Managing Time Effectively Quotes

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People who violate your boundaries are thieves. They steal time that doesn’t belong to them.
Elizabeth Grace Saunders (The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can't Ignore You)
If you commit to giving more time than you have to spend, you will constantly be running from time debt collectors.
Elizabeth Grace Saunders (The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can't Ignore You)
Time Progression: Wasting >>Spending >> Managing >> Investing
Elizabeth Grace Saunders (The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can't Ignore You)
Time is the ultimate democracy. Rich and poor, young and old, male and female: all have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week.
Elizabeth Grace Saunders (The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can't Ignore You)
Because it is occasionally possible, just for brief moments, to find the words that will unlock the doors of all those many mansions inside the head and express something - perhaps not much, just something - of the crush of information that presses in on us from the way a crow flies over and the way a man walks and the look of a street and from what we did one day a dozen years ago. Words that will express something of the deep complexity that makes us precisely the way we are, from the momentary effect of the barometer to the force that created men distinct from trees. Something of the inaudible music that moves us along in our bodies from moment to moment like water in a river. Something of the spirit of the snowflake in the water of the river. Something of the duplicity and the relativity and the merely fleeting quality of all this. Something of the almighty importance of it and something of the utter meaninglessness. And when words can manage something of this, and manage it in a moment, of time, and in that same moment, make out of it all the vital signature of a human being - not of an atom, or of a geometrical diagram, or of a heap of lenses - but a human being, we call it poetry.
Ted Hughes
If you can't manage yourself, you can't manage your time. Discipline and self-control are what get you on track to execute your plans by managing your time effectively!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
I have a plan, and I’m following it. I can focus on doing what is within my control, and I don’t need to be afraid of the results.
Elizabeth Grace Saunders (The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can't Ignore You)
Reality always wins.
Elizabeth Grace Saunders (The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can't Ignore You)
People submit too easily to change from others. And yet, for some reason, whenever they consider changing themselves, the focus is always on what they are giving up, never what they are about to gain
Chris Murray (The Extremely Successful Salesman's Club)
Trust me. If you do not decide where you are heading, and refuse to take the appropriate action, you will end up being shaped into what others would have you become. Then any change will not be made for your benefit but for theirs.
Chris Murray (The Extremely Successful Salesman's Club)
Time is not a means to keep or prove your worth in the world, but a means to experience the richness of all that is.
Elizabeth Grace Saunders (The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can't Ignore You)
Effective people lead their lives and manage their relationships around principles; ineffective people attempt to manage their time around priorities and their tasks around goals. Think effectiveness with people; efficiency with things.
Stephen R. Covey (Principle-Centered Leadership)
Everything you desire is always just outside your comfort zone, dear boy. If it wasn't you would already possess it, would you not?
Chris Murray (The Extremely Successful Salesman's Club)
During the time of stress, the “fight-or-flight” response is on and the self-repair mechanism is disabled. It is then when we say that the immunity of the body goes down and the body is exposed to the risk for disease. Meditation activates relaxation, when the sympathetic nervous system is turned off and the parasympathetic nervous system is turned on, and natural healing starts.
Annie Wilson (Effect of Meditation on Cardiovascular Health, Immunity & Brain Fitness)
At cocktail parties, I played the part of a successful businessman's wife to perfection. I smiled, I made polite chit-chat, and I dressed the part. Denial and rationalization were two of my most effective tools in working my way through our social obligations. I believed that playing the roles of wife and mother were the least I could do to help support Tom's career. During the day, I was a puzzle with innumerable pieces. One piece made my family a nourishing breakfast. Another piece ferried the kids to school and to soccer practice. A third piece managed to trip to the grocery store. There was also a piece that wanted to sleep for eighteen hours a day and the piece that woke up shaking from yet another nightmare. And there was the piece that attended business functions and actually fooled people into thinking I might have something constructive to offer. I was a circus performer traversing the tightwire, and I could fall off into a vortex devoid of reality at any moment. There was, and had been for a very long time, an intense sense of despair. A self-deprecating voice inside told me I had no chance of getting better. I lived in an emotional black hole. p20-21, talking about dissociative identity disorder (formerly multiple personality disorder).
Suzie Burke (Wholeness: My Healing Journey from Ritual Abuse)
For a torture to be effective, the pain has to be spread out; it has to come at regular intervals, with no end in sight. The water falls , drop after drop after drop, like the second hand of a watch, carving up time. The shock of each individual drop is insignificant, but the sensation is impossible to ignore. At first, one might manage to think about other things, but after five hours, after ten hours, it becomes unendurable. The repeated stimulation excites the nerves to a point where they literally explode, and every sensation in the body is absorbed into that one spot on the forehead---indeed, you come to feel that you are nothing but a forehead, into which a fine needle is being forced millimeter by millimeter. You can’t sleep or even speak, hypnotized by a suffering that is greater than any mere pain. In general, the victim goes mad before a day has passed.
Yōko Ogawa (Revenge)
Once upon a time there was a mother who, in order to become a mother, had agreed to change her name; who set herself the task of falling in love with her husband bit-by-bit, but who could n ever manage to love one part, the part, curiously enough, which made possible her motherhood; whose feet were hobbled by verrucas and whose shoulders were stooped beneath the accumulating guilts of the world; whose husband's unlovable organ failed to recover from the effects of a freeze; and who, like her husband, finally succumbed to the mysteries of telephones, spending long minutes listening to the words of wrong-number callers . . . shortly after my tenth birthday (when I had recovered from the fever which has recently returned to plague me after an interval of nearly twenty-one years), Amina Sinai resumed her recent practice of leaving suddenly, and always immediately after a wrong number, on urgent shopping trips.
Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children)
Rules and consequences are not the best tools for classroom management. Giving students goals and rewards is more effective. It’s about putting systems in place that actively incentivize good behavior and passively decentivize bad behavior. In this way, as a teacher you can spend less time on managing behaviors and more time on educating and leading.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
Being relevant to your customers only when you’re trying to sell something means choosing to be irrelevant to them for the rest of the time.
Stan Slap
Success for Managers means: I want to be in healthy relationships. I want a real connection with people I spend so much time with.
Stan Slap
Your time is your life.
Elizabeth Grace Saunders (The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can't Ignore You)
Gallup found that the key drivers of productivity for employees include whether they feel cared for by a supervisor or someone at work; whether they have received recognition or praise during the past seven days; and whether someone at work regularly encourages their development. Put another way, the ability to communicate consistently positive energy lies at the heart of effective management.
Jim Loehr (The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal)
I don’t think the feeling of anxiety ever completely goes away; we’re even limited, apparently, in our capacity to embrace our limitations. But I’m aware of no other time management technique that’s half as effective as just facing the way things truly are.
Oliver Burkeman (Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals)
There will be plenty of other problems in the future. This is as good a time as any to get ahead of them.
Stan Slap
the best thinking in the area of time management can be captured in a single phrase: Organize and execute around priorities.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
I believe that if you truly understand the importance of relaxation, you will make time for it in your schedule.
Gudjon Bergmann (Yes! You Can Manage Stress: Regain Control of Your Life Using the Five Habits of Effective Stress Management)
If you decide to focus on one thing at a time, instead of trying to solve everything at once, and just do that one thing, then you will feel a sudden decrease in stress.
Gudjon Bergmann (Yes! You Can Manage Stress: Regain Control of Your Life Using the Five Habits of Effective Stress Management)
Time utilization and effectiveness is a major marker for success
Sunday Adelaja
Time investment is the NEW Time Management.
Elizabeth Grace Saunders (The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: Achieve More Success with Less Stress: Foreword by Cal Newport, author of So Good They Can't Ignore You)
Make sure you understand when best you are effective and then schedule your most important tasks within that time of the day.
Sunday Adelaja (How To Become Great Through Time Conversion: Are you wasting time, spending time or investing time?)
Everyone is a business person. You must be in the business of managing your time. Managing your time means managing your life. Good time managers are good life managers, and vice versa.
Archibald Marwizi (Making Success Deliberate)
Consider your time valuable and manage it effectively and efficiently. Don’t waste it. Produce high-quality products that will inspire others. Make it a point of duty to add value to your work during the progress. Don’t settle to less; make it your best, strive to win the test!
Joseph S. Spence Sr.
I am not a victim of circumstance, situation, nor any external condition of life. I am an active participant in the creation of my reality, meaning, I am actively participating in the creation of what I think, what I feel, what I spend my time on, who I spend my time with, what I consume mentally and physically, and all the blessings and contrastive experiences that come my way. Every effect has a cause and every cause has an effect, all of which include me because it is my life to live, my life to use, and my life to enjoy.
Alaric Hutchinson
The answer to the question What really works? is simple: Nothing really works, at least not all the time. That’s not the nature of the business world. But that insight, however accurate, isn’t of much comfort. Management
Philip M. Rosenzweig (The Halo Effect: ... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers)
If all you are doing is spending time with the struggling members of your church and you are not building proactively into your church's culture, and you are being shortsighted and limiting the effectiveness of your ministry.
James MacDonald (Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling: Changing Lives with God's Changeless Truth)
Anything you might want to accomplish—executing a project at work, getting a new job, learning a new skill, starting a business—requires finding and putting to use the right information. Your professional success and quality of life depend directly on your ability to manage information effectively. According to the New York Times, the average person’s daily consumption of information now adds up to a remarkable 34 gigabytes.1 A separate study cited by the Times estimates that we consume the equivalent of 174 full newspapers’ worth of content each and every day, five times higher than in 1986.2 Instead of empowering us, this deluge of information often overwhelms us. Information Overload has become Information Exhaustion, taxing our mental resources and leaving us constantly anxious that we’re forgetting something.
Tiago Forte (Building a Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your Creative Potential)
The day is 24 hours; 6 hours we sleep, so you have left 18 hours. So don’t ever give me this thing "I’m working 12 hours so I don’t have time to exercise and to work out." Or "I don’t have time to study another language" and all these kind of things. 18 hours; so utilize the 18 hours, that’s what I’ve always believed in, and I feel like that’s the only way you can get ahead.
