“Our capacity for what psychoanalyst Adam Phillips has termed “fertile solitude” is absolutely essential not only for our creativity but for the basic fabric of our happiness — without time and space unburdened from external input and social strain, we’d be unable to fully inhabit our interior life, which is the raw material of all art.”
Artist Louise Bourgeois on How Solitude Enriches Creative Work
“Even when change is elective, it will disorient you. You may go through anxiety. You will miss aspects of your former life. It doesn’t matter. The trick is to know in advance of making any big change that you’re going to be thrown off your feet by it. So you prepare for this inevitable disorientation and steady yourself to get through it. Then you take the challenge, make the change, and achieve your dream.”
– Harvey Mackay
(I have posted this quote before, years ago. Always coming back to this one when I go through phases of massive change. Deep breaths.)
“… By all means, get it right. Get it right the first time. Successful makers of change embrace the hierarchy of importance, though, and refuse to engage with a fight about right when it’s vitally important to focus on important instead.”
Big questions before little ones, Seth Godin
“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
“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
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 is that in the presence of which we feel more alive.”
– John O’Donohue
Beauty Is an Edge of Becoming
“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
“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
“When we raise our game aesthetically, we elevate it morally and spiritually as well.”
― Steven Pressfield
From the book Turning Pro.
“… 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
“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)
“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