Journeys are the midwives of thought

“Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do.”
Alain de Botton

What We Love

“We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.”
– Goethe

(via)

The Things You Do Often

“For many things, your attitudes came from actions that led to observations that led to explanations that led to beliefs. Your actions tend to chisel away at the raw marble of your persona, carving into being the self you experience from day to day. It doesn’t feel that way, though. To conscious experience, it feels as if you were the one holding the chisel, motivated by existing thoughts and beliefs. It feels as though the person wearing your pants performed actions consistent with your established character, yet there is plenty of research suggesting otherwise. The things you do often create the things you believe.”
– Benjamin Franklin

From this Brain Pickings post.

Respectful Communcation

“Respectful communication under conflict or opposition is an essential and truly awe-inspiring ability.”
– Bryant McGill

Perfect Acceptance

“Once you free yourself from the need for perfect acceptance, it’s a lot easier to launch work that matters.”
– Seth Godin

Nobody Knows What The Hell They Are Doing

“… The real trick to producing great work isn’t to find ways to eliminate the edgy, nervous feeling that you might be swimming out of your depth. Instead, it’s to remember that everyone else is feeling it, too. We’re all in deep water. Which is fine: it’s by far the most exciting place to be.”

Nobody Knows What The Hell They Are Doing, by Oliver Burkeman

Values

“To be mature you have to realize what you value most. It is extraordinary to discover that comparatively few people reach this level of maturity. They seem never to have paused to consider what has value for them. They spend great effort and sometimes make great sacrifices for values that, fundamentally, meet no real needs of their own. Perhaps they have imbibed the values of their particular profession or job, of their community or their neighbors, of their parents or family. Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one’s own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

(via Gretchen Rubin’s Newsletter)

Resist The Presence

“Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present.”
– Alan Watts

on the art of timing and the pleasure of presence

Solution

“Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”
—Tina Fey

15 Career Tips from Smart Women.

The Only Note To Self

“…This is the only note to self: other people are real. That’s all there is to learn. It takes forever, but you can start now.”

The Only Note To Self, by Frank Chimero

Hold Them Together

“A great person attracts great people and knows how to hold them together.”
– Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Real Things

“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.”
― Laura Ingalls Wilder

Too Many Walnuts

“A salad with too many walnuts or a sauce with too many capers is like a Sunday with too many free hours – you stop appreciating the pleasure they provide. I think about that when I cook. Put just enough sweet cubes of carrots in a soup, and you won’t have to search too hard to find one, but when you do, it’ll still give you a little thrill.”
– April Bloomfield

From the new book called The Chef Says: Quotes, Quips and Words of Wisdom by Princeton Architectural Press

In Tune With What You Love

“…the difference between people who are successful and not are that those who are successful seemed to know from the age of 7 or 8, maybe older, they’re very in tune with what they love. I compare it to a voice inside their head, not literally a voice but something that says “you really are drawn to this subject” and they hear it throughout their lives. For me it was writing and books, since I was a kid. At any time I deviated from that love and went into something else, I was just so unhappy and I knew that I wasn’t doing the right thing. It’s just this voice that keeps drawing you back to what you really, really love.”
– Robert Greene

Found the above quote via this blog post, feed your head + find your soul, by Justine Musk. Something I think about a lot, hoping I’ll be able to help my kids find what they really, really love.

To Be Missed

“Do you know what people want more than anything? They want to be missed. They want to be missed the day they don’t show up. They want to be missed when they’re gone.”
– Seth Godin

Can ordinary people become leaders?

(via explore)

Putting Thought Into Things

“If a website (or any artifact) lacks quality, it is not just one aspect that needs improvement and then it’s all good. Quality is not just the method, just the form, or just the content. The lack of quality doesn’t cumulate in a spot, it is fundamental. Quality is what holds form and content together.”
– Oliver Reichenstein

Putting Thought Into Things, by Oliver Reichenstein

Your Attention

“We have these brief lives, and our only real choice is how we will fill them. Your attention is precious. Don’t squander it. Don’t throw it away. Don’t let companies and products steal it from you. Don’t let advertisers trick you into lusting after things you don’t need. Don’t let the media convince you to covet the lives of celebrities. Own your attention — it’s all you really have.”
Jonathan Harris

Start Where You Are

“Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.”
– Arthur Ashe

Doing That Thing On Your Own

“You’ll become known for doing what you do. It’s a simple saying, but it’s true…The only way to start being asked to do something you want to do is to start doing that thing on your own.”
– Jonathan Harris

Beautiful feature in The Great Discontent

Daniel Dennet on how to compose a successful critical commentary

1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

– Daniel Dennet

From this brain pickings blog post.

Enthusiasm

“Knowledge is power, but enthusiasm pulls the switch.”
– Ivern Ball

Your Product

“Outside the room nobody really knows or even cares about your grand vision. Instead, your product is all there is.”
– Albert Wenger

From this article: Your Product Is All There Is

Criticism

“Criticism is a privilege that you earn — it shouldn’t be your opening move in an interaction…

[…]

The notion that the only way you can critically engage with a person’s ideas is to take a shot at them, is to be openly critical — this is actually nonsense. Some of the most effective ways in which you deal with someone’s idea are to treat them completely at face value, and with an enormous amount of respect. That’s actually a faster way to engage with what they’re getting at than to lob grenades in their direction…

If you’re going to hold someone to what they believe, make sure you accurately represent what they believe.”

– Malcolm Gladwell

From this Brain Pickings post: Malcolm Gladwell on criticism, tolerance, and changing your mind

The Panda and the Bicycle

“…Tribes thrive when they connect and coordinate and synchronize. They work when they create a cultural connection. But they can’t thrive when they merely embrace (or deny) the reality of the world around them.

As you organize and lead your tribe, then, the opportunity is to be crystal clear about what you stand for, but to give the alert observers within your clan the ability to stick with you and what they believe without having to pretend that the world outside doesn’t actually exist.”

The panda and the bicycle, by Seth Godin