Middle-Age

“By middle age you might begin to see, retrospectively, the dominant motifs that have been running through your various decisions. You might begin to see how all your different commitments can be integrated into one meaning and purpose. You might see the social problem your past has made you uniquely equipped to tackle. You might have enough clarity by now to orient your life around a true north on some ultimate horizon.”

The Middle-Age Surge, by David Brooks

Honor

“To seek honor before profit is the surest means of finding profit with honor.”
– Félix Nadar

Photographer Félix Nadar on the Single Most Important Factor in Becoming a Commercially Successful Artist

Love

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Yup.

Goals

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects.”
– Albert Einstein

What You See

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Emailing Busy People

Don’t “keep in touch.” It drives busy people crazy. Treat e-mailing them as you would knocking on their door and interrupting dinner. Treat it that seriously and use it that sparingly.

Tim Ferris on How to Get Busy Influencers to Share Your Stuff

Beauty

“Beauty is that in the presence of which we feel more alive.”
– John O’Donohue

Beauty Is an Edge of Becoming

The Art of Asking

“From what I’ve seen, it isn’t so much the act of asking that paralyzes us–it’s what lies beneath: the fear of being vulnerable, the fear of rejection, the fear of looking needy or weak. The fear of being seen as a burdensome member of the community instead of a productive one. It points, fundamentally, to our separation from one another.”

– Amanda Palmer

The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help

The First Principles Method

“I think it’s important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. [With analogy] we are doing this because it’s like something else that was done, or it is like what other people are doing. [With first principles] you boil things down to the most fundamental truths…and then reason up from there.”

How Elon Musk Thinks: The First Principles Method

Raise Your Game

“When we raise our game aesthetically, we elevate it morally and spiritually as well.”
― Steven Pressfield

From the book Turning Pro.

Vivid Memorable Interactions

“… We can’t easily change the dominant narrative that people have about us, we certainly can’t do it by insisting that our customers or colleagues bring more nuance to the table.

​Instead, we can do it through action. Vivid, memorable interactions are what people remember. Surprises and vivid action matter far more than we imagine, and we regularly underinvest in them.”

The dominant narrative, by Seth Godin

The Man In The Arena

“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

Excerpt from “Citizenship In A Republic” speech

(Thanks for the reminder, Bre)

Letting Go

“When you let go of something you are holding onto, you make room for your destiny to move in.

When you let go, you must have faith.

Have faith in the process, trust that you are going to a place you are meant for, a place that might not make sense now but will make plenty of sense later. You will see that because this happened, that happened. And the order of it all, no matter how painful or beautiful, was exactly what it needed to be.”

Why You Need to Let Go of Attachment, by Lewis Homes

Crew

“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.”
– Marshall Mcluhan

(via)

Design

“Design is all about building coherence between your constraints, your values, and your possibilities.”
Ayse Birsel

(via)

Love For your Subject Matter

“What you need, above all else, is a love for your subject, whatever it is. You’ve got to be so deeply in love with your subject that when curve balls are thrown, when hurdles are put in place, you’ve got the energy to overcome them.”
– Neil deGrasse Tyson

Courage

“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.”
– Aristotle

(via)

Friendship

“Friendship is the dividend of gratitude that flows from an acknowledgement that one has offered something very valuable to someone: not a fancy present, but something even more precious, the key to one’s self-esteem and dignity.”

Friendship and Vulnerability.

Creative Process

“The creative process is an escape from personality.”
-TS Eliot


(via)

On Hope and Cynicism

“Critical thinking without hope is cynicism. Hope without critical thinking is naïveté.”
– Maria Popova

From Maria’s post on Hope, Cynicism, and the Stories We Tell Ourselves

“Verschlimmbessern”

25. Verschlimmbessern (German): To accidentally make something worse in the process of attempting to mend or improve it. Multiple applications around computers, cake baking and relationships.

From this fascinating list of Untranslatable Words.

Courage

“. . . may you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.”
– John O’Donahue

Change

Change Essay Jenny Holzer

“… Action will bring the evidence to your doorstep.”

From one of Jenny Holzer’s ’15 Inflammatory Essays’.

Mattering is important

“…The work of a professional isn’t to recreate thrills. It’s to show up and do the work. To continue the journey you set out on a while ago. To make the change you seek to make in the universe.

Thrilling is fine. Mattering is more important.”

Seth Godin