Arnold Schwarzenegger
By weaponizing the discourse of human rights to justify the use of force against governments that resisted the Washington consensus, this group of well-connected liberals was able to stir support where the neocons could not. Their brand of interventionism appealed directly to the sensibility of the Democratic Party's metropolitan base, large swaths of academia, the foundation-funded human rights NGO complex, and the New York Times editorial board. The xhibition of atrocities allegedly committed by adversarial governments, either by Western-funded civil society groups, major human rights organizations or the mainstream press, was the military humanists' stock in trade, enabling them to mask imperial designs behind a patina of "genocide prevention." With this neat tactic, they effectively neutralized progressive antiwar elements and tarred those who dared to protest their wars as dictator apologists.
Max Blumenthal (The Management of Savagery: How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump)
To manage product development effectively, we must recognize that valuable new information is constantly arriving throughout the development cycle. Rather than remaining frozen in time, locked to our original plan, we must learn to make good economic choices using this emerging information.
Donald G. Reinertsen (The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development)
We'll get into the plane and you'll have a cup of coffee, even a sip of brandy is permissible. And you'll think. Think hard. So hard I can hear your brains creaking. And it will be very good if by the time we reach Edinburgh you already know how to get the Crown of All Things. Because we don't have any time to spare. Only twelve hours until the bomb goes off." "You bastard," I said. "No, I'm a highly effective personnel manager," Edgar said, with a smile.
Sergei Lukyanenko (The Last Watch (Watch, #4))
In research presented by the American Psychological Association, they found that not only is productivity limited when you do two or more things at the same time, it is severely limited. They discovered that switching back and forth between two tasks can lessen your productivity time by as much as 40%. When you do something,
George Ilian (Getting Things Done with 100+ Instant Productivity Hacks! Includes Over 100 Productivity Tips to Help You Get Things Done, Improve Time Management & Beat Procrastination With Highly Effective Habits)
Speech therapy is an art that deserves to be more widely known. You cannot imagine the acrobatics your tongue mechanically performs in order to produce all the sounds of a language. Just now I am struggling with the letter l, a pitiful admission for an editor in chief who cannot even pronounce the name of his own magazine! On good days, between coughing fits, I muster enough energy and wind to be able to puff out one or two phonemes. On my birthday, Sandrine managed to get me to pronounce the whole alphabet more or less intelligibly. I could not have had a better present. It was as if those twenty-six letters and been wrenched from the void; my own hoarse voice seemed to emanate from a far-off country. The exhausting exercise left me feeling like a caveman discovering language for the first time. Sometimes the phone interrupts our work, and I take advantage of Sandrine's presence to be in touch with loved ones, to intercept and catch passing fragments of life, the way you catch a butterfly. My daughter, Celeste, tells me of her adventures with her pony. In five months she will be nine. My father tells me how hard it is to stay on his feet. He is fighting undaunted through his ninety-third year. These two are the outer links of the chain of love that surrounds and protects me. I often wonder about the effect of these one-way conversations on those at the other end of the line. I am overwhelmed by them. How dearly I would love to be able to respond with something other than silence to these tender calls. I know that some of them find it unbearable. Sweet Florence refuses to speak to me unless I first breathe noisily into the receiver that Sandrine holds glued to my ear. "Are you there, Jean-Do?" she asks anxiously over the air. And I have to admit that at times I do not know anymore.
Jean-Dominique Bauby (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
Our culture reasons that because we fell there is not enough time, we should increase our pace, multitask, and fit more into our already overbooked days. But even though it is counterintuitive to popular wisdom, perhaps the more effective response to the limits of time is to live more fully in the moment, to savor it and expand it.
Carrie Newcomer (A Permeable Life: Poems & Essays)
Senior engineers can develop bad habits, and one of the worst is the tendency to lecture and debate with anyone who does not understand them or who disagrees with what they are saying. To work successfully with a newcomer or a more junior teammate, you must be able to listen and communicate in a way that person can understand, even if you have to try several times to get it right. Software development is a team sport in most companies, and teams have to communicate effectively to get anything done.
Camille Fournier (The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change)
In Hebrew, the Lord’s language, the word for time is ZeMaN, which is linked to the word for invitation. This serves to remind us that the passage of time is an invitation to make the most of it, to manage it effectively, and to integrate our understanding of how the world works with a true and accurate perception of the reality of time.
Daniel Lapin (Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance)
Your crises and problems would shrink to manageable proportions because you would be thinking ahead, working on the roots, doing the preventive things that keep situations from developing into crises in the first place. In time management jargon, this is called the Pareto Principle—80 percent of the results flow out of 20 percent of the activities.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
I'll be right here. Good luck, or break a leg, or something.” As Jay and Gregory turned and headed into the crowd, my traitorous eyes returned to the corner and found another pair or eyes staring darkly back. I dropped my gaze for three full seconds, and then lifted my eyes again, hesitant. The drummer was still staring at me, oblivious to the three girls trying to win back his attention. He put up one finger at the girls and said something that looked like, “Excuse me.” Oh, my goodness. Was he...? Oh, no. Yes, he was walking this way. My nerves shot into high alert. I looked around, but nobody else was near. When I looked back up, there he was, standing right in front of me. Good gracious, he was sexy-a word that had not existed in my personal vocabulary until that moment. This guy was sexy like it was his job or something. He looked straight into my eyes, which threw me off guard, because nobody ever looked me in the eye like that. Maybe Patti and Jay, but they didn't hold my stare like he was doing now. He didn't look away, and I found that I couldn't take my gaze off those blue eyes. “Who are you?” he asked in a blunt, almost confrontational way. I blinked. It was the strangest greeting I'd ever received. “I'm...Anna.” “Right. Anna. How very nice.” I tried to focus on his words and not his luxuriously accented voice, which made everything sound lovely. He leaned in closer. “But who are you?” What did that mean? Did I need to have some sort of title or social standing to enter his presence? “I just came with my friend Jay?” Oh, I hated when I got nervous and started talking in questions. I pointed in the general direction of the guys, but he didn't take his eyes off me. I began rambling. “They just wrote some songs. Jay and Gregory. That they wanted you to hear. Your band, I mean. They're really...good?” His eyes roamed all around my body, stopping to evaluate my sad, meager chest. I crossed my arms. When his gaze landed on that stupid freckle above my lip, I was hit by the scent of oranges and limes and something earthy, like the forest floor. It was pleasant in a masculine way. “Uh-huh.” He was closer to my face now, growling in that deep voice, but looking into my eyes again. “Very cute. And where is your angel?” My what? Was that some kind of British slang for boyfriend? I didn't know how to answer without continuing to sound pitiful. He lifted his dark eyebrows, waiting. “If you mean Jay, he's over there talking to some man in a suit. But he's not my boyfriend or my angel or whatever.” My face flushed with heat and I tightened my arms over my chest. I'd never met anyone with an accent like his, and I was ashamed of the effect it had on me. He was obviously rude, and yet I wanted him to keep talking to me. It didn't make any sense. His stance softened and he took a step back, seeming confused, although I still couldn't read his emotions. Why didn't he show any colors? He didn't seem drunk or high. And that red thing...what was that? It was hard not to stare at it. He finally looked over at Jay, who was deep in conversation with the manager-type man. “Not your boyfriend, eh?” He was smirking at me now. I looked away, refusing to answer. “Are you certain he doesn't fancy you?” Kaidan asked. I looked at him again. His smirk was now a naughty smile. “Yes,” I assured him with confidence. “I am.” “How do you know?” I couldn't very well tell him that the only time Jay's color had shown mild attraction to me was when I accidentally flashed him one day as I was taking off my sweatshirt, and my undershirt got pulled up too high. And even then it lasted only a few seconds before our embarrassment set in.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
We shouldn't let our envy of distinguished masters of the arts distract us from the wonder of how each of us gets new ideas. Perhaps we hold on to our superstitions about creativity in order to make our own deficiencies seem more excusable. For when we tell ourselves that masterful abilities are simply unexplainable, we're also comforting ourselves by saying that those superheroes come endowed with all the qualities we don't possess. Our failures are therefore no fault of our own, nor are those heroes' virtues to their credit, either. If it isn't learned, it isn't earned. When we actually meet the heroes whom our culture views as great, we don't find any singular propensities––only combinations of ingredients quite common in themselves. Most of these heroes are intensely motivated, but so are many other people. They're usually very proficient in some field--but in itself we simply call this craftmanship or expertise. They often have enough self-confidence to stand up to the scorn of peers--but in itself, we might just call that stubbornness. They surely think of things in some novel ways, but so does everyone from time to time. And as for what we call "intelligence", my view is that each person who can speak coherently already has the better part of what our heroes have. Then what makes genius appear to stand apart, if we each have most of what it takes? I suspect that genius needs one thing more: in order to accumulate outstanding qualities, one needs unusually effective ways to learn. It's not enough to learn a lot; one also has to manage what one learns. Those masters have, beneath the surface of their mastery, some special knacks of "higher-order" expertise, which help them organize and apply the things they learn. It is those hidden tricks of mental management that produce the systems that create those works of genius. Why do certain people learn so many more and better skills? These all-important differences could begin with early accidents. One child works out clever ways to arrange some blocks in rows and stacks; a second child plays at rearranging how it thinks. Everyone can praise the first child's castles and towers, but no one can see what the second child has done, and one may even get the false impression of a lack of industry. But if the second child persists in seeking better ways to learn, this can lead to silent growth in which some better ways to learn may lead to better ways to learn to learn. Then, later, we'll observe an awesome, qualitative change, with no apparent cause--and give to it some empty name like talent, aptitude, or gift.
Marvin Minsky (The Society of Mind)
In all death penalty cases, spending time with clients is important. Developing the trust of clients is not only necessary to manage the complexities of the litigation & deal with the stress of a potential execution; it's also key to effective advocacy. A client's life often depends on his lawyer's ability to create a mitigation narrative that contextualizes his poor decisions or violent behavior. Uncovering things about someone's background that no one has previously discovered--things that might be hard to discuss but are critically important--requires trust. Getting someone to acknowledge he has been the victim of child sexual abuse, neglect, or abandonment won't happen without the kind of comfort that takes hours and multiple visits to develop. Talking about sports, TV, popular culture, or anything else the client wants to discuss is absolutely appropriate to building a relationship that makes effective work possible.
