Maximizing Time Quotes

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Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them; but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents.
Arthur Schopenhauer (Counsels and Maxims (The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer))
One of the best guides to how to be self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others. There was a time when I felt lousy about my over-forty body, saw myself as too fat, too this, or too that. Yet I fantasized about finding a lover who would give me the gift of being loved as I am. It is silly, isn't it, that I would dream of someone else offering to me the acceptance and affirmation I was withholding from myself. This was a moment when the maxim "You can never love anybody if you are unable to love yourself" made clear sense. And I add, "Do not expect to receive the love from someone else you do not give yourself.
bell hooks (All About Love: New Visions)
Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
Immanuel Kant
I wanted to go on sitting there, not talking, not listening to the others, keeping the moment precious for all time, because we were peaceful all of us, we were content and drowsy even as the bee who droned above our heads. In a little while it would be different, there would come tomorrow, and the next day and another year. And we would be changed perhaps, never sitting quite like this again. Some of us would go away, or suffer, or die, the future stretched away in front of us, unknown, unseen, not perhaps what we wanted, not what we planned. This moment was safe though, this could not be touched. Here we sat together, Maxim and I, hand-in-hand, and the past and the future mattered not at all. This was secure, this funny little fragment of time he would never remember, never think about again…For them it was just after lunch, quarter-past-three on a haphazard afternoon, like any hour, like any day. They did not want to hold it close, imprisoned and secure, as I did. They were not afraid.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
This fear is what is the ruin of us all. And some dominate us; they take advantage of our fear and frighten us still more. Mark this: as long as people are afraid, they will rot like the birches in the marsh. We must grow bold; it is time!
Maxim Gorky (Mother)
Tell me with whom you consort and I will tell you who you are; if I know how you spend your time, then I know what might become of you.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!" It seems to me that there is nothing which would stimulate a man's sense of responsibleness more than this maxim, which invites him to imagine first that the present is past and, second, that the past may yet be changed and amended.
Viktor E. Frankl
He who can see truly in the midst of general infatuation is like a man whose watch keeps good time, when all clocks in the town in which he lives are wrong. He alone knows the right time; what use is that to him?
Arthur Schopenhauer (The Wisdom of Life and Counsels and Maxims)
We are loved way more by some of the people who have not contacted us in the last twelve or so months than we are loved by some of those who contact us every twelve or so days … or hours.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
Immanuel Kant (Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals)
If one has not read the newspapers for some months and then reads them all together, one sees, as one never saw before, how much time is wasted with this kind of literature.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections)
How comes it that our memories are good enough to retain even the minutest details of what has befallen us, but not to recollect how many times we have recounted to the same person?
François de la Rochefoucauld (Reflections or Sentences and Moral Maxims)
If you want to have the time of your life, change how you use the time in your life.
Tim Fargo
I believe good plans are the best way to maximize fun, avoid disaster, and possibly, save the world. I spend a lot of my time making them.
Katherine Hannigan (Ida B. . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World)
Most sane human beings’ chances of being alive in a thousand years’ time are a hundred times higher than their chances of being sincerely happy for at least ten consecutive days.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Legislators and revolutionaries who promise equality and liberty at the same time, are either psychopaths or mountebanks.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Maxims and Reflections)
The fact that the person who you are sleeping with is also sleeping with another person or other people does not necessarily mean that he or she does not love you. And the fact that you are the only person who someone is sleeping with does not necessarily mean that he or she loves you.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
We all have problems. Or rather, everyone has at least one thing that they regard as a problem.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana
There is never enough time for fun.
Katherine Hannigan (Ida B. . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World)
Social media takes time and careful, strategic thought. It doesn’t happen by accident.
Brian E. Boyd Sr. (Social Media for the Executive: Maximize Your Brand and Monetize Your Business)
Men who create art feel a zillion times happier than men who create wealth. Art lives on but wealth diminishes.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
The ray of light has to know where it will ultimately end up before it can choose the direction to begin moving in" "Fermat's principle sounds weird because it describes light's behavior in goal-oriented terms. It sounds like a commandment to a light beam: "Thou shalt minimize or maximize the time taken to reach thy destination.
Ted Chiang (Stories of Your Life and Others)
It thought about the magic that happens when you tell a story right, and everybody who hears it not only loves the story, but they love you a little bit, too, for telling it so well. Like I love Ms. Washington, in spite of myself, the first time I heard her. When you hear somebody read a story well, you can't help but think there's some good inside them, even if you don't know them.
Katherine Hannigan (Ida B. . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World)
Principle 1: By setting limitations, we must choose the essential. So in everything you do, learn to set limitations.   Principle 2: By choosing the essential, we create great impact with minimal resources. Always choose the essential to maximize your time and energy.
Leo Babauta (The Power Of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential)
The multiplication of technologies in the name of efficiency is actually eradicating free time by making it possible to maximize the time and place for production and minimize the unstructured travel time in between…Too, the rhetoric of efficiency around these technologies suggests that what cannot be quantified cannot be valued-that that vast array of pleasures which fall into the category of doing nothing in particular, of woolgathering, cloud-gazing, wandering, window-shopping, are nothing but voids to be filled by something more definite, more production, or faster-paced…I like walking because it is slow, and I suspect that the mind, like the feet, works at about three miles an hour. If this is so, then modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought or thoughtfulness.
Rebecca Solnit (Wanderlust: A History of Walking)
Surely, comrades, you do not want Jones back?" Once again this argument was unanswerable. Certainly the animals did not want Jones back; if the holding of debates on Sunday mornings was liable to bring him back, then the debates must stop. Boxer, who had now had time to think things over, voiced the general feeling by saying: "If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right." And from then on he adopted the maxim, "Napoleon is always right," in addition to his private motto of "I will work harder.
George Orwell (Animal Farm)
To sum up: it's time to rewrite the maxim that practice makes perfect. The truth is, practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect.
Daniel Coyle (The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else)
It is impossible to love a second time those whom we have really ceased to love.
François de la Rochefoucauld (Reflections: Or, Sentences and Moral Maxims)
Historical, religious, and existential treatises suggest that for some persons at some times, it is rational not to avoid physical death at all costs. Indeed the spark of humanity can maximize its essence by choosing an alternative that preserves the greatest dignity and some tranquility of mind.
