is the best of all possible worlds. The pessimist fears it is true.

“People dumber than you do it every day.”

Encourage

“Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson

Be Compassionate

A human being is a part of a whole, called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest… a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. -Albert Einstein

Practice active kindness. Go out of your way to do kind things for people, especially people who may not deserve it. If you wait for them to make the first move, you’ll be waiting a while — but extend a hand to someone who expects a kick in the teeth and watch as you gain a new friend. Smile.

Respect Privacy

Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say. - Edward Snowden

Develop Confidence

“Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.”

Stand up for others

“When the axe came into the woods, many of the trees said, “At least the handle is one of us’”.

Ask for help

Many hands make for light work.

Live Purposefully

“What surprises you most about mankind?” God answered: “That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again. That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health. That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future. That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived.”

Be Adaptable

”I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:

  • Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
  • Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
  • Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”

It Is not the strongest of the species that survives but the most adaptable -Charles Darwin

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Forgive

Prioritize Health & Fitness

“Those who do not find time for exercise now will have to find time for illness.”

Be on Time

Unpunctuality is disposal of other people’s time.

Think Critically

Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time - when the United State is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.” —Sagan, “Demon Haunted World (Subtitled: Science as a candle in the dark)”

Keep it Simple

Complexity is easy. Simplicity is difficult.

Learn from Experiences

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” -Søren Kierkegaard

By three methods we may learn wisdom:

  • First, by reflection, which is noblest;
  • Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
  • and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

Make people feel good

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” -Oscar Wilde

Make people laugh

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

Think for Yourself

Don’t Believe Everything You Believe.

‘Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.’ -Isaac Asimov

The danger today is not so much that machines will learn to think and feel but that men will cease to do so.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail -RWE

“When we read, another person thinks for us: we merely repeat his mental process. In learning to write, the pupil goes over with his pen what the teacher has outlined in pencil: so in reading; the greater part of the work of thought is already done for us. This is why it relieves us to take up a book after being occupied with our own thoughts. And in reading, the mind is, in fact, only the playground of another’s thoughts. So it comes about that if anyone spends almost the whole day in reading, and by way of relaxation devotes the intervals to some thoughtless pastime, he gradually loses the capacity for thinking; just as the man who always rides, at last forgets how to walk. This is the case with many learned persons: they have read themselves stupid.”

When you grow up, you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world, try not to bash into the walls too much, try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again. And the minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. I think that’s very important and however, you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.

Truth & Lies

“A lie can run around the world before the truth has got its boots on.”

“The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.” -George Bernard Shaw

It is almost impossible to counter with facts because the truth usually isn’t as simple as a lie.

About News & Media

“Television lies. All television lies. It lies persistently, instinctively and by habit. Everyone involved lies. A culture of mendacity surrounds the medium, and those who work there live it, breath it and prosper by it. I know of no area of public life – no, not even politics – more saturated by a professional cynicism. If you want a word that takes you to the core of it, I would offer rigged. …is it dishonest for the presenter to imply that the pundit in the chair is free to offer any opinion, when the truth is that fifty pundits were telephoned, but only the fellow prepared to offer the requisite opinion was invited?” -Matthew Parris

The very media we have mentioned are so designed as to make thinking seem unnecessary (though this is only an appearance). The packaging of intellectual positions and views is one of the most active enterprises of some of the best minds of our day. The viewer of television, the listener to radio, the reader of magazines, is presented with a whole complex of elements — all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics — to make it easy from him to “make up his own mind” with the minimum of difficulty and effort. But the packaging is often done so effectively that the viewer, listener, or reader does not make up his own mind at all. Instead, he inserts a packaged opinion into his mind, somewhat like inserting a cassette into a cassette player. He then pushes a button and “plays back” the opinion whenever it seems appropriate to do so. He has performed acceptably without having had to think.

“In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” - Churchill

“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” -John F. Kennedy

“I tell people that if it’s in the news, don’t worry about it. The very definition of “news” is “something that hardly ever happens.” It’s when something isn’t in the news, when it’s so common that it’s no longer news – car crashes, domestic violence – that you should start worrying.” -Bruce Schneier

Do the Right Thing

Yes, doing the right thing often is dangerous and earns you hatred from other people doing bad things who love the freedom of hiding amongst a herd of other equally guilty people. The reason we have so much respect for people who take a stand and do what they believe is right is because doing so is so hard. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

“A clear conscience is a good pillow”

Be a good person, but don’t waste time proving it.

