Good Outcome Quotes

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Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes.
Stephen Richards
Truth - more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality - is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes.
Ray Dalio
The FUTURE of this world has long been DECLARED; the final outcome between GOOD and evil is already KNOWN. There is absolutely no question as to who WINS because the VICTORY has already been posted on the SCOREBOARD. The only really strange thing is all of this is that we are still down here on the FIELD trying to decide which TEAM’S JERSEY we want to wear!
Jeffrey R. Holland
With outcome-based habits, the focus is on what you want to achieve. With identity-based habits, the focus is on who you wish to become.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Your strength as a rationalist is your ability to be more confused by fiction than by reality. If you are equally good at explaining any outcome, you have zero knowledge.
Eliezer Yudkowsky
Don't live the same day over and over again and call that a life. Life is about evolving mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
Germany Kent
The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom. We get bored with habits because they stop delighting us. The outcome becomes expected. And as our habits become ordinary, we start derailing our progress to seek novelty.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Human beings are strange creatures. As people come across one another they produce various outcomes. Good things, sometimes. And other times, bad.
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket, Vol. 16)
Burning bridges behind you is understandable. It's the bridges before us that we burn, not realizing we may need to cross, that brings regret.
Anthony Liccione
Improving decision quality is about increasing our chances of good outcomes, not guaranteeing them.
Annie Duke (Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts)
Permanent good can never be the outcome of untruth and violence
Mahatma Gandhi
Hard work is critical, a good team is essential, brains and determination are invaluable, but luck may decide the outcome.
Phil Knight (Shoe Dog)
Everyone cares about fairness, but there are two major kinds. On the left, fairness often implies equality, but on the right it means proportionality —people should be rewarded in proportion to what they contribute, even if that guarantees unequal outcomes.
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion)
Optimism. One of the most important qualities of a good leader is optimism, a pragmatic enthusiasm for what can be achieved. Even in the face of difficult choices and less than ideal outcomes, an optimistic leader does not yield to pessimism. Simply put, people are not motivated or energized by pessimists.
Robert Iger (The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company)
It is not a person or situation that affects your life; it is the meaning you give to that person or situation, which influences your emotions and actions. Your choice is to change the meaning you gave it or to change your response, in order to create the outcome you want.
Shannon L. Alder
A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.
Thomas Sowell (The Quest for Cosmic Justice)
Take risks! That is really what life is about. We must pursue our own happiness. Nobody has ever lived our lives; ther are no guidelines. Trust your instincts. Accept nothing but the best. But then also look for it carefully. Don't allow it to slip between your fingers. Sometimes, good things come to us in a such a quiet fashion. And nothing comes complete. It is what we make of whatever we encounter that determines the outcome. What we choose to see, what we choose to save. And what we choose to remember. Never forget that all the love in your life is there, inside you, always.
Linda Olsson (Astrid and Veronika)
Maybe that's all that praying was, she thought, just wishing good outcomes on other people.
Katharine McGee (The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor, #1))
Your outcomes are a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits. You get what you repeat.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Modern capitalism needs men who co-operate smoothly, and in large numbers; who want to consume more and more; and whose tastes are standardized and can be easily influenced and anticipated. It needs men who feel free and independent, not subject to any authority or principle or conscience—yet willing to be commanded, to do what is expected of them, to fit into the social machine without friction; who can be guided without force, led without leaders, prompted without aim—except the one to make good, to be on the move, to function, to go ahead. What is the outcome? Modern man is alienated from himself, from his fellow men, and from nature.
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
What makes a decision great is not that it has a great outcome. A great decision is the result of a good process, and that process must include an attempt to accurately represent our own state of knowledge. That state of knowledge, in turn, is some variation of “I’m not sure.
Annie Duke (Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts)
But aren't all great quests folly? El Dorado and the Fountain of Youth and the search for intelligent life in the cosmos-- we know what's out there. It's what isn't that truly compels us. Technology may have shrunk the epic journey to a couple of short car rides and regional jet lags-- four states and twelve hundred miles traversed in an afternoon-- but true quests aren't measured in time or distance anyway, so much as in hope. There are only two good outcomes for a quest like this, the hope of the serendipitous savant-- sail for Asia and stumble on America-- and the hope of scarecrows and tin men: that you find out you had the thing you sought all along.
Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins)
All we can do is make the best decisions we can with the best information we have at that time and place. And learn how to rebound, reinvent, and regroup. Remember—people who seem to move through life with confidence aren’t confident about the outcome of a decision; they’re confident that they can deal with the outcome, good or bad.
Stephanie Bond
There are only two good outcomes for a quest like this, the hope of the serendipitous savant — sail for Asia and stumble on America — and the hope of scarecrows and tin men: that you find out you had the thing you sought all along.
Jess Walter (Beautiful Ruins)
When we mentally give a person, place, or point in time more credit than ourselves, we create a fictitious ceiling. A restriction over the expectations that we have over our own performance in that moment. We get tense. We focus on the outcome instead of the activity and we miss the doing of the deed. We either think the world depends on the result or it's too good to be true. But it doesn't and it isn't. And it's not our right to believe it does or is. Don't create imaginary constraints. A leading role, a blue ribbon, a winning score, a great idea, the love of our life, euphoric bliss... Who are we to think we don't deserve these fortunes when they're in our grasp? Who are we to think we haven't earned them? If we stay and process within ourselves, in the joy of the doing, we will never choke at the finish line. Why? Because we're not thinking of the finish line. We're not looking at the clock. We’re not watching ourselves on the Jumbotron performing. We are performing in real time where the approach is the destination.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
A good decision cannot guarantee a good outcome. All real decisions are made under uncertainty. A decision is therefore a bet, and evaluating it as good or not must depend on the stakes and the odds, not on the outcome.
Ward Edwards
She ate toast in bed, then reread a favorite book, taking comfort from a story where she knew the outcome would be good and just and right.
Sarah Mayberry (Within Reach)
And those who urge entrepreneurs to never give up? Charlatans. Sometimes you have to give up. Sometimes knowing when to give up, when to try something else, is genius. Giving up doesn’t mean stopping. Don’t ever stop. Luck plays a big role. Yes, I’d like to publicly acknowledge the power of luck. Athletes get lucky, poets get lucky, businesses get lucky. Hard work is critical, a good team is essential, brains and determination are invaluable, but luck may decide the outcome. Some people might not call it luck. They might call it Tao, or Logos, or Jñāna, or Dharma. Or Spirit. Or God. Put
Phil Knight (Shoe Dog)
It really is something ... that men disapprove even of our doing things that are patently good. Wouldn't it be possible for us just to banish these men from our lives, and escape their carping and jeering once and for all? Couldn't we live without them? Couldn't we earn our living and manage our affairs without help from them? Come on, let's wake up, and claim back our freedom, and the honour and dignity that they have usurped from us for so long. Do you think that if we really put our minds to it, we would be lacking the courage to defend ourselves, the strength to fend for ourselves, or the talents to earn our own living? Let's take our courage into our hands and do it, and then we can leave it up to them to mend their ways as much as they can: we shan't really care what the outcome is, just as long as we are no longer subjugated to them.
Moderata Fonte (The Worth of Women: Wherein Is Clearly Revealed Their Nobility and Their Superiority to Men (The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe))
I found these statistics: 80% of missing people are found in the first twenty-four hours. 97% are found in the first week, and 99% of cases are resolved in the first year. That leaves just 1%. 1% of people who disappear are never found. And just 0.25% of all missing persons cases have a fatal outcome.
Holly Jackson (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder #1))
The process is important, regardless of the outcome, just ask Schacter. (...)mental health... is not a destination but a process. It's about how you drive, not where you're going. The therapist is like a driving instuctor, not a chauffeur.
Noam Shpancer (The Good Psychologist)
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)
But if, sometimes, an unspeakable horror arises from the smallest error, I choose to believe that it’s possible for an equally unimaginable grandeur to grow from the tiniest gesture of love. I choose to believe that it works both ways. That great terror is the result of a thousand small but evil choices, and great good is the outcome of another thousand tiny acts of care.
Laura McBride (We Are Called to Rise)
A society that puts equality — in the sense of equality of outcome — ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests.
Milton Friedman
Before we go further we should define what optimism is. Real optimists don’t believe that everything will be great. That’s complacency. Optimism is a belief that the odds of a good outcome are in your favor over time, even when there will be setbacks along the way.
Morgan Housel (The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness)
Oh boy. Too drunk to hold on to a whiskey and Coke and the word "pretty." That's not a combination with a positive outcome. Not good at all. That's the secret password that usually leaves me trying to find a ride home in the morning.
