Famous Nail Quotes

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I'm never going to accomplish anything; that's perfectly clear to me. I'm never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don't do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don't even do that any more.
Dorothy Parker (Here Lies: The Collected Stories of Dorothy Parker)
Too many writers write for the wrong reasons. They want to get famous or they want to get rich or they want to get laid by the girls with bluebells in their hair... When everything works best, it's not because you chose writing, but because writing chose you. It's when you're mad with it. When it's stuffed in your ears, nostrils, under your finger nails. It's when there's no hope but that.
Charles Bukowski
If this constant sliding and hiding of meaning were true of conscious life, then we would of course never be able to speak coherently at all. If the whole of language were present to me when I spoke, then I would not be able to articulate anything at all. The ego, or consciousness, can therefore only work by repressing this turbulent activity, provisionally nailing down words on to meanings. Every now and then a word from the unconscious which I do not want insinuates itself into my discourse, and this is the famous Freudian slip of the tongue or parapraxis. But for Lacan all our discourse is in a sense a slip of the tongue: if the process of language is as slippery and ambiguous as he suggests, we can never mean precisely what we say and never say precisely what we mean. Meaning is always in some sense an approximation, a near-miss, a part-failure, mixing non-sense and non-communication into sense and dialogue.
Terry Eagleton (Literary Theory: An Introduction)
The famous atheist Christopher Hitchens once declared that ‘You’re expelled from your mother’s uterus as if shot from a cannon, towards a barn door studded with old nail files and rusty hooks.’ Presumably that was what he had in mind when conceiving his three children.
Quentin S. Crisp
Abraham Maslow once famously said,22 “When all you’ve got is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” What he meant was, when it comes to problem-solving, we tend to get locked into using familiar tools in expected ways.
Steven Kotler (Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work)
For one who sets himself to look at all earnestly, at all in purpose toward truth, into the living eyes of a human life: what is it he there beholds that so freezes and abashes his ambitious heart? What is it, profound behind the outward windows of each one of you, beneath touch even of your own suspecting, drawn tightly back at bay against the backward wall and blackness of its prison cave, so that the eyes alone shine of their own angry glory, but the eyes of a trapped wild animal, or of a furious angel nailed to the ground by his wings, or however else one may faintly designate the human 'soul,' that which is angry, that which is wild, that which is untamable, that which is healthful and holy, that which is competent of all advantaging within hope of human dream, that which most marvelous and most precious to our knowledge and most extremely advanced upon futurity of all flowerings within the scope of creation is of all these the least destructible, the least corruptible, the most defenseless, the most easily and multitudinously wounded, frustrated, prisoned, and nailed into a cheating of itself: so situated in the universe that those three hours upon the cross are but a noble and too trivial an emblem how in each individual among most of the two billion now alive and in each successive instant of the existence of each existence not only human being but in him the tallest and most sanguine hope of godhead is in a billionate choiring and drone of pain of generations upon generations unceasingly crucified and is bringing forth crucifixions into their necessities and is each in the most casual of his life so measurelessly discredited, harmed, insulted, poisoned, cheated, as not all the wrath, compassion, intelligence, power of rectification in all the reach of the future shall in the least expiate or make one ounce more light: how, looking thus into your eyes and seeing thus, how each of you is a creature which has never in all time existed before and which shall never in all time exist again and which is not quite like any other and which has the grand stature and natural warmth of every other and whose existence is all measured upon a still mad and incurable time; how am I to speak of you as 'tenant' 'farmers,' as 'representatives' of your 'class,' as social integers in a criminal economy, or as individuals, fathers, wives, sons, daughters, and as my friends and as I 'know' you?
James Agee (Let Us Now Praise Famous Men)
I’m never going to accomplish anything; that’s perfectly clear to me. I’m never going to be famous. My name will never be writ large on the roster of Those Who Do Things. I don’t do anything. Not one single thing. I used to bite my nails, but I don’t even do that any more. I don’t amount to the powder to blow me to hell. I’ve turned out to be nothing but a bit of flotsam.