Norman Mailer (The Executioner's Song)
When we look at supply chains and distribution in nature, we see that natural systems include an abundance of nodes in a network. Distribution is widely spread - enough to include the maximum nodes feasible yet not enough to add unnecessary time or cost to the path a thing takes from source to destination. This maximizes efficiency, and minimizes the risk of congestion and bottle-necks.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
If you refuse to deal with time today, time will deal with you tomorrow.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
If you wait for the mango fruits to fall, you'd be wasting your time while others are learning how to climb the tree
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
The last time everyone loved or at least liked everyone was when the world had a population of about 4.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (The Use and Misuse of Children)
The average adult has had sex innumerable times more than they have formed an opinion of their own.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (The Use and Misuse of Children)
Another key commitment for succeeding with this strategy is to support your commitment to shutting down with a strict shutdown ritual that you use at the end of the workday to maximize the probability that you succeed. In more detail, this ritual should ensure that every incomplete task, goal, or project has been reviewed and that for each you have confirmed that either (1) you have a plan you trust for its completion, or (2) it’s captured in a place where it will be revisited when the time is right. The process should be an algorithm: a series of steps you always conduct, one after another. When you’re done, have a set phrase you say that indicates completion (to end my own ritual, I say, “Shutdown complete”). This final step sounds cheesy, but it provides a simple cue to your mind that it’s safe to release work-related thoughts for the rest of the day.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
Excellence can be achieved only today—not yesterday or tomorrow, because they do not exist in the present moment. Today is the only day you have to flex your talents and maximize your enjoyment. Your challenge is to win in all aspects of life. To reach that goal, you need to set yourself up for success by winning one day at a time. Procrastination is no match for a champion.
Jim Afremow (The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive)
Relationships are assignments. They are part of a vast plan for our enlightenment, the Holy Spirit’s blueprint by which each individual soul is led to greater awareness and expanded love. Relationships are the Holy Spirit’s laboratories in which He brings together people who have the maximal opportunity for mutual growth. He appraises who can learn most from whom at any given time, and then assigns them to each other. Like
Marianne Williamson (Return to Love)
I was consumed by a restless curiosity, a thirst for knowing everything in the shortest possible time. This is a side of my character that has prevented me all my life from devoting myself seriously to any one thing.
Maxim Gorky (My Universities)
The only way to educate oneself is by making books a life companion.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
A useful maxim: two rarities combined call for close attention.
Robert Jordan (Crossroads of Twilight (The Wheel of Time, #10))
minimizes your annoy (and maximizes your joy)
Sarah Knight (The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide Book 1))
Ever since the days when such formidable mediocrities as Galsworthy, Dreiser, Tagore, Maxim Gorky, Romain Rolland and Thomas Mann were being accepted as geniuses, I have been perplexed and amused by fabricated notions about so-called "great books." That, for instance, Mann's asinine "Death in Venice," or Pasternak's melodramatic, vilely written "Dr. Zhivago," or Faulkner's corn-cobby chronicles can be considered "masterpieces" or at least what journalists term "great books," is to me the sort of absurd delusion as when a hypnotized person makes love to a chair. My greatest masterpieces of twentieth century prose are, in this order: Joyce's "Ulysses"; Kafka's "Transformation"; Bely's "St. Petersburg," and the first half of Proust's fairy tale, "In Search of Lost Time.
Vladimir Nabokov (Strong Opinions)
I may be wrong in regard to any or all of them; but holding it a sound maxim, that it is better to be only sometimes right, than at all times wrong, so soon as I discover my opinions to be erroneous, I shall be ready to renounce them.
Abraham Lincoln (Speeches and Writings 1832–1858)
Thinking has, many a time, made me sad, darling; but doing never did in all my life. My theory is a sort of parody on the maxim of "Get money, my son, honestly if you can; but get money." My precept is, "Do something, my sister, do good if you can; but, at any rate, do something.
Elizabeth Gaskell (North and South)
It is time to re-imagine how life is organized on Earth. We’re accelerating into a future shaped less by countries than by connectivity. Mankind has a new maxim – Connectivity is destiny – and the most connected powers, and people, will win.
Parag Khanna (Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization)
Glinda used her glitter beads, and you used your exotic looks and background, but weren't you just doing the same thing, trying to maximize what you had in order to get what you wanted? People who claim that they're evil are usually no worse than the rest of us. It's people who claim that they're good, or anyway better than the rest of us, that you have to be wary of.
Gregory Maguire (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wicked Years, #1))
It was then that Maxim looked at me. He looked at me for the first time that evening. And in his eyes I read the message of farewell. It was as though he leant against the side of a ship, and I stood below him on the quay. There would be other people touching his shoulder, and touching mine, but we would not see them. Nor would we speak or call to one another, for the wind and the distance would carry away the sound of our voices. But I should see his eyes and he would see mine before the ship drew away from the side of the quay.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
Nothing will make a better impression on your leader than your ability to manage yourself. If your leader must continually expend energy managing you, then you will be perceived as someone who drains time and energy. If you manage yourself well, however, your boss will see you as someone who maximizes opportunities and leverages personal strengths. That will make you someone your leader turns to when the heat is on.
John C. Maxwell (The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization)
As libertines we seek to find and provide pleasures for others before pleasing ourselves. Libertines are never boorish, profane or blasphemous. We seek to lessen any cause for offence while maximizing pleasure. After our liaisons, our return is eagerly anticipated, and our departure is mourned. For most men the reverse is the case. In a world where most men are barely on before they are off again, we take the time and the care to be gentle lovers and build the sighs and the panting of true delight.