Laurie Notaro (Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood)
Small changes often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold. The most powerful outcomes of any compounding process are delayed. You need to be patient.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
The sense of pleasure you get creating something that doesn’t exist is inexplicable. I can never explain this joy in words. I like the process more than the outcome. I mean, the moments when I am busy painting. It makes me feel good about myself. It is like prayer. An ode to the Universe.
Abhaidev (The Influencer: Speed Must Have a Limit)
I don’t believe in the Law of Attraction. There were things I wanted in my life that no amount of positive thinking was going to make it a reality for me. However, I have learned to believe in the Law of Tough Love. Life has thrown a dozen tragedies at me. I did what any Christian would do--prayed for the outcome I wanted, but God was tough and only gave me what I needed. I now realize that life is not about fulfilling a wish list; rather a need list. Good and bad experiences are on the horizon. How else does a person change, grow and evolve? And just like any warrior woman, I won’t simply survive-- but thrive!
Shannon L. Alder
The more I protested about this ambiguity, the more Joanna pointed out to me that it was both a terrible and wonderful part of life: terrible because you can't count on anything for sure—like certain good health and no possibility of cancer; wonderful because no human being knows when another is going to die—no doctor can absolutely predict the outcome of a disease. The only thing that is certain is change. Joanna calls all of this 'delicious ambiguity.' 'Couldn't there be comfort and freedom in no one knowing the outcome of anything and all things being possible?' she asked. Was I convinced? Not completely. I still wanted to believe in magic thinking. But I was intrigued.
Gilda Radner (It's Always Something)
Good intentions are not sufficient to creat a positive outcome; you must act. As you take part and become actively engaged, answers to your questions will appear. Lastly, like a great rock is not disturbed by the buffetings of the wind, the mind of a judicious man is steady. He exists as a stanchion, a stalwart support. Others can cling to him, for he will not falter.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Quest (The Tiger Saga, #2))
It’s loneliness. Even though I’m surrounded by loved ones who care about me and want only the best, it’s possible they try to help only because they feel the same thing—loneliness—and why, in a gesture of solidarity, you’ll find the phrase “I am useful, even if alone” carved in stone. Though the brain says all is well, the soul is lost, confused, doesn’t know why life is being unfair to it. But we still wake up in the morning and take care of our children, our husband, our lover, our boss, our employees, our students, those dozens of people who make an ordinary day come to life. And we often have a smile on our face and a word of encouragement, because no one can explain their loneliness to others, especially when we are always in good company. But this loneliness exists and eats away at the best parts of us because we must use all our energy to appear happy, even though we will never be able to deceive ourselves. But we insist, every morning, on showing only the rose that blooms, and keep the thorny stem that hurts us and makes us bleed hidden within. Even knowing that everyone, at some point, has felt completely and utterly alone, it is humiliating to say, “I’m lonely, I need company. I need to kill this monster that everyone thinks is as imaginary as a fairy-tale dragon, but isn’t.” But it isn’t. I wait for a pure and virtuous knight, in all his glory, to come defeat it and push it into the abyss for good, but that knight never comes. Yet we cannot lose hope. We start doing things we don’t usually do, daring to go beyond what is fair and necessary. The thorns inside us will grow larger and more overwhelming, yet we cannot give up halfway. Everyone is looking to see the final outcome, as though life were a huge game of chess. We pretend it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose, the important thing is to compete. We root for our true feelings to stay opaque and hidden, but then … … instead of looking for companionship, we isolate ourselves even more in order to lick our wounds in silence. Or we go out for dinner or lunch with people who have nothing to do with our lives and spend the whole time talking about things that are of no importance. We even manage to distract ourselves for a while with drink and celebration, but the dragon lives on until the people who are close to us see that something is wrong and begin to blame themselves for not making us happy. They ask what the problem is. We say that everything is fine, but it’s not … Everything is awful. Please, leave me alone, because I have no more tears to cry or heart left to suffer. All I have is insomnia, emptiness, and apathy, and, if you just ask yourselves, you’re feeling the same thing. But they insist that this is just a rough patch or depression because they are afraid to use the real and damning word: loneliness. Meanwhile, we continue to relentlessly pursue the only thing that would make us happy: the knight in shining armor who will slay the dragon, pick the rose, and clip the thorns. Many claim that life is unfair. Others are happy because they believe that this is exactly what we deserve: loneliness, unhappiness. Because we have everything and they don’t. But one day those who are blind begin to see. Those who are sad are comforted. Those who suffer are saved. The knight arrives to rescue us, and life is vindicated once again. Still, you have to lie and cheat, because this time the circumstances are different. Who hasn’t felt the urge to drop everything and go in search of their dream? A dream is always risky, for there is a price to pay. That price is death by stoning in some countries, and in others it could be social ostracism or indifference. But there is always a price to pay. You keep lying and people pretend they still believe, but secretly they are jealous, make comments behind your back, say you’re the very worst, most threatening thing there is. You are not an adulterous man, tolerated and often even admired, but an adulterous woman, one who is ...
Paulo Coelho (Adultery)
All along, I kept this encouragement from Daisaku Ikeda close to my heart: “One thing is certain: The power of belief, the power of thought, will move reality in the direction of what we believe and conceive of it. If you really believe you can do something, you can. That is a fact. When you clearly envision the outcome of victory, engrave it upon your heart, and are firmly convinced that you will attain it, your brain makes every effort to realize the mental image you have created. And then, through your unceasing efforts, that victory is finally made a reality.
Tina Turner (Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good)
A good strategy should dictate the right actions. Any action mustn't be impulsive, but analyzed along with all its possible outcomes. A solid plan always includes many backups and alternatives.
Diane Ackerman (The Zookeeper's Wife)
People who see themselves as “good” are much more likely to do “evil” things. This is because believing you are the “good guy” allows you to define your actions as good because you are the one doing them. This is why many successful cultures frame humans as intrinsically wretched. It can seem harsh to raise a child to believe deeply in their own wretchedness, but doing so helps them remember to always second-guess themselves by remembering their lesser, selfishly motivated instincts. Instincts that run counter to your morality and values have every bit as much access to your intelligence as “the better angels” of your consciousness and will use your own knowledge and wit to justify their whims. You can’t outreason your worst impulses without stacking the deck in your favor. Coming from a culture that anticipates bad impulses and steels you against them can do that. That said, cultures will no doubt develop different, less harsh mechanisms for achieving the same outcome.
Simone Collins (The Pragmatist’s Guide to Crafting Religion: A playbook for sculpting cultures that overcome demographic collapse & facilitate long-term human flourishing (The Pragmatist's Guide))
Love is an intense emotion that will take a toll on you mentally, emotionally and physically in an unselfish, yet bittersweet way that develops into a deep affection; and sometimes, an unknown outcome.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
One of the reasons I never became a clinician is because I was never convinced that life—its saving, its extension, its return—was definitively the best outcome. In order to be a good doctor, you have to think that, you have to fundamentally believe that living is superior to dying, you have to believe that the point of life is more life.
Hanya Yanagihara (To Paradise)
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking. I want to grow really old with my wife, Annie, whom I dearly love. I want to see my younger children grow up and to play a role in their character and intellectual development. I want to meet still unconceived grandchildren. There are scientific problems whose outcomes I long to witness—such as the exploration of many of the worlds in our Solar System and the search for life elsewhere. I want to learn how major trends in human history, both hopeful and worrisome, work themselves out: the dangers and promise of our technology, say; the emancipation of women; the growing political, economic, and technological ascendancy of China; interstellar flight. If there were life after death, I might, no matter when I die, satisfy most of these deep curiosities and longings. But if death is nothing more than an endless dreamless sleep, this is a forlorn hope. Maybe this perspective has given me a little extra motivation to stay alive. The world is so exquisite, with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there's little good evidence. Far better, it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look Death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.
Carl Sagan (Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium)
Every habit produces multiple outcomes across time. Unfortunately, these outcomes are often misaligned. With our bad habits, the immediate outcome usually feels good, but the ultimate outcome feels bad. With good habits, it is the reverse: the immediate outcome is unenjoyable, but the ultimate outcome feels good.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
All art is a work in progress. It’s helpful to see the piece we’re working on as an experiment. One in which we can’t predict the outcome. Whatever the result, we will receive useful information that will benefit the next experiment. If you start from the position that there is no right or wrong, no good or bad, and creativity is just free play with no rules, it’s easier to submerge yourself joyfully in the process of making things. We’re not playing to win, we’re playing to play. And ultimately, playing is fun. Perfectionism gets in the way of fun. A more skillful goal might be to find comfort in the process. To make and put out successive works with ease.
