Ruling Motivation Quotes

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Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.
Pablo Picasso
Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
Judging is preventing us from understanding a new truth. Free yourself from the rules of old judgments and create the space for new understanding.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
How to win in life: 1 work hard 2 complain less 3 listen more 4 try, learn, grow 5 don't let people tell you it cant be done 6 make no excuses
Germany Kent
The Wizard's First Rule: People are stupid; given proper motivation almost anyone will believe almost anything.
Terry Goodkind (Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1))
Why Not You? Today, many will awaken with a fresh sense of inspiration. Why not you? Today, many will open their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them. Why not you? Today, many will choose to leave the ghost of yesterday behind and seize the immeasurable power of today. Why not you? Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessings of the present. Why not you? Today, for many the burden of self doubt and insecurity will be lifted by the security and confidence of empowerment. Why not you? Today, many will rise above their believed limitations and make contact with their powerful innate strength. Why not you? Today, many will choose to live in such a manner that they will be a positive role model for their children. Why not you? Today, many will choose to free themselves from the personal imprisonment of their bad habits. Why not you? Today, many will choose to live free of conditions and rules governing their own happiness. Why not you? Today, many will find abundance in simplicity. Why not you? Today, many will be confronted by difficult moral choices and they will choose to do what is right instead of what is beneficial. Why not you? Today, many will decide to no longer sit back with a victim mentality, but to take charge of their lives and make positive changes. Why not you? Today, many will take the action necessary to make a difference. Why not you? Today, many will make the commitment to be a better mother, father, son, daughter, student, teacher, worker, boss, brother, sister, & so much more. Why not you? Today is a new day! Many will seize this day. Many will live it to the fullest. Why not you?
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
Politeness is the first thing people lose once they get the power.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
The larger crimes are apt to be the simpler, for the bigger the crime, the more obvious, as a rule, is the motive.
Arthur Conan Doyle
If you are on social media, and you are not learning, not laughing, not being inspired or not networking, then you are using it wrong.
Germany Kent
Intelligence is more important than strength, that is why earth is ruled by men and not by animals.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.
Terry Goodkind (Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1))
if you cannot understand why someone did something, look at the consequences—and infer the motivation.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Kindness is universal. Sometimes being kind allows others to see the goodness in humanity through you. Always be kinder than necessary.
Germany Kent
Today, many will choose to live free of conditions and rules governing their own happiness. Why not you? Do not let another day go by where your dedication to other people's opinions is greater than your dedication to your own emotions! Today's a new day!
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
How would your life be different if...You decided to give freely, love fully, and play feverously? Let today be the day...You free yourself from the conditioned rules that limit your happiness and dilute the beautiful life experience. Have fun. Give - Love - Play!
Steve Maraboli (The Power Of One)
Success is a decision, not a gift.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
There are three types of people in this world. Firstly, there are people who make things happen. Then there are people who watch things happen. Lastly, there are people who ask, what happened? Which do you want to be?
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
But rules only work when everyone plays by them. What happens when someone doesn't, and the fallout bleeds right into his life? Whats stronger- the need to uphold the law, or the motive to turn one's back on it?
Jodi Picoult (Perfect Match)
But even in the much-publicized rebellion of the young against the materialism of the affluent society, the consumer mentality is too often still intact: the standards of behavior are still those of kind and quantity, the security sought is still the security of numbers, and the chief motive is still the consumer's anxiety that he is missing out on what is "in." In this state of total consumerism - which is to say a state of helpless dependence on things and services and ideas and motives that we have forgotten how to provide ourselves - all meaningful contact between ourselves and the earth is broken. We do not understand the earth in terms either of what it offers us or of what it requires of us, and I think it is the rule that people inevitably destroy what they do not understand.
Wendell Berry (The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays)
Creative minds don't follow rules, they follow will.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Like everything in life, it is not what happens to you but how you respond to it that counts.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Though I obviously have no proof of this, the one aspect of life that seems clear to me is that good people do whatever they believe is the right thing to do. Being virtuous is hard, not easy. The idea of doing good things simply because you're good seems like a zero-sum game; I'm not even sure those actions would still qualify as 'good,' since they'd merely be a function of normal behavior. Regardless of what kind of god you believe in--a loving god, a vengeful god, a capricious god, a snooty beret-wearing French god, or whatever--one has to assume that you can't be penalized for doing the things you believe to be truly righteous and just. Certainly, this creates some pretty glaring problems: Hitler may have thought he was serving God. Stalin may have thought he was serving God (or something vaguely similar). I'm certain Osama bin Laden was positive he was serving God. It's not hard to fathom that all of those maniacs were certain that what they were doing was right. Meanwhile, I constantly do things that I know are wrong; they're not on the same scale as incinerating Jews or blowing up skyscrapers, but my motivations might be worse. I have looked directly into the eyes of a woman I loved and told her lies for no reason, except that those lies would allow me to continue having sex with another woman I cared about less. This act did not kill 20 million Russian peasants, but it might be more 'diabolical' in a literal sense. If I died and found out I was going to hell and Stalin was in heaven, I would note the irony, but I couldn't complain. I don't make the fucking rules.
Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto)
Carol Dweck, the psychologist who studies motivation, likes to say that all the world's parenting advice can be distilled to two simple rules: pay attention to what your children are fascinated by, and praise them for their effort.
Daniel Coyle (The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Everything Else)
Sometimes, when people have a low opinion of their own worth—or, perhaps, when they refuse responsibility for their lives—they choose a new acquaintance, of precisely the type who proved troublesome in the past. Such people don’t believe that they deserve any better—so they don’t go looking for it. Or, perhaps, they don’t want the trouble of better. Freud called this a “repetition compulsion.” He thought of it as an unconscious drive to repeat the horrors of the past—sometimes, perhaps, to formulate those horrors more precisely, sometimes to attempt more active mastery and sometimes, perhaps, because no alternatives beckon. People create their worlds with the tools they have directly at hand. Faulty tools produce faulty results. Repeated use of the same faulty tools produces the same faulty results. It is in this manner that those who fail to learn from the past doom themselves to repeat it. It’s partly fate. It’s partly inability. It’s partly … unwillingness to learn? Refusal to learn? Motivated refusal to learn?
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
It is never about who is right or wrong, it is about what is best.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Enlightenment is the Goal - Love is the Game - Taking steps are the rules! - Allan Rufus
Allan Rufus
Too often, people get stuck in a state of over-thinking, the result is that they never reach a decision.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Tweet others the way you want to be tweeted.
Germany Kent (You Are What You Tweet: Harness the Power of Twitter to Create a Happier, Healthier Life)
Compete like you cannot fail.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Passion is not a thing, it's a state of mind.
Mel Robbins (The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage)
Fear has the role we give it. We are able to empower or poison ourselves to whatever degree we want. This is the beauty of our design.
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
The first step is the most important. It is the most crucial and the most effective as it will initiate the direction you have chosen.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Athletes who are able to stay completely focused in pursuit of their dreams are the ones that are most likely to become champions.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Freedom of Speech doesn't justify online bullying. Words have power, be careful how you use them.
Germany Kent
Remember, girl: It's the best time in the history of the world to be you. You can do anything! You can do everything! You can be whatever you want to be! Just as long as you follow the rules.
Candace Bushnell (Rules for Being a Girl)
You can start to change your luck today. Begin believing that you can have what you desire and superior things will arrive.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
If obstacles are large, jump higher.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
If not now, when?
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Act like a champion, and then become one.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Evil is a word used by the ignorant and the weak. The Dark Side is about survival. It's about unleashing your inner power. It glorifies the strength of the individual.
Drew Karpyshyn (Rule of Two (Star Wars: Darth Bane #2))
Self-interest lies behind all that men do, forming the important motive for all their actions; this rule has never deceived me
Marquis de Sade
To stay in recovery, you must be responsible for finding your own motivation. Remember, motivation may not be easy to come by at first. It will probably be a very small, timid part inside of you. When you find it, let that part be in charge. Let the minority rule and lead you to a life you never dreamed was possible
Jenni Schaefer (Life Without Ed: How One Woman Declared Independence from Her Eating Disorder and How You Can Too)
If you have positive energy you will always attract positive outcomes.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Don't promote negativity online and expect people to treat you with positivity in person.
Germany Kent
The Goldilocks Rule states that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
You must determine where you are going, so that you can bargain for yourself, so that you don’t end up resentful, vengeful and cruel. You have to articulate your own principles, so that you can defend yourself against others’ taking inappropriate advantage of you, and so that you are secure and safe while you work and play. You must discipline yourself carefully. You must keep the promises you make to yourself, and reward yourself, so that you can trust and motivate yourself. You need to determine how to act toward yourself so that you are most likely to become and to stay a good person. It would be good to make the world a better place.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Share your aspirations only with those who will support you, not those who will respond with doubt or lack of interest.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
It is action that creates motivation.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Things that aren't important, that have nothing to do with winning and losing, don't have to be a rule.
Peter Richmond (Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden's Oakland Raiders)
See it first in your mind, then become it.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
The thrust of continuous action is the firewood which fuels motivation.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Every time a champion makes a decision they have a chance to learn something new, regardless of the outcome.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Unfortunately we treat others as we treat ourselves. We should try being genuinely kind to ourselves and the rest will come naturally, like a Platinum Rule.
Erica Goros (The Daisy Chain)
Life as a defeated warrior with dignity is lot better than the king ruling without it.
Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma (Guru with Guitar)
The moral of the story? Beware of intellectuals who make a monotheism out of their theories of motivation.
Jordan B. Peterson (Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life)
We have an amazing potential to reach our highest potential, to have truly inspiring careers and loving relationships. Unfortunately, often we walk through our lives asleep, we let our habits rule us, and find it difficult to change our beliefs.
