Task Completed Quotes

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If Jesus gives us a task or assigns us to a difficult season, every ounce of our experience is meant for our instruction and completion if only we'll let Him finish the work. I fear, however, that we are so attention-deficit that we settle for bearable when beauty is just around the corner.
Beth Moore
Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art— Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night And watching, with eternal lids apart, Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, The moving waters at their priestlike task Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask Of snow upon the mountains and the moors— No—yet still stedfast, still unchangeable, Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast, To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, And so live ever—or else swoon to death. Bright Star
John Keats (The Complete Poems)
There is an art to the business of making sandwiches which it is given to few ever to find the time to explore in depth. It is a simple task, but the opportunities for satisfaction are many and profound.
Douglas Adams (The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5))
So what should we say when children complete a task—say, math problems—quickly and perfectly? Should we deny them the praise they have earned? Yes. When this happens, I say, “Whoops. I guess that was too easy. I apologize for wasting your time. Let’s do something you can really learn from!
Carol S. Dweck (Mindset: The New Psychology of Success)
Sometimes, soulmates may meet, stay together until a task or life lesson is completed, and then move on. This is not a tragedy, only a matter of learning.
Brian L. Weiss
All men fear death. It’s a natural fear that consumes us all. We fear death because we feel that we haven’t loved well enough or loved at all, which ultimately are one and the same. However, when you make love with a truly great woman, one that deserves the utmost respect in this world and one that makes you feel truly powerful, that fear of death completely disappears. Because when you are sharing your body and heart with a great woman the world fades away. You two are the only ones in the entire universe. You conquer what most lesser men have never conquered before, you have conquered a great woman’s heart, the most vulnerable thing she can offer to another. Death no longer lingers in the mind. Fear no longer clouds your heart. Only passion for living, and for loving, become your sole reality. This is no easy task for it takes insurmountable courage. But remember this, for that moment when you are making love with a woman of true greatness you will feel immortal. I believe that love that is true and real creates a respite from death. All cowardice comes from not loving or not loving well, which is the same thing. And when the man who is brave and true looks death squarely in the face like some rhino hunters I know or Belmonte, who is truly brave, it is because they love with sufficient passion to push death out of their minds. Until it returns, as it does to all men. And then you must make really good love again. Think about it.
Woody Allen
He made me realize that hard work--that the act of finishing, of completing, of accomplishing a task--is joyous
Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian)
There is but one task for all -- One life for each to give. What stands if Freedom fall?" [For All We Have and Are]
Rudyard Kipling (Complete Verse)
That perhaps is your task--to find the relation between things that seem incompatible yet have a mysterious affinity, to absorb every experience that comes your way fearlessly and saturate it completely so that your poem is a whole, not a fragment; to re-think human life into poetry and so give us tragedy again and comedy by means of characters not spun out at length in the novelist's way, but condensed and synthesized in the poet's way--that is what we look to you to do now.
Virginia Woolf
The spider does not spin its web in a heartbeat, nor does the albatross fly across oceans with a few flaps of its wings. Many would consider what they do impossible, and yet, they still complete their tasks without fail, because they simply...start.
Julie Kagawa (Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1))
If I should die, and leave you here awhile Be not like others sore undone, who keep Long vigils by the silent dust and weep. For my sake, turn again to life, and smile, Nerving thy heart and trembling hand to do Something to comfort weaker hearts than thine. Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine, And I, perchance, may therein comfort you!
Mary Lee Hall
An average person who develops the habit of setting clear priorities and getting important tasks completed quickly will run circles around a genius who talks a lot and makes wonderful plans but gets very little done.
Brian Tracy
I want us all to stop thinking only in terms of accomplishments, of task and completion, of beating the competition, of gathering income and merchandise, of winning praise, and instead, live our lives forging the deepest relationships we can with ourselves and with one another. i want us to respond to adversity by deepening our engagement in our lives. It isn't complicated.
Susan Scott (Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst "Best" Practices of Business Today)
Deep knowledge is to be aware of disturbance before disturbance, to be aware of danger before danger, to be aware of destruction before destruction, to be aware of calamity before calamity. Strong action is training the body without being burdened by the body, exercising the mind without being used by the mind, working in the world without being affected by the world, carrying out tasks without being obstructed by tasks.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War: Complete Texts and Commentaries)
You display inordinate pride for someone who has completed a task which could have been performed by a lesser primate in a shorter time.
Eoin Colfer (And Another Thing... (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #6))
Just begin and the mind grows heated; continue, and the task will be completed!
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
When the task we give ourselves has the urgency of passion, there's nothing that can keep us from completing it.
Elena Ferrante (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (The Neapolitan Novels, #3))
The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex. But the payoff and rewards for completing these tasks efficiently can be tremendous.
Brian Tracy (Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time)
While it is good that we seek to know the Holy One, it is probably not so good to presume that we ever complete the task.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas)
I grow old though pleased with my memories The tasks I can no longer complete Are balanced by the love of the tasks gone past I offer no apology only this plea: When I am frayed and strained and drizzle at the end Please someone cut a square and put me in a quilt That I might keep some child warm And some old person with no one else to talk to Will hear my whispers And cuddle near
Nikki Giovanni
start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up—
William H. McRaven (Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World)
Before committing to a task, it’s sensible to have a clear idea of our competence.
Prem Jagyasi
Put your heart and soul into whatever you do – but you won’t be able to do so until you have complete faith in whatever you are doing.
Prem Jagyasi
Task complete. Shut it down." Unable to comply, the computer responded. "I finished." Inaccurate statement. Previous command stipulated all listed reports and evaluations must be complete before system rest. This command by Dallas, Lieutenant Eve, priority basis, can only be countermanded at her order by fire, terrorist attack, alien invasion or an open and active case requiring her attention ... Jesus, had she really programmed that? "I changed my mind." Previous command specifies changes of mind, fatigue, boredom, and other lame excuses not acceptable for countermand ... "Bite me," Eve muttered.
J.D. Robb (New York to Dallas (In Death, #33))
Starting is not most people’s problem, staying, continuing and finishing is.
Darren Hardy
Asmodeus! You don’t see her, do you hear me? (Jericho) Completely blind, Minor Master. Hearing is intact. Is there anyone here besides the two of us? No? Good. I’m leaving now unless Minor Master has another preferably nonpainful task for me. (Asmodeus) You're dismissed. (Jericho) Cool beaners. (Asmodeus)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dream Warrior (Dream-Hunter #4; Dark-Hunter #17))
Above all, during the interval, change from “ego orientation” to “task orientation.” Think: “I know this seems like a personal insult, but it is not. It is a challenge to be overcome that calls on skills I have.
Martin E.P. Seligman (What You Can Change . . . and What You Can't*: The Complete Guide to Successful Self-Improvement (Vintage))
What’s the point of opening yourself up to your friends if they don’t notice you in your vulnerable state? The point of it all is to love friends completely and utterly, at their best and worst, and to love more than just the good things. It’s about showing that you’re willing to accept them for whatever they are, that they should not feel insecure or self-conscious in your presence, which can be a hard task to achieve.
Esther Earl (This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl)
All men will die. All men will be called upon to pass through the veil. But only a few, only a few special men, only those who have been worthy to answer a calling from God, are given the honor to die for a cause. And in this life, in these times, all of us will be called on to make a sacrifice. When, or in what manner that sacrifice may be required, only God knows. All we can do is wait and prepare and pray that when our time comes, we will be ready to complete the task that he gives, so that when it is over, when we have done all we could, we might look to the Lord and say the same words he said : 'I have fought my way through, I have finished the work Thou didst give me to do.
Chris Stewart
Israel's demonstration of its military prowess in 1967 confirmed its status as a 'strategic asset,' as did its moves to prevent Syrian intervention in Jordan in 1970 in support of the PLO. Under the Nixon doctrine, Israel and Iran were to be 'the guardians of the Gulf,' and after the fall of the Shah, Israel's perceived role was enhanced. Meanwhile, Israel has provided subsidiary services elsewhere, including Latin America, where direct US support for the most murderous regimes has been impeded by Congress. While there has been internal debate and some fluctuation in US policy, much exaggerated in discussion here, it has been generally true that US support for Israel's militarization and expansion reflected the estimate of its power in the region. The effect has been to turn Israel into a militarized state completely dependent on US aid, willing to undertake tasks that few can endure, such as participation in Guatemalan genocide. For Israel, this is a moral disaster and will eventually become a physical disaster as well. For the Palestinians and many others, it has been a catastrophe, as it may sooner or later be for the entire world, with the growing danger of superpower confrontation.