Bryan Stevenson (Just Mercy)
Thus Marx begins his attack on the liberal concept of freedom. The freedom of the market is not freedom at all. It is a fetishistic illusion. Under capitalism, individuals surrender to the discipline of abstract forces (such as the hidden hand of the market made much of by Adam Smith) that effectively govern their relations and choices. I can make something beautiful and take it to market, but if I don’t manage to exchange it then it has no value. Furthermore, I won’t have enough money to buy commodities to live. Market forces, which none of us individually control, regulate us. And part of what Marx wants to do in Capital is talk about this regulatory power that occurs even “in the midst of the accidental and ever-fluctuating exchange relations between the products.” Supply and demand fluctuations generate price fluctuations around some norm but cannot explain why a pair of shoes on average trades for four shirts. Within all the confusions of the marketplace, “the labour-time socially necessary to produce [commodities] asserts itself as a regulative law of nature. In the same way, the law of gravity asserts itself when a person’s house collapses on top of him” (168). This parallel between gravity and value is interesting: both are relations and not things, and both have to be conceptualized as immaterial but objective.
David Harvey (A Companion to Marx's Capital)
It was time to confront everything I had hated about the Navy as I climbed up through its ranks, and fix it all. Though the goal was presumptuous, I told myself that it was important that I try to do this. I might never get promoted again, but I decided that the risk was worth it. I wanted a life I could be proud of. I wanted to have a positive effect on young people’s lives. I wanted to create the best organization I could. And I didn’t want to squander this leadership opportunity. I have learned over and over that once you squander an opportunity, you can never get it back.
D. Michael Abrashoff (It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy)
If the government turns a blind eye to striking union members who use violence against employers or “scabs” (strike breakers), while at the same time the government stands ready to use its police power to prevent management from hiring armed personnel to disperse the picketing union members, then the union is implicitly allowed to set its own minimum wage rate for the firm being targeted. The economic effects are the same as with an explicit government-imposed minimum wage: institutional unemployment, which in such cases falls disproportionately on lower-skilled workers outside of the union.
Robert P. Murphy (Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action)
Here’s the short version of how to practice mindfuless: 1. Start with two minutes. For two minutes a day, direct your attention to your breath: the way the air comes into your body and your chest and belly expand, and the way the breath leaves your body and your chest and belly deflate. 2. The first thing that will happen is your mind will wander to something else. That’s normal. That’s healthy. That’s actually the point. Notice that your mind wandered, let those extraneous thoughts go—you can return to them as soon as the two minutes are up—and allow your attention to return to your breath. 3. Noticing that your mind wandered and then returning your attention to your breath is the real work of mindfulness. It’s not so much about paying attention to your breath as it is about noticing what you’re paying attention to without judgment, and making a choice about whether you want to pay attention to it. What you’re “mindful” of is both your breath and your attention to your breath. By practicing this skill of noticing what you’re paying attention to, you are teaching yourself to be in control of your brain, so that your brain is not in control of you. This regular two-minute practice will gradually result in periodic moments throughout the day when you notice what you’re paying attention to and then decide if that’s what you want to pay attention to right now, or if you want to pay attention to something else. What you pay attention to matters less than how you pay attention. This is a sideways strategy for weeding trauma out of your garden. It’s a way of simply noticing a weed and then deciding if you want to water it or not, pull it or not, fertilize it or not. The weed of trauma will gradually disappear as long as at least half the time you choose not to nurture it. And the more you choose to withdraw your protection from the trauma, the faster it will wither and die. Mindfulness is good for everyone and everything. It is to your mind what exercise and green vegetables are to your body. If you change only one thing in your life as a result of reading this book, make it this daily two-minute practice. The practice grants the opportunity to “cultivate deep respect for emotions,” differentiating their causes from their effects and granting you choice over how you manage them.
Emily Nagoski (Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life)
Should you happen to be possessed of a certain verbal acuity coupled with a relentless, hair-trigger humor and surface cheer spackling over a chronic melancholia and loneliness - a grotesquely caricatured version of your deepest self, which you trot out at the slightest provocation to endearing and glib comic effect, thus rendering you the kind of fellow who is beloved by all yet loved by none, all of it to distract, however fleetingly, from the cold and dead-faced truth that with each passing year you face the unavoidable certainty of a solitary future in which you will perish one day while vainly attempting the Heimlich maneuver on yourself over the back of a kitchen chair - then this confirmation that you have triumphed again and managed to gull yet another mark, except this time it was the one person you’d hoped might be immune to your ever-creakier, puddle-shallow, sideshow-barker variation on adorable, even though you’d been launching this campaign weekly with a single-minded concentration from day one - well, it conjures up feelings that are best described as mixed, to say the least.
David Rakoff (Half Empty)
The she-monster is hardly a new phenomenon. The idea of a female untamed nature which must be leashed or else will wreak havoc closely reflects mythological heroes’ struggles against monsters. Greek myth alone offers a host - of Ceres, Harpies, Sirens, Moirae. Associated with fate and death in various ways, they move swiftly, sometimes on wings; birds of prey are their closest kin - the Greeks didn’t know about dinosaurs - and they seize as in the word raptor. But seizure also describes the effect of the passions on the body; inner forces, looser, madness, arte, folly, personified in Homer and the tragedies as feminine, snatch and grab the interior of the human creature and take possession.
Marina Warner (Managing Monsters: Six Myths of Our Time: The Reith Lectures 1994)
Towards the preservation of your government, and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. In all the changes to which you may be invited, remember that time and habit are at least as necessary to fix the true character of governments as of other human institutions; that experience is the surest standard by which to test the real tendency of the existing constitution of a country; that facility in changes, upon the credit of mere hypothesis and opinion, exposes to perpetual change, from the endless variety of hypothesis and opinion; and remember, especially, that for the efficient management of your common interests, in a country so extensive as ours, a government of as much vigor as is consistent with the perfect security of liberty is indispensable.
George Washington (George Washington's Farewell Address (Books of American Wisdom))
The child teaches the adult something else about love: that genuine love should involve a constant attempt to interpret with maximal generosity what might be going on, at any time, beneath the surface of difficult and unappealing behaviour. The parent has to second-guess what the cry, the kick, the grief or the anger is really about. And what marks out this project of interpretation – and makes it so different from what occurs in the average adult relationship – is its charity. Parents are apt to proceed from the assumption that their children, though they may be troubled or in pain, are fundamentally good. As soon as the particular pin that is jabbing them is correctly identified, they will be restored to native innocence. When children cry, we don’t accuse them of being mean or self-pitying; we wonder what has upset them. When they bite, we know they must be frightened or momentarily vexed. We are alive to the insidious effects that hunger, a tricky digestive tract or a lack of sleep may have on mood. How kind we would be if we managed to import even a little of this instinct into adult relationships – if here, too, we could look past the grumpiness and viciousness and recognize the fear, confusion and exhaustion which almost invariably underlie them. This is what it would mean to gaze upon the human race with love.
Alain de Botton (The Course of Love)
One day, I think, we'll invent the most impressive broom an interrogating mind might ever attest to seeing. Enormous, this thing would be, and whole formidable chōbu high and with bristles as coarse and catching as the most perniciously effective cleaning tool. And we will invent a mess esteemed and distinguished enough to satisfy the functions of our enormous, genius broom, and the time will converge wherein both the mess and the broom will not do, so what then, but manufacture something bigger, and more furious, and less manageable?
Kirk Marshall (A Solution to Economic Depression in Little Tokyo, 1953)
The manager thunks down a couple of steps, glares at her, glares at her for rather a long time. The manager, clearly, is tempted. That momentary glimpse of flesh has been ricocheting around in his brain for half an hour. He is wracking his mind with vast cosmological dilemmas. Y.T., hopes that he does not try anything, because the dentata's effects can be unpredictable. "Make up your fucking mind," she says. It works. This fresh burst of culture shock rattles the jeek out of his ethical conundrum. He gives Y.T. a disapproving glower -- she, after all, forced him to be attracted to her, forced him to get horny, made his head swim -- she didn't have to get arrested, did she? -- and so on top of everything else he's angry with her. As if he has a right to be. This is the gender that invented the polio vaccine?
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
Beyond the speculative and often fraudulent froth that characterizes much of neoliberal financial manipulation, there lies a deeper process that entails the springing of ‘the debt trap’ as a primary means of accumulation by dispossession. Crisis creation, management, and manipulation on the world stage has evolved into the fine art of deliberative redistribution of wealth from poor countries to the rich. I documented the impact of Volcker’s interest rate increase on Mexico earlier. While proclaiming its role as a noble leader organizing ‘bail-outs’ to keep global capital accumulation on track, the US paved the way to pillage the Mexican economy. This was what the US Treasury–Wall Street–IMF complex became expert at doing everywhere. Greenspan at the Federal Reserve deployed the same Volcker tactic several times in the 1990s. Debt crises in individual countries, uncommon during the 1960s, became very frequent during the 1980s and 1990s. Hardly any developing country remained untouched, and in some cases, as in Latin America, such crises became endemic. These debt crises were orchestrated, managed, and controlled both to rationalize the system and to redistribute assets. Since 1980, it has been calculated, ‘over fifty Marshall Plans (over $4.6 trillion) have been sent by the peoples at the Periphery to their creditors in the Center’. ‘What a peculiar world’, sighs Stiglitz, ‘in which the poor countries are in effect subsidizing the richest.
David Harvey (A Brief History of Neoliberalism)
The harder you struggle to fit everything in, the more of your time you’ll find yourself spending on the least meaningful things. … The reason for this effect is straightforward: the more firmly you believe it ought to be possible to find time for everything, the less pressure you’ll feel to ask whether any given activity is the best use for a portion of your time. Whenever you encounter some potential new item for your to-do list or your social calendar, you’ll be strongly biased in favor of accepting it, because you’ll assume you needn’t sacrifice any other tasks or opportunities in order to make space for it … If you never stop to ask yourself if the sacrifice is worth it, your days will automatically begin to fill not just with more things, but with more trivial or tedious things, because they’ve never had to clear the hurdle of being judged more important than something else.
