Accomplish Work Quotes

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Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep. And when at last it is over, there is no evidence: no weapon, no blood, and no body. The only clue might be the shadows beneath your eyes or a terribly thin line near the corner of your mouth indicating something has been suffered, that in the privacy of your life you have lost something and the loss is too empty to share.
Mark Z. Danielewski (House of Leaves)
The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.
Jimmy Johnson
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
Anatole France (Works of Anatole France)
This is true happiness: to have no ambition and to work like a horse as if you had every ambition. To live far from men, not to need them and yet to love them. To have the stars above, the land to your left and the sea to your right and to realize of a sudden that in your heart, life has accomplished its final miracle: it has become a fairy tale.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Zorba the Greek)
Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine
Nikola Tesla
Q: You'er presented with a smooth-faced, eight-foot-high wooden wall. Your objective? Get over it. To, like, save comrades or something. How to accomplish this? A: Take a running start, brace one foot against the wall, throw one hand to the top, try to hang on long enough for a comrade to either grab your hand at the top or for another comrade to push your butt up from below. It takes team work! BKA (bird kid answer): Or you could just, like, fly over it.
James Patterson (Max (Maximum Ride, #5))
The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. work is the key to success, and hard work can help you accomplish anything.
Vince Lombardi Jr.
You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.
Richard Bach
So don't be frightened, dear friend, if a sadness confronts you larger than any you have ever known, casting its shadow over all you do. You must think that something is happening within you, and remember that life has not forgotten you; it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall. Why would you want to exclude from your life any uneasiness, any pain, any depression, since you don't know what work they are accomplishing within you?
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters to a Young Poet)
It doesn't matter how great your shoes are if you don't accomplish anything in them.
Martina Boone (Compulsion (The Heirs of Watson Island, #1))
I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.
Pearl S. Buck
Just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
He did what heroes do after their work is accomplished; he died.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
...well, if women's work was never done, why trouble about how much of it wasn't being accomplished at any given moment?
Diana Gabaldon (The Fiery Cross (Outlander, #5))
Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say 'We have done this ourselves.
Lao Tzu
The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.
Joseph Smith Jr.
When you do nothing you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.
Maya Angelou
Man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, and emerges ahead of his accomplishments.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
As Aristotle said, 'Excellence is a habit.' I would say furthermore that excellence is made constant through the feeling that comes right after one has completed a work which he himself finds undeniably awe-inspiring. He only wants to relax until he's ready to renew such a feeling all over again because to him, all else has become absolutely trivial.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.
Andrew Carnegie
To be successful, one has to be one of three bees - the queen bee, the hardest working bee, or the bee that does not fit in.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
If you accomplish something good with hard work, the labor passes quickly, but the good endures; if you do something shameful in pursuit of pleasure, the pleasure passes quickly, but the shame endures
Musonius Rufus
There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.
Henry Ford
If your life's work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you're not thinking big enough.
Wes Jackson
but I have no mind for business and considered staying awake to be enough of an accomplishment.
David Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day)
This is how women self-sabotage and self-destruct. Unless we have constant witnesses to our hard work, we are convinced we pull off every day of our lives through smoke and mirrors. (27)
Sarah Ban Breathnach (Peace and Plenty: Finding Your Path to Financial Serenity)
The best moments in our lives, are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times—although such experiences can also be enjoyable, if we have worked hard to attain them. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Optimal experience is thus something that we make happen. For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last block on a tower she has built, higher than any she has built so far; for a swimmer, it could be trying to beat his own record; for a violinist, mastering an intricate musical passage. For each person there are thousands of opportunities, challenges to expand ourselves.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
He made me realize that hard work--that the act of finishing, of completing, of accomplishing a task--is joyous
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
She remembered him smiling, and realized that time, that great old healer, had finally accomplished its work, and now, across the years, the face of love no longer stirred up agonies of grief and bitterness. Rather, one was left feeling simply grateful. For how unimaginably empty the past would be without him to remember.
Rosamunde Pilcher (The Shell Seekers)
Even the greatest fool can accomplish a task if it were after his or her heart. But the intelligent ones are those who can convert every work into one that suits their taste.
Vivekananda
Life is short, and potential studies infinite. We have a much better chance of accomplishing something significant when we follow our passionate interests and work in areas of deepest personal meaning.
Stephen Jay Gould
I can tell you what I see. I can tell you what I know about you. I can tell you how I feel. I can’t show you what you really are. But arguing with you won’t accomplish anything. I think we’ve both had our share of people trying to fix us. It doesn’t work. We can only fix ourselves. Let ourselves heal.
Jasinda Wilder (Falling into You (Falling, #1))
Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing
Thomas A. Edison
Workaholics don't actually accomplish more than nonworkaholics. They may claim to be perfectionists, but that just mean they're wasting time fixating on inconsequential details instead of moving on to the next task.
David Heinemeier Hansson (Rework)
Keep a journal, and don't assume that your work has to accomplish anything worthy: artists and peace-workers are in it for the long haul, and not to be judged by immediate results.
William Stafford (Every War Has Two Losers: William Stafford on Peace and War)
Our aim is not to do away with corporations; on the contrary, these big aggregations are an inevitable development of modern industrialism, and the effort to destroy them would be futile unless accomplished in ways that would work the utmost mischief to the entire body politic. We can do nothing of good in the way of regulating and supervising these corporations until we fix clearly in our minds that we are not attacking the corporations, but endeavoring to do away with any evil in them. We are not hostile to them; we are merely determined that they shall be so handled as to subserve the public good. We draw the line against misconduct, not against wealth.
Theodore Roosevelt
She explained that many people, but especially women, feel fraudulent when they are praised for their accomplishments. Instead of feeling worthy of recognition, they feel undeserving and guilty, as if a mistake has been made. Despite being high achievers, even experts in their fields, women can't seem to shake the sense that it is only a matter of time until they are found out for who they really are- impostors with limited skills or abilities.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
It behooves every man to remember that the work of the critic is of altogether secondary importance, and that in the end, progress is accomplished by the man who does things.
Theodore Roosevelt
Il bel far niente means 'the beauty of doing nothing'... [it] has always been a cherished Italian ideal. The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated. The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life's achievement. You don't necessarily need to be rich in order to experience this, either.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Aggressive and hard-charging women violate unwritten rules about acceptable social conduct. Men are continually applauded for being ambitious and powerful and successful, but women who display these same traits often pay a social penalty. Female accomplishments come at a cost.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
Constantly scanning the world for the negative comes with a great cost. It undercuts our creativity, raises our stress levels, and lowers our motivation and ability to accomplish goals.
Shawn Achor (The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work)
Struggle is the food from which change is made, and the best time to make the most of a struggle is when it's right in front of your face. Now, I know that might sound a bit simplistic. But, too often we're led to believe that struggling is a bad thing, or that we struggle because we're doing something wrong. I disagree. I look at struggle as an opportunity to grow. True struggle happens when you can sense what is not working for you and you're willing to take the appropriate action to correct the situation. Those who accomplish change are willing to engage the struggle.
Danny Dreyer
There’s always stuff to work on. You’re never there.
Tiger Woods
Money is really worth no more than as it can be used to accomplish the Lord's work. Life is worth as much as it is spent for the Lord's service.
George Müller (The Autobiography of George Muller)
A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.
Larry Bird
Busy hands achieve more than idle tongues.
Matshona Dhliwayo
Your job doesn’t define you—your bravery and kindness and gratitude do. Even without any “big” accomplishments yet to your name, you are enough. Whether you have top billing, or you’re still dancing in the back row, you are enough, just as you are.
Lauren Graham (In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It)
[She] knew there were women who worked successfully out of the home. They ran businesses, created empires and managed to raise happy, healthy, well-adjusted children who went on to graduate magna cum laude from Harvard or became world-renowned concert pianists. Possibly both. These women accomplished all this while cooking gourmet meals, furnishing their homes with Italian antiques, giving clever, intelligent interviews with Money magazine and People, and maintaining a brilliant marriage with an active enviable sex life and never tipping the scale at an ounce over their ideal weight... She knew those women were out there. If she'd had a gun, she'd have hunted every last one of them down and shot them like rabid dogs for the good of womankind.
Nora Roberts (Birthright)
Collaborators don’t steal others’ ideas, take advantage of people, or sit back while others accomplish their tasks for them. Collaborators take action to ensure that everyone with whom they work can enjoy the maximum potential outcome.
Raoul Davis Jr. (Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life)
Actually there were many officers' clubs that Yossarian had not helped build, but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa. It was a sturdy and complex monument to his powers of determination. Yossarian never went there to help until it was finished; then he went there often, so pleased was he with the large , fine, rambling shingled building. It was a truly splendid building, and Yossarian throbbed with a mighty sense of accomplishment each time he gazed at it and reflected that none of the work that had gone into it was his.
Joseph Heller (Catch-22)
(God speaking)...just because I work incredible good out of unspeakable tragedies doesn't mean I orchestrate the tragedies. Don't ever assume that my using something means that I caused it or that I need it to accomplish my purposes. That will only lead you to false notions about me. Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors.
William Paul Young (The Shack)
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return. Learning never exhausts the mind. Art is never finished, only abandoned. Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen. The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art. It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things. I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do. As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death. Water is the driving force of all nature.
Leonardo da Vinci
It's not so much what you accomplish. But what's more important is how far you've come to accomplish what you have. Success is the measure of not mere achievement, but also how hard one had to work.
Therone Shellman
At the end of our life, author Jack Kornfield says, the most important question is not how hard we worked or how much we accomplished. It’s “Did I Love Well?
Esther Earl (This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl)
Women who work with animals hear this all the time: that their love for animals must arise out of a sublimated child-rearing urge. Ana's tired of the stereotype. She likes children just fine, but they're not the standard against which all other accomplishments should be measured. Caring for animals is worthwhile in and of itself, a vocation that need offer no apologies.
Ted Chiang (The Lifecycle of Software Objects)
If you don’t take the time to get really clear about exactly what it is you’re trying to accomplish, then you’re forever doomed to spend your life achieving the goals of those who do.
Steve Pavlina
Girls have always been told that their value is tied to their appearance; their accomplishments are always magnified if they're pretty and diminished if they're not. Even worse, some girls get the message that they can get through life relying on just their looks, and then they never develop their minds. [...] Being pretty is fundamentally a passive quality; even what you work at it, you're working at being passive.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
A 2011 McKinsey report noted that men are promoted based on potential, while women are promoted based on past accomplishments.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead)
Man fails to do the works of Jesus Christ because he attempts to accomplish them from his present level of consciousness. You will never transcend your present accomplishments through sacrifice and struggle. Your present level of consciousness will only be transcended as you drop the present state and rise to a higher level. You rise to a higher level of consciousness by taking your attention away from your present limitations and placing it upon that which you desire to be. Do not attempt this in day-dreaming or wishful thinking but in a positive manner. Claim yourself to be the thing desired. I AM that; no sacrifice, no diet, no human tricks. All that is asked of you is to accept your desire. If you dare claim it, you will express it.
Neville Goddard (Your Faith is Your Fortune)
It takes an enormous amount of work to complete a novel, and each of the students who completed the course has accomplished something many people only dream about.
Daniel Schwabauer
Intimacy, says the phenomenologist Gaston Bachelard, is the highest value. I resist this statement at first. What about artistic achievement, or moral courage, or heroism, or altruistic acts, or work in the cause of social change? What about wealth or accomplishment? And yet something about it rings true, finally—that what we want is to be brought into relationship, to be inside, within. Perhaps it’s true that nothing matters more to us than that.
Mark Doty (Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy)
It is so demanding to be born into a house full of women, where everyone loves you so overwhelmingly that they end up suffocating with their love; a house where you, as the only child, have to be more mature than all the adults around.... But the problem is that they want me to become everything they themselves couldn't accomplish in life..... As a result, I had to work my butt off to fulfill all their dreams at the same time.
Elif Shafak (The Bastard of Istanbul)
I’ve always found hitting a man from behind to be the best way to go about things. This can sometimes be accomplished by dint of a simple ruse. Classics such as, “What’s that over there?” work surprisingly often, but for truly optimal results it’s best if the person doesn’t ever know you were there.
Mark Lawrence (Prince of Fools (The Red Queen's War, #1))
Don’t think. Act. We can always revise and revisit once we’ve acted. But we can accomplish nothing until we act.
Steven Pressfield (Do the Work)
Any fool knows that to work hard at something you want to accomplish is the only way to be happy.
Eugene O'Neill
He laughs again. “You’re different, Caymen.” “Different than what?” “Than any other girl I’ve met.” Considering most of the girls he’d met probably had fifty times as much money as I did, that wasn’t a hard feat to accomplish. Thinking about that makes my eyes sting. “It’s refreshing. You make me feel normal.” “Huh. I better work on that because you’re far from normal.” He smiles and pushes my shoulder playfully. My heart slams into my ribs. “Caymen.” I take another handful of dirt and smash it against his neck then try to make a quick escape. He grabs me from behind, and I see his hand, full of dirt, coming toward my face when the warning beeps of the tractor start up. “Saved by the gravediggers,” he says.