Rick Rubin (The Creative Act: A Way of Being)
With a book—presuming it’s a good book—you can depend upon an outcome that adheres to the necessities of drama. The question will be answered. It has to be. The answer may not be happy; we can’t guarantee a comedy. Sometimes tragedy strikes. But there will be a conclusion. Of that we can be sure. That’s the whole point of a book. But in real life, there is no guarantee that any question will ever be answered. Real life is messy because we don’t know where it’s going to go.
Garth Stein (A Sudden Light)
The full impact of the ripple effect can at times be unpredictable, but it is what you make of it. It doesn’t matter how many stones have been thrown at you because you are the master of your actions. How you view the ripple effect’s rings will determine your outcome. Will you let them break you or will you use them to the fullest potential?
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
For instance, most everyone agrees that a just society promotes equality among its citizens, but blood is spilled over what sort of equality is morally preferable: equality of opportunity or equality of outcome
Paul Bloom (Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil)
Eventually the Woodsman spoke. ‘We all have our routines,’ he said softly. ‘But they must have a purpose and provide an outcome that we can see and take some comfort from, or else they have no use at all. Without that, they are like the endless pacings of a caged animal. If they are not madness itself, then they are a prelude to it.’ The Woodsman stood and showed David his axe. ‘See here,’ he said, pointing with his finger at the blade. Every morning, I make certain that me axe is clean and keen. I look to my house and check that its windows and doors remain secure. I tend to my land, disposing of weeds and ensuring that the soil is watered. I walk through the forest, clearing those paths that need to be kept open. Where trees have been damaged, I do my best to repair what has been harmed. these are my routines and I enjoy doing them well.’ He laid a hand gently on David’s shoulder, and David saw understanding in his face. ‘Rules and routines are good, but they must give you satisfaction. Can you truly say you gain that from touching and counting?’ David shook his head. ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I get scared when I don’t do them. I’m afraid of what might happen.’ ‘Then find routines that allow you to feel secure when they are done. You told me that you have a new brother: look to him each morning. Look to your father, and your stepmother. Tend to the flowers in the garden, or in the pots upon the window sill. Seek others who are weaker than you are, and try to give them comfort where you can. Let these be your routines, and the rules that govern your life.
John Connolly (The Book of Lost Things (The Book of Lost Things, #1))
I am merely noting that the creation of native prostitutes to service foreign privates is an inevitable outcome of a war of occupation, one of those nasty little side effects of defending freedom that all the wives, sisters, girlfriends, mothers, pastors, and politicians in Smallville, USA, pretend to ignore behind waxed and buffed walls of teeth as they welcome their soldiers home, ready to treat any unmentionable afflictions with the penicillin of American goodness.
Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer)
I believe that we must align our actions with our highest principles. No matter the outcome, we will not have failed if we act from our best intentions.” “The road to hell is paved with good intentions, Captain,” Chakotay said with equal certainty. “So is the road to peace,” Cambridge observed.
Kirsten Beyer (Children of the Storm (Star Trek: Voyager))
Breakthrough moments are often the result of many previous actions, which build up the potential required to unleash a major change. This pattern shows up everywhere. Cancer spends 80 percent of its life undetectable, then takes over the body in months. Bamboo can barely be seen for the first five years as it builds extensive root systems underground before exploding ninety feet into the air within six weeks. Similarly, habits often appear to make no difference until you cross a critical threshold and unlock a new level of performance. In the early and middle stages of any quest, there is often a Valley of Disappointment. You expect to make progress in a linear fashion and it’s frustrating how ineffective changes can seem during the first days, weeks, and even months. It doesn’t feel like you are going anywhere. It’s a hallmark of any compounding process: the most powerful outcomes
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Like the hindsight paradox,” he continues, when he’s bought the doughnuts. “Everyone thinks they knew what was going to happen. They said, I knew it all along! but, actually, they would say that no matter what the outcome. Because our brains are so good at considering every possibility. We’ve known whenever anything was going to happen.
Gillian McAllister (Wrong Place Wrong Time)
When any human group decides that they can define God, the outcome is always predictable. The “true faith,” once defined, must then be defended against all critics, and it must also then be forced upon all people—“for their own good, lest their souls be in jeopardy.
John Shelby Spong (Biblical Literalism: A Gentile Heresy: A Journey into a New Christianity Through the Doorway of Matthew's Gospel)
Idealism easily becomes dangerous because it brings with it, almost inevitably, the belief that the ends justify the means. If you are fighting for good or for God, what matters is the outcome, not the path. People have little respect for rules; we respect the moral principles that underlie most rules. But when a moral mission and legal rules are incompatible, we usually care more about the mission.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
Everyone cares about fairness, but there are two major kinds. On the left, fairness often implies equality, but on the right it means proportionality—people should be rewarded in proportion to what they contribute, even if that guarantees unequal outcomes.
Jonathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion)
In the good mystery there is nothing wasted, no sentence, no word that is not significant. And even if it is not significant, it has the potential to be so - which amounts to the same thing. The world of the book comes to life, seething with possibilities, with secrets and contradictions. Since everything seen or said, even the slightest, most trivial thing, can bear a connection to the outcome of the story, nothing must be overlooked. Everything becomes essence; the center of the book shifts with each event that propels it forward. The center, then, is everywhere, and no circumference can be drawn until the book has come to its end.
Paul Auster (The New York Trilogy (New York Trilogy #1-3))
If the surprise outcome of the recent UK referendum - on whether to leave or remain in the European Union - teaches us anything, it is that supposedly worthy displays of democracy in action can actually do more harm than good. Witness a nation now more divided; an intergenerational schism in the making; both a governing and opposition party torn to shreds from the inside; infinitely more complex issues raised than satisfactory solutions provided. It begs the question 'Was it really all worth it' ?
Alex Morritt (Impromptu Scribe)
If you don't make a conscious effort to visualize, who you are and what you want to become in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape your journey by default. Your silence makes you reactive vs. proactive. God will bring people in your life that can take you on many different journeys that will bring about different outcomes to your life mission. However, if you are not proactive and define your dreams you will never know where “you” need to be and who needs to be with you to fulfill what God is asking you to do. Your life is your own. You must define your dreams, not live someone else’s vision of a good life. What is it that God is asking you to do with the talents and hobbies you enjoy? What were you blessed with a desire for? A good life is one spent in the service of helping others. Find a life partner that will help you reach God’s highest potential—service to humanity, service to his Kingdom, service to building others up. Also, begin any choice with the end in mind. This means to begin each day with a clear vision of your desired direction. It is not enough to live a passive life of religious devotion. God asked you to do more than worship. He has called you to serve, not to be a servant to other people’s dreams. You and only you know where your heart must travel. God brings you storms in life to wake you up. Don’t see it as his disappointment, but as his parental love for you. Life was not meant to stay the same. If someone truly loves you they will never take you away from God’s plan, they will only magnify it.
Shannon L. Alder
Imagine yourself near the end of your life. You are relaxing in a rocking chair reflecting on the decision you presently want to make. As the older, wiser you thinks about the outcome of your choice, ask yourself three simple questions. 1. Did it cause harm? 2. Did it bring about good? 3. How did it shape the person I became? The Rocking Chair Test helps you to take a long view of your options. After imagining your answers to those questions, you should know better which way to go.
Steve Goodier
I get caught up in outcomes. I convince myself they're truths. No one will notice how wrong you are if everything you do ends up right. The rest becomes incidental. So incidental that, after a while, you forget. Maybe you are perfect. Good. It must be true. Who can argue with results? You're not so wrong after all. So you buy into it and you go crazy maintaining it. Except it creeps up on you sometimes, that you're not right. Imperfect. Bad. So you snap your fingers and it goes away. Until something you can't ignore happens and you see it all over yourself. And there's only one thing left to do.
Courtney Summers (Cracked Up to Be)
From our first day alive on this planet, they began teaching society everything it knows and experiences. It was all brainwashing bullshit. Their trio of holy catechisms is: faith is more important than reason; inputs are more important than outcomes; hope is more important than reality. It was designed to choke your independent thinking and acting—to bring out the lowest common denominator in people—so that vast amounts of the general public would literally buy into sponsorship and preservation of their hegemonic nation. Their greatest achievement was the creation of the two-party political system; it gave only the illusion of choice, but never offered any change; it promised freedom, but only delivered more limits. In the end, you got stuck with two leading loser parties and not just one. It completed their trap of underhanded domination, and it worked masterfully. Look anywhere you go. America is a nation of submissive, dumbed-down, codependent, faith-minded zombies obsessed with celebrity gossip, buying unnecessary goods, and socializing without purpose on their electronic gadgets. The crazy thing is that people don't even know it; they still think they're free. Everywhere, people have been made into silent accomplices in the government's twisted control game. In the end, there is no way out for anyone.