Dorothy Parker (Complete Stories (Penguin Classics))
Brother Males and Shemales: Are you coming to the Health Bee?  It will be the livest Hop-to-it that this busy lil ole planet has ever see.  And it's going to be Practical.  We'll kiss out on all these glittering generalities and get messages from men as kin talk, so we can lug a think or two (2)home wid us. Luther Botts, the famous community-sing leader, will be there to put Wim an Wigor neverything into the program.  John F. Zeisser, M.A., M.D., nail the rest of the alphabet (part your hair Jack and look cute, the ladies will love you) will unlimber a coupla key-notes.  (On your tootsies, fellers, thar she blows!)  From time to time, if the brakes hold, we will, or shall in the infinitive, hie oursellufs from wherein we are apt to thither, and grab a lunch with Wild Wittles. Do it sound like a good show?  It do!  Barber, you're next.  Let's have those cards saying you're coming. This
Sinclair Lewis (Arrowsmith)
Because playing Schuberts’s piano sonatas well is one of the hardest things in the world. Especially this, the Sonata in D Major. It’s a tough piece to master. Some pianists complain one or maybe two of the movements perfectly, but if you listen to all four movements as a unified whole, no one has ever nailed it. A lot of famous pianists have tried to rise to the challenge, but it’s like there’s always something missing. There’s never one where you can say, Yes ! He’s got it! - Oshima
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
Paul said to his Ephesian readers, discouraged because of his imprisonment, “My suffering is for your glory.” Why? Because that is how it works. Suffering and glory are closely linked. Suffering glorifies God to the universe and eventually even achieves a glory for us. And do you know why suffering and glory are so tied to each other? It is because of Jesus. Philippians 2 tells us Jesus laid aside his glory. Why? Charles Wesley’s famous Christmas carol tells you. Mild he lays his glory by; born that men no more may die; Born to raise the sons of earth. Born to give them second birth. Jesus lost all his glory so that we could be clothed in it. He was shut out so we could get access. He was bound, nailed, so that we could be free. He was cast out so we could approach. And Jesus took away the only kind of suffering that can really destroy you: that is being cast away from God. He took that so that now all suffering that comes into your life will only make you great. A lump of coal under pressure becomes a diamond. And the suffering of a person in Christ only turns you into somebody gorgeous. Jesus Christ suffered, not so that we would never suffer but so that when we suffer we would be like him. His suffering led to glory. And you can see it in Paul. Paul is happy to be in prison because “my sufferings are for your glory,” he says. He is like Jesus now. Because that is how Jesus did it. And if you know that that glory is coming, you can handle suffering, too.
Timothy J. Keller (Walking with God through Pain and Suffering)
Gina hoisted herself up onto her elbows and gaped at Spike. "So that's the famous Spike I've been hearing so much about from your brothers? Damn, he is ugly." Jesse, who'd stayed where he was, looked defensive. Spike was his baby, and you just don't go around calling Jesse's baby ugly. "He's not so bad," I said, hoping Gina would get the message and shut up. "Are you on crack?" Gina wanted to know. "Simon, the thing's only got one ear." Suddenly, the large, gilt-framed mirror above the dressing table started to shake. It had a tendency to do this whenever Jesse got annoyed - really annoyed. Gina, not knowing this, stared at the mirror with growing excitement. "Hey!" she cried. "All right! Another one!" She meant an earthquake, of course, but this, like the one before, was no earthquake. It was just Jesse letting off steam. Then the next thing I knew, a bottle of finger-nail polish Gina had left on the dressing table went flying and, defying all gravitational law, landed upside down in the suitcase she had placed on the floor at the end of the daybed, around seven or eight feet away. I probably don't need to add that the bottle of polish - it was emerald green - was uncapped. And that it ended up on top of the clothes Gina hadn't unpacked yet. Gina let out a terrified shriek, threw back the comforter, and dove to the floor, trying to salvage what she could. I, meanwhile, threw Jesse a very dirty look. But all he said was, "Don't look at me like that, Susannah. You heard what she said about him." He sounded wounded. "She called him ugly.