Kasie West (The Distance Between Us (Old Town Shops #1))
A man might find for a moment that he was unable to work, but that's exactly the right time to remember his past accomplishments and to consider that later on, when the obstacles has been removed, he's bound to work all the harder and more efficiently.
Franz Kafka (The Metamorphosis)
, “As for a limit to one’s labors, I, for one, do not recognize any for a high-minded man, except that the labors themselves should lead to noble accomplishments.
Alexander the Great
It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply." God actually rises up storms of conflict in relationships at times in order to accomplish that deeper work in our character. We cannot love our enemies in our own strength. This is graduate-level grace. Are you willing to enter this school? Are you willing to take the test? If you pass, you can expect to be elevated to a new level in the Kingdom. For He brings us through these tests as preparation for greater use in the Kingdom. You must pass the test first.
A.W. Tozer
Haji Ali spoke. ‘If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways. The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die. Doctor Greg, you must take time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated but we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time.’ That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I’ve ever learned in my life. We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly…Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them.
Greg Mortenson (Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time)
Good strategy works by focusing energy and resources on one, or a very few, pivotal objectives whose accomplishment will lead to a cascade of favorable outcomes.
Richard P. Rumelt (Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters)
Sometime, Mrs. Truitt, we work very hard at something, we exhaust ourselves to accomplish something which seems vital to us." He chose his words with care. "Our best hope for happiness. And sometimes we find that thing, only to find it has simply not been worth the effort.
Robert Goolrick (A Reliable Wife)
Dream Bigger You think. Stop letting small minded people dictate your future when all they really want is for you to accomplish the work of two, for minimum wage. Reach higher, or else plan for retirement in a cardboard box, praying global warming is more than a catchphrase. And if that fails to be the case, hope freezing to death is really as simple as falling asleep, to the lullaby of teeth chatter. Dream bigger before you can't remember how to dream at all.
Ellen Hopkins (Triangles)
Vices are simply overworked virtues, anyway. Economy and frugality are to be commended but follow them on in an increasing ratio and what do we find at the other end? A miser! If we overdo the using of spare moments we may find an invalid at the end, while perhaps if we allowed ourselves more idle time we would conserve our nervous strength and health to more than the value the work we could accomplish by emulating at all times the little busy bee. I once knew a woman, not very strong, who to the wonder of her friends went through a time of extraordinary hard work without any ill effects. I asked her for her secret and she told me that she was able to keep her health, under the strain, because she took 20 minutes, of each day in which to absolutely relax both mind and body. She did not even “set and think.” She lay at full length, every muscle and nerve relaxed and her mind as quiet as her body. This always relieved the strain and renewed her strength.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Instead of imagining all the things we can accomplish, we ask God to do what only he can accomplish. Yes, we work, we plan, we organize, and we create, but we do it all while we fast, while we pray, and while we constantly confess our need for the provision of God.
David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
...What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might. When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day... If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things. Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology. The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased... I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim. I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do... I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation. The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study. ...Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now. [Columbian Magazine interview]
Thomas A. Edison
No one is ever going to give you anything of value. You have to work for it, sweat for it, fight for it. But there is far greater value in accomplishments you earn than in accolades that are merely given to you. When you earn something, you never have to worry about justifying that you truly deserve it.
Ronda Rousey (My Fight / Your Fight)
Until thought is linked with purpose there is no intelligent accomplishment.
John C. Maxwell (Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work)
Hard work makes you feel good because you have accomplished something.
Alcurtis Turner
This idea comes to you, you can see it, but to accomplish it you need what I call a "setup." For example, you may need a working shop or a working painting studio. You may beed a working music studio. Or a computer room where you can write something. It's crucial to have a setup, so that, at any given moment, when you get an idea, you have the place and the tools to make it happen. If you don't have a setup, there are many times when you get the inspiration, the idea, but you have no tools, no place to put it together. And the idea just sits there and festers. Overtime, it will go away. You didn't filfill it--and that's just a heartache.
David Lynch (Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity)
When we start being too impressed by the results of our work, we slowly come to the erroneous conviction that life is one large scoreboard where someone is listing the points to measure our worth. And before we are fully aware of it, we have sold our soul to the many grade-givers. That means we are not only in the world, but also of the world. Then we become what the world makes us. We are intelligent because someone gives us a high grade. We are helpful because someone says thanks. We are likable because someone likes us. And we are important because someone considers us indispensable. In short, we are worthwhile because we have successes. And the more we allow our accomplishments — the results of our actions — to become the criteria of our self-esteem, the more we are going to walk on our mental and spiritual toes, never sure if we will be able to live up to the expectations which we created by our last successes. In many people’s lives, there is a nearly diabolic chain in which their anxieties grow according to their successes. This dark power has driven many of the greatest artists into self-destruction.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life)
A man may possess a profound knowledge of history and mathematics; he may be an authority in psychology, biology, or astronomy; he may know all the discovered truths pertaining to geology and natural science; but if he has not with this knowledge that nobility of soul which prompts him to deal justly with his fellow men, to practice virtue and holiness in his personal life, he is not truly an educated man. Character is the aim of true education; and science, history, and literature are but means used to accomplish the desired end. Character is not the result of chance work but of continuous right thinking and right acting.
David O. McKay (Gospel Ideals)
Sometimes life will be awesome. Sometimes, life will look blurry. Along the way in the journey of life, sometimes, life will be colder than warmer and sometimes warmer than colder but in all things we must remember that it is never over for a purposeful journey of life until the journey of life is over. Be it rough or smooth, good or bad, we must accomplish the task. It shall always not be good and it shall always not be bad; we only have to work hard.
Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
When sight ceases, it is the time for faith to work. The greater the difficulties, the easier it is for faith. As long as human possibilities for success remain, faith does not accomplish things as easily as when all natural prospects fail.
George Müller (The Autobiography of George Muller)
I've learned that an achievement that seems to have been accomplished by one person probably has hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people's minds and work behind it, and I've learned that it's a privilege to be the embodiment of that work.
Scott Kelly (Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery)
Apparently, before we are born, each of us experiences a vision of what our life can be, complete with reflections on our parents and our tendencies to engage in particular control dramas, even how we might work through these dramas with these parents and go on to be prepared for what we want to accomplish.
James Redfield (The Tenth Insight: Holding the Vision (Celestine Prophecy, #2))
Until we embrace our mutual brokenness, our work with low-income people is likely to do more harm than good. I sometimes unintentionally reduce poor people to objects that I use to fulfill my own need to accomplish something. I am not okay, and you are not okay. But Jesus can fix us both.
Steve Corbett (When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself)
Human beings are the only ones in nature who are aware that they will die. For that reason and only for that reason, I have a profound respect for the human race, and I believe that its future is going to be much better than its present. Even knowing that their days are numbered and that everything will end when they least expect it, people make of their lives a battle that is worthy of a being with eternal life. What people regard as vanity-leaving great works, having children, acting in such a way as to prevent one's name from being forgotten- I regard as the highest expression of human dignity.
Paulo Coelho (The Pilgrimage)
Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.
Laurence J. Peter (The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong)
People who accomplish great things work toward their objectives every day.
Zig Ziglar (Born to Win: Find Your Success Code)
Satisfaction in life doesn't jump on you, you work for it, you earn it. You will not sit in a place, fold your hands and expect to be satisfied with life.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (The Best Option)
Thinking about working out burns 0 calories, 0 percentage of fat and accomplishes 0 goals!
Gwen Ro
To look around at what you have accomplished in a day gives a man a good feeling. Too many men work on parts of things. Doing a job to completeness satisfies a man.
Richard L. Proenneke
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... "cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. "I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
Sterling Hayden (Wanderer)
You fight, work, sweat, nearly kill yourself, sometimes do kill yourself, trying to accomplish something — and you can’t. Not from any fault of yours. You simply can do nothing, neither great nor little — not a thing in the world — not even marry an old maid, or get a wretched 600-ton cargo of coal to its port of destination.
Joseph Conrad (Youth)
Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.
Thomas A. Edison
Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a revery, amidst the pines and hickories and sumachs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sing around or flitted noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveller's wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time. I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of the hands would have been. They were not time subtracted from my life, but so much over and above my usual allowance. I realized what the Orientals mean by contemplation and the forsaking of works. For the most part, I minded not how the hours went. The day advanced as if to light some work of mine; it was morning, and lo, now it is evening, and nothing memorable is accomplished.
Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
Lat at nigh have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were mean to be? Are you a writer who doesn't write, a painter who doesn't pain, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle)
A man worth being with is one… That never lies to you Is kind to people that have hurt him A person that respects another’s life That has manners and shows people respect That goes out of his way to help people That feels every person, no matter how difficult, deserves compassion Who believes you are the most beautiful person he has ever met Who brags about your accomplishments with pride Who talks to you about anything and everything because no bad news will make him love you less That is a peacemaker That will see you through illness Who keeps his promises Who doesn’t blame others, but finds the good in them That raises you up and motivates you to reach for the stars That doesn’t need fame, money or anything materialistic to be happy That is gentle and patient with children Who won’t let you lie to yourself; he tells you what you need to hear, in order to help you grow Who lives what he says he believes in Who doesn’t hold a grudge or hold onto the past Who doesn’t ask his family members to deliberately hurt people that have hurt him Who will run with your dreams That makes you laugh at the world and yourself Who forgives and is quick to apologize Who doesn’t betray you by having inappropriate conversations with other women Who doesn’t react when he is angry, decides when he is sad or keep promises he doesn’t plan to keep Who takes his children’s spiritual life very seriously and teaches by example Who never seeks revenge or would ever put another person down Who communicates to solve problems Who doesn’t play games or passive aggressively ignores people to hurt them Who is real and doesn’t pretend to be something he is not Who has the power to free you from yourself through his positive outlook Who has a deep respect for women and treats them like a daughter of God Who doesn’t have an ego or believes he is better than anyone Who is labeled constantly by people as the nicest person they have ever met Who works hard to provide for the family Who doesn’t feel the need to drink alcohol to have a good time, smoke or do drugs Who doesn't have to hang out a bar with his friends, but would rather spend his time with his family Who is morally free from sin Who sees your potential to be great Who doesn't think a woman's place has to be in the home; he supports your life mission, where ever that takes you Who is a gentleman Who is honest and lives with integrity Who never discusses your private business with anyone Who will protect his family Who forgives, forgets, repairs and restores When you find a man that possesses these traits then all the little things you don’t have in common don’t matter. This is the type of man worth being grateful for.
Shannon L. Alder
In addition, if a person makes the error of identifying self with his work (rather than with the internal virtues that make the work possible), if self-esteem is tied primarily to accomplishments, success, income, or being a good family provider, the danger is that economic circumstances beyond the individual’s control may lead to the failure of the business or the loss of a job, flinging him into depression or acute demoralization.
Nathaniel Branden (The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem)
I know the truth, and I will tell you now: He was admired, loved, cheered, honored, respected. In life as well as in death. A great man, he is. A great man, he was. A great man he will be. He died that day because his body had served its purpose. His soul had done what it came to do, learned what it came to learn, and then was free to leave. And I knew, as Denny sped me toward the doctor who would fix me, that if I had already accomplished what I set out to accomplish here on earth, if I had already learned what I was meant to learn, I would have left the curb one second later than I had, and I would have been killed instantly by that car. But I was not killed. Because I was not finished. I still had work to do.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
Do I love laziness more than I love the feeling of accomplishing work? I take the path of least resistance and curl up with a book.
Sylvia Plath
You could also ask who’s in charge. Lots of people think, well, we’re humans; we’re the most intelligent and accomplished species; we’re in charge. Bacteria may have a different outlook: more bacteria live and work in one linear centimeter of your lower colon than all the humans who have ever lived. That’s what’s going on in your digestive tract right now. Are we in charge, or are we simply hosts for bacteria? It all depends on your outlook.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier)
First, when we are busy, we naturally believe that we are achieving. But busyness does not equal productivity. Activity is not necessarily accomplishment. Second, prioritizing requires leaders to continually think ahead, to know what's important, to know what's next, to see how everything relates to the overall vision. That's hard work. Third, prioritizing causes us to do things that are at the least uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful.
John C. Maxwell (The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You)
Loving relationships, though necessary for life, health, and growth, are among the most complicated skills. Before we can be successful at achieving relationships, it is necessary that we broaden our understanding of how they work, what they mean and how what we do and believe can enhance or destroy them. We can accomplish this only if we are willing to put in the energy and take the time to study failed relationships as well as examine successful ones. Loving relationships cannot be taken lightly. Unless we are looking for pain, they must not be forever approached in a trial and error fashion. Too many of us have experienced the cost of these lackadaisical approaches in terms of tears, confusion and guilt.
Leo F. Buscaglia (Loving Each Other)
You spent so much time explaining yourself, your work to others—what it meant, what you were trying to accomplish, why you had chosen the colors and subject matter and materials and application and technique that you had—that it was a relief to simply be with another person to whom you didn’t have to explain anything.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Idolizing virginity as a stand-in for women's morality means that nothing else matters- not what we accomplish, not what we think, not what we care about and work for. Just if/how/whom we have sex with. That's all.