Nataša Pantović (Mindful Being (AoL Mindfulness, #4))
Call it dysphoric mania, agitated depression, or a mixed state: nobody will understand anyway. Mania and depression at once mean the will to die and the motivation to make it happen. This is why mixed states are the most dangerous periods of mood disorders. Tearfulness and racing thoughts happen. So do agitation and guilt, fatigue and morbidity and dread. Walking late at night, trying to get murdered, happens. Trying to explain a bipolar mixed state is like trying to explain the Holy Trinity, three persons in one God: you just have to take it on faith when I tell you that the poles bend, cross, never snapping.
Elissa Washuta (My Body Is a Book of Rules)
Look for solutions, instead of being difficult; be more thoughtful, instead of allowing anger to burn you out. Look at things from a different perspective, embrace change, look out for opportunities and you will feel much more in control.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Ask yourself what you would require to be motivated to undertake the job, honestly, and listen to the answer. Don’t tell yourself, “I shouldn’t need to do that to motivate myself.” What do you know about yourself? You are, on the one hand, the most complex thing in the entire universe, and on the other, someone who can’t even set the clock on your microwave. Don’t over-estimate your self-knowledge.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
J.R.R.Tolkien has confessed that about a third of the way through The Fellowship of the Ring, some ruffian named Strider confronted the hobbits in an inn, and Tolkien was in despair. He didn't know who Strider was, where the book was going, or what to write next. Strider turns out to be no lesser person than Aragorn, the unrecognized and uncrowned king of all the forces of good, whose restoration to rule is, along with the destruction of the evil ring, the engine that moves the plot of the whole massive trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.
Ansen Dibell (Plot)
If you want to continue to be the best in the world, then you have to train and compete like you are second best in the world.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Invest your energy in the things you can control.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
God does not showers blessings, he showers opportunities.
Amit Kalantri
7 Rules to a Happy Life: 1. Be humble 2. Don’t worry 3. Don't settle for less 4. Mind your business 5. Work hard 6. Play hard 7. Be nice
Germany Kent
I came to understand, through the great George Orwell, that much of such thinking found its motivation in hatred of the rich and successful, instead of true regard for the poor. Besides, the socialists were more intrinsically capitalist than the capitalists. They believed just as strongly in money. They just thought that if different people had the money, the problems plaguing humanity would vanish.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Experience was of no ethical value. It was merely the name men gave to their mistakes. Moralists had, as a rule, regarded it as a mode of warning, had claimed for it a certain ethical efficacy in the formation of character, had praised it as something that taught us what to follow and showed us what to avoid. But there was no motive power in experience. It was as little of an active cause as conscience itself. All that it really demonstrated was that our future would be the same as our past, and that the sin we had done once, and with loathing, we would do many times, and with joy.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Self-centered people often get angry when someone tells them no. Stan said yes out of fear that he would lose love and that other people would get angry at him. These false motives and others keep us from setting boundaries:
Henry Cloud (Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life)
A mind filled with negative thoughts makes you feel miserable and inadequate and will lead to failure after failure no matter how hard you try to succeed.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
If you remain static and wait for success to come to you it will certainly not happen.
Steve Backley (The Champion in all of Us: 12 Rules for Success)
Fundamental rule in your life, is to know what your deserve in life and getting what you deserve. That's winning always.
Jubin Jomon
Self-doubt in moderation is animating and motivating, not paralyzing. Leaders who have purged themselves of all self-doubt will not be leaders for long and, in my view, are dangerous while in command. I learned, over time, that self-doubt is my friend, and arrogance my enemy.
Preet Bharara (Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law)
A true romantic will break the rules for the right reasons. He will not conform to the ideals bestowed upon him by society. Instead he will fight for a climate of freedom that allows him to pursue and obtain his heart's true yearning. He will appear incorrect in his upright form, but such perception only through the eyes of those travelling under the hypnotic notion of social paradigms. Do not judge he who is breaking the rules, rather try to understand his motivations. If his intent is pure then his fight is not in vain.
Nicole Bonomi
Whoever seeks higher knowledge must create it for himself. He must instill it into his soul. It cannot be done by study; it can only be done through life. Whoever, therefore, wishes to become a student of higher knowledge must assiduously cultivate this inner life of devotion. Everywhere in his environment and his experiences he must seek motives of admiration and homage. If I meet a man and blame him for his shortcomings, I rob myself of power to attain higher knowledge; but if I try to enter lovingly into his merits, I gather such power. The student must continually be intent upon following this advice. The spiritually experienced know how much they owe to the circumstance that in face of all things they ever again turn to the good, and withhold adverse judgement. But this must not remain an external rule of life; rather it must take possession of our innermost soul.
Rudolf Steiner (How to Know Higher Worlds)
If you pay attention, when you are seeking something, you will move towards your goal. More importantly, however, you will acquire the information that allows your goal itself to transform. A totalitarian never asks, “What if my current ambition is in error?” He treats it, instead, as the Absolute. It becomes his God, for all intents and purposes. It constitutes his highest value. It regulates his emotions and motivational states, and determines his thoughts. All people serve their ambition. In that matter, there are no atheists. There are only people who know, and don’t know, what God they serve.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Wizard's First Rule: people are stupid." Richard and Kahlan frowned even more. "People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool. "Because of Wizards First Rule, the old wizards created Confessors, and Seekers, as a means of helping find the truth, when the truth is important enough. Darken Rahl knows the Wizard's Rules. He is using the first one. People need an enemy to feel a sense of purpose. It's easy to lead people when they have a sense of purpose. Sense of purpose is more important by far than the truth. In fact, truth has no bearing in this. Darken Rahl is providing them with an enemy, other than himself, a sense of purpose. People are stupid; they want to believe, so they do.