Harry F. MacDonald (Casanova and the Devil's Doorbell)
We, in the interest of the so-called progress, have been persuaded to leave the production and at times the cooking of our food to companies whose owners and employees make a living by exploiting our busyness or laziness and our innate hunger to continue living.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (The Use and Misuse of Children)
Second, nothing about adolescence can be understood outside the context of delayed frontocortical maturation. If by adolescence limbic, autonomic, and endocrine systems are going full blast while the frontal cortex is still working out the assembly instructions, we’ve just explained why adolescents are so frustrating, great, asinine, impulsive, inspiring, destructive, self-destructive, selfless, selfish, impossible, and world changing. Think about this—adolescence and early adulthood are the times when someone is most likely to kill, be killed, leave home forever, invent an art form, help overthrow a dictator, ethnically cleanse a village, devote themselves to the needy, become addicted, marry outside their group, transform physics, have hideous fashion taste, break their neck recreationally, commit their life to God, mug an old lady, or be convinced that all of history has converged to make this moment the most consequential, the most fraught with peril and promise, the most demanding that they get involved and make a difference. In other words, it’s the time of life of maximal risk taking, novelty seeking, and affiliation with peers. All because of that immature frontal cortex.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
A lie can only make a temporary sense. The truth is permanent and lasts forever.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
Slow and steady wins the race, not the person who wants to climb the whole stairs in one stride.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
… that’s how we communicate, isn’t it? We’re all over the place: we jump back and forth in time; slow down and expand on some moments; fast-forward through others; editing as we go, minimizing flaws and maximizing assets. We are all the unreliable narrators of our own lives.
Alex Michaelides (The Fury)
Many beginners also at times possess great spiritual avarice. They hardly ever seem content with the spirit God gives them. They become unhappy and peevish because they don't find the consolation they want in spiritual things. Many never have enough of hearing counsels, or learning spiritual maxims, or keeping them and reading books about them. They spend more time in these than in striving after mortification and the perfection of the interior poverty to which they are obliged.
Juan de la Cruz (Dark Night of the Soul)
Each business should try to learn from the little failures so it can avoid the big failures. And at the same time, try to celebrate the little successes and maximize the scope of its big successes.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr.
Do as you like, a minimal maxim, an old favorite of mine, so exalting and at the same time so difficult as a Rabelesian rule. I hold the liberation theory that the best writers liberate the language from taboos, tattoos, cockatoos, repetitions, old fashion repressions and expressions, clichés, fetters, and so forth. For this reason I call it sometimes liberature for short, this liberating literature.
Julián Ríos
The answer of Solon on the question, 'Which is the most perfect popular govemment,' has never been exceeded by any man since his time, as containing a maxim of political morality, 'That,' says he, 'where the least injury done to the meanest individual, is considered as an insult on the whole constitution.
Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
We were always loyal to lost causes, the professor said. Success for us is the death of the intellect and of the imagination. We were never loyal to the successful. We serve them. I teach the blatant Latin language. I speak the tongue of a race the acme of whose mentality is the maxim: time is money. Material domination.
James Joyce (Ulysses)
Worrying is often triggered by wanting to make the perfect choice or by trying to maximize everything. When buying a used car, you want one that is cheap, reliable, safe, sexy, the right color, and fuel efficient. Unfortunately, no single option is likely to be the best in all those dimensions. If you try to have the best of everything, you’re likely to be paralyzed by indecision or dissatisfied with your choice. In fact, this kind of “maximizing” has been proven to increase depression.
Alex Korb (The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time)
To preserve our relationships, we give of our time, our assets, our attention, our help, and our love. To preserve our wealth, we give generously as we are accumulating, so we do not invoke the Universal law of maximization, which states that when anything reaches its maximum potential, it turns toward its opposite.
Wu Wei (I Ching Wisdom: More Guidance from the Book of Answers, Volume Two)
I accept Augustine's maxim of solvitor ambulando - things are solved by walking.' Sometimes when I walk, I think of God, and sometimes I explicitly direct worded thoughts to God. But my walking prayer is in no way limited to these times when I specifically speak to God. The whole experience is prayer when I walk with openness before God.
David G. Benner (Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer)
The Japanese have two words: "uchi" meaning inside and "soto" meaning outside. Uchi refers to their close friends, the people in their inner circle. Soto refers to anyone who is outside that circle. And how they relate and communicate to the two are drastically different. To the soto, they are still polite and they might be outgoing, on the surface, but they will keep them far away, until they are considered considerate and trustworthy enough to slip their way into the uchi category. Once you are uchi, the Japanese version of friendship is entire universes beyond the average American friendship! Uchi friends are for life. Uchi friends represent a sacred duty. A Japanese friend, who has become an uchi friend, is the one who will come to your aid, in your time of need, when all your western "friends" have turned their back and walked away.
Alexei Maxim Russell (The Japanophile's Handbook)
For half a century now, a new consciousness has been entering the human world, a new awareness that can only be called transcendent, spiritual. If you find yourself reading this book, then perhaps you already sense what is happening, already feel it inside. It begins with a heightened perception of the way our lives move forward. We notice those chance events that occur at just the right moment, and bring forth just the right individuals, to suddenly send our lives in a new and important direction. Perhaps more than any other people in any other time, we intuit higher meaning in these mysterious happenings. We know that life is really about a spiritual unfolding that is personal and enchanting an unfolding that no science or philosophy or religion has yet fully clarified. And we know something else as well: know that once we do understand what is happening, how to engage this allusive process and maximize its occurrence in our lives, human society will take a quantum leap into a whole new way of life one that realizes the best of our tradition and creates a culture that has been the goal of history all along. The following story is offered toward this new understanding. If it touches you, if it crystalizes something that you perceive in life, then pass on what you see to another for I think our new awareness of the spiritual is expanding in exactly this way, no longer through hype nor fad, but personally, through a kind of positive psychological contagion among people. All that any of us have to do is uspend our doubts and distractions just long enough... and miraculously,this reality can be our own.
James Redfield
The average person checks their phone 150 times a day. Why do we do this? Are we making 150 conscious choices? One major reason why is the #1 psychological ingredient in slot machines: intermittent variable rewards . . . Addictiveness is maximized when the rate of reward is most variable.
Tristan Harris
Then I looked right at Mama, for the first time in what seemed like forever, and she wasn't looking at me, but into me. She was pulling me to her with her eyes, like she used to do. All of a sudden I could see the light that was Mama's shining out of her eyes. I couldn't help smiling at it. 'Be careful,' my heart warned me. But I was having a hard time remembering that there as anything to be careful about. Because if I just looked at Mama's eyes...I could tell that the part of her I thought had gone away forever was still there and glowing, only from deep down inside her.
Katherine Hannigan (Ida B. . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World)
Was it just fear? the voices wonder. We were fearful in the best of times; how could we cope with the worst? So we found the tallest walls and poured ourselves behind them. We kept pouring until we were biggest and strongest, elected the greatest generals and found the most weapons, thinking all this maximalism would somehow generate happiness. But nothing so obvious could ever work.