Zoltan Istvan (The Transhumanist Wager)
My task is to explain to you as quickly as possible my essence, that is, what sort of man I am, what I believe in, and what I hope for, is that right? And therefore I declare that I accept God pure and simple. But this, however, needs to be noted: if God exists and if he indeed created the earth, then, as we know perfectly well, he created it in accordance with Euclidean geometry, and he created human reason with a conception of only three dimensions of space. At the same time there were and are even now geometers and philosophers, even some of the most outstanding among them, who doubt that the whole universe, or, even more broadly, the whole of being, was created purely in accordance with Euclidean geometry; they even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid cannot possibly meet on earth, may perhaps meet somewhere in infinity. I, my dear, have come to the conclusion that if I cannot understand even that, then it is not for me to understand about God. I humbly confess that I do not have any ability to resolve such questions, I have a Euclidean mind, an earthly mind, and therefore it is not for us to resolve things that are not of this world. And I advise you never to think about it, Alyosha my friend, and most especially about whether God exists or not. All such questions are completely unsuitable to a mind created with a concept of only three dimensions. And so, I accept God, not only willingly, but moreover I also accept his wisdom and his purpose, which are completely unknown to us; I believe in order, in the meaning of life, I believe in eternal harmony, in which we are all supposed to merge, I believe in the Word for whom the universe is yearning, and who himself was 'with God,' who himself is God, and so on and so forth, to infinity. Many words have been invented on the subject. It seems I'm already on a good path, eh? And now imagine that in the final outcome I do not accept this world of God's, created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept. With one reservation: I have a childlike conviction that the sufferings will be healed and smoothed over, that the whole offensive comedy of human contradictions will disappear like a pitiful mirage, a vile concoction of man's Euclidean mind, feeble and puny as an atom, and that ultimately, at the world's finale, in the moment of eternal harmony, there will occur and be revealed something so precious that it will suffice for all hearts, to allay all indignation, to redeem all human villainy, all bloodshed; it will suffice not only to make forgiveness possible, but also to justify everything that has happened with men--let this, let all of this come true and be revealed, but I do not accept it and do not want to accept it! Let the parallel lines even meet before my own eyes: I shall look and say, yes, they meet, and still I will not accept it.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Tell the other person what you want to say in as calm and nonjudgmental a way as you can, and don’t try to control the outcome. Explicitly say what you feel or want and enjoy that act of self-expression, but release any need for the other person to hear you or change. You can’t force others to empathize or understand. The point is to feel good about yourself for engaging in what I call clear, intimate communication. Others may or may not respond how you want them to, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that you expressed your true thoughts and feelings in a calm, clear way. That goal is achievable and within your control.
Lindsay C. Gibson (Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents)
Richard Connor Cobalt.” I gave her an amiable smile. She procured the corresponding nametag. “Welcome to this year’s Model UN, Richard. Good luck.” Her last phrase—while nothing more than a meaningless farewell—punctured a part of my head, poking at a nerve. Good luck. I liked having control of my fate. And luck meant that I had none. That I’d have to let someone inferior decide my outcome.
Krista Ritchie (Fuel the Fire (Calloway Sisters #3))
there are just two activities that are significantly correlated with depression and other suicide-related outcomes (such as considering suicide, making a plan, or making an actual attempt): electronic device use (such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer) and watching TV. On the other hand, there are five activities that have inverse relationships with depression (meaning that kids who spend more hours per week on these activities show lower rates of depression): sports and other forms of exercise, attending religious services, reading books and other print media, in-person social interactions, and doing homework.
Greg Lukianoff (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
Hope is the magic elixir that energizes dreams, fuels possibilities, and lets you live beyond the limits of your historical thinking. It is not a promise that something you want will happen — it is an invitation to enjoy the possibility of what you want while you and life negotiate the eventual outcome. There is never a good reason not to hope!
Michael Neill (Supercoach: 10 Secrets to Transform Anyone's Life)
Evolution is central to the understanding of life, including human life. Like all living things, we are outcomes of natural selection; we got here because we inherited traits that allowed our ancestors to survive, find mates, and reproduce. This momentous fact explains our deepest strivings: why having a thankless child is sharper than a serpent's tooth, why it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife, why we do not go gentle into that good night but rage, rage against the dying of the light
Steven Pinker
‎..:What you feed yourself with, will eventually grow. Whether be good or bad, it will grow. It will affect your entire mood, enviroment, and the way of thinking... Most of all, it will affect your entire outcome of your today. (Not to mention your tomorrow) "You will only get in life what you only put in…" Or not… Is essential we RENEW OUR MINDS and be very careful with what we feed ourselves with… Have a great day y'all:.. -R.G-
Rafael Garcia
The important question isn't how to keep bad physicians from harming patient; it's how to keep good physicians from harming patients. Medical malpractice suits are a remarkably ineffective remedy. (In reference to a Harvard Medical Practice Study)... fewer than 2 percent of the patients who had received substandard care ever filed suit. Conversely, only a small minority among patients who did sue had in fact been victims of negligent care. And a patient's likelihood of winning a suit depended primarily on how poor his or her outcome was, regardless of whether that outcome was caused by disease or unavoidable risks of care. The deeper problem with medical malpractice is that by demonizing errors they prevent doctors from acknowledging & discussing them publicly. The tort system makes adversaries of patient & physician, and pushes each other to offer a heavily slanted version of events.
Atul Gawande (Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science)
A society that puts equality—in the sense of equality of outcome—ahead of freedom will end up with neither equality nor freedom. The use of force to achieve equality will destroy freedom, and the force, introduced for good purposes, will end up in the hands of people who use it to promote their own interests. On the other hand, a society that puts freedom first will, as a happy by-product, end up with both greater freedom and greater equality. Though a by-product of freedom, greater equality is not an accident. A free society releases the energies and abilities of people to pursue their own objectives. It prevents some people from arbitrarily suppressing others. It does not prevent some people from achieving positions of privilege, but so long as freedom is maintained, it prevents those positions of privilege from becoming institutionalized; they are subject to continued attack by other able, ambitious people. Freedom means diversity but also mobility. It preserves the opportunity for today's disadvantaged to become tomorrow's privileged and, in the process, enables almost everyone, from top to bottom, to enjoy a fuller and richer life.
Milton Friedman (Free to Choose: A Personal Statement)
Many social justice or social activist movements have been rooted in a position. A position is usually against something. Any position will call up its opposition. If I say up, it generates down. If I say right, it really creates left. If I say good, it creates bad. So a position creates its opposition. A stand is something quite distinct from that. There are synonyms for “stand” such as “declaration” or “commitment,” but let me talk for just a few moments about the power of a stand. A stand comes from the heart, from the soul. A stand is always life affirming. A stand is always trustworthy. A stand is natural to who you are. When we use the phrase “take a stand” I’m really inviting you to un-cover, or “unconceal,” or recognize, or affirm, or claim the stand that you already are. Stand-takers are the people who actually change the course of history and are the source of causing an idea’s time to come. Mahatma Gandhi was a stand-taker. He took a stand so powerful that it mobilized millions of people in a way that the completely unpredictable outcome of the British walking out of India did happen. And India became an independent nation. The stand that he took… or the stand that Martin Luther King, Jr. took or the stand that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony took for women’s rights—those stands changed our lives today. The changes that have taken place in history as a result of the stand-takers are permanent changes, not temporary changes. The women in this room vote because those women took so powerful a stand that it moved the world. And so the opportunity here is for us to claim the stand that we already are, not take a position against the macro economic system, or a position against this administration, although some of you may have those feelings. What’s way more powerful than that is taking a stand, which includes all positions, which allows all positions to be heard and reconsidered, and to begin to dissolve. When you take a stand, it actually does shift the whole universe and unexpected, unpredictable things happen.
Lynne Twist
We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying. Researchers don’t find shame correlated with positive outcomes at all—there are no data to support that shame is a helpful compass for good behavior. In fact, shame is much more likely to be the cause of destructive and hurtful behaviors than it is to be the solution.
