Inspo

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With our thoughts, we make our world.

Buddha

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We are all investors; the currency at our disposal is time and energy.

Tre Wee

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Ultimately, isn’t this exactly what it means to be an entrepreneur? An entrepreneur clearly envisions the future and becomes so enamored with it that they turn their thoughts into reality and will the future they desire into existence.

Peter Diamandis

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Theirs is an understanding defined and sculpted by established education’s need to grade, mark and rate both work and students throughout their learning journey.

Grant Scott

The idea of purposefully introducing into my life a service designed to fragment my attention is as scary to me as the idea of smoking would be to an endurance athlete, and it should be to you if you’re serious about creating things that matter.

Cal Newport on social media

A good life is made of a series of good days, starting with today.

Annie Dillard

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Your playing small does not serve the world.

Marianne Williamson

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We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own or to other peoples' models, learn to be ourselves, and allow our natural channel to open.

Shakti Gawain

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The imagination is for rehearsing our dreams and reliving our joys.

Peter McWilliams

Your achievements in life are only limited by the magnitude of your drive to achieve them.

Amy Yao

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Fear is not real. It is a product of thoughts you create. Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real. But fear is a choice.

Will Smith in "After Earth"

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Everyone needs a certain cocktail of conditions to be creative and productive. No one will set this up for you: It’s your professional responsibility to create situations that let your talents come alive each day.

Heather Phillips

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But remember what writer Colin Marshall says: ‘Compulsive avoidance of embarrassment is suicide.’ If you spend your life avoiding vulnerability, you and your work will never truly connect with other people.

Austin Kleon in Show Your Work

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Whatever you might be doing, start to tune in - are you shrinking? Are things contracting or are you expanding? And what are those moments of expansion? And how do you cultivate that and bring more awareness to it?

Elle Luna

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Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered you will never grow.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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To do something of your own you’ve got to forget what you’ve learned.

Marcelle Duchamp

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Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.

Andy Warhol

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I think storytelling is so beautiful in a way that you already have what it takes inside you.

Ayuma Michelle

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[Perfectionism is] fear in a mink coat and high heels.

Elizabeth Gilbert

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To act is to modify the shape of the world.

Jean-Paul Sartre

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After a short amount of time, it’s easy to realize that most people are not that much smarter than you—they just go for it. Why not go for it yourself, too?

Stegan Sagmeister

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What am I in the eyes of most people - a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person - somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then - even if that were absolutely true, then I should like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart.

Vincent van Gogh

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Female voices, she argued, are underrepresented in professional settings, from entry-level positions to the C-suite. Women should take risks and express themselves in order to find fulfilling careers… Start sharing your voice—find the medium that works best for you.

Insights From 6 Top Women Leaders in Design and Tech

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To find your voice, you need to read deeply.

Billy White

We begin to let opposites coexist, not trying to get rid of anything but just training and opening our eyes, ears, nostrils, taste buds, hearts, and minds wider and wider, nurturing the habit of opening to whatever is occurring, including our shutting down. We generally interpret the world so heavily in terms of good and bad, happy and sad, nice and not nice that the world doesn’t get a chance to speak for itself.

Pema Chodron

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You want to know the difference between a master and a beginner? The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.

Unknown

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Be as flamboyant, fancy, frilly, girly as you would like to be. Do it while being a gamer, a programmer, a game designer. Because you are helping to change people’s ideas of what a programmer/gamer/game developer looks like. And you are making the world a more awesome place by being you.

Sailor Mercury

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The act of judging that thing separates you from that thing… You judge people, you judge yourself, you separate yourself from everything and then you end up lonely, and that feeling of disconnection and loneliness is eventually what leads to suffering. And then you struggle, you resist against the world, the way it is. Happiness is the absence of suffering.

Naval Ravikant on The Tim Ferriss Show

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If there’s some sense of wanting to change yourself, then it comes from a place of feeling that you’re not good enough. It comes from aggression toward yourself, dislike of your present mind, speech, or body; there’s something about yourself that you feel is not good enough.

Pema Chodron

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I learned another obvious lesson from mountaineering: You never climb a mountain to get to the middle; you climb it to get to the top.

Jim Koch, Brewer and Founder of the Boston Beer Company

You don’t have to start big. If what you do improves the lives of only five people, it’s worth it.

Muhammed Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize recipient

Relentlessness is what gets results. There’s not some specific technique that always works - it’s just persistence. Dedication is the best and only real technique worth practicing.

Scott Dinsmore on Live Your Legend blog

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And yet every day, countless hearths and hearts grow ashen in cubicles around the world as we succumb to the all too human tendency toward choosing what we should be doing in order to make a living over what we must do in order to feel alive.