Isaac Marion (Warm Bodies (Warm Bodies, #1))
here’s my 8-step process for maximizing efficacy (doing the right things): Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. Email is the mind-killer. Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper. Write down the 3 to 5 things—and no more—that are making you the most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually equals most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict. For each item, ask yourself: “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?” “Will moving this forward make all the other to-dos unimportant or easier to knock off later?” Put another way: “What, if done, will make all of the rest easier or irrelevant?” Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions. Block out at 2 to 3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow. TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2 to 3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work. No phone calls or social media allowed. If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward-spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
It is 10 PM now, and Godzilla has been sitting at his desk in front of his laptop for six to seven hours. He has accomplished hardly anything today. Godzilla is drinking a lot of beer. He can not stop smoking cigarettes. His room is blue with cigarette smoke, and Godzilla sits on a chair in there, minimizing and maximizing Mozilla Firefox repeatedly. He is not over his girlfriend's house because she said on the cell phone that she needed time, alone, to think about their relationship. Godzilla worries that he will not be able to take care of himself if they break up.
Brandon Scott Gorrell
One day a man of the people said to Zen Master Ikkyu: “Master, will you please write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom?” Ikkyu immediately took his brush and wrote the word “Attention.” “Is that all?” asked the man. “Will you not add something more?” Ikkyu then wrote twice running: “Attention. Attention.” “Well,” remarked the man rather irritably, “I really don’t see much depth or subtlety in what you have just written.” Then Ikkyu wrote the same word three times running: “Attention. Attention. Attention.” Half angered, the man demanded: “What does that word ‘Attention’ mean anyway?” And Ikkyu answered gently: “Attention means attention.”11
Philip Kapleau (The Three Pillars of Zen)
Have we not already seen enough of the fallacy and extravagance of those idle theories which have amused us with promises of an exemption from the imperfections, weaknesses and evils incident to society in every shape? Is it not time to awake from the deceitful dream of a golden age, and to adopt as a practical maxim for the direction of our political conduct that we, as well as the other inhabitants of the globe, are yet remote from the happy empire of perfect wisdom and perfect virtue?
Alexander Hamilton (The Federalist Papers)
Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!” It seems to me that there is nothing which would stimulate a man’s sense of responsibleness more than this maxim, which invites him to imagine first that the present is past and, second, that the past may yet be changed and amended. Such a precept confronts him with life’s finiteness as well as the finality of what he makes out of both his life and himself.
Viktor E. Frankl (Man's Search for Meaning)
As you go through your career, you will begin to find the areas of work you love and in which you will shine; you will, hopefully, find a field where you can maximize the motivators and satisfy the hygiene factors. But it’s rarely a case of sitting in an ivory tower and thinking through the problem until the answer pops into your head. Strategy almost always emerges from a combination of deliberate and unanticipated opportunities. What’s important is to get out there and try stuff until you learn where your talents, interests, and priorities begin to pay off. When you find out what really works for you, then it’s time to flip from an emergent strategy to a deliberate one.
Clayton M. Christensen (How Will You Measure Your Life?)
Gore Vidal, for instance, once languidly told me that one should never miss a chance either to have sex or to appear on television. My efforts to live up to this maxim have mainly resulted in my passing many unglamorous hours on off-peak cable TV. It was actually Vidal's great foe William F. Buckley who launched my part-time television career, by inviting me on to Firing Line when I was still quite young, and giving me one of the American Right's less towering intellects as my foil. The response to the show made my day, and then my week. Yet almost every time I go to a TV studio, I feel faintly guilty. This is pre-eminently the 'soft' world of dream and illusion and 'perception': it has only a surrogate relationship to the 'hard' world of printed words and written-down concepts to which I've tried to dedicate my life, and that surrogate relationship, while it, too, may be 'verbal,' consists of being glib rather than fluent, fast rather than quick, sharp rather than pointed. It means reveling in the fact that I have a meretricious, want-it-both-ways side. My only excuse is to say that at least I do not pretend that this is not so.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
For a Siddhar yogi, time is precious. It is important to utilize every moment to evolve into ever higher states of consciousness. We understand stagnancy as decay and for growth, we constantly discard the old to welcome change as the new. We tap into the magical abilities to evolve. "Every saint was a sinner in the past" maxim holds true. In the intensity of our yogic pursuit we evolve quickly. By evolving, we know that is the greatest gift of a lifetime we could ever receive- to be angelic as a being of consciousness. Consciousness is ever evolving and dynamic in transforming.
Nandhiji (Mastery of Consciousness: Awaken the Inner Prophet: Liberate Yourself with Yogic Wisdom.)
You can’t manage what you can’t measure” is a maxim that is taught and believed by many in both the business and education sectors. But in fact, the phrase is ridiculous—something said by people who are unaware of how much is hidden. A large portion of what we manage can’t be measured, and not realizing this has unintended consequences. The problem comes when people think that data paints a full picture, leading them to ignore what they can’t see. Here’s my approach: Measure what you can, evaluate what you measure, and appreciate that you cannot measure the vast majority of what you do. And at least every once in a while, make time to take a step back and think about what you are doing.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: an inspiring look at how creativity can - and should - be harnessed for business success by the founder of Pixar)
I've thought all my life, 'Lord Christ in heaven! what did I live for?' Beatings, work! I saw nothing except my husband. I knew nothing but fear! And how Pasha grew I did not see, and I hardly know whether I loved him when my husband was alive. All my concerns, all my thoughts were centered upon one thing—to feed my beast, to propitiate the master of my life with enough food, pleasing to his palate, and served on time, so as not to incur his displeasure, so as to escape the terrors of a beating, to get him to spare me but once! But I do not remember that he ever did spare me. He beat me so—not as a wife is beaten, but as one whom you hate and detest.
Maxim Gorky (Mother)
Relationships are assignments. They are part of a vast plan for our enlightenment, the Holy Spirit’s blueprint by which each individual soul is led to greater awareness and expanded love. Relationships are the Holy Spirit’s laboratories in which He brings together people who have the maximal opportunity for mutual growth. He appraises who can learn most from whom at any given time, and then assigns them to each other. Like a giant universal computer, He knows exactly what combination of energies, in exactly what context, would do the most to further God’s plan for salvation. No meetings are accidental. “Those who are to meet will meet, because together they have the potential for a holy relationship.
