Initiative To Learn Quotes

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We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.
Pico Iyer
Writing is like breathing, it's possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.
Julia Cameron (The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation Into the Writing Life)
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!
William Hutchison Murray
Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot talk, so I listen very well. I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like being a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met at a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story, you, hearing the words "soccer" and "neighbor" in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that, no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele, and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain)
Disappointment will come when your effort does not give you the expected return. If things don’t go as planned or if you face failure. Failure is extremely difficult to handle, but those that do come out stronger. What did this failure teach me? is the question you will need to ask. You will feel miserable. You will want to quit, like I wanted to when nine publishers rejected my first book. Some IITians kill themselves over low grades – how silly is that? But that is how much failure can hurt you. But it’s life. If challenges could always be overcome, they would cease to be a challenge. And remember – if you are failing at something, that means you are at your limit or potential. And that’s where you want to be. Disappointment’ s cousin is Frustration, the second storm. Have you ever been frustrated? It happens when things are stuck. This is especially relevant in India. From traffic jams to getting that job you deserve, sometimes things take so long that you don’t know if you chose the right goal. After books, I set the goal of writing for Bollywood, as I thought they needed writers. I am called extremely lucky, but it took me five years to get close to a release. Frustration saps excitement, and turns your initial energy into something negative, making you a bitter person. How did I deal with it? A realistic assessment of the time involved – movies take a long time to make even though they are watched quickly, seeking a certain enjoyment in the process rather than the end result – at least I was learning how to write scripts, having a side plan – I had my third book to write and even something as simple as pleasurable distractions in your life – friends, food, travel can help you overcome it. Remember, nothing is to be taken seriously. Frustration is a sign somewhere, you took it too seriously.
Chetan Bhagat
What we needed to raise in others was this instinct. The ability to recognize, in an instant, right from wrong. The clarity of mind to face it rather than ignore it. I learned that before they had chased Brock, they had checked on me. Masculinity is often defined by physicality, but that initial kneeling is as powerful as the leg sweep, the tackling. Masculinity is found in the vulnerability, the crying.
Chanel Miller (Know My Name)
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.
William Hutchison Murray (The Scottish Himalayan Expedition)
What others view as setbacks, Firestarters see as opportunities to learn and grow more.
Raoul Davis Jr. (Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life)
Since the initial publication of the chart of the electromagnetic spectrum, humans have learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear is less than one-millionth of reality.
R. Buckminster Fuller
We try to abolish intervals by our manic insistence on keeping busy, on doing something. And as a result, all we succeed in doing is destroying all hope of tranquility. ... . You have to learn to immerse yourself in the silences between.
Lyall Watson (Gifts of Unknown Things: A True Story of Nature, Healing, and Initiation from Indonesia's Dancing Island)
Firestarters are able to make associations between similar situations and use lessons learned from one sphere of their lives to inform actions and thoughts in seemingly unrelated situations. They look for patterns of success, and then they pounce on situations that have proven to be generators of that success.
Raoul Davis Jr. (Firestarters: How Innovators, Instigators, and Initiators Can Inspire You to Ignite Your Own Life)
A secret to which truth has always initiated her lovers, and through which they have learned that it is in hiding that she offers herself to them most truly.
Jacques Lacan (Écrits)
It isn't a coincidence that governments everywhere want to educate children. Government education, in turn, is supposed to be evidence of the state's goodness and its concern for our well-being. The real explanation is less flattering. If the government's propaganda can take root as children grow up, those kids will be no threat to the state apparatus. They'll fasten the chains to their own ankles.
Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.
All knowledge pursued merely for the enrichment of personal learning and the accumulation of personal treasure leads you away from the path; but all knowledge pursued for growth to ripeness within the process of human ennoblement and cosmic development brings you a step forward.
Rudolf Steiner (How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation (Classics in Anthroposophy))
That she had somehow taken the initiative to learn my name should have struck me then, but it did not. Instead, as she stood on the street with the rain coming down and mascara running onto her cheeks, all I could think was that I'd never seen anyone more beautiful.
Nicholas Sparks (The Wedding (The Notebook, #2))
During the dark night there is no choice but to surrender control, give in to unknowing, and stop and listen to whatever signals of wisdom might come along. It’s a time of enforced retreat and perhaps unwilling withdrawal. The dark night is more than a learning experience; it’s a profound initiation into a realm that nothing in the culture, so preoccupied with external concerns and material success, prepares you for.
Thomas Moore (Dark Nights of the Soul: A Guide to Finding Your Way Through Life's Ordeals)
CRITICISM is part of LEARNING and GROWTH. It means that you are taking INITIATIVES to learn something new and grow over from your current state. If you are not getting criticised, it means you are not taking enough RISK to learn something new and to grow.
Sanjeev Himachali
A secret to which truth has always initiated her lovers, and through which they have learned that it is in hiding that she offers to them most truly.
Jacques Lacan
Initially, I feel expansive when I try something new, and then contract as soon as I encounter difficulty or the unknown. I am learning to experiment with my tolerance of difficulty and the not knowing, in order to go further with my creative dreams. Whenever I experience contraction, I explore it by asking, "Where did I stop and why?" Building a creative dream life is not just about achieving, succeeding, or "meeting goals." It is also about floundering, stumbling, tripping and failing.
Instead of running from our emotions or being swept away by their initial gusts, we should learn to sit with them, become at peace with their unique flavors, and ultimately discover deep pools of inspiration.
Josh Waitzkin (The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance)
Children who fail to learn basic love and trust at home are handicapped later in mastering the assertiveness, initiative, and autonomy that are the foundation of successful adulthood.
George E. Vaillant (Triumphs of Experience)
I tend to avoid writing music about initial reactions to situations, like frustration or anger. I'd rather wait till I go through the problem, and write about the learning that took place.
A constant flow of thoughts expressed by other people can stop and deaden your own thought and your own initiative…. That is why constant learning softens your brain…. Stopping the creation of your own thoughts to give room for the thoughts from other books reminds me of Shakespeare’s remark about his contemporaries who sold their land in order to see other countries.
Arthur Schopenhauer
The details you don’t give in your orders are as important as the ones you do. With all hands aligned to your goals, their cunning and initiative unleashed, you need only transparent sharing of information (What do I know? Who needs to know? Have I told them?) to orchestrate, as opposed to “control” or “synchronize,” a coordinated team.
Jim Mattis (Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead)
Yet in another way, calculus is fundamentally naive, almost childish in its optimism. Experience teaches us that change can be sudden, discontinuous, and wrenching. Calculus draws its power by refusing to see that. It insists on a world without accidents, where one thing leads logically to another. Give me the initial conditions and the law of motion, and with calculus I can predict the future -- or better yet, reconstruct the past. I wish I could do that now.
Steven H. Strogatz (The Calculus of Friendship: What a Teacher and a Student Learned about Life while Corresponding about Math)
Managers are encouraged to focus on complex initiatives like reengineering or learning organizations, without spending time on the basics.
Marcus Buckingham (First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently)
Perhaps sex was something you had to learn and then stick at until you were good at it, like hockey or the piano. But an initial lesson would be helpful.
Kate Atkinson (Transcription)
On accepting adversity in our lives: Always it is initiated by an act of will on our part; we set ourselves to believe in the overruling goodness, providence, and sovereignty of God and refuse to turn aside no matter what may come, no matter how we may feel. I mistakenly thought I could not trust God unless I felt like trusting Him. Now I am learning that trusting God is first of all a matter of the will. I choose to trust in God, and my feelings eventually follow.
Margaret Clarkson (Grace Grows Best in Winter: Help for Those Who Must Suffer,)
WONDERLAND It is a person's unquenchable thirst for wonder That sets them on their initial quest for truth. The more doors you open, the smaller you become. The more places you see and the more people you meet, The greater your curiosity grows. The greater your curiosity, the more you will wander. The more you wander, the greater the wonder. The more you quench your thirst for wonder, The more you drink from the cup of life. The more you see and experience, the closer to truth you become. The more languages you learn, the more truths you can unravel. And the more countries you travel, the greater your understanding. And the greater your understanding, the less you see differences. And the more knowledge you gain, the wider your perspective, And the wider your perspective, the lesser your ignorance. Hence, the more wisdom you gain, the smaller you feel. And the smaller you feel, the greater you become. The more you see, the more you love -- The more you love, the less walls you see. The more doors you are willing to open, The less close-minded you will be. The more open-minded you are, The more open your heart. And the more open your heart, The more you will be able to Send and receive -- Truth and TRUE Unconditional LOVE.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
When I was a schoolboy in England, the old bound volumes of Kipling in the library had gilt swastikas embossed on their covers. The symbol's 'hooks' were left-handed, as opposed to the right-handed ones of the Nazi hakenkreuz, but for a boy growing up after 1945 the shock of encountering the emblem at all was a memorable one. I later learned that in the mid-1930s Kipling had caused this 'signature' to be removed from all his future editions. Having initially sympathized with some of the early European fascist movements, he wanted to express his repudiation of Hitlerism (or 'the Hun,' as he would perhaps have preferred to say), and wanted no part in tainting the ancient Indian rune by association. In its origin it is a Hindu and Jainas symbol for light, and well worth rescuing.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
Jesus was trying to present value of a life of vulnerability in which one would have practical and needed experience of the same. It would be a life without baggage, so one would learn to accept others and their culture instead of always carrying along our own country's assumptions and calling them the Gospel.
Richard Rohr (Adam's Return: The Five Promises of Male Initiation)
[...] people are ravenous for sex, sociopaths for love. I sometimes like to daydream that if we were all somehow simultaneously outed as lechers and perverts and sentimental slobs, it might be, after the initial shock of disillusionment, liberating. It might be a relief to quit maintaining this rigid pose of normalcy and own up to the outlaws and monsters we are.
Tim Kreider (We Learn Nothing)
To seek Truth is automatically a calling for the innate dissident and the subversive; how many are willing to give up safety and security for the perilous life of the spiritual revolutionary? How many are willing to truly learn that their own cherished concepts are wrong? Striking provocative or mysterious poses in the safety of Internet [social media] is far easier than taking the risks involved in the hard work of genuine initiation.
Zeena Schreck
This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!
William H. Murray
You see, we are so afraid to fail, to make mistakes, not only in examinations but in life. To make a mistake is considered terrible because we will be criticized for it, somebody will scold us. But, after all, why should you not make a mistake? Are not all the people in the world making mistakes? And would the world cease to be in this horrible mess if you were never to make a mistake? If you are afraid of making mistakes you will never learn. The older people are making mistakes all the time, but they don’t want you to make mistakes, and thereby they smother your initiative. Why? Because they are afraid that by observing and questioning everything, by experimenting and making mistakes you may find out something for yourself and break away from the authority of your parents, of society, of tradition. That is why the ideal of success is held up for you to follow; and success, you will notice, is always in terms of respectability.
J. Krishnamurti (Think on These Things)
The American university has become the final stage of the most all encompassing initiation rite the world has ever known. No society in history has been able to survive without ritual or myth, but ours is the first which has needed such a dull, protracted, destructive, and expensive initiation into its myth. The contemporary world civilization is also the first one which has found it necessary to rationalize its fundamental initiation ritual in the name of education. We cannot begin a reform of education unless we first understand that neither individual learning nor social equality can be enhanced by the ritual of schooling. We cannot go beyond the consumer society unless we first understand that obligatory public schools inevitably reproduce such a society, no matter what is taught in them.
Ivan Illich
Alan was slow to learn that indistinct line that separated initiative from disobedience
Andrew Hodges (Alan Turing: The Enigma)
Instead of just giving employees an award for the smartest idea or praise for a brilliant performance, they would get praise for taking initiative, for seeing a difficult task through, for struggling and learning something new, for being undaunted by a setback, or for being open to and acting on criticism.
Carol S. Dweck (Mindset: The New Psychology of Success)
There was a certain amount of initial argumentation about the "meaning" of the balloon; this subsided, because we have learned not to insist on meanings, and they are rarely even looked for now, except in cases involving the simplest, safest phenomena.
Donald Barthelme (Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts)
You can never take anything personally. Just a story. It’s not their fault they want to kick you and it’s certainly not yours. It’s just the way things are. Sometimes you need to hear the worst, so you have no fear in what you do and learn to work around the what-have-you.
Initially NO (Percipience: Outside the range of understood sense)
When we dare to speak in a liberatory voice, we threaten even those who may initially claim to want our words. In the act of overcoming our fear of speech, of being seen as threatening, in the process of learning to speak as subjects, we participate in the global struggle to end domination. When we end our silence, when we speak in a liberated voice, our words connect us with anyone, anywhere who lives in silence. Feminist focus on women finding a voice, on the silence of black women, of women of color, has led to increased interest in our words. This is an important historical moment. We are both speaking of our own volition, out of our commitment to justice, to revolutionary struggle to end domination, and simultaneously called to speak, "invited" to share our words. It is important that we speak. What we speak about is more important. It is our responsibility collectively and individually to distinguish between mere speaking that is about self-aggrandizement, exploitation of the exotic "other," and that coming to voice which is a gesture of resistance, an affirmation of struggle.
bell hooks
Many parents these days, however, are learning that discipline will be much more respectful—and, yes, effective—if they initiate a collaborative, reciprocal, bidirectional dialogue, rather than delivering a monologue.
Daniel J. Siegel (No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind)
They were poor and living in the farthest corners of the Bronx. How did they afford tickets? "Mary got a quarter," Friedman says. "There was a Mary who was a ticket taker, and if you gave Mary a quarter, she would let you stand in the second balcony, without a ticket." ... and what you learn in that world is that through your own powers of persuasion and initiative, you can take your kids to Carnegie Hall. There is no better lesson for a budding lawyer than that. The garment industry was boot camp for the professionals.
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
Goddess alchemy is learning to see through this dimension into the next and welcome in what you are seeking. Healers, priestesses, and brujas of African descent have used magic for access to healing, protection, and joy since time began.
Abiola Abrams (African Goddess Initiation: Sacred Rituals for Self-Love, Prosperity, and Joy)
We want lovers, friends, recruits, soldiers, and affiliations that support who we are. People, individuals, believe in themselves, want to survive, and on a Darwinistic level at least, want to have more, of ourselves. Initially, this is a visual choice. The where, what, when, and who…to our why. Upon closer inspection, which is the upfall of the politically correct culture of today, we learn to measure people on the competence of their values that we most value. When we do this, the politics of gender, race, and slanderous slang take a back seat to the importance of the values we share. The more we travel, the more we realize how similar our human needs are. We want to be loved, have a family, community, have something to look forward to. These basic needs are present in all socioeconomic and cultural civilizations. I have seen many tribes in the deserts of Northern Africa who, with nine children and no electricity, had more joy, love, honor, and laughter than the majority of the most materially rich people I’ve ever met. We have the choice to love, befriend, recruit, call to arms, associate, and support who we believe in, and more importantly, who, we believe, believes in us.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
It is very important that you understand the true innocence of all feelings, for each of them, if left alone and followed, will lead you back to the reality of love . -In their way the hateful or revengeful thoughts are natural therapeutic devices, for if you follow them, accepting them with their own validity as feelings, they will automatically lead you beyond themselves; they will change into other feelings, carrying you from hatred into ... fear - which is always behind hatred. (1 1;220-22 1) 2. Regardless of what you have been told, hatred does not initiate strong violence ... The outbreak of violence is often the result of a built-in sense of powerlessness. (21;418) 3. There are adults who quail when one of their children say, "I hate you'. Often children quickly learn not to be honest. What the child is really saying is, “I love you so. Why are you so mean to me?' or 'What stands between us and the love for you that I feel?' (21;423)4. You become conditioned so that you feel guilty when you even contemplate hating another. You try to hide such thoughts from yourself. You may succeed so well that you literally do not know what you are feeling on a conscious level. The emotions are there but they are invisible to you because you are afraid to look. To that extent you are divorced from your own reality and disconnected from your own feelings of love. (21;424) 5. Even your hateful fantasies, left alone, will return you to a reconciliation and release of love. A fantasy of beating a parent or a child, even to death, will if followed through lead to tears of love and understanding. (2 1;424) 6. You may love a parent, and if the parent does not seem to return the may 'hate' the parent .... Hatred is not a denial of love then but an attempt to regain it
Jane Roberts
We have then, a basic social coin. With awe on one side and shame on the other. The audience senses secret mysteries and powers behind the performance, and the performer senses that his chief secrets are petty ones. As countless folktales and initiation rites show, often the real secret behind the mystery is that there really is no mystery; the real problem is to prevent the audience from learning this too.
Erving Goffman (The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life)
Cermak said, “Those therapists who work successfully with this population have learned to honor the client’s need to keep a lid on his or her feelings. The most effective therapeutic process involves swinging back and forth between uncovering feelings and covering them again, and it is precisely this ability to modulate their feelings that PTSD clients have lost. They must feel secure that their ability to close their emotions down will never be taken away from them, but instead will be honored as an important tool for living. The initial goal of therapy here is to help clients move more freely into their feelings with the assurance that they can find distance from them again if they begin to be overwhelmed. Once children from chemically dependent homes, adult children of alcoholics, and other PTSD clients become confident that you are not going to strip them of their survival mechanisms, they are more likely to allow their feelings to emerge, if only for a moment. And that moment will be a start.” (58)
Charles L. Whitfield (Healing the Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families)
Earth could have learned a long time ago that securing initial and ongoing consent, rather than attempting to assert hierarchy, is key to a nonconfrontational relationship. Because we’re basically primates, we had to wait for a bunch of aliens to come teach us.
Elizabeth Bear (Ancestral Night (White Space, #1))
A couple of hours after Sunset Michael Robartes returned and told me that I would have to learn the steps of an exceedingly antique dance, because before my initiation could be perfected I had to join three times in a magical dance, for rhythm was the wheel of Eternity, on which alone the transient and accidental could be broken, and the spirit set free.
W.B. Yeats (Rosa Alchemica)
School never teaches you about this mangled human slime, it slays me. You spend all your time learning the capital of Surinam while these retards carve their initials in your back.
D.B.C. Pierre (Vernon God Little)
It is impossible for partners not to grow bored unless they work to discover new challenges in each other’s company, and learn appropriate skills for enriching the relationship. Initially
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
It's a luxury to be in the mood to write. It's a blessing but it's not a necessity. Writing is like breathing, it's possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.
Julia Cameron (The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation Into the Writing Life)
The Greeks believed that time had secret structure. There was the moment of Epiphany when time suddenly opened and something was revealed in luminous clarity. There was the moment of krisis when time got entangled and directions became confused and contradictory. There was also the moment of kairos; this was the propitious moment. Time opened up in kindness and promise. All the energies cohered to offer a fecund occasion of initiative, creativity, and promise. Part of the art of living wisely is to learn to recognize and attend to such profound openings in one’s life.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings)
If freedom, personal responsibility, self-initiative, honesty, integrity, and concern for others rank high in your system of values, and if they represent characteristics you would like to see in your children, then you will want to be a trustful parent. None of these can be taught by lecturing, coercion, or coaxing. They are acquired or lost through daily life experiences that reinforce or suppress them. You can help your children build these values by living them yourself and applying them in your relationship with your children. Trust promotes trustworthiness. Self-initiative and all of the traits that depend on self-initiative can develop only under conditions of freedom.
Peter O. Gray (Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life)
There are times in every commander's life when he must yield the stick of authority to a subordinate. Sometimes the reason is one of expertise, when the subordinate has skills the commander lacks. Sometimes it is positional, when the subordinate is in the right place at the right and the commander is not. Often it is anticipated there will be loss of direct communication, which means the subordinate may be given general instructions but must then carry them out on his own initiative as the situation flows around him. No commander enjoys those moments. Most subordinates fear them, as well. Those who do no fear already betray the overconfidence that nearly always leads to disaster. But the moments must be faced. And all will learn from them, whether to satisfaction or to sorrow.