Character

Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. Always do your best.

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be.”  -Vonnegut

“Well you may throw your rock and hide your hand
Workin’ in the dark against your fellow man
But as sure as God made black and white
What’s down in the dark will be brought to the light” -Johnny Cash

The path of least resistance makes crooked rivers and crooked men.

“The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” -Norman Vincent Peale

Focus on “Is” instead of “Should Be”

Work

Here are three things that matter in a job:

  • Your work is good
  • Your work is on time
  • People like dealing with you You don’t have to have all three, but you better have two.

Develop Discipline

Discipline = freedom

You don’t set out to build a wall. You set out to lay that first brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. And you do that every single day. And soon you have a wall. -Will Smith

Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe. -Lincoln

Be a Leader of your life

“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-Exupery,

On Laziness & Procrastination

The morning is the rudder for the day.

Active laziness: The filling of our lives with unessential tasks so we feel full of responsibilities, or “irresponsibilites.”

If idleness does not produce vice or malevolence, it commonly produces melancholy.

Motivation

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is today.

“When you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard. Someone is getting smarter and someone is winning. Just remember that."-Arnold Schwarzenegger

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights. Muhammad Ali

“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”

A dream written down with a date becomes a GOAL. A goal broken down into steps becomes a PLAN. A plan backed by ACTION makes your dream come true.

There will be NO happiness if the things you want are different from the things you do.

‘Success isn’t owned — it’s leased. And rent is due every day

Self-discipline is when your highest desires rule your lesser desires.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” - Mark Twain

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” -Winston Churchill

“Chance favors the prepared mind” -Louis Pasteur

A mediocre idea executed brilliantly wins every time.

Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. -Earl Nightingale

University of Texas, Austin commencement speech by Adm. McRaven [1]: “Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—rack—that’s Navy talk for bed. It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over. If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

Avoid Perfectionism

“The enemy of a good plan is the search for a perfect plan. -Von Clausnitz’

Work & Business

There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.

No results + Excuses != Results

Talk about Accomplishments, not activities.

There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

“I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.” -Charlie Munger

Never do business with Friends, Neighbors or Relatives.

Don’t accept a “no” from someone who doesn’t have the authority to give you a “yes”.

There’s 3 ways to handle work assigned to you. - If you say you’ll do it, do it. - If you say you can’t, that’s ok. - But if you sign up for work and drop the ball, the team fails. Learn to say no.

Get your loving at home.

Document what you did and the problems you solved. Try your best to be right, but don’t worry when you’re wrong.

Perfection is the enemy of Done.

Rabbi Tarfon: “It is not your duty to finish the work, but neither are you at liberty to neglect it.”

Be Thorough, take your time

Measure twice, Cut once.

Be Innovative

The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Pioneers usually end up with arrows in their backs.

The best way to predict the future is to create it.

“If I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse.” -Ford

The electric light did not come from the continuous improvement of candles.

Be around Great People

Steel sharpens steel.

Difficult Situations

“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.”

“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”

Worry

Worry is a misuse of imagination

Feel like Giving Up

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” -Louis L’Amour

“One of the hardest decisions you’ll ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or try harder.”

“What is the most important step a man can take? Not the first, but the next one. Always the next one.”

Dealing with Criticism

Don’t take criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice from.

Teddy Roosevelt: “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.”

Resentment

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Do not store up resentment against your neighbor, no matter what his offense; do nothing in a fit of anger. Pride is odious to both God and man; injustice is abhorrent to both of them…. Do not reprehend anyone unless you have been first fully informed, consider the case first and thereafter make your reproach. Do not reply before you have listened; do not meddle in the disputes of sinners. My child, do not undertake too many activities. If you keep adding to them, you will not be without reproach; if you run after them, you will not succeed nor will you ever be free, although you try to escape. — Sirach, 10:6–31 and 11:1–10

Mistakes

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.

“When you make a mistake, admit it quickly and emphatically.” -Dale Carnegie

I make mistakes. I have always made mistakes. I always will make mistakes.  Not every mistake has a lesson. Some are just mistakes.  I cannot become mistake-free by learning from every mistake.