Oliver Burkeman (Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals)
Ultimately, what helped me understand addiction and how I came to be ensnared was first realizing that we all suffer some degree of addiction. While not all of us give our lives over to it as much as I did, or get tangled up in chemical addictions, the fact remains that all humans suffer, all look outside themselves to manage that suffering, and all get stuck in feedback loops that run through the same wiring in our brain that alcohol addiction runs through. The second thing that helped me pull apart my own addiction, and thus understand how to approach it and overcome it, was breaking it up into two distinct parts: the root causes, or the things that drive us out of ourselves to cope, and the cycle of addiction, or what happens to us biologically, spiritually, socially, and psychologically over time when we use an effective but addictive substance or behavior in an attempt to regulate ourselves. I call it the Two-Part Problem, and in order to heal, we need to address both parts.
Holly Whitaker (Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol)
As you renew your mental dimension, you reinforce your personal management (Habit 3). As you plan, you force your mind to recognize high leverage Quadrant II activities, priority goals, and activities to maximize the use of your time and energy, and you organize and execute your activities around your priorities. As you become involved in continuing education, you increase your knowledge base and you increase your options. Your economic security does not lie in your job; it lies in your own power to produce—to think, to learn, to create, to adapt. That’s true financial independence. It’s not having wealth; it’s having the power to produce wealth. It’s intrinsic.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
For example, my choice of career. You generously and patiently gave me complete freedom.  Though this followed the habits, or at least the values, of the Jewish middle class concerning their sons.  And here your misunder-standing of my character worked its effect, which – together with your father’s pride – blinded you to my real nature: to my weakness.  In your opinion, I was always studying as a child, and  later I was always writing.  Looking back that      is certainly not true.  I can say with very little exaggeration, I barely studied and I learnt nothing; to have retained something after so many years of education wasn’t remarkable for a man with a memory and some intelligence;  but given the vast expenditure of time and money, and my outwardly easy, unburdened life, what I achieved with regard to knowledge, especially sound knowledge, was nothing – certainly when compared to what others managed.  It is lamentable, but for me understandable.  I always had such a deep concern about the continued existence of my mind and spirit, that I was indifferent to everything else.  Jewish schoolboys have a reputation, for amongst them one finds the most improbable things; but my cold, barely disguised, permanent, childish, ridiculous, animal, self-satisfied indifference, and my cold and fantastical mind, are not things that I have ever met again – though admittedly they were just a defence against nervous destruction through fear and guilt.  And I was worried about myself in all manner of ways.  For example, I was worried about my health: I was worried about my hair falling out, my digestion, and my back – for it was stooped.  And my worries turned to fear and it all ended in true sickness.  But what was all that?  Not actual bodily sickness.  I was sick because I was a disinherited son, who needed constant reassurance about his own peculiar existence, who in the most profound sense never owned anything, and who was even insecure about the thing which was next to him: his own body. 
Franz Kafka (Letter to My Father)
Peter Drucker, in my view the father of modern management thinking, was also a master of the art of the graceful no. When Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the Hungarian professor most well known for his work on “flow,” reached out to interview a series of creative individuals for a book he was writing on creativity, Drucker’s response was interesting enough to Mihaly that he quoted it verbatim: “I am greatly honored and flattered by your kind letter of February 14th – for I have admired you and your work for many years, and I have learned much from it. But, my dear Professor Csikszentmihalyi, I am afraid I have to disappoint you. I could not possibly answer your questions. I am told I am creative – I don’t know what that means…. I just keep on plodding…. I hope you will not think me presumptuous or rude if I say that one of the secrets of productivity (in which I believe whereas I do not believe in creativity) is to have a VERY BIG waste paper basket to take care of ALL invitations such as yours – productivity in my experience consists of NOT doing anything that helps the work of other people but to spend all one’s time on the work the Good Lord has fitted one to do, and to do well.”8 A true Essentialist, Peter Drucker believed that “people are effective because they say no.
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
The frequent hearing of my mistress reading the bible--for she often read aloud when her husband was absent--soon awakened my curiosity in respect to this mystery of reading, and roused in me the desire to learn. Having no fear of my kind mistress before my eyes, (she had given me no reason to fear,) I frankly asked her to teach me to read; and without hesitation, the dear woman began the task, and very soon, by her assistance, I was master of the alphabet, and could spell words of three or four letters...Master Hugh was amazed at the simplicity of his spouse, and, probably for the first time, he unfolded to her the true philosophy of slavery, and the peculiar rules necessary to be observed by masters and mistresses, in the management of their human chattels. Mr. Auld promptly forbade the continuance of her [reading] instruction; telling her, in the first place, that the thing itself was unlawful; that it was also unsafe, and could only lead to mischief.... Mrs. Auld evidently felt the force of his remarks; and, like an obedient wife, began to shape her course in the direction indicated by her husband. The effect of his words, on me, was neither slight nor transitory. His iron sentences--cold and harsh--sunk deep into my heart, and stirred up not only my feelings into a sort of rebellion, but awakened within me a slumbering train of vital thought. It was a new and special revelation, dispelling a painful mystery, against which my youthful understanding had struggled, and struggled in vain, to wit: the white man's power to perpetuate the enslavement of the black man. "Very well," thought I; "knowledge unfits a child to be a slave." I instinctively assented to the proposition; and from that moment I understood the direct pathway from slavery to freedom. This was just what I needed; and got it at a time, and from a source, whence I least expected it.... Wise as Mr. Auld was, he evidently underrated my comprehension, and had little idea of the use to which I was capable of putting the impressive lesson he was giving to his wife.... That which he most loved I most hated; and the very determination which he expressed to keep me in ignorance, only rendered me the more resolute in seeking intelligence.
Frederick Douglass
relationships, to meet human needs, and to enjoy spontaneous moments on a daily basis. As a result, many people have become turned off by time management programs and planners that make them feel too scheduled, too restricted, and they “throw the baby out with the bath water,” reverting to first or second generation techniques to preserve relationships, spontaneity, and quality of life. But there is an emerging fourth generation that is different in kind. It recognizes that “time management” is really a misnomer—the challenge is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves. Satisfaction is a function of expectation as well as realization. And expectation (and satisfaction) lie in our Circle of Influence. Rather than focusing on things and time, fourth generation expectations focus on preserving and enhancing relationships and on accomplishing results—in short, on maintaining the P/PC Balance. QUADRANT II
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
A woman named Cynthia once told me a story about the time her father had made plans to take her on a night out in San Francisco. Twelve-year-old Cynthia and her father had been planning the “date” for months. They had a whole itinerary planned down to the minute: she would attend the last hour of his presentation, and then meet him at the back of the room at about four-thirty and leave quickly before everyone tried to talk to him. They would catch a tram to Chinatown, eat Chinese food (their favourite), shop for a souvenir, see the sights for a while and then “catch a flick” as her dad liked to say. Then they would grab a taxi back to the hotel, jump in the pool for a quick swim (her dad was famous for sneaking in when the pool was closed), order a hot fudge sundae from room service, and watch the late, late show. They discussed the details over and over again before they left. The anticipation was part of the whole experience. This was all going according to plan until, as her father was leaving the convention centre, he ran into an old college friend and business associate. It had been years since they had seen each other, and Cynthia watched as they embraced enthusiastically. His friend said, in effect: “I am so glad you are doing some work with our company now. When Lois and I heard about it we thought it would be perfect. We want to invite you, and of course Cynthia, to get a spectacular seafood dinner down at the Wharf!” Cynthia’s father responded: “Bob, it’s so great to see you. Dinner at the wharf sounds great!” Cynthia was crestfallen. Her daydreams of tram rides and ice cream sundaes evaporated in an instant. Plus, she hated seafood and she could just imagine how bored she would be listening to the adults talk all night. But then her father continued: “But not tonight. Cynthia and I have a special date planned, don’t we?” He winked at Cynthia and grabbed her hand and they ran out of the door and continued with what was an unforgettable night in San Francisco. As it happens, Cynthia’s father was the management thinker Stephen R. Covey (author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) who had passed away only weeks before Cynthia told me this story. So it was with deep emotion she recalled that evening in San Francisco. His simple decision “Bonded him to me forever because I knew what mattered most to him was me!” she said.5 One simple answer is we are unclear about what is essential. When this happens we become defenceless. On the other hand, when we have strong internal clarity it is almost as if we have a force field protecting us from the non-essentials coming at us from all directions. With Rosa it was her deep moral clarity that gave her unusual courage of conviction. With Stephen it was the clarity of his vision for the evening with his loving daughter. In virtually every instance, clarity about what is essential fuels us with the strength to say no to the non-essentials. Stephen R. Covey, one of the most respected and widely read business thinkers of his generation, was an Essentialist. Not only did he routinely teach Essentialist principles – like “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” – to important leaders and heads of state around the world, he lived them.6 And in this moment of living them with his daughter he made a memory that literally outlasted his lifetime. Seen with some perspective, his decision seems obvious. But many in his shoes would have accepted the friend’s invitation for fear of seeming rude or ungrateful, or passing up a rare opportunity to dine with an old friend. So why is it so hard in the moment to dare to choose what is essential over what is non-essential?
Greg McKeown (Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less)
High-quality and transparent data, clearly documented, timely rendered, and publicly available are the sine qua non of competent public health management. During a pandemic, reliable and comprehensive data are critical for determining the behavior of the pathogen, identifying vulnerable populations, rapidly measuring the effectiveness of interventions, mobilizing the medical community around cutting-edge disease management, and inspiring cooperation from the public. The shockingly low quality of virtually all relevant data pertinent to COVID-19, and the quackery, the obfuscation, the cherrypicking and blatant perversion would have scandalized, offended, and humiliated every prior generation of American public health officials. Too often, Dr. Fauci was at the center of these systemic deceptions. The “mistakes” were always in the same direction—inflating the risks of coronavirus and the safety and efficacy of vaccines in
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health)
The point to remember is that the issue is not nature versus nurture. It is the balance between nature and nurture. Genes do not make a man gay, or violent, or fat, or a leader. Genes merely make proteins. The chemical effect of these proteins may make the man's brain and body more receptive to certain environmental influences. But the extent of those influences will have as much to do with the outcome as the genes themselves. Furthermore, we humans are not prisoners of our genes or our environment. We have free will. Genes are overruled every time an angry man restrains his temper, a fat man diets, and an alocholic refuses to take a drink. On the other hand, the environment is overruled every time a genetic effect wins out, as when Lou Gehrig's athletic ability was overruled by his ALS. Genes and the environment work together to shape our brains, and we can manage them both if we want to. It may be harder for people with certain genes or surroundings, but "harder" is a long way from pedetermination.