Jessica Valenti (The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women)
He wants to accomplish something in life, learn languages, see the world, read a thousand books, he wants to discover whether there is any core, but sometimes it's hard to think and read when one is stiff and sore after a difficult fishing voyage, wet and cold after twelve hours' working in the meadows, when his thoughts can be so heavy that he can hardly lift them, then it's a long way to the core.
Jón Kalman Stefánsson (Himnaríki og helvíti)
Throughout my life, until this very moment, whatever virtue I have accomplished, including any benefit that may come from this book, I dedicate to the welfare of all beings. May the roots of suffering diminish. May warfare, violence, neglect, indifference, and addiction also decrease. May the wisdom and compassion of all beings increase, now and in the future. May we clearly see all the barriers we erect between ourselves and others to be as insubstantial as our dreams. May we appreciate the great perfection of all phenomena. May we continue to open our hearts and minds, in order to work ceaselessly for the benefit of all beings. May we go to the places that scare us. May we lead the life of a warrior.
Pema Chödrön (The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times)
But then I think about what I’ve learned here in the last year, and I don’t mean in my classes, but what I’ve learned from watching my friends face their futures and search for their purposes. I’ve learned that a storm isn’t always just bad weather, and a fire can be the start of something new. I’ve found out that there are a lot more shades of gray in this world than I ever knew about. I’ve learned that sometimes, when you’re afraid but you keep on moving forward, that’s the biggest kind of courage there is. And finally, I’ve learned that life isn’t really about failure and success. It’s about being present, in the moment when big things happen, when everything changes, including yourself. So I would tell us, no matter how bright we think our futures are, it doesn’t matter. Whether we go off to some fancy university or stay home and work. That doesn’t define us. Our purpose on this earth is not a single event, an accomplishment we can check off a list. There is no test. No passing or failing. There’s only us, each moment shaping who we are, into what we will become. So I say forget about the future. Pay attention to now. This moment right now. Let go of expectations. Just be. Then you are free to become something great.
Cynthia Hand (Hallowed (Unearthly, #2))
I stared at the pictogram of a burger nestled between similar representations of shakes, sodas, and fries, on the front of my register. I wondered why humankind seemed so dead set on destroying all of its accomplishments. We draw on cave walls, spend thousands of years developing complex language systems, the printing press, computers, and what do we do with it? Create a cash register with the picture of a burger on it, just in case the cashier didn't finish the second grade. One step forward, two steps back-- like an evolutionary cha-cha. Working here just proved that the only thing separating me from a monkey was pants.
Lish McBride (Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer, #1))
During the years of Stalin's reign, the Soviet nation made dramatic gains in literacy, industrial wages, health care, and women's rights. These accomplishments usually go unmentioned when the Stalinist era is discussed. To say that "socialism doesn't work" is to overlook the fact that it did. In Eastern Europe, Russia, China, Mongolia, North Korea, and Cuba, revolutionary communism created a life for the mass of people that was far better than the wretched existence they had endured under feudal lords, military bosses, foreign colonizers, and Western capitalists. The end result was a dramatic improvement in living conditions for hundreds of millions of people on a scale never before or since witnessed in history.
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
History pays no heed to the unspectacular citizen who worked hard all day and walked at night to a humble home with dust on his tunic and his flat cap. But in the end the builders have had the better of it. The miracles they accomplished in stone are still standing and still beautiful, even with the disintegration of so many centuries on them, but the battlefields where great warriors died are so encroached upon by modern villas and so befouled by the rotting remains of motorcars and the staves of oil barrels that they do not always repay a visit.
Thomas B. Costain
Believers are achievers, therefore believe and achieve! • Believe that you are responsible for your own accomplishments God deposited in you! • Believe that success is not luck; it is the result a deliberate effort to do a hard work! • Believe that prayer works through faith and action! • Believe that great people took great steps. Weak people took weak steps! • Believe that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!
Israelmore Ayivor
Poverty is not caused by men and women getting married; it's not caused by machinery; it's not caused by "over-production"; it's not caused by drink or laziness; and it's not caused by "over-population". It's caused by Private Monopoly. That is the present system. They have monopolized everything that it is possible to monopolize; they have got the whole earth, the minerals in the earth and the streams that water the earth. The only reason they have not monopolized the daylight and the air is that it is not possible to do it. If it were possible to construct huge gasometers and to draw together and compress within them the whole of the atmosphere, it would have been done long ago, and we should have been compelled to work for them in order to get money to buy air to breathe. And if that seemingly impossible thing were accomplished tomorrow, you would see thousands of people dying for want of air - or of the money to buy it - even as now thousands are dying for want of the other necessities of life. You would see people going about gasping for breath, and telling each other that the likes of them could not expect to have air to breathe unless the had the money to pay for it. Most of you here, for instance, would think and say so. Even as you think at present that it's right for so few people to own the Earth, the Minerals and the Water, which are all just as necessary as is the air. In exactly the same spirit as you now say: "It's Their Land," "It's Their Water," "It's Their Coal," "It's Their Iron," so you would say "It's Their Air," "These are their gasometers, and what right have the likes of us to expect them to allow us to breathe for nothing?" And even while he is doing this the air monopolist will be preaching sermons on the Brotherhood of Man; he will be dispensing advice on "Christian Duty" in the Sunday magazines; he will give utterance to numerous more or less moral maxims for the guidance of the young. And meantime, all around, people will be dying for want of some of the air that he will have bottled up in his gasometers. And when you are all dragging out a miserable existence, gasping for breath or dying for want of air, if one of your number suggests smashing a hole in the side of one of th gasometers, you will all fall upon him in the name of law and order, and after doing your best to tear him limb from limb, you'll drag him, covered with blood, in triumph to the nearest Police Station and deliver him up to "justice" in the hope of being given a few half-pounds of air for your trouble.
Robert Tressell (The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists)
The Laziness Lie is a deep-seated, culturally held belief system that leads many of us to believe the following: Deep down I’m lazy and worthless. I must work incredibly hard, all the time, to overcome my inner laziness. My worth is earned through my productivity. Work is the center of life. Anyone who isn’t accomplished and driven is immoral.
Devon Price (Laziness Does Not Exist)
Sabbath requires surrender. If we only stop when we are finished with all our work, we will never stop, because our work is never completely done. With every accomplishment there arises a new responsibility... Sabbath dissolves the artificial urgency of our days, because it liberates us from the need to be finished.
Wayne Muller
I transform "Work" in its analytic meaning (the Work of Mourning, the Dream-Work) into the real "Work" - of writing.) for: the "Work" by which (it is said) we emerge from the great crises (love, grief) cannot be liquidated hastily: for me, it is accomplished only in and by writing.
Roland Barthes (Mourning Diary)
So long as we do not know definitely what we want, our forces will be scattered, and so long as our forces are scattered, we will accomplish but little, or fail entirely. When we know what we want, however, and proceed to work for it with all the power and ability that is in us, we may rest assured that we will get it. When we direct the power of thinking, the power of will, the power of mental action, the power of desire, the power of ambition, in fact, all the power we possess on the one thing we want, on the one goal we desire to reach, it is not difficult to understand why success in a greater and greater measure must be realized.
Christian D. Larson
Because any fool knows that to work hard at something you want to accomplish is the only way to be happy. But beyond that it is entirely up to you. You’ve got to do for yourself all the seeking and finding concerned with what you want to do. Anyone but yourself is useless to you there.
Eugene O'Neill
I decided to make spaghetti for lunch again. Not that I was the least bit hungry. But I couldn't just go on sitting on the sofa, waiting for the phone to ring. I had to move my body, to begin working toward some goal. I put water in a pot, turned on the gas, and until it boiled I would make tomato sauce while listening to an FM broadcast. The radio was playing an unaccompanied violin sonata by Bach. The performance itself was excellent, but there was something annoying about it. I didn't know whether this was the fault of the violinist or of my own present state of mind, but I turned off the music and went on cooking in silence. I heated the olive oil, put garlic in the pan, and added minced onions. When these began to brown, I added the tomatoes that I had chopped and strained. It was good to be cutting things and frying things like this. It gave me a sense of accomplishment that I could feel in my hands. I liked the sounds and the smells.
Haruki Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle)
People everywhere pray for a job where they can “work from home,” so I guess, going with the gratitude theme, I should be grateful for this opportunity. I wonder how, though, when people get one of these jobs, they keep themselves from spending the entire day going on YouTube and looking at videos about baby deer that have been adopted by golden retrievers. Because that’s all I’ve accomplished today so far.
Meg Cabot (Royal Wedding (The Princess Diaries, #11))
Hard fun is, of course, the idea that we take pleasure in accomplishing something difficult: the joy in meeting and mastering a challenge. As a result, when someone is doing something that is hard fun, moment by moment it looks more like "work" than "fun," but the net effect is pleasurable overall.
David Williamson Shaffer
I learned a lot, when I was a child, from novels and stories, even fairytales have some point to them--the good ones. The thing that impressed me most forcibly was this: the villains went to work with their brains and always accomplished something. To be sure they were "foiled" in the end, but that was by some special interposition of Providence, not by any equal exertion of intellect on the part of the good people. The heroes and middle ones were mostly very stupid. If bad things happened, they practised patience, endurance, resignation, and similar virtues; if good things happened they practised modesty and magnanimity and virtues like that, but it never seemed to occur to any of them to make things move their way. Whatever the villains planned for them to do, they did, like sheep. The same old combinations of circumstances would be worked off on them in book after book--and they always tumbled. It used to worry me as a discord worries a musician. Hadn't they ever read anything? Couldn't they learn anything from what they read--ever? It appeared not. And it seemed to me, even as a very little child, that what we wanted was good people with brains, not just negative, passive, good people, but positive, active ones, who gave their minds to it. "A good villain. That's what we need!" I said to myself. "Why don't they write about them? Aren't there ever any?" I never found any in all my beloved story books, or in real life. And gradually, I made up my mind to be one.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (Benigna Machiavelli)
Real success and accomplishment, at whatever it is you are passionate about, requires real work. Real sacrifice. Real disappointment. Real failure. And it requires the ability to scrape your sorry ass up off the floor, stumble to your feet, wipe the rivulets of watery drool from your face, and do it again, like an obstinate toddler running against the wall with his head in a bucket.
Aisha Tyler (Self-Inflicted Wounds: Heartwarming Tales of Epic Humiliation)
The more government takes in taxes, the less incentive people have to work. What coal miner or assembly-line worker jumps at the offer of overtime when he knows Uncle Sam is going to take sixty percent or more of his extra pay? . . . Any system that penalizes success and accomplishment is wrong. Any system that discourages work, discourages productivity, discourages economic progress, is wrong. If, on the other hand, you reduce tax rates and allow people to spend or save more of what they earn, they’ll be more industrious; they’ll have more incentive to work hard, and money they earn will add fuel to the great economic machine that energizes our national progress. The result: more prosperity for all—and more revenue for government.4
Donald J. Trump (Time to Get Tough: Making America #1 Again)
Too often, it seems to me, in missionary and educational work among underdeveloped races, people yield to the temptation of doing that which was done a hundred years before, or is being done in other communities a thousand miles away. The temptation often is to run each individual through a certain educational mould, regardless of the condition of the subject or the end to be accomplished.
Booker T. Washington (Up from Slavery)
Thank God for, as I posted earlier, the glow of work accomplished. Because a few seconds later, someone on the internet mentioned pie. I don’t blame them. It’s a good subject. But pie was mentioned and I remembered there was strawberry-rhubarb pie in the refrigerator. So I went there. And pie there was none. I suspect the teenaged boy has inhaled it. And now I cling to life and hope as best I can, because my world is dark and pieless.
Tad Williams
It often happens that men pull in a certain political, social, or familiar harness simply because they never have time to ask themselves whether the position they stand in and the work they accomplish are right; whether their occupations really suit their inner desires and capacities, and give them the satisfaction which everyone has the right to expect from his work. Active men are especially liable to find themselves in such a position. Every day brings with it a fresh batch of work, and a man throws himself into his bed late at night without having completed what he had expected to do; then in the morning he hurries to the unfinished task of the previous day. Life goes, and there is no time left to think, no time to consider the direction that one's life is taking. So it was with me.
Pyotr Kropotkin (Memoirs of a Revolutionist)
Scheherazade had perused the books, annals and legends of preceding Kings, and the stories, examples and instances of bygone men and things; indeed it was said that she had collected a thousand books of histories relating to antique races and departed rulers. She had perused the works of the poets and knew them by heart; she had studied philosophy and the sciences, arts and accomplishments; and she was pleasant and polite, wise and witty, well read and well bred.