Dealing with Consequences & Failure

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

Snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

“Well well well, if it isn’t the consequences of my own actions…”

How Manipulation Works

That didn’t happen. And if it did, it wasn’t that bad. And if it was, that’s not a big deal. And if it is, that’s not my fault. And if it was, I didn’t mean it. And if I did… You deserved it.

First of all, I don’t have a dog. And if I had a dog, it doesn’t bite. And if I had a dog and it did bite, then it didn’t bite you. And if I had a dog and it did bite, and it bit you, then you provoked the dog.”

The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….” -Noam Chomsky

Jealousy

“The only time you should look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure he has enough.”

“Don’t compare your insides with other people’s outsides”

Avoid People-pleasing

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” -Bill Cosby

You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do. -Olin Miller

People are too busy looking at their own feet to look at yours.

Don’t Gossip

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Dealing with Change

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction.” -Bill Gates

“People don’t change their minds. They die, and are replaced by people with different opinions.” -Arturo Albergati

It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones." Machiavelli, the Prince

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but, when we look back everything is different…” -C.S Lewis

Heartache

If he loves you, you will know. If he doesn’t, you will be confused.

“The cure for anything is saltwater; sweat, tears or the sea.” -Isak Dinesan

Feeling Overwhelmed

You can’t work on projects. You can only work on actions related to projects.

Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.

Hope is not a strategy.

Judgment

People tend to judge themselves by their intentions, but other people by their actions.

Sacrifice

“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.”

Arguing & Debating

“You cannot reason people out of positions they didn’t reason themselves into.” -Jonathan Swift

“Lower your voice and strengthen your argument.”

Arguing with a fool proves there are two.

“Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”

“You will never correct by logic a man’s error, if that error did not get into his mind by logic” -Mark Twain

“Those convinced against their will, are of the same opinion still”

Dealing With Frustrating People

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway.
If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives. Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.
People who really want help may attack you if you help them. Help them anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt. Give the world your best anyway.
-Mother Teresa

“Hurt people hurt people”

“If everyone’s an asshole, you’re the asshole.”

“I hate that man. I must get to know him better”. -Lincoln

Dealing with Challenges

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.

If you’re going through hell, keep going. -Winston Churchill

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. -Thomas Edison

Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength. -Kristi Wiebelhaus Griel

How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win.

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs, but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” -George S. Patton

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. -Eleanor Roosevelt

“A Smooth Sea Never Made a Skillful Sailor”

No one would ever have crossed the ocean if he could have gotten off the ship in the storm.

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” -Ernest Hemingway

Family

Parenting

“As a father my highest achievements are your starting line, you should always strive to shadow them with your own”

Friendship

“The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.” -Ulysses S. Grant

Advice

“Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein

“Most men give advice by the bucket, but take it by the grain.” -W.R.Alger

It’s far more profitable to sell advice than to take it.

Love

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” -Albert Einstein

“Love is a verb. Love – the feeling – is the fruit of love the verb or our loving actions. So love her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her.” -Stephen Covey

In a marriage, each partner is to be an encourager rather than a critic, a forgiver rather than a collector of hurts, an enabler rather than a reformer.

Happy marriages begin when we marry the ones we love, and they blossom when we love the ones we marry. –Tom Mullen

Money

A rich man is not he who has a lot, but he who needs little.

Money is better a servant than a master.

“Real wealth is never having to spend time with assholes.” -John Waters

After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out. -Warren Buffett

Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent -Keynes

“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.” -Aldo Gucci

“Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.” -Warren Buffett

Question: “What advice would you give to someone who is not a professional investor? Where should they put their money?”

Answer from Buffett: “Well, if they’re not going to be an active investor - and very few should try to do that - then they should just stay with index funds. Any low-cost index fund. And they should buy it over time. They’re not going to be able to pick the right price and the right time. What they want to do is avoid the wrong price and wrong stock. You just make sure you own a piece of American business, and you don’t buy all at one time.”

“Every enduring financial fortune is built on a foundation of saving. Earning isn’t going to make you a fortune if you don’t save. Inheriting millions isn’t going to keep you wealthy if you don’t save. Winning a big lottery won’t help if you don’t save. Investing will get you there, but you can’t invest what you don’t save. The road to financial freedom runs straight through the heart of Save City. There’s no shortcut. There’s no bypass. Show me a self-made millionaire and I’ll show you a dedicated saver.”

Don’t view it as saving. Think of it as buying independence.