Noam Chomsky
Normal people don't know how hard it is to fangirl over celebrities who don't know you exist and fictional characters who die and try to not act like you are insane in public, trying to read all the 130 million books that exist in this world while also staying on top of classes and getting good grades while also socializing with actual people and completing all the tasks on time and battle anxiety while also being a perfect student who gives great speeches and doesn't have stage fear with impeccable grammar and is articulate like GEEZ! I would rather stay crazy!
Aashi Rath
When she was in the middle of a hack, it tended to fill up her brain until her vision hummed with coding and mathematics, skipping ahead to each necessary task faster than she could complete them. It tended to leave her in a state of drained euphoria.
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
It seems there is no such thing as a purely good deed, a completely right action. Even this task, which i took on for the very best of reasons, involves making choices that are not that "good", choices that might even be "wrong".
Salman Rushdie (Luka and the Fire of Life (Khalifa Brothers, #2))
The highest task of education is—to take command of one’s transcendental self—to be at once the I of its I. It is all the less to be wondered at that we lack complete insight and understanding for others. Without perfect self-understanding one will never learn to truly understand others.
Novalis (Philosophical Writings)
Integrity is the sound follow through of your heart, and an important part in the process of manifesting what it is that you aspire to. If you say that you are going to do something, do it. If you fail to complete the task at hand, or fulfill a promise you made, you are not operating at the right frequency. Don't lie to yourself and to others, follow through. Complete yourself, Expand your consciousness.
Will Barnes (The Expansion of The Soul)
Throughout my career, I have discovered and rediscovered a simple truth.It is this: the ability to concentrate single-mindedly on your most important task, to do it well and to finish it completely, is the key to great success, achievement, respect, status and happiness in life.
Brian Tracy
When you are born and put into your crib, the whole world sticks their heads over the tops of the bars. They give you a name and they have all sorts of different ideas about you. … But your task is to become something much more unique and surprising than anyone your parents could ever imagine you to be. You have to know that the life you have is completely yours.
Heather O'Neill (The Girl Who Was Saturday Night)
The body of Homo sapiens had not evolved for such tasks. It was adapted to climbing apple trees and running after gazelles, not to clearing rocks and carrying water buckets. Human spines, knees, necks and arches paid the price. Studies of ancient skeletons indicate that the transition to agriculture brought about a plethora of ailments, such as slipped discs, arthritis and hernias. Moreover, the new agricultural tasks demanded so much time that people were forced to settle permanently next to their wheat fields. This completely changed their way of life. We did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us. The word ‘domesticate’ comes from the Latin domus, which means ‘house’. Who’s the one living in a house? Not the wheat. It’s the Sapiens.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
...certain business leaders mistakenly believe that time on-task equates with task completion and productivity. Even in the industrial era of rote factory work, this was untrue. It is a misguided fallacy, and an expensive one, too.
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
Did you say you were going into Tir Na Nog? Lemme guess - you met with our lovely queen, she threatened to turn you into lemurs or something ridiculous and then she told you to go complete some ludicrously impossible task for her. Am I right?” When we nodded, he shook his head. “I thought so. Well, you know what this means, don’t you?” “Yes.” Keirran’s eyes were hard as he faced Puck, his expression one of grim determination. “We have to find a way into Winter.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Traitor (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #2))
No work you'll ever complete; no project you'll ever attempt; no skill you'll ever master; no book you'll ever write; no race you'll ever run; no sculpture you'll ever create; no task you'll ever perform; no structure you'll ever build; nothing you will ever do -- is more important than the life you shape one day at a time.
Steve Goodier
The body is not a task to be completed but a gift we receive from God himself.
Matthew Lee Anderson (Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter To Our Faith)
Secret to Productivity is single tasking: Focus only on one task at hand. And don't start another till that one is completely done
Vivek Naik (Get More Done Easily: Time Management Mindsets and Simple Exercise to Organize Your Day and be More Productive in 5 Days)
If I want to understand an individual human being, I must lay aside all scientific knowledge of the average man and discard all theories in order to adopt a completely new and unprejudiced attitude. I can only approach the task of understanding with a free and open mind, whereas knowledge of man, or insight into human character, presupposes all sorts of knowledge about mankind in general.
C.G. Jung (The Essential Jung: Selected Writings)
In this climate of profoundly disrupted relationships the child faces a formidable developmental task. She must find a way to form primary attachments to caretakers who are either dangerous or, from her perspective, negligent. She must find a way to develop a sense of basic trust and safely with caretakers who are untrustworthy and unsafe. She must develop a sense of self in relation to others who are helpless, uncaring or cruel. She must develop a capacity for bodily self-regulation in an environinent in which her body is at the disposal of others' needs as well as a capacity for self-soothing in an environment without solace. She must develop the capacity for initiative in an environment which demands that she bring her will into complete conformity with that of her abuser. And ultimately, she must develop a capacity for intimacy out of an environment where all intimate relationships are corrupt, and an identity out of an environment which defines her as a whore and a slave.
Judith Lewis Herman (Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror)
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)
Audiences often ask if characters are based on real people. Indeed the impulse of the amateur is to write about who one knows. The professional on the other hand understands the impossibility of such a task. The creator of the character must know more about the character than anyone could ever possibly know about a real person. The author must possess the complete knowledge; what the person was wearing on Christmas morning when he or she was five, what presents he or she received, and who gave them and how they were given. A "character" therefore is a real person who exists in another plane, a parallel universe based on the author's perceptions of reality. When it comes to people don't write about who you know but what you know of human nature.
Candace Bushnell (Los Diarios de Carrie (Los diarios de Carrie, #1))
When we live completely from the mind over a period of time, we lose touch with the infinite self, and then we begin to feel lost. This happens when we'are in doing mode all the time, rather than being . The latter means letting ourselves be who and what we are without judgment. Being doesn't mean that we don't do anything. It's just that our actions stem from following our emotions and feelings while staying present in the moment. Doing, on the other hand, is future focused, with the mind creating a series of tasks that take us from here to there in order to achieve a particular outcome, regardless of our current emotional state.
Anita Moorjani (Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing)
Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion.
Timothy Ferriss (The 4 Hour Workweek, Expanded And Updated: Expanded And Updated, With Over 100 New Pages Of Cutting Edge Content)
Like any other tool for facilitating the completion of a questionable task, rewards offer a "how" answer to what is really a "why" question.
Alfie Kohn (Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise and Other Bribes)
Your mind is an instrument, a tool. It is there to be used for a specific task, and when the task is completed, you lay it down. As it is, I would say about 80 to 90 percent of most people’s thinking is not only repetitive and useless, but because of its dysfunctional and often negative nature, much of it is also harmful. Observe your mind and you will find this to be true. It causes a serious leakage of vital energy. This kind of compulsive thinking is actually an addiction. What characterizes an addiction? Quite simply this: you no longer feel that you have the choice to stop. It seems stronger than you. It also gives you a false sense of pleasure, pleasure that invariably turns into pain.
Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment)
It’s important to remember that even though their brains are learning at peak efficiency, much else is inefficient, including attention, self-discipline, task completion, and emotions. So the mantra “one thing at a time” is useful to repeat to yourself. Try not to overwhelm your teenagers with instructions.
Frances E. Jensen (The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults)
I just remember their kindness and goodness to me, and their peacefulness and their utter simplicity. They inspired real reverence, and I think, in a way, they were certainly saints. And they were saints in that most effective and telling way: sanctified by leading ordinary lives in a completely supernatural manner, sanctified by obscurity, by usual skills, by common tasks, by routine, but skills, tasks, routine which received a supernatural form from grace within.