Meg Cabot (Reunion (The Mediator, #3))
The fact that an educated Roman governor and Consul (the highest possible office in the entire Roman Empire, short of actually being the Emperor) knows so little about Christianity that he has to conduct interrogations to get the basics proves that it was still a little known fringe movement at this time. What’s more, Trajan’s reply mentions no trial precedents or decrees against Christians, highlighting the fact that no trial records existed in Roman archives for famous Christians like Jesus, Peter or Paul. If there had been, Pliny would not had to go into detail describing the trials he conducted.
David Fitzgerald (Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All)
While the Austrian crown was dissolving like jelly in your fingers, everyone wanted Swiss francs and American dollars, and large numbers of foreigners exploited the economic situation to feed on the twitching corpse of the old Austrian currency. Austria was ‘discovered’, and became disastrously popular with foreign visitors in a parody of the society season. All the hotels in Vienna were crammed full with these vultures; they would buy anything, from toothbrushes to country estates; they cleared out private collections of antiquities and the antique dealers’ shops before the owners realised how badly they had been robbed and cheated in their time of need. Hotel receptionists from Switzerland and Dutch shorthand typists stayed in the princely apartments of the Ringstrasse hotels. Incredible as it may seem, I can vouch for it that for a long time the famous, de luxe Hotel de l’Europe in Salzburg was entirely booked by unemployed members of the English proletariat, who could live here more cheaply than in their slums at home, thanks to the generous unemployment benefit they received. Anything that was not nailed down disappeared. Word gradually spread of the cheap living and low prices in Austria. Greedy visitors came from further and further afield, from Sweden, from France, and you heard more Italian, French, Turkish and Romanian than German spoken in the streets of the city centre of Vienna.
Stefan Zweig (The World of Yesterday: Memoirs of a European)
Even in the warm faelight of the foyer, the gown glittered and gleamed like a fresh-cut jewel. We had taken my gown from Starfall and refashioned it, adding sheer silk panels to the back shoulders, the glittering material like woven starlight as it flowed behind me in lieu of a veil or cape. If Rhysand was Night Triumphant, I was the star that only glowed thanks to his darkness, the light only visible because of him. I scowled up the stairs. That is, if he bothered to show up on time. My hair, Nuala had swept into an ornate, elegant arc across my head, and in front of it... I caught Cassian glancing at me for the third time in less than a minute and demanded, 'What?' His lips twitched at the corners. 'You just look so...' 'Here we go,' Mor muttered from where she picked at her red-tinted nails against the stair banister. Rings glinted at every knuckle, on every finger; stacks of bracelets tinkled against each other on either wrist. 'Official,' Cassian said with an incredulous look in her direction. He waved a Siphon-topped hand to me. 'Fancy.' 'Over five hundred years old,' Mor said, shaking her head sadly, 'a skilled warrior and general, famous throughout territories, and complementing ladies is still something he finds next to impossible. Remind me why we bring you on diplomatic meetings?' Azriel, wreathed in shadows by the front door, chuckled quietly. Cassian shot him a glare. 'I don't see you spouting poetry, brother.' Azriel crossed his arms, still smiling faintly. 'I don't need to resort to it.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3))
The next day we booked a three-hundred pound sow for a most unusual photoshoot. She was chauffeured to Hollywood from a farm in Central Valley, and arrived in style at the soundstage bright and early, ready for her close-up. She was a perfect pig, straight from the animal equivalent of Central casting: pink, with gray spots and a sweet disposition. Like Wilbur from Charlotte's Web, but all grown up. I called her "Rhonda." In a pristine studio with white walls and a white floor, I watched as Rhonda was coaxed up a ramp that led to the top of a white pedestal, four feet off the ground. Once she was situated, the ramp was removed, and I took my place beside her. It was a simple setup. Standing next to Rhonda, I would look into the camera and riff about the unsung heroes of Dirty Jobs. I'd conclude with a pointed question: "So, what's on your pedestal?" It was a play on that credit card campaign: "What's in your wallet?" I nailed it on the first take, in front of a roomful of nervous executives. Unfortunately, Rhonda nailed it, too. Just as I asked, "What's on your pedestal?" she crapped all over hers. It was an enormous dump, delivered with impeccable timing. During the second take, Rhonda did it again, right on cue. This time, with a frightful spray of diarrhea that filled the studio with a sulfurous funk, blackening the white walls of the pristine set, and transforming my blue jeans into something browner. I could only marvel at the stench, while the horrified executives backed into a corner - a huddled mass, if you will, yearning to breath free. But Rhonda wasn't done. She crapped on every subsequent take. And when she could crap no more, she began to pee. She peed on my cameraman, She peed on her handler. She peed on me. Finally, when her bladder was empty, we got the take the network could use, along with a commercial that won several awards for "Excellence in Promos." (Yes, they have trophies for such things.) Interestingly, the footage that went viral was not the footage that aired, but the footage Mary encouraged me to release on YouTube after the fact. The outtakes of Rhonda at her incontinent finest. Those were hysterical, and viewed more times than the actual commercial. Go figure. Looking back, putting a pig on a pedestal was maybe the smartest thing I ever did. Not only did it make Rhonda famous, it established me as the nontraditional host of a nontraditional show. One whose primary job was to appear more like a guest, and less like a host. And, whenever possible, not at all like an asshole.