Timothy Zahn
when the end came and there was initial chaos and rampant starvation, people learned all too well that you could not rely on stuff. You needed friends. A dead phone provided no companionship; an empty house no comfort. The latest fashions provided no food, but you could always eat a close friend.
Benjamin Wallace (Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors: A Duck & Cover Adventure)
You’ve got to get cold to get warm,” Phoebe said. Now that is the truth. That is so true about so many things. You learn it first with sheets and blankets: that the initial touch of the smooth sheets will send you shivering, but their warming works fast, and you must experience the discomfort to find the later contentment. It’s true with money and love, too. You’ve got to save to have something to spend. Think of how hard it is to ask out a person you like. In my case, Claire asked me to go on a date to the cash machine, so I didn’t actually have to ask her. Still, her lips were cold, but her tongue was warm.
Nicholson Baker (A Box of Matches)
or to what we hope they are. The more we work through our family of origin issues, the less we will find ourselves needing to work through them with the people we’re attracted to. Finishing our business from the past helps us form new and healthier relationships. The more we overcome our need to be excessive caretakers, the less we will find ourselves attracted to people who need to be constantly taken care of. The more we learn to love and respect ourselves, the more we will become attracted to people who will love and respect us and who we can safely love and respect. This is a slow process. We need to be patient with ourselves. The type of people we find ourselves attracted to does not change overnight. Being attracted to dysfunctional people can linger long and well into recovery. That does not mean we need to allow it to control us. The fact is, we will initiate and maintain relationships with people we need to be with until we learn what it is we need to learn—no matter how long we’ve been recovering. No matter who we find ourselves relating to, and what we discover happening in the relationship, the issue is still about us, and not about the other person. That is the heart, the hope, and the power of recovery.
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency (Hazelden Meditation Series))
(...) never play to the gallery, but you never learn that until much later on, I think. Never work for other people. Always remember that the reason that you initially started working was that there was something inside yourself that you felt that if you could manifest it in some way, you would understand more about yourself and how you coexist with the rest of society. I think it's terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people's expectations. I think they generally produce their worst work when they do that.
David Bowie
If we can cease envisaging ourselves as metaphorical foetuses, and substitute the image of a newborn child, then that will be at least a small intellectual advance. In time, perhaps, we may even learn to toddle.
Salman Rushdie
God’s plan to suicide himself could not work, though, as long as He existed as a unified entity outside of space-time and matter. Seeking to nullify His oneness so that He could be delivered into nothingness, he shattered Himself—Big Bang-like—into the time-bound fragments of the universe, that is, all those objects and organisms that have been accumulating here and there for billions of years. In Mainländer’s philosophy, “God knew that he could change from a state of super-reality into non-being only through the development of a real world of multiformity.” Employing this strategy, He excluded Himself from being. “God is dead,” wrote Mainländer, “and His death was the life of the world.” Once the great individuation had been initiated, the momentum of its creator’s self-annihilation would continue until everything became exhausted by its own existence, which for human beings meant that the faster they learned that happiness was not as good as they thought it would be, the happier they would be to die out.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race: A Contrivance of Horror)
the Corps, I was taught to use the concept of “command and feedback.” You don’t control your subordinate commanders’ every move; you clearly state your intent and unleash their initiative. Then, when the inevitable obstacles or challenges arise, with good feedback loops and relevant data displays, you hear about it and move to deal with the obstacle.
Jim Mattis (Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead)
Once your brain initially processes something, you are less likely to retain the information if you are not physically active in the period following this learning. If you learn then move, you will have more effective recall when you need it most.
Tom Rath (Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes)
Standing alone today demands even more courage and strength than it did in former cultures. From infancy, children have been programmed to perform. Rather than living from their own needs and feelings, they learn to assess situations in order to please others. Without an inner core of certainty grounded in their own musculature, they lack the inner resources to stand alone. Pummelled by mass media and peer group pressures, their identity may be utterly absorbed by collective stereotypes. In the absence of adequate rites of passage, ad-men become the high priests of an initiation into the addictions of consumerism.
Marion Woodman (The Pregnant Virgin: A Process of Psychological Transformation (Studies in Jungian Psychology By Jungian Analysts, 21))
The letter is only an aid to philosophical communication, the actual essence of which consists in arousing a particular train of thought. Someone speaking thinks and produces—someone listening reflects—and reproduces. Words are a deceptive medium for what is already though—unreliable vehicles of a particular, specific stimulus. The true teacher is a guide. If the pupil genuinely desires truth it requires only a hint to show him how to find what he is seeking. Accordingly the representation of philosophy consists purely of themes—of initial propositions—principles. It exists only for autonomous lovers of truth. The analytical exposition of the theme is only for those who are sluggish or unpracticed. The latter must learn thereby how to fly and keep themselves moving in a particular direction. Attentiveness is a centripetal force. The effective relation between that which is directed and the object of direction begins with the given direction. If we hold fast to this direction we are apodictically certain of reaching the goal that has been set. True collaboration in philosophy then is a common movement toward a beloved world—whereby we relieve each other in the most advanced outpost, a movement that demands the greatest effort against the resisting element within which we are flying.
Novalis (Philosophical Writings)
Murtaugh went on. “Vernon Lochan survived, but only because he was already the king's puppet, after Cal was executed, Vernon seized his brother's mantle as Lord of Perranth. You know what happened to Lady Marion. But we never learned what happened to Elide.” Elide—Lord Cal and Lady Marion's daughter and heir, almost a year younger than Aelin. If she were alive, she would be at least seventeen by now. “Lots of children vanished in the initial weeks,” Murtaugh finished. Aedion didn't want to think about those too-small graves.
Sarah J. Maas (Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3))
God, help me pay attention to my behaviors during the process of initiating relationships. Help me take responsibility for myself and learn what I need to learn. I will trust that the people I want and need will come into my life. I understand that if a relationship is not good for me, I have the right and ability to refuse to enter into it—even though the other person thinks it may be good for him or her.
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency (Hazelden Meditation Series))
A quarter-horse jockey learns to think of a twenty-second race as if it were occurring across twenty minutes--in distinct parts, spaced in his consciousness. Each nuance of the ride comes to him as he builds his race. If you can do the opposite with deep time, living in it and thinking in it until the large numbers settle into place, you can sense how swiftly the initial earth packed itself together, how swiftly continents have assembled and come apart, how far and rapidly continents travel, how quickly mountains rise and how quickly they disintegrate and disappear.
John McPhee (Annals of the Former World)
I decided that ten positions would be sufficient initially. More could be learned if the initial encounter was successful. It did not take long—less time than learning the cha-cha. In terms of reward for effort, it seemed strongly preferable to dancing and I was greatly looking forward to it.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
I would learn fifteen years too late that asking for consent, granting consent, surviving sexual violence, being called a good dude, and never initiating sexual relationships did not incubate me from being emotionally abusive. Consent meant little to nothing if it was not fully informed. What, and to whom, were my partners consenting if I spent our entire relationship convincing them that a circle was not a circle but just a really relaxed square? I’d become good at losing weight and great at convincing women they didn’t see or know what they absolutely saw and knew. Lying there on that floor, I accepted that I’d actually never been honest with myself about what carrying decades of lies did to other people’s hearts and heads.
Kiese Laymon (Heavy)
Even with my bachelor’s degree, I still felt more comfortable at the strip club than anywhere else. And that feeling hit me the very first time I walked through those doors. While I initially starting dancing to avoid eviction, I stayed because I felt more at home in the strip club than I did in college, at church and at my parent’s. Not only was I accustomed to feeling degraded, I believed I didn’t deserve any better or that any man would treat me better than the men at the club.
Elona Washington (From Ivy League To Stripper Life: 10 Lessons Learned)
He had not stopped looking into her eyes, and she showed no signs of faltering. He gave a deep sigh and recited: "O sweet treasures, discovered to my sorrow." She did not understand. "It is a verse by the grandfather of my great-great-grandmother," he explained. "He wrote three eclogues, two elegies, five songs, and forty sonnets. Most of them for a Portuguese lady of very ordinary charms who was never his, first because he was married, and then because she married another man and died before he did." "Was he a priest too?" "A soldier," he said. Something stirred in the heart of Sierva María, for she wanted to hear the verse again. He repeated it, and this time he continued, in an intense, well-articulated voice, until he had recited the last of the forty sonnets by the cavalier of amours and arms Don Garcilaso de la Vega, killed in his prime by a stone hurled in battle.When he had finished, Cayetano took Sierva María's hand and placed it over his heart. She felt the internal clamor of his suffering. "I am always in this state," he said. And without giving his panic an opportunity, he unburdened himself of the dark truth that did not permit him to live. He confessed that every moment was filled with thoughts of her, that everything he ate and drank tasted of her, that she was his life, always and everywhere, as only God had the right and power to be, and that the supreme joy of his heart would be to die with her. He continued to speak without looking at her, with the same fluidity and passion as when he recited poetry, until it seemed to him that Sierva María was sleeping. But she was awake, her eyes, like those of a startled deer, fixed on him. She almost did not dare to ask: "And now?" "And now nothing," he said. "It is enough for me that you know." He could not go on. Weeping in silence, he slipped his arm beneath her head to serve as a pillow, and she curled up at his side. And so they remained, not sleeping, not talking, until the roosters began to crow and he had to hurry to arrive in time for five-o'clock Mass. Before he left, Sierva María gave him the beautiful necklace of Oddúa: eighteen inches of mother-of-pearl and coral beads. Panic had been replaced by the yearning in his heart. Delaura knew no peace, he carried out his tasks in a haphazard way, he floated until the joyous hour when he escaped the hospital to see Sierva María. He would reach the cell gasping for breath, soaked by the perpetual rains, and she would wait for him with so much longing that only his smile allowed her to breathe again. One night she took the initiative with the verses she had learned after hearing them so often. 'When I stand and contemplate my fate and see the path along which you have led me," she recited. And asked with a certain slyness: "What's the rest of it?" "I reach my end, for artless I surrendered to one who is my undoing and my end," he said. She repeated the lines with the same tenderness, and so they continued until the end of the book, omitting verses, corrupting and twisting the sonnets to suit themselves, toying with them with the skill of masters. They fell asleep exhausted. At five the warder brought in breakfast, to the uproarious crowing of the roosters, and they awoke in alarm. Life stopped for them.
Gabriel García Márquez (Of Love and Other Demons)
According to Proust, one proof that we are reading a major new writer is that his writing immediately strikes us as ugly. Only minor writers write beautifully, since they simply reflect back to us our preconceived notion of what beauty is; we have no problem understanding what they are up to, since we have seen it many times before. When a writer is truly original, his failure to be conventionally beautiful makes us see him, initially, as shapeless, awkward, or perverse. Only once we have learned how to read him do we realize that this ugliness is really a new, totally unexpected kind of beauty and that what seemed wrong in his writing is exactly what makes him great.
Adam Kirsch
THE MAGIC OF MAKING A START Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamed would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art)
if you are any wizard at all you will be able to channel your magic through almost any instrument. The best results, however, must always come where there is the strongest affinity between wizard and wand. These connections are complex. An initial attraction, and then a mutual quest for experience, the wand learning from the wizard, the wizard from the wand.
J.K. Rowling
Alan was slow to learn that indistinct line that separated initiative from disobedience.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
Such honesty requires boldness. You have to look at what you really want and articulate it. Sometimes in doing that we learn what we actually want isn't what we initially thought.
Kristi Ann Hunter (Vying for the Viscount (Hearts on the Heath, #1))
Some blessings do not look like blessings initially, but later you realize you are in fact better off the way things turned out.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Being Bold: Quotes, Poetry, & Motivations for Every Day of the Year)
An initial attraction, and then a mutual quest for experience, the wand learning from the wizard, the wizard from the wand.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Here's why I will be a good person. Because I listen. I cannot speak, so I listen very well. I never interrupt, I never deflect the course of the conversation with a comment of my own. People, if you pay attention to them, change the direction of one another's conversations constantly. It's like having a passenger in your car who suddenly grabs the steering wheel and turns you down a side street. For instance, if we met a party and I wanted to tell you a story about the time I needed to get a soccer ball in my neighbor's yard but his dog chased me and I had to jump into a swimming pool to escape, and I began telling the story , you, upon hearing the words 'soccer' and 'neighbor' in the same sentence, might interrupt and mention that your childhood neighbor was Pele, the famous soccer player, and I might be courteous and say, Didn't he play for the Cosmos of New York? Did you grow up in New York? And you might reply that no, you grew up in Brazil on the streets of Tres Coracoes with Pele and I might say, I thought you were from Tennessee, and you might say, not originally, and then go on to outline your genealogy at length. So my initial conversational gambit - that I had a funny story about being chased by my neighbor's dog - would be totally lost, and only because you had to tell me all about Pele. Learn to listen! I beg of you. Pretend you are a dog like me and listen to other people rather than steal their stories.
Garth Stein
It is significant that many of these experiences are reported to us from periods of war and distress: that the stronger the forces of destruction appeared, the more intense grew the spiritual vision which opposed them. We learn from these records that the mystical consciousness has the power of lifting those who possess it to a plane of reality which no struggle, no cruelty, can disturb: of conferring a certitude which no catastrophe can wreck. Yet it does not wrap its initiates in a selfish and otherworldly calm, isolate them from the pain and effort of the common life. Rather, it gives them renewed vitality; administering to the human spirit not--as some suppose--a soothing draught, but the most powerful of stimulants.
Evelyn Underhill (Practical Mysticism: A Little Book for Normal People)
Be on good terms with the other beings in your environment. When you speak sharply to a person, you make them your enemy. Kindness is a powerful ward and can help you learn many secrets.
Amanda Yates Garcia (Initiated: Memoir of a Witch)
I learned that I wasn't happy. It's a terrifying thing to admit. It puts everyone around you in a state of paralysis because they think that they are somehow responsible for your sadness and can fix it. Of course they cannot. I know happiness exists somewhere and if I knew where, I would go to it and claim it. I realize I have spent my life reacting to things and not initiating them.
Adriana Trigiani (Big Stone Gap (Big Stone Gap, #1))
Often times of crisis are times of discovery, periods when we cannot maintain our old ways of doing things and enter into a steep learning curve. Sometimes it takes a crisis to initiate growth.
Rachel Naomi Remen (Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal)
There are two paths for anyone who is seeking to learn that which is kept hidden. One is to initiate into a society, secret or not, with traditions that are well-established. The other is to seek one’s own path and to forge the way by trial and error. Either choice is dangerous. In order to master the mysteries of the universe, one must bridge heaven and earth. The bridge is a world in itself.
Thomas Lloyd Qualls (Painted Oxen)
From Slim to Fulford—both promoted to four-star general—came the same message: at the executive level, your job is to reward initiative in your junior officers and NCOs and facilitate their success.
Jim Mattis (Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead)
The Fall, so often considered a terrible thing, is a fall into experience; like falling of the epileptic to earth, it may also have its other face, for then we fall into the embrace of our dreams and fears and know them for what they are, face to face. [...]the fearful face of the Black Goddess is really the veiled Sophia. The rebirth of the mystery initiation brings us into contact with our own power, which we have failed to take in our own time. Part of the reason for this is that we live in the shadow of the Judeo-Christian Fall for which Woman bears the blame. The experience of Psyche and Kore shows the vulnerable face of Sophia, who is not afraid to fall, to learn by seeming mistakes. They show that the descent into death is the only possible pathway to ascent or spiritual rebirth.
Caitlín Matthews (Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God)
He also had a trait, so common among innovators, that was charmingly described by his biographer Andrew Hodges: “Alan was slow to learn that indistinct line that separated initiative from disobedience.
Walter Isaacson (The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution)
We can learn from anyone, even our enemies. Knowledge can be twisted into any shape. Did not one of the wisest men teach that the least initial deviation from the truth is multiplied later a thousandfold?
Jeff Wheeler (The Void of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood, #3))
After all, the ultimate goal of learning boundaries is to free us up to protect, nurture, and develop the lives God has given us stewardship over. Setting boundaries is mature, proactive, initiative-taking. It’s being in control of our lives. Individuals with mature boundaries aren’t frantic, in a hurry, or out of control. They have a direction in their lives, a steady moving toward their personal goals. They plan ahead. The
Henry Cloud (Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No)
Instillation of personal initiative, aggressiveness, and risk-taking doesn’t spring forward spontaneously on the battlefield. It must be cultivated for years and inculcated, even rewarded, in an organization’s culture.
Jim Mattis (Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead)
Surely the first obligation of a political thinker is to understand the nature of man. The Conservative does not claim special powers of perception on this point, but he does claim a familiarity with the accumulated wisdom and experience of history, and he is not too proud to learn from the great minds of the past. The first thing he has learned about man is that each member of the species is a unique creature. Man’s most sacred possession is his individual soul—which has an immortal side, but also a mortal one. The mortal side establishes his absolute differentness from every other human being. Only a philosophy that takes into account the essential differences between men, and, accordingly, makes provision for developing the different potentialities of each man can claim to be in accord with Nature. We have heard much in our time about “the common man.” It is a concept that pays little attention to the history of a nation that grew great through the initiative and ambition of uncommon men. The Conservative knows that to regard man as part of an undifferentiated mass is to consign him to ultimate slavery.
Barry M. Goldwater (Conscience of a Conservative)
Sow the seeds of hard work and you will reap the fruits of success. Find something to do, do it with all your concentration. You will excel. Show the world you are not here to just pass through. Leave great footprints wherever you pass and be remembered for the change you initiated. Flow wherever you go. You can’t be limited. Dare to rise above all limitations and become better than you were. Strive to arrive at the top. Glow wherever you go and let the light of God reflect in the world around you. You carry the light of God and wherever you pass, darkness must flee. Grow your talents and skills through a consistent practice and progressive learning. Learn to relearn and unlearn. Raise the bar for yourself always. Blow out all negative attitudes and live true to your dreams. Talks less and act more. Be confident and see yourself wining even before the victory comes. Know God and let Him be known. You were saved by grace for greater works apportioned for you even before you were born. Share the good news. I am proud of you because greater things that eyes have not seen yet, the Lord will do through you.
Israelmore Ayivor (Become a Better You)
The German economic historian Fanz Oertel in the 1950s points to another drastic consequence of a slave economy. A slave economy initially allowed an increase of productivity through the invention and use of new machinery. Roman products remained at a simple level and could be reproduced by handicraft. By the fourth century, for example, the robust pottery industry of Greece was in sharp decline because other parts of the empire also learned to make pottery. "The decline in international trade in the Mediterranean in the fourth century was partly due to increasing piracy, but it was also due to lack of industrial innovation and of need for exchange of manufactured goods.
Norman F. Cantor (Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World)
You talk about wands like they’ve got feelings,’ said Harry, ‘like they can think for themselves.’ ‘The wand chooses the wizard,’ said Ollivander. ‘That much has always been clear to those of us who have studied wandlore.’ ‘A person can still use a wand that hasn’t chosen them, though?’ asked Harry. ‘Oh yes, if you are any wizard at all you will be able to channel your magic through almost any instrument. The best results, however, must always come where there is the strongest affinity between wizard and wand. These connections are complex. An initial attraction, and then a mutual quest for experience, the wand learning from the wizard, the wizard from the wand.’ The sea gushed
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
As painful as it is to be scapegoated by your family, you might be surprised to learn that there are positive, empowering aspects associated with the ‘scapegoat’ role, as described in the original biblical story of the ‘scapegoat ritual of atonement.’ It may be that certain qualities you possess, such as intuition, empathy, and compassion, led to your becoming the target of family scapegoating abuse, as paradoxical and confusing as this may initially seem.