Thomas Merton (The Seven Storey Mountain)
We have a task before us which must be speedily performed. We know that it will be ruinous to make delay. The most important crisis of our life calls, trumpet-tongued, for immediate energy and action. We glow, we are consumed with eagerness to commence the work, with the anticipation of whose glorious result our whole souls are on fire. It must, it shall be undertaken to-day, and yet we put it off until to-morrow; and why? There is no answer, except that we feel perverse, using the word with no comprehension of the principle. To-morrow arrives, and with it a more impatient anxiety to do our duty, but with this very increase of anxiety arrives, also, a nameless, a positively fearful, because unfathomable, craving for delay. This craving gathers strength as the moments fly. The last hour for action is at hand. We tremble with the violence of the conflict within us, — of the definite with the indefinite — of the substance with the shadow. But, if the contest have proceeded thus far, it is the shadow which prevails, — we struggle in vain. The clock strikes, and is the knell of our welfare. At the same time, it is the chanticleer-note to the ghost that has so long overawed us. It flies — it disappears — we are free. The old energy returns. We will labor now. Alas, it is too late!
Edgar Allan Poe (The Complete Stories and Poems)
Fate hands you a list of things to experience. Ones you never expected, ones that break you, ones that heal you. So many of them you swear you’ll never even attempt or want to cross off your list. You get caught up in the day to day, moment to moment, and then one day you look at your list and realize you’ve unexpectedly completed some of the tasks. It’s only then you realize that the brutal truths the scavenger hunt has made you face has not only made you a better person, but has also given you an unforeseen prize when all is finally said and done.
K. Bromberg (Raced (Driven, #3.5))
It often happens that men pull in a certain political, social, or familiar harness simply because they never have time to ask themselves whether the position they stand in and the work they accomplish are right; whether their occupations really suit their inner desires and capacities, and give them the satisfaction which everyone has the right to expect from his work. Active men are especially liable to find themselves in such a position. Every day brings with it a fresh batch of work, and a man throws himself into his bed late at night without having completed what he had expected to do; then in the morning he hurries to the unfinished task of the previous day. Life goes, and there is no time left to think, no time to consider the direction that one's life is taking. So it was with me.
Pyotr Kropotkin (Memoirs of a Revolutionist)
Manipulating or controlling others through the use of one's illness or suffering,for example,was-and remains-extremely effective for people who find they cannot be direct in their interactions,Who argues with someone who is in pain? And if pain is the only power a person has,health is not an attractive replacement. It was apparent to me that becoming healthy represented more than just getting over an illness. Health represented a complex progression into a state of personal empowerment in which one had to move from a condition of vulnerability to one of invincibility,from victim to victor,from silent bystander to aggressive defender of personal boundaries.Completing this race to the finish was a yeoman's task if ever there was one.Indeed,in opening the psyche and soul to the healing process,we had expanded the journey of wellness into one of personal transformation." -
Caroline Myss (Defy Gravity: Healing Beyond the Bounds of Reason)
Exposure to nature - cold, heat, water - is the most dehumanizing way to die. Violence is passionate and real - the final moments as you struggle for your life, firing a gun or wrestling a mugger or screaming for help, your heart pumps loudly and your body tingles with energy; you are alert and awake and, for that brief moment, more alive and human than you've ever been before. Not so with nature. At the mercy of the elements the opposite happens: your body slows, your thoughts grow sluggish, and you realize just how mechanical you really are. Your body is a machine, full of tubes and valves and motors, of electrical signals and hydraulic pumps, and they function properly only within a certain range of conditions. As temperatures drop, your machine breaks down. Cells begin to freeze and shatter; muscles use more energy to do less; blood flows too slowly, and to the wrong places. Your sense fade, your core temperature plummets, and your brain fires random signals that your body is too weak to interpret or follow. In that stat you are no longer a human being, you are a malfunction - an engine without oil, grinding itself to pieces in its last futile effort to complete its last meaningless task.
Dan Wells (I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver #1))
Relativism is a widespread evil, and it is not easy to combat it. The task becomes more complex inasmuch as it arbitrarily serves as a sort of charter for a way of communal life. Relativism attempts to complete the process of the social disappearance of God. It guides mankind with an attractive logic that proves to be a perverse totalitarian system.
Robert Sarah (God or Nothing)
even if high-IQ people do better than low-IQ people when first trying a task that’s new to them, the relationship tends to get weaker and may eventually disappear completely as they work at the task and get better at it.
Geoff Colvin (Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else)
It was the small things she took pleasure in. The faint hum of a huge furry bumble bee busily flitting from one flower to another, oblivious to the fact that it was completing a task on which the entire human race depended.
Kathryn Hughes (The Letter)
The point of it all is to love friends completely and utterly, at their best and worst, and to love more than just the good things. It’s about showing that you’re willing to accept them for whatever they are, that they should not feel insecure or self-conscious in your presence, which can be a hard task to achieve.
Esther Earl (This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl)
There are three qualities that make someone a true professional. These are the ability to work unsupervised, the ability to certify the completion of a job or task and, finally, the ability to behave with integrity at all times.
Subroto Bagchi
When you break something, is your first impulse to throw it away? Or do you repair it but feel a sadness because it is no longer "perfect"? Whatever the case, you might want to consider the way the Japanese treated the items used in their tea ceremony. Even though they were made from the simplest materials... these teacups and bowls were revered for their plain lines and spiritual qualities. There were treated with the utmost care, integrity and respect. For this reason, a cup from the tea ceremony was almost never broken. When an accident did occur and a cup was broken, there were certain instances in which the cup was repaired with gold. Rather than trying to restore it in a what they would cover the gace that it ahad been broken, the cracks were celebrated in a bold and spirited way. The thin paths of shining gold completely encircled the ceramic cup, announcing to the world that the cup was broken and repaired and vulnerable to change. And in this way, its value was even further enhanced.
Gary Thorp (Sweeping Changes: Discovering the Joy of Zen in Everyday Tasks)
Today I know that it is a hopeless task to try to dress a man in words, make him alive again on the printed page, especially a man like Sandro. He was not the sort of person you can tell stories about, nor to whom one erects monuments--he who laughed at monuments: he lived completely in his deeds, and when they were over nothing of him remains--nothing but words, precisely.
Primo Levi (The Periodic Table)
Anyone who has ever tried to write a novel knows what an arduous task it is, undoubtedly one of the worst ways of occupying oneself. You have to remain within yourself all the time, in solitary confinement. It's a controlled psychosis, an obsessive paranoia manacled to work completely lacking in the feather pens and bustles and Venetian masks we would ordinarily associate with it, clothed instead in a butcher's apron and rubber boots, eviscerating knife in hand. You can only barely see from that writerly cellar the feet of passers-by, hear the rapping of their heels. Every so often someone stops and bends down and glances in through the window, and then you get a glimpse of a human face, maybe even exchange a few words. But ultimately the mind is so occupied with its own act, a play staged by the self ofr the self in a hasty, makeshift cabinet of curiosities peopled by author and character, narrator and reader, the person describing and the person described, that feet, shoes, heels, and faces become, sooner or later, mere components of that act.
Olga Tokarczuk (Flights)
Toiling,—rejoicing,—sorrowing,   Onward through life he goes; Each morning sees some task begin,   Each evening sees it close Something attempted, something done,   Has earned a night's repose.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (The Complete Poems of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
Jon Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness)
If I ever see myself as separate or superior, if I try to lift myself up by pulling down others, if I believe people are on a journey I have completed, doing personal work I have mastered, attempting tasks I've accomplished--if I have any feeling that I am above them instead of trying to rise with them, then I have isolated myself from them.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
After sowing seeds in the soil and completing our various tasks, we need to be able to walk away without seeking to be noticed. We should not hold on to any expectations about witnessing the harvest.
M. Fethullah Gülen (Mefkure Yolculuğu (Kırık Testi, #13))
Ah, the freshness in the face of leaving a task undone! To be remiss is to be positively out in the country! What a refuge it is to be completely unreliable! I can breathe easier now that the appointments are behind me. I missed them all, through deliberate negligence, Having waited for the urge to go, which I knew wouldn’t come. I’m free, and against organized, clothed society. I’m naked and plunge into the water of my imagination. It’s too late to be at either of the two meetings where I should have been at the same time, Deliberately at the same time... No matter, I’ll stay here dreaming verses and smiling in italics. This spectator aspect of life is so amusing! I can’t even light the next cigarette... If it’s an action, It can wait for me, along with the others, in the nonmeeting called life.