Maria Popova

It’s been my general experience that things that seem disastrous at the time usually do work out for the best. My rejection from Harvard is certainly a dramatic illustration of this.

Warren Buffet

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Make stuff you love and talk about stuff you love and you’ll attract people who love that kind of stuff. It’s that simple.

Austin Kleon in Show Your Work

What you focus on expands.

Oprah Winfrey

Don’t think of your website as a self-promotion machine, think of it as a self-invention machine. Online, you can become the person you really want to be. Fill your website with your work and your ideas and the stuff you care about.

Austin Kleon

If you want people to know about what you do and the things you care about, you have to share.

Austin Kleon

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A lack of confidence is the heaviest anchor an athlete can wear.

Dave Spitz

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The drive to close the gap between near-perfect and perfect is the difference between great and unstoppable.

Tim Grover

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Imagination can’t be channeled into creation without serious levels of grit.

Chad Grills

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Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.

Winnie the Pooh

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Today is the most important day of our lives.

Thich Nhat Hanh

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Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it.

Soren Kierkegaard

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What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you are saying.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Private victories always precede public victories.

Benjamin P. Hardy, Why Keeping a Daily Journal Could Change Your Life

Your blog does not have to be perfect to be successful, but it does have to be out there, so just start now. Wherever you're at, just start now, and it'll get better, I promise.

Mackenzie Schieck

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We need similarities to give us ballast, and differences to make us move.

Joshua Wolf Shenk in Powers of Two

I undersold and underestimated myself, which caused me—and potential employers—to miss out. Under the assumption that I was being humble, I was actually just losing.

Elli Thompson Purtell, in The Everygirl

When people realize they’re being listened to, they tell you things.

Richard Ford

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The true joy in life is to be a force of fortune instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

George Bernard Shaw

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When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.

Thomas Edison

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You have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.

Katherine Center

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I only succeed a little bit because I fail a lot.

Jared Leto

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Most of all, I rewrote everything… I began to take my lack of talent seriously… Rewriting is what I do best as a writer. I spend more time revising a novel or screenplay than I take to write the first draft.

John Irving, author of The Cider House Rules and other award-winning novels

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Storytelling is an essential tool for changing the world because it starts with changing the conversations around what we see, hear, feel and know to be true.

+Acumen

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Howard Thurman

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Value + Action = Credibility. A lot of you are doing really good work, and you’re making really good decisions, and you’re living a life of integrity, but you’re not telling people why. You’re not attaching that action to the value, and you’re not getting credit. And in the world of personal branding and career advancement, you do need credibility to build influence.

Lynda.com course "Creating Your Personal Brand"

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Often, fears in our mind can be like sap - sticky and very difficult to remove. But fears on paper? Tangible. Visible. Cross-out-able.

Elle Luna in The Crossroads of Should and Must

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It is very important to embrace failure and to do a lot of stuff — as much stuff as possible — with as little fear as possible. It’s much, much better to wind up with a lot of crap having tried it than to overthink in the beginning and not do it.

Stefan Sagmeister

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My friend John T. Unger once said to me, ‘Every piece of art I’ve ever made was because I saw bad and could do better, or saw great and needed to catch up.’

Austin Kleon

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We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it - and stop there, lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on the hot stove-lid again - and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.

Mark Twain

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By ignoring my fear, I learned that my fear was groundless.

Ed Catmull in "Creativity Inc."

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Being realistic is the most common path to mediocrity.

Will Smith

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Ego is like a really fat person trying to get through a very narrow door. If there’s lots of ego, then we’re always getting squeezed and poked and irritated by everything that comes along.

Pema Chodron

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Substantial research has shown that autonomous motivation, in which students read, study, and discuss their work out of interest and the belief in its importance for themselves, is the optimal motivation for deep learning, creativity, and psychological health.

Edward Deci & Richard Ryan, from article Self-Determination Theory of Motivation

Gentleness in our practice and in our life helps to awaken bodhichitta [awakened heart]. It’s like remembering something. This compassion, this clarity, this openness are like something we have forgotten. The way to reunite with bodhichitta is to lighten up in your practice and in your whole life.

Pema Chodron

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The number one thing is to let others think of you as a “can-do” person.

Leslie Moonves, CBS President and CEO

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Well done is better than well said.

Benjamin Franklin

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Nobody knows what they’re doing at first. You have to find something you are interested in, throw yourself at it, do the best you can, and pick things up as you go along.

Graydon Carter, editor of Vanity Fair

I think I have the same insecurities that everybody else has. The difference is that I don’t let them get in my way.

Michael Bloomberg

You don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel to be successful - the key is to do whatever you do in an imaginative, original way.

Ian Schrager

Anyone who isn’t embarrassed by who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.