Marianne Williamson (Return to Love)
The perturbations, anxieties, depravations, deaths, exceptions in the physical or moral order, spirit of negation, brutishness, hallucinations fostered by the will, torments, destruction, confusion, tears, insatiabilities, servitudes, delving imaginations, novels, the unexpected, the forbidden, the chemical singularities of the mysterious vulture which lies in wait for the carrion of some dead illusion, precocious & abortive experiences, the darkness of the mailed bug, the terrible monomania of pride, the inoculation of deep stupor, funeral orations, desires, betrayals, tyrannies, impieties, irritations, acrimonies, aggressive insults, madness, temper, reasoned terrors, strange inquietudes which the reader would prefer not to experience , cants, nervous disorders, bleeding ordeals that drive logic at bay, exaggerations, the absence of sincerity, bores, platitudes, the somber, the lugubrious, childbirths worse than murders, passions, romancers at the Courts of Assize, tragedies,-odes, melodramas, extremes forever presented, reason hissed at with impunity, odor of hens steeped in water, nausea, frogs, devilfish, sharks, simoon of the deserts, that which is somnambulistic, squint-eyed, nocturnal, somniferous, noctambulistic, viscous, equivocal, consumptive, spasmodic, aphrodisiac, anemic, one-eyed, hermaphroditic, bastard, albino, pederast, phenomena of the aquarium, & the bearded woman, hours surfeited with gloomy discouragement, fantasies, acrimonies, monsters, demoralizing syllogisms, ordure, that which does not think like a child, desolation, the intellectual manchineel trees, perfumed cankers, stalks of the camellias, the guilt of a writer rolling down the slope of nothingness & scorning himself with joyous cries, that grind one in their imperceptible gearing, the serious spittles on inviolate maxims, vermin & their insinuating titillations, stupid prefaces like those of Cromwell, Mademoiselle de Maupin & Dumas fils, decaying, helplessness, blasphemies, suffocation, stifling, mania,--before these unclean charnel houses, which I blush to name, it is at last time to react against whatever disgusts us & bows us down.
Comte de Lautréamont (Chants de Maldoror (French Edition))
Go for good enough. Worrying is often triggered by wanting to make the perfect choice or by trying to maximize everything. When buying a used car, you want one that is cheap, reliable, safe, sexy, the right color, and fuel efficient. Unfortunately, no single option is likely to be the best in all those dimensions. If you try to have the best of everything, you’re likely to be paralyzed by indecision or dissatisfied with your choice. In fact, this kind of “maximizing” has been proven to increase depression. So don’t try to make the most amazing dinner; start out by just making a good dinner. Don’t try to be the perfect parent; just be a good one. Don’t try to be your happiest; just be happy.
Alex Korb (The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time)
Utilize    A noxious puff-word. Since it does nothing that good old use doesn’t do, its extra letters and syllables don’t make a writer seem smarter; rather, using utilize makes you seem either like a pompous twit or like someone so insecure that she’ll use pointlessly big words in an attempt to look sophisticated. The same is true for the noun utilization, for vehicle as used for car, for residence as used for house, for presently, at present, at this time, and at the present time as used for now, and so on. What’s worth remembering about puff-words is something that good writing teachers spend a lot of time drumming into undergrads: “formal writing” does not mean gratuitously fancy writing; it means clean, clear, maximally considerate writing.
David Foster Wallace
Looking back on the fifty years since I first became aware of its flaws, the word that summarizes my feelings about Neoclassical economics today is that it is, as Marx once described the proto-Neoclassical Jean-Baptiste Say, ‘dull’ [...] Its vision of capitalism at its best is a system manifesting the harmony of equilibrium, where everyone is paid their just return (their ‘marginal product’), growth is occurring smoothly at a rate that maximizes social utility through time, and everyone is motivated by consumption – rather than accumulation and power – because, to quote Say, ‘the producers, though they have all of them the air of demanding money for their goods, do in reality demand merchandise for their merchandise’ [...] What a bland picture of the complex, changing world in which we live!
Steve Keen (The New Economics: A Manifesto)
Woman, even more than man, is a fetich worshipper, and though her idols may change, she is ever on her knees, ever holding up her hands, ever blind to the fact that her god has feet of clay. Thus woman has been the greatest supporter of all deities from time immemorial. Thus, too, she has had to pay the price that only gods can exact,—her freedom, her heart’s blood, her very life. Nietzsche’s memorable maxim, “When you go to woman, take the whip along,” is considered very brutal, yet Nietzsche expressed in one sentence the attitude of woman towards her gods. Religion, especially the Christian religion, has condemned woman to the life of an inferior, a slave. It has thwarted her nature and fettered her soul, yet the Christian religion has no greater supporter, none more devout, than woman. Indeed, it is safe to say that religion would have long ceased to be a factor in the lives of the people, if it were not for the support it receives from woman. The most ardent churchworkers, the most tireless missionaries the world over, are women, always sacrificing on the altar of the gods that have chained her spirit and enslaved her body.