Fernando Pessoa (Fernando Pessoa and Co.: Selected Poems)
Each person is born with an unencumbered spot, free of expectation and regret, free of ambition and embarrassment, free of fear and worry; an umbilical spot of grace where we were each first touched by God. It is this spot of grace that issues peace. Psychologists call this spot the Psyche, Theologians call it the Soul, Jung calls it the Seat of the Unconscious, Hindu masters call it Atman, Buddhists call it Dharma, Rilke calls it Inwardness, Sufis call it Qalb, and Jesus calls it the Center of our Love. To know this spot of Inwardness is to know who we are, not by surface markers of identity, not by where we work or what we wear or how we like to be addressed, but by feeling our place in relation to the Infinite and by inhabiting it. This is a hard lifelong task, for the nature of becoming is a constant filming over of where we begin, while the nature of being is a constant erosion of what is not essential. Each of us lives in the midst of this ongoing tension, growing tarnished or covered over, only to be worn back to that incorruptible spot of grace at our core. When the film is worn through, we have moments of enlightenment, moments of wholeness, moments of Satori as the Zen sages term it, moments of clear living when inner meets outer, moments of full integrity of being, moments of complete Oneness. And whether the film is a veil of culture, of memory, of mental or religious training, of trauma or sophistication, the removal of that film and the restoration of that timeless spot of grace is the goal of all therapy and education. Regardless of subject matter, this is the only thing worth teaching: how to uncover that original center and how to live there once it is restored. We call the filming over a deadening of heart, and the process of return, whether brought about through suffering or love, is how we unlearn our way back to God
Mark Nepo (Unlearning Back To God: Essays On Inwardness, 1985 2005)
A merchant, who had three daughters, was once setting out upon a journey; but before he went he asked each daughter what gift he should bring back for her. The eldest wished for pearls; the second for jewels; but the third, who was called Lily, said, 'Dear father, bring me a rose.' Now it was no easy task to find a rose, for it was the middle of winter; yet as she was his prettiest daughter, and was very fond of flowers, her father said he would try what he could do. So he kissed all three, and bid them goodbye.
Jacob Grimm (The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales)
My task is to explain to you as quickly as possible my essence, that is, what sort of man I am, what I believe in, and what I hope for, is that right? And therefore I declare that I accept God pure and simple. But this, however, needs to be noted: if God exists and if he indeed created the earth, then, as we know perfectly well, he created it in accordance with Euclidean geometry, and he created human reason with a conception of only three dimensions of space. At the same time there were and are even now geometers and philosophers, even some of the most outstanding among them, who doubt that the whole universe, or, even more broadly, the whole of being, was created purely in accordance with Euclidean geometry; they even dare to dream that two parallel lines, which according to Euclid cannot possibly meet on earth, may perhaps meet somewhere in infinity. I, my dear, have come to the conclusion that if I cannot understand even that, then it is not for me to understand about God. I humbly confess that I do not have any ability to resolve such questions, I have a Euclidean mind, an earthly mind, and therefore it is not for us to resolve things that are not of this world. And I advise you never to think about it, Alyosha my friend, and most especially about whether God exists or not. All such questions are completely unsuitable to a mind created with a concept of only three dimensions. And so, I accept God, not only willingly, but moreover I also accept his wisdom and his purpose, which are completely unknown to us; I believe in order, in the meaning of life, I believe in eternal harmony, in which we are all supposed to merge, I believe in the Word for whom the universe is yearning, and who himself was 'with God,' who himself is God, and so on and so forth, to infinity. Many words have been invented on the subject. It seems I'm already on a good path, eh? And now imagine that in the final outcome I do not accept this world of God's, created by God, that I do not accept and cannot agree to accept. With one reservation: I have a childlike conviction that the sufferings will be healed and smoothed over, that the whole offensive comedy of human contradictions will disappear like a pitiful mirage, a vile concoction of man's Euclidean mind, feeble and puny as an atom, and that ultimately, at the world's finale, in the moment of eternal harmony, there will occur and be revealed something so precious that it will suffice for all hearts, to allay all indignation, to redeem all human villainy, all bloodshed; it will suffice not only to make forgiveness possible, but also to justify everything that has happened with men--let this, let all of this come true and be revealed, but I do not accept it and do not want to accept it! Let the parallel lines even meet before my own eyes: I shall look and say, yes, they meet, and still I will not accept it.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
It is not incumbent upon you to complete the task, but neither are you at liberty to desist from it.
Pirkei Avot
When I set a task for myself, I complete it. Therefore, I am careful not to start difficult and impractical tasks, because I love leisure.
George S. Clason (The Richest Man in Babylon)
By doing just a little every day, I can gradually let the task completely overwhelm me.
Jane Seabrook (Furry Logic Wild Wisdom)
Procrastination is a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.
Neil A. Fiore (The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play)
Parkinson’s Law dictates that a task will swell in (perceived) importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion. It
Timothy Ferriss (The 4 Hour Workweek, Expanded And Updated: Expanded And Updated, With Over 100 New Pages Of Cutting Edge Content)
Better is the Enemy of Good
Voltaire (Dictionnaire Philosophique, Vol. 5 (Classic Reprint))
Shifting your focus to something that your mind perceives as a doable, completable task will create a real increase in positive energy, direction, and motivation.
Jake Knapp (Make Time: How to focus on what matters every day)
As far as I'm concerned, Miss Kenton, my vocation will not be fulfilled until I have done all I can to see his lordship through the great tasks he has set himself. The day his lordship's work is complete, the day he is able to rest on his laurels, content in the knowledge that he has done all anyone could ever reasonably ask of him, only on that day, Miss Kenton, will I be able to call myself, as you put it, a well-contented man.
Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day)
Children are taught to look down on their nurses (nannies), to treat them as mere servants. When their task is completed the child is withdrawn or the nurse is dismissed. Her visits to her foster-child are discouraged by a cold reception. After a few years the child never sees her again. The mother expects to take her place, and to repair by her cruelty the results of her own neglect. But she is greatly mistaken; she is making an ungrateful foster-child, not an affectionate son; she is teaching him ingratitude, and she is preparing him to despise at a later day the mother who bore him, as he now despises his nurse.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Understand that in order for organized religion to succeed, it has to make people believe they need it. In order for people to put faith in something else, they must first lose faith in themselves. So the first task of organized religion is to make you lose faith in yourself. The second task is to make you see that it has the answers you do not. And the third and most important task is to make you accept its answers without question.
Neale Donald Walsch (The Complete Conversations with God)
Habits are undeniably useful tools, relieving us of the need to run a complex mental operation every time we’re confronted with a new task or situation. Yet they also relieve us of the need to stay awake to the world: to attend, feel, think, and then act in a deliberate manner. (That is, from freedom rather than compulsion.) If you need to be reminded how completely mental habit blinds us to experience, just take a trip to an unfamiliar country. Suddenly you wake up! And the algorithms of everyday life all but start over, as if from scratch. This is why the various travel metaphors for the psychedelic experience are so apt. The efficiencies of the adult mind, useful as they are, blind us to the present moment. We’re constantly jumping ahead to the next thing. We approach experience much as an artificial intelligence (AI) program does, with our brains continually translating the data of the present into the terms of the past, reaching back in time for the relevant experience, and then using that to make its best guess as to how to predict and navigate the future. One of the things that commends travel, art, nature, work, and certain drugs to us is the way these experiences, at their best, block every mental path forward and back, immersing us in the flow of a present that is literally wonderful—wonder being the by-product of precisely the kind of unencumbered first sight, or virginal noticing, to which the adult brain has closed itself. (It’s so inefficient!) Alas, most of the time I inhabit a near-future tense, my psychic thermostat set to a low simmer of anticipation and, too often, worry. The good thing is I’m seldom surprised. The bad thing is I’m seldom surprised.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
But it would be a great mistake to think that the awakening of desire for the Bridegroom would produce a wave of monastic withdrawal into the fasting and prayer of passive waiting. That is not what the awakening of desire for Christ would produce. It would produce a radical, new commitment to complete the task of world evangelization, no matter what the cost. And fasting would not become a pacifistic discipline for private hopes, but a fearsome missionary weapon in the fight of faith.
John Piper (A Hunger for God)
Whatever happened in the world was a decree from God. A task to be completed. Any crying or joy just got in the way of being useful. Any emotion was decadent. Anticipation or regret was a silly extra. A luxury.