Rebecca C. Mandeville (Rejected, Shamed, and Blamed: Help and Hope for Adults in the Family Scapegoat Role)
You might be too enmeshed with the other person, or “codependent,” and you must learn to set better “boundaries.” The basic premise underlying this point of view is that the ideal relationship is one between two self-sufficient people who unite in a mature, respectful way while maintaining clear boundaries. If you develop a strong dependency on your partner, you are deficient in some way and are advised to work on yourself to become more “differentiated” and develop a “greater sense of self.” The worst possible scenario is that you will end up needing your partner, which is equated with “addiction” to him or her, and addiction, we all know, is a dangerous prospect. While the teachings of the codependency movement remain immensely helpful in dealing with family members who suffer from substance abuse (as was the initial intention), they can be misleading and even damaging when applied indiscriminately to all relationships.
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
[H]e initially conceived of Olivier as a man of the greatest promise destroyed by a fatal flaw, the unreasoning passion for a woman dissolving into violence, desperately weakening everything he tried to do. For how could learning and poetry be defended when it produced such dreadful results and was advanced by such imperfect creatures? At least Julien did not see the desperate fate of the ruined lover as a nineteenth-century novelist or a poet might have done, recasting the tale to create some appealing romantic hero, dashed to pieces against the unyielding society that produced him. Rather, his initial opinion -- held almost to the last -- was of Olivier as a failure, ruined by a terible weakness.
Iain Pears (The Dream of Scipio)
1] The absence of the personal story: in order for magical rites to pass from generation to generation, the sorcerer (shaman) must forget all he learned before his initiation into magic. According to tradition, a man or women who are tied to his past, will in the end allow himself to be governed by his parents’ way of thinking, or that of the society in which he lives. This is why all those who are initiated choose a new name and seek to free themselves from their memories, both good and bad.
Paulo Coelho (Warrior of the Light - Volume 1)
UNDERSTANDING DISSOCIATION Dissociation, like all other symptoms of C-PTSD, is a learned behavior that initially helped you cope with a threatening environment. A neglected or abused child will rely upon built-in, biological protection mechanisms for survival to “tune out” threatening experiences. In adulthood, dissociation becomes a well-maintained division between the part of you involved in keeping up with daily tasks of living and the part of you that is holding emotions of fear, shame, or anger.
Arielle Schwartz (The Complex PTSD Workbook: A Mind-Body Approach to Regaining Emotional Control and Becoming Whole)
My other client, whom I will call Teresa, thought Lorraine had MPD and hoped I could help her. Almost no one recognized this condition in those days. Lorraine was forty years old and had been in and out of psychiatric hospitals since she was thirteen. She had had various diagnoses, mainly severe depression, and she had made quite a few serious suicide attempts before I even met her. She had been given many courses of electric shock therapy, which would confuse her so much that she could not get together a coherent suicide plan for quite a while. Lorraine’s psychiatrist was initially opposed to my seeing her, as her friend Teresa had been stigmatized with the "borderline personality disorder" diagnosis when in hospital, so was seen as a bad influence on her. But after Lorraine spent a couple of months in hospital calling herself Susie and acting consistently like a child, he was humble enough to acknowledge that perhaps he could learn some new things, and someone else’s help might be a good idea.
Alison Miller (Becoming Yourself: Overcoming Mind Control and Ritual Abuse)
Everything you love, her uncle had said, gets taken away, Safiya … and slaughtered. But you will learn soon enough. In all too vivid detail, you will learn. Then he’d told her: If you wanted to, you could bend and shape the world. You have the training for it—I’ve seen to that. Unfortunately, you seem to lack the initiative. Well, Safi was calling horse shit on that. She didn’t lack initiative—she was initiative. Through and through. Initiate, complete. Safi was ready to bend the world. Ready to break it. And with that thought, a new life began.
Susan Dennard (Windwitch (The Witchlands, #2))
Eugene Peterson reminds us that “because we learned language so early in our lives we have no memory of the process” and would therefore imagine that it was we who took the initiative to learn how to speak. However, that is not the case. “Language is spoken into us; we learn language only as we are spoken to. We are plunged at birth into a sea of language. . . . Then slowly syllable by syllable we acquire the capacity to answer: mama, papa, bottle, blanket, yes, no. Not one of these words was a first word. . . . All speech is answering speech. We were all spoken to before we spoke.”109 In the years since Peterson wrote, studies have shown that children’s ability to understand and communicate is profoundly affected by the number of words and the breadth of vocabulary to which they are exposed as infants and toddlers. We speak only to the degree we are spoken to. It is therefore essential to the practice of prayer to recognize what Peterson calls the “overwhelming previousness of God’s speech to our prayers.”110 This theological principle has practical consequences. It means that our prayers should arise out of immersion in the Scripture. We should “plunge ourselves into the sea” of God’s language, the Bible. We should listen, study, think, reflect, and ponder the Scriptures until there is an answering response in our hearts and minds. It may be one of shame or of joy or of confusion or of appeal—but that response to God’s speech is then truly prayer and should be given to God. If the goal of prayer is a real, personal connection with God, then it is only by immersion in the language of the Bible that we will learn to pray, perhaps just as slowly as a child learns to speak.
Timothy J. Keller (Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
The value of the student’s question is supreme. The best initial response to a question is not to answer it, per se, but to validate it, protect it, support it, and make a space for it. Like a blossom just emerging, a question is vulnerable and delicate. A direct answer can extinguish a question if you’re not careful. But if you nourish the blossom, it will grow and give fruit in the form of insight as well as more questions. In short, a question needs to be nurtured more than answered. It should be given center stage, admired, relished, embraced, and sustained.
Curt Gabrielson (Tinkering: Kids Learn by Making Stuff)
One of the most profound lessons I’ve learned since becoming a mom -- reinforced by observing hundreds of other parents and babies interact — is that there is a self-fulfilling prophecy to the way we view our babies: If we believe them to be helpless, dependent, needy (albeit lovely) creatures, their behavior will confirm those beliefs. Alternatively, if we see our infants as capable, intelligent, responsive people ready to participate in life, initiate activity, receive and return our efforts to communicate with them, then we find that they are all of those things.
Janet Lansbury (Elevating Child Care: A Guide To Respectful Parenting)
Initiation asks the son to move his love energy away from the attractive mother to the relatively unattractive serpent father. All that is ashes work. When a man enters this stage he regards Descent as a holy thing, he increases his tolerance for ashes, eats dust as snake do, increases his stomach for terrifying insights, deepens his ability to digest the evil facts of history, accepts the job of working seven years under the ground, leaves the granary at will through the rat’s hole, bites on cinders, learns to shudder, and follows the voice of the old mole below the ground.
Robert Bly (Iron John: A Book About Men)
A Positive Mental Attitude 2. Definiteness of purpose 3. Going the extra mile 4. Accurate thinking 5. Self-discipline 6. The master mind 7. Applied faith 8. A pleasing personality 9. Personal initiative 10. Enthusiasm 11. Controlled attention 12. Teamwork 13. Learning from defeat 14. Creative vision
Napoleon Hill (Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude)
In life in general we get back what we put out, if we ever were to find ourselves in a situation where we get back less or even the opposite of what we put out, then we need to get out, take ourselves out of that situation, for it is futile to try to go against the grain of feelings, emotions, life... it is not only going to lead to nowhere but pain, it is also going to lead to loneliness, bitterness, sadness, despair and heartbreak. so for those of you who are going through this currently, brush that crap off of your plate and move on. Those of you that have not experienced this yet, keep your eyes and your ears open, because in most cases it takes a while to see what has been right in front of you hitting you with baseball bats. BE AWARE OF WHAT IS. be aware of what that other person is giving to you. ask yourselves a few questions, 1) am I getting back the love that I am putting out? 2) Do I always have to initiate the conversation? 3) When I do initiate the conversation, do I get a response? 4) if so, is it on par with what I put forth. 5) in most cases of conversation does it seem like I am being ignored? 6) If I reach out to hold his/her hand does it get held back? or am I doing all the holding? ~~ The more of these simple yet profound questions you can answer negatively too. the bigger the chance that you are in a hopeless, futureless, hated by the other person relationship. So, keep your eyes and your ears open, ask yourselves questions and always and I do mean always, Be Aware of everything. it will save you heartache in the future.
Justin Southwick
She wanted to tell him everything: that her worst fears had come true, that her husband had managed to place a surveillance device into her mind, the whole story. But she didn't want to seem crazy. This was shitty because the truth was crazy, not her. There had been a tagline of a TV show, 'The truth is out there,' that Hazel had initially misinterpreted and felt comforted by. 'That is for sure!' she'd thought, the truth was the most far-out thing possible. Hazel had always felt this--when she learned about periods and sex, when she learned about death, when she learned about the impossible living conditions of the other planets in the solar system and the manufacturing of processed meats. Almost always, the truth was way more bizarre and gross than she would've imagined. Then one night she commented on this to a friend and was told, 'No, dumbass, the show is saying that the truth will be discovered. Like how aliens are real and the U.S. government knows it.
Alissa Nutting (Made for Love)
I have since learned that although the festival of Imbolc was far less romantic and far more practical to our Celtic ancestors than the initial image portrayed to me by Mrs Darley, it was no less magical, for it marked the beginning of the lambing season which to the Celts meant the difference between survival and extinction.
Carole Carlton (Mrs Darley's Pagan Whispers: A Celebration of Pagan Festivals, Sacred Days, Spirituality and Traditions of the Year)
The solvable systems are the ones shown in textbooks. They behave. Confronted with a nonlinear system, scientists would have to substitute linear approximations or find some other uncertain backdoor approach. Textbooks showed students only the rare non-linear systems that would give way to such techniques. They did not display sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Nonlinear systems with real chaos were rarely taught and rarely learned. When people stumbled across such things-and people did-all their training argued for dismissing them as aberrations. Only a few were able to remember that the solvable, orderly, linear systems were the aberrations. Only a few, that is, understood how nonlinear nature is in its soul. Enrico Fermi once exclaimed, "It does not say in the Bible that all laws of nature are expressible linearly!" The mathematicians Stanislaw Ulam remarked that to call the study of chaos "nonlinear science" was like calling zoology "the study of nonelephant animals.
James Gleick (Chaos: Making a New Science)
Nearly eighty years of research on answer changing shows that most answer changes are from wrong to right, and that most people who change their answers usually improve their test scores. One comprehensive review examined thirty-three studies of answer changing; in not one were test takers hurt, on average, by changing their answers. And yet, even after students are told of these results, they still tend to stick with their first answers. Investors, by the way, show the same tendencies when it comes to stocks. Even after learning that their reason for picking a stock might be wrong, they still tended to stick with their initial choice 70 percent of the time.
Joseph T. Hallinan (Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average)
With new friendships had come visits to the philosophers and teachers of rhetoric; and, presently, the chance to learn from experts the art of war. He had longed for home and had returned with gladness; but by then he had been received into the mystery of Hellas, forever her initiate. Athens was her altar, almost her self. All he asked of Athens was to restore her glories; her present leaders seemed to him like the Phokians at Delphi, unworthy men who had seized a holy shrine. Deep in his mind moved a knowledge that for Athenians freedom and glory went together; but he was like a man in love, who thinks the strongest trait of the loved one’s nature will be easily changed, as soon as they are married.
Mary Renault (Fire from Heaven (Alexander the Great, #1))
One of the most intriguing ideas in the developmental sciences over the past decades is the phenomenon of the “J-shaped curve.”19 While observing children learning to master new skills in dozens of domains (math, writing, the arts), psychologists noticed a surprising pattern: as a learner struggles to master difficult new challenges, there is often an initial decline in skill. Errors are made on tasks that previously seemed easy, and the learner feels more “stupid” than ever before. This is the dip that forms the middle part of the “J.” But it turns out that the “stupid mistakes,” in retrospect, were nothing more than growth errors. Once the learner gets past the dip, performance rises rapidly to new heights.
William Damon (The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life)
CONSENSUS PROPOSED CRITERIA FOR DEVELOPMENTAL TRAUMA DISORDER A. Exposure. The child or adolescent has experienced or witnessed multiple or prolonged adverse events over a period of at least one year beginning in childhood or early adolescence, including: A. 1. Direct experience or witnessing of repeated and severe episodes of interpersonal violence; and A. 2. Significant disruptions of protective caregiving as the result of repeated changes in primary caregiver; repeated separation from the primary caregiver; or exposure to severe and persistent emotional abuse B. Affective and Physiological Dysregulation. The child exhibits impaired normative developmental competencies related to arousal regulation, including at least two of the following: B. 1. Inability to modulate, tolerate, or recover from extreme affect states (e.g., fear, anger, shame), including prolonged and extreme tantrums, or immobilization B. 2. Disturbances in regulation in bodily functions (e.g. persistent disturbances in sleeping, eating, and elimination; over-reactivity or under-reactivity to touch and sounds; disorganization during routine transitions) B. 3. Diminished awareness/dissociation of sensations, emotions and bodily states B. 4. Impaired capacity to describe emotions or bodily states C. Attentional and Behavioral Dysregulation: The child exhibits impaired normative developmental competencies related to sustained attention, learning, or coping with stress, including at least three of the following: C. 1. Preoccupation with threat, or impaired capacity to perceive threat, including misreading of safety and danger cues C. 2. Impaired capacity for self-protection, including extreme risk-taking or thrill-seeking C. 3. Maladaptive attempts at self-soothing (e.g., rocking and other rhythmical movements, compulsive masturbation) C. 4. Habitual (intentional or automatic) or reactive self-harm C. 5. Inability to initiate or sustain goal-directed behavior D. Self and Relational Dysregulation. The child exhibits impaired normative developmental competencies in their sense of personal identity and involvement in relationships, including at least three of the following: D. 1. Intense preoccupation with safety of the caregiver or other loved ones (including precocious caregiving) or difficulty tolerating reunion with them after separation D. 2. Persistent negative sense of self, including self-loathing, helplessness, worthlessness, ineffectiveness, or defectiveness D. 3. Extreme and persistent distrust, defiance or lack of reciprocal behavior in close relationships with adults or peers D. 4. Reactive physical or verbal aggression toward peers, caregivers, or other adults D. 5. Inappropriate (excessive or promiscuous) attempts to get intimate contact (including but not limited to sexual or physical intimacy) or excessive reliance on peers or adults for safety and reassurance D. 6. Impaired capacity to regulate empathic arousal as evidenced by lack of empathy for, or intolerance of, expressions of distress of others, or excessive responsiveness to the distress of others E. Posttraumatic Spectrum Symptoms. The child exhibits at least one symptom in at least two of the three PTSD symptom clusters B, C, & D. F. Duration of disturbance (symptoms in DTD Criteria B, C, D, and E) at least 6 months. G. Functional Impairment. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in at least two of the following areas of functioning: Scholastic Familial Peer Group Legal Health Vocational (for youth involved in, seeking or referred for employment, volunteer work or job training)
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life’s roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey on life’s highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: “This is not just.” It will look at our alliance with the landed gentry of Latin America and say: “This is not just.” The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: “This way of settling differences is not just.” This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation’s homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into veins of people normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Parent and Teacher Actions: 1. Ask children what their role models would do. Children feel free to take initiative when they look at problems through the eyes of originals. Ask children what they would like to improve in their family or school. Then have them identify a real person or fictional character they admire for being unusually creative and inventive. What would that person do in this situation? 2. Link good behaviors to moral character. Many parents and teachers praise helpful actions, but children are more generous when they’re commended for being helpful people—it becomes part of their identity. If you see a child do something good, try saying, “You’re a good person because you ___.” Children are also more ethical when they’re asked to be moral people—they want to earn the identity. If you want a child to share a toy, instead of asking, “Will you share?” ask, “Will you be a sharer?” 3. Explain how bad behaviors have consequences for others. When children misbehave, help them see how their actions hurt other people. “How do you think this made her feel?” As they consider the negative impact on others, children begin to feel empathy and guilt, which strengthens their motivation to right the wrong—and to avoid the action in the future. 4. Emphasize values over rules. Rules set limits that teach children to adopt a fixed view of the world. Values encourage children to internalize principles for themselves. When you talk about standards, like the parents of the Holocaust rescuers, describe why certain ideals matter to you and ask children why they’re important. 5. Create novel niches for children to pursue. Just as laterborns sought out more original niches when conventional ones were closed to them, there are ways to help children carve out niches. One of my favorite techniques is the Jigsaw Classroom: bring students together for a group project, and assign each of them a unique part. For example, when writing a book report on Eleanor Roosevelt’s life, one student worked on her childhood, another on her teenage years, and a third on her role in the women’s movement. Research shows that this reduces prejudice—children learn to value each other’s distinctive strengths. It can also give them the space to consider original ideas instead of falling victim to groupthink. To further enhance the opportunity for novel thinking, ask children to consider a different frame of reference. How would Roosevelt’s childhood have been different if she grew up in China? What battles would she have chosen to fight there?
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)
Earth could have learned a long time ago that securing initial and ongoing consent, rather than attempting to assert hierarchy, is key to a nonconfrontational relationship. Because we’re basically primates, we had to wait for a bunch of aliens to come teach us. We’d at least, by then, developed the tech to fix our brains so we could accept emotionally what logic should have showed us.
Elizabeth Bear (Ancestral Night (White Space, #1))
From the freedom to explore comes the joy of learning. From knowledge acquired by personal initiative arises the desire for more knowledge. And from mastery of the novel and beautiful world awaiting every child comes self-confidence. The growth of a naturalist is like the growth of a musician or athlete: excellence for the talented, lifelong enjoyment for the rest, benefit for humanity.
Edward O. Wilson (The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth)
It would be years before she understood the technique he'd used to draw her in. The quicksand of cons, transitioning from having something small on someone to having them over a barrel. You start with blackmail. A little thing, maybe, so long as a person would put in some effort to make it go away. Maybe they would be willing to swipe something for you, fudge some numbers, change a grade, take a little cash out of the till, whatever. But that's when they were sunk. Because if they gave in, they were no longer just hiding whatever their initial indiscretion was, but what they'd done to cover it up. And the more they tried to dig themselves out, the deeper they sank. There is nothing as instructive for learning how to get someone on the ropes as being put there yourself.
Holly Black (Book of Night (Book of Night, #1))
When I lifted the first veil and entered the outer court of the temple of initiation, I saw in half darkness the figure of a woman sitting on a high throne between two pillars of the the temple, one white and one black. Mystery emanated from her and was about her. Sacred symbols shone on her, and on her head a golden tiara surmounted by a two-horned Moon. To enter the Temple one must lift the second veil and pass between the two pillars. And to pass one must obtain the keys, read the book, and understand the symbols. Are you able to do this? She whispered to me “ learn to discern the real from the false. Listen only to the voice that is soundless. Look only on that which is invisible and remember that in thee thyself is the Temple and the gate to it, and the mystery, and the initiation.
P.D. Ouspensky
Encouragement during the early years is crucial because beginners are still figuring out whether they want to commit or cut bait. Accordingly, Bloom and his research team found that the best mentors at this stage were especially warm ans supportive: 'perhaps the major quality of these teachers was that they made the initial learning very pleasant and rewarding. much of the introduction to the field was as playful activity, and the learning at the beginning of this stage was like a game'. A degree of autonomy during the early years is also important. Longitudinal studies tracking learners confirm that overbearing parents and teachers erode intrinsic motivation. Kids whose parents let them make their own choices about what they like are more likely to develop interests later identified as a passion.
Angela Duckworth (Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance)
The deepest and most important spiritual lessons I ever learned came from a circle of drunks, fighting desperately not to drink today, whom I initially viewed as low-life losers, and who ultimately came to be for me the oracles of God. The Twelve Steps in no way diminished my appreciation for the gospel of Jesus Christ—quite the contrary—I am more convinced than ever of the reality of the gospel story.