John J. Ratey
Gregori tugged on her hair to force her back to him. "You make me feel alive, Savannah." "Do I? Is that why you're swearing?" She turned onto her stomach, propping herself up onto her elbows. He leaned into her, brushing his mouth across the swell of her breast. "You are managing to tie me up in knots. You take away all my good judgement." A slight smile curved her mouth. "I never noticed that you had particularly good judgement to begin with." His white teeth gleamed, a predator's smile, then sank into soft bare flesh. She yelped but moved closer to him when his tongue swirled and caressed, taking away the sting. "I have always had good judgement," he told her firmly, his teeth scraping back and forth in the valley between her breasts. "So you say.But that doesn't make it so. You let evil idiots shoot you with poisoned darts. You go by yourself into laboratories filled with your enemies. Need I go on?" Her blue eyes were laughing at him. Her firm, rounded bottom was far too tempting to resist. He brought his open palm down in mock punishment. Savannah jumped, but before she could scoot away, his palm began caressing, producing a far different effect. "Judging from our positions, ma petite, I would say my judgement looks better than yours." She laughed. "All right,I'm going to let you win this time." "Would you care for a shower?" he asked solicitously. When she nodded, Gregori flowed off the bed, lifted her high into his arms,and cradled her against his chest. There was something too innocent about him. She eyed him warily. But in an instant he had already glided across the tiled floor to the balcony door, which flew open at his whim, and carried her, naked, into the cold, glittering downpour. Savannah tried to squirm away, wiggling and shoving at his chest, laughing in spite of the icy water cascading over her. "Gregori! You're so mean. I can't believe you did this." "Well,I have poor judgement." He was grinning at her in mocking, male amusement. "Is that not what you said?" "I take it back!" she moaned, clinging to him, burying her fact on his shoulder as the chill rain pelted her bare breasts, making her nipples peak hard and fast. "Run with me tonight," Gregori whispered against her neck. An enticement. Temptation. Drawing her to him, another tie to his dark world. She lifted her head, looked into his silver eyes, and was lost.The rain poured over her, drenching her, but as Gregori slowly glided with her to the blanket of pine needles below the balcony,she couldn't look away from those hungry eyes.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
The Hutterites (who came out of the same tradition as the Amish and the Mennonites) have a strict policy that every time a colony approaches 150, they split it in two and start a new one. "Keeping things under 150 just seems to be the best and most efficient way to manage a group of people," Spokane told me. "When things get larger than that, people become strangers to one another." The Hutterites, obviously, didn't get this idea from contemporary evolutionary psychology. They've been following the 150 rule for centuries. But their rationale fits perfectly with Dunbar's theories. At 150, the Hutterites believe, something happens-something indefinable but very real-that somehow changes the nature of community overnight. "In smaller groups people are a lot closer. They're knit together, which is very important if you want to be be effective and successful at community life," Gross said. "If you get too large, you don't have enough work in common. You don't have enough things in common, and then you start to become strangers and that close-knit fellowship starts to get lost." Gross spoke from experience. He had been in Hutterite colonies that had come near to that magic number and seen firsthand how things had changed. "What happens when you get that big is that the group starts, just on its own, to form a sort of clan." He made a gesture with his hands, as if to demonstrate division. "You get two or three groups within the larger group. That is something you really try to prevent, and when it happens it is a good time to branch out.
Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference)
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)
Authentic self-worth comes from an internal value system, not from simple achievement. Self-worth comes from the positive results of your effort. You may have learned something about yourself or gained the experiential confidence to attempt more difficult challenges. These effects are genuinely valuable. The achievement itself, however, is no reason for an elevated sense of self-worth. You might not have learned anything from your “success,” or you could have learned something equally valuable by not meeting your objective. Here’s the complete scenario for performance-oriented self-worth: If you have a string of weak performances, you’ll be down on yourself in general, creating a destructive downward spiral. If you climb well half the time, you’ll be the passive recipient of reward half the time, and of punishment the other half. If you manage to climb well all the time, you’ll get the dubious reward of becoming an egomaniac with a precarious self-image, destined for a crash. You can look forward to an old age spent in endless rehash of past days of glory. If you think about it, no matter how well you climb, tangling up your self-worth with your performance is a lose-lose situation.
Arno Ilgner (The Rock Warrior's Way: Mental Training For Climbers)
Working on my Ph.D. at the University of Wyoming, I was required to take an advanced statistics course. I had completed the beginning courses several years earlier, but could remember very little. I had no idea how I was going to manage the requirements of an advanced class. Several weeks into the semester, I was floundering. I approached the chair of my committee, Louise Jackson, and said, “This is really over my head. Usually I at least know enough about a subject to follow along. This time I am totally lost.” “Good!” she said. “You don’t know how happy that news makes me.” Her response took me totally by surprise. Teachers are not usually glad when you announce that you are failing. Dr. Jackson continued: “Remember how this feels. Memorize this moment. Don’t ever forget this lesson. This is how many of your future students will feel, and you must be able to relate to them in order to understand and be effective in helping them.” She then gave me some suggestions, including the names of a few possible tutors. She also arranged to meet with me regularly to review my progress—things she assured me she would never have done had she not also once struggled through a few difficult classes of her own.
Brad Wilcox (The Continuous Atonement)
The researchers tried a clever tactic to overcome this problem. They created a number of recipes for common foods including muffins and pasta in which they could disguise placebo ingredients like bran and molasses to match the texture and color of the flax-laden foods. This way, they could randomize people into two groups and secretly introduce tablespoons of daily ground flaxseeds into the diets of half the participants to see if it made any difference. After six months, those who ate the placebo foods started out hypertensive and stayed hypertensive, despite the fact that many of them were on a variety of blood pressure pills. On average, they started the study at 155/81 and ended it at 158/81. What about the hypertensives who were unknowingly eating flaxseeds every day? Their blood pressure dropped from 158/82 down to 143/75. A seven-point drop in diastolic blood pressure may not sound like a lot, but that would be expected to result in 46 percent fewer strokes and 29 percent less heart disease over time.125 How does that result compare with taking drugs? The flaxseeds managed to drop subjects’ systolic and diastolic blood pressure by up to fifteen and seven points, respectively. Compare that result to the effect of powerful antihypertensive drugs, such as calcium-channel blockers (for example, Norvasc, Cardizem, Procardia), which have been found to reduce blood pressure by only eight and three points, respectively, or to ACE inhibitors (such as Vasotec, Lotensin, Zestril, Altace), which drop patients’ blood pressure by only five and two points, respectively.126 Ground flaxseeds may work two to three times better than these medicines, and they have only good side effects. In addition to their anticancer properties, flaxseeds have been demonstrated in clinical studies to help control cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels; reduce inflammation, and successfully treat constipation.127 Hibiscus Tea for Hypertension Hibiscus tea, derived from the flower of the same name, is also known as roselle, sorrel, jamaica, or sour tea. With
Michael Greger (How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease)
We are certainly able to create temporary pockets of order in certain places and at certain times, if we feed in the right amounts of energy and effort from the outside. However it turns out that this local increase in order comes at the expense of a decrease in the amount of order in your body and in your immediate environment. As you reorder the files or make the ruler stand upright, for example, you are using energy – and some of this energy is lost as heat since you are effectively doing some exercise. And adding heat to your environment means that you are increasing the disorder in the air molecules around your body. In fact it is even worse than this – the disorder which you create as a by-product of your reordering of files or balancing of rulers will always be greater than the amount of order which you manage to create. In other words, the law is correct in that the overall disorder in the Universe increases. So although we humans can invent stories, build buildings, and can even create new lives by giving birth, each of these acts will actually destroy more order in the rest of the Universe than it can possibly create in the resulting book, building or baby. Depressing? Actually it was a physicist called Ludwig Boltzmann who came up with the pioneering insights into this effect of increasing disorder – and he ended up committing suicide in 1906 by hanging himself while on vacation.
Neil Johnson (Simply Complexity: A Clear Guide to Complexity Theory)
Stop Telling Yourself You’re Not Ready As we noted yesterday, we fear the unknown. For example, in our personal lives, we hesitate before saying hello to strangers. We immediately call a plumber before trying to fix plumbing problems on our own. We stick to the same grocery stores rather than visiting new stores. We gravitate toward the familiar. In our professional lives, we shy away from taking on unfamiliar projects. We cringe at the thought of creating new spreadsheets and reports for our bosses. We balk at branching out into new avenues of business. Instead, we remain in our comfort zones. There, after all, the risk of failure is minimal. One of the biggest reasons we do this is because we believe we’re unready to tackle new activities. We feel we lack the practical expertise to handle new projects with poise and effectiveness. We feel we lack the knowledge to know what we’re doing. In other words, we tell ourselves that we’re not 100% ready. This assumption stems from a basic and common fallacy: that we must be 100% prepared if we hope to perform a given task effectively. In reality, that’s untrue. The truth is, you’ll rarely be 100% ready for anything life throws at you. Individuals who have achieved success in their respective fields claim their success is a reflection of their persistence and grit, and an ability to adapt to their circumstances. It is not dictated by whether the individual has achieved mastery in any particular area.
Damon Zahariades (The 30-Day Productivity Boost (Vol. 1): 30 Bad Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Time Management (And How To Fix Them!))
When I first stopped trying to fix other people, I turned my attention to 'curing' myself. I was in a hurry to get this healing process over. I wanted immediate recovery from the effects of growing up in a family riddled with alcoholism and from being married to an alcoholic. I looked forward to the day I would graduate from Al-Anon and get on with my life. As year two and year three passed, I was still in the program. I began to despair as the character defects I had worked so long to overcome came back to haunt me, particularly during times of stress and during periods when I didn't attend meetings. I have severe arthritis in my joints. To cope with my condition, I have to assess my body each day and patiently respond to its needs. Some days I need a warm bath to get going in the morning. On other days I apply a medicated rub to the painful areas. Yet other days some light stretching and exercise help to loosen me up. I'ave accepted that my arthritis will never go away. It's a condition I manage daily with consistent, on-going care. One day I made a connection between my medical condition and my struggle with recovery. I began to look at myself as having 'arthritis of the personality,' requiring patient, continuous care to keep me from 'stiffening' into old habits and attitudes. This care includes attending meetings, reading Al-Anon literature, calling my sponsor, and engaging in service. Now, as long as I practice patience, recovery is a manageable and adventurous process instead of an arduously sought end point.