Emma Goldman (Anarchism and Other Essays)
What offends a great intellect in society is the equality of rights, leading to equality of pretensions, which everyone enjoys; while at the same time, inequality of capacity means a corresponding disparity of social power. So-called good society recognizes every kind of claim but that of intellect, which is a contraband article; and people are expected to exhibit an unlimited amount of patience towards every form of folly and stupidity, perversity and dullness; whilst personal merit has to beg pardon, as it were, for being present, or else conceal itself altogether. Intellectual superiority offends by its very existence, without any desire to do so. The
Arthur Schopenhauer (The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer; Counsels and Maxims)
Over recent years, [there's been] a strong tendency to require assessment of children and teachers so that [teachers] have to teach to tests and the test determines what happens to the child, and what happens to the teacher...that's guaranteed to destroy any meaningful educational process: it means the teacher cannot be creative, imaginative, pay attention to individual students' needs, that a student can't pursue things [...] and the teacher's future depends on it as well as the students'...the people who are sitting in the offices, the bureaucrats designing this - they're not evil people, but they're working within a system of ideology and doctrines, which turns what they're doing into something extremely harmful [...] the assessment itself is completely artificial; it's not ranking teachers in accordance with their ability to help develop children who reach their potential, explore their creative interests and so on [...] you're getting some kind of a 'rank,' but it's a 'rank' that's mostly meaningless, and the very ranking itself is harmful. It's turning us into individuals who devote our lives to achieving a rank, not into doing things that are valuable and important. It's highly destructive...in, say, elementary education, you're training kids this way [...] I can see it with my own children: when my own kids were in elementary school (at what's called a good school, a good-quality suburban school), by the time they were in third grade, they were dividing up their friends into 'dumb' and 'smart.' You had 'dumb' if you were lower-tracked, and 'smart' if you were upper-tracked [...] it's just extremely harmful and has nothing to do with education. Education is developing your own potential and creativity. Maybe you're not going to do well in school, and you'll do great in art; that's fine. It's another way to live a fulfilling and wonderful life, and one that's significant for other people as well as yourself. The whole idea is wrong in itself; it's creating something that's called 'economic man': the 'economic man' is somebody who rationally calculates how to improve his/her own status, and status means (basically) wealth. So you rationally calculate what kind of choices you should make to increase your wealth - don't pay attention to anything else - or maybe maximize the amount of goods you have. What kind of a human being is that? All of these mechanisms like testing, assessing, evaluating, measuring...they force people to develop those characteristics. The ones who don't do it are considered, maybe, 'behavioral problems' or some other deviance [...] these ideas and concepts have consequences. And it's not just that they're ideas, there are huge industries devoted to trying to instill them...the public relations industry, advertising, marketing, and so on. It's a huge industry, and it's a propaganda industry. It's a propaganda industry designed to create a certain type of human being: the one who can maximize consumption and can disregard his actions on others.
Noam Chomsky
Suddenly I had to leave myself, free my mind from it and see things objectively, as they are. Maybe I can do it immediately after death, but then I would find it, it will sucks. Maybe because people are closer together and seeking the right to pair because they feel, that even if they can not leave theirself, will the second one let it in, but that is some moment in the an open note. And it will be a time, when although do not see things quite objectively, that is, from all existing points of view, but at least those two points: from my self and my loved one ,like the two seeing eyes, he suddenly reveals an unexpected perspective, which the existence of previously knew only vaguely.
Maxim E. Matkin (Polnočný denník)
It is no coincidence that precisely when things started going downhill with the gods, politics gained its bliss-making character. There would be no reason for objecting to this, since the gods, too were not exactly fair. But at least people saw temples instead of termite architecture. Bliss is drawing closer; it is no longer in the afterlife, it will come, though not momentarily, sooner or later in the here and now - in time. The anarch thinks more primitively; he refuses to give up any of his happiness. "Make thyself happy" is his basic law. It his response to the "Know thyself" at the temple of Apollo in Delphi. These two maxims complement each other; we must know our happiness and our measure.
Ernst Jünger (Eumeswil)
When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind, unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and a true maxim, that a “drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the great high road to his reason, and which, when once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing his judgment of the justice of your cause, if indeed that cause really be a just one. On the contrary, assume to dictate to his judgment, or to command his action, or to mark him as one to be shunned and despised, and he will retreat within himself, close all the avenues to his head and his heart; and tho’ your cause be naked truth itself . . . you shall no more be able to [reach] him, than to penetrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rye straw. Such is man, and so must he be understood by those who would lead him, even to his own best interest. [Italics added]
Donald T. Phillips (Lincoln On Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times)
Family life always diminishes the energy of a revolutionist. Children must be maintained in security ,and there's the need to work a great deal for one's break. The revolutionist ought without cease to develop every iota of his energy; he must deepen and broaden it; but this demands time. He must always be at the head, because we--the workingmen--are called by the logic of history to destroy the old world, to create the new life; and if we stop, if we yield to exhaustion, or are attracted by the possibility of a little immediate conquest, it's bad--it's almost treachery to the cause. No revolutionist can adhere closely to an individual--walk thorough life side by side with another individual--without distorting his faith; and we must never forget that our aim is not little conquests, but only complete victory!
Maxim Gorky (Mother)
Leaders instill courage in the hearts of those who follow. This rarely happens through words alone. It generally requires action. It goes back to what we said earlier: Somebody has to go first. By going first, the leader furnishes confidence to those who follow. As a next generation leader, you will be called upon to go first. That will require courage. But in stepping out you will give the gift of courage to those who are watching. What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business? What has been done is safe. But to attempt a solution to a problem that plagues an entire industry - in my case, the local church - requires courage. Unsolved problems are gateways to the future. To those who have the courage to ask the question and the tenacity to hang on until they discover or create an answer belongs the future. Don’t allow the many good opportunities to divert your attention from the one opportunity that has the greatest potential. Learn to say no. There will always be more opportunities than there is time to pursue them. Leaders worth following are willing to face and embrace current reality regardless of how discouraging or embarrassing it might be. It is impossible to generate sustained growth or progress if your plan for the future is not rooted in reality. Be willing to face the truth regardless of how painful it might be. If fear causes you to retreat from your dreams, you will never give the world anything new. it is impossible to lead without a dream. When leaders are no longer willing to dream, it is only a short time before followers are unwilling to follow. Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity? Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. It never goes away. Where there is no uncertainty, there is no longer the need for leadership. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the need for leadership. Your capacity as a leader will be determined by how well you learn to deal with uncertainty. My enemy is not uncertainty. It is not even my responsibility to remove the uncertainty. It is my responsibility to bring clarity into the midst of the uncertainty. As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear. People will follow you in spite of a few bad decisions. People will not follow you if you are unclear in your instruction. As a leader you must develop the elusive skill of leading confidently and purposefully onto uncertain terrain. Next generation leaders must fear a lack of clarity more than a lack of accuracy. The individual in your organization who communicates the clearest vision will often be perceived as the leader. Clarity is perceived as leadership. Uncertainty exposes a lack of knowledge. Pretending exposes a lack of character. Express your uncertainty with confidence. You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential. You need a leadership coach. Great leaders are great learners. God, in His wisdom, has placed men and women around us with the experience and discernment we often lack. Experience alone doesn’t make you better at anything. Evaluated experience is what enables you to improve your performance. As a leader, what you don’t know can hurt you. What you don’t know about yourself can put a lid on your leadership. You owe it to yourself and to those who have chosen to follow you to open the doors to evaluation. Engage a coach. Success doesn’t make anything of consequence easier. Success just raises the stakes. Success brings with it the unanticipated pressure of maintaining success. The more successful you are as a leader, the more difficult this becomes. There is far more pressure at the top of an organization than you might imagine.