Chuck Palahniuk (Survivor)
History is a narrative enterprise, and the telling of stories that are true, that affirm and explain our existence, is the fundamental task of the historian. But truth is delicate, and it has many enemies. Perhaps that is why, although we academics are supposedly in the business of pursuing the truth, the word “truth” is rarely uttered without hedges, adornments, and qualifications. Every time we tell a story about a great atrocity, like the Holocaust or Pingfang, the forces of denial are always ready to pounce, to erase, to silence, to forget. History has always been difficult because of the delicacy of the truth, and denialists have always been able to resort to labeling the truth as fiction. One has to be careful, whenever one tells a story about a great injustice. We are a species that loves narrative, but we have also been taught not to trust an individual speaker. Yes, it is true that no nation, and no historian, can tell a story that completely encompasses every aspect of the truth. But it is not true that just because all narratives are constructed, that they are equally far from the truth. The Earth is neither a perfect sphere nor a flat disk, but the model of the sphere is much closer to the truth. Similarly, there are some narratives that are closer to the truth than others, and we must always try to tell a story that comes as close to the truth as is humanly possible. The fact that we can never have complete, perfect knowledge does not absolve us of the moral duty to judge and to take a stand against evil.
Ken Liu (The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories)
One by one, I'll face the tasks before me and complete them as best I can. Focusing on each stride forward, but at the same time taking a long-range view, scanning the scenery as far ahead as I can. I am, after all, a long distance runner. My time, the rank I attain, my outward appearance - all of these are secondary. For a runner like me, what's really important is reaching the goal I set myself, under my own power. I give it everything I have, endure what needs enduring, and am able, in my own way, to be satisfied. From out of the failures and joys I always try to come away having grasped a concrete lesson. (It's got to be concrete, no matter how small it is.) And I hope that, over time, as one race follows another, in the end I'll reach a place I'm content with. Or maybe just catch a glimpse of it.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
As an artist the nuance is your task. Your task is not to simplify. Even should you choose to write in the simplest way, a la Hemingway, the task remains to impart the nuance, to elucidate the complication, to imply the contradiction. Not to erase the contradiction, not to deny the contradiction, but to see where, within the contradiction, lies the tormented human being. To allow for the chaos, to let it in. You must let it in. Otherwise you produce propaganda, if not for a political party, a political movement, then stupid propaganda for life itself -- for life as it might itself prefer to be publicized.
Philip Roth (I Married a Communist (Complete Nathan Zuckerman #7/The American Trilogy, #2))
Intuition is not to be consulted once and then forgotten. It is not disposable. It is to be consulted at all steps along the way, whether the woman's work be clashing with a demon in the interior, or completing a task in the outer world. It does not matter whether a woman's concerns and aspirations are personal or global. Before all else, every action begins with strengthening the spirit.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves)
If someone asks you how to write your name, would you bark out each letter? And if they get angry, would you then return the anger? Wouldn’t you rather gently spell out each letter for them? So then, remember in life that your duties are the sum of individual acts. Pay attention to each of these as you do your duty … just methodically complete your task.” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 6.26
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living: Featuring new translations of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius)
Life is a gift, value it.
 Life is a trial, endure it.
 Life is a journey, complete it.
 Life is a test, pass it.
 Life is a task, fulfill it.
 Life is an opportunity, use it.
 Life is a moment, enjoy it.
 Life is a mission, accomplish it. Life is a battle, face it.
 Life is a jungle, explore it.
 Life is a puzzle, study it.
 Life is a mystery, solve it.
 Life is a game, beat it.
 Life is an opponent, defeat it.
 Life is a treasure, cherish it. Life is a bridge, cross it.
Matshona Dhliwayo
You and many outstanding inventors and writers have striven for the ideal and have thereby helped yourself do remarkably well. REBT, therefore, does not oppose competition or striving for outstanding achievement. It advocates task-perfection, not self-perfection.” “What does that mean?” “It means that you can try to be as good, or even as perfect, as you can—at any project or task. You can try to make it ideal. But you are not a good person if it is perfect. You are still a person who completed a perfect project, but never a good person for doing so.” “How, then, do I become an incompetent or bad person?” “You don’t! When you do incompetent or evil acts, you become a person who acted badly—never a bad person.
Albert Ellis (How To Stubbornly Refuse To Make Yourself Miserable About Anything – Yes, Anything!)
Struggle toward the capital-T Truth, but recognize that the task is impossible—or that if a correct answer is possible, verification certainly is impossible. In the end, it cannot be doubted that each of us can see only part of the picture. The doctor sees one, the patient another, the engineer a third, the economist a fourth, the pearl diver a fifth, the alcoholic a sixth, the cable guy a seventh, the sheep farmer an eighth, the Indian beggar a ninth, the pastor a tenth. Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete. And truth comes somewhere above all of them, where, as at the end of that Sunday’s reading: the sower and reaper can rejoice together. For here the saying is verified that “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of that work.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
Admiral McRaven, the senior Navy SEAL who planned the Bin Laden mission, said this starts with the mundane: making your bed. “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.
Dan Crenshaw (Fortitude: Resilience in the Age of Outrage)
You do not have to earn the right to rest, connect, or recreate. Unlearn the idea that care tasks must be totally complete before you can sit down. Care tasks are a never-ending list, and if you wait until everything is done to rest, you will never rest.
K.C. Davis (How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organizing)
  If your expectations are always those of someone content to live without physical challenge, then when it comes time for mental, moral, or emotional challenge you fail to meet it because you are out of practice. Meeting and overcoming obstacles are skills that can be honed, as opposed to talents with which we are born. The best way to prepare for the inevitable shit that life occasionally hands us all is to live in a way that prepares you for it. If you can treat personal tragedy like a heavy set of 20 squats, you'll do better than someone who has never met any challenge. Intentionally placing yourself in the position of having to complete a task when you don't know if you can is the single best way of preparing to be in that position unintentionally.
Mark Rippetoe (Strong Enough? Thoughts from Thirty Years of Barbell Training)
Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullets, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up.......if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today. And what started here will indeed have changed the world, for the better.
William H. McRaven
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)
If the difficult tasks are completed first, then the remaining tasks seem easy.
Rajen Jani (Once Upon A Time: 100 Management Stories)
Once taken off one task without completing the transaction, the mind continues to seek closure. Fight to stay focused on the task at hand.
Jeff Davidson (The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Things Done)
Be resilient until you complete a task. Challenge yourself and never limit yourself. Stay humble, hopeful, patient, but never quit!
Winsome Campbell-Green (The Secret Rules Of Self-Love: How To Love Yourself, Overcome The Loneliness Of Being Single, And Achieve Happiness)
What sort of signal does a college diploma send to a potential employer? That its holder is willing and able to complete all sorts of drawn-out, convoluted tasks.
Steven D. Levitt (Think Like a Freak)
Please, body, hold fast until I can complete my final task."- Sango
Rumiko Takahashi
Even if you know where you are going and what problems you have to solve, you may only know the nearest tasks and you may not understand completely all of your tasks
Sunday Adelaja
The satisfaction, the immense joy, which accompanies the completion of simple, everyday tasks.
Marty Rubin
Was there any day for her that would not involve the same schedule, the same faces, the same tasks? What was better –a constant safeness that never grew and never changed, or a life of reaching, building, striving, even though you knew you’d never be completely satisfied?
Becky Chambers (Record of a Spaceborn Few (Wayfarers, #3))
So close. He'd get there. Not today, but soon. He had a task to accomplish here, and the sooner he completed it, the sooner he could rejoin his regiment. He wasn't stopping for anything. Except sheep. Blast it. It would seem they were stopping for sheep. A rough voice said, "I'll take care of them." Thorne joined their group. Bram flicked his gaze to the side and spied his hulking mountain of a corporal shouldering a flintlock rifle. "We can't simply shoot them, Thorne." Obedient as ever, Thorne lowered his gun. "Then I've a cutlass. Just sharpened the blade last night." "We can't butcher them, either." Thorne shrugged. "I'm hungry." Yes, that was Thorne--straightforward, practical. Ruthless.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
Once more the odious courtesies began, the first handed the knife across K. to the second, who handed it across K. back again to the first. K. now perceived clearly that he was supposed to seize the knife himself, as it traveled from hand to hand above him, and plunge it into his own breast. But he did not do so, he merely turned his head, which was still free to move, and gazed around him. He could not completely rise to the occasion, he could not relieve the officials of all their tasks; the responsibility for this last failure of his lay with him who had not left him the remnant of strength necessary for the deed.