Mike Rowe (The Way I Heard It)
I always had trouble with the feet of Jón the First, or Pre-Jón, as I called him later. He would frequently put them in front of me in the evening and tell me to take off his socks and rub his toes, soles, heels and calves. It was quite impossible for me to love these Icelandic men's feet that were shaped like birch stumps, hard and chunky, and screaming white as the wood when the bark is stripped from it. Yes, and as cold and damp, too. The toes had horny nails that resembled dead buds in a frosty spring. Nor can I forget the smell, for malodorous feet were very common in the post-war years when men wore nylon socks and practically slept in their shoes. How was it possible to love these Icelandic men? Who belched at the meal table and farted constantly. After four Icelandic husbands and a whole load of casual lovers I had become a vrai connaisseur of flatulence, could describe its species and varieties in the way that a wine-taster knows his wines. The howling backfire, the load, the gas bomb and the Luftwaffe were names I used most. The coffee belch and the silencer were also well-known quantities, but the worst were the date farts, a speciality of Bæring of Westfjord. Icelandic men don’t know how to behave: they never have and never will, but they are generally good fun. At least, Icelandic women think so. They seem to come with this inner emergency box, filled with humour and irony, which they always carry around with them and can open for useful items if things get too rough, and it must be a hereditary gift of the generations. Anyone who loses their way in the mountains and gets snowed in or spends the whole weekend stuck in a lift can always open this special Icelandic emergency box and get out of the situation with a good story. After wandering the world and living on the Continent I had long tired of well-behaved, fart-free gentlemen who opened the door and paid the bills but never had a story to tell and were either completely asexual or demanded skin-burning action until the morning light. Swiss watch salesmen who only knew of “sechs” as their wake-up hour, or hairy French apes who always required their twelve rounds of screwing after the six-course meal. I suppose I liked German men the best. They were a suitable mixture of belching northerner and cultivated southerner, of orderly westerner and crazy easterner, but in the post-war years they were of course broken men. There was little you could do with them except try to put them right first. And who had the time for that? Londoners are positive and jolly, but their famous irony struck me as mechanical and wearisome in the long run. As if that irony machine had eaten away their real essence. The French machine, on the other hand, is fuelled by seriousness alone, and the Frogs can drive you beyond the limit when they get going with their philosophical noun-dropping. The Italian worships every woman like a queen until he gets her home, when she suddenly turns into a slut. The Yank is one hell of a guy who thinks big: he always wants to take you the moon. At the same time, however, he is as smug and petty as the meanest seamstress, and has a fit if someone eats his peanut butter sandwich aboard the space shuttle. I found Russians interesting. In fact they were the most Icelandic of all: drank every glass to the bottom and threw themselves into any jollity, knew countless stories and never talked seriously unless at the bottom of the bottle, when they began to wail for their mother who lived a thousand miles away but came on foot to bring them their clean laundry once a month. They were completely crazy and were better athletes in bed than my dear countrymen, but in the end I had enough of all their pommel-horse routines. Nordic men are all as tactless as Icelanders. They get drunk over dinner, laugh loudly and fart, eventually start “singing” even in public restaurants where people have paid to escape the tumult of
Hallgrímur Helgason
There’s a tap on my shoulder. I turn around and get lost in a sea of blue. A Jersey-accented voice says, “It’s about time, kid,” and Frank Sinatra rattles the ice in his glass of Jack Daniel’s. Looking at the swirling deep-brown liquid, he whispers, “Ain’t it beautiful?” This is my introduction to the Chairman of the Board. We spend the next half hour talking Jersey, Hoboken, swimming in the Hudson River and the Shore. We then sit down for dinner at a table with Robert De Niro, Angie Dickinson and Frank and his wife, Barbara. This is all occurring at the Hollywood “Guinea Party” Patti and I have been invited to, courtesy of Tita Cahn. Patti had met Tita a few weeks previous at the nail parlor. She’s the wife of Sammy Cahn, famous for such songs as “All The Way,” “Teach Me Tonight” and “Only the Lonely.” She called one afternoon and told us she was hosting a private