Andy Stanley
It seems to me, therefore, that the instinctive although seldom articulated purpose of holding a funeral or memorial service is to reunite the people most intimate with the deceased, and to collectively rekindle in them all, for one last time, the special living flame that represents the essence of that beloved person, profiting directly or indirectly from the presence of one another, feeling the presence of that person in the brains that remain, and thus solidifying to the maximal extent possible those secondary personal gemmae that remain aflicker in all these different brains. Though the primary brain has been eclipsed, there is, in those who remain and who are gathered to remember and reactivate the spirit of the departed, a collective corona that still glows. This is what human love means. The word "love" cannot, thus, be separated from the word "I"; the more deeply rooted the symbol for someone inside you, the greater the love, the brighter the light that remains behind.
Douglas R. Hofstadter (I Am a Strange Loop)
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)
The reality is that under capitalist conditions―meaning maximization of short-term gain―you're ultimately going to destroy the environment: the only question is when. Now, for a long time, it's been possible to pretend that the environment is an infinite source and an infinite sink. Neither is true obviously, and we're now sort of approaching the point where you can't keep playing the game too much longer. It may not be very far off. Well, dealing with that problem is going to require large-scale social changes of an almost unimaginable kind. For one thing, it's going to certainly require large-scale social planning, and that means participatory social planning if it's going to be at all meaningful. It's also going to require a general recognition among human beings that an economic system driven by greed is going to self-destruct―it's only a question of time before you make the planet unlivable, by destroying the ozone layer or some other way. And that means huge socio-psychological changes have to take place if the human species is going to survive very much longer. So that's a big factor.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
If now we attend to ourselves on occasion of any transgression of duty, we shall find that we in fact do not will that our maxim should be universal law, for that is impossible for us; on the contrary, we will that the opposite should remain a universal law, only we assume the liberty of making an exception in our own favor or (just for this time only) in favor of our inclination. Consequently, if we considered all cases from one and the same point of view, namely, that of reason, we should find a contradiction in our own will, namely, that a certain principle should be objectively necessary as a universal law, and yet subjectively should not be universal, but admit of exceptions. As, however, we at one moment regard our action from the point of view of a will wholly conformed to reason, and then again look at the same action from the point of view of a will affected by inclination, there is not really any contradiction, but an antagonism of inclination to the precept of reason, whereby the universality of the principle is changed into mere generality, so that the practical principle of reason shall meet the maxim half way. Now, although this cannot be justified in our own impartial judgement, yet it proves that we do really recognize the validity of the categorical imperative and (with all respect for it) only allow ourselves a few exceptions which we think unimportant and forced from us.
Immanuel Kant (Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals)
This is the way it ought to be!" said the Little Russian, returning. "Because, mark you, mother dear, a new heart is coming into existence, a new heart is growing up in life. All hearts are smitten in the conflict of interests, all are consumed with a blind greed, eaten up with envy, stricken, wounded, and dripping with filth, falsehood, and cowardice. All people are sick; they are afraid to live; they wander about as in a mist. Everyone feels only his own toothache. But lo, and behold! Here is a Man coming and illuminating life with the light of reason, and he shouts: 'Oh, ho! you straying roaches! It's time, high time, for you to understand that all your interests are one, that everyone has the need to live, everyone has the desire to grow!' The Man who shouts this is alone, and therefore he cries aloud; he needs comrades, he feels dreary in his loneliness, dreary and cold. And at his call the stanch hearts unite into one great, strong heart, deep and sensitive as a silver bell not yet cast. And hark! This bell rings forth the message: 'Men of all countries, unite into one family! Love is the mother of life, not hate!' My brothers! I hear this message sounding through the world!
Maxim Gorky (Mother)
This is great. But what I’m grasping at is an idea about a subtler goal. This thinking owes a lot to conversations with Manjula Waldron of Ohio State University, an engineering professor who also happens to be a hospital chaplain. This feels embarrassingly Zen-ish for me to spout, being a short, hypomanic guy with a Brooklyn accent, but here goes: Maybe the goal isn’t to maximize the contrast between a low baseline and a high level of activation. Maybe the idea is to have both simultaneously. Huh? Maybe the goal would be for your baseline to be something more than the mere absence of activation, a mere default, but to instead be an energized calm, a proactive choice. And for the ceiling to consist of some sort of equilibrium and equanimity threading through the crazed arousal. I have felt this a few times playing soccer, inept as I am at it, where there’s a moment when, successful outcome or not, every physiological system is going like mad, and my body does something that my mind didn’t even dream of, and the two seconds when that happened seemed to take a lot longer than it should have. But this business about the calm amid the arousal isn’t just another way of talking about “good stress” (a stimulating challenge, as opposed to a threat). Even when the stressor is bad and your heart is racing in crisis, the goal should be to somehow make the fraction of a second between each heartbeat into an instant that expands in time and allows you to regroup. There, I have no idea what I’m talking about, but I think there might be something important lurking there. Enough said.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping)
The father and daughter made their way north, through unknown sylvan paradises where only the owls and skunks know their way around. The hard work of paddling non-stop for many hours had long since stopped being difficult for Saweyimew. In spite of her beauty and grace, her back had grown strong and sinewy from years of canoe trips. She reveled in the exhilaration it always brought her, after the first few hours left her body insensible to pain or discomfort. Warm and tingly, lulled into peaceful contemplation by hours of the rhythmic paddling, the smell of the water, exotic blooms, animal musk. It all combined as one to make her feel so alive. Especially when it rained, and her body steamed against the cool drops, feeling invincible against the elements. The mountain of her father's back was like a rock against anything nature could throw against them. The stream of fragrant pipe-smoke still flowing from his lips, regardless of any obstacle. She felt at that moment, nothing would ever stop her father's pipe from smoking. Nothing, not death, not any force of the living or spirit world, would ever still her father's heart. Rain cleansing her to the core, she was a spring of raw power and self-reliance, paddling against all adversity--their master completely. Her father's daughter. At times like that, when it rained, she entirely understood and shared her father's outlook on life.