Franz Kafka (The Trial)
The job did not pay well or make a big splash in society, nor did it make something one could see or touch, but it had brought her joy. It afforded her a sense of accomplishment when she completed tasks and climbed the ladder, and gave her a sense of reward knowing she was managing her own life with the money she earned.
Cho Nam-Joo (82년생 김지영)
I told you it would be difficult! If I were you I would just not bother trying these tasks! They are great challenges, clearly too great for you.” said Guya, but there was a certain sparkle in his eye as he said it. “I shall complete your tasks, ” said Yoshiko firmly. “And I’ll be back sooner than you think!” With that he spread his wings to head for Fire School. “Oh and one more thing Guya” Yoshiko added. Perhaps when I return you will be so kind as to stop calling me a little dragon!” As Yoshiko flew off Guya chuckled to himself.
Julia Suzuki (Yoshiko and the Gift of Charms (The Land of Dragor))
High performers whom exhibit tremendous self-control tend to be burden by their own competence. Studies indicate that being extraordinary competent can place a person under an unusual amount of stress because it raises other people’s expectation of them. The more task that an exemplary employee produces with a ‘go-getting personality’ while maintaining high quality relationships with peers and clients, the more an organization tends to underestimates their actual effort and the more it expects of them. Other people do not comprehend how difficult it is for a high performer to complete multifaceted tasks. They also tend to underestimate how much effort an enterprising person exerts who maintains a positive and pleasant attitude while completing difficult assignments.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
It seemed like I had completed a task, overcome an obstacle. I thought about my mother, and the words she said to me almost a lifetime ago. That’s when it clicked: she had asked me not to settle, to fight for the person I loved, and for the first time, I did what she expected of me. I had finally lived up to who she wanted me to be.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
Submitting to a quick nap after a few tasks are completed is the most prominent one. The midday nap is my newest ritual, and now that I have learned the pleasure of slipping into sleep in the afternoon, I will never give it up again.
Sara Aharoni (The First Mrs. Rothschild)
The whole tendency of modern life is towards scientific planning and organisation, central control, standardisation, and specialisation. If this tendency was left to work itself out to its extreme conclusion, one might expect to see the state transformed into an immense social machine, all the individual components of which are strictly limited to the performance of a definite and specialised function, where there could be no freedom because the machine could only work smoothly as long as every wheel and cog performed its task with unvarying regularity. Now the nearer modern society comes to the state of total organisation, the more difficult it is to find any place for spiritual freedom and personal responsibility. Education itself becomes an essential part of the machine, for the mind has to be as completely measured and controlled by the techniques of the scientific expert as the task which it is being trained to perform.
Christopher Henry Dawson (Religion and World History: A Selection from the Works of Christopher Dawson)
It's not that you can't get things done with the use of a cell phone; indeed you can get a lot of things done. However, the nature of what you get done is highly skewed. Just as the man with only a hammer sees everything as nails, the incessant cell phone user accomplishes a variety of tasks, understandably enough, that accrue directly to having a cell phone.
Jeff Davidson (The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Things Done)
Up to now, most scientists have been too occupied with the development of new theories that describe what the universe is to ask the question why. On the other hand, the people whose business it is to ask why, the philosophers, have not been able to keep up with the advance of scientific theories. In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: Did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, 'The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language.' What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant! However, if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason--for then we would know the mind of God.
Stephen Hawking (A Brief History of Time)
When every fact, every present or past phenomenon of that universe, every phase of present or past life therein, has been examined, classified, and co-ordinated with the rest, then the mission of science will be completed. What is this but saying that the task of science can never end till man ceases to be, till history is no longer made, and development itself ceases?
Karl Pearson (The Grammar of Science)
In 1927, Russian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik demonstrated that people have a better memory for incomplete than complete tasks. Once a task is finished, we stop thinking about it. But when it is interrupted and left undone, it stays active in our minds. As
Adam M. Grant (Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World)
Once a state has completely withered away, it is an extremely difficult task to re-create it, as Blackwell quickly discovered. If Blackwell had been under any illusions that the Quakers were a meek and passive people, he was in for a rude surprise. He was to find very quickly that devotion to peace, to liberty, and to individualism in no sense implies passive resignation to tyranny. Quite the contrary.
Murray N. Rothbard (Conceived in Liberty (4 Volume Set))
Being supportive and building students’ confidence is not accomplished by blindly telling them they are doing a great job every day.  It involves assessing weaknesses and strengths and delivering feedback in a timely manner so that they can build their skills to complete the task at hand.
Oran Tkatchov (Success for Every Student: A Guide to Teaching and Learning)
Rest begins with acceptance. Or, perhaps more accurately, with surrender. There will always be more you can do. You will never complete your tasks entirely, because just on the horizon is tomorrow, and tomorrow the to-do list starts anew. It is so exhausting—sometimes even demoralizing—to realize that our work in raising up and teaching our children is never really done. But we must remember that we were never intended to finish it.
Sarah Mackenzie (Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace)
As well, they used their B-52 bombers to drop thousands of tons of bombs which included napalm and cluster bombs. In a particularly vile attack, they used poisonous chemicals on our base regions of Xuyen Moc, the Minh Dam and the Nui Thi Vai mountains. They sprayed their defoliants over jungle, and productive farmland alike. They even bull-dozed bare, both sides along the communication routes and more than a kilometre into the jungle adjacent to our base areas. This caused the Ba Ria-Long Khanh Province Unit to send out a directive to D445 and D440 Battalions that as of 01/November/1969, the rations of both battalions would be set at 27 litres of rice per man per month when on operations. And 25 litres when in base or training. So it was that as the American forces withdrew, their arms and lavish base facilities were transferred across to the RVN. The the forces of the South Vietnamese Government were with thereby more resources but this also created any severe maintenance, logistic and training problems. The Australian Army felt that a complete Australian withdrawal was desirable with the departure of the Task Force (1ATF), but the conservative government of Australia thought that there were political advantages in keeping a small force in south Vietnam. Before his election, in 1964, Johnston used a line which promised peace, but also had a policy of war. The very same tactic was used by Nixon. Nixon had as early as 1950 called for direction intervention by American Forces which were to be on the side of the French colonialists. The defoliants were sprayed upon several millions of hectares, and it can best be described as virtual biocide. According to the figure from the Americans themselves, between the years of 1965 to 1973, ten million Vietnamese people were forced to leave their villages ad move to cities because of what the Americans and their allies had done. The Americans intensified the bombing of whole regions of Laos which were controlled by Lao patriotic forces. They used up to six hundred sorties per day with many types of aircraft including B52s. On 07/January/1979, the Vietnamese Army using Russian built T-54 and T-59 tanks, assisted by some Cambodian patriots liberated Phnom Penh while the Pol Pot Government and its agencies fled into the jungle. A new government under Hun Sen was installed and the Khmer Rouge’s navy was sunk nine days later in a battle with the Vietnamese Navy which resulted in twenty-two Kampuchean ships being sunk.
Michael G. Kramer (A Gracious Enemy)
It is wrong to say that schoolmasters lack heart and are dried-up, soulless pedants! No, by no means. When a child's talent which he has sought to kindle suddenly bursts forth, when the boy puts aside his wooden sword, slingshot, bow-and-arrow and other childish games, when he begins to forge ahead, when the seriousness of the work begins to transform the rough-neck into a delicate, serious and an almost ascetic creature, when his face takes on an intelligent, deeper and more purposeful expression - then a teacher's heart laughs with happiness and pride. It is his duty and responsibility to control the raw energies and desires of his charges and replace them with calmer, more moderate ideals. What would many happy citizens and trustworthy officials have become but unruly, stormy innovators and dreamers of useless dreams, if not for the effort of their schools? In young beings there is something wild, ungovernable, uncultured which first has to be tamed. It is like a dangerous flame that has to be controlled or it will destroy. Natural man is unpredictable, opaque, dangerous, like a torrent cascading out of uncharted mountains. At the start, his soul is a jungle without paths or order. And, like a jungle, it must first be cleared and its growth thwarted. Thus it is the school's task to subdue and control man with force and make him a useful member of society, to kindle those qualities in him whose development will bring him to triumphant completion.