Diana Butler Bass (A People's History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story)
Original sin is a self-initiating act because it evidences human free will. If humanity were devoid of free will, it would relegate humankind to living by instinct. A person who lives by instinct might survive for an enviable period, but they will never live a heroic existence. Every hero’s story commences with an unsatisfied and optimistic person venturing out from the comfortable confines of their common day world, facing forces of fabulous power, and fighting a magnificent personal battle. The greatest traditional heroes were warriors whom survived on the battlefield and learned valuable lessons of honor, love, loyalty, and courage. Heroic warriors and spiritual seekers undertook a rigorous quest, an enduring ordeal that enabled them to transcend their own personhood’s shallow desire merely to survive. By enduring hardships, experiencing breathtaking encounters with the physical world, and undergoing a spiritual renaissance, the hero gains a hard-won sense self-discovery, comprehends his or her place in society, and accepts their role as a teacher. A hero is a bearer of light, wisdom, and charity. The hero reenters society and shares their culmination of knowledge by devoting their life to teaching other people.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
I see before me a person who is sacrificial, honest, and courageous; a good friend and family member, not cynical, not egotistical, but empathetic and good-hearted, who feels responsibility, is attentive, and is capable of keeping secrets, who does not misuse their power, does not gossip, and can master their ambition, who is just, demands quality, an internationalist and not envious, who generally behaves in a friendly way and does not judge others easily, who is persistent, has initiative, conscious of duty, critical, self-critical and conscientious, who relates well to learning or ignorance, and who is capable of self-education (self-perfection), who has self-control, who is sincere and strives for freedom for themself and others, whose ethics are at a similarly high level, who is modest, able to love others, who has solidarity, tolerance and politeness, has a healthy competitiveness, is helpful, peaceful, and well-intentioned, who shows respect to those who merit it, etc. This kind of person is definitely an exemplary moral authority. Whoever has in themselves all of the qualities above to a high level is a moral genius, even if they never become a hero, and even if those around them never consider them to be one.
László Polgár (Bring Up Genius! (Nevelj zsenit!))
Sometimes the less we know about what will happen in a work of fiction, the better off we are. Because the more we know about what happens next, the more we close off the possibilities of the unexpected, the less chance we have of allowing our subconscious minds to speculate and probe down to the awkward truths that we need to express instead of glib things we initially thought we wanted to say. If we already know what we intend to say, we are going to learn nothing by saying it. Only when we allow our imagination the space to catch us by surprise, when we sit back and stare in bafflement at words that suddenly start appearing on our screens, do we find ourselves to be truly writing. Only then can we honestly say that we are being brought – often by the seat of our pants – on imaginative journeys into the unknown.
Dermot Bolger
More often than not, at the end of the day (or a month, or a year), you realize that your initial idea was wrong, and you have to try something else. These are the moments of frustration and despair. You feel that you have wasted an enormous amount of time, with nothing to show for it. This is hard to stomach. But you can never give up. You go back to the drawing board, you analyze more data, you learn from your previous mistakes, you try to come up with a better idea. And every once in a while, suddenly, your idea starts to work. It's as if you had spent a fruitless day surfing, when you finally catch a wave: you try to hold on to it and ride it for as long as possible. At moments like this, you have to free your imagination and let the wave take you as far as it can. Even if the idea sounds totally crazy at first.
Edward Frenkel (Love and Math: The Heart of Hidden Reality)
Babies quickly notice that certain sounds are not used in their language: English speakers never utter vowels like the French /u/ and /eu/, and Japanese locutors fail to differentiate between /R/ and /L/. In just a few months (six for vowels, twelve for consonants), the baby’s brain sorts through its initial hypotheses and keeps only the phonemes that are relevant to the languages that are present in its environment.
Stanislas Dehaene (How We Learn: Why Brains Learn Better Than Any Machine . . . for Now)
Complexity can be tamed, but it requires considerable effort to do it well. Decreasing the number of buttons and displays is not the solution. The solution is to understand the total system, to design it in a way that allows all the pieces fit nicely together, so that initial learning as well as usage are both optimal. Years ago, Larry Tesler, then a vice president of Apple, argued that the total complexity of a system is a constant: as you make the person's interaction simpler, the hidden complexity behind the scenes increases. Make one part of the system simpler, said Tesler, and the rest of the system gets more complex. This principle is known today as "Tesler's law of the conservation of complexity." Tesler described it as a tradeoff: making things easier for the user means making it more difficult for the designer or engineer.
Donald A. Norman (Living with Complexity)
I have found that educators yearn to be told something like this: There will be no more initiatives—at least for a time. Instead, we will focus only on what will have an immediate and dramatic impact on learning in your classrooms: ensuring the implementation of a common, content-rich curriculum; good lessons; and plenty of meaningful literacy activities (such as close reading, writing, and discussion) across the curriculum.
Mike Schmoker (Focus: Elevating the Essentials to Radically Improve Student Learning)
In many traditions a key part of a woman’s initiation is to be left alone in nature, often immersed in total darkness — whether sleeping out by herself under the stars, finding her way through a wood or descending into the depths of a cave. This gives her a lived experience of confronting of her learned and instinctive fears, teaching her how to dig deep into her own resources and discover both her vulnerability and deep strength.
Lucy H. Pearce (Burning Woman)
After Frank came out, Amy would begin a performance at a gig by walking onstage, clapping and chanting, ‘Class-A drugs are for mugs. Class-A drugs are for mugs …’ She’d get the whole audience to join in until they’d all be clapping and chanting as she launched into her first number. Although Amy was smoking cannabis, she had always been totally against class-A drugs. Blake Fielder-Civil changed that. Amy first met him early in 2005 at the Good Mixer pub in Camden. None of Amy’s friends that I’ve spoken to over the years can remember exactly what led to this meeting. But after that encounter she talked about him a lot. ‘When am I going to meet him, darling?’ I asked. Amy was evasive, which was probably, I learned later, because Blake was in a relationship. Amy knew about this, so initially you could say that Amy was ‘the other woman’. And although she knew that he was seeing someone else, it was only about a month after they’d met that she had his name tattooed over her left breast. It was clear that she loved him – that they loved each other – but it was also clear that Blake had his problems. It was a stormy relationship from the start. A few weeks after they’d met, Blake told Amy that he’d finished with the other girl, and Amy, who never did anything by halves, was now fully obsessed with him.
Mitch Winehouse
In the Medieval poem, we are surrounded by Winter, but I always imagined the Green Chapel and the castle of Lord and Lady Bercilak in all seasons. I was quite convinced (and still am) that Gawain did not return to Camelot immediately after his initiatory encounter with the Green Knight. That's where 'The Green Knight's Apprentice' began, I think, in my imaginings of what Gawain would learn and experience after his initiation was complete
Virginia Chandler
Along the way, I began to develop an understanding about not only the process for making a miniature golf course, but the general process for making anything: how to start with an initial idea, develop preliminary plans, create a first version, try it out, ask other people to try it out, revise plans based on what happens—and keep doing that, over and over. By working on my project, I was gaining experience with the Creative Learning Spiral.
Mitchel Resnick (Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play (MIT Press))
Children, we know, learn to love by being loved — so that the initiative rests with the parent; and we are beginning to realize that most people at all age levels still have enough of the child in them that they can respond to good will more readily than they can make the first affirmative move. Thus, in most human relationships, we might say, the initiative rests with the individual who has achieved the parental orientation.” —The Mind Alive
Brett McKay (The 33 Marks of Maturity)
We travel, initially, to lose ourselves; and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes and learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate. We travel to bring what little we can, in our ignorance and knowledge, to those parts of the globe whose riches are differently dispersed. And we travel, in essence, to become young fools again -- to slow time down and get taken in, and fall in love once more.
William Wyatt (Travel: How to Drop Everything And Travel Around The World - How to Do It, Where to Go & Why It's Cheaper Than You Think (Travel, Travel Books, Happiness, ... Esteem, Self Confidence, 4 Hour Work Week))
When I am in a situation where I feel uncomfortable about speaking but it is necessary for me to speak, or if I feel 'put on the spot' my voice sounds strained, really weird, and it feels as if I have no control over how I sound in these situations. Sometimes then my voice is barely audible and I am frequently asked to repeat myself. Attempts at speaking are often embarrassing, shaming experiences for me. I sound quite different when speaking with someone I am more relaxed with, but I don't like the way my voice sounds at the best of times; I was horrified when I heard a recording of myself. Because of this inhibition about speaking, I have never learned to project my voice or to use it effectively. I often feel that I could no more use my vocal cords to break a silence, to get somebody's attention or to initiate an interaction than I could run through fire or do something dangerous in my life.
Carl Sutton (Selective Mutism In Our Own Words: Experiences in Childhood and Adulthood)
This novel humbled me in a number of ways. I was reading manuscripts for a magazine called Accent, and had in front of my prose-bleary eyes a piece called “A Horse in a London Flat.” And I was in a doze. More dreariness. More pretension. When will it all end? How shall I phrase my polite rejection? Something, I don’t remember what it was now, but something ten pages along woke me up, as if I had nearly fallen asleep and toppled from my chair. Perhaps it was the startle of an image or the rasp of a line. I went back to the beginning, and soon realized that I had let my eyes slide over paragraphs of astonishing prose without responding to them or recognizing their quality. That was my first humiliation. I then carried the manuscript to my fellow editors, as if I were bringing the original “good news,” only to learn that they were perfectly familiar with the work of John Hawkes and admired it extravagantly. Hadn’t I read The Cannibal, or The Goose on the Grave? Where had I been! What a dummy! (Though my humiliation would have been worse if I had written that rejection.) A number of years had to erode my embarrassment before I could confess that I had not spotted him at once (as I initially pretended). What a dummy indeed. The Lime Twig is a beautiful and brutal book, and when it comes to the engravement of the sentence, no one now writing can match him.
William H. Gass (A Temple of Texts)
An expert from The Second Himalayan Expedition, by the Scottish mountaineer W.H.Murray Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definately commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a great respect for one of Goethe's couples: "Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!" A whole stream of events ... which no man could have dreamt would have come by his way
All practical jokes, friendly, harmless or malevolent, involve deception, but not all deceptions are practical jokes. The two men digging up the street, for example, might have been two burglars who wished to recover some swag which they knew to be buried there. But, in that case, having found what they were looking for, they would have departed quietly and never been heard of again, whereas, if they are practical jokers, they must reveal afterwards what they have done or the joke will be lost. The practical joker must not only deceive but also, when he has succeeded, unmask and reveal the truth to his victims. The satisfaction of the practical joker is the look of astonishment on the faces of others when they learn that all the time they were convinced that they were thinking and acting on their own initiative, they were actually the puppets of another’s will. Thus, though his jokes may be harmless in themselves and extremely funny, there is something slightly sinister about every practical joker, for they betray him as someone who likes to play God behind the scenes. […] The success of a practical joker depends upon his accurate estimate of the weaknesses of others, their ignorances, their social reflexes, their unquestioned presuppositions, their obsessive desires, and even the most harmless practical joke is an expression of the joker’s contempt for those he deceives.
W.H. Auden (The Dyer's Hand and Other Essays)
Alex here. (...) Ron, I really enjoy all the help you have given me and the times we spent together. I hope that you will not be too depressed by our parting. It may be a very long time before we see each other again. But providing that I get through the Alaskan Deal in one piece you will be hearing form me again in the future. I’d like to repeat the advice I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing or been to hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one piece of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. (...) Once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. (...) Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. (...) You are wrong if you think joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. Ron, I really hope that as soon as you can you will get out of Salton City, put a little camper on the back of your pickup, and start seeing some of the great work that God has done here in the American West. you will see things and meet people and there is much to learn from them. And you must do it economy style, no motels, do your own cooking, as a general rule spend as little as possible and you will enjoy it much more immensely. I hope that the next time I see you, you will be a new man with a vast array of new adventures and experiences behind you. Don’t hesitate or allow yourself to make excuses. Just get out and do it. Just get out and do it. You will be very, very glad that you did. Take care Ron, Alex
Jon Krakauer
How does stress influence the midbrain pleasure circuit (or the feeding control circuits)? The short answer is that we don't really know. However, there are some tantalizing initial clues. Recall that twenty-four hours after a single exposure to cocaine, the excitatory glutamate-using synapses recived by VTA dopamine neurons express LTP. This change, which will result in greater dopamine release in VTA target areas, could also be produced by nicotine, mophine, amphetamines, or alcohol. Amazingly, even breif exposure to stress (a rat's five-minute-long forced swim in cold water) also produced LTP of the VTA synapses that was indistinguishable from that evoked by drugs. What's more, the stress-induced LTP could be prevented by pretreatment with a corticosterone receptor blocker. This suggests that drugs and stress rewire the pleasure circuit in overlapping ways and that the stress response to trigger LTP in the VTA requires a stress hormone signaling loop from the brain to the body and back.
David J. Linden (The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good)
We cannot make God love us more, and we cannot make God love us less. We do not have that kind of power because God simply is love, and God’s love is not determined or changed by its object. It comes from the inner nature of God, who is love (1 John 4: 16). What follows, of course, is that if we are God’s creature, then maybe love is what we are too. Love is not something we do or ever do perfectly, but love is something we are, something we rest in, and something we learn to draw upon and live in, through, and with.
Richard Rohr (Adam's Return: The Five Promises of Male Initiation)
The Mongols loved competitions of all sorts, and they organized debates among rival religions the same way they organized wrestling matches. It began on a specific date with a panel of judges to oversee it. In this case Mongke Khan ordered them to debate before three judges: a Christian, a Muslim, and a Buddhist. A large audience assembled to watch the affair, which began with great seriousness and formality. An official lay down the strict rules by which Mongke wanted the debate to proceed: on pain of death “no one shall dare to speak words of contention.” Rubruck and the other Christians joined together in one team with the Muslims in an effort to refute the Buddhist doctrines. As these men gathered together in all their robes and regalia in the tents on the dusty plains of Mongolia, they were doing something that no other set of scholars or theologians had ever done in history. It is doubtful that representatives of so many types of Christianity had come to a single meeting, and certainly they had not debated, as equals, with representatives of the various Muslim and Buddhist faiths. The religious scholars had to compete on the basis of their beliefs and ideas, using no weapons or the authority of any ruler or army behind them. They could use only words and logic to test the ability of their ideas to persuade. In the initial round, Rubruck faced a Buddhist from North China who began by asking how the world was made and what happened to the soul after death. Rubruck countered that the Buddhist monk was asking the wrong questions; the first issue should be about God from whom all things flow. The umpires awarded the first points to Rubruck. Their debate ranged back and forth over the topics of evil versus good, God’s nature, what happens to the souls of animals, the existence of reincarnation, and whether God had created evil. As they debated, the clerics formed shifting coalitions among the various religions according to the topic. Between each round of wrestling, Mongol athletes would drink fermented mare’s milk; in keeping with that tradition, after each round of the debate, the learned men paused to drink deeply in preparation for the next match. No side seemed to convince the other of anything. Finally, as the effects of the alcohol became stronger, the Christians gave up trying to persuade anyone with logical arguments, and resorted to singing. The Muslims, who did not sing, responded by loudly reciting the Koran in an effort to drown out the Christians, and the Buddhists retreated into silent meditation. At the end of the debate, unable to convert or kill one another, they concluded the way most Mongol celebrations concluded, with everyone simply too drunk to continue.
Jack Weatherford (Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World)
1. Recruit the smallest group of people who can accomplish what must be done quickly and with high quality. Comparative Advantage means that some people will be better than others at accomplishing certain tasks, so it pays to invest time and resources in recruiting the best team for the job. Don’t make that team too large, however—Communication Overhead makes each additional team member beyond a core of three to eight people a drag on performance. Small, elite teams are best. 2. Clearly communicate the desired End Result, who is responsible for what, and the current status. Everyone on the team must know the Commander’s Intent of the project, the Reason Why it’s important, and must clearly know the specific parts of the project they’re individually responsible for completing—otherwise, you’re risking Bystander Apathy. 3. Treat people with respect. Consistently using the Golden Trifecta—appreciation, courtesy, and respect—is the best way to make the individuals on your team feel Important and is also the best way to ensure that they respect you as a leader and manager. The more your team works together under mutually supportive conditions, the more Clanning will naturally occur, and the more cohesive the team will become. 4. Create an Environment where everyone can be as productive as possible, then let people do their work. The best working Environment takes full advantage of Guiding Structure—provide the best equipment and tools possible and ensure that the Environment reinforces the work the team is doing. To avoid having energy sapped by the Cognitive Switching Penalty, shield your team from as many distractions as possible, which includes nonessential bureaucracy and meetings. 5. Refrain from having unrealistic expectations regarding certainty and prediction. Create an aggressive plan to complete the project, but be aware in advance that Uncertainty and the Planning Fallacy mean your initial plan will almost certainly be incomplete or inaccurate in a few important respects. Update your plan as you go along, using what you learn along the way, and continually reapply Parkinson’s Law to find the shortest feasible path to completion that works, given the necessary Trade-offs required by the work. 6. Measure to see if what you’re doing is working—if not, try another approach. One of the primary fallacies of effective Management is that it makes learning unnecessary. This mind-set assumes your initial plan should be 100 percent perfect and followed to the letter. The exact opposite is true: effective Management means planning for learning, which requires constant adjustments along the way. Constantly Measure your performance across a small set of Key Performance Indicators (discussed later)—if what you’re doing doesn’t appear to be working, Experiment with another approach.
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business)
The enemy must fight his battles far from home for a long time...We must weaken him by drawing him into protracted campaigns. Once his initial dash is broken, it will be easier to destroy him...When the enemy is away from home for a long time and produces no victories and families learn of their dead, then the enemy population at home becomes dissatisfied and considers it a Mandate from Heaven that the armies be recalled. Time is always in our favor. Our climate, mountains, and jungles discourage the enemy; but for us they offer sanctuary and a place from which to attack.
Tran Hung Dao
Perhaps science could even discover things about enlightenment that would make enlightenment attainable by large masses of human beings. Perhaps science could democratize enlightenment as it had democratized other aspects of power, comfort, and convenience. This concept utterly changed my world. What had initially brought me to Japan was a fascination with the cultures of the East. In learning how to meditate, I felt I had discovered the pinnacle, the highest thing that Asia could give me. Having directly experienced Asia’s unique offering to the world, I asked myself, “What next?
Shinzen Young (The Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works)
After their time in the monastery, most young men and women will return to their villages, having completed their training with the elders. They are now accepted as “ripe,” as initiated men and women, respected in their community. Outwardly they will have learned the religious forms and sacred rituals of the Buddhist community. Inwardly, these ancient forms are intended to awaken an unshakable virtue and inner respect, fearlessness in the face of death, self-reliance, wisdom, and profound compassion. These qualities give one who leaves the monastery the hallmark of a mature man or woman.
Jack Kornfield (Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are)
A friend of ours encountered this problem with his home-built computer long ago. He wrote a BIOS that used a magic value in a particular memory location to determine whether a reset was a cold reboot or a warm reboot. After a while the machine refused to boot after power-up because the memory had learned the magic value, and the boot process therefore treated every reset as a warm reboot. As this did not initialize the proper variables, the boot process failed. The solution in his case was to swap some memory chips around, scrambling the magic value that the SRAM had learned. For us, it was a lesson to remember: memory retains more data than you think.