Terry Goodkind (Wizard's First Rule (Sword of Truth, #1))
Logic and morality made it impossible to accept an illogical and immoral reality; they engendered a rejection of reality which as a rule led the cultivated man rapidly to despair. But the varieties of the man-animal are innumerable, and I saw and have described men of refined culture, especially if young, throw all this overboard, simplify and barbarize themselves, and survive. A simple man, accustomed not to ask questions of himself, was beyond the reach of the useless torment of asking himself why. The harsher the oppression, the more widespread among the oppressed is the willingness, with all its infinite nuances and motivations, to collaborate: terror, ideological seduction, servile imitation of the victor, myopic desire for any power whatsoever… Certainly, the greatest responsibility lies with the system, the very structure of the totalitarian state; the concurrent guilt on the part of individual big and small collaborators is always difficult to evaluate… they are the vectors and instruments of the system’s guilt… the room for choices (especially moral choices) was reduced to zero
Primo Levi (The Drowned and the Saved)
Far from helping students to develop into mature, self-reliant, self-motivated individuals, schools seem to do everything they can to keep youngsters in a state of chronic, almost infantile, dependency. The pervasive atmosphere of distrust, together with rules covering the most minute aspects of existence, teach students every day that they are not people of worth, and certainly not individuals capable of regulating their own behavior.
Alfie Kohn (Punished By Rewards: Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes)
The sign of a good leader is easy to recognize, though it is hardly ever seen. For the greatest leaders are those who share as equals in the trials and struggles, the demands and expectations, the hills and trenches, the laws and punishments placed upon the backs of those governed. A great leader is motivated not by power but by compassion. Therefore he can do nothing but make himself a servant to those whom he rules. Such a leader is unequivocally respected, and loved for loving.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
God’s grace is so much more powerful of a motivator than fear. Love is the deepest motivator. Only love can produce not only willing obedience but also lasting obedience. If you are being motivated by fear, rules, anger, or some other emotion, it usually only lasts while that emotion is there. Love, being a state of the heart, lasts even past the initial emotion.
Jefferson Bethke (Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough)
Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven as they are both present inside this very moment. Why worry so much about the aftermath, an imaginary future, when this very moment is the only time we can truly and fully experience the presence and absence of God in our lives? Motivated by neither the fear of punishment nor the desire to be rewarded in heaven, Sufis love God simply because they love him.
Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
My Angel, My greatest hope is that you never have to read this. Vee knows to give you this letter only if my feather is burned and I’m chained in hell or if Blakely develops a devilcraft prototype strong enough to kill me. When war between our races ignites, I don’t know what will become of our future. When I think about you and our plans. I feel a desperate aching. Never have I wanted things to turn out right as as I do now. Before I leave this world, I need to make certain you know that all my love belongs to you. You are the same to me now as you were before you swore the Changeover Vow. You are mine. Always. I love the strength, courage, and gentleness of your soul. I love your body too. How could someone so sexy and perfect be mine? With you I have purpose-someone to love, cherish and protect. There are secrets in my past that weigh on your mind. You've trusted me enough not to ask about them, and it's your faith that has made me a better man. I don’t want to leave you with anything hidden between us. I told you I was banished from heaven for falling in love with a human girl. The I way I explained it, I risked everything to be with her. I said those words because they simplified my motivations. But they weren't the truth. The truth is I had become disenchanted with the archangels’s shifting goals and wanted to push back against them and their rules. That girl was an excuse to let go of an old way of living and accept a new journey that would eventually lead me to you. I believe in destiny, Angel. I believe every choice I've made has brought me closer to you. I looked for you for a very long time. I may have fallen from heaven but I fell for you. I will do whatever it takes to make sure you win this war. Nephilim will come out on top. You’ll fulfill your vow to the Black Hand and be safe. This is my priority even if the cost is my life. I suspect this will make you angry. It may be hard to forgive me. I promised that we would be together at the end of this and you may resent me for the breaking that vow. I want you to know I did everything to keep my word. As I write this I am going over ever possibility that will see us through this. I hope I find a way. But if this choice I have to make comes down to your or me, I choose you. I always have. All my love, Patch
Becca Fitzpatrick (Finale (Hush, Hush, #4))
True, luck may rule over parts of a person's life and luck may cast patches of shadow across the ground of our being, but where there's a WILL-- much less a strong will to swim thirty laps or run twenty kilometers -- there's a way to overcome most any trouble with whatever stepladders you have around.
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
When someone claims to be acting from the highest principles, for the good of others, there is no reason to assume that the person’s motives are genuine. People motivated to make things better usually aren’t concerned with changing other people—or, if they are, they take responsibility for making the same changes to themselves (and first).