Richard Francis Burton (One Thousand and One Nights: Complete Arabian Nights Collection)
If I ever see myself as separate or superior, if I try to lift myself up by pulling down others, if I believe people are on a journey I have completed, doing personal work I have mastered, attempting tasks I've accomplished--if I have any feeling that I am above them instead of trying to rise with them, then I have isolated myself from them.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
The truth of the matter is that there’s nothing you can’t accomplish if: 1) You clearly decide what it is that you’re absolutely committed to achieving, 2) You are willing to take massive action, 3) You notice what’s working or not, and 4) You continue to change your approach until you achieve what you want, using whatever life gives you along the way.
Anthony Robbins (Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!)
The ceremonies that persist—birthdays, weddings, funerals— focus only on ourselves, marking rites of personal transition. […] We know how to carry out this rite for each other and we do it well. But imagine standing by the river, flooded with those same feelings as the Salmon march into the auditorium of their estuary. Rise in their honor, thank them for all the ways they have enriched our lives, sing to honor their hard work and accomplishments against all odds, tell them they are our hope for the future, encourage them to go off into the world to grow, and pray that they will come home. Then the feasting begins. Can we extend our bonds of celebration and support from our own species to the others who need us? Many indigenous traditions still recognize the place of ceremony and often focus their celebrations on other species and events in the cycle of the seasons. In a colonist society the ceremonies that endure are not about land; they’re about family and culture, values that are transportable from the old country. Ceremonies for the land no doubt existed there, but it seems they did not survive emigration in any substantial way. I think there is wisdom in regenerating them here, as a means to form bonds with this land.
Robin Wall Kimmerer (Braiding Sweetgrass)
Hold childhood in reverence, and do not be in any hurry to judge it for good or ill. Leave exceptional cases to show themselves, let their qualities be tested and confirmed, before special methods are adopted. Give nature time to work before you take over her business, lest you interfere with her dealings. You assert that you know the value of time and are afraid to waste it. You fail to perceive that it is a greater waste of time to use it ill than to do nothing, and that a child ill taught is further from virtue than a child who has learnt nothing at all. You are afraid to see him spending his early years doing nothing. What! is it nothing to be happy, nothing to run and jump all day? He will never be so busy again all his life long. Plato, in his Republic, which is considered so stern, teaches the children only through festivals, games, songs, and amusements. It seems as if he had accomplished his purpose when he had taught them to be happy; and Seneca, speaking of the Roman lads in olden days, says, "They were always on their feet, they were never taught anything which kept them sitting." Were they any the worse for it in manhood? Do not be afraid, therefore, of this so-called idleness. What would you think of a man who refused to sleep lest he should waste part of his life? You would say, "He is mad; he is not enjoying his life, he is robbing himself of part of it; to avoid sleep he is hastening his death." Remember that these two cases are alike, and that childhood is the sleep of reason. The apparent ease with which children learn is their ruin. You fail to see that this very facility proves that they are not learning. Their shining, polished brain reflects, as in a mirror, the things you show them, but nothing sinks in. The child remembers the words and the ideas are reflected back; his hearers understand them, but to him they are meaningless. Although memory and reason are wholly different faculties, the one does not really develop apart from the other. Before the age of reason the child receives images, not ideas; and there is this difference between them: images are merely the pictures of external objects, while ideas are notions about those objects determined by their relations.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Emile, or On Education)
Before I went to college I read two books. I read a book “Moral Mazes” by Robert Jackall which is a study of how corporations work, and it’s actually a fascinating book, this sociologist, he just picks a corporation at random and just goes and studies the middle managers, not the people who do any of the grunt work and not the big decision makers, just the people whose job is to make sure that things day to day get done, and he shows how even though they’re all perfectly reasonable people, perfectly nice people you’d be happy to meet any of them, all the things that they were accomplishing were just incredibly evil. So you have these people in this average corporation, they were making decisions to blow out their worker’s eardrums in the factory, to poison the lakes and the lagoons nearby, to make these products that are filled with toxic chemicals that poisoned their customers, not because any of them were bad people and wanted to kill their workers and their neighbourhood and their customers, but just because that was the logic of the situation they were in. Another book I read was a book “Understanding Power” by Noam Chomsky which kind of took the same sort of analysis but applied it to wider society which you know we’re in a situation where it may be filled with perfectly good people but they’re in these structures that cause them to continually do evil, to invade countries, to bomb people, to take money from poor people and give it to rich people, to do all these things that are wrong. These books really opened my eyes about just how bad the society we were living in really is.
Aaron Swartz
Some mothers seem to have the capacity and energy to make their children's clothes, bake, give piano lessons, go to Relief Society, teach Sunday School, attend parent-teacher association meetings, and so on. Other mothers look upon such women as models and feel inadequate, depressed, and think they are failures when they make comparisons... Sisters, do not allow yourselves to be made to feel inadequate or frustrated because you cannot do everything others seem to be accomplishing. Rather, each should assess her own situation, her own energy, and her own talents, and then choose the best way to mold her family into a team, a unit that works together and supports each other. Only you and your Father in Heaven know your needs, strengths, and desires. Around this knowledge your personal course must be charted and your choices made.
Marvin J. Ashton
Therefore, our need for prayer is a result of the way God arranged dominion and authority for the earth. God made the world. Then He made men and women and gave them dominion over all the works of His hands. Man was created to be the “god” of this world. He was given full authority in the earth realm, and God will not supercede that authority. This means that when God said, “Let them rule…over all the earth,” He was ordering the dominion of the world in such a way as to make the rule of humans essential for the accomplishment of His purposes. He causes things to happen on earth when men and women are in agreement with His will. Prayer, therefore, is essential for God’s will to be done in the earth.
Myles Munroe (Understanding The Purpose And Power Of Prayer)
We often forget to thank ourselves for what we have accomplished. Your dedication and hard work provide for you and your loved ones. So thank yourself—pat yourself on the back. After all, it’s your hard work that allows you to live an exciting and easier life. And it’s your daily practice of gratitude that makes your life exceptional.
Art Rios (Let's Talk: ...About Making Your Life Exciting, Easier, And Exceptional)
Take inventory for a second. What do you dislike? Whose name fills you with revulsion and rage? Now ask: Have these strong feelings really helped you accomplish anything? Take an even wider inventory. Where has hatred and rage ever really gotten anyone? Especially because almost universally, the traits or behaviors that have pissed us off in other people—their dishonesty, their selfishness, their laziness—are hardly going to work out well for them in the end. Their ego and shortsightedness contains its own punishment. The question we must ask for ourselves is: Are we going to be miserable just because other people are?
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend The brightest heaven of invention, A kingdom for a stage, princes to act And monarchs to behold the swelling scene! Then should the warlike Harry, like himself, Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels, Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all, The flat unraised spirits that have dared On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth So great an object: can this cockpit hold The vasty fields of France? or may we cram Within this wooden O the very casques That did affright the air at Agincourt? O, pardon! since a crooked figure may Attest in little place a million; And let us, ciphers to this great accompt, On your imaginary forces work. Suppose within the girdle of these walls Are now confined two mighty monarchies, Whose high upreared and abutting fronts The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder: Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts; Into a thousand parts divide on man, And make imaginary puissance; Think when we talk of horses, that you see them Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth; For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings, Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times, Turning the accomplishment of many years Into an hour-glass: for the which supply, Admit me Chorus to this history; Who prologue-like your humble patience pray, Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.
William Shakespeare (Henry V)
In order to take control of our lives and accomplish something of lasting value, sooner or later we need to learn to believe. We don't need to shift our responsibilities onto the shoulders of some deified spiritual superman or sit around and wait for fate to come knocking on our door. We simply need to believe in the power that's within us, and use it. When we do that, and stop imitating others and competing against them, things begin to work for us.
Benjamin Hoff (The Tao of Pooh)
Already, in the last few decades, you have realized the utter futility of of encumbering yourselves with superfluous possessions that have no useful virtue, but which, for various sentimental reasons, you continue to hoard, thus lessening your life's efficiency by using for it time and attention that should have been applied to the practical work of life's accomplishments. (The Miracle of the Lily - 1928)
Clare Winger Harris (The Dreaming Sex: Early Tales of Scientific Imagination by Women)
A fulfilling long-term relationship is not accomplished by just finding the one. It is rather a co-operation between two passionate and highly motivated partners working together, figuring out every single situation holding hands. If there is trust at the root of the relationship, if the partners make an effort to keep it interesting, if difficulties are handled tactfully and if you can appreciate every single deed of your partner no matter how insignificant it is, the flames of love would never burn out and your love can truly live happily ever after.
Abhijit Naskar (The Art of Neuroscience in Everything)
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: Akashic U.S. Presidents Series)
That day Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I've ever learned in my life. We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We're the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills...Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them.
Greg Mortenson
...are you a person - with volition and maybe some stubborness and at least the capacity if not the actual determination to do something surprising - or are you a tool? A tool just serves its user. It's only as good as the skill of its user, and its not good for anything else. So if you want to accomplish something special - something more than you can do for yourself - you can't use a tool. You have to use a person and hope the surprises will work in your favor. You have to use something that's free to not be what you had in mind.
Stephen R. Donaldson (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #1-3))
Mom's note on the dining room table to me and Faith read: Daughters of mine, In case you haven't noticed, no one has seen the top of our dining room table in months. I seem to recall it is oak, but as the days dwindle by, I'm less and less sure. Perhaps this is because your school books, files, papers, magazines, letters, underwear, etc., are shielding it from normal use. My goal for you, dear offspring, to be accomplished in twenty-four hours (no excuses), is the clearing/exhuming of this space so that we may gather around it once again and spend quality time. Even though I am working the night shift, I will still be watching. Do it or die. Your loving mother
Joan Bauer (Rules of the Road (Rules of the Road, #1))
Columbus's real achievement was managing to cross the ocean successfully in both directions. Though an accomplished enough mariner, he was not terribly good at a great deal else, especially geography, the skill that would seem most vital in an explorer. It would be hard to name any figure in history who has achieved more lasting fame with less competence. He spent large parts of eight years bouncing around Caribbean islands and coastal South America convinced that he was in the heart of the Orient and that Japan and China were at the edge of every sunset. He never worked out that Cuba is an island and never once set foot on, or even suspected the existence of, the landmass to the north that everyone thinks he discovered: the United States.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
The debacle in Iraq has reinforced the realist dictum, disparaged by idealists in the 1990s, that the legacies of geography, history and culture really do set limits on what can be accomplished in any given place. But the experience in the Balkans reinforced an idealist dictum that is equally true: One should always work near the limits of what is possible rather than cynically give up on any place. In this decade idealists went too far; in the previous one, it was realists who did not go far enough.
Robert D. Kaplan
I believed, rather more accurately, that a work resolutely thought out and sought for in the hazards of the mind, systematically, and through a determined analysis of definite and previously prescribed conditions, whatever its value might be once it had been produced, did not leave the mind of its creator without having modified him, and forced him to recognize and in some way reorganize himself. I said to myself that it was not the accomplished work, and its appearance and effect in the world, that can fulfill and edify us; but only the way in which we have done it.
Paul Valéry (Selected Writings)
The New Testament describes the characteristics of a "virtuous widow" who is qualified to receive help from believers. This woman's description seems to parallel the miraculous, poured-out life portrayed by the Proverbs 31 woman. She does not live for her own pleasure but is well reported for good works, bringing up children, lodging strangers, washing the saints' feet, relieving the afflicted, and diligently following every good work. How does she accomplish all of this? "She trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day" (1 Timothy 5:5-6,10). She lives a supernatural existence, accomplishing incredible things without stress and exhaustion because she makes prayer the foundation of her life.
Leslie Ludy (Set-Apart Femininity: God's Sacred Intent for Every Young Woman)
Interdependence is a far more mature, more advanced concept. If I am physically interdependent, I am self-reliant and capable, but I also realize that you and I working together can accomplish far more than, even at my best, I could accomplish alone. If I am emotionally interdependent, I derive a great sense of worth within myself, but I also recognize the need for love, for giving, and for receiving love from others. If I am intellectually interdependent, I realize that I need the best thinking of other people to join with my own.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
Don't hide your scars, your stretch marks, your laugh lines, your calloused hands. They are your life story, telling of struggles won and lost, challenges faced, losses overcome, life grown and birthed and nurtured, hard work accomplished, stars reached for, hopes dashed, dreams realized, rock bottoms and mountain tops. They tell the story of your one amazing, awful, beautiful life written in the curves and lines of extraordinary, miraculous, beautiful you.
L.R. Knost
Sand as far as the eye can see, between the last hills and the sea -- the sea -- in the cold air of an afternoon almost past, and blessed by the wind that always blows from the north. The beach. And the sea. It could be perfection -- an image for divine eyes -- a world that happens, that's all, the mute existence of land and water, a work perfectly accomplished, truth --truth -- but once again it is the redeeming grain of a man that jams the mechanism of that paradise, a bagatelle capable on its own of suspending all that great apparatus of inexorable truth, a mere nothing, but one planted in the sand, an imperceptible tear in the surface of that sacred icon, a minuscule exception come to rest on the perfection of that boundless beach. To see him from afar he would be no more than a black dot: amid nothingness, the nothing of a man and a painter's easel. The easel is anchored by slender cords to four stones placed on the sand. It sways imperceptibly in the wind that always blows from the north. The man is wearing waders and a large fisherman's jacket. He is standing, facing the sea, twirling a slim paintbrush between his fingers. On the easel, a canvas.