Al-Anon Family Groups (Hope for Today)
The children were watched through a one-way mirror, and the film that shows their behavior during the waiting time always has the audience roaring in laughter. About half the children managed the feat of waiting for 15 minutes, mainly by keeping their attention away from the tempting reward. Ten or fifteen years later, a large gap had opened between those who had resisted temptation and those who had not. The resisters had higher measures of executive control in cognitive tasks, and especially the ability to reallocate their attention effectively. As young adults, they were less likely to take drugs. A significant difference in intellectual aptitude emerged: the children who had shown more self-control as four-year-olds had substantially higher scores on tests of intelligence.
Daniel Kahneman (Thinking, Fast and Slow)
MY FIRST ASSIGNMENT AFTER BEING ORDAINED as a pastor almost finished me. I was called to be the assistant pastor in a large and affluent suburban church. I was glad to be part of such an obviously winning organization. After I had been there a short time, a few people came to me and asked that I lead them in a Bible study. “Of course,” I said, “there is nothing I would rather do.” We met on Monday evenings. There weren’t many—eight or nine men and women—but even so that was triple the two or three that Jesus defined as a quorum. They were eager and attentive; I was full of enthusiasm. After a few weeks the senior pastor, my boss, asked me what I was doing on Monday evenings. I told him. He asked me how many people were there. I told him. He told me that I would have to stop. “Why?” I asked. “It is not cost-effective. That is too few people to spend your time on.” I was told then how I should spend my time. I was introduced to the principles of successful church administration: crowds are important, individuals are expendable; the positive must always be accented, the negative must be suppressed. Don’t expect too much of people—your job is to make them feel good about themselves and about the church. Don’t talk too much about abstractions like God and sin—deal with practical issues. We had an elaborate music program, expensively and brilliantly executed. The sermons were seven minutes long and of the sort that Father Taylor (the sailor-preacher in Boston who was the model for Father Mapple in Melville’s Moby Dick) complained of in the transcendentalists of the last century: that a person could no more be converted listening to sermons like that than get intoxicated drinking skim milk.[2] It was soon apparent that I didn’t fit. I had supposed that I was there to be a pastor: to proclaim and interpret Scripture, to guide people into a life of prayer, to encourage faith, to represent the mercy and forgiveness of Christ at special times of need, to train people to live as disciples in their families, in their communities and in their work. In fact I had been hired to help run a church and do it as efficiently as possible: to be a cheerleader to this dynamic organization, to recruit members, to lend the dignity of my office to certain ceremonial occasions, to promote the image of a prestigious religious institution. I got out of there as quickly as I could decently manage it. At the time I thought I had just been unlucky. Later I came to realize that what I experienced was not at all uncommon.
Eugene H. Peterson (Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best)
The need for managers with data-analytic skills The consulting firm McKinsey and Company estimates that “there will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data. By 2018, the United States alone could face a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts with the know-how to use the analysis of big data to make effective decisions.” (Manyika, 2011). Why 10 times as many managers and analysts than those with deep analytical skills? Surely data scientists aren’t so difficult to manage that they need 10 managers! The reason is that a business can get leverage from a data science team for making better decisions in multiple areas of the business. However, as McKinsey is pointing out, the managers in those areas need to understand the fundamentals of data science to effectively get that leverage.
Foster Provost (Data Science for Business: What You Need to Know about Data Mining and Data-Analytic Thinking)
Sound waves, regardless of their frequency or intensity, can only be detected by the Mole Fly’s acute sense of smell—it is a little known fact that the Mole Fly’s auditory receptors do not, in fact, have a corresponding center in the brain designated for the purposes of processing sensory stimuli and so, these stimuli, instead of being siphoned out as noise, bypass the filters to be translated, oddly enough, by the part of the brain that processes smell. Consequently, the Mole Fly’s brain, in its inevitable confusion, understands sound as an aroma, rendering the boundary line between the auditory and olfactory sense indistinguishable. Sounds, thus, come in a variety of scents with an intensity proportional to its frequency. Sounds of shorter wavelength, for example, are particularly pungent. What results is a species of creature that cannot conceptualize the possibility that sound and smell are separate entities, despite its ability to discriminate between the exactitudes of pitch, timbre, tone, scent, and flavor to an alarming degree of precision. Yet, despite this ability to hyper-analyze, they lack the cognitive skill to laterally link successions of either sound or smell into a meaningful context, resulting in the equivalent of a data overflow. And this may be the most defining element of the Mole Fly’s behavior: a blatant disregard for the context of perception, in favor of analyzing those remote and diminutive properties that distinguish one element from another. While sensory continuity seems logical to their visual perception, as things are subject to change from moment-to-moment, such is not the case with their olfactory sense, as delays in sensing new smells are granted a degree of normality by the brain. Thus, the Mole Fly’s olfactory-auditory complex seems to be deprived of the sensory continuity otherwise afforded in the auditory senses of other species. And so, instead of sensing aromas and sounds continuously over a period of time—for example, instead of sensing them 24-30 times per second, as would be the case with their visual perception—they tend to process changes in sound and smell much more slowly, thereby preventing them from effectively plotting the variations thereof into an array or any kind of meaningful framework that would allow the information provided by their olfactory and auditory stimuli to be lasting in their usefulness. The Mole flies, themselves, being the structurally-obsessed and compulsive creatures that they are, in all their habitual collecting, organizing, and re-organizing of found objects into mammoth installations of optimal functional value, are remarkably easy to control, especially as they are given to a rather false and arbitrary sense of hierarchy, ascribing positions—that are otherwise trivial, yet necessarily mundane if only to obscure their true purpose—with an unfathomable amount of honor, to the logical extreme that the few chosen to serve in their most esteemed ranks are imbued with a kind of obligatory arrogance that begins in the pupal stages and extends indefinitely, as they are further nurtured well into adulthood by a society that infuses its heroes of middle management with an immeasurable sense of importance—a kind of celebrity status recognized by the masses as a living embodiment of their ideals. And yet, despite this culture of celebrity worship and vicarious living, all whims and impulses fall subservient, dropping humbly to the knees—yes, Mole Flies do, in fact, have knees!—before the grace of the merciful Queen, who is, in actuality, just a puppet dictator installed by the Melic papacy, using an old recycled Damsel fly-fishing lure. The dummy is crude, but convincing, as the Mole flies treat it as they would their true-born queen.
Ashim Shanker (Don't Forget to Breathe (Migrations, Volume I))
If you’re going to make an error in life, err on the side of overestimating your capabilities (obviously, as long as it doesn’t jeopardize your life). By the way, this is something that’s hard to do, since the human capacity is so much greater than most of us would ever dream. In fact, many studies have focused on the differences between people who are depressed and people who are extremely optimistic. After attempting to learn a new skill, the pessimists are always more accurate about how they did, while the optimists see their behavior as being more effective than it actually was. Yet this unrealistic evaluation of their own performance is the secret of their future success. Invariably the optimists eventually end up mastering the skill while the pessimists fail. Why? Optimists are those who, despite having no references for success, or even references of failure, manage to ignore those references, leaving unassembled such cognitive tabletops as “I failed” or “I can’t succeed.” Instead, optimists produce faith references, summoning forth their imagination to picture themselves doing something different next time and succeeding. It is this special ability, this unique focus, which allows them to persist until eventually they gain the distinctions that put them over the top. The reason success eludes most people is that they have insufficient references of succeeding in the past. But an optimist operates with beliefs such as, “The past doesn’t equal the future.” All great leaders, all people who have achieved success in any area of life, know the power of continuously pursuing their vision, even if all the details of how to achieve it aren’t yet available. If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide, then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything, including those things that other people are certain are impossible.
Anthony Robbins (Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!)
In any case, it is not as if the ‘light’ inspection is in any sense preferable for staff than the heavy one. The inspectors are in the college for the same amount of time as they were under the old system. The fact that there are fewer of them does nothing to alleviate the stress of the inspection, which has far more to do with the extra bureaucratic window-dressing one has to do in anticipation of a possible observation than it has to do with any actual observation itself. The inspection, that is to say, corresponds precisely to Foucault’s account of the virtual nature of surveillance in Discipline And Punish. Foucault famously observes there that there is no need for the place of surveillance to actually be occupied. The effect of not knowing whether you will be observed or not produces an introjection of the surveillance apparatus. You constantly act as if you are always about to be observed. Yet, in the case of school and university inspections, what you will be graded on is not primarily your abilities as a teacher so much as your diligence as a bureaucrat. There are other bizarre effects. Since OFSTED is now observing the college’s self-assessment systems, there is an implicit incentive for the college to grade itself and its teaching lower than it actually deserves. The result is a kind of postmodern capitalist version of Maoist confessionalism, in which workers are required to engage in constant symbolic self-denigration. At one point, when our line manager was extolling the virtues of the new, light inspection system, he told us that the problem with our departmental log-books was that they were not sufficiently self-critical. But don’t worry, he urged, any self-criticisms we make are purely symbolic, and will never be acted upon; as if performing self-flagellation as part of a purely formal exercise in cynical bureaucratic compliance were any less demoralizing.
Mark Fisher (Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?)
Despite the chaos that was tearing her head apart, Tevi understood what scene Yenneg was attempting to play out, with herself as a conscripted actor. She needed to force out an explanation or denial, but no words could get past her lips. Jemeryl's presence was paralysing her, an effect far more irresistible than anything Yenneg had achieved. Tevi watched Jemeryl take another few steps forwards and then crouch down so that their eyes were no more than a foot apart. Tevi thought she would die from the shock. Yet somehow, she forced her mouth to shape the words, "Wine. Love potion." Her voice was not loud enough even to count as a whisper. Certainly nobody else in the room would have heard, yet Tevi could not control her breathing to manage anything else. At first Jemeryl showed no sign of comprehension, but then suddenly, the bewilderment on her face transformed into fury. She leapt up, her arms moving in a blurred aggressive swirl. The gesture ended with an action like hurling a ball. Blue fire erupted from Jemeryl's hands and shot towards Yenneg. The other sorcerer had obviously recognised the gesture and made an effort to protect himself. A shimmering shield sprung up before Yenneg, but it was not strong enough, and the shockwave knocked him off his feet. His shoulders slammed into the wall behind him and he crumpled to the floor. Jemeryl had been telling the truth when she claimed to vastly excel the acolytes in magical ability, not that Tevi had ever entertained doubts. Jemeryl's hands moved again, and this time Yenneg was sprawled on the floor and in no state to mount a defence. A second bolt of blue fire burst in his direction. Lightning in the form of a whip snapped across the room, intercepting Jemeryl's attack before it struck. The diverted fireball hit the wall of the summerhouse two feet from Yenneg's head and smashed through it, as if it were a stone going through wet paper.