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
And here’s an example of deliberate violation of a Fake Rule:   Fake Rule: The generic pronoun in English is he. Violation: “Each one in turn reads their piece aloud.”   This is wrong, say the grammar bullies, because each one, each person is a singular noun and their is a plural pronoun. But Shakespeare used their with words such as everybody, anybody, a person, and so we all do when we’re talking. (“It’s enough to drive anyone out of their senses,” said George Bernard Shaw.) The grammarians started telling us it was incorrect along in the sixteenth or seventeenth century. That was when they also declared that the pronoun he includes both sexes, as in “If a person needs an abortion, he should be required to tell his parents.” My use of their is socially motivated and, if you like, politically correct: a deliberate response to the socially and politically significant banning of our genderless pronoun by language legislators enforcing the notion that the male sex is the only one that counts. I consistently break a rule I consider to be not only fake but pernicious. I know what I’m doing and why.
Ursula K. Le Guin (Steering The Craft: A Twenty-First-Century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story)
When you can't win by being better, you can win by being different. By combining your skills, you reduce the level of competition, which makes it easier to stand out. You can shortcut the need for a genetic advantage (or for years of practice) by rewriting the rules. A good player works hard to win the game everyone else is playing. A great player creates a new game that favors their strengths and avoids their weaknesses.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
The Perfect Person's Rule of Life: The perfect person does not only try to avoid evil. Nor does he do good for fear of punishment, still less in order to qualify for the hope of a promised reward. The perfect person does good through love. His actions are not motivated by desire for personal benefit, so he does not have personal advantage as his aim. But as soon as he has realized the beauty of doing good, he does it with all his energies and in all that he does. He is not interested in fame, or a good reputation, or a human or divine reward. The rule of life for a perfect person is to be in the image and likeness of God.
Clement of Alexandria
In our current culture, we place a lot of emphasis on job description. Our obsession with the advice to “follow your passion” (the subject of my last book), for example, is motivated by the (flawed) idea that what matters most for your career satisfaction is the specifics of the job you choose. In this way of thinking, there are some rarified jobs that can be a source of satisfaction—perhaps working in a nonprofit or starting a software company—while all others are soulless and bland. The philosophy of Dreyfus and Kelly frees us from such traps. The craftsmen they cite don’t have rarified jobs. Throughout most of human history, to be a blacksmith or a wheelwright wasn’t glamorous. But this doesn’t matter, as the specifics of the work are irrelevant. The meaning uncovered by such efforts is due to the skill and appreciation inherent in craftsmanship—not the outcomes of their work.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
Micromanagement is mismanagement. … [P]eople micromanage to assuage their anxieties about organizational performance: they feel better if they are continuously directing and controlling the actions of others—at heart, this reveals emotional insecurity on their part. It gives micromanagers the illusion of control (or usefulness). Another motive is lack of trust in the abilities of staff—micromanagers do not believe that their colleagues will successfully complete a task or discharge a responsibility even when they say they will.”108
Laszlo Bock (Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead)
Every hour be firmly resolved... to accomplish the work at hand with fitting and unaffected dignity, goodwill, freedom, justice. Banish from your thoughts all other considerations. This is possible if you perform each act as if it were your last, rejecting every frivolous distraction, every denial of the rule of reason, every pretentious gesture, vain show, and whining complaint against the decrees of fate. Do you see what little is required of a man to live a well-tempered and god-fearing life? Obey these precepts, and the gods will ask nothing more (II.5).
Marcus Aurelius (The Emperor's Handbook)
I had begun to see a new map of the world, one that was frightening in its simplicity, suffocating in its implications. We were always playing on the white man's court, Ray had told me, by the white man's rules. If the principal, or the coach, or a teacher, or Kurt, wanted to spit in your face, he could, because he had power and you didn't. If he decided not to, if he treated you like a man or came to your defense, it was because he knew that the words you spoke, the clothes you wore, the books you read, your ambitions and desires, were already his. Whatever he decided to do, it was his decision to make, not yours, and because of that fundamental power he held over you, because it preceded and would outlast his individual motives and inclinations, any distinction between good and bad whites held negligible meaning.
Barack Obama (Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance)
I mentioned early in this book the kind of rereading distinctive of a fan--the Tolkien addict, say, or the devotee of Jane Austen or Trollope or the Harry Potter books. The return to such books is often motivated by a desire to dwell for a time in a self-contained fictional universe, with its own boundaries and its own rules. (It is a moot question whether Austen and Trollope's first readers were drawn to their novels for these reasons, but their readers today often are.) Such rereading is not purely a matter of escapism, even though that is one reason for its attraction: we should note that it's not what readers are escaping from but that they are escaping into that counts most. Most of us do not find fictional worlds appealing because we find our own lives despicable, though censorious people often make that assumption. Auden once wrote that "there must always be ... escape-art, for man needs escape as he needs food and deep sleep." The sleeper does not disdain consciousness.