Alain de Boton

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Journaling about work has given me the focus to identify my strengths and the activities that bring me the greatest joy. Journaling has also given me patience and sharpened my ability to plan.

Sarah Kauss, on keeping a work diary

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Once you make sharing part of your daily routine, you’ll notice themes and trends emerging in what you share. You’ll find patterns in your flow.

Austin Kleon

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We have too many unnecessary things everywhere.

Dieter Rams

I had a couple of checks and balances for myself. It’s difficult, because I was just doing it all on my own, there was no one to really rationalize with, no one really understood what I was doing, that I couldn’t really get any sensible advice from anyone. I had a rule for myself - the first one was a bit of a safety net that I wasn’t allowed to quit when I was cold, wet, tired, scared, ill, or hungry, or at nighttime. I could only quit on a nice sunny day after a really big breakfast, and if I still wanted to quit then, fine, then I can move on to question two, which was I was only allowed to quit when I thought of something better to do with my life. And if I did think of something better to do with my life, then I must quit the bike ride, because just persevering just to get to the end would be stupid if I thought of something better to do. But I never did, so I just kept pedaling.
— Alastair Humphreys, who biked the world solo for four years after high school
You are interesting. Your world is totally different to mine, your parents, even your best friend’s world. You see things differently and take different things from each experience. Blogging is your way of showing the world a different view & a window into your life. I actually found a whole new appreciation for my life when I started blogging, mundane things that I thought everybody did were suddenly new & exciting to some people.
— Rosie, The Londoner
Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
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, from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic” in Paris, 1910
…around the time children enter kindergarten, they begin to notice that their mistakes inspire certain reactions in grown-ups. We rush over to our little ones to point out that they’ve done something wrong. And what’s the lesson we’re teaching? Embarrassment. Fear. Shame… Between coaches and parents and friends and the media, they’ve learned that failing is bad, so they protect themselves and won’t stick their neck out and give their best effort.
— Angela Duckworth, Grit
The most important metric of success is actually how many times we show up. According to the research, the odds of a scientist writing a ground breaking paper, which is defined as the number of citations in other works, is directly correlated, not to how smart the scientist is, but to how many papers the scientist has written. It’s the equal odds rule. If you want to write a groundbreaking paper, publish a lot. If you want to learn how to jump to a new curve, jump.
— Lynda course “Disrupting Yourself”
You also propose something called a “one-nighter” where you ideate, execute, and complete a project in a single night. It sounds like a good way to kickstart the creative process.

Definitely. It’s like dipping your toe into something you might not feel comfortable with. It’s good to force yourself into it, because a lot of the time it’s a battle with yourself.

Forcing yourself into a side project is an easy way to see quick results, which is powerful. Once you’ve completed something, even if it’s small, it’s energizing. If you can get feedback quicker by giving yourself a smaller timeframe to complete something, then it becomes a catalyst to go after larger and more extensive projects. It helps you see how far you can push yourself.
— Gavin Strange for the The Great Discontent
On how technology preys on our psychological vulnerabilities:

When people are given a menu of choices, they rarely ask:

“what’s not on the menu?”
“why am I being given these options and not others?”
“do I know the menu provider’s goals?”
“is this menu empowering for my original need, or are the choices actually a distraction?“
— Tristan Harris
1. Becoming a documentarian of what you do has intrinsic value.

2. Showing your work serves as self-promotion. (And leads to more opportunities.)

3. Sharing your work can create a community around it. (And you get feedback.)

4. Obscurity is your enemy.
— Austin Kleon
We begin to let opposites coexist, not trying to get rid of anything but just training and opening our eyes, ears, nostrils, taste buds, hearts, and minds wider and wider, nurturing the habit of opening to whatever is occurring, including our shutting down. We generally interpret the world so heavily in terms of good and bad, happy and sad, nice and not nice that the world doesn’t get a chance to speak for itself.
— Pema Chodron
He thinks of failure like learning to ride a bike; it isn’t conceivable that you would learn to do this without making mistakes - without toppling over a few times… Says Andrew: ‘You wouldn’t say to somebody who is first learning to play the guitar, “You better think really hard about where you put your fingers on the guitar neck before you strum, because you only get to strum once, and that’s it. And if you get that wrong, we’re going to move on.” That’s no way to learn, is it?’… To be wrong as fast as you can is to sign up for aggressive, rapid learning. Andrew does this without hesitation.
— Ed Catmull on Andrew Stanton’s view of failure in Creativity, Inc.
Regret implies that you’re tired of armoring yourself, tired of eating poison, tired of yelling at someone each time you feel threatened, tired of talking to yourself for hours each time you don’t like the way someone else does something, tired of this constant complaint to yourself. Nobody else has to give you a hard time. Nobody has to tell you. Through keeping your eyes open, you yourself get tired of your neurosis.

You can refrain from doing it again because you don’t want to harm yourself anymore. You can practice because you have basic respect for yourself, and you wish to do what nurtures your sense of confidence and warriorship rather than what makes you feel more poverty-stricken and isolated.
— Pema Chodron
You don’t need more motivation or inspiration to create the life you want. You need less shame around the idea that you’re not doing your best. You need to stop listening to people who are in vastly different life circumstances and life stages than you tell you that you’re just not doing or being enough. You need to let timing do what it needs to do. You need to see lessons where you see barriers. You need to understand that what’s right now becomes inspiration later. You need to see that wherever you are now is what becomes your identity later.

Sometimes we have to let ourselves evolve into the place where we can allow what we want to transpire.
What is your secret to peace and happiness?”

“I say yes to everything that happens. I say yes.
— Naval Ravikant on Tim Ferris’ podcast
Determination is the most important ingredient for success. A superior product, a good business plan, creativity, and good instincts only get you on the game board. It all comes down to the moments when you either wave a white flag and give up or say, ‘I am going to keep fighting.’ The successful people are those who got back up after being knocked down, often repeatedly.
— Gary Hirschberg, Stonyfield Farm Chairman and Co-founder, in Getting There: A Book of Mentors
People tend to think way too linearly about career paths, but career wanderings often have great outcomes too. There’s a whole lot less urgency than you think. It’s okay to drop out, breathe, and try other stuff. I could not have designed a better life’s work. I get up every morning excited. I am completely fulfilled and have not gotten the least bit bored or tired, which is unusual. But the path didn’t appear to me until I was thirty-four, and my wanderings are what prepared me for it.
— Jim Koch, Brewer and Founder of the Boston Beer Company, in Getting There: A Book of Mentors
The greatest regret I have is that, early in my career, I showed myself such cruelty for not having accomplished anything significant. I spent so much time trying to write, but was paralyzed by how behind I felt. Many years later I realized that if I had written only a couple of pages a day I would’ve written five hundred pages at the end of a year (and that’s not even working weekends). Any contribution you make on a daily basis is fantastic. I still happen to write almost everything at once, but I now cut myself slack on all of the thinking and procrastination time I use. I know that it’s all part of my creative process.
— Matthew Weiner
A pointed finger is a victim’s logo… No matter how abominable your condition may be, try not to blame anything or anybody: history, the state, superiors, race, parents, the phase of the moon, childhood, toilet training, etc. The menu is vast and tedious, and this vastness and tedium alone should be offensive enough to set one’s intelligence against choosing from it. The moment that you place blame somewhere, you undermine your resolve to change anything.
— Joseph Brodsky
Alastair: The other reason I think that doing art on a trip is brilliant, is meeting people and opening doors. You are instantly interesting and innocent. Do you find people respond to you differently when you are sketching?

Candace: Oh my gosh, I can’t even compare it at all… It’s amazing that it’s this little key that just continues to open doors for me.

It’s not about being good at art. It’s not about having a pretty picture when you’re finished. It’s all about the creative process and what that does to me when I’m travelling. It makes my trips so much richer now because I feel like I’m observing and in a way I’m contributing. I’m not just taking pictures – taking, taking, taking. I’m starting to give things back, especially when local people see me sketching on location. They love to come up and see I’m taking the time to understand their home town and I think that draws them to connect with me a little bit more because of that.
— Alastair Humphrey
I have always had a flirtatious interest in the ever morphing American dream. Every age of America reinvents and transforms the dream and thereby some part of the national soul. But I began to think no iteration was quite as vile as this one. Despite all the greed and hatred of the past iterations, no version of the dream had been so mechanical — so dehumanizing — as this dream of productivity. In this age of the human robot, of the materialist mind, being efficient took the pre-eminent spot, beyond goodness or power or wisdom or even cruel greed. Wonder became a pump for applicable creativity.
— Quinn Norton
…the number-one trait underpinning creative achievement is precisely the kind of resilience and fail-forward perseverance attributed to the growth mindset… In other words, the fixed-mindset kids wanted to make sure they succeeded in order to seem smart, whereas the growth-mindset ones wanted to stretch themselves, for their definition of success was about becoming smarter.
— Maria Popova on Brain Pickings
If you try to stay safe and soft and average, then you’re going to get lost in the sea of all those other things that look just like you. Find the things about yourself that are weird and cultivate them because, eventually, those are the things the world is going to want to reward you for and that will bring you the most happiness. When you’re young, those are the things that cause you so much pain, but it’s that pain that makes you unique. Own your scars.
— Clayton Cubitt