Alessandro Baricco (Ocean Sea)
The last clear definite function of man—muscles aching to work, minds aching to create beyond the single need—this is man....For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments. This you may say of man—when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, stumbles forward, painfully, mistakenly sometimes. Having stepped forward, he may slip back, but only half a step, never the full step back. This you may say and know it and know it. This you may know when the bombs plummet out of the black planes on the market place, when prisoners are stuck like pigs, when the crushed bodies drain filthily in the dust. You may know it in this way. If the step were not being taken, if the stumbling-forward ache were not alive, the bombs would not fall, the throats would not be cut. Fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live—for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died. And fear the time when the strikes stop while the great owners live—for every little beaten strike is proof that the step is being taken. And this you can know—fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
LET MY LOVE ENFOLD YOU in the radiance of My Glory. Sit still in the Light of My Presence, and receive My Peace. These quiet moments with Me transcend time, accomplishing far more than you can imagine. Bring Me the sacrifice of your time, and watch to see how abundantly I bless you and your loved ones. Through the intimacy of our relationship, you are being transformed from the inside out. As you keep your focus on Me, I form you into the one I desire you to be. Your part is to yield to My creative work in you, neither resisting it nor trying to speed it up. Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Me set the pace. Hold My hand in childlike trust, and the way before you will open up step by step. HEBREWS 13:15; 2 CORINTHIANS 3:18; PSALM 73:23–24
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it.
Alexander MacLaren
If people took some simple pleasure in reality (which is entirely independent of time), they would never have needed to come up with the idea that they could ever again lose anything with which they had truly bonded. No constellation is as steadfast, no accomplishment as irrevocable as a connection between human beings which, at the very moment it becomes visible, works more forcefully in those invisible depths where our existence is as lasting as gold lodged in stone, more constant than a star.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Dark Interval: Letters on Loss, Grief, and Transformation)
Boredom seeps from the monstrosity of Sade’s work, but it is this very boredom which constitutes its significance. As the Christian Klossowski says, his endless novels are more like prayer books than books of entertainment. The accomplished technique behind them is that of the ‘monk … who sets his soul in prayer before the divine mystery’. One must read them as they were written, with the intention of fathoming a mystery which is no less profound, nor perhaps less ‘divine’, than that of theology.
Georges Bataille (Literature and Evil)
God has given to men all that is necessary for them to accomplish their destinies. He has provided a social form as well as a human form. And these social organs of humans are so constituted that they will develop themselves harmoniously in the clean air of liberty. Away, then, with the quacks and organizers! Away with their rings, chains, hooks and pincers! Away with their artificial systems! Away with the whims of governmental administrators, their socialized projects, their centralization, their tariffs, their government schools, their state religions, their free credit, their bank monopolies, their regulations, their restrictions, their equalization by taxation, and their pious moralizations! And, now that the legislators and do-gooders have so futilely inflicted so many systems upon society, may they finally end where they should have begun: May they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works.
Frédéric Bastiat (The Law)
My parents gave me the pep talk when I started school, the same speech all black parents give their kids: You're gonna have to be bigger, badder, better, just to be considered equal. You're gonna have to do twice as much work and you're not going to get any credit for your accomplishments or for overcoming adversity. Most black people grow accustomed to the fact that we have to excel just to be seen as existing, and this is a lesson passed down from generation to generation. You can either be Super Negro or the forgotten Negro.
Gabrielle Union (We're Going to Need More Wine)
Everything that we enjoy is a result of someone's hard work. Some work is visible and other work goes unseen, but both are equally important. Some people stop working as soon as they find a job. Regardless of the unemployment statistics, it is hard to find good people to work. Many people don't understand the difference between idle time and leisure time. Idle time amounts to wasting or stealing time; leisure time is earned. Procrastinating amounts to not working. Excellence is not luck; it is the result of a lot of hard work and practice. Hard work and practice make a person better at whatever he is doing.
Shiv Khera (You Can Win: A Step by Step Tool for Top Achievers)
I can't think of anything that anyone has ever accomplished without having some sort of self-discipline. Without knowing how to work for it. Without learning how to earn it. I talk to my friends who are writers. I say, "Well, how do you do it?" Most all of them will say, "I sit down. I force myself every day to sit down and write for at least two hours. Whether something comes out of it or doesn't come out of it, whether I finish my fifty pages or two, I sit down and I do that because I have to make myself do it." That's what a work ethic is. Any person I know who is successful in my business or any other business is so because they work their asses off for it, because nothing is for free. If you want something, if you want to achieve success in any area of life, you must apply your discipline and your work ethic. Because discipline is what helps you consciously do things in order to reach a desired goal. Discipline is a rejection of entitlement and expectation. Discipline is having a strong awareness that your choices have impact and that your actions make a difference.
Cameron Díaz (The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body)
The worth of a State, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it; and a State which postpones the interests of their mental expansion and elevation to a little more of administrative skill, or of that semblance of it which practice gives in the details of business; a State which dwarfs its men. In order that they may be more docile instruments in its hands even for beneficial purposes--will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished; and that the perfection of machinery to which it has sacrificed everything will in the end avail it nothing, for want of the vital power which, in order that the machine might work more smoothly, it has preferred to banish.
John Stuart Mill (On Liberty)
It is impossible to see how good work might be accomplished by people who think that our life in this world either signifies nothing or has only a negative significance. If, on the other hand, we believe that we are living souls, God's dust and God's breath, acting our parts among other creatures all made of the same dust and breath as ourselves; and if we understand that we are free, within the obvious limits of moral human life, to do evil or good to ourselves and to the other creatures - then all our acts have a supreme significance. If it is true that we are living souls and morally free, then all of us are artists. All of us are makers, within mortal terms and limits, of our lives, of one another's lives, of things we need and use... If we think of ourselves as living souls, immortal creatures, living in the midst of a Creation that is mostly mysterious, and if we see that everything we make or do cannot help but have an everlasting significance for ourselves, for others, and for the world, then we see why some religious teachers have understood work as a form of prayer... Work connects us both to Creation and to eternity. (pg. 316, Christianity and the Survival of Creation)
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
Under-slept employees are not, therefore, going to drive your business forward with productive innovation. Like a group of people riding stationary exercise bikes, everyone looks like they are pedaling, but the scenery never changes. The irony that employees miss is that when you are not getting enough sleep, you work less productively and thus need to work longer to accomplish a goal. This means you often must work longer and later into the evening, arrive home later, go to bed later, and need to wake up earlier, creating a negative feedback loop. Why try to boil a pot of water on medium heat when you could do so in half the time on high? People often tell me that they do not have enough time to sleep because they have so much work to do. Without wanting to be combative in any way whatsoever, I respond by informing them that perhaps the reason they still have so much to do at the end of the day is precisely because they do not get enough sleep at night.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: The New Science of Sleep and Dreams)
Most people, when directly confronted by evidence that they are wrong, do not change their point of view or course of action but justify it even more tenaciously. Even irrefutable evidence is rarely enough to pierce the mental armor of self-justification. When we began working on this book, the poster boy for "tenacious clinging to a discredited belief" was George W. Bush. Bush was wrong in his claim that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, he was wrong in claiming that Saddam was linked with Al Qaeda, he was wrong in predicting that Iraqis would be dancing joyfully in the streets to receive the American soldiers, he was wrong in predicting that the conflict would be over quickly, he was wrong in his gross underestimate of the financial cost of the war, and he was most famously wrong in his photo-op speech six weeks after the invasion began, when he announced (under a banner reading MISSION ACCOMPLISHED) that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended.
Carol Tavris (Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts)
Enlightened enquiry alone leads to liberation. Supernatural powers are all illusory appearances created by the power of maya (mayashakti). Self-realization which is permanent is the only true accomplishment (siddhi). Accomplishments which appear and disappear, being the effect of maya, cannot be real. They are accomplished with the object of enjoying fame, pleasures, etc. They come unsought to some persons through their karma. Know that union with Brahman is the real aim of all accomplishments. This is also the state of liberation (aikya mukti) known as union (sayujya).
Ramana Maharshi (Collected works of Ramana Maharshi)
If anyone attempted to rule the world by the gospel and to abolish all temporal law and sword on the plea that all are baptized and Christian, and that, according to the gospel, there shall be among them no law or sword - or need for either - pray tell me, friend, what would he be doing? He would be loosing the ropes and chains of the savage wild beasts and letting them bite and mangle everyone, meanwhile insisting that they were harmless, tame, and gentle creatures; but I would have the proof in my wounds. Just so would the wicked under the name of Christian abuse evangelical freedom, carry on their rascality, and insist that they were Christians subject neither to law nor sword, as some are already raving and ranting. To such a one we must say: Certainly it is true that Christians, so far as they themselves are concerned, are subject neither to law nor sword, and have need of neither. But take heed and first fill the world with real Christians before you attempt to rule it in a Christian and evangelical manner. This you will never accomplish; for the world and the masses are and always will be unchristian, even if they are all baptized and Christian in name. Christians are few and far between (as the saying is). Therefore, it is out of the question that there should be a common Christian government over the whole world, or indeed over a single country or any considerable body of people, for the wicked always outnumber the good. Hence, a man who would venture to govern an entire country or the world with the gospel would be like a shepherd who should put together in one fold wolves, lions, eagles, and sheep, and let them mingle freely with one another, saying, “Help yourselves, and be good and peaceful toward one another. The fold is open, there is plenty of food. You need have no fear of dogs and clubs.” The sheep would doubtless keep the peace and allow themselves to be fed and governed peacefully, but they would not live long, nor would one beast survive another. For this reason one must carefully distinguish between these two governments. Both must be permitted to remain; the one to produce righteousness, the other to bring about external peace and prevent evil deeds. Neither one is sufficient in the world without the other. No one can become righteous in the sight of God by means of the temporal government, without Christ's spiritual government. Christ's government does not extend over all men; rather, Christians are always a minority in the midst of non-Christians. Now where temporal government or law alone prevails, there sheer hypocrisy is inevitable, even though the commandments be God's very own. For without the Holy Spirit in the heart no one becomes truly righteous, no matter how fine the works he does. On the other hand, where the spiritual government alone prevails over land and people, there wickedness is given free rein and the door is open for all manner of rascality, for the world as a whole cannot receive or comprehend it.
Martin Luther (Luther and Calvin on Secular Authority (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought))
There are seven incarnations (and six correlates) necessary to becoming an Artist: 1. Explorer (Courage) 2. Surveyor (Vision) 3. Miner (Strength) 4. Refiner (Patience) 5. Designer (Intelligence) 6. Maker (Experience) 7. Artist. First, you must leave the safety of your home and go into the dangers of the world, whether to an actual territory or some unexamined aspect of the psyche. This is what is meant by 'Explorer.' Next, you must have the vision to recognize your destination once you arrive there. Note that a destination may sometimes also be the journey. This is what is meant by 'Surveyor.' Third, you must be strong enough to dig up the facts, follow veins of history, unearth telling details. This is what is meant by 'Miner.' Fourth, you must have the patience to winnow and process your material into something rare. This may take months or even years. And this is what is meant by 'Refiner.' Fifth, you must use your intellect to conceive of your material as something meaning more than its origins. This is what is meant by 'Designer.' Six, you must fashion a work independent of everything that has gone before it including yourself. This is accomplished though experience and is what is meant by 'Maker.' At this stage, the work is acceptable. You will be fortunate to have progressed so far. It is unlikely, however, that you will go any farther. Most do not. But let us assume you are exceptional. Let us assume you are rare. What then does it mean to reach the final incarnation? Only this: at every stage, from 1 thru 6, you will risk more, see more, gather more, process more, fashion more, consider more, love more, suffer more, imagine more and in the end know why less means more and leave what doesn't and keep what implies and create what matters. This is what is meant by 'Artist.
Mark Z. Danielewski
We often pity the poor, because they have no leisure to mourn their departed relatives, and necessity obliges them to labor through their severest afflictions: but is not active employment the best remedy for overwhelming sorrow--the surest antidote for despair? It may be a rough comforter: it may seem hard to be harassed with the cares of life when we have no relish for its enjoyments; to be goaded to labor when the heart is ready to break, and the vexed spirit implores for rest only to weep in silence: but is not labor better than the rest we covet? and are not those petty, tormenting cares less hurtful than a continual brooding over the great affliction that oppresses us? Besides, we cannot have cares, and anxieties, and toil, without hope--if it be but the hope of fulfilling our joyless task, accomplishing some needful project, or escaping some further annoyance.
Anne Brontë (Agnes Grey)
How great indeed is our debt to [Joseph Smith]. His life began in Vermont and ended in Illinois, and marvelous were the things that happened between that simple beginning and that tragic ending. It was he who brought us a true knowledge of God the Eternal Father and His Risen Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. During the short time of his great vision he learned more concerning the nature of Deity than all of those who through centuries had argued that matter in learned councils and scholarly forums. He brought us this marvelous book, the Book of Mormon, as another witness for the living reality of the Son of God. To him, from those who held it anciently, came the priesthood, the power, the gift, the authority, the keys to speak and act in the name of God. He gave us the organization of the Church and its great and sacred mission. Through him were restored the keys of the holy temples, that men and women might enter into eternal covenants with God, and that the great work for the dead might be accomplished. . . . "He was the instrument in the hands of the Almighty.