Alan Jacobs (The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction)
Hank Green's Secrets of Productivity: 1.) I have convinced myself that if I am not using all of the tools I have in my disposal to do the maximum amount of good [...] then I am less of a good person than I could otherwise could be. [...] 2.) I intentionally put myself in situations where people who I care about and who I respect rely on me to do things, which is very motivating. [...] 3.) I don't get caught up in doing everything perfectly. [...] I just want to try stuff and if it explodes... it exploded! And I learned! 4.) I love giving other people responsibility. I love putting them in difficult situations and saying: "Figure this out. Help me do this." And if they do it wrong or if they do it differently than how I would have done it, I don't get mad as long as they're learning, because there's no way to get good at stuff except to do it and fail and learn. [...] 5.) I follow and cultivate my own curiosity. I think curiosity is one of the top two or three human characteristics. It's something that I really like about myself. [...] I want to understand stuff! I want to understand people! Following my curiosity so frequently leads me to better life decisions and better business decisions but also - just feeling better! You're never going to feel bad about your whole life if you loved people and you were curious. I mean, that's kind of all I want!
Hank Green
Pettiness often leads both to error and to the digging of a trap for oneself. Wondering (which I am sure he didn't) 'if by the 1990s [Hitchens] was morphing into someone I didn’t quite recognize”, Blumenthal recalls with horror the night that I 'gave' a farewell party for Martin Walker of the Guardian, and then didn't attend it because I wanted to be on television instead. This is easy: Martin had asked to use the fine lobby of my building for a farewell bash, and I'd set it up. People have quite often asked me to do that. My wife did the honors after Nightline told me that I’d have to come to New York if I wanted to abuse Mother Teresa and Princess Diana on the same show. Of all the people I know, Martin Walker and Sidney Blumenthal would have been the top two in recognizing that journalism and argument come first, and that there can be no hard feelings about it. How do I know this? Well, I have known Martin since Oxford. (He produced a book on Clinton, published in America as 'The President We Deserve'. He reprinted it in London, under the title, 'The President They Deserve'. I doffed my hat to that.) While Sidney—I can barely believe I am telling you this—once also solicited an invitation to hold his book party at my home. A few days later he called me back, to tell me that Martin Peretz, owner of the New Republic, had insisted on giving the party instead. I said, fine, no bones broken; no caterers ordered as yet. 'I don't think you quite get it,' he went on, after an honorable pause. 'That means you can't come to the party at all.' I knew that about my old foe Peretz: I didn't then know I knew it about Blumenthal. I also thought that it was just within the limit of the rules. I ask you to believe that I had buried this memory until this book came out, but also to believe that I won't be slandered and won't refrain—if motives or conduct are in question—from speculating about them in my turn.
Christopher Hitchens
New Rule: Not everything in America has to make a profit. If conservatives get to call universal health care "socialized medicine," I get to call private, for-profit health care "soulless vampire bastards making money off human pain." Now, I know what you're thinking: "But, Bill, the profit motive is what sustains capitalism." Yes, and our sex drive is what sustains the human species, but we don't try to fuck everything. It wasn't that long ago when a kid in America broke his leg, his parents took him to the local Catholic hospital, the nun stuck a thermometer in his ass, the doctor slapped some plaster on his ankle, and you were done. The bill was $1.50; plus, you got to keep the thermometer. But like everything else that's good and noble in life, some bean counter decided that hospitals could be big business, so now they're not hospitals anymore; they're Jiffy Lubes with bedpans. The more people who get sick, and stay sick, the higher their profit margins, which is why they're always pushing the Jell-O. Did you know that the United States is ranked fiftieth in the world in life expectancy? And the forty-nine loser countries were they live longer than us? Oh, it's hardly worth it, they may live longer, but they live shackled to the tyranny of nonprofit health care. Here in America, you're not coughing up blood, little Bobby, you're coughing up freedom. The problem with President Obama's health-care plan isn't socialism. It's capitalism. When did the profit motive become the only reason to do anything? When did that become the new patriotism? Ask not what you could do for your country, ask what's in it for Blue Cross Blue Shield. And it's not just medicine--prisons also used to be a nonprofit business, and for good reason--who the hell wants to own a prison? By definition, you're going to have trouble with the tenants. It's not a coincidence that we outsourced running prisons to private corporations and then the number of prisoners in America skyrocketed. There used to be some things we just didn't do for money. Did you know, for example, there was a time when being called a "war profiteer" was a bad thing? FDR said he didn't want World War II to create one millionaire, but I'm guessing Iraq has made more than a few executives at Halliburton into millionaires. Halliburton sold soldiers soda for $7.50 a can. They were honoring 9/11 by charging like 7-Eleven. Which is wrong. We're Americans; we don't fight wars for money. We fight them for oil. And my final example of the profit motive screwing something up that used to be good when it was nonprofit: TV news. I heard all the news anchors this week talk about how much better the news coverage was back in Cronkite's day. And I thought, "Gee, if only you were in a position to do something about it.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
Women have been so thoroughly oppressed that they have accepted unconsciously the role that the ruling sex, man, gave to them. They have even believed in male propaganda, which is very much the same as the propaganda in other wars, wars against colonial people, etc. Women have been considered to be naive: Freud said that they were narcissistic, unrealistic, cowardly, inferior to man anatomically, intellectually, morally. The fact is that women are less narcissistic than men, for the simple reason that there is almost nothing that man does which has not some purpose of making an impression. Women do many, many things without this motive and in fact what you might call women's vanity is only the necessity to please the victors. As far as the lack of realism in women is concerned, what should we say about male realism in an epoch in which all western governments, consisting of men, are spending their money building atomic bombs, instead of taking care of threatening famine, instead of avoiding the catastrophes which threaten the whole world...