Niels Ferguson (Cryptography Engineering: Design Principles and Practical Applications)
Compare two commitments that will change some aspects of your life: buying a comfortable new car and joining a group that meets weekly, perhaps a poker or book club. Both experiences will be novel and exciting at the start. The crucial difference is that you will eventually pay little attention to the car as you drive it, but you will always attend to the social interaction to which you committed yourself. By WYSIATI (it's an acronym explained at the beginning of the book to explain how we only take into account minimal information of the type that we can most readily access e.g. how we're feeling right at this moment to answer how we feel about our lives in general) you are likely to exaggerate the long-term benefits of the car, but you are not likely to make the same mistake for a social gathering or for inherently attention-demanding activities such as playing tennis or learning to play the cello. The focusing illusion (your focus on something makes it feel more important than it actually is at that moment in time when you're focussing on it) creates a bias in favour of goods and experiences that are initially exciting, even if they will eventually lose their appeal. Time is neglected, causing experiences that will retain their attention value in the long term to be appreciated less than they deserve to be.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
Murray continues: “Concerning all acts of initiative, and creation, there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s concepts: ‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, Begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Stephen Cope (The Great Work of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling)
Addicts of attrition," as Simpkin calls them, generally cannot think beyond the battle, and they consider that the only way--or at least the preferred way--to defeat an enemy is to destroy the physical components of his army, especially the combat portions (armored fighting vehicles, troops, guns, etc.). If the attrition addict appreciates war's intangibles at all (such as morale, initiative, and shock), he sees them only as combat multipliers with which to fight the attrition battle better. If the attrition warrior learns about maneuver, he sees it primarily as a way to get to the fight. In other words, he moves in order to fight. Maneuver theory, on the other hand, attempts to defeat the enemy through means other than simple destruction of his mass. Indeed, the highest and purest application of maneuver theory is to preempt the enemy, that is, to disarm or neutralize him before the fight. If such is not possible, the maneuver warrior seeks to dislocate the enemy forces, i.e., removing the enemy from the decisive point, or vice versa, thus rendering them useless and irrelevant to the fight. If the enemy cannot be preempted or dislocated, then the maneuver-warfare practitioner will attempt to disrupt the enemy,i.e., destroy or neutralize his center of gravity, preferably by attacking with friendly strengths through enemy weaknesses.
Robert R. Leonhard
The Mysteries at Aegina were popular and continued to be sought out by citizens during the late Roman Era. In one example, Paulina, the wife of Praetextatus, wrote of her husband after his death that he was a pious initiate who internalised that which he found at the sacred rites, who learned many things and adored the Divine. Paulina’s husband had introduced her to ‘all the mysteries’ and in doing so ‘exempted her from death’s destiny’. Named specifically are the Mysteries of Eleusis, Kybele, Mithras and that of Hekate at Aegina, where Paulina was a Hierophant. “… her husband taught to her, the servant of Hecate, her “triple secrets” – whatever these secrets were, the Mysteries provided less “extraordinary experience” than soteriological hope and theological and philosophical knowledge.”[176] It is possible to assume that the beliefs and customs at Aegina had something in common with those at other temples associated with the annual Mysteries said to be established by Orpheus, like those of Eleusis. The Mysteries of Aegina were renowned, as this early Christian writer indicates, and it is possible to conclude that they had an element of oathbound secrecy as we know so little about them today. “For the mysteries of Mithras do not appear to be more famous among the Greeks than those of Eleusis, or than those in Aegina, where individuals are initiated in the rites of Hecate.”[177]
Sorita d'Este (Circle for Hekate - Volume I: History & Mythology (The Circle for Hekate Project Book 1))
Initially children use just a few names, mostly for familiar things and people. But when they are still just beginning to talk, many babies will suddenly start naming everything and asking for the names of everything they see. In fact, what’sat? is itself often one of the earliest words. An eighteen-month-old baby will go into a triumphant frenzy of pointing and naming: “What’sat! Dog! What’sat! Clock! What’sat juice, spoon, orange, high chair, clock! Clock! Clock!” Often this is the point at which even fondly attentive parents lose track of how many new words the baby has learned. It’s as if the baby discovers that everything has a name, and this discovery triggers a kind of naming explosion.
Alison Gopnik (The Scientist In The Crib: Minds, Brains, And How Children Learn)
ESTABLISHING A DAILY MEDITATION First select a suitable space for your regular meditation. It can be wherever you can sit easily with minimal disturbance: a corner of your bedroom or any other quiet spot in your home. Place a meditation cushion or chair there for your use. Arrange what is around so that you are reminded of your meditative purpose, so that it feels like a sacred and peaceful space. You may wish to make a simple altar with a flower or sacred image, or place your favorite spiritual books there for a few moments of inspiring reading. Let yourself enjoy creating this space for yourself. Then select a regular time for practice that suits your schedule and temperament. If you are a morning person, experiment with a sitting before breakfast. If evening fits your temperament or schedule better, try that first. Begin with sitting ten or twenty minutes at a time. Later you can sit longer or more frequently. Daily meditation can become like bathing or toothbrushing. It can bring a regular cleansing and calming to your heart and mind. Find a posture on the chair or cushion in which you can easily sit erect without being rigid. Let your body be firmly planted on the earth, your hands resting easily, your heart soft, your eyes closed gently. At first feel your body and consciously soften any obvious tension. Let go of any habitual thoughts or plans. Bring your attention to feel the sensations of your breathing. Take a few deep breaths to sense where you can feel the breath most easily, as coolness or tingling in the nostrils or throat, as movement of the chest, or rise and fall of the belly. Then let your breath be natural. Feel the sensations of your natural breathing very carefully, relaxing into each breath as you feel it, noticing how the soft sensations of breathing come and go with the changing breath. After a few breaths your mind will probably wander. When you notice this, no matter how long or short a time you have been away, simply come back to the next breath. Before you return, you can mindfully acknowledge where you have gone with a soft word in the back of your mind, such as “thinking,” “wandering,” “hearing,” “itching.” After softly and silently naming to yourself where your attention has been, gently and directly return to feel the next breath. Later on in your meditation you will be able to work with the places your mind wanders to, but for initial training, one word of acknowledgment and a simple return to the breath is best. As you sit, let the breath change rhythms naturally, allowing it to be short, long, fast, slow, rough, or easy. Calm yourself by relaxing into the breath. When your breath becomes soft, let your attention become gentle and careful, as soft as the breath itself. Like training a puppy, gently bring yourself back a thousand times. Over weeks and months of this practice you will gradually learn to calm and center yourself using the breath. There will be many cycles in this process, stormy days alternating with clear days. Just stay with it. As you do, listening deeply, you will find the breath helping to connect and quiet your whole body and mind. Working with the breath is an excellent foundation for the other meditations presented in this book. After developing some calm and skills, and connecting with your breath, you can then extend your range of meditation to include healing and awareness of all the levels of your body and mind. You will discover how awareness of your breath can serve as a steady basis for all you do.
Jack Kornfield (A Path with Heart: A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life)
I learned an amazing way to demonstrate the effectiveness of positive versus negative thinking from Jack Canfield, President of Self-Esteem Seminars, which I now use in my workshops. I ask someone to come up and stand facing the rest of the class. After making sure the person has no problems with her (or his) arms, I ask my volunteer to make a fist and extend either arm out to the side. I then tell her to resist, with as much strength as she can muster, as I stand facing her and attempt to push her arm down with my outstretched hand. Not once have I succeeded in pushing her arm down on my initial trial. I then ask her to put her arm down, close her eyes and repeat ten times the negative statement “I am a weak and unworthy person.” I tell her really to get into the feel of that statement. When she has repeated the statement ten times, I ask her to open her eyes and extend her arm again exactly as she had before. I remind her to resist as hard as she can. Immediately, I am able to bring down her arm. It is as though all strength has left her. I wish I could record the expressions on my volunteers’ faces when they find it impossible to resist my pressure. A few have made me do it again. “I wasn’t ready!” is their plea. Lo and behold, the same thing happens on the second try—the arm goes right down with little resistance. They are dumbfounded. I then ask the volunteer once again to close her eyes, and repeat ten times the positive statement “I am a strong and worthy person.” Again I tell her to really get into the feeling of the words. Once again I ask her to extend her arm and resist my pressure. To her amazement (and everyone else’s) I cannot budge the arm. In fact, it is more steadfast than the first time I tried to push it down. If I continue interspersing positive with negative, the same results occur. I can push the arm down after the negative statement, I am not able to push it down after the positive statement. By the way—for you skeptics out there—I tried this experiment when I was unaware of what the volunteer was saying. I left the room, and the class decided whether the statement should be negative or positive. It didn’t matter. Weak words meant a weak arm. Strong words meant a strong arm.
Susan Jeffers (Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway: How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action)
Obviously, in those situations, we lose the sale. But we’re not trying to maximize each and every transaction. Instead, we’re trying to build a lifelong relationship with each customer, one phone call at a time. A lot of people may think it’s strange that an Internet company is so focused on the telephone, when only about 5 percent of our sales happen through the telephone. In fact, most of our phone calls don’t even result in sales. But what we’ve found is that on average, every customer contacts us at least once sometime during his or her lifetime, and we just need to make sure that we use that opportunity to create a lasting memory. The majority of phone calls don’t result in an immediate order. Sometimes a customer may be calling because it’s her first time returning an item, and she just wants a little help stepping through the process. Other times, a customer may call because there’s a wedding coming up this weekend and he wants a little fashion advice. And sometimes, we get customers who call simply because they’re a little lonely and want someone to talk to. I’m reminded of a time when I was in Santa Monica, California, a few years ago at a Skechers sales conference. After a long night of bar-hopping, a small group of us headed up to someone’s hotel room to order some food. My friend from Skechers tried to order a pepperoni pizza from the room-service menu, but was disappointed to learn that the hotel we were staying at did not deliver hot food after 11:00 PM. We had missed the deadline by several hours. In our inebriated state, a few of us cajoled her into calling Zappos to try to order a pizza. She took us up on our dare, turned on the speakerphone, and explained to the (very) patient Zappos rep that she was staying in a Santa Monica hotel and really craving a pepperoni pizza, that room service was no longer delivering hot food, and that she wanted to know if there was anything Zappos could do to help. The Zappos rep was initially a bit confused by the request, but she quickly recovered and put us on hold. She returned two minutes later, listing the five closest places in the Santa Monica area that were still open and delivering pizzas at that time. Now, truth be told, I was a little hesitant to include this story because I don’t actually want everyone who reads this book to start calling Zappos and ordering pizza. But I just think it’s a fun story to illustrate the power of not having scripts in your call center and empowering your employees to do what’s right for your brand, no matter how unusual or bizarre the situation. As for my friend from Skechers? After that phone call, she’s now a customer for life. Top 10 Ways to Instill Customer Service into Your Company   1. Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.   2. Make WOW a verb that is part of your company’s everyday vocabulary.   3. Empower and trust your customer service reps. Trust that they want to provide great service… because they actually do. Escalations to a supervisor should be rare.   4. Realize that it’s okay to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse your employees.   5. Don’t measure call times, don’t force employees to upsell, and don’t use scripts.   6. Don’t hide your 1-800 number. It’s a message not just to your customers, but to your employees as well.   7. View each call as an investment in building a customer service brand, not as an expense you’re seeking to minimize.   8. Have the entire company celebrate great service. Tell stories of WOW experiences to everyone in the company.   9. Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service. 10. Give great service to everyone: customers, employees, and vendors.
Tony Hsieh (Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose)
In practice, experienced machine-learning engineers and researchers build intuition over time as to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to these choices—they develop hyperparameter-tuning skills. But there are no formal rules. If you want to get to the very limit of what can be achieved on a given task, you can’t be content with arbitrary choices made by a fallible human. Your initial decisions are almost always suboptimal, even if you have good intuition. You can refine your choices by tweaking them by hand and retraining the model repeatedly—that’s what machine-learning engineers and researchers spend most of their time doing. But it shouldn’t be your job as a human to fiddle with hyperparameters all day—that is better left to a machine.
François Chollet
That is what I want our young nascent readers to become: expert, flexible code switchers -- between print and digital mediums now and later between and among the multiple future communication mediums....I conceptualize the initial development of learning to think in each medium as largely separated into distinct domains in the first school years, until a point in time when the particular characteristics of the two mediums are each well developed and internalized. That is an essential point. I want the child to have parallel levels of fluency, if you will, in each medium, just as if he or she were similarly fluent in speaking Spanish and English. In this way the uniqueness of the cognitive processes honed by each medium would be there from the start.
Maryanne Wolf (Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World)
It was only when professionals believed that reports on errors and near misses would be treated as learning opportunities rather than a pretext to blame that this crucial information started to flow. Managers were initially worried that reducing the penalties for error would lead to an increase in the number of errors. In fact, the opposite happened. Insurance claims fell by a dramatic 74 percent. Similar results have been found elsewhere. Claims and lawsuits made against the University of Michigan Health System, for example, dropped from 262 in August 2001 to 83 following the introduction of an open disclosure policy in 2007. The number of lawsuits against the University of Illinois Medical Center fell by half in two years after creating a system of open reporting.
Matthew Syed (Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes--But Some Do)
This embarrassing episode remains one of the most instructive experiences of my professional life. I eventually learned three lessons from it. The first was immediately apparent: I had stumbled onto a distinction between two profoundly different approaches to forecasting, which Amos and I later labeled the inside view and the outside view. The second lesson was that our initial forecasts of about two years for the completion of the project exhibited a planning fallacy. Our estimates were closer to a best-case scenario than to a realistic assessment. I was slower to accept the third lesson, which I call irrational perseverance: the folly we displayed that day in failing to abandon the project. Facing a choice, we gave up rationality rather than give up the enterprise.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
There is an inherent, humbling cruelty to learning how to run white water. In most other so-called "adrenaline" sports—skiing, surfing and rock climbing come to mind—one attains mastery, or the illusion of it, only after long apprenticeship, after enduring falls and tumbles, the fatigue of training previously unused muscles, the discipline of developing a new and initially awkward set of skills. Running white water is fundamentally different. With a little luck one is immediately able to travel long distances, often at great speeds, with only a rudimentary command of the sport's essential skills and about as much physical stamina as it takes to ride a bicycle downhill. At the beginning, at least, white-water adrenaline comes cheap. It's the river doing the work, of course, but like a teenager with a hot car, one forgets what the true power source is. Arrogance reigns. The river seems all smoke and mirrors, lots of bark (you hear it chortling away beneath you, crunching boulders), but not much bite. You think: Let's get on with it! Let's run this damn river! And then maybe the raft hits a drop in the river— say, a short, hidden waterfall. Or maybe a wave reaches up and flicks the boat on its side as easily as a horse swatting flies with its tail. Maybe you're thrown suddenly into the center of the raft, and the floor bounces back and punts you overboard. Maybe you just fall right off the side of the raft so fast you don't realize what's happening. It doesn't matter. The results are the same. The world goes dark. The river— the word hardly does justice to the churning mess enveloping you— the river tumbles you like so much laundry. It punches the air from your lungs. You're helpless. Swimming is a joke. You know for a fact that you are drowning. For the first time you understand the strength of the insouciant monster that has swallowed you. Maybe you travel a hundred feet before you surface (the current is moving that fast). And another hundred feet—just short of a truly fearsome plunge, one that will surely kill you— before you see the rescue lines. You're hauled to shore wearing a sheepish grin and a look in your eye that is equal parts confusion, respect, and raw fear. That is River Lesson Number One. Everyone suffers it. And every time you get the least bit cocky, every time you think you have finally figured out what the river is all about, you suffer it all over again.
Joe Kane (Running the Amazon)
The religious scholar and Muslim Brotherhood ideologist Sayyid Qutb articulated perhaps the most learned and influential version of this view. In 1964, while imprisoned on charges of participating in a plot to assassinate Egyptian President Nasser, Qutb wrote Milestones, a declaration of war against the existing world order that became a foundational text of modern Islamism. In Qutb’s view, Islam was a universal system offering the only true form of freedom: freedom from governance by other men, man-made doctrines, or “low associations based on race and color, language and country, regional and national interests” (that is, all other modern forms of governance and loyalty and some of the building blocks of Westphalian order). Islam’s modern mission, in Qutb’s view, was to overthrow them all and replace them with what he took to be a literal, eventually global implementation of the Quran. The culmination of this process would be “the achievement of the freedom of man on earth—of all mankind throughout the earth.” This would complete the process begun by the initial wave of Islamic expansion in the seventh and eighth centuries, “which is then to be carried throughout the earth to the whole of mankind, as the object of this religion is all humanity and its sphere of action is the whole earth.” Like all utopian projects, this one would require extreme measures to implement. These Qutb assigned to an ideologically pure vanguard, who would reject the governments and societies prevailing in the region—all of which Qutb branded “unIslamic and illegal”—and seize the initiative in bringing about the new order.
Henry Kissinger (World Order)
The people of that time had what they called “mystery religions.” These religions offered special secrets only to those who passed through a closely guarded process of initiation. Unless you had been initiated, you could not learn their secrets. When Paul describes marriage as a “mystery,” therefore, he implies that we can understand its true nature only if we have passed through the appropriate process of initiation. This process takes place when, by the marriage ceremony, a man and woman enter into covenant with God and with each other. Only when they are willing to make this covenant commitment can they begin to discover the true nature of marriage. Couples not willing to fulfill this condition can experience the legal and physical aspects of marriage, but its true nature remains closed to them. It is still a mystery—a secret.
Derek Prince (Husbands and Fathers: Rediscover the Creator's Purpose for Men)
All our wonderful sexual freedom is dependent on two very important conditions: freedom from sexism and freedom from rape. These changes must take place at both the individual and community levels. Prosecuting rape and child molestation is quite difficult, so our communities need to work for our own safety. We can seldom send offenders to jail, but we can uninvite them from our parties, and remove them from the other environments that we control, both online and in the physical world. (...) Much of this conflict is the consequence of our absurd cultural insistence that in sex, men should be the initiators and women the withholders. Thus, some people learn that they are supposed to be pushy and others that saying anything but no is, well, slutty. This pattern leads to “no” being heard as an invitation to push harder, with predictably disastrous results.
Dossie Easton (The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities)
The twentieth-century mystic Thomas Merton wrote, “There can be an intense egoism in following everybody else. People are in a hurry to magnify themselves by imitating what is popular—and too lazy to think of anything better. Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. They want quick success, and they are in such a haste to get it that they cannot take time to be true to themselves. And when the madness is upon them, they argue that their very haste is a species of integrity.”20 Merton elegantly articulates how the pressure of the create-on-demand world can cause us to look sideways at our peers and competitors instead of looking ahead. The process of discovering and refining your voice takes time. Unnecessary Creation grants you the space to discover your unique aptitudes and passions through a process of trial, error, and play that won’t often be afforded to you otherwise. Initiating a project with no parameters and no expectations from others also forces you to stay self-aware while learning to listen to and follow your intuition. Both of these are crucial skills for discovering your voice. It’s completely understandable if you’re thinking, “But wait—I hardly have time to breathe, and now you want me to cram something else into my schedule, just for my own enjoyment?” It’s true that every decision about where we spend our time has an opportunity cost, and dedicating time to Unnecessary Creation seems like a remarkably inefficient choice. In truth, it is inefficient. Consider, however, the opportunity cost of spending your life only on pragmatics. You dedicate your time to pleasing everyone else and delivering on their expectations, but you never get around to discovering your deeper aptitudes and creative capacities. Nothing is worth that.
Jocelyn K. Glei (Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind)
To become a Compassionate One is to become the likeness of the Compassionate God experiencing infinite sadness over undisclosed virtualities; it is to embrace, in a total religious sympathy, the theophanies of these divine Names in all faiths. But this sympathy, precisely, does not signify acceptance of their limits; it signifies rather that in opening ourselves to them we open them to the expansion that the primordial divine sym- pathesis demands of them; that we increase their divine light to the maximum; that we "emancipate" them-as the divine Compassion did in pre-eternity-that is, emancipate them from the virtuality and the ignorance which still confine them in their narrow intransigence. By thus taking them in hand, religious sympathy enables them to escape from the impasse, that is, the sin of metaphysical idolatry. For this sympathy alone renders a being accessible to the light of theophanies. Mankind discloses the refusal of the divine Names in many forms, ranging from atheism pure and simple to fanaticism with all its variants. All come from the same ignorance of the infinite divine Sadness, yearning to find a compassionate servant for His divine Names. The Gnostic's apprenticeship consists in learning to practice fidelity to his own Lord, that is, to the divine Name with which he, in his essential being, is invested, but at the same time to hear the precept of Ibn •Arabi: "Let thy soul be as matter for all forms of all beliefs. " One who has risen to that capacity is an • arif, an initiate, "one who through God sees in God with the eye of God. "Those who accept and those who decline are subject to the same authority: the God in function of whom you live is He for whom you bear witness, and your testimony is also the judgment you pronounce on yourself.