Jane Fletcher (The Empress And the Acolyte (Lyremouth Chronicles, #3))
The day-to-day changes in Amy amazed me: the next evening Raye called me from the studio to say that she and Mark had had a really good day working. He also said that she had been able to take her prescribed Subutex, as she had been drug-free for twelve hours. When it came time for her next dose, though, she couldn’t have it as, once again, she had taken other drugs. As a result, she went into withdrawal and the whole process started yet again. That Sunday, I drove down to the Henley studio to find Amy in bed. She was filthy and suffering the effects of withdrawal. I managed to get her into the shower, realizing again how painfully thin she was. If Amy had died at that point, I wouldn’t have been at all surprised. I put her back to bed and stayed with her until she fell asleep. Sitting in a chair next to her bed, I despaired. I was running out of ideas. If she took drugs she couldn’t take Subutex for twelve hours. If she didn’t take Subutex she went into withdrawal so she took more drugs. A horrible vicious circle.
Mitch Winehouse
Lazlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations at Google, made the following comments in an interview published by the New York Times in June 2013: “One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s (grade point averages) are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. Google famously used to ask everyone for a transcript and G.P.A.’s and test scores, but we don’t anymore…. We found that they don’t predict anything. What’s interesting is the proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time as well. So we have teams where you have 14 percent of the team made up of people who’ve never gone to college.” Doing well in college—earning high test scores and grades—has no measurable correlation with becoming an effective worker or manager.  This is incontrovertible evidence that the entire Higher Education system is detached from the real economy: excelling in higher education has little discernible correlation to real-world skills or performance.
Charles Hugh Smith (Get a Job, Build a Real Career, and Defy a Bewildering Economy)
The extraordinary value of the I Ching is that it reveals the secrets of dynamic natural law. Working with its changes opens up access to the middle level of the Positive Paradigm Wheel, the “e” energy layer of Einstein's Unified Theory. This middle level serves as mediating, two-directional gate-keeper between the ever-changing surface rim and the universal, timeless center. You can't get from here to there, except through the middle layer which, in Western thinking, is effectively taboo, buried in the inaccessible "unconscious." To the extent that natural law is a blind spot in the prevailing, linear and exclusively empirical paradigm, we are left powerless to move beyond the surface level of experience. The realm of light and conscience which rests beyond, on the far side of the dynamic energy level, remains functionally inaccessible. Moral codes promoted by religionists or politicians are sometimes equated with conscience. But they're no substitute for direct experience. Only by becoming intelligently competent in managing the subtle energies of the middle level is it possible to travel further inwards for the immediate, personal experience of inner light. When the middle level becomes clogged with painful memories, negative emotions and socially taboo urges, it becomes a barrier to deeper knowing. The Book of Change is indispensable as a tool for restoring the unnecessarily "unconscious" to conscious awareness, so that the levels of human potential can be linked and unified. In Positive Paradigm context, survivors who prevail in dangerous times aren't those with the most material wealth, possessions or political power. They're the ones who've successfully navigated the middle realm, reached the far shore of enlightenment and returned to the surface with their new information intact. Those who succeed in linking the levels of experience are genius-leaders in whatever fields they choose to engage. They're the fortunate ones who've acquired the inner wealth necessary to both hear the inner voice of conscience and act on the guidance they receive.
Patricia E. West (Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide)
Gordon MacDonald once wrote about how what he called the “sinkhole syndrome” happens in a human life. It may be triggered by a failure at work, a severed relationship, harsh criticism from a parent, or for no apparent reason at all. But it feels like the earth has given way. It turns out, MacDonald wrote, that in a sense we have two worlds to manage: an outer world of career and possessions and social networks; and an inner world that is more spiritual in nature, where values are selected and character is formed — a place where worship and confession and humility can be practiced. Because our outer worlds are visible and measurable and expandable, they are easier to deal with. They demand our attention. “The result is that our private world is often cheated, neglected because it does not shout quite so loudly. It can be effectively ignored for large periods of time before it gives way to a sinkhole-like cave-in.” He quotes the haunting words of Oscar Wilde: “I was no longer captain of my own soul.” The sinkhole, says MacDonald, is the picture of spiritual vulnerability in our day.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
Midway through the gruesomely pleasant dinner, Kev became aware that Amelia, who was seated at the end of the table, was unusually quiet. He looked at her closely, realizing her color was off and her cheeks were sweaty. Since he was seated at her immediate left, Kev leaned close and whispered, “What is it?” Amelia gave him a distracted glance. “Ill,” she whispered back, swallowing weakly. “I feel so … Oh, Merripen, do help me away from the table.” Without another word, Kev pushed his chair back and helped her up. Cam, who was at the other end of the long table, looked at them sharply. “Amelia?” “She’s ill,” Kev said. Cam reached them in a flash, his face taut with anxiety. As he gathered Amelia in his arms and carried her, protesting, from the room, one would think she’d suffered a severe injury rather than a probable case of indigestion. “Perhaps I might be of service,” Dr. Harrow said with quiet concern, laying his napkin on the table as he made to follow them. “Thank you,” Win said, smiling at him gratefully. “I’m so glad you’re here.” Kev barely restrained himself from gnashing his teeth in jealousy as Harrow left the room. The rest of the meal was largely neglected, the family going to the main receiving room to wait for a report on Amelia. It took an unnervingly long time for anyone to appear. “What could be the matter?” Beatrix asked plaintively. “Amelia’s never ill.” “She’ll be fine,” Win soothed. “Dr. Harrow will take excellent care of her.” “Perhaps I should go to their room,” Poppy said, “and ask how she is.” But before anyone could offer an opinion, Cam appeared in the doorway of the receiving room. He looked bemused, his hazel eyes vivid as he glanced at the assorted family members around him. He appeared to search for words. Then a dazzling smile appeared despite his obvious effort to moderate it. “No doubt the gadje have a more civilized way to put this,” he said, “but Amelia is with child.” A chorus of happy exclamations greeted the revelation. “What did Amelia say?” Leo asked. Cam’s smile turned wry. “Something to the effect that this wouldn’t be convenient.” Leo laughed quietly. “Children rarely are. But she’ll adore having someone new to manage.
Lisa Kleypas (Seduce Me at Sunrise (The Hathaways, #2))
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)
behaviors. Alcohol becomes more important because drinking it excessively tricks a primitive, unconscious part of our brain into believing it’s more critical to our survival than it actually is. The artificially high levels of dopamine that flood the brain when we ingest alcohol begin a cascade of other reactions and responses. The brain has a hedonic set point (a term coined by Dr. Kevin McCauley), which means that it both needs a certain amount of dopamine to register pleasure, and is programmed to downgrade levels of dopamine when we receive too much pleasure. Our bodies are constantly trying to find stasis, or balance, and the hedonic set point is an example of that. When high levels of dopamine are regularly released into the system from chronic use of alcohol, the dopamine is down-regulated (or balanced) by something called corticotropin-releasing factor, or CRF—a hormone that makes us feel anxious or stressed. If we flood our system with higher-than-normal levels of dopamine, we also flood our system with higher-than-normal levels of CRF, or anxiety. Over time, when our system is assaulted by surges of dopamine, our hedonic set point goes up (requiring more dopamine to feel good), and things that used to register as pleasurable (like warm hugs or our children’s laughter) don’t release enough dopamine to hit that raised baseline. To boot, activities that normally relieve stress, like a bath or a brisk walk, also lose their effectiveness. Alcohol becomes the quickest way our body learns to handle anxiety (which begets more anxiety because alcohol is a depressant, and the body reacts to it by releasing cortisol and adrenaline, which means the net effect of a glass of wine is more stress, not less). Our bodies are adaptive, and they adapt to an environment that expects the effects of alcohol. So here we are: we start using alcohol because it gives us more pleasure than sex and does more for stress management than chamomile tea. Over time it gets wrapped up in our survival response, so we are motivated to drink with the same force that motivates us to eat—only the force is stronger than the desire to eat because our midbrain, which ranks everything based on dopamine, thinks we need alcohol more than food. That seems like enough fuckery to contend with, but there’s more to the story.
Holly Whitaker (Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol)
With our desire to have more, we find ourselves spending more and more time and energy to manage and maintain everything we have. We try so hard to do this that the things that were supposed to help us end up ruling us. We eventually get used to the new state where our wishes have been fulfilled. We start taking those things for granted and there comes a time when we start getting tired of what we have. We're desperate to convey our own worth, our own value to others. We use objects to tell people just how valuable we are. The objects that are supposed to represent our qualities become our qualities themselves. There are more things to gain from eliminating excess than you might imagine: time, space, freedom and energy. When people say something is impossible, they have already decided that they don't want to do it. Differentiate between things you want and things you need. Leave your unused space empty. These open areas are incredibly useful. They bring us a sense of freedom and keep our minds open to the more important things in life. Memories are wonderful but you won't have room to develop if your attachment to the past is too strong. It's better to cut some of those ties so you can focus on what's important today. Don't get creative when you are trying to discard things. There's no need to stock up. An item chosen with passion represents perfection to us. Things we just happen to pick up, however, are easy candidates for disposal or replacement. As long as we stick to owning things that we really love, we aren't likely to want more. Our homes aren't museum, they don't need collections. When you aren't sure that you really want to part with something, try stowing it away for a while. Larger furniture items with bold colors will in time trigger visual fatigue and then boredom. Discarding things can be wasteful. But the guilt that keeps you from minimizing is the true waste. The real waste is the psychological damage that you accrue from hanging on to things you don't use or need. We find our originality when we own less. When you think about it, it's experience that builds our unique characteristics, not material objects. I've lowered my bar for happiness simply by switching to a tenugui. When even a regular bath towel can make you happy, you'll be able to find happiness almost everywhere. For the minimalist, the objective isn't to reduce, it's to eliminate distractions so they can focus on the things that are truly important. Minimalism is just the beginning. It's a tool. Once you've gone ahead and minimized, it's time to find out what those important things are. Minimalism is built around the idea that there's nothing that you're lacking. You'll spend less time being pushed around by something that you think may be missing. The qualities I look for in the things that I buy are: - the item has a minimalistic kind of shape and is easy to clean - it's color isn't too loud - I'll be able to use it for a long time - it has a simple structure - it's lightweight and compact - it has multiple uses A relaxed moment is not without meaning, it's an important time for reflection. It wasn't the fallen leaves that the lady had been tidying up, it was her own laziness that she had been sweeping away. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. With daily cleaning, the reward may be the sense of accomplishment and calmness we feel afterward. Cleaning your house is like polishing yourself. Simply by living an organized life, you'll be more invigorated, more confident and like yourself better. Having parted with the bulk of my belongings, I feel true contentment with my day-to-day life. The very act of living brings me joy. When you become a minimalist, you free yourself from all the materialist messages that surround us. All the creative marketing and annoying ads no longer have an effect on you.