Alexei Maxim Russell (Forgotten Lore: Volume II)
Thank you Neil, and to the givers of this beautiful reward, my thanks from the heart. My family, my agent, editors, know that my being here is their doing as well as mine, and that the beautiful reward is theirs as much as mine. And I rejoice at accepting it for, and sharing it with, all the writers who were excluded from literature for so long, my fellow authors of fantasy and science fiction—writers of the imagination, who for the last 50 years watched the beautiful rewards go to the so-called realists. I think hard times are coming when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies to other ways of being, and even imagine some real grounds for hope. We will need writers who can remember freedom. Poets, visionaries—the realists of a larger reality. Right now, I think we need writers who know the difference between the production of a market commodity and the practice of an art. Developing written material to suit sales strategies in order to maximize corporate profit and advertising revenue is not quite the same thing as responsible book publishing or authorship. (Thank you, brave applauders.) Yet I see sales departments given control over editorial; I see my own publishers in a silly panic of ignorance and greed, charging public libraries for an ebook six or seven times more than they charge customers. We just saw a profiteer try to punish a publisher for disobedience and writers threatened by corporate fatwa, and I see a lot of us, the producers who write the books, and make the books, accepting this. Letting commodity profiteers sell us like deodorant, and tell us what to publish and what to write. (Well, I love you too, darling.) Books, you know, they’re not just commodities. The profit motive often is in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art—the art of words. I have had a long career and a good one. In good company. Now here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river. We who live by writing and publishing want—and should demand—our fair share of the proceeds. But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom. Thank you.
Ursula K. Le Guin
The principles of war are the same as those of a siege. Fire must be concentrated on one point, and as soon as the breach is made, the equilibrium is broken and the rest is nothing.' Subsequent military theory has put the accent on the first clause instead of on the last: in particular, on the words 'one point' instead of on the word 'equilibrium'. The former is but a physical metaphor, whereas the latter expresses the actual psychological result which ensures 'that the rest is nothing'. His own emphasis can be traced in the strategic course of his campaigns. The word 'point' even, has been the source of much confusion, and more controversy. One school has argued that Napoleon meant that the concentrated blow must be aimed at the enemy's strongest point, on the ground that this, and this only, ensures decisive results. For if the enemy's main resistance be broken, its rupture will involve that of any lesser opposition. This argument ignores the factor of cost, and the fact that the victor may be too exhausted to exploit his success-so that even a weaker opponent may acquire a relatively higher resisting power than the original. The other school-better imbued with the idea of economy of force, but only in the limited sense of first costs-has contended that the offensive should be aimed at the enemy's weakest point. But where a point is obviously weak this is usually because it is remote from any vital artery or nerve centre, or because it is deliberately weak to draw the assailant into a trap. Here, again illumination comes from the actual campaign in which Bonaparte put this maxim into execution. It clearly suggests that what he really meant was not 'point', but 'joint'-and that at this stage of his career he was too firmly imbued with the idea of economy of force to waste his limited strength in battering at the enemy's strong point. A joint, however, is both vital and vulnerable. It was at this time too, that Bonaparte used another phrase that has subsequently been quoted to justify the most foolhardy concentrations of effort against the main armed forces of the enemy. 'Austria is our most determined enemy....Austria overthrown, Spain and Italy fall of themselves. We must not disperse our attacks but concentrate them.' But the full text of the memorandum containing this phrase shows that he was arguing, not in support of the direct attack upon Austria, but for using the army on the frontier of Piedmont for an indirect approach to Austria.
B.H. Liddell Hart (Strategy)
Obviously, in those situations, we lose the sale. But we’re not trying to maximize each and every transaction. Instead, we’re trying to build a lifelong relationship with each customer, one phone call at a time. A lot of people may think it’s strange that an Internet company is so focused on the telephone, when only about 5 percent of our sales happen through the telephone. In fact, most of our phone calls don’t even result in sales. But what we’ve found is that on average, every customer contacts us at least once sometime during his or her lifetime, and we just need to make sure that we use that opportunity to create a lasting memory. The majority of phone calls don’t result in an immediate order. Sometimes a customer may be calling because it’s her first time returning an item, and she just wants a little help stepping through the process. Other times, a customer may call because there’s a wedding coming up this weekend and he wants a little fashion advice. And sometimes, we get customers who call simply because they’re a little lonely and want someone to talk to. I’m reminded of a time when I was in Santa Monica, California, a few years ago at a Skechers sales conference. After a long night of bar-hopping, a small group of us headed up to someone’s hotel room to order some food. My friend from Skechers tried to order a pepperoni pizza from the room-service menu, but was disappointed to learn that the hotel we were staying at did not deliver hot food after 11:00 PM. We had missed the deadline by several hours. In our inebriated state, a few of us cajoled her into calling Zappos to try to order a pizza. She took us up on our dare, turned on the speakerphone, and explained to the (very) patient Zappos rep that she was staying in a Santa Monica hotel and really craving a pepperoni pizza, that room service was no longer delivering hot food, and that she wanted to know if there was anything Zappos could do to help. The Zappos rep was initially a bit confused by the request, but she quickly recovered and put us on hold. She returned two minutes later, listing the five closest places in the Santa Monica area that were still open and delivering pizzas at that time. Now, truth be told, I was a little hesitant to include this story because I don’t actually want everyone who reads this book to start calling Zappos and ordering pizza. But I just think it’s a fun story to illustrate the power of not having scripts in your call center and empowering your employees to do what’s right for your brand, no matter how unusual or bizarre the situation. As for my friend from Skechers? After that phone call, she’s now a customer for life. Top 10 Ways to Instill Customer Service into Your Company   1. Make customer service a priority for the whole company, not just a department. A customer service attitude needs to come from the top.   2. Make WOW a verb that is part of your company’s everyday vocabulary.   3. Empower and trust your customer service reps. Trust that they want to provide great service… because they actually do. Escalations to a supervisor should be rare.   4. Realize that it’s okay to fire customers who are insatiable or abuse your employees.   5. Don’t measure call times, don’t force employees to upsell, and don’t use scripts.   6. Don’t hide your 1-800 number. It’s a message not just to your customers, but to your employees as well.   7. View each call as an investment in building a customer service brand, not as an expense you’re seeking to minimize.   8. Have the entire company celebrate great service. Tell stories of WOW experiences to everyone in the company.   9. Find and hire people who are already passionate about customer service. 10. Give great service to everyone: customers, employees, and vendors.
Tony Hsieh (Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose)