Phaedrus: “Everyone is bound to bear…”

Everyone is bound to bear patiently the results of his own example.


George S. Patton: “Take calculated risks…”

Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.

George S. Patton

Ira Glass: “What nobody tells people who are beginners…”

What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me … is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.

It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.

Ira Glass

Lori Pickert: “You cannot wear perfectionism and fear…”

You cannot wear perfectionism and fear and nurture confidence and bravery.

Lori Pickert

Lori Pickert: “Eventually you realize…”

Eventually you realize that it’s not reaching your goals that gives your life meaning, purpose, and happiness, but the process of working towards it.

Lori Pickert

Georgia O’Keefe: “I know I cannot paint a flower…”

I know I cannot paint a flower, but maybe in terms of paint color I can convey to you my experience of the flower or the experience that makes the flower significant to me at that particular time.

George O’Keefe

Brendan Gill: “Talent is usually innate…”

Talent is usually innate. There’s nothing you can do about that, but you can practice discipline and make use of your high energy… You have to be a personality who wants to leap out of bed in the morning and start running at top speed.

Brendan Gill

Human language…

Human language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, when all the time we are longing to move the stars to pity.

Gustave Flaubert


Reflect upon your present blessings…

Reflect upon your present blessings of which every[one] has many–not on your past misfortunes, of which all… have some.

Charles Dickens


Those who dream by day…

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many tings that escape those who dream only at night.

Edgar Allan Poe


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