Gordon B. Hinckley
here’s my 8-step process for maximizing efficacy (doing the right things): Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. Email is the mind-killer. Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper. Write down the 3 to 5 things—and no more—that are making you the most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually equals most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict. For each item, ask yourself: “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?” “Will moving this forward make all the other to-dos unimportant or easier to knock off later?” Put another way: “What, if done, will make all of the rest easier or irrelevant?” Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions. Block out at 2 to 3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow. TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2 to 3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work. No phone calls or social media allowed. If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward-spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research “childhood.” There follows a program of renewed inquiry, often involuntary, into the nature and effects of mortality, entropy, heartbreak, violence, failure, cowardice, duplicity, cruelty, and grief; the researcher learns their histories, and their bitter lessons, by heart. Along the way, he or she discovers that the world has been broken for as long as anyone can remember, and struggles to reconcile this fact with the ache of cosmic nostalgia that arises, from time to time, in the researcher’s heart: an intimation of vanished glory, of lost wholeness, a memory of the world unbroken. We call the moment at which this ache first arises “adolescence.” The feeling haunts people all their lives. Everyone, sooner or later, gets a thorough schooling in brokenness. The question becomes: What to do with the pieces? Some people hunker down atop the local pile of ruins and make do, Bedouin tending their goats in the shade of shattered giants. Others set about breaking what remains of the world into bits ever smaller and more jagged, kicking through the rubble like kids running through piles of leaves. And some people, passing among the scattered pieces of that great overturned jigsaw puzzle, start to pick up a piece here, a piece there, with a vague yet irresistible notion that perhaps something might be done about putting the thing back together again. Two difficulties with this latter scheme at once present themselves. First of all, we have only ever glimpsed, as if through half-closed lids, the picture on the lid of the jigsaw puzzle box. Second, no matter how diligent we have been about picking up pieces along the way, we will never have anywhere near enough of them to finish the job. The most we can hope to accomplish with our handful of salvaged bits—the bittersweet harvest of observation and experience—is to build a little world of our own. A scale model of that mysterious original, unbroken, half—remembered. Of course the worlds we build out of our store of fragments can be only approximations, partial and inaccurate. As representations of the vanished whole that haunts us, they must be accounted failures. And yet in that very failure, in their gaps and inaccuracies, they may yet be faithful maps, accurate scale models, of this beautiful and broken world. We call these scale models “works of art.
Michael Chabon (The Wes Anderson Collection)
The ultimate work of energy production is accomplished not in any specialized organ but in every cell of the body. A living cell, like a flame, burns fuel to produce the energy on which life depends. The analogy is more poetic than precise, for the cell accomplishes its ‘burning’ with only the moderate heat of the body’s normal temperature. Yet all these billions of gently burning little fires spark the energy of life. Should they cease to burn, ‘no heart could beat, no plant could grow upward defying gravity, no amoeba could swim, no sensation could speed along a nerve, no thought could flash in the human brain,’ said the chemist Eugene Rabinowitch.
Rachel Carson (Silent Spring)
In the whole vast domain of living nature there reigns an open violence, a kind of prescriptive fury which arms all the creatures to their common doom. As soon as you leave the inanimate kingdom, you find the decree of violent death inscribed on the very frontiers of life. You feel it already in the vegetable kingdom: from the great catalpa to the humblest herb, how many plants die, and how many are killed. But from the moment you enter the animal kingdom, this law is suddenly in the most dreadful evidence. A power of violence at once hidden and palpable … has in each species appointed a certain number of animals to devour the others. Thus there are insects of prey, reptiles of prey, birds of prey, fishes of prey, quadrupeds of prey. There is no instant of time when one creature is not being devoured by another. Over all these numerous races of animals man is placed, and his destructive hand spares nothing that lives. He kills to obtain food and he kills to clothe himself. He kills to adorn himself, he kills in order to attack, and he kills in order to defend himself. He kills to instruct himself and he kills to amuse himself. He kills to kill. Proud and terrible king, he wants everything and nothing resists him. From the lamb he tears its guts and makes his harp resound ... from the wolf his most deadly tooth to polish his pretty works of art; from the elephant his tusks to make a toy for his child - his table is covered with corpses ... And who in all of this will exterminate him who exterminates all others? Himself. It is man who is charged with the slaughter of man ... So it is accomplished ... the first law of the violent destruction of living creatures. The whole earth, perpetually steeped in blood, is nothing but a vast altar upon which all that is living must be sacrificed without end, without measure, without pause, until the consummation of things, until evil is extinct, until the death of death.
Joseph de Maistre (St Petersburg Dialogues: Or Conversations on the Temporal Government of Providence)
If there is a dark and hostile power, laying its treacherous toils within us, by which it holds us fast and draws us along the path of peril and destruction, which we should not otherwise have trod; if, I say there is such a power, it must form itself inside us and out of ourselves, indeed; it must become identical with ourselves. For it is only in this condition that we can believe in it, and grant it the room which it requires to accomplish its secret work. Now, if we have a mind which is sufficiently firm, sufficiently strengthened by the joy of life, always to recognize this strange enemy as such, and calmly to follow the path of our own inclination and calling, then the dark power will fail in its attempt to gain a form that shall be a reflection of ourselves.
E.T.A. Hoffmann (Der Sandmann)
A man may possess a profound knowledge of history and mathematics; he may be an authority in psychology, biology, or astronomy; he may know all the discovered truths pertaining to geology and natural science; but if he has not with this knowledge that nobility of soul which prompts him to deal justly with his fellow men, to practice virtue and holiness in personal life, he is not a truly educated man. "Character is the aim of true education; and science, history, and literature are but means used to accomplish the desired end. Character is not the result of chance work but of continuous right thinking and right acting. "True education seeks, then, to make men and women not only good mathematicians, proficient linguists, profound scientists, or brilliant literary lights, but also honest men, combined with virtue, temperance, and brotherly love-men and women who prize truth, justice, wisdom, benevolence, and self-control as the choicest acquisitions of a successful life.
David O. McKay
I recently consulted to a therapist who felt he had accomplished something by getting his dissociative client to remain in her ANP throughout her sessions with him. His view reflects the fundamental mistake that untrained therapists tend to make with DID and DDNOS. Although his client was properly diagnosed, he assumed that the ANP should be encouraged to take charge of the other parts at all times. He also expected her to speak for them—in other words, to do their therapy. This denied the other parts the opportunity to reveal their secrets, heal their pain, or correct their childhood-based beliefs about the world. If you were doing family therapy, would it be a good idea to only meet with the father, especially if he had not talked with his children or his spouse in years? Would the other family members feel as if their experiences and feelings mattered? Would they be able to improve their relationships? You must work with the parts who are inside of the system. Directly.
Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
Is it possible that the Pentateuch could not have been written by uninspired men? that the assistance of God was necessary to produce these books? Is it possible that Galilei ascertained the mechanical principles of 'Virtual Velocity,' the laws of falling bodies and of all motion; that Copernicus ascertained the true position of the earth and accounted for all celestial phenomena; that Kepler discovered his three laws—discoveries of such importance that the 8th of May, 1618, may be called the birth-day of modern science; that Newton gave to the world the Method of Fluxions, the Theory of Universal Gravitation, and the Decomposition of Light; that Euclid, Cavalieri, Descartes, and Leibniz, almost completed the science of mathematics; that all the discoveries in optics, hydrostatics, pneumatics and chemistry, the experiments, discoveries, and inventions of Galvani, Volta, Franklin and Morse, of Trevithick, Watt and Fulton and of all the pioneers of progress—that all this was accomplished by uninspired men, while the writer of the Pentateuch was directed and inspired by an infinite God? Is it possible that the codes of China, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome were made by man, and that the laws recorded in the Pentateuch were alone given by God? Is it possible that Æschylus and Shakespeare, Burns, and Beranger, Goethe and Schiller, and all the poets of the world, and all their wondrous tragedies and songs are but the work of men, while no intelligence except the infinite God could be the author of the Pentateuch? Is it possible that of all the books that crowd the libraries of the world, the books of science, fiction, history and song, that all save only one, have been produced by man? Is it possible that of all these, the bible only is the work of God?
Robert G. Ingersoll (Some Mistakes of Moses)
[Clayton] Christensen had seen dozens of companies falter by going for immediate payoffs rather than long-term growth, and he saw people do the same thing. In three hours at work, you could get something substantial accomplished, and if you failed to accomplish it you felt the pain right away. If you spent three hours at home with your family, it felt like you hadn't done a thing, and if you skipped it nothing happened. So you spent more and more time at the office, on high-margin, quick-yield tasks, and you even believed that you were staying away from home for the sake of your family. He had seen many people tell themselves that they could divide their lives into stages, spending the first part pushing forward their careers, and imagining that at some future point they would spend time with their families--only to find that by then their families were gone.
Larissa MacFarquhar
Always more, always hungrily scratching for more. But there were times, quiet moments, when our mother was sleeping, when she hadn’t slept in two days, and any noise, any stair creak, any shut door, any stifled laugh, any voice at all, might wake her, those still, crystal mornings, when we wanted to protect her, this confused goose of a woman, this stumbler, this gusher, with her backaches and headaches and her tired, tired ways, this uprooted Brooklyn creature, this tough talker, always with tears when she told us she loved us, her mixed-up love, her needy love, her warmth, those mornings when sunlight found the cracks in our blinds and laid itself down in crisp strips on our carpet, those quiet mornings when we’d fix ourselves oatmeal and sprawl onto our stomachs with crayons and paper, with glass marbles that we were careful not to rattle, when our mother was sleeping, when the air did not smell like sweat or breath or mold, when the air was still and light, those mornings when silence was our secret game and our gift and our sole accomplishment—we wanted less: less weight, less work, less noise, less father, less muscles and skin and hair. We wanted nothing, just this, just this.
Justin Torres (We the Animals)
I would not tell this court that I do not hope that some time, when life and age have changed their bodies, as they do, and have changed their emotions, as they do -- that they may once more return to life. I would be the last person on earth to close the door of hope to any human being that lives, and least of all to my clients. But what have they to look forward to? Nothing. And I think here of the stanza of Housman: Now hollow fires burn out to black, And lights are fluttering low: Square your shoulders, lift your pack And leave your friends and go. O never fear, lads, naught’s to dread, Look not left nor right: In all the endless road you tread There’s nothing but the night. ...Here it Leopold’s father -- and this boy was the pride of his life. He watched him, he cared for him, he worked for him; the boy was brilliant and accomplished, he educated him, and he thought that fame and position awaited him, as it should have awaited. It is a hard thing for a father to see his life’s hopes crumble into dust. ...I know the future is with me, and what I stand for here; not merely for the lives of these two unfortunate lads, but for all boys and all girls; for all of the young, and as far as possible, for all of the old. I am pleading for life, understanding, charity, kindness, and the infinite mercy that considers all. I am pleading that we overcome cruelty with kindness and hatred with love. I know the future is on my side. Your Honor stands between the past and the future. You may hang these boys; you may hang them by the neck until they are dead. But in doing it you will turn your face toward the past... I am pleading for the future; I am pleading for a time when hatred and cruelty will not control the hearts of men. When we can learn by reason and judgment and understanding that all life is worth saving, and that mercy is the highest attribute of man. ...I am sure I do not need to tell this court, or to tell my friends that I would fight just as hard for the poor as for the rich. If I should succeed, my greatest reward and my greatest hope will be that... I have done something to help human understanding, to temper justice with mercy, to overcome hate with love. I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar Khayyám. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love, I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.
Clarence Darrow (Attorney for the Damned: Clarence Darrow in the Courtroom)
The way I see it, there’s work and then there’s work. And there’s a big difference between your work and your job. A job is a task done for an agreed-upon price, and work is the effort directed toward accomplishing a goal. See what I mean? A job is something you do for money. Your life’s work is done for a bigger purpose, to fulfill a calling or a dream. And when you manage to find that work—that’s when it starts feeling like play. I want that for you and for me too. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck grinding away on the job piece and lose sight of the work piece, the one that truly matters. There’s nothing admirable or respectable about laying yourself down, day in and day out, for a job you hate—not if you have a choice. Maybe you can’t up and quit the job you hate. I understand that there are extenuating circumstances that can prevent you from being able to take that leap. But if you are sticking it out because of fear or passivity, there’s nothing heroic about that. Do work that matters . . . to you.