Hermann Hesse (Beneath the Wheel)
[Women] are conditioned to ever prove ourselves, as if our value is contingent on our ability to meet the expectations of others. As if our worth is a tank forever draining that we must fill and fill. We complete tasks and in some half-buried way believe that if we don’t, we will be discredited. Sometimes, this is true. But here is a question: Do you want to be a reliable source of literary art (or whatever writing you do), or of prompt emails?
Melissa Febos
I have found that one of the commonest causes of unhappiness among my patients is that they are attempting to live their lives on the deferred payment plan. They do not live, or enjoy life now, but wait for some future event or occurrence. They will be happy when they get married, when they get a better job, when they get the house paid for, when they get the children through college, when they have completed some task or won some victory. Invariably, they are disappointed.
Maxwell Maltz (Psycho-Cybernetics, Updated and Expanded)
What rules, then, can one follow if one is dedicated to the truth? First, never speak falsehood. Second, bear in mind that the act of withholding the truth is always potentially a lie, and that in each instance in which the truth is withheld a significant moral decision is required. Third, the decision to withhold the truth should never be based on personal needs, such as a need for power, a need to be liked or a need to protect one’s map from challenge. Fourth, and conversely, the decision to withhold the truth must always be based entirely upon the needs of the person or people from whom the truth is being withheld. Fifth, the assessment of another’s needs is an act of responsibility which is so complex that it can only be executed wisely when one operates with genuine love for the other. Sixth, the primary factor in the assessment of another’s needs is the assessment of that person’s capacity to utilize the truth for his or her own spiritual growth. Finally, in assessing the capacity of another to utilize the truth for personal spiritual growth, it should be borne in mind that our tendency is generally to underestimate rather than overestimate this capacity. All this might seem like an extraordinary task, impossible to ever perfectly complete, a chronic and never-ending burden, a real drag. And it is indeed a never-ending burden of self-discipline, which is why most people opt for a life of very limited honesty and openness and relative closedness, hiding themselves and their maps from the world. It is easier that way. Yet the rewards of the difficult life of honesty and dedication to the truth are more than commensurate with the demands. By virtue of the fact that their maps are continually being challenged, open people are continually growing people. Through their openness they can establish and maintain intimate relationships far more effectively than more closed people. Because they never speak falsely they can be secure and proud in the knowledge that they have done nothing to contribute to the confusion of the world, but have served as sources of
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
A wise man knows how little he knows."   In life, there is no end to the lessons that can be learned. Wisdom is not a task that can be completed or a race that can be won. It is a constant development that lasts a lifetime. Every day is a chance to gain experience. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn something new.  To cease the pursuit of wisdom is to walk in a straight line through a dark forest. Arrogance refuses the help of maps or the guidance of others, forging onward and looking only in the direction ahead. Though signs point in warning, a foolish person is too blinded by pride to observe their surroundings — too oblivious to see the cliff's edge in front of them until it is too late.  The wisest study their successes to find what they should repeat, and study their failures to avoid the same
Illuminatiam (Illuminations: Wisdom From This Planet's Greatest Minds)
The elements of voice and style are braided together like twine, consisting of these attempts to copy other artists, or an instrument, or even the sound of a bird or passing train. Added to these characteristics are emotions and thoughts that register as various vocal quirks, like hiccups, sighs, growls, warbles—a practically limitless assortment of choices. Most of these choices are made at the speed of sound on a subconscious level, or one would be completely overwhelmed by the task.
Linda Ronstadt (Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir)
Return to spirituality. Forget about religion. That statement is going to anger a lot of people. People will react to this entire book with anger…unless they do not. Why do You say, forget religion? Because it is not good for you. Understand that in order for organized religion to succeed, it has to make people believe they need it. In order for people to put faith in something else, they must first lose faith in themselves. So the first task of organized religion is to make you lose faith in yourself. The second task is to make you see that it has the answers you do not. And the third and most important task is to make you accept its answers without question. If you question, you start to think! If you think, you start to go back to that Source Within. Religion can’t have you do that, because you’re liable to come up with an answer different from what it has contrived. So religion must make you doubt your Self; must make you doubt your own ability to think straight.
Neale Donald Walsch (The Complete Conversations with God)
Modernity is the condition a society reaches when life is no longer conceived as cyclical. In a premodern society, where the purpose of life is understood to be the reproduction of the customs and practices of the group, and where people are expected to follow the life path their parents followed, the ends of life are given at the beginning of life. People know what their life's task is, and they know when it has been completed. In modern societies, the reproduction of the custom is no longer understood to be one of the chief purposes of existence, and the ends of life are not thought to be given; they are thought to be discovered or created. Individuals are not expected to follow the life path of their parents, and the future of the society is not thought to be dictated entirely by its past. Modern societies do not simply repeat and extend themselves; they change in unforeseeable directions, and the individual's contributions to these changes is unspecifiable in advance. To devote oneself to the business of preserving and reproducing the culture of one's group is to risk one of the most terrible fates in modern societies, obsolescence.
Louis Menand (The Metaphysical Club)
When we strike a balance between the challenge of an activity and our skill at performing it, when the rhythm of the work itself feels in sync with our pulse, when we know that what we're doing matters, we can get totally absorbed in our task. That is happiness. The life coach Martha Beck asks new potential clients, "Is there anything you do regularly that makes you forget what time it is?" That forgetting -- that pure absorption -- is what the psychologist Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi calls "flow" or optimal experience. In an interview with Wired magazine, he described flow as "being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost." In a typical day that teeters between anxiety and boredom, flow experiences are those flashes of intense living -- bright against the dull. These optimal experiences can happen when we're engaged in work paid and unpaid, in sports, in music, in art. The researchers Maria Allison and Margaret Duncan have studied the role of flow in women's lives and looked at factors that contributed to what they call "antiflow." Antiflow was associated with repetitive household tasks, repetitive tasks at work, unchallenging tasks, and work we see as meaningless. But there's an element of chaos when it comes to flow. Even if we're doing meaningful and challenging work, that sense of total absoprtion can elude us. We might get completely and beautifully lost in something today, and, try as we might to re-create the same conditions tomorrow, our task might jsut feel like, well, work. In A Life of One's Own, Marion Milner described her effort to re-create teh conditions of her own recorded moments of happiness, saying, "Often when I felt certain that I had discovered the little mental act which produced the change I walked on air, exulting that I had found the key to my garden of delight and could slip through the door whenever I wished. But most often when I came again the place seemed different, the door overgrown with thorns and my key stuck in the lock. It was as if the first time I had said 'abracadabra' the door had opened, but the next time I must use a different word. (123-124).
Ariel Gore (Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness)
[Texting] discourages thoughtful discussion or any level of detail. And the addictive problems are compounded by texting's hyperimmediacy. E-mails take some time to work their way through the Internet, through switches and routers and servers, and they require that you take the step of explicitly opening them. Text messages magically appear on the screen of your phone and demand immediate attention from you. Add to that the social expectation that an unanswered text feels insulting to the sender, and you've got a recipe for addiction: You receive a text, and that activates your novelty centers. You respond and feel rewarded for having completed a task (even though that task was entirely unknown to you fifteen seconds earlier). Each of those delivers a shot of dopamine as your limbic system cries out "More! More! Give me more!