Erich Fromm
. . . Neither ecological nor social engineering will lead us to a conflict-free, simple path . . . Utilitarians and others who simply advise us to be happy are unhelpful, because we almost always have to make a choice either between different kinds of happiness--different things to be happy _about_--or between these and other things we want, which nothing to do with happiness. . . . Do we find ourselves a species naturally free from conflict? We do not. There has not, apparently, been in our evolution a kind of rationalization which might seem a possible solution to problems of conflict--namely, a takeover by some major motive, such as the desire for future pleasure, which would automatically rule out all competing desires. Instead, what has developed is our intelligence. And this in some ways makes matters worse, since it shows us many desirable things that we would not otherwise have thought of, as well as the quite sufficient number we knew about for a start. In compensation, however, it does help us to arbitrate. Rules and principles, standards and ideals emerge as part of a priority system by which we guide ourselves through the jungle. They never make the job easy--desires that we put low on our priority system do not merely vanish--but they make it possible. And it is in working out these concepts more fully, in trying to extend their usefulness, that moral philosophy begins. Were there no conflict, it [moral philosophy] could never have arisen. The motivation of living creatures does got boil down to any single basic force, not even an 'instinct of self-preservation.' It is a complex pattern of separate elements, balanced roughly in the constitution of the species, but always liable to need adjusting. Creatures really have divergent and conflicting desires. Their distinct motives are not (usually) wishes for survival or for means to survival, but for various particular things to be done and obtained while surviving. And these can always conflict. Motivation is fundamentally plural. . . An obsessive creature dominated constantly by one kind of motive, would not survive. All moral doctrine, all practical suggestions about how we ought to live, depend on some belief about what human nature is like. The traditional business of moral philosophy is attempting to understand, clarify, relate, and harmonize so far as possible the claims arising from different sides of our nature. . . . One motive does not necessarily replace another smoothly and unremarked. There is _ambivalence_, conflict behavior.
Mary Midgley (Beast and Man. Routledge. 2002.)
It was a long struggle against invisible foes, or to put it more accurately, against invisible foes that might not have been there at all, but it was a victorious struggle, in the course of which they understood that the victory would only be unconditional if they annihilated or, if he might put it in such old fashioned terms, said Korin, exiled, exiled anything that might have stood against them, or rather, fully absorbed it into the repulsive vulgarity of the world they now ruled, ruled if not exactly commanded, and thereby besmirched whatever was good and transcendent, not by saying a haughty 'no' to good and transcendent things, no, for they understood that the important thing was to say 'yes' from the meanest of motives, to give them their outright support, to display them, to nurture them; it was this that dawned on them and showed them what to do, that their best option was not to crush their enemies, to mock them or wipe them off the face of the earth, but, on the contrary, to embrace them, to take responsibility for them and so to empty them of their content, and in this way to establish a world in which it was precisely these things that would be the most liable to spread the infection so that the only power that had any chance of resisting them, by whose radiant light it might still have been possible to see the degree to which they had taken over people's lives... how could he make himself clearer at this point, Korin hesitated...