Henry Corbin (Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn 'Arabi)
Still, it became a big challenge to train our bank workers to overcome opposition from political and religious leaders without endangering their safety and that of the women they were serving. We tried a variety of techniques, and after a few years we learned that our staff members should quietly go about their business in one tiny corner of the village. If just a handful of desperate women make a leap of faith and join Grameen, everything changes. They get their money, start to earn additional income, and nothing terrible happens to them. Others begin to show interest. We find that borrowing groups form quickly after the initial period of resistance. When the ice finally breaks, women who originally said no to us begin to say, “Why not? I need money, too. In fact, I need the money more desperately than those who already joined. And I can make better use of it!” Gradually people come to accept us, and opposition dies off. But in every new village, it is a battle to begin. After
Muhammad Yunus (Banker To The Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty)
I select the right practice gun, the one about the size of a pistol, but bulkier, and offer it to Caleb. Tris’s fingers slide between mine. Everything comes easily this morning, every smile and every laugh, every word and every motion. If we succeed in what we attempt tonight, tomorrow Chicago will be safe, the Bureau will be forever changed, and Tris and I will be able to build a new life for ourselves somewhere. Maybe it will even be a place where I trade my guns and knives for more productive tools, screwdrivers and nails and shovels. This morning I feel like I could be so fortunate. I could. “It doesn’t shoot real bullets,” I say, “but it seems like they designed it so it would be as close as possible to one of the guns you’ll be using. It feels real, anyway.” Caleb holds the gun with just his fingertips, like he’s afraid it will shatter in his hands. I laugh. “First lesson: Don’t be afraid of it. Grab it. You’ve held one before, remember? You got us out of the Amity compound with that shot.” “That was just lucky,” Caleb says, turning the gun over and over to see it from every angle. His tongue pushes into his cheek like he’s solving a problem. “Not the result of skill.” “Lucky is better than unlucky,” I say. “We can work on skill now.” I glance at Tris. She grins at me, then leans in to whisper something to Christina. “Are you here to help or what, Stiff?” I say. I hear myself speaking in the voice I cultivated as an initiation instructor, but this time I use it in jest. “You could use some practice with that right arm, if I recall correctly. You too, Christina.” Tris makes a face at me, then she and Christina cross the room to get their own weapons. “Okay, now face the target and turn the safety off,” I say. There is a target across the room, more sophisticated, than the wooden-board target in the Dauntless training rooms. It has three rings in three different colors, green, yellow, and red, so it’s easier to tell where the bullets it. “Let me see how you would naturally shoot.” He lifts up the gun with one hand, squares off his feet and shoulders to the target like he’s about to lift something heavy, and fires. The gun jerks back and up, firing the bullet near the ceiling. I cover my mouth with my hand to disguise my smile. “There’s no need to giggle,” Caleb says irritably. “Book learning doesn’t teach you everything, does it?” Christina says. “You have to hold it with both hands. It doesn’t look as cool, but neither does attacking the ceiling.” “I wasn’t trying to look cool!” Christina stands, her legs slightly uneven, and lifts both arms. She stares the target for a moment, then fires. The training bullet hits the outer circle of the target and bounces off, rolling on the floor. It leaves a circle of light on the target, marking the impact site. I wish I’d had this technology during initiation training. “Oh, good,” I say. “You hit the air around your target’s body. How useful.” “I’m a little rusty,” Christina admits, grinning.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
Here are some practical Dataist guidelines for you: ‘You want to know who you really are?’ asks Dataism. ‘Then forget about mountains and museums. Have you had your DNA sequenced? No?! What are you waiting for? Go and do it today. And convince your grandparents, parents and siblings to have their DNA sequenced too – their data is very valuable for you. And have you heard about these wearable biometric devices that measure your blood pressure and heart rate twenty-four hours a day? Good – so buy one of those, put it on and connect it to your smartphone. And while you are shopping, buy a mobile camera and microphone, record everything you do, and put in online. And allow Google and Facebook to read all your emails, monitor all your chats and messages, and keep a record of all your Likes and clicks. If you do all that, then the great algorithms of the Internet-of-All-Things will tell you whom to marry, which career to pursue and whether to start a war.’ But where do these great algorithms come from? This is the mystery of Dataism. Just as according to Christianity we humans cannot understand God and His plan, so Dataism declares that the human brain cannot fathom the new master algorithms. At present, of course, the algorithms are mostly written by human hackers. Yet the really important algorithms – such as the Google search algorithm – are developed by huge teams. Each member understands just one part of the puzzle, and nobody really understands the algorithm as a whole. Moreover, with the rise of machine learning and artificial neural networks, more and more algorithms evolve independently, improving themselves and learning from their own mistakes. They analyse astronomical amounts of data that no human can possibly encompass, and learn to recognise patterns and adopt strategies that escape the human mind. The seed algorithm may initially be developed by humans, but as it grows it follows its own path, going where no human has gone before – and where no human can follow.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Don Juan had said that any habit was, in essence, a “doing,” and that a doing needed all its parts in order to function. If some parts were missing, a doing was disassembled. By doing, he meant any coherent and meaningful series of actions. In other words, a habit needed all its component actions in order to be a live activity. La Gorda then described how she had stalked her own weakness of eating excessively. She said that the Nagual had suggested she first tackle the biggest part of that habit, which was connected with her laundry work; she ate whatever her customers fed her as she went from house to house delivering her wash. She expected the Nagual to tell her what to do, but he only laughed and made fun of her, saying that as soon as he would mention something for her to do, she would fight not to do it. He said that that was the way human beings are; they love to be told what to do, but they love even more to fight and not do what they are told, and thus they get entangled in hating the one who told them in the first place. For many years she could not think of anything to do to stalk her weakness. One day, however, she got so sick and tired of being fat that she refused to eat for twenty-three days. That was the initial action that broke her fixation. She then had the idea of stuffing her mouth with a sponge to make her customers believe that she had an infected tooth and could not eat. The subterfuge worked not only with her customers, who stopped giving her food, but with her as well, as she had the feeling of eating as she chewed on the sponge. La Gorda laughed when she told me how she had walked around with a sponge stuffed in her mouth for years until her habit of eating excessively had been broken. “Was that all you needed to stop your habit?” I asked. “No. I also had to learn how to eat like a warrior.” “And how does a warrior eat?” “A warrior eats quietly, and slowly, and very little at a time. I used to talk while I ate, and I ate very fast, and I ate lots and lots of food at one sitting. The Nagual told me that a warrior eats four mouthfuls of food at one time. A while later he eats another four mouthfuls and so on.
Carlos Castaneda (Second Ring of Power)
Leadership is about having clear & grand vision, taking initiatives, possessing courage to question the status quo, ability to set large goals, consistently inspire self & others towards those goals, being self motivated and capability to motivate others, being spirited & strong to surmount any obstacle on the path, humility & openness to listen and learn from others, strength to stand for what he believes is right, while being flexible enough to revisit & review his beliefs, ability to organize & shift paradigms of his own & others, ability to attract, retain, develop & work with bigger leaders than himself, ability to trust others & being trust worthy , to think big & not petty, being above self, kind & giving, ability to sacrifice for others and to be bereft of insecurities & suspicion, ability to take risks, learn from both success & failure, being able to forget & forgive mistakes and mishaps of others, being focused, patient & persistent, to possess an amazing ability to be simple & easy to understand, to communicate & express with clarity and above all, being human.
Krishna Saagar
Many potential readers will skip the shopping cart or cash-out clerk because they have seen so many disasters reported in the news that they’ve acquired a panic mentality when they think of them. “Disasters scare me to death!” they cry. “I don’t want to read about them!” But really, how can a picture hurt you? Better that each serve as a Hallmark card that greets your fitful fevers with reason and uncurtains your valor. Then, so gospeled, you may see that defeating a disaster is as innocently easy as deciding to go out to dinner. Remove the dread that bars your doors of perception, and you will enjoy a banquet of treats that will make the difference between suffering and safety. You will enter a brave new world that will erase your panic, and release you from the grip of terror, and relieve you of the deadening effects of indifference —and you will find that switch of initiative that will energize your intelligence, empower your imagination, and rouse your sense of vigilance in ways that will tilt the odds of danger from being forever against you to being always in your favor. Indeed, just thinking about a disaster is one of the best things you can do —because it allows you to imagine how you would respond in a way that is free of pain and destruction. Another reason why disasters seem so scary is that many victims tend to see them as a whole rather than divide them into much smaller and more manageable problems. A disaster can seem overwhelming when confronted with everything at once —but if you dice it into its tiny parts and knock them off one at a time, the whole thing can seem as easy as eating a lavish dinner one bite at a time. In a disaster you must also plan for disruption as well as destruction. Death and damage may make the news, but in almost every disaster far more lives are disrupted than destroyed. Wit­ness the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri, in May 2011 and killed 158 people. The path of death and destruction was less than a mile wide and only 22 miles long —but within thirty miles 160,000 citizens whose property didn’t suffer a dime of damage were profoundly disrupted by the carnage, loss of power and water, suspension of civic services, and inability to buy food, gas, and other necessities. You may rightfully believe your chances of dying in a disaster in your lifetime may be nearly nil, but the chances of your life being disrupted by a disaster in the next decade is nearly a sure thing. Not only should you prepare for disasters, you should learn to premeditate them. Prepare concerns the body; premeditate concerns the mind. Everywhere you go, think what could happen and how you might/could/would/should respond. Use your imagination. Fill your brain with these visualizations —run mind-movies in your head —develop a repertoire —until when you walk into a building/room/situation you’ll automatically know what to do. If a disaster does ambush you —sure you’re apt to panic, but in seconds your memory will load the proper video into your mobile disk drive and you’ll feel like you’re watching a scary movie for the second time and you’ll know what to expect and how to react. That’s why this book is important: its manner of vivifying disasters kickstarts and streamlines your acquiring these premeditations, which lays the foundation for satisfying your needs when a disaster catches you by surprise.
Robert Brown Butler (Architecture Laid Bare!: In Shades of Green)
We that are bred up in learning, and destinated by our parents to this end, we suffer our childhood in the grammar-school, which Austin calls magnam tyrannidem, et grave malum, and compares it to the torments of martyrdom; when we come to the university, if we live of the college allowance, as Phalaris objected to the Leontines, [Greek: pan ton endeis plaen limou kai phobou] , needy of all things but hunger and fear, or if we be maintained but partly by our parents' cost, do expend in unnecessary maintenance, books and degrees, before we come to any perfection, five hundred pounds, or a thousand marks. If by this price of the expense of time, our bodies and spirits, our substance and patrimonies, we cannot purchase those small rewards, which are ours by law, and the right of inheritance, a poor parsonage, or a vicarage of 50 l. per annum, but we must pay to the patron for the lease of a life (a spent and out-worn life) either in annual pension, or above the rate of a copyhold, and that with the hazard and loss of our souls, by simony and perjury, and the forfeiture of all our spiritual preferments, in esse and posse, both present and to come. What father after a while will be so improvident to bring up his son to his great charge, to this necessary beggary? What Christian will be so irreligious, to bring up his son in that course of life, which by all probability and necessity, coget ad turpia, enforcing to sin, will entangle him in simony and perjury, when as the poet said, Invitatus ad hæc aliquis de ponte negabit: a beggar's brat taken from the bridge where he sits a begging, if he knew the inconvenience, had cause to refuse it." This being thus, have not we fished fair all this while, that are initiate divines, to find no better fruits of our labours, [2030] hoc est cur palles, cur quis non prandeat hoc est? do we macerate ourselves for this? Is it for this we rise so early all the year long? [2031] "Leaping" (as he saith) "out of our beds, when we hear the bell ring, as if we had heard a thunderclap." If this be all the respect, reward and honour we shall have, [2032] frange leves calamos, et scinde Thalia libellos: let us give over our books, and betake ourselves to some other course of life; to what end should we study?
Robert Burton (The Anatomy of Melancholy)
When someone with a dismissive style starts to work on healing their insecure attachment, they must begin by no longer dismissing and distancing from themselves. This requires that they no longer deny their desires and needs, allowing the longings and wants for connection that have for so long been forbidden. When someone functioning from a dismissive style starts to allow their attachment system to come back online, it can initially be a very tender, raw and even overwhelming process. The skills that come with being able to identify your own feelings are part of a developmental process that takes time. The process of allowing feelings as they arise, learning how to self-soothe and establishing an inner trust that experiencing feelings is safe, cannot be rushed. For the dismissive style, the journey from insecure to secure attachment is one of returning to the body through bringing feelings and sensations back to life and learning how to be with oneself in this process. Once this is established, the risk of then leaning into others, revealing one's internal world, and dismantling the self-reliant exoskeleton through asking for help and care from others can begin.
Jessica Fern (Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy)
The purity of the initiate has nothing to do with the Judeo-Christian sense of sin, the hatred and resentment of slaves. The existing earth must be transmuted, nature transfigured, the Twilight of the Gods make way for the Resurrection of the Gods. And this is another thing. It is an alchemical transmutation, sublimation, a spiritualization of matter. More, it is not for all, only for the initiated, for the Aryan, in the center of a hierarchy of castes. In Aryan India the initiate, the tantric yogi of the 'Right Hand,' must guard chastity. As well as the Platonic troubadour in the Initiation of A-Mor, which we shall explain in the fourth part of this work. For my Maestro chastity acquires fundamental importance in the path of our Warrior Initiation. I only saw him angry once. It was when I told him I was going to marry. He exclaimed: 'You are throwing chains on your feet…!' And added: 'Advice counts for nothing, each one must learn by themselves'. I said that before I married I lived surrounded by presences ('of ghosts, of ghosts, in order to think,' as the Chilean poet Omar Caceres would say), rumours of another world. I was in close contact with the astral. That 'body,' or expectant embryo, kept developing its own 'senses'.
Miguel Serrano
Grades can also be profoundly unfair, especially for students who are unable to keep up, because the level of the exams usually increases from week to week. Let’s take the analogy of video games. When you discover a new game, you initially have no idea how to progress effectively. Above all, you don’t want to be constantly reminded of how bad you are! That’s why video game designers start with extremely easy levels, where you are almost sure to win. Very gradually, the difficulty increases and, with it, the risk of failure and frustration—but programmers know how to mitigate this by mixing the easy with the difficult, and by leaving you free to retry the same level as many times as you need. You see your score steadily increase . . . and finally, the joyous day comes when you successfully pass the final level, where you were stuck for so long. Now compare this with the report cards of “bad” students: they start the year off with a bad grade, and instead of motivating them by letting them take the same test again until they pass, the teacher gives them a new exercise every week, almost always beyond their abilities. Week after week, their “score” hovers around zero. In the video game market, such a design would be a complete disaster. All too often, schools use grades as punishments.
Stanislas Dehaene (How We Learn: Why Brains Learn Better Than Any Machine . . . for Now)
Knowledgeable observers report that dating has nearly disappeared from college campuses and among young adults generally. It has been replaced by something called “hanging out.” You young people apparently know what this is, but I will describe it for the benefit of those of us who are middle-aged or older and otherwise uninformed. Hanging out consists of numbers of young men and young women joining together in some group activity. It is very different from dating. For the benefit of some of you who are not middle-aged or older, I also may need to describe what dating is. Unlike hanging out, dating is not a team sport. Dating is pairing off to experience the kind of one-on-one association and temporary commitment that can lead to marriage in some rare and treasured cases. . . . All of this made dating more difficult. And the more elaborate and expensive the date, the fewer the dates. As dates become fewer and more elaborate, this seems to create an expectation that a date implies seriousness or continuing commitment. That expectation discourages dating even more. . . . Simple and more frequent dates allow both men and women to “shop around” in a way that allows extensive evaluation of the prospects. The old-fashioned date was a wonderful way to get acquainted with a member of the opposite sex. It encouraged conversation. It allowed you to see how you treat others and how you are treated in a one-on-one situation. It gave opportunities to learn how to initiate and sustain a mature relationship. None of that happens in hanging out. My single brothers and sisters, follow the simple dating pattern and you don’t need to do your looking through Internet chat rooms or dating services—two alternatives that can be very dangerous or at least unnecessary or ineffective. . . . Men, if you have returned from your mission and you are still following the boy-girl patterns you were counseled to follow when you were 15, it is time for you to grow up. Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with. Start with a variety of dates with a variety of young women, and when that phase yields a good prospect, proceed to courtship. It’s marriage time. That is what the Lord intends for His young adult sons and daughters. Men have the initiative, and you men should get on with it. If you don’t know what a date is, perhaps this definition will help. I heard it from my 18-year-old granddaughter. A “date” must pass the test of three p’s: (1) planned ahead, (2) paid for, and (3) paired off. Young women, resist too much hanging out, and encourage dates that are simple, inexpensive, and frequent. Don’t make it easy for young men to hang out in a setting where you women provide the food. Don’t subsidize freeloaders. An occasional group activity is OK, but when you see men who make hanging out their primary interaction with the opposite sex, I think you should lock the pantry and bolt the front door. If you do this, you should also hang up a sign, “Will open for individual dates,” or something like that. And, young women, please make it easier for these shy males to ask for a simple, inexpensive date. Part of making it easier is to avoid implying that a date is something very serious. If we are to persuade young men to ask for dates more frequently, we must establish a mutual expectation that to go on a date is not to imply a continuing commitment. Finally, young women, if you turn down a date, be kind. Otherwise you may crush a nervous and shy questioner and destroy him as a potential dater, and that could hurt some other sister. My single young friends, we counsel you to channel your associations with the opposite sex into dating patterns that have the potential to mature into marriage, not hanging-out patterns that only have the prospect to mature into team sports like touch football. Marriage is not a group activity—at least, not until the children come along in goodly numbers.
Dallin H. Oaks
And you're thinking I just tossed out some casual phrase that you've heard from dozens of guys? Or maybe one in particular,who mattered enough to turn you into a cynic?" At the intensity of his tone she looked up. "Yeah.Something like that.After all, McCord,your reputation precedes you. You're not exactly shy with women. I'm sure you've used plenty of lines like that to get what you want." His eyes,steady on hers,were hot and fierce. His voice was equally fierce. "I'll admit that when I first saw you, my initial reaction was purely physical. A healthy combination of testosterone and lust.What guy could look at you and not feel what I felt? You're beautiful, and bright and independent.And did I mention beautiful?" That brought a smile to her eyes. "But the more I got to know you,the more I realized you weren't just a pretty package.I started learning that you were someone special.Someone I wanted to treat very carefully." "And now?" "I'm still battling lust." There was that grin,sending an arrow straight through her heart. "But there's more here.Much more." He stared at her mouth with naked hunger. "I've waited a long time for this,but now I'm going to have to kiss you.And when I do,I can't promise to stop." She stood very still,heart pounding. "How do you know I'll ask you to?" "Careful.Because unless you tell me to stop,you have to know where this is heading..." In reply she stood on tiptoe to brush her mouth to his,stopping his words. Stopping his heart. He drew in a deep breath and drew her a little away to stare into her eyes. "I hope you meant that." "With all my heart." "Thank God." He dragged her against him and covered her lips with his.Inside her mouth he whispered, "Because, baby,I mean this." She'd waited so long.So long.And it was worth all the time she'd spent waiting and wondering.Here was a man who knew how to kiss a woman and make her feel like the only one in the universe. This kiss was so hot,so hungry, she felt the rush of desire from the top of her head all the way to her toes.And still it spun on and on until she became lost in it. He changed the angle of the kiss and took it deeper until Marilee could feel her flesh heating, her bones melting like hot wax. She wanted to be sensible,to move slowly, but her mind refused to cooperate. With a single kiss her brain had been wiped clear of every thought but one.She wanted this man.Wanted him now.Desperately. When at last they came up for air, she put a hand to his chest. "I need a minute to catch my breath." "Okay." A second later he dragged her close. "Time's up." Her laughter turned into a sigh as he ran nibbling kisses down her throat until the blood was drumming in her temples.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
Speaking of gendered differences in reaction and action—you’ve talked of a certain “bullying reception” to your book here in New Zealand by a certain set of older male critics. The omniscient narrator, the idea that you “had to be everywhere,” seems to have affronted some male readers, as has the length of the book. Have you experienced this reaction in the UK, too, or in Canada? Has it been a peculiarly New Zealand response, perhaps because of the necessarily small pool of literary competition here? This is a point that has been perhaps overstated. There’s been a lot written about what I said, and in fact the way I think and feel about the reviewing culture we have in New Zealand has changed a lot through reading the responses and objections of others. Initially I used the word “bullying” only to remark that, as we all learn at school, more often than not someone’s objections are more to do with their own shortcomings or failures than with yours, and that’s something that you have to remember when you’re seeing your artistic efforts devalued or dismissed in print. I don’t feel bullied when I receive a negative review, but I do think that some of the early reviewers refused to engage with the book on its own terms, and that refusal seemed to me to have a lot to do with my gender and my age. To even things out, I called attention to the gender and age of those reviewers, which at the time seemed only fair. I feel that it’s very important to say that sexism is a hegemonic problem, written in to all kinds of cultural attitudes that are held by men and women alike. As a culture we are much more comfortable with the idea of the male thinker than the female thinker, simply because there are so many more examples, throughout history, of male thinkers; as an image and as an idea, the male thinker is familiar to us, and acts in most cases as a default. Consequently female thinkers are often unacknowledged and discouraged, sometimes tacitly, sometimes explicitly, sometimes by men, and sometimes by women. I am lucky, following the Man Booker announcement, that my work is now being read very seriously indeed; but that is a privilege conferred for the most part by the status of the prize, and I know that I am the exception rather than the rule. I’d like to see a paradigm shift, and I’m confident that one is on the way, but the first thing that needs to happen is a collective acknowledgment that reviewing culture is gendered—that everything is gendered—and that until each of us makes a conscious effort to address inequality, we will each remain a part of the problem, rather than a part of the solution. Protesting the fact of inequality is like protesting global warming or evolution: it’s a conservative blindness, born out of cowardice and hostility.
Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries)
I soon had an occasion to apply what I had learned from Feller. The Yom Kippur War broke out in 1973, and my only significant contribution to the war effort was to advise high officers in the Israeli Air Force to stop an investigation. The air war initially went quite badly for Israel, because of the unexpectedly good performance of Egyptian ground-to-air missiles. Losses were high, and they appeared to be unevenly distributed. I was told of two squadrons flying from the same base, one of which had lost four planes while the other had lost none. An inquiry was initiated in the hope of learning what it was that the unfortunate squadron was doing wrong. There was no prior reason to believe that one of the squadrons was more effective than the other, and no operational differences were found, but of course the lives of the pilots differed in many random ways, including, as I recall, how often they went home between missions and something about the conduct of debriefings. My advice was that the command should accept that the different outcomes were due to blind luck, and that the interviewing of the pilots should stop. I reasoned that luck was the most likely answer, that a random search for a nonobvious cause was hopeless, and that in the meantime the pilots in the squadron that had sustained losses did not need the extra burden of being made to feel that they and their dead friends were at fault.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
A striking example from the history of writing is the origin of the syllabary devised in Arkansas around 1820 by a Cherokee Indian named Sequoyah, for writing the Cherokee language. Sequoyah observed that white people made marks on paper, and that they derived great advantage by using those marks to record and repeat lengthy speeches. However, the detailed operations of those marks remained a mystery to him, since (like most Cherokees before 1820) Sequoyah was illiterate and could neither speak nor read English. Because he was a blacksmith, Sequoyah began by devising an accounting system to help him keep track of his customers’ debts. He drew a picture of each customer; then he drew circles and lines of various sizes to represent the amount of money owed. Around 1810, Sequoyah decided to go on to design a system for writing the Cherokee language. He again began by drawing pictures, but gave them up as too complicated and too artistically demanding. He next started to invent separate signs for each word, and again became dissatisfied when he had coined thousands of signs and still needed more. Finally, Sequoyah realized that words were made up of modest numbers of different sound bites that recurred in many different words—what we would call syllables. He initially devised 200 syllabic signs and gradually reduced them to 85, most of them for combinations of one consonant and one vowel. As one source of the signs themselves, Sequoyah practiced copying the letters from an English spelling book given to him by a schoolteacher. About two dozen of his Cherokee syllabic signs were taken directly from those letters, though of course with completely changed meanings, since Sequoyah did not know the English meanings. For example, he chose the shapes D, R, b, h to represent the Cherokee syllables a, e, si, and ni, respectively, while the shape of the numeral 4 was borrowed for the syllable se. He coined other signs by modifying English letters, such as designing the signs , , and to represent the syllables yu, sa, and na, respectively. Still other signs were entirely of his creation, such as , , and for ho, li, and nu, respectively. Sequoyah’s syllabary is widely admired by professional linguists for its good fit to Cherokee sounds, and for the ease with which it can be learned. Within a short time, the Cherokees achieved almost 100 percent literacy in the syllabary, bought a printing press, had Sequoyah’s signs cast as type, and began printing books and newspapers. Cherokee writing remains one of the best-attested examples of a script that arose through idea diffusion. We know that Sequoyah received paper and other writing materials, the idea of a writing system, the idea of using separate marks, and the forms of several dozen marks. Since, however, he could neither read nor write English, he acquired no details or even principles from the existing scripts around him. Surrounded by alphabets he could not understand, he instead independently reinvented a syllabary, unaware that the Minoans of Crete had already invented another syllabary 3,500 years previously.
Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel)
Child psychologists Betty Hart and Todd Risley learned the same thing when they recorded hundreds of hours of interactions between children and adults in forty-two families from across a wide socioeconomic spectrum and assessed the children’s development from nine months to three years. Children in well-to-do families, whose parents were typically college-educated professionals, heard an average of 2,153 words an hour spoken to them. In contrast, the children of low-income families heard an average only 616 words per hour. By their third birthday, the children in well-to-do families heard 30 million more words than economically deprived children and the amount of conversation parents had with their infants was directly proportional to IQ test scores assessed at three years of age and the performance in school of these children at ages nine and ten. (Hart and Risley 2003) The exciting part is that Hart and Risley’s research has spawned conscious parenting initiatives thanks to technology in the form of LENA (Language Environment Analysis) devices. LENA devices work like pedometers except they keep track of words rather than steps. The Thirty Million Words Initiative in Chicago is making LENA devices available to parents so they can track the numbers of words they expose their children to. After six weeks, researchers in Chicago found a 32 percent increase in the number of words the children heard. Says Dr. Dana Suskind, Director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative: “Every parent has the ability to grow their children’s brain and impact their future.” (Suskind 2013)
Bruce H. Lipton (The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles)
Postscript, 2005 From the Publisher ON APRIL 7, 2004, the Mid-Hudson Highland Post carried an article about an appearance that John Gatto made at Highland High School. Headlined “Rendered Speechless,” the report was subtitled “Advocate for education reform brings controversy to Highland.” The article relates the events of March 25 evening of that year when the second half of John Gatto’s presentation was canceled by the School Superintendent, “following complaints from the Highland Teachers Association that the presentation was too controversial.” On the surface, the cancellation was in response to a video presentation that showed some violence. But retired student counselor Paul Jankiewicz begged to differ, pointing out that none of the dozens of students he talked to afterwards were inspired to violence. In his opinion, few people opposing Gatto had seen the video presentation. Rather, “They were taking the lead from the teacher’s union who were upset at the whole tone of the presentation.” He continued, “Mr. Gatto basically told them that they were not serving kids well and that students needed to be told the truth, be given real-life learning experiences, and be responsible for their own education. [Gatto] questioned the validity and relevance of standardized tests, the prison atmosphere of school, and the lack of relevant experience given students.” He added that Gatto also had an important message for parents: “That you have to take control of your children’s education.” Highland High School senior Chris Hart commended the school board for bringing Gatto to speak, and wished that more students had heard his message. Senior Katie Hanley liked the lecture for its “new perspective,” adding that ”it was important because it started a new exchange and got students to think for themselves.” High School junior Qing Guo found Gatto “inspiring.” Highland teacher Aliza Driller-Colangelo was also inspired by Gatto, and commended the “risk-takers,” saying that, following the talk, her class had an exciting exchange about ideas. Concluded Jankiewicz, the students “were eager to discuss the issues raised. Unfortunately, our school did not allow that dialogue to happen, except for a few teachers who had the courage to engage the students.” What was not reported in the newspaper is the fact that the school authorities called the police to intervene and ‘restore the peace’ which, ironically enough, was never in the slightest jeopardy as the student audience was well-behaved and attentive throughout. A scheduled evening meeting at the school between Gatto and the Parents Association was peremptorily forbidden by school district authorities in a final assault on the principles of free speech and free assembly… There could be no better way of demonstrating the lasting importance of John Taylor Gatto’s work, and of this small book, than this sorry tale. It is a measure of the power of Gatto’s ideas, their urgency, and their continuing relevance that school authorities are still trying to shut them out 12 years after their initial publication, afraid even to debate them. — May the crusade continue! Chris Plant Gabriola Island, B.C. February, 2005
John Taylor Gatto (Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling)
Equity financing, on the other hand, is unappealing to cooperators because it may mean relinquishing control to outside investors, which is a distinctly capitalist practice. Investors are not likely to buy non-voting shares; they will probably require representation on the board of directors because otherwise their money could potentially be expropriated. “For example, if the directors of the firm were workers, they might embezzle equity funds, refrain from paying dividends in order to raise wages, or dissipate resources on projects of dubious value.”105 In any case, the very idea of even partial outside ownership is contrary to the cooperative ethos. A general reason for traditional institutions’ reluctance to lend to cooperatives, and indeed for the rarity of cooperatives whether related to the difficulty of securing capital or not, is simply that a society’s history, culture, and ideologies might be hostile to the “co-op” idea. Needless to say, this is the case in most industrialized countries, especially the United States. The very notion of a workers’ cooperative might be viscerally unappealing and mysterious to bank officials, as it is to people of many walks of life. Stereotypes about inefficiency, unprofitability, inexperience, incompetence, and anti-capitalism might dispose officials to reject out of hand appeals for financial assistance from co-ops. Similarly, such cultural preconceptions may be an element in the widespread reluctance on the part of working people to try to start a cooperative. They simply have a “visceral aversion” to, and unfamiliarity with, the idea—which is also surely a function of the rarity of co-ops itself. Their rarity reinforces itself, in that it fosters a general ignorance of co-ops and the perception that they’re risky endeavors. Additionally, insofar as an anti-democratic passivity, a civic fragmentedness, a half-conscious sense of collective disempowerment, and a diffuse interpersonal alienation saturate society, this militates against initiating cooperative projects. It is simply taken for granted among many people that such things cannot be done. And they are assumed to require sophisticated entrepreneurial instincts. In most places, the cooperative idea is not even in the public consciousness; it has barely been heard of. Business propaganda has done its job well.106 But propaganda can be fought with propaganda. In fact, this is one of the most important things that activists can do, this elevation of cooperativism into the public consciousness. The more that people hear about it, know about it, learn of its successes and potentials, the more they’ll be open to it rather than instinctively thinking it’s “foreign,” “socialist,” “idealistic,” or “hippyish.” If successful cooperatives advertise their business form, that in itself performs a useful service for the movement. It cannot be overemphasized that the most important thing is to create a climate in which it is considered normal to try to form a co-op, in which that is seen as a perfectly legitimate and predictable option for a group of intelligent and capable unemployed workers. Lenders themselves will become less skeptical of the business form as it seeps into the culture’s consciousness.
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
How I Got That Name Marilyn Chin an essay on assimilation I am Marilyn Mei Ling Chin Oh, how I love the resoluteness of that first person singular followed by that stalwart indicative of “be," without the uncertain i-n-g of “becoming.” Of course, the name had been changed somewhere between Angel Island and the sea, when my father the paperson in the late 1950s obsessed with a bombshell blond transliterated “Mei Ling” to “Marilyn.” And nobody dared question his initial impulse—for we all know lust drove men to greatness, not goodness, not decency. And there I was, a wayward pink baby, named after some tragic white woman swollen with gin and Nembutal. My mother couldn’t pronounce the “r.” She dubbed me “Numba one female offshoot” for brevity: henceforth, she will live and die in sublime ignorance, flanked by loving children and the “kitchen deity.” While my father dithers, a tomcat in Hong Kong trash— a gambler, a petty thug, who bought a chain of chopsuey joints in Piss River, Oregon, with bootlegged Gucci cash. Nobody dared question his integrity given his nice, devout daughters and his bright, industrious sons as if filial piety were the standard by which all earthly men are measured. * Oh, how trustworthy our daughters, how thrifty our sons! How we’ve managed to fool the experts in education, statistic and demography— We’re not very creative but not adverse to rote-learning. Indeed, they can use us. But the “Model Minority” is a tease. We know you are watching now, so we refuse to give you any! Oh, bamboo shoots, bamboo shoots! The further west we go, we’ll hit east; the deeper down we dig, we’ll find China. History has turned its stomach on a black polluted beach— where life doesn’t hinge on that red, red wheelbarrow, but whether or not our new lover in the final episode of “Santa Barbara” will lean over a scented candle and call us a “bitch.” Oh God, where have we gone wrong? We have no inner resources! * Then, one redolent spring morning the Great Patriarch Chin peered down from his kiosk in heaven and saw that his descendants were ugly. One had a squarish head and a nose without a bridge Another’s profile—long and knobbed as a gourd. A third, the sad, brutish one may never, never marry. And I, his least favorite— “not quite boiled, not quite cooked," a plump pomfret simmering in my juices— too listless to fight for my people’s destiny. “To kill without resistance is not slaughter” says the proverb. So, I wait for imminent death. The fact that this death is also metaphorical is testament to my lethargy. * So here lies Marilyn Mei Ling Chin, married once, twice to so-and-so, a Lee and a Wong, granddaughter of Jack “the patriarch” and the brooding Suilin Fong, daughter of the virtuous Yuet Kuen Wong and G.G. Chin the infamous, sister of a dozen, cousin of a million, survived by everbody and forgotten by all. She was neither black nor white, neither cherished nor vanquished, just another squatter in her own bamboo grove minding her poetry— when one day heaven was unmerciful, and a chasm opened where she stood. Like the jowls of a mighty white whale, or the jaws of a metaphysical Godzilla, it swallowed her whole. She did not flinch nor writhe, nor fret about the afterlife, but stayed! Solid as wood, happily a little gnawed, tattered, mesmerized by all that was lavished upon her and all that was taken away!
Marilyn Chin
The Company We Keep So now we have seen that our cells are in relationship with our thoughts, feelings, and each other. How do they factor into our relationships with others? Listening and communicating clearly play an important part in healthy relationships. Can relationships play an essential role in our own health? More than fifty years ago there was a seminal finding when the social and health habits of more than 4,500 men and women were followed for a period of ten years. This epidemiological study led researchers to a groundbreaking discovery: people who had few or no social contacts died earlier than those who lived richer social lives. Social connections, we learned, had a profound influence on physical health.9 Further evidence for this fascinating finding came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania. Epidemiologists were interested in Roseto because of its extremely low rate of coronary artery disease and death caused by heart disease compared to the rest of the United States. What were the town’s residents doing differently that protected them from the number one killer in the United States? On close examination, it seemed to defy common sense: health nuts, these townspeople were not. They didn’t get much exercise, many were overweight, they smoked, and they relished high-fat diets. They had all the risk factors for heart disease. Their health secret, effective despite questionable lifestyle choices, turned out to be strong communal, cultural, and familial ties. A few years later, as the younger generation started leaving town, they faced a rude awakening. Even when they had improved their health behaviors—stopped smoking, started exercising, changed their diets—their rate of heart disease rose dramatically. Why? Because they had lost the extraordinarily close connection they enjoyed with neighbors and family.10 From studies such as these, we learn that social isolation is almost as great a precursor of heart disease as elevated cholesterol or smoking. People connection is as important as cellular connections. Since the initial large population studies, scientists in the field of psychoneuroimmunology have demonstrated that having a support system helps in recovery from illness, prevention of viral infections, and maintaining healthier hearts.11 For example, in the 1990s researchers began laboratory studies with healthy volunteers to uncover biological links to social and psychological behavior. Infected experimentally with cold viruses, volunteers were kept in isolation and monitored for symptoms and evidence of infection. All showed immunological evidence of a viral infection, yet only some developed symptoms of a cold. Guess which ones got sick: those who reported the most stress and the fewest social interactions in their “real life” outside the lab setting.12 We Share the Single Cell’s Fate Community is part of our healing network, all the way down to the level of our cells. A single cell left alone in a petri dish will not survive. In fact, cells actually program themselves to die if they are isolated! Neurons in the developing brain that fail to connect to other cells also program themselves to die—more evidence of the life-saving need for connection; no cell thrives alone. What we see in the microcosm is reflected in the larger organism: just as our cells need to stay connected to stay alive, we, too, need regular contact with family, friends, and community. Personal relationships nourish our cells,
Sondra Barrett (Secrets of Your Cells: Discovering Your Body's Inner Intelligence)
How does the body push the comparatively tiny genome so far? Many researchers want to put the weight on learning and experience, apparently believing that the contribution of the genes is relatively unimportant. But though the ability to learn is clearly one of the genome's most important products, such views overemphasize learning and significantly underestimate the extent to which the genome can in fact guide the construction of enormous complexity. If the tools of biological self-assembly are powerful enough to build the intricacies of the circulatory system or the eye without requiring lessons from the outside world, they are also powerful enough to build the initial complexity of the nervous system without relying on external lessons. The discrepancy melts away as we appreciate the true power of the genome. We could start by considering the fact that the currently accepted figure of 30,000 could well prove to be too low. Thirty thousand (or thereabouts) is, at press time, the best estimate for how many protein-coding genes are in the human genome. But not all genes code for proteins; some, not counted in the 30,000 estimate, code for small pieces of RNA that are not converted into proteins (called microRNA), of "pseudogenes," stretches of DNA, apparently relics of evolution, that do not properly encode proteins. Neither entity is fully understood, but recent reports (from 2002 and 2003) suggest that both may play some role in the all-important process of regulating the IFS that control whether or not genes are expressed. Since the "gene-finding" programs that search the human genome sequence for genes are not attuned to such things-we don't yet know how to identify them reliably-it is quite possible that the genome contains more buried treasure.
Gary F. Marcus (The Birth of the Mind: How a Tiny Number of Genes Creates The Complexities of Human Thought)
The moral here is that nature and nurture should not be opposed. Pure learning, in the absence of any innate constraints, simply does not exist. Any learning algorithm contains, in one way or another, a set of assumptions about the domain to be learned. Rather than trying to learn everything from scratch, it is much more effective to rely on prior assumptions that clearly delineate the basic laws of the domain that must be explored, and integrate these laws into the very architecture of the system. The more innate assumptions there are, the faster learning is (provided, of course, that these assumptions are correct!). This is universally true. It would be wrong, for example, to think that the AlphaGo Zero software, which trained itself in Go by playing against itself, started from nothing: its initial representation included, among other things, knowledge of the topography and symmetries of the game, which divided the search space by a factor of eight. Our brain too is molded with assumptions of all kinds. Shortly, we will see that, at birth, babies' brains are already organized and knowledgeable. They know, implicitly, that the world is made of things that move only when pushed, without ever interpenetrating each other (solid objects)—and also that it contains much stranger entities that speak and move by themselves (people). No need to learn these laws: since they are true everywhere humans live, our genome hardwires them into the brain, thus constraining and speeding up learning. Babies do not have to learn everything about the world: their brains are full of innate constraints, and only the specific parameters that vary unpredictably (such as face shape, eye color, tone of voice, and individual tastes of the people around them) remain to be acquired.
Stanislas Dehaene (How We Learn: Why Brains Learn Better Than Any Machine . . . for Now)
Now to picture the mechanism of this process of construction and not merely its progressive extension, we must note that each level is characterized by a new co-ordination of the elements provided—already existing in the form of wholes, though of a lower order—by the processes of the previous level. The sensori-motor schema, the characteristic unit of the system of pre-symbolic intelligence, thus assimilates perceptual schemata and the schemata relating to learned action (these schemata of perception and habit being of the same lower order, since the first concerns the present state of the object and the second only elementary changes of state). The symbolic schema assimilates sensori-motor schemata with differentiation of function; imitative accommodation is extended into imaginal significants and assimilation determines the significates. The intuitive schema is both a co-ordination and a differentiation of imaginal schemata. The concrete operational schema is a grouping of intuitive schemata, which are promoted, by the very fact of their being grouped, to the rank of reversible operations. Finally, the formal schema is simply a system of second-degree operations, and therefore a grouping operating on concrete groupings. Each of the transitions from one of these levels to the next is therefore characterized both by a new co-ordination and by a differentiation of the systems constituting the unit of the preceding level. Now these successive differentiations, in their turn, throw light on the undifferentiated nature of the initial mechanisms, and thus we can conceive both of a genealogy of operational groupings as progressive differentiations, and of an explanation of the pre-operational levels as a failure to differentiate the processes involved. Thus, as we have seen (Chap. 4), sensori-motor intelligence arrives at a kind of empirical grouping of bodily movements, characterized psychologically by actions capable of reversals and detours, and geometrically by what Poincaré called the (experimental) group of displacement. But it goes without saying that, at this elementary level, which precedes all thought, we cannot regard this grouping as an operational system, since it is a system of responses actually effected; the fact is therefore that it is undifferentiated, the displacements in question being at the same time and in every case responses directed towards a goal serving some practical purpose. We might therefore say that at this level spatio-temporal, logico-arithmetical and practical (means and ends) groupings form a global whole and that, in the absence of differentiation, this complex system is incapable of constituting an operational mechanism. At the end of this period and at the beginning of representative thought, on the other hand, the appearance of the symbol makes possible the first form of differentiation: practical groupings (means and ends) on the one hand, and representation on the other. But this latter is still undifferentiated, logico-arithmetical operations not being distinguished from spatio-temporal operations. In fact, at the intuitive level there are no genuine classes or relations because both are still spatial collections as well as spatio-temporal relationships: hence their intuitive and pre-operational character. At 7–8 years, however, the appearance of operational groupings is characterized precisely by a clear differentiation between logico-arithmetical operations that have become independent (classes, relations and despatialized numbers) and spatio-temporal or infra-logical operations. Lastly, the level of formal operations marks a final differentiation between operations tied to real action and hypothetico-deductive operations concerning pure implications from propositions stated as postulates.
Jean Piaget (The Psychology of Intelligence)
I'll bet My. Pinter knows his way around a rifle. She scowled. He probably thought he was a grand shot, anyway. For a man whose lineage was reputedly unsavory, Mr. Pinter was so high in the instep that she privately called him Proud Pinter or Proper Pinter. He'd told Gabe last week that most lords were good for only two things-redistributing funds from their estates into the gaming hells and brothels in London, and ignoring their duty to God and country. She knew he was working for Oliver only because he wanted the money and prestige. Secretly, he held them all in contempt. Which was probably why he was being so snide about her marrying. "Be that as it may," she said, "I'm interested in marriage now." She strode over to the fireplace to warm her hands. "That's why I want you to investigate my potential suitors." "Why me?" She shot him a sideways glance. "Have you forgotten that Oliver hired you initially for that very purpose?" His stiffening posture told her that he had. With a frown, he drew out the notebook and pencil he always seemed to keep in his pocket. "Very well. Exactly what do you want me to find out?" Breathing easier, she left the fire. "The same thing you found out for my siblings-the truth about my potential suitors' finances, their eligibility for marriage, and...well..." He paused in scratching his notes to arch an eyebrow at her. "Yes?" She fiddled nervously with the gold bracelet she wore. This part, he might balk at. "And their secrets. Things I can use in Their likes, their weaknesses, whatever isn't obvious to the world." His expression chilled her even with the fire at her back. "I'm not sure I understand." "Suppose you learn that one of them prefers women in red. That could be useful to me. I would wear red as much as possible." Amusement flashed in his eyes. "And what will you do if they all prefer different colors?" "It's just an example," she said irritably.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
1. Commit to take the lead in the godliness of your relationship. Read the Bible's passages about how men and women and all Christians should treat one another. Especially take the lead in establishing boundaries that will keep you from sexual sin. Assume that this woman is going to be your wife or the wife of some other Christian brother (who might be currently dating your future wife). Treat her as the precious sister in Christ that she is. 2. Decide in advance whether or not you are willing to love a woman in the self-sacrificing, nurturing way the Bible describes. Until you are ready to faithfully hold a woman's heart in your hand, do not enter into a dating relationship. 3. Realizing that God wants you to learn to put her interests ahead of your own, ask her the kinds of things she likes to do and be eager to spend time doing them. 4. Be willing to talk about the relationship. Initiate honest dialogue about how you feel. Do not resent her desire to have the relationship defined, but protect her heart by making your level of commitment clear and thereby making clear the appropriate kind of intimacy to go along with that commitment. 5. Pay attention to her heart. Ask her about her burdens and cares. Seek ways to minister to her and to make her cares your own. Instead of being critical of her, speak words of encouragement and support. 6. Do not be shy in ministering the Word of God to her. Do not preach, but exhort her and call to mind God's promises and God's love for her in Jesus Christ. Make it a primary goal that she will be spiritually stronger by having been in a relationship with you. 7. If something about her bothers you, think about how you can encourage her in that area. Realize that none of us is without flaws. Pray for her weakness and try to strengthen her in that area. If your concerns are enough to deter you from wanting to marry her, let her know in a forthright manner while being as considerate as possible.
Richard D. Phillips (Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating)
The brain is wired to minimize loss . . . [and] to keep you alive. [It] makes the assumption that because you were alive yesterday, what you did previously is safe. Therefore, repeating the past is good for survival. As a result, doing things differently, even if it seems like an improvement, is risky. Perpetuating past behaviors, from the brain’s reptilian perspective, is the safest way. This is why innovation is difficult for most individuals and organizations. Put another way, the brain wants its problems and predicaments solved first because it can’t deal with anything new or different until they are addressed. The brain has no incentive to come up with new ideas if it doesn’t have to. As long as your brain knows you have another out, it will always be content with keeping you alive by coming up with the same ideas that it used before. This suggests that when you decide to get scrappy, a shift occurs and seems to unlock a door. Once that new door opens, you are more capable than ever of getting innovative because your brain has been activated to manage discomfort or challenges first. You’re able to work on a new, perhaps more advanced, level with heightened energy and focus. It’s that initial commitment, that literal act of saying, “I’m going for it!” that stimulates your mind in new and clever ways and ultimately leads to the generation of fresh ideas. Let’s go back to the Greg Hague story. 1. He had a huge goal, which was to pass the Arizona state bar exam. 2. There was a limited time frame as he had only four and a half months to study. 3. He was all in: “I flat out made up my mind I was going to pass.” He decided to go despite the odds. 4. He had to figure out a way to learn a ton of information in a short period of time. His brain adapted, shifted, and developed an entirely new learning system in order to absorb more material, which helped him to pass the Arizona bar and get the top score in the state. It’s weird, right? But it happened.
Terri L. Sjodin (Scrappy: A Little Book About Choosing to Play Big)
1. Each husband’s section opens with an illustrative moniker (for example, “Poor Ernie Diaz,” “Goddamn Don Adler,” “Agreeable Robert Jamison”). Discuss the meaning and significance of some of these descriptions. How do they set the tone for the section that follows? Did you read these characterizations as coming from Evelyn, Monique, an omniscient narrator, or someone else? 2. Of the seven husbands, who was your favorite, and why? Who surprised you the most? 3. Monique notes that hearing Evelyn Hugo’s life story has inspired her to carry herself differently than she would have before. In what ways does Monique grow over the course of the novel? Discuss whether Evelyn also changes by the end of her time with Monique, and if so, what spurs this evolution. 4. On page 147, Monique says, "I have to 'Evelyn Hugo' Evelyn Hugo." What does it mean to "Evelyn Hugo"? Can you think of a time when you might be tempted to "Evelyn Hugo"? 5. Did you trust Evelyn to be a reliable narrator as you were reading? Why, or why not? Did your opinion on this change at all by the conclusion, and if so, why? 6. What role do the news, tabloid, and blog articles interspersed throughout the book serve in the narrative? What, if anything, do we learn about Evelyn’s relationship to the outside world from them? 7. At several points in the novel, such as pages 82–83 and 175–82, Evelyn tells her story through the second person, “you.” How does this kind of narration affect the reading experience? Why do you think she chooses these memories to recount in this way? 8. How do you think Evelyn’s understanding and awareness of sexuality were shaped by her relationship with Billy—the boy who works at the five-and-dime store? How does her sensibility evolve from this initial encounter? As she grows older, to what extent is Evelyn’s attitude toward sex is influenced by those around her? 9. On page 54, Evelyn uses the saying “all’s well that ends well” as part of her explanation for not regretting her actions. Do you think Evelyn truly believes this? Using examples from later in her life, discuss why or why not. How do you think this idea relates to the similar but more negatively associated phrase “the ends justify the means”?
Taylor Jenkins Reid (The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo)
The main ones are the symbolists, connectionists, evolutionaries, Bayesians, and analogizers. Each tribe has a set of core beliefs, and a particular problem that it cares most about. It has found a solution to that problem, based on ideas from its allied fields of science, and it has a master algorithm that embodies it. For symbolists, all intelligence can be reduced to manipulating symbols, in the same way that a mathematician solves equations by replacing expressions by other expressions. Symbolists understand that you can’t learn from scratch: you need some initial knowledge to go with the data. They’ve figured out how to incorporate preexisting knowledge into learning, and how to combine different pieces of knowledge on the fly in order to solve new problems. Their master algorithm is inverse deduction, which figures out what knowledge is missing in order to make a deduction go through, and then makes it as general as possible. For connectionists, learning is what the brain does, and so what we need to do is reverse engineer it. The brain learns by adjusting the strengths of connections between neurons, and the crucial problem is figuring out which connections are to blame for which errors and changing them accordingly. The connectionists’ master algorithm is backpropagation, which compares a system’s output with the desired one and then successively changes the connections in layer after layer of neurons so as to bring the output closer to what it should be. Evolutionaries believe that the mother of all learning is natural selection. If it made us, it can make anything, and all we need to do is simulate it on the computer. The key problem that evolutionaries solve is learning structure: not just adjusting parameters, like backpropagation does, but creating the brain that those adjustments can then fine-tune. The evolutionaries’ master algorithm is genetic programming, which mates and evolves computer programs in the same way that nature mates and evolves organisms. Bayesians are concerned above all with uncertainty. All learned knowledge is uncertain, and learning itself is a form of uncertain inference. The problem then becomes how to deal with noisy, incomplete, and even contradictory information without falling apart. The solution is probabilistic inference, and the master algorithm is Bayes’ theorem and its derivates. Bayes’ theorem tells us how to incorporate new evidence into our beliefs, and probabilistic inference algorithms do that as efficiently as possible. For analogizers, the key to learning is recognizing similarities between situations and thereby inferring other similarities. If two patients have similar symptoms, perhaps they have the same disease. The key problem is judging how similar two things are. The analogizers’ master algorithm is the support vector machine, which figures out which experiences to remember and how to combine them to make new predictions.
Pedro Domingos (The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World)
College students were instructed to sit by themselves for up to fifteen minutes in a sparsely furnished, unadorned room and “entertain themselves with their thoughts.” They were allowed to think about whatever they liked, the only rules being that they should remain in their seat and stay awake. Before they entered the room they were obliged to surrender any means of distraction they had about their person, such as cell phones, books, or writing materials. Afterward, they were asked to rate the experience on various scales. Unsurprisingly, a majority reported that they found it difficult to concentrate and their minds had wandered, with around half saying they didn’t enjoy the experience. A subsequent experiment, however, revealed that many found being left alone in an empty room with nothing to occupy their minds so unpleasant (this is, after all, what makes solitary confinement such a harsh punishment in prisons) that they would rather give themselves electric shocks. In the first part of this experiment, the volunteers were asked to rate the unpleasantness of a shock delivered via electrodes attached to their ankle and say whether they would pay a small amount of money to avoid having to experience it again. In the second part, during which they were left alone with their thoughts for fifteen minutes, they were presented with the opportunity to zap themselves once again. Amazingly, among those who had said they would pay to avoid a repeat experience, 67 percent of the men (12 out of 18) and 25 percent of the women (6 out of 24) opted to shock themselves at least once. One of the women gave herself nine electric shocks. One of the men subjected himself to no fewer than 190 shocks, though he was considered exceptional—a statistical “outlier”—and his results were excluded from the final analysis. In their report for the journal Science, the researchers write, “What is striking is that simply being alone with their own thoughts for 15 minutes was apparently so aversive that it drove many participants to self-administer an electric shock that they had earlier said they would pay to avoid.” This goes a long way toward explaining why many people initially find it so hard to meditate, because to sit quietly with your eyes closed is to invite the mind to wander here, there, and everywhere. In a sense, that is the whole point: we are simply learning to notice when this has happened. So the frustrating realization that your thoughts have been straying—yet again—is a sign of progress rather than failure. Only by noticing the way thoughts ricochet about inside our heads like ball bearings in a pinball machine can we learn to observe them dispassionately and simply let them come to rest, resisting the urge to pull back the mental plunger and fire off more of them. One of the benefits of meditation is that one develops the ability to quiet the mind at will. “Without such training,” the psychologists conclude drily in their paper, “people prefer doing to thinking, even if what they are doing is so unpleasant they would normally pay to avoid it. The untutored mind does not like to be alone with itself.
James Kingsland (Siddhartha's Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment)
Ellen Braun, an accomplished agile manager, noticed that different behaviors emerge over time as telltale signs of a team’s emotional maturity, a key component in their ability to adjust as things happen to them and to get to the tipping point when “an individual’s self interest shifts to alignment with the behaviors that support team achievement” (Braun 2010). It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers. —James Thurber Team Dynamics Survey Ellen created a list of survey questions she first used as personal reflection while she observed teams in action. Using these questions the same way, as a pathway to reflection, an agile coach can gain insight into potential team problems or areas for emotional growth. Using them with the team will be more insightful, perhaps as material for a retrospective where the team has the time and space to chew on the ideas that come up. While the team sprints, though, mull them over on your own, and notice what they tell you about team dynamics (Braun 2010). • How much does humor come into day-to-day interaction within the team? • What are the initial behaviors that the team shows in times of difficulty and stress? • How often are contradictory views raised by team members (including junior team members)? • When contradictory views are raised by team members, how often are they fully discussed? • Based on the norms of the team, how often do team members compromise in the course of usual team interactions (when not forced by circumstances)? • To what extent can any team member provide feedback to any other team member (think about negative and positive feedback)? • To what extent does any team member actually provide feedback to any other team member? • How likely would it be that a team member would discuss issues with your performance or behavior with another team member without giving feedback to you directly (triangulating)? • To what extent do you as an individual get support from your team on your personal career goals (such as learning a new skill from a team member)? • How likely would you be to ask team members for help if it required your admission that you were struggling with a work issue? • How likely would you be to share personal information with the team that made you feel vulnerable? • To what extent is the team likely to bring into team discussions an issue that may create conflict or disagreement within the team? • How likely or willing are you to bring into a team discussion an issue that is likely to have many different conflicting points of view? • If you bring an item into a team discussion that is likely to have many different conflicting points of view, how often does the team reach a consensus that takes into consideration all points of view and feels workable to you? • Can you identify an instance in the past two work days when you felt a sense of warmth or inclusion within the context of your team? • Can you identify an instance in the past two days when you felt a sense of disdain or exclusion within the context of your team? • How much does the team make you feel accountable for your work? Mulling over these questions solo or posing them to the team will likely generate a lot of raw material to consider. When you step back from the many answers, perhaps one or two themes jump out at you, signaling the “big things” to address.
Lyssa Adkins (Coaching Agile Teams: A Companion for ScrumMasters, Agile Coaches, and Project Managers in Transition)
That black horse we used for packin’ up here is the most cantankerous beast alive,” Jake grumbled, rubbing his arm. Ian lifted his gaze from the initials on the tabletop and turned to Jake, making no attempt to hide his amusement. “Bit you, did he?” “Damn right he bit me!” the older man said bitterly. “He’s been after a chuck of me since we left the coach at Hayborn and loaded those sacks on his back to bring up here.” “I warned you he bites anything he can reach. Keep your arm out of his way when you’re saddling him.” “It weren’t my arm he was after, it was my arse! Opened his mouth and went for it, only I saw him outter the corner of my eye and swung around, so he missed.” Jakes’s frown darkened when he saw the amusement in Ian’s expression. “Can’t see why you’ve bothered to feed him all these years. He doesn’t deserve to share a stable with your other horses-beauties they are, every one but him.” “Try slinging packs over the backs of one of those and you’ll see why I took him. He was suitable for using as a pack mule; none of my other cattle would have been,” ian said, frowning as he lifted his head and looked about at the months of accumulated dirt covering everything. “He’s slower’n a pack mule,” Jake replied. “Mean and stubborn and slow,” he concluded, but he, too, was frowning a little as he looked around at the thick layers of dust coating every surface. “Thought you said you’d arranged for some village wenches to come up here and clean and cook fer us. This place is a mess.” “I did. I dictated a message to Peters for the caretaker, asking him to stock the place with food and to have two women come up here to clean and cook. The food is here, and there are chickens out in the barn. He must be having difficulty finding two women to stay up here.” “Comely women, I hope,” Jake said. “Did you tell him to make the wenches comely?” Ian paused in his study of the spiderwebs strewn across the ceiling and cast him an amused look. “You wanted me to tell a seventy-year-old caretaker who’s half-blind to make certain the wenches were comely?” “Couldn’ta hurt ‘t mention it,” Jake grumbled, but he looked chastened. “The village is only twelve miles away. You can always stroll down there if you’ve urgent need of a woman while we’re here. Of course, the trip back up here may kill you,” he joked referring to the winding path up the cliff that seemed to be almost vertical. “Never mind women,” Jake said in an abrupt change of heart, his tanned, weathered face breaking into a broad grin. “I’m here for a fortnight of fishin’ and relaxin’, and that’s enough for any man. It’ll be like the old days, Ian-peace and quiet and naught else. No hoity-toity servants hearin’ every word what’s spoke, no carriages and barouches and matchmaking mamas arrivin’ at your house. I tell you, my boy, though I’ve not wanted to complain about the way you’ve been livin’ the past year, I don’t like these servents o’ yours above half. That’s why I didn’t come t’visit you very often. Yer butler at Montmayne holds his nose so far in t’air, it’s amazin’ he gets any oxhegen, and that French chef o’ yers practically threw me out of his kitchens. That what he called ‘em-his kitchens, and-“ The old seaman abruptly broke off, his expression going from irate to crestfallen, “Ian,” he said anxiously, “did you ever learn t’ cook while we was apart?” “No, did you?” “Hell and damnation, no!” Jake said, appalled at the prospect of having to eat anything he fixed himself.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))