event. She said it would be very quiet and couldn’t tell us who would be there, but assured us we’d be very comfortable. So off into the LA night we went. During the evening, we befriend the Sinatras and are quietly invited into the circle of the last of the old Hollywood stars. Over the next several years we attend a few very private events where Frank and the remaining clan hold forth. The only other musician in the room is often Quincy Jones, and besides Patti and I there is rarely a rocker in sight. The Sinatras are gracious hosts and our acquaintance culminates in our being invited to Frank’s eightieth birthday party dinner. It’s a sedate event at the Sinatras’ Los Angeles home. Sometime after dinner, we find ourselves around the living room piano with Steve and Eydie Gorme and Bob Dylan. Steve is playing the piano and up close he and Eydie can really sing the great standards. Patti has been thoroughly schooled in jazz by Jerry Coker, one of the great jazz educators at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. She was there at the same time as Bruce Hornsby, Jaco Pastorius and Pat Metheny, and she learned her stuff. At Frank’s, as the music drifts on, she slips gently in on “My One and Only Love.” Patti is a secret weapon. She can sing torch like a cross between Peggy Lee and Julie London (I’m not kidding). Eydie Gorme hears Patti, stops the music and says, “Frank, come over here. We’ve got a singer!” Frank moves to the piano and I then get to watch my wife beautifully serenade Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan, to be met by a torrent of applause when she’s finished. The next day we play Frank’s eightieth birthday celebration for ABC TV and I get to escort him to the stage along with Tony Bennett. It’s a beautiful evening and a fitting celebration for the greatest pop singer of all time. Two years later Frank passed away and we were generously invited to his funeral. A
Bruce Springsteen (Born to Run)
When I drive I like to listen to Schubert's piano sonatas with the volume turned up. Do you know why?' 'I have no idea.' 'Because playing Schubert's piano sonatas well is one of the hardest things in the world. Especially this, the Sonata in D Major. It's a tough piece to master. Some pianists can play one or maybe two of the movements perfectly, but if you listen to all four movements as a unified whole, no one has ever nailed it. A lot of famous pianists have tried to rise to the challenge, but it's like there's always something missing. There's never one where you can say, Yes! He's got it! Do you know why?' 'No,' I reply. 'Because the sonata itself is imperfect. Robert Schumann understood Schubert's sonatas well, and he labeled this one "Heavenly Tedious."' "If the composition's imperfect, why would so many pianists try to master it?' 'Good question,' Oshima says, and pauses as music fills in the silence. 'I have no great explanation for it, but one thing I can say. Works that have a certain imperfection to them have an appeal for that very reason―or at least they appeal to certain types of people. Just like you're attracted to Soseki's The Miner. There's something in it that draws you in, more than more fully realized novels like Kokoro or Sanshiro. You discover something about that work that tugs at your heart―or maybe we should say the work discovers you. Schubert's Sonata in D Major is sort of the same thing.' 'To get back to the question,' I say, 'why do you listen to Schubert's sonatas? Especially when you're driving?' 'If you play Schubert's sonatas, especially this one straight through, it's not art. Like Schumann pointed out, it's too long and too pastoral, and technically too simplistic. Play it through the way it is and it's flat and tasteless, some dusty antique. Which is why every pianist who attempts it adds something of his own, something extra. Like this―hear how he articulates it there? Adding rubato. Adjusting the pace, modulation, whatever. Otherwise they can't hold it all together. They have to be careful, though, or else all those extra devices destroy the dignity of the piece. Then it's not Schubert's music anymore. Every single pianist who's played this sonata struggles with the same paradox.' He listens to the music, humming the melody, then continues. 'That's why I like to listen to Schubert while I'm driving. Like I said, it's because all the performances are imperfect. A dense, artistic kind of imperfection stimulates your consciousness, keeps you alert. If I listen to some utterly perfect performance of an utterly perfect piece while I'm driving, I might want to close my eyes and die right then and there. But listening to the D major, I can feel the limits of what humans are capable of―that a certain type of perfection can only be realized through a limitless accumulation of the imperfect. And personally, I find that encouraging.
Haruki Murakami (Kafka on the Shore)
There were a great many other such tableaux. As Martial had predicted, bears featured prominently in most of them. A temple thief was made to reenact the role of the robber Laureolus, made famous by the ancient plays of Ennius and Naevius; he was nailed to a cross and then subjected to the attack of the bears. A freedman who had killed his former master was made to put on a Greek chlamys and go walking though a stage forest populated by cavorting satyrs and nymphs, like Orpheus lost in the woods; when one of the satyrs played a shrill tune on his pipes, the trees dispersed and the man was subject to an attack by bears. An arsonist was made to strap on wings in imitation of Daedalus, ascend a high platform, and then leap off; the wings actually carried him aloft for a short distance, a remarkable sight, until he plunged into an enclosure full of bears and was torn to pieces.
Steven Saylor (Empire (Roma, #2))
Saint Helena,” Dennis said, “also known as the empress Helena was the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine the great. Birthdate not known but thought to be either 246 or 250AD. Died 330AD. Famous for finding the relics from Christ’s crucifixion. She found the nails and rope used to fix him to his cross. She also found the cross on which he was crucified. She found a total of three crosses and had a woman from Jerusalem, who was near death, touch each one. When the woman touched the third cross she was cured.
Julian Noyce (Spear of Destiny (Peter Dennis, #2))
There are widely cited accounts of famous but unnamed Soviet boot and nail factories. The boot factories produced only size-7-left boots but never missed a production quota; the nail factories made a large number of small nails in response to numerical targets but switched skillfully to a small number of very large nails when targets were set by weight.
Robert D. Austin (Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations (Dorset House eBooks))
It was Horace. He’d squeezed out of his cage again. He could make himself quite runny when he wanted to. There was a broken butter dish on the floor, but although it had been full of butter, there was none there now. There was just a greasy patch. And, from the darkness under the sink, there came a sort of high-speed grumbling noise, a kind of mnnamnamnam.... “Oh, you’re after butter now, are you, Horace?” said Tiffany, picking up the dairy broom. “That’s practically cannibalism, you know.” Still, it was better than mice, she had to admit. Finding little piles of mouse bones on the floor was a bit distressing. Even Miss Treason had not been able to work that one out. A mouse she happened to be looking through would be trying to get at the cheeses and then it would all go dark. That was because Horace was a cheese. Tiffany knew that Lancre Blue cheeses were always a bit on the lively side, and sometimes had to be nailed down, but...well, she was highly skilled at cheese making, even though she said it herself, and Horace was definitely a champion. The famous blue streaks that gave the variety its wonderful color were really pretty, although Tiffany wasn’t sure they should glow in the dark.
Terry Pratchett (Wintersmith (Discworld, #35; Tiffany Aching, #3))
Jacob will tell me later that important people have always kept copies of their letters. He will even tell me about a machine invented by a famous American that would allow him to write two copies of a letter at once while only grasping one pen. So then I’ll say, okay, okay, maybe it isn’t the mailbox that forces this perspective of generosity. Maybe I found generosity here because generosity is something I’ve been looking for. Maybe I’m tired of acting like the mythical “economic man” who always pursues the greatest gain for the least amount of effort. Maybe I’m tired of holding my fist so tight my nails dig into my palm. I want to act as if I have enough. I have enough time. I have enough creativity. I have enough paper, and marker ink, to share.
Esther Emery (What Falls from the Sky: How I Disconnected from the Internet and Reconnected with the God Who Made the Clouds)
Choosing to Grow Yourself I don’t believe in specific goals. Scott Adams famously said, “Set up systems, not goals.” Use your judgment to figure out what kinds of environments you can thrive in, and then create an environment around you so you’re statistically likely to succeed. The current environment programs the brain, but the clever brain can choose its upcoming environment. I’m not going to be the most successful person on the planet, nor do I want to be. I just want to be the most successful version of myself while working the least hard possible. I want to live in a way that if my life played out 1,000 times, Naval is successful 999 times. He’s not a billionaire, but he does pretty well each time. He may not have nailed life in every regard, but he sets up systems so he’s failed in very few places. [4] Remember I started as a poor kid in India, right? If I can make it, anybody can, in that sense. Obviously, I had all my limbs, my mental faculties, and I did have an education. There are some prerequisites you can’t get past. But if you’re reading this book, you probably have the requisite means at your disposal, which is a functioning body and a functioning mind. [78] If there’s something you want to do later, do it now. There is no “later.
Eric Jorgenson (The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness)
November We walk to the ward from the badly parked car with your grandma taking four short steps to our two. We have brought her here to die and we know it. You check her towel. soap and family trinkets, pare her nails, parcel her in the rough blankets and she sinks down into her incontinence. It is time John. In their pasty bloodless smiles, in their slack breasts, their stunned brains and their baldness and in us John: we are almost these monsters. You're shattered. You give me the keys and I drive through the twilight zone, past the famous station to your house, to numb ourselves with alcohol. Inside, we feel the terror of the dusk begin. Outside we watch the evening, failing again, and we let it happen. We can say nothing. Sometimes the sun spangles and we feel alive. One thing we have to get, John, out of this life.
Simon Armitage
People will hammer down a nail that sticks out; yet when people realize that nail can be useful to hang things on, that nail can become famous in the right places.
If Jonny Rokeby turned up here, yes, the press would be fighting tooth and nail to get a shot of him. For fuck’s sake. You’re not that famous. Get the fuck over yourself.
Robert Galbraith (The Ink Black Heart (Cormoran Strike, #6))
Previously, it hqd brought her the names of famous men who had discovered things. She would bite her nails as she listened, telling herself that if she were a man she would be able to do likewise. Obscurity, she felt that these discoverers had no greater talent for discovery than she, only that they were men. Yes, a man could do things a woman could not simply because he was a man. He was not more able, but he was male, and masculinity in itself was one of the preconditions for discovery.
Nawal El Saadawi (Searching)
Previously, it had brought her the names of famous men who had discovered things. She would bite her nails as she listened, telling herself that if she were a man she would be able to do likewise. Obscurity, she felt that these discoverers had no greater talent for discovery than she, only that they were men. Yes, a man could do things a woman could not simply because he was a man. He was not more able, but he was male, and masculinity in itself was one of the preconditions for discovery.
Nawal El Saadawi (Searching)
Previously, it had brought her the names of famous men who had discovered things. She would bite her nails as she listened, telling herself that if she were a man she would be able to do likewise. Obscurity, she felt that these discoverers had no greater talent for discovery than she, only that they were men. Yes, a man could do things a woman could not simply because he was a man. He was not more able, but he was male, and masculinity in itself was one of the preconditions for discovery. But here was a woman who had made a discovery, a woman like her, not a man. The obscure feelings about her ability to make a discovery became clearer and she grew more convinced that there was something that waited for her to lift a veil and discover it, something that existed, like sound and light and gases and vapours and uranium rays. Yes, something existed thar only she knew about.