László Krasznahorkai (War & War)
Women are taught to sacrifice, to play nice, to live an altruistic life because a good girl is always rewarded in the end. This is not a virtue; it is propaganda. Submission gets you a ticket to future prosperity that will never manifest. By the time you realize the ticket to success and happiness you have been sold isn’t worth the paper it was printed on, it will be too late. Go on, spend a quarter of your life, even half of your life, in the service of others and you will realize you were hustled. You do not manifest your destiny by placing others first! A kingdom built on your back doesn’t become your kingdom, it becomes your folly. History does not remember the slaves of Egypt that built the pyramids, they remember the Pharaohs that wielded the power over those laborers. Yet here you are, content with being a worker bee, motivated by some sales pitch that inspires you to work harder for some master than you work for yourself, with this loose promise that one day you will share in his wealth. Altruism is your sin. Selfishness is your savior. Ruthless aggression and self-preservation are not evil. Why aren’t females taught these things? Instead of putting themselves first, women are told to be considerate and selfless. From birth, they have been beaten in the head with this notion of “Don’t be selfish!” Fuck that. Your mother may have told you to wait your turn like a good girl, but I’m saying cut in front of that other bitch. Club Success is about to hit capacity, and you don’t want to be the odd woman out. Where are the powerful women? Those who refuse to play by those rules and want more out of life than what a man allows her to have? I created a category for such women and labeled them Spartans. Much like the Greek warriors who fought against all odds, these women refuse to surrender and curtsy before the status quo. Being
G.L. Lambert (Men Don't Love Women Like You: The Brutal Truth About Dating, Relationships, and How to Go from Placeholder to Game Changer)
The news filled me with such euphoria that for an instant I was numb. My ingrained self-censorship immediately started working: I registered the fact that there was an orgy of weeping going on around me, and that I had to come up with some suitable performance. There seemed nowhere to hide my lack of correct emotion except the shoulder of the woman in front of me, one of the student officials, who was apparently heartbroken. I swiftly buried my head in her shoulder and heaved appropriately. As so often in China, a bit of ritual did the trick. Sniveling heartily she made a movement as though she was going to turn around and embrace me I pressed my whole weight on her from behind to keep her in her place, hoping to give the impression that I was in a state of abandoned grief. In the days after Mao's death, I did a lot of thinking. I knew he was considered a philosopher, and I tried to think what his 'philosophy' really was. It seemed to me that its central principle was the need or the desire? for perpetual conflict. The core of his thinking seemed to be that human struggles were the motivating force of history and that in order to make history 'class enemies' had to be continuously created en masse. I wondered whether there were any other philosophers whose theories had led to the suffering and death of so many. I thought of the terror and misery to which the Chinese population had been subjected. For what? But Mao's theory might just be the extension of his personality. He was, it seemed to me, really a restless fight promoter by nature, and good at it. He understood ugly human instincts such as envy and resentment, and knew how to mobilize them for his ends. He ruled by getting people to hate each other. In doing so, he got ordinary Chinese to carry out many of the tasks undertaken in other dictatorships by professional elites. Mao had managed to turn the people into the ultimate weapon of dictatorship. That was why under him there was no real equivalent of the KGB in China. There was no need. In bringing out and nourishing the worst in people, Mao had created a moral wasteland and a land of hatred. But how much individual responsibility ordinary people should share, I could not decide. The other hallmark of Maoism, it seemed to me, was the reign of ignorance. Because of his calculation that the cultured class were an easy target for a population that was largely illiterate, because of his own deep resentment of formal education and the educated, because of his megalomania, which led to his scorn for the great figures of Chinese culture, and because of his contempt for the areas of Chinese civilization that he did not understand, such as architecture, art, and music, Mao destroyed much of the country's cultural heritage. He left behind not only a brutalized nation, but also an ugly land with little of its past glory remaining or appreciated. The Chinese seemed to be mourning Mao in a heartfelt fashion. But I wondered how many of their tears were genuine. People had practiced acting to such a degree that they confused it with their true feelings. Weeping for Mao was perhaps just another programmed act in their programmed lives. Yet the mood of the nation was unmistakably against continuing Mao's policies. Less than a month after his death, on 6 October, Mme Mao was arrested, along with the other members of the Gang of Four. They had no support from anyone not the army, not the police, not even their own guards. They had had only Mao. The Gang of Four had held power only because it was really a Gang of Five. When I heard about the ease with which the Four had been removed, I felt a wave of sadness. How could such a small group of second-rate tyrants ravage 900 million people for so long? But my main feeling was joy. The last tyrants of the Cultural Revolution were finally gone.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
Parent and Teacher Actions: 1. Ask children what their role models would do. Children feel free to take initiative when they look at problems through the eyes of originals. Ask children what they would like to improve in their family or school. Then have them identify a real person or fictional character they admire for being unusually creative and inventive. What would that person do in this situation? 2. Link good behaviors to moral character. Many parents and teachers praise helpful actions, but children are more generous when they’re commended for being helpful people—it becomes part of their identity. If you see a child do something good, try saying, “You’re a good person because you ___.” Children are also more ethical when they’re asked to be moral people—they want to earn the identity. If you want a child to share a toy, instead of asking, “Will you share?” ask, “Will you be a sharer?” 3. Explain how bad behaviors have consequences for others. When children misbehave, help them see how their actions hurt other people. “How do you think this made her feel?” As they consider the negative impact on others, children begin to feel empathy and guilt, which strengthens their motivation to right the wrong—and to avoid the action in the future. 4. Emphasize values over rules. Rules set limits that teach children to adopt a fixed view of the world. Values encourage children to internalize principles for themselves. When you talk about standards, like the parents of the Holocaust rescuers, describe why certain ideals matter to you and ask children why they’re important. 5. Create novel niches for children to pursue. Just as laterborns sought out more original niches when conventional ones were closed to them, there are ways to help children carve out niches. One of my favorite techniques is the Jigsaw Classroom: bring students together for a group project, and assign each of them a unique part. For example, when writing a book report on Eleanor Roosevelt’s life, one student worked on her childhood, another on her teenage years, and a third on her role in the women’s movement. Research shows that this reduces prejudice—children learn to value each other’s distinctive strengths. It can also give them the space to consider original ideas instead of falling victim to groupthink. To further enhance the opportunity for novel thinking, ask children to consider a different frame of reference. How would Roosevelt’s childhood have been different if she grew up in China? What battles would she have chosen to fight there?
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World)