Fumio Sasaki (Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism)
God, Jane, you’re exactly as I imagined. Only better.” “You’re exactly…as I imagined,” she said in a strained tone. “Only bigger.” That got his attention. He drew back to stare at her. “Are you all right?” She forced a smile. “Now I’m rethinking the seduction.” He brushed a kiss to her forehead. “Let’s see what I can do about that.” He grabbed her beneath her thighs. “Hook your legs around mine if you can.” When she did, the pressure eased some, and she let out a breath. “Better?” he rasped. She nodded. Covering her breast with his hand, he kneaded it gently as he pushed farther into her below. “It will feel even better if you can relax.” Relax? Might as well ask a tree to ignore the ax biting into it. “I’ll try,” she murmured. She forced herself to concentrate on other things than his very thick thing--like how he was touching her, how he was fondling her…how amazing it felt to be joined so intimately to the man she’d been waiting nearly half her life for. Then it got easier. She actually seemed to adjust to his size. And when he slid his hand down from her breast to stroke that special spot between her legs that sent her flying, it was most effective. She wasn’t quite flying, exactly, but she was definitely leaping a bit. A giggle escaped her at that thought, and he bit out, “Something strike you as funny, sweeting?” “I never guessed that…this would feel…so odd.” “You’ll get used to it.” The hint of a future for them melted her even more than his hand down there. And that’s when he began to move, sliding out and then back in. Heavens. That was intriguing. Rather nice, actually. The more he did it, the better it felt. Then he removed his hand so he could better grip her hips, and he plunged harder into her. Oh, now that was quite…oh my. Very, very nice. His gaze burned into her as he drove deep. “Less odd now?” he managed. “Definitely…less odd.” She kissed the taut line of his jaw. “Quite…enjoyable, in fact.” He grunted and buried his face in her hair the way he was burying his…thing inside her, and it was deliciously sinful. Now she really was flying, up toward the sun. As if he realized it, he dug his hands into her hips and thrust fiercely, repeatedly, and she met his rhythm with a pushing of her own that sent her soaring. “Dom…oh, Dom…oh my…” “Jane,” he rasped as his strokes grew frenzied. “It’s always…been you. Only you.” “Only you,” she echoed. She’d been fooling herself about Edwin. There had only ever been one man in her heart. And as he drove himself deep inside her, he sent her vaulting into the sun. When he followed her into the bliss, she clutched him close to her chest and prayed that he would let her inside his heart as deeply as she’d let him into hers. That she wasn’t making a mistake by taking up with him again. Because it was too late to go back now. This time, he had her for better or worse.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
5. Move toward resistance and pain A. Bill Bradley (b. 1943) fell in love with the sport of basketball somewhere around the age of ten. He had one advantage over his peers—he was tall for his age. But beyond that, he had no real natural gift for the game. He was slow and gawky, and could not jump very high. None of the aspects of the game came easily to him. He would have to compensate for all of his inadequacies through sheer practice. And so he proceeded to devise one of the most rigorous and efficient training routines in the history of sports. Managing to get his hands on the keys to the high school gym, he created for himself a schedule—three and a half hours of practice after school and on Sundays, eight hours every Saturday, and three hours a day during the summer. Over the years, he would keep rigidly to this schedule. In the gym, he would put ten-pound weights in his shoes to strengthen his legs and give him more spring to his jump. His greatest weaknesses, he decided, were his dribbling and his overall slowness. He would have to work on these and also transform himself into a superior passer to make up for his lack of speed. For this purpose, he devised various exercises. He wore eyeglass frames with pieces of cardboard taped to the bottom, so he could not see the basketball while he practiced dribbling. This would train him to always look around him rather than at the ball—a key skill in passing. He set up chairs on the court to act as opponents. He would dribble around them, back and forth, for hours, until he could glide past them, quickly changing direction. He spent hours at both of these exercises, well past any feelings of boredom or pain. Walking down the main street of his hometown in Missouri, he would keep his eyes focused straight ahead and try to notice the goods in the store windows, on either side, without turning his head. He worked on this endlessly, developing his peripheral vision so he could see more of the court. In his room at home, he practiced pivot moves and fakes well into the night—such skills that would also help him compensate for his lack of speed. Bradley put all of his creative energy into coming up with novel and effective ways of practicing. One time his family traveled to Europe via transatlantic ship. Finally, they thought, he would give his training regimen a break—there was really no place to practice on board. But below deck and running the length of the ship were two corridors, 900 feet long and quite narrow—just enough room for two passengers. This was the perfect location to practice dribbling at top speed while maintaining perfect ball control. To make it even harder, he decided to wear special eyeglasses that narrowed his vision. For hours every day he dribbled up one side and down the other, until the voyage was done. Working this way over the years, Bradley slowly transformed himself into one of the biggest stars in basketball—first as an All-American at Princeton University and then as a professional with the New York Knicks. Fans were in awe of his ability to make the most astounding passes, as if he had eyes on the back and sides of his head—not to mention his dribbling prowess, his incredible arsenal of fakes and pivots, and his complete gracefulness on the court. Little did they know that such apparent ease was the result of so many hours of intense practice over so many years.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
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A.S. Bhalla
How did you convince her to remarry you?” Tomas asked curiously, drawing Radcliffe from his thoughts. Making a face, he admitted, “I had to draw up a contract stating that I would never again condescend to her. That I would discuss business with her on a daily basis were she interested, and…” “And?” He sighed unhappily. “And that I would take her to my club dressed as a man.” Tomas gave a start. “What?” “Shh,” Radcliffe cautioned, glancing nervously around to be sure that they had not been overheard. No one seemed to be paying attention to them. Most of the guests were casting expectant glances toward the back of the church, hoping to spot the brides who should have been there by now. Glancing back to Tomas, he nodded. “She was quite adamant about seeing the club. It seems she was jealous of Beth’s getting with those ‘hallowed halls’-her words, not mine-and she was determined to see inside for herself.” “Have you taken her there yet?” “Nay, nay. I managed to put her off for quite some time, and then by the time she lost her patience with my stalling, she was with child and did not think the smoky atmosphere would be good for the baby. I am hoping by the time it is born and she is up and about again, she will have forgotten-“ A faint shriek from outside the church made him pause and stiffen in alarm. “That sounded like Charlie.” Turning, he hurried toward the back of the church with Tomas on his heel. Crashing through the church doors, they both froze at the top of the steps and gaped at the spectacle taking place on the street below. Charlie and Beth, in all their wedding finery, were in the midst of attacking what appeared to be a street vendor. Flowers were flying through the air as they both pummeled the man with their bouquets and shouted at him furiously. “Have I mentioned, Radcliffe, how little I appreciate the effect your wife has had on mine?” Tomas murmured suddenly, and Radcliffe glanced at him with amazement. “My wife? Good Lord, Tomas, you cannot blame Beth’s sudden change on Charlie. They grew up together, for God’s sake. After twenty years of influence, she was not like this.” Tomas frowned. “I had not thought of that. What do you suppose did it, then?” Radcliffe grinned slightly. “The only new thing in her life is you.” Tomas was gaping over that truth when Stokes slipped out of the church to join them. “Oh, dear. Lady Charlie and Lady Beth are hardly in the condition for that sort of behavior.
Lynsay Sands (The Switch)
The Delusion of Lasting Success promises that building an enduring company is not only achievable but a worthwhile objective. Yet companies that have outperformed the market for long periods of time are not just rare, they are statistical artifacts that are observable only in retrospect. Companies that achieved lasting success may be best understood as having strung together many short-term successes. Pursuing a dream of enduring greatness may divert attention from the pressing need to win immediate battles. The Delusion of Absolute Performance diverts our attention from the fact that success and failure always take place in a competitive environment. It may be comforting to believe that our success is entirely up to us, but as the example of Kmart demonstrated, a company can improve in absolute terms and still fall further behind in relative terms. Success in business means doing things better than rivals, not just doing things well. Believing that performance is absolute can cause us to take our eye off rivals and to avoid decisions that, while risky, may be essential for survival given the particular context of our industry and its competitive dynamics. The Delusion of the Wrong End of the Stick lets us confuse causes and effects, actions and outcomes. We may look at a handful of extraordinarily successful companies and imagine that doing what they did can lead to success — when it might in fact lead mainly to higher volatility and a lower overall chance of success. Unless we start with the full population of companies and examine what they all did — and how they all fared — we have an incomplete and indeed biased set of information. The Delusion of Organizational Physics implies that the business world offers predictable results, that it conforms to precise laws. It fuels a belief that a given set of actions can work in all settings and ignores the need to adapt to different conditions: intensity of competition, rate of growth, size of competitors, market concentration, regulation, global dispersion of activities, and much more. Claiming that one approach can work everywhere, at all times, for all companies, has a simplistic appeal but doesn’t do justice to the complexities of business. These points, taken together, expose the principal fiction at the heart of so many business books — that a company can choose to be great, that following a few key steps will predictably lead to greatness, that its success is entirely of its own making and not dependent on factors outside its control.
Philip M. Rosenzweig (The Halo Effect: How Managers let Themselves be Deceived)
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Stain Peter