Daniel J. Levitin (The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload)
When he was finished, he set his plate down, looked at me, and raised an eyebrow. I leaned forward and whispered angrily, “I am not going to sit on your lap, so don’t get your hopes up, Mister.” He still waited until I picked up a fork and took a few bites. I speared a bite of macadamia nut crusted ruby snapper and said, “Whew. Time’s up. Isn’t it? The clock is ticking. You must be sweating it, huh? I mean, you could turn any second.” He just took a bite of curried lamb and then some saffron rice and sat there chewing as cool as a cucumber. I watched him closely for a full two minutes and then folded up my napkin. “Okay, I give. Why are you acting so smug and confident? When are you going to tell me what’s going on?” He wiped his mouth carefully and took a sip of water. “What’s going on, my prema, is that the curse has been lifted.” My mouth dropped open. “What? If it was lifted, why were you a tiger for the last two days?” “Well, to be clear, the curse is not completely gone. I seem to have been granted a partial removal of the curse.” “Partial? Partial meaning what, exactly?” “Partial, meaning a certain number of hours per day. Six hours to be exact.” I recited the prophecy in my mind and remembered that there were four sides to the monolith, and four times six was…”Twenty-four.” He paused. “Twenty-four what?” “Well, six hours makes sense because there are four gifts to obtain for Durga and four sides of the monolith. We’ve only completed one of the tasks, so you only get six hours.” He smiled. “I guess I get to keep you around then, at least until the other tasks are finished.” I snorted. “Don’t hold your breath, Tarzan. I might not need to be present for the other tasks. Now that you’re a man part of the time, you and Kishan can resolve this problem yourselves, I’m sure.” He cocked his head and narrowed his eyes at me. “Don’t underestimate your level of…involvement, Kelsey. Even if you weren’t needed anymore to break the curse, do you think I’d simply let you go? Let you walk out of my life without a backward glance?” I nervously began toying with my food and decided to say nothing. That was exactly what I’d been planning to do. Something had changed. The hurt and confused Ren that made me feel guilty for rejecting him in Kishkindha was gone. He was now supremely confident, almost arrogant, and very sure of himself.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
What rhymes with insensitive?” I tap my pen on the kitchen table, beyond frustrated with my current task. Who knew rhyming was so fucking difficult? Garrett, who’s dicing onions at the counter, glances over. “Sensitive,” he says helpfully. “Yes, G, I’ll be sure to rhyme insensitive with sensitive. Gold star for you.” On the other side of the kitchen, Tucker finishes loading the dishwasher and turns to frown at me. “What the hell are you doing over there, anyway? You’ve been scribbling on that notepad for the past hour.” “I’m writing a love poem,” I answer without thinking. Then I slam my lips together, realizing what I’ve done. Dead silence crashes over the kitchen. Garrett and Tucker exchange a look. An extremely long look. Then, perfectly synchronized, their heads shift in my direction, and they stare at me as if I’ve just escaped from a mental institution. I may as well have. There’s no other reason for why I’m voluntarily writing poetry right now. And that’s not even the craziest item on Grace’s list. That’s right. I said it. List. The little brat texted me not one, not two, but six tasks to complete before she agrees to a date. Or maybe gestures is a better way to phrase it... “I just have one question,” Garrett starts. “Really?” Tuck says. “Because I have many.” Sighing, I put my pen down. “Go ahead. Get it out of your systems.” Garrett crosses his arms. “This is for a chick, right? Because if you’re doing it for funsies, then that’s just plain weird.” “It’s for Grace,” I reply through clenched teeth. My best friend nods solemnly. Then he keels over. Asshole. I scowl as he clutches his side, his broad back shuddering with each bellowing laugh. And even while racked with laughter, he manages to pull his phone from his pocket and start typing. “What are you doing?” I demand. “Texting Wellsy. She needs to know this.” “I hate you.” I’m so busy glaring at Garrett that I don’t notice what Tucker’s up to until it’s too late. He snatches the notepad from the table, studies it, and hoots loudly. “Holy shit. G, he rhymed jackass with Cutlass.” “Cutlass?” Garrett wheezes. “Like the sword?” “The car,” I mutter. “I was comparing her lips to this cherry-red Cutlass I fixed up when I was a kid. Drawing on my own experience, that kind of thing.” Tucker shakes his head in exasperation. “You should have compared them to cherries, dumbass.” He’s right. I should have. I’m a terrible poet and I do know it. “Hey,” I say as inspiration strikes. “What if I steal the words to “Amazing Grace”? I can change it to…um…Terrific Grace.” “Yup,” Garrett cracks. “Pure gold right there. Terrific Grace.” I ponder the next line. “How sweet…” “Your ass,” Tucker supplies. Garrett snorts. “Brilliant minds at work. Terrific Grace, how sweet your ass.” He types on his phone again. “Jesus Christ, will you quit dictating this conversation to Hannah?” I grumble. “Bros before hos, dude.” “Call my girlfriend a ho one more time and you won’t have a bro.” Tucker chuckles. “Seriously, why are you writing poetry for this chick?” “Because I’m trying to win her back. This is one of her requirements.” That gets Garrett’s attention. He perks up, phone poised in hand as he asks, “What are the other ones?” “None of your fucking business.” “Golly gee, if you do half as good a job on those as you’re doing with this epic poem, then you’ll get her back in no time!” I give him the finger. “Sarcasm not appreciated.” Then I swipe the notepad from Tuck’s hand and head for the doorway. “PS? Next time either of you need to score points with your ladies? Don’t ask me for help. Jackasses.” Their wild laughter follows me all the way upstairs. I duck into my room and kick the door shut, then spend the next hour typing up the sorriest excuse for poetry on my laptop. Jesus. I’m putting more effort into this damn poem than for my actual classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
Eli: Dear Lord, thank you for giving me the strength and the conviction to complete the task you entrusted to me. Thank you for guiding me straight and true through the many obstacles in my path. And for keeping me resolute when all around seemed lost. Thank you for your protection and your many signs along the way. Thank you for any good that I may have done, I'm so sorry about the bad. Thank you for the friend I made. Please watch over her as you watched over me. Thank you for finally allowing me to rest. I'm so very tired, but I go now to my rest at peace. Knowing that I have done right with my time on this earth. I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith.
Book of Eli Movie
A Checklist is an Externalized, predefined Standard Operating Procedure for completing a specific task. Creating a Checklist is enormously valuable for two reasons. First, Checklisting will help you define a System for a process that hasn’t yet been formalized—once the Checklist has been created, it’s easier to see how to improve or Automate the system. Second, using Checklists as a normal part of working can help ensure that you don’t forget to handle important steps that are easily overlooked when things get busy.
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume)
Since the 1980s, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) has been on the rise, not just among children, but now among the adult population as well. The sudden rise of adult ADD, while it may have genetic components, certainly receives a major boost from our kinetic, hyper-speed, information-bombarded society. Victims of adult ADD are likely to initiate more tasks and projects that they'll ever finish, get bored easily, seek thrills readily, have a propensity to be late while loathing having to wait, and not be averse to taking foolish risks.
Jeff Davidson (The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Things Done)
I once asked her if she was happy. “That depends on what I am able to get done today,” she said, laughing. She told me that the completion of her daily tasks was the only thing she felt she had control over. They were a form of meditation, of salve. Kept busy, she had no time to ruminate and no time for opinions, certainly not feminist ones. I pressed her: “I mean, are you happy with your life, Rajima?” “I don’t know,” she said uncomfortably, as if she’d never really considered such a question. “When there is little you can do, you do what you can.” Happiness for my grandmother seemed to be a verb rather than a noun. She had so little control over her own life. Yet she took control, out of thin air for herself, when she could.
Padma Lakshmi (Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir)
Decide what you want. Determine the Five Major Moves that will help you leap toward that goal. Do deep work on each of the major five moves—at least 60 percent of your workweek going to these efforts—until they are complete. Designate all else as distraction, tasks to delegate, or things to do in blocks of time you’ve allocated in the remaining 40 percent of your time.
Brendon Burchard (High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way)
The power of music, narrative and drama is of the greatest practical and theoretical importance. One may see this even in the case of idiots, with IQs below 20 and the extremest motor incompetence and bewilderment. Their uncouth movements may disappear in a moment with music and dancing—suddenly, with music, they know how to move. We see how the retarded, unable to perform fairly simple tasks involving perhaps four or five movements or procedures in sequence, can do these perfectly if they work to music—the sequence of movements they cannot hold as schemes being perfectly holdable as music, i.e. embedded in music. The same may be seen, very dramatically, in patients with severe frontal lobe damage and apraxia—an inability to do things, to retain the simplest motor sequences and programmes, even to walk, despite perfectly preserved intelligence in all other ways. This procedural defect, or motor idiocy, as one might call it, which completely defeats any ordinary system of rehabilitative instruction, vanishes at once if music is the instructor. All this, no doubt, is the rationale, or one of the rationales, of work songs.
Oliver Sacks (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales)
Women must show their public face. We must help to work out our own community problems. We must insist on having equal voices and equal responsibilities. . . In large part, success depends on changing