Brené Brown (Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead)
We have only minimal control over the rewards for our work and effort—other people’s validation, recognition, rewards. So what are we going to do? Not be kind, not work hard, not produce, because there is a chance it wouldn’t be reciprocated? C’mon. Think of all the activists who will find that they can only advance their cause so far. The leaders who are assassinated before their work is done. The inventors whose ideas languish “ahead of their time.” According to society’s main metrics, these people were not rewarded for their work. Should they have not done it? Yet in ego, every one of us has considered doing precisely that. If that is your attitude, how do you intend to endure tough times? What if you’re ahead of the times? What if the market favors some bogus trend? What if your boss or your clients don’t understand? It’s far better when doing good work is sufficient. In other words, the less attached we are to outcomes the better. When fulfilling our own standards is what fills us with pride and self-respect. When the effort—not the results, good or bad—is enough. With ego, this is not nearly sufficient. No, we need to be recognized. We need to be compensated. Especially problematic is the fact that, often, we get that. We are praised, we are paid, and we start to assume that the two things always go together. The “expectation hangover” inevitably ensues.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
The results of the study were astoundingly clear: The more childhood trauma someone had suffered, the worse their health outcomes were in adulthood. And their risk for contracting diseases didn’t go up just a few percentage points. People with high ACE scores were about three times as likely to develop liver disease, twice as likely to develop cancer or heart disease, four times as likely to develop emphysema.[2] They were seven and a half times more likely to become alcoholics, four and a half times more likely to suffer from depression, and a whopping twelve times more likely to attempt suicide.[3] Scientists have learned that stress is literally toxic. Stress chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline surging through our bodies are healthy in moderation—you wouldn’t be able to get up in the morning without a good dose of cortisol. But in overwhelming quantities, they become toxic and can change the structure of our brains. Stress and depression wear our bodies out. And childhood trauma affects our telomeres. Telomeres are like little caps on the ends of our strands of DNA that keep them from unraveling. As we get older, those telomeres get shorter and shorter. When they’ve finally disappeared, our DNA itself begins to unravel, increasing our chances of getting cancer and making us especially susceptible to disease. Because of this tendency, telomeres are linked to human lifespan. And studies have shown that people who suffered from childhood trauma have significantly shortened telomeres.[4]
Stephanie Foo (What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma)
Of the twelve, the most powerful questions (to employees, guaging their satisfaction with their employers) are those witha combination of the strongest links to the most business outcomes (to include profitability). Armed with this perspective, we now know that the following six ar ethe most powerful questions: 1) Do I know what is expected of me at work? 2) Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right? 3) Do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day? 4) In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work? 5) Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person? 6) Is there someone at work who encourages my development? As a manager, if you want to know what you should do to build a strong and productive workplace, securing 5s to these six questions would be an excellent place to start.
Marcus Buckingham
I have a feeling," Harry said finally, "that we're coming at this from the wrong angle. There's a tale I once heard about some students who came into a physics class, and the teacher showed them a large metal plate near a fire. She ordered them to feel the metal plate, and they felt that the metal nearer the fire was cooler, and the metal further away was warmer. And she said, write down your guess for why this happens. So some students wrote down 'because of how the metal conducts heat', and some students wrote down 'because of how the air moves', and no one said 'this just seems impossible', and the real answer was that before the students came into the room, the teacher turned the plate around." "Interesting," said Professor Quirrell. "That does sound similar. Is there a moral?" "That your strength as a rationalist is your ability to be more confused by fiction than by reality," said Harry. "If you're equally good at explaining any outcome, you have zero knowledge. The students thought they could use words like 'because of heat conduction' to explain anything, even a metal plate being cooler on the side nearer the fire. So they didn't notice how confused they were, and that meant they couldn't be more confused by falsehood than by truth. If you tell me that the centaurs were under the Imperius Curse, I still have the feeling of something being not quite right. I notice that I'm still confused even after hearing your explanation.
Eliezer Yudkowsky (Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality)
In books, political cartoons, films, and TV shows, fat bodies make up the failings of America, capitalism, beauty standards, excess, and consumerism. Fat bodies represent at once the poorest of the poor and the pinnacle of unchecked power, consumption, and decay. Our bodies have borne the blame for so much. Whole artistic worlds are built on the premise that bodies like mine are monstrous, repulsive, and—worst of all—contagious. From individuals to institutions, academia to the evening news, fat people are made bogeymen. And that spills into daily experiences of abuse, driven by intentions both good and ill, but always with the same outcome: an intense shame for simply daring to exist in the bodies many of us have always had.
Aubrey Gordon (What We Don't Talk About When We Talk About Fat)
I am not one of those who believes—as Obama is said to believe—that a solution to the Palestinian statehood question would bring an end to Muslim resentment against the United States. (Incidentally, if he really does believe this, his lethargy and impotence in the face of Netanyahu's consistent double-dealing is even more culpable.) The Islamist fanatics have their own agenda, and, as in the case of Hamas and its Iranian backers, they have already demonstrated that nothing but the destruction of Israel and the removal of American influence from the region will possibly satisfy them. No, it is more the case that justice—and a homeland for the Palestinians—is a good and necessary cause in its own right. It is also a special legal and moral responsibility of the United States, which has several times declared a dual-statehood outcome to be its objective.
Christopher Hitchens
Jack fell to his knees on the bench,his eyes rolling back in ecstasy as he clutched both hands to his heart. "Oh, heavens above,to have seen such beauty with my own eyes! It's more than I ever hoped for. But how can I live now, knowing that you're not mine? Please." He crawled forward to the edge of the bench. "Marry me. Nay,marriage will cost us precious moments together. Let us make sweet, passionate love right here.Let me bear your children." A primal growl signaled Miss Lynn getting over her shock at being thus addressed. She lunged forward; Jack deftly rolled off the bench, jumping up out of her reach. "Goodness, I didn't expect you to be quite this enthusiastic about my advances. If I don't play hard to get, how will I ever know whether or not you respect me?" Another growl,this one sounding like "you!" Or prehaps "eew!" because that's certainly how I felt about the whole exchange. Everyone stopped laughing and watched, wide-eyed with horror, unsure whether to stay or distance themselves from the inevitable outcome, which would quite possibly involve jack's dismemberment. I didn't know who to root for.
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
Remy took a chair across from Jerado. A chess board and pieces sat in between them. “Are you sure you remember the moves?” Jerado looked forward to recouping his card game losses. “Y ..es. I . . . I practiced the moves in my office. I . . . I also read a scroll on playing the game.” “Then you won’t object to betting on the outcome of the game?” “N . . . o. H . . . ow much?” “Let’s bet a modest sum. Say, twenty-five silver?” Jerado pushed a stack of silver pennies into the middle. “A . . . ll right.” Remy pushed a similar stack forward. “I’’ll let you have the first move,” Jerado said. Remy moved a pawn forward to start the game. Five moves later, Remy said, “C . . . heckmate,” and scooped up the silver coins. Jerado sat stunned for a few moments. “Rematch.” After Remy won four more games — the last for seven gold pennies — Jerado said through clenched teeth, “That’s enough for tonight, Remy. I’m tired.
Hank Quense (The King Who Disappeared)
Until the age of twelve I thought I was gifted with the power to shape the future, but this power was a crushing burden, it manifested itself in the form of threats, I had to take just so many steps before I got to the end of the sidewalk or else my parents would die in a car accident, I had to close the door thinking of some favorable outcome, for example passing a test, or else I’d fail, I had to turn off the light not thinking about my mother getting raped, or that would happen, one day I couldn’t stand having to close the door a hundred times before I could think of something good, or to spend fifteen minutes turning off the light the right way, I decided enough was enough, the world could fall apart, I didn’t want to spend my life saving other people, that night I went to bed sure the next day would bring the apocalypse, nothing happened, I was relieved but a little bit disappointed to discover I had no power.
Édouard Levé (Suicide)
optimism in a leader, especially in challenging times, is so vital. Pessimism leads to paranoia, which leads to defensiveness, which leads to risk aversion. Optimism sets a different machine in motion. Especially in difficult moments, the people you lead need to feel confident in your ability to focus on what matters, and not to operate from a place of defensiveness and self-preservation. This isn’t about saying things are good when they’re not, and it’s not about conveying some innate faith that “things will work out.” It’s about believing you and the people around you can steer toward the best outcome, and not communicating the feeling that all is lost if things don’t break your way. The tone you set as a leader has an enormous effect on the people around you. No one wants to follow a pessimist.