Chip Gaines (Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff)
I saw what Andrew did in our family. I saw that he came in and listened and watched and understood who we were, each individual one of us. He tried to discover our need and then supply it. He took responsibility for other people and it didn't seem to matter to him how much it cost him. And in the end, while he could never make the Ribeira family normal, he gave us peace and pride and identity. Stability. He married Mother and was kind to her. He loved us all. He was always there when we wanted him, and seemed unhurt by it when we didn't. He was firm with us about expecting civilized behavior, but never indulged his whims at our expense. And I thought: This is so much more important than science. Or politics, either. Or any particular profession or accomplishment or thing you can make. I thought: If I could just make a good family, if I could just learn to be to other children, their whole lives, what Andrew was, coming so late into ours, then that would mean more in the long run, it would be a finer accomplishment than anything I could ever do with my mind or hands." "So you're a career father," said Valentine. "Who works at a brick factory to feed and clothe the family. Not a brick-maker who also has kids. Lini also feels the same way... She followed her own road to the same place. We do what we must to earn our place in the community, but we live for the hours at home. For each other, for the children.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
And I am proud, but mostly, I’m angry. I’m angry, because when I look around, I’m still alone. I’m still the only black woman in the room. And when I look at what I’ve fought so hard to accomplish next to those who will never know that struggle I wonder, “How many were left behind?” I think about my first-grade class and wonder how many black and brown kids weren’t identified as “talented” because their parents were too busy trying to pay bills to pester the school the way my mom did. Surely there were more than two, me and the brown boy who sat next to me in the hall each day. I think about my brother and wonder how many black boys were similarly labeled as “trouble” and were unable to claw out of the dark abyss that my brother had spent so many years in. I think about the boys and girls playing at recess who were dragged to the principal’s office because their dark skin made their play look like fight. I think about my friend who became disillusioned with a budding teaching career, when she worked at the alternative school and found that it was almost entirely populated with black and brown kids who had been sent away from the general school population for minor infractions. From there would only be expulsions or juvenile detention. I think about every black and brown person, every queer person, every disabled person, who could be in the room with me, but isn’t, and I’m not proud. I’m heartbroken. We should not have a society where the value of marginalized people is determined by how well they can scale often impossible obstacles that others will never know. I have been exceptional, and I shouldn’t have to be exceptional to be just barely getting by. But we live in a society where if you are a person of color, a disabled person, a single mother, or an LGBT person you have to be exceptional. And if you are exceptional by the standards put forth by white supremacist patriarchy, and you are lucky, you will most likely just barely get by. There’s nothing inspirational about that.
Ijeoma Oluo (So You Want to Talk About Race)
Citizens, the nineteenth century is great, but the twentieth century will be happy. Then, there will be nothing more like the history of old, we shall no longer, as to-day, have to fear a conquest, an invasion, a usurpation, a rivalry of nations, arms in hand, an interruption of civilization depending on a marriage of kings, on a birth in hereditary tyrannies, a partition of peoples by a congress, a dismemberment because of the failure of a dynasty, a combat of two religions meeting face to face, like two bucks in the dark, on the bridge of the infinite; we shall no longer have to fear famine, farming out, prostitution arising from distress, misery from the failure of work and the scaffold and the sword, and battles and the ruffianism of chance in the forest of events. One might almost say: There will be no more events. We shall be happy. The human race will accomplish its law, as the terrestrial globe accomplishes its law; harmony will be re-established between the soul and the star; the soul will gravitate around the truth, as the planet around the light. Friends, the present hour in which I am addressing you, is a gloomy hour; but these are terrible purchases of the future. A revolution is a toll. Oh! the human race will be delivered, raised up, consoled! We affirm it on this barrier. Whence should proceed that cry of love, if not from the heights of sacrifice? Oh my brothers, this is the point of junction, of those who think and of those who suffer; this barricade is not made of paving-stones, nor of joists, nor of bits of iron; it is made of two heaps, a heap of ideas, and a heap of woes. Here misery meets the ideal. The day embraces the night, and says to it: 'I am about to die, and thou shalt be born again with me.' From the embrace of all desolations faith leaps forth. Sufferings bring hither their agony and ideas their immortality. This agony and this immortality are about to join and constitute our death. Brothers, he who dies here dies in the radiance of the future, and we are entering a tomb all flooded with the dawn.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
Jesus Fulfills the Eternal Covenant Scripture represents the Lord Jesus Christ, in all that He did and suffered for His people, as fulfilling the terms of a gracious compact or arrangement which He had entered into with His heavenly Father before the foundation of the world. 1. Jesus was sent into the world by the Father to save the people whom the Father had given to Him. Those given to Him by the Father come to Him (see and believe in Him), and none of them shall be lost. (John 6:35-40) 2. Jesus, as the good shepherd, lays down His life for His sheep. All who are "His sheep" are brought by Him into the fold and are made to hear His voice and follow Him. Notice that the Father had given the sheep to Christ! (John 10:11, 14-18, 24-29 3. Jesus, in His High Priestly Prayer, prays not for the world, but for those given to Him by the Father. In fulfillment of the Father's charge, Jesus had accomplished the work the Father had sent Him to do - to make God known to His people and to give them eternal life. (John 17:1-11, 20, 24-26) pp. 45-48
David N. Steele (The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented)
I can do anything I believe I can do! I’ve got it, and every day I get more of it. I have talent, skills, and ability. I set goals and I reach them. I know what I want out of life. I go after it and I get it. People like me, and I feel good about myself. I have a sense of pride in who I am, and I believe in myself. Nothing seems to stop me. I have a lot of determination. I turn problems into advantages. I find possibilities in things that other people never give a chance. I have a lot of energy—I am very alive! I enjoy life and I can tell it and so can others. I keep myself up, looking ahead, and liking it. I know that I can accomplish anything I choose, and I refuse to let anything negative hold me back or stand in my way. I am not afraid of anything or anyone. I have strength, power, conviction, and confidence! I like challenges and I meet them head on, face to face—today especially! I am on top of the world and I’m going for it. I have a clear picture in my mind of what I want. I can see it in front of me. I know what I want and I know how to get it. I know that it’s all up to me and I know I can do it. Roadblocks don’t bother me. They just mean that I am alive and running, and I’m not going to stand still for anything. I trust myself I’ve got what it takes—plenty of it—and I know how to use it. Today, more than ever. Today I am unstoppable! I’ve got myself together and I’m getting more together every day. And today—look out world, here I come! Limitations? I don’t even recognize them as limitations. There is no challenge I can’t conquer; there is no wall I can’t climb over. There is no problem I can’t defeat, or turn around and make it work for me. I stand tall! I am honest and sincere. I like to deal with people and they like me. I think well; I think clearly. I am organized; I am in control of myself, and everything about me. I call my shots, and no one has to call them for me. I never blame anyone else for the circumstances of my life. I accept my failings and move past them as easily as I accept the rewards for my victories. I never demand perfection of myself, but I expect the very best of what I have to give—and that’s what I get! I never give myself excuses. I get things done on time and in the right way. Today I have the inner strength to do more than ever. I am an exceptional human being. My goals and my incredible belief in myself turn my goals into reality. I have the power to live my dreams. I believe in them like I believe in myself. And that belief is so strong that there is nothing that diminishes my undefeatable spirit.
Shad Helmstetter (What To Say When You Talk To Your Self)
Above all, believe. Cultivate your swagger. Make this your new religion: You are funny and talented, and you’re going to try something new. This is the exact right time for that. This is the most important year of your life, and for once you are NOT going to let yourself down. If you fall down and feel depressed, you will get back up. If you feel lethargic and scared, you will try something else: a new routine, a new roommate situation, a healthier diet. You will read books about comedy. You will work tirelessly and take pride in your tireless work. And you will take time every few hours to stop and say to yourself, “Look at me. I’m doing it. I’m chasing my dream. I am following my calling.” It doesn’t matter if your dreams come true, if agents swoon and audiences cheer. Trust me on that: It truly doesn’t matter. What matters is the feeling that you’re doing it, every day. What matters is the work—diving in, feeling your way in the dark, finding the words, trusting yourself, embracing your weird voice, celebrating your quirks on the page, believing in all of it. What matters is the feeling that you’re not following someone else around, that you’re not half-assing this, that you’re not waiting for something to happen, that you’re not waiting for your whole life to start. What matters is you, all alone at your desk at five in the morning. I write this from my own desk at five in the morning, my favorite place, a place where I know who I am and what I’m meant to accomplish in this life. Savor that precious space. That space will feel like purgatory at first, because you’ll realize that it all depends on you. That space will feel like salvation eventually, because you’ll realize that it all depends on you.
Heather Havrilesky (How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly's Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life)
The Idiot. I have read it once, and find that I don't remember the events of the book very well--or even all the principal characters. But mostly the 'portrait of a truly beautiful person' that dostoevsky supposedly set out to write in that book. And I remember how Myshkin seemed so simple when I began the book, but by the end, I realized how I didn't understand him at all. the things he did. Maybe when I read it again it will be different. But the plot of these dostoevsky books can hold such twists and turns for the first-time reader-- I guess that's b/c he was writing most of these books as serials that had to have cliffhangers and such. But I make marks in my books, mostly at parts where I see the author's philosophical points standing in the most stark relief. My copy of Moby Dick is positively full of these marks. The Idiot, I find has a few... Part 3, Section 5. The sickly Ippolit is reading from his 'Explanation' or whatever its called. He says his convictions are not tied to him being condemned to death. It's important for him to describe, of happiness: "you may be sure that Columbus was happy not when he had discovered America, but when he was discovering it." That it's the process of life--not the end or accomplished goals in it--that matter. Well. Easier said than lived! Part 3, Section 6. more of Ippolit talking--about a christian mindset. He references Jesus's parable of The Word as seeds that grow in men, couched in a description of how people are interrelated over time; its a picture of a multiplicity. Later in this section, he relates looking at a painting of Christ being taken down from the cross, at Rogozhin's house. The painting produced in him an intricate metaphor of despair over death "in the form of a huge machine of the most modern construction which, dull and insensible, has aimlessly clutched, crushed, and swallowed up a great priceless Being, a Being worth all nature and its laws, worth the whole earth, which was created perhaps solely for the sake of the advent of this Being." The way Ippolit's ideas are configured, here, reminds me of the writings of Gilles Deleuze. And the phrasing just sort of remidns me of the way everyone feels--many people feel crushed by the incomprehensible machine, in life. Many people feel martyred in their very minor ways. And it makes me think of the concept that a narrative religion like Christianity uniquely allows for a kind of socialized or externalized, shared experience of subjectivity. Like, we all know the story of this man--and it feels like our own stories at the same time. Part 4, Section 7. Myshkin's excitement (leading to a seizure) among the Epanchin's dignitary guests when he talks about what the nobility needs to become ("servants in order to be leaders"). I'm drawn to things like this because it's affirming, I guess, for me: "it really is true that we're absurd, that we're shallow, have bad habits, that we're bored, that we don't know how to look at things, that we can't understand; we're all like that." And of course he finds a way to make that into a good thing. which, it's pointed out by scholars, is very important to Dostoevsky philosophy--don't deny the earthly passions and problems in yourself, but accept them and incorporate them into your whole person. Me, I'm still working on that one.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Lately, because computer technology has made self-publishing an easier and less expensive venture, I'm getting a lot of review copies of amateur books by writers who would be better advised to hone their craft before committing it to print. The best thing you can do as a beginning writer is to write, write, write - and read, read, read. Concentrating on publication prematurely is a mistake. You don't pick up a violin and expect to play Carnegie Hall within the year - yet somehow people forget that writing also requires technical skills that need to be learned, practiced, honed. If I had a dollar for every person I've met who thought, with no prior experience, they could sit down and write a novel and instantly win awards and make their living as a writer, I'd be a rich woman today. It's unrealistic, and it's also mildly insulting to professional writers who have worked hard to perfect their craft. Of course, then you hear stories about people like J.K. Rowling, who did sit down with no prior experience and write a worldwide best-seller...but such people are as rare as hen's teeth. Every day I work with talented, accomplished writers who have many novels in print and awards to their name and who are ‘still’ struggling to make a living. The thing I often find myself wanting to say to new writers is: Write because you love writing, learn your craft, be patient, and be realistic. Anais Nin said about writing, "It should be a necessity, as the sea needs to heave, and I call it breathing."
Terri Windling
Though we are addicted to instant gratification, we are seldom gratified because, although we are making everything possible now, we are seldom present to enjoy it now. The moment we attain our desire, our attention jumps out of the present and into planning our next acquisition. This creates a world that’s comfortable with living in debt, on borrowed time, and on somebody else’s energy. We no longer own our houses, cars, and clothes – the bank does. We have robbed ourselves of the satisfaction of organic accomplishment. There’s no more “rite of passage,” only the fast lane. Young children want to be teenagers, teenagers want to be adults, and adults want to accomplish a lifetime’s work before turning thirty. We spend each moment running ahead of ourselves, believing there’s a destination we are supposed to arrive at that’s saturated with endless happiness, acknowledgement, ease, and luxury. We are forever running away from something and toward something – and because everyone is behaving in this manner, we accept it as normal. We mentally leapfrog over the eternal present moment in everything we do, ignoring the flow of life. The Presence Process – including the consequences inherent in completing it – moves at a different pace. This journey isn’t about getting something done “as quickly as possible.” It’s about process, not instant gratification. The consequences we activate by completing this journey are made possible because of its gently unfolding integrative approach. By following the instructions carefully, taking one step at a time, being consistent and committed to completing the task at hand no matter what, we experience a rite of passage that reminds us of what “process” means. Realizing what “process” involves isn’t just a mental realization, but requires an integrated emotional, mental, and physical experience. Awakening to the value of process work is rare in a world of instant gratification. It powerfully impacts the quality of our experience because life in the present is an ongoing organic process. Realizing the power within the rhythm of process work may not necessarily impact our ability to earn a living, but it enhances our ability to open ourselves to the heartbeat of life.