Nawal El Saadawi (Searching)
When Sasha was ten she had such an intense crush on Harrison Ford that sometimes she would lie in bed and cry with deep sorrow that they would never be together. She knew it was weird. He was a grown man and a famous actor and she was a child with a dawning awareness that little hairs were growing up and down her legs, and it all compounded into a tragedy so devastating that she could barely stand to watch him in movies when anyone else was in the room. Her brothers obviously noticed her mooning after him and taunted her mercilessly. Later in life, when she saw in some celebrity magazine at the nail salon that Harrison got an earring, she felt embarrassed all over again that she had been obsessed with someone so old.
Jenny Jackson (Pineapple Street)
Why should I want to be rich when You were poor? Why should I desire to be famous and powerful in the eyes of men when some of those who exalted the false prophet and stoned the true rejected You and nailed You to the Cross? Why should I cherish in my heart a hope that devours me--the hope for perfect happiness in this life--when such hope, doomed to frustration, is nothing but despair?
Thomas Merton (Thoughts in Solitude)
The famous essay, "One Solitary Life," states: "Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself.... While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executers gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth — his coat When He was dead, He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. "Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever were built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.
Josh McDowell (Evidence that Demands a Verdict, eBook: Fast Answers for Skeptics' Questions about Jesus)
Examine any famous street in Paris, Cairo, London, or New York, and you’ll find plenty of shops where you can buy clothes or coffee, have your hair styled or nails polished. But where are the shops selling the secrets to full satisfaction and a truly happy life? The Yoga Wisdom Literatures The wisdom texts of the Vedic tradition specialize in happiness. Veda means “knowledge,” and the Vedas are ancient but ageless texts containing knowledge that lead us to happiness. We learn from them that human life is meant for self-inquiry and that whatever we do should lead to self-discovery and the purification of our body, mind, and consciousness. Vedic teachers show by example how to live a more peaceful and balanced life. They don’t neglect science or technology, but instead teach us how to use them purposefully so that we can attain our full potential.
Vaiśeṣika Dāsa (The Four Questions: A Pathway to Inner Peace)
At school, Pablo found it hard to concentrate. Rather than completing classwork, he filled the margins of his notebook with pencil sketches of animals, birds, and people. His teacher grew exasperated with his lack of attention. She wrote a note to his mother saying: “Pablo should stop drawing in class and pay attention to his lessons.” It was clear that Pablo hated rules, and he took every opportunity to disobey them. When adults told him what to do, he did the opposite. He once got in trouble for coloring the sky a bright red instead of the “normal” blue. Pablo was often banished to the “calaboose,” a bare cell with white walls and a bench, which served as a holding pen for unruly students. “I liked it there, because I took along a sketch pad and drew incessantly,” Pablo later said. “I could have stayed there forever drawing without stopping.” He even began misbehaving on purpose so that he would be sentenced to detention and sent to the calaboose. The one person who understood that Pablo wasn’t acting out for no reason was his father. One day when Pablo’s mother caught him drawing on the wall with a nail, Don José took him to the beach to blow off steam. As Don José stretched out to take a nap, Pablo sat beside him and drew a dolphin in the wet sand. When Don José awoke, he was astonished by the beauty of his son’s drawing. “Could it be Pablo who drew this?” he wondered. That afternoon, Don José took a closer look at the image Pablo had drawn on their living room wall. What at first looked like random scratches soon took shape. Don José recognized a reindeer and a bison running away from a group of men on horseback who were armed with bows and arrows. At that moment, Don José knew what to do to get Pablo to stop misbehaving. He decided to take him into his studio and teach his son how to paint. From that day onward, Pablo and his father were inseparable art partners. In search of new subjects to portray, they began going to the bullfights. Pablo was mesmerized by the sight of the brave picadors as they charged ferocious bulls. He saw El Lagartijo—“The Lizard”—one of the most famous bullfighters in Spain, and he met Cara Ancha,
David Stabler (Kid Legends: True Tales of Childhood from the Books Kid Artists, Kid Athletes, Kid Presidents, and Kid Authors)