Robert Iger (The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company)
The nine in our list are based on a longer list in Robert Leahy, Stephen Holland, and Lata McGinn’s book, Treatment Plans and Interventions for Depression and Anxiety Disorders. For more on CBT—how it works, and how to practice it—please see Appendix 1.) EMOTIONAL REASONING: Letting your feelings guide your interpretation of reality. “I feel depressed; therefore, my marriage is not working out.” CATASTROPHIZING: Focusing on the worst possible outcome and seeing it as most likely. “It would be terrible if I failed.” OVERGENERALIZING: Perceiving a global pattern of negatives on the basis of a single incident. “This generally happens to me. I seem to fail at a lot of things.” DICHOTOMOUS THINKING (also known variously as “black-and-white thinking,” “all-or-nothing thinking,” and “binary thinking”): Viewing events or people in all-or-nothing terms. “I get rejected by everyone,” or “It was a complete waste of time.” MIND READING: Assuming that you know what people think without having sufficient evidence of their thoughts. “He thinks I’m a loser.” LABELING: Assigning global negative traits to yourself or others (often in the service of dichotomous thinking). “I’m undesirable,” or “He’s a rotten person.” NEGATIVE FILTERING: You focus almost exclusively on the negatives and seldom notice the positives. “Look at all of the people who don’t like me.” DISCOUNTING POSITIVES: Claiming that the positive things you or others do are trivial, so that you can maintain a negative judgment. “That’s what wives are supposed to do—so it doesn’t count when she’s nice to me,” or “Those successes were easy, so they don’t matter.” BLAMING: Focusing on the other person as the source of your negative feelings; you refuse to take responsibility for changing yourself. “She’s to blame for the way I feel now,” or “My parents caused all my problems.”11
Greg Lukianoff (The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure)
The Coin of Life example: Say you have a coin with heads on one side and tails on the other side. One side would mean good and the other bad, based on your interpretation or bet of which side of the coin represents a win for you. However, you can't decide the outcome and the coin flips many times throughout your life. Finding balance is flipping the coin in such a way that neither of the sides is of greater importance to you, but if the coin lands on the middle bit, you realize that the space between what you consider good or bad is so small and the probability of landing there is also incredibly small without continuous practice. However, no matter the outcome, you choose to accept the coin as it is, with both sides, and appreciate the importance of both in your life. For the coin of life has meaning and value no matter what side it lands on. It's each individual's choice whether to bet on the outcome or not, but ultimately your coin of life will be spent somehow.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
This is not how you thought it would be. Time has stopped. Nothing feels real. Your mind cannot stop replaying the events, hoping for a different outcome. The ordinary, everyday world that others still inhabit feels coarse and cruel. You can’t eat (or you eat everything). You can’t sleep (or you sleep all the time). Every object in your life becomes an artifact, a symbol of the life that used to be and might have been. There is no place this loss has not touched. In the days and weeks since your loss, you’ve heard all manner of things about your grief: They wouldn’t want you to be sad. Everything happens for a reason. At least you had them as long as you did. You’re strong and smart and resourceful—you’ll get through this! This experience will make you stronger. You can always try again—get another partner, have another child, find some way to channel your pain into something beautiful and useful and good. Platitudes and cheerleading solve nothing. In fact, this kind of support only makes you feel like no one in the world understands. This isn’t a paper cut. It’s not a crisis of confidence. You didn’t need this thing to happen in order to know what’s important, to find your calling, or even to understand that you are, in fact, deeply loved. Telling the truth about grief is the only way forward: your loss is exactly as bad as you think it is. And people, try as they might, really are responding to your loss as poorly as you think they are. You aren’t crazy. Something crazy has happened, and you’re responding as any sane person would.
Megan Devine (It's OK That You're Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn't Understand)
Whoever infringes upon individual 'charity,'" I began, "infringes upon man's nature and scorns his personal dignity. But the organizing of 'social charity' and the question of personal freedom are two different questions and are not mutually exclusive. Individual goodness will always abide, because it is a personal need, a living need for the direct influence of one person on another. ... In sowing your seed, in sowing your 'charity,' your good deed in whatever form it takes, you give away part of your person and receive into yourself part of another's; you mutually commune in each other; a little more attention, and you will be rewarded with knowledge, with the most unexpected discoveries. You will be bound, finally, to look at your work as a science; it will take in the whole of your life and maybe fill the whole of it. On the other hand, all your thoughts, all the seeds you have sown, which you may already have forgotten, will take on flesh and grow; what was received from you will be passed on to someone else. And how do you know what share you will have in the future outcome of human destiny? And if the knowledge and the whole life of this work finally raises you so high that you are able to plant a tremendous seed, to bequeath a tremendous thought to mankind, then...
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Idiot)
The average person wastes his life. He has a great deal of energy but he wastes it. The life of an average person seems at the end utterly meaningless…without significance. When he looks back…what has he done? MIND The mind creates routine for its own safety and convenience. Tradition becomes our security. But when the mind is secure it is in decay. We all want to be famous people…and the moment we want to be something…we are no longer free. Intelligence is the capacity to perceive the essential…the what is. It is only when the mind is free from the old that it meets everything new…and in that there’s joy. To awaken this capacity in oneself and in others is real education. SOCIETY It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. Nature is busy creating absolutely unique individuals…whereas culture has invented a single mold to which we must conform. A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person because he conforms to a pattern. He repeats phrases and thinks in a groove. What happens to your heart and your mind when you are merely imitative, naturally they wither, do they not? The great enemy of mankind is superstition and belief which is the same thing. When you separate yourself by belief tradition by nationally it breeds violence. Despots are only the spokesmen for the attitude of domination and craving for power which is in the heart of almost everyone. Until the source is cleared there will be confusion and classes…hate and wars. A man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country to any religion to any political party. He is concerned with the understanding of mankind. FEAR You have religion. Yet the constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear. You can only be afraid of what you think you know. One is never afraid of the unknown…one is afraid of the known coming to an end. A man who is not afraid is not aggressive. A man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free and peaceful mind. You want to be loved because you do not love…but the moment you really love, it is finished. You are no longer inquiring whether someone loves you or not. MEDITATION The ability to observe without evaluating is the highest form of intelligence. In meditation you will discover the whisperings of your own prejudices…your own noises…the monkey mind. You have to be your own teacher…truth is a pathless land. The beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are…where you are going…what the end is. Down deep we all understand that it is truth that liberates…not your effort to be free. The idea of ourselves…our real selves…is your escape from the fact of what you really are. Here we are talking of something entirely different….not of self improvement…but the cessation of self. ADVICE Take a break with the past and see what happens. Release attachment to outcomes…inside you will feel good no matter what. Eventually you will find that you don’t mind what happens. That is the essence of inner freedom…it is timeless spiritual truth. If you can really understand the problem the answer will come out of it. The answer is not separate from the problem. Suffer and understand…for all of that is part of life. Understanding and detachment…this is the secret. DEATH There is hope in people…not in societies not in systems but only in you and me. The man who lives without conflict…who lives with beauty and love…is not frightened by death…because to love is to die.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
The Loneliness of the Military Historian Confess: it's my profession that alarms you. This is why few people ask me to dinner, though Lord knows I don't go out of my way to be scary. I wear dresses of sensible cut and unalarming shades of beige, I smell of lavender and go to the hairdresser's: no prophetess mane of mine, complete with snakes, will frighten the youngsters. If I roll my eyes and mutter, if I clutch at my heart and scream in horror like a third-rate actress chewing up a mad scene, I do it in private and nobody sees but the bathroom mirror. In general I might agree with you: women should not contemplate war, should not weigh tactics impartially, or evade the word enemy, or view both sides and denounce nothing. Women should march for peace, or hand out white feathers to arouse bravery, spit themselves on bayonets to protect their babies, whose skulls will be split anyway, or,having been raped repeatedly, hang themselves with their own hair. There are the functions that inspire general comfort. That, and the knitting of socks for the troops and a sort of moral cheerleading. Also: mourning the dead. Sons,lovers and so forth. All the killed children. Instead of this, I tell what I hope will pass as truth. A blunt thing, not lovely. The truth is seldom welcome, especially at dinner, though I am good at what I do. My trade is courage and atrocities. I look at them and do not condemn. I write things down the way they happened, as near as can be remembered. I don't ask why, because it is mostly the same. Wars happen because the ones who start them think they can win. In my dreams there is glamour. The Vikings leave their fields each year for a few months of killing and plunder, much as the boys go hunting. In real life they were farmers. The come back loaded with splendour. The Arabs ride against Crusaders with scimitars that could sever silk in the air. A swift cut to the horse's neck and a hunk of armour crashes down like a tower. Fire against metal. A poet might say: romance against banality. When awake, I know better. Despite the propaganda, there are no monsters, or none that could be finally buried. Finish one off, and circumstances and the radio create another. Believe me: whole armies have prayed fervently to God all night and meant it, and been slaughtered anyway. Brutality wins frequently, and large outcomes have turned on the invention of a mechanical device, viz. radar. True, valour sometimes counts for something, as at Thermopylae. Sometimes being right - though ultimate virtue, by agreed tradition, is decided by the winner. Sometimes men throw themselves on grenades and burst like paper bags of guts to save their comrades. I can admire that. But rats and cholera have won many wars. Those, and potatoes, or the absence of them. It's no use pinning all those medals across the chests of the dead. Impressive, but I know too much. Grand exploits merely depress me. In the interests of research I have walked on many battlefields that once were liquid with pulped men's bodies and spangled with exploded shells and splayed bone. All of them have been green again by the time I got there. Each has inspired a few good quotes in its day. Sad marble angels brood like hens over the grassy nests where nothing hatches. (The angels could just as well be described as vulgar or pitiless, depending on camera angle.) The word glory figures a lot on gateways. Of course I pick a flower or two from each, and press it in the hotel Bible for a souvenir. I'm just as human as you. But it's no use asking me for a final statement. As I say, I deal in tactics. Also statistics: for every year of peace there have been four hundred years of war.
Margaret Atwood (Morning In The Burned House: Poems)
And do not try to be so brave. I am your lifemate.You cannot hide from me something as powerful as fear." "Trepidation," she corrected, nibbling at the pad of his thumb. "Is there a difference?" His pale eyes had warmed to molten mercury. Just that fast, her body ent liquid in answer. "You know very well there is." She laughed again, and the sound traveled down from his heart to pool in his groin, a heavy,familiar ache. "Slight, perhaps, but very important." "I will try to make you happy, Savannah," he promised gravely. Her fingers went up to brush at the thick mane of hair falling around his face. "You are my lifemate, Gregori. I have no doubt you will make me happy." He had to look away,out the window into the night. She was so good, with so much beauty in her, while he was so dark, his goodness drained into the ground with the blood of all the lives he had taken while he waited for her. But now,faced with the reality of her, Gregori could not bear her to witness the blackness within him, the hideous stain across his soul. For beyond his killing and law-breaking, he had committed the gravest crime of all. And he deserved the ultimate penalty, the forfeit of his life. He had deliberately tempered with nature.He knew he was powerful enough, knew his knowledge exeeded the boundaries of Carpathian law. He had taken Savannah's free will, manipulated the chemistry between them so that she would believe he was her true lifemate. And so she was with him-less than a quarter of a century of innocence pitted against his thousand years of hard study.Perhaps that was his punishment, he mused-being sentenced to an eternity of knowing Savannah could never really love him, never really accept his black soul.That she would be ever near yet so far away. If she ever found out the extent of his manipulation, she would despise him. Yet he could never,ever, allow her to leave him. Not if mortals and immortals alike were to be safe. His jaw hardened, and he stared out the window, turning slightly away from her. His mind firmly left hers, not wanting to alert her to the grave crime he had committed.He could bear torture and centuries of isolation, he could bear his own great sins, but he could not endure her loathing him. Unconsciously, he took her hand in his and tightened his grip until it threatened to crush her fragile bones. Savannah glanced at him, let out a breath slowly to keep from wincing, and kept her hand passively in his.He thought his mind closed to her.Didn't believe she was his true lifemate. He truly believed he had manipulated the outcome of their joining unfairly and that somewhere another Carpathian male with the chemistry to match hers might be waiting.Though he had offered her free access to his mind, had himself given her the power,to meld her mind with his,both as her wolf and as her healer before she was born,he likely didn't think a woman,a fledging, and one who was not his true lifemate, could possibly have the skill to read his innermost secrets.But Savannah could. And completing the ancient ritual of lifemates had only strengthened the bond.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
California during the 1940s had Hollywood and the bright lights of Los Angeles, but on the other coast was Florida, land of sunshine and glamour, Miami and Miami Beach. If you weren't already near California's Pacific Coast you headed for Florida during the winter. One of the things which made Miami such a mix of glitter and sunshine was the plethora of movie stars who flocked there to play, rubbing shoulders with tycoons and gangsters. Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference between the latter two. Miami and everything that surrounded it hadn't happened by accident. Carl Fisher had set out to make Miami Beach a playground destination during the 1930s and had succeeded far beyond his dreams. The promenade behind the Roney Plaza Hotel was a block-long lovers' lane of palm trees and promise that began rather than ended in the blue waters of the Atlantic. Florida was more than simply Miami and Miami Beach, however. When George Merrick opened the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables papers across the country couldn't wait to gush about the growing aura of Florida. They tore down Collins Bridge in the Gables and replaced it with the beautiful Venetian Causeway. You could plop down a fiver if you had one and take your best girl — or the girl you wanted to score with — for a gondola ride there before the depression, or so I'd been told. You see, I'd never actually been to Florida before the war, much less Miami. I was a newspaper reporter from Chicago before the war and had never even seen the ocean until I was flying over the Pacific for the Air Corp. There wasn't much time for admiring the waves when Japanese Zeroes were trying to shoot you out of the sky and bury you at the bottom of that deep blue sea. It was because of my friend Pete that I knew so much about Miami. Florida was his home, so when we both got leave in '42 I followed him to the warm waters of Miami to see what all the fuss was about. It would be easy to say that I skipped Chicago for Miami after the war ended because Pete and I were such good pals and I'd had such a great time there on leave. But in truth I decided to stay on in Miami because of Veronica Lake. I'd better explain that. Veronica Lake never knew she was the reason I came back with Pete to Miami after the war. But she had been there in '42 while Pete and I were enjoying the sand, sun, and the sweet kisses of more than a few love-starved girls desperate to remember what it felt like to have a man's arm around them — not to mention a few other sensations. Lake had been there promoting war bonds on Florida's first radio station, WQAM. It was a big outdoor event and Pete and I were among those listening with relish to Lake's sultry voice as she urged everyone to pitch-in for our boys overseas. We were in those dark early days of the war at the time, and the outcome was very much in question. Lake's appearance at the event was a morale booster for civilians and servicemen alike. She was standing behind a microphone that sat on a table draped in the American flag. I'd never seen a Hollywood star up-close and though I liked the movies as much as any other guy, I had always attributed most of what I saw on-screen to smoke and mirrors. I doubted I'd be impressed seeing a star off-screen. A girl was a girl, after all, and there were loads of real dolls in Miami, as I'd already discovered. Boy, was I wrong." - Where Flamingos Fly
Bobby Underwood (Where Flamingos Fly (Nostalgic Crime #2))
As ingenious as this explanation is, it seems to me to miss entirely the emotional significance of the text- its beautiful and beautifully economical evocation of certain difficult feelings that most ordinary people, at least, are all too familiar with: searing regret for the past we must abandon, tragic longing for what must be left behind. (...) Still, perhaps that's the pagan, the Hellenist in me talking. (Rabbi Friedman, by contrast, cannot bring himself even to contemplate that what the people of Sodom intend to do to the two male angels, as they crowd around Lot's house at the beginning of the narrative, is to rape them, and interpretation blandly accepted by Rashi, who blithely points out thta if the Sodomites hadn't wanted sexual pleasure from the angels, Lot wouldn't have suggested, as he rather startingly does, that the Sodomites take his two daughter as subsitutes. But then, Rashi was French.) It is this temperamental failure to understand Sodom in its own context, as an ancient metropolis of the Near East, as a site of sophisticated, even decadent delights and hyper-civilized beauties, that results in the commentator's inability to see the true meaning of the two crucial elements of this story: the angel's command to Lot's family not to turn and look back at the city they are fleeing, and the transformation of Lot's wife into a pillar of salt. For if you see Sodom as beautiful -which it will seem to be all the more so, no doubt, for having to be abandoned and lost forever, precisely the way in which, say, relatives who are dead are always somehow more beautiful and good than those who still live- then it seems clear that Lot and his family are commanded not to look back at it not as a punishment, but for a practical reason: because regret for what we have lost, for the pasts we have to abandon, often poisons any attempts to make a new life, which is what Lot and his family now must do, as Noah and his family once had to do, as indeed all those who survive awful annihilations must somehow do. This explanation, in turn, helps explain the form that the punishment of Lot's wife took- if indeed it was a punishment to begin with, which I personally do not believe it was, since to me it seems far more like a natural process, the inevitable outcome of her character. For those who are compelled by their natures always to be looking back at what has been, rather than forward into the future, the great danger is tears, the unstoppable weeping that the Greeks, if not the author of Genesis, knew was not only a pain but a narcotic pleasure, too: a mournful contemplation so flawless, so crystalline, that it can, in the end, immobilize you.
Daniel Mendelsohn (The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million)
What, in fact, do we know about the peak experience? Well, to begin with, we know one thing that puts us several steps ahead of the most penetrating thinkers of the 19th century: that P.E’.s are not a matter of pure good luck or grace. They don’t come and go as they please, leaving ‘this dim, vast vale of tears vacant and desolate’. Like rainbows, peak experiences are governed by definite laws. They are ‘intentional’. And that statement suddenly gains in significance when we remember Thorndike’s discovery that the effect of positive stimuli is far more powerful and far reaching than that of negative stimuli. His first statement of the law of effect was simply that situations that elicit positive reactions tend to produce continuance of positive reactions, while situations that elicit negative or avoidance reactions tend to produce continuance of these. It was later that he came to realise that positive reactions build-up stronger response patterns than negative ones. In other words, positive responses are more intentional than negative ones. Which is another way of saying that if you want a positive reaction (or a peak experience), your best chance of obtaining it is by putting yourself into an active, purposive frame of mind. The opposite of the peak experience—sudden depression, fatigue, even the ‘panic fear’ that swept William James to the edge of insanity—is the outcome of passivity. This cannot be overemphasised. Depression—or neurosis—need not have a positive cause (childhood traumas, etc.). It is the natural outcome of negative passivity. The peak experience is the outcome of an intentional attitude. ‘Feedback’ from my activities depends upon the degree of deliberately calculated purpose I put into them, not upon some occult law connected with the activity itself. . . . A healthy, perfectly adjusted human being would slide smoothly into gear, perform whatever has to be done with perfect economy of energy, then recover lost energy in a state of serene relaxation. Most human beings are not healthy or well adjusted. Their activity is full of strain and nervous tension, and their relaxation hovers on the edge of anxiety. They fail to put enough effort—enough seriousness—into their activity, and they fail to withdraw enough effort from their relaxation. Moods of serenity descend upon them—if at all—by chance; perhaps after some crisis, or in peaceful surroundings with pleasant associations. Their main trouble is that they have no idea of what can be achieved by a certain kind of mental effort. And this is perhaps the place to point out that although mystical contemplation is as old as religion, it is only in the past two centuries that it has played a major role in European culture. It was the group of writers we call the romantics who discovered that a man contemplating a waterfall or a mountain peak can suddenly feel ‘godlike’, as if the soul had expanded. The world is seen from a ‘bird’s eye view’ instead of a worm’s eye view: there is a sense of power, detachment, serenity. The romantics—Blake, Wordsworth, Byron, Goethe, Schiller—were the first to raise the question of whether there are ‘higher ceilings of human nature’. But, lacking the concepts for analysing the problem, they left it unsolved. And the romantics in general accepted that the ‘godlike moments’ cannot be sustained, and certainly cannot be re-created at will. This produced the climate of despair that has continued down to our own time. (The major writers of the 20th century—Proust, Eliot, Joyce, Musil—are direct descendants of the romantics, as Edmund Wilson pointed out in Axel’s Castle.) Thus it can be seen that Maslow’s importance extends far beyond the field of psychology. William James had asserted that ‘mystical’ experiences are not mystical at all, but are a perfectly normal potential of human consciousness; but there is no mention of such experiences in Principles of Psychology (or only in passing).
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
She stared at him, at his face. Simply stared as the scales fell from her eyes. "Oh, my God," she whispered, the exclamation so quiet not even he would hear. She suddenly saw-saw it all-all that she'd simply taken for granted. Men like him protected those they loved, selflessly, unswervingly, even unto death. The realization rocked her. Pieces of the jigsaw of her understanding of him fell into place. He was hanging to consciousness by a thread. She had to be sure-and his shields, his defenses were at their weakest now. Looking down at her hands, pressed over the nearly saturated pad, she hunted for the words, the right tone. Softly said, "My death, even my serious injury, would have freed you from any obligation to marry me. Society would have accepted that outcome, too." He shifted, clearly in pain. She sucked in a breath-feeling his pain as her own-then he clamped the long fingers of his right hand about her wrist, held tight. So tight she felt he was using her as an anchor to consciousness, to the world. His tone, when he spoke, was harsh. "Oh, yes-after I'd expended so much effort keeping you safe all these years, safe even from me, I was suddenly going to stand by and let you be gored by some mangy bull." He snorted, soft, low. Weakly. He drew in a slow, shallow breath, lips thin with pain, but determined, went on, "You think I'd let you get injured when finally after all these long years I at last understand that the reason you've always made me itch is because you are the only woman I actually want to marry? And you think I would stand back and let you be harmed?" A peevish frown crossed his face. "I ask you, is that likely? Is it even vaguely rational?" He went on, his words increasingly slurred, his tongue tripping over some, his voice fading. She listened, strained to catch every word as he slid into semi delirium, into rambling, disjointed sentences that she drank in, held to her heart. He gave her dreams back to her, reshaped and refined. "Not French Imperial-good, sound, English oak. You can use whatever colors you like, but no gilt-I forbid it." Eventually he ventured further than she had. "And I want at least three children-not just an heir and a spare. At least three-if you're agreeable. We'll have to have two boys, of course-my evil ugly sisters will found us to make good on that. But thereafter...as many girls as you like...as long as they look like you. Or perhaps Cordelia-she's the handsomer of the two uglies." He loved his sisters, his evil ugly sisters. Heather listened with tears in her eyes as his mind drifted and his voice gradually faded, weakened. She'd finally got her declaration, not in anything like the words she'd expected, but in a stronger, impossible-to-doubt exposition. He'd been her protector, unswerving, unflinching, always there; from a man like him, focused on a lady like her, such actions were tantamount to a declaration from the rooftops. The love she'd wanted him to admit to had been there all along, demonstrated daily right before her eyes, but she hadn't seen. Hadn't seen because she'd been focusing elsewhere, and because, conditioned as she was to resisting the same style of possessive protectiveness from her brothers, from her cousins, she hadn't appreciated his, hadn't realized that that quality had to be an expression of his feelings for her. Until now. Until now that he'd all but given his life for hers. He loved her-he'd always loved her. She saw that now, looking back down the years. He'd loved her from the time she'd fallen in love with him-the instant they'd laid eyes on each other at Michael and Caro's wedding in Hampshire four years ago. He'd held aloof, held away-held her at bay, too-believing, wrongly, that he wasn't an appropriate husband for her. In that, he'd been wrong, too. She saw it all. And as the tears overflowed and tracked down her cheeks, she knew to her soul how right he was for her. Knew, embraced, and rejoiced.
Stephanie Laurens (Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue (Cynster, #16; The Cynster Sisters Trilogy, #1))
Sheepwalking I define “sheepwalking” as the outcome of hiring people who have been raised to be obedient and giving them a brain-dead job and enough fear to keep them in line. You’ve probably encountered someone who is sheepwalking. The TSA “screener” who forces a mom to drink from a bottle of breast milk because any other action is not in the manual. A “customer service” rep who will happily reread a company policy six or seven times but never stop to actually consider what the policy means. A marketing executive who buys millions of dollars’ worth of TV time even though she knows it’s not working—she does it because her boss told her to. It’s ironic but not surprising that in our age of increased reliance on new ideas, rapid change, and innovation, sheepwalking is actually on the rise. That’s because we can no longer rely on machines to do the brain-dead stuff. We’ve mechanized what we could mechanize. What’s left is to cost-reduce the manual labor that must be done by a human. So we write manuals and race to the bottom in our search for the cheapest possible labor. And it’s not surprising that when we go to hire that labor, we search for people who have already been trained to be sheepish. Training a student to be sheepish is a lot easier than the alternative. Teaching to the test, ensuring compliant behavior, and using fear as a motivator are the easiest and fastest ways to get a kid through school. So why does it surprise us that we graduate so many sheep? And graduate school? Since the stakes are higher (opportunity cost, tuition, and the job market), students fall back on what they’ve been taught. To be sheep. Well-educated, of course, but compliant nonetheless. And many organizations go out of their way to hire people that color inside the lines, that demonstrate consistency and compliance. And then they give these people jobs where they are managed via fear. Which leads to sheepwalking. (“I might get fired!”) The fault doesn’t lie with the employee, at least not at first. And of course, the pain is often shouldered by both the employee and the customer. Is it less efficient to pursue the alternative? What happens when you build an organization like W. L. Gore and Associates (makers of Gore-Tex) or the Acumen Fund? At first, it seems crazy. There’s too much overhead, there are too many cats to herd, there is too little predictability, and there is way too much noise. Then, over and over, we see something happen. When you hire amazing people and give them freedom, they do amazing stuff. And the sheepwalkers and their bosses just watch and shake their heads, certain that this is just an exception, and that it is way too risky for their industry or their customer base. I was at a Google conference last month, and I spent some time in a room filled with (pretty newly minted) Google sales reps. I talked to a few of them for a while about the state of the industry. And it broke my heart to discover that they were sheepwalking. Just like the receptionist at a company I visited a week later. She acknowledged that the front office is very slow, and that she just sits there, reading romance novels and waiting. And she’s been doing it for two years. Just like the MBA student I met yesterday who is taking a job at a major packaged-goods company…because they offered her a great salary and promised her a well-known brand. She’s going to stay “for just ten years, then have a baby and leave and start my own gig.…” She’ll get really good at running coupons in the Sunday paper, but not particularly good at solving new problems. What a waste. Step one is to give the problem a name. Done. Step two is for anyone who sees themselves in this mirror to realize that you can always stop. You can always claim the career you deserve merely by refusing to walk down the same path as everyone else just because everyone else is already doing it.
Seth Godin (Whatcha Gonna Do with That Duck?: And Other Provocations, 2006-2012)