Michael L. Brown (The Presence Process - A Journey Into Present Moment Awareness)
As I pass through my incarnations in every age and race, I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place. Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all. We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn: But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind, So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind. We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace, Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place, But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome. With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch, They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch; They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings; So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things. When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace. They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease. But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know." On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife) Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death." In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all, By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul; But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy, And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die." Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more. As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man There are only four things certain since Social Progress began. That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire, And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire; And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins, As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn, The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!
Rudyard Kipling
At the heart of God is the desire to give and to forgive. Because of this, he set into motion the entire redemptive process that culminated in the cross and was confirmed in the resurrection. The usual notion of what Jesus did on the cross was something like this: people were so bad and so mean and God was so angry with them that he could not forgive them unless somebody big enough took the rap for the whole lot of them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Love, not anger, brought Jesus to the cross. Golgotha came as a result of God’s great desire to forgive, not his reluctance. Jesus knew that by his vicarious suffering he could actually absorb all the evil of humanity and so heal it, forgive it, redeem it. This is why Jesus refused the customary painkiller when it was offered him. He wanted to be completely alert for this greatest work of redemption. In a deep and mysterious way he was preparing to take on the collective sin of the human race. Since Jesus lives in the eternal now, this work was not just for those around him, but he took in all the violence, all the fear, all the sin of all the past, all the present, and all the future. This was his highest and most holy work, the work that makes confession and the forgiveness of sins possible…Some seem to think that when Jesus shouted “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” it was a moment of weakness (Mark 15:34). Not at all. This was his moment of greatest triumph. Jesus, who had walked in constant communion with the Father, now became so totally identified with humankind that he was the actual embodiment of sin. As Paul writes, “he made him to be sin who knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus succeeded in taking into himself all of the dark powers of this present evil age and defeated every one of them by the light of his presence. He accomplished such a total identification with the sin of the race that he experienced the abandonment of God. Only in that way could he redeem sin. It was indeed his moment of greatest triumph. Having accomplished this greatest of all his works, Jesus then took refreshment. “It is finished,” he announced. That is, this great work of redemption was completed. He could feel the last dregs of the misery of humankind flow through him and into the care of the Father. The last twinges of evil, hostility, anger, and fear drained out of him, and he was able to turn again into the light of God’s presence. “It is finished.” The task is complete. Soon after, he was free to give up his spirit to the father. …Without the cross the Discipline of confession would be only psychologically therapeutic. But it is so much more. It involves and objective change in our relationship with God and a subjective change in us. It is a means of healing and transforming the inner spirit.
Richard J. Foster (Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth)
Ethan’s parents constantly told him how brainy he was. “You’re so smart! You can do anything, Ethan. We are so proud of you, they would say every time he sailed through a math test. Or a spelling test. Or any test. With the best of intentions, they consistently tethered Ethan’s accomplishment to some innate characteristic of his intellectual prowess. Researchers call this “appealing to fixed mindsets.” The parents had no idea that this form of praise was toxic.   Little Ethan quickly learned that any academic achievement that required no effort was the behavior that defined his gift. When he hit junior high school, he ran into subjects that did require effort. He could no longer sail through, and, for the first time, he started making mistakes. But he did not see these errors as opportunities for improvement. After all, he was smart because he could mysteriously grasp things quickly. And if he could no longer grasp things quickly, what did that imply? That he was no longer smart. Since he didn’t know the ingredients making him successful, he didn’t know what to do when he failed. You don’t have to hit that brick wall very often before you get discouraged, then depressed. Quite simply, Ethan quit trying. His grades collapsed. What happens when you say, ‘You’re so smart’   Research shows that Ethan’s unfortunate story is typical of kids regularly praised for some fixed characteristic. If you praise your child this way, three things are statistically likely to happen:   First, your child will begin to perceive mistakes as failures. Because you told her that success was due to some static ability over which she had no control, she will start to think of failure (such as a bad grade) as a static thing, too—now perceived as a lack of ability. Successes are thought of as gifts rather than the governable product of effort.   Second, perhaps as a reaction to the first, she will become more concerned with looking smart than with actually learning something. (Though Ethan was intelligent, he was more preoccupied with breezing through and appearing smart to the people who mattered to him. He developed little regard for learning.)   Third, she will be less willing to confront the reasons behind any deficiencies, less willing to make an effort. Such kids have a difficult time admitting errors. There is simply too much at stake for failure.       What to say instead: ‘You really worked hard’   What should Ethan’s parents have done? Research shows a simple solution. Rather than praising him for being smart, they should have praised him for working hard. On the successful completion of a test, they should not have said,“I’m so proud of you. You’re so smart. They should have said, “I’m so proud of you. You must have really studied hard”. This appeals to controllable effort rather than to unchangeable talent. It’s called “growth mindset” praise.
John Medina (Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five)
We are committed to involving as many people as possible, as young as possible, as soon as possible. Sometimes too young and too soon! But we intentionally err on the side of too fast rather than too slow. We don’t wait until people feel “prepared” or “fully equipped.” Seriously, when is anyone ever completely prepared for ministry? Ministry makes people’s faith bigger. If you want to increase someone’s confidence in God, put him in a ministry position before he feels fully equipped. The messages your environments communicate have the potential to trump your primary message. If you don’t see a mess, if you aren’t bothered by clutter, you need to make sure there is someone around you who does see it and is bothered by it. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. The sermon begins in the parking lot. Assign responsibility, not tasks. At the end of the day, it’s application that makes all the difference. Truth isn’t helpful if no one understands or remembers it. If you want a church full of biblically educated believers, just teach what the Bible says. If you want to make a difference in your community and possibly the world, give people handles, next steps, and specific applications. Challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how you grow people. Your current template is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently getting. We must remove every possible obstacle from the path of the disinterested, suspicious, here-against-my-will, would-rather-be-somewhere-else, unchurched guests. The parking lot, hallways, auditorium, and stage must be obstacle-free zones. As a preacher, it’s my responsibility to offend people with the gospel. That’s one reason we work so hard not to offend them in the parking lot, the hallway, at check-in, or in the early portions of our service. We want people to come back the following week for another round of offending! Present the gospel in uncompromising terms, preach hard against sin, and tackle the most emotionally charged topics in culture, while providing an environment where unchurched people feel comfortable. The approach a church chooses trumps its purpose every time. Nothing says hypocrite faster than Christians expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians when half the Christians don’t act like it half the time. When you give non-Christians an out, they respond by leaning in. Especially if you invite them rather than expect them. There’s a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something. There is an inexorable link between an organization’s vision and its appetite for improvement. Vision exposes what has yet to be accomplished. In this way, vision has the power to create a healthy sense of organizational discontent. A leader who continually keeps the vision out in front of his or her staff creates a thirst for improvement. Vision-centric churches expect change. Change is a means to an end. Change is critical to making what could and should be a reality. Write your vision in ink; everything else should be penciled in. Plans change. Vision remains the same. It is natural to assume that what worked in the past will always work. But, of course, that way of thinking is lethal. And the longer it goes unchallenged, the more difficult it is to identify and eradicate. Every innovation has an expiration date. The primary reason churches cling to outdated models and programs is that they lack leadership.
Andy Stanley (Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend)
December 8, 1986 Hello John: Thanks for the good letter. I don’t think it hurts, sometimes, to remember where you came from. You know the places where I came from. Even the people who try to write about that or make films about it, they don’t get it right. They call it “9 to 5.” It’s never 9 to 5, there’s no free lunch break at those places, in fact, at many of them in order to keep your job you don’t take lunch. Then there’s OVERTIME and the books never seem to get the overtime right and if you complain about that, there’s another sucker to take your place. You know my old saying, “Slavery was never abolished, it was only extended to include all the colors.” And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don’t want but fear the alternative worse. People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does. As a young man I could not believe that people could give their lives over to those conditions. As an old man, I still can’t believe it. What do they do it for? Sex? TV? An automobile on monthly payments? Or children? Children who are just going to do the same things that they did? Early on, when I was quite young and going from job to job I was foolish enough to sometimes speak to my fellow workers: “Hey, the boss can come in here at any moment and lay all of us off, just like that, don’t you realize that?” They would just look at me. I was posing something that they didn’t want to enter their minds. Now in industry, there are vast layoffs (steel mills dead, technical changes in other factors of the work place). They are layed off by the hundreds of thousands and their faces are stunned: “I put in 35 years…” “It ain’t right…” “I don’t know what to do…” They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this. Why couldn’t they? I figured the park bench was just as good or being a barfly was just as good. Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait? I just wrote in disgust against it all, it was a relief to get the shit out of my system. And now that I’m here, a so-called professional writer, after giving the first 50 years away, I’ve found out that there are other disgusts beyond the system. I remember once, working as a packer in this lighting fixture company, one of the packers suddenly said: “I’ll never be free!” One of the bosses was walking by (his name was Morrie) and he let out this delicious cackle of a laugh, enjoying the fact that this fellow was trapped for life. So, the luck I finally had in getting out of those places, no matter how long it took, has given me a kind of joy, the jolly joy of the miracle. I now write from an old mind and an old body, long beyond the time when most men would ever think of continuing such a thing, but since I started so late I owe it to myself to continue, and when the words begin to falter and I must be helped up stairways and I can no longer tell a bluebird from a paperclip, I still feel that something in me is going to remember (no matter how far I’m gone) how I’ve come through the murder and the mess and the moil, to at least a generous way to die. To not to have entirely wasted one’s life seems to be a worthy accomplishment, if only for myself. Your boy, Hank
Charles Bukowski
In every interview I’m asked what’s the most important quality a novelist has to have. It’s pretty obvious: talent. Now matter how much enthusiasm and effort you put into writing, if you totally lack literary talent you can forget about being a novelist. This is more of a prerequisite than a necessary quality. If you don’t have any fuel, even the best car won’t run.The problem with talent, though, is that in most cases the person involved can’t control its amount or quality. You might find the amount isn’t enough and you want to increase it, or you might try to be frugal and make it last longer, but in neither case do things work out that easily. Talent has a mind of its own and wells up when it wants to, and once it dries up, that’s it. Of course, certain poets and rock singers whose genius went out in a blaze of glory—people like Schubert and Mozart, whose dramatic early deaths turned them into legends—have a certain appeal, but for the vast majority of us this isn’t the model we follow. If I’m asked what the next most important quality is for a novelist, that’s easy too: focus—the ability to concentrate all your limited talents on whatever’s critical at the moment. Without that you can’t accomplish anything of value, while, if you can focus effectively, you’ll be able to compensate for an erratic talent or even a shortage of it. I generally concentrate on work for three or four hours every morning. I sit at my desk and focus totally on what I’m writing. I don’t see anything else, I don’t think about anything else. … After focus, the next most important thing for a novelist is, hands down, endurance. If you concentrate on writing three or four hours a day and feel tired after a week of this, you’re not going to be able to write a long work. What’s needed of the writer of fiction—at least one who hopes to write a novel—is the energy to focus every day for half a year, or a year, or two years. … Fortunately, these two disciplines—focus and endurance—are different from talent, since they can be acquired and sharpened through training. You’ll naturally learn both concentration and endurance when you sit down every day at your desk and train yourself to focus on one point. This is a lot like the training of muscles I wrote of a moment ago. You have to continually transmit the object of your focus to your entire body, and make sure it thoroughly assimilates the information necessary for you to write every single day and concentrate on the work at hand. And gradually you’ll expand the limits of what you’re able to do. Almost imperceptibly you’ll make the bar rise. This involves the same process as jogging every day to strengthen your muscles and develop a runner’s physique. Add a stimulus and keep it up. And repeat. Patience is a must in this process, but I guarantee results will come. In private correspondence the great mystery writer Raymond Chandler once confessed that even if he didn’t write anything, he made sure he sat down at his desk every single day and concentrated. I understand the purpose behind his doing this. This is the way Chandler gave himself the physical stamina a professional writer needs, quietly strengthening his willpower. This sort of daily training was indispensable to him. … Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day. These are practical, physical lessons. How much can I push myself? How much rest is appropriate—and how much is too much? How far can I take something and still keep it decent and consistent? When does it become narrow-minded and inflexible? How much should I be aware of the world outside, and how much should I focus on my inner world? To what extent should I be confident in my abilities, and when should I start doubting myself? I know that if I hadn’t become a long-distance runner when I became a novelist, my work would have been vastly different. How different? Hard to say. But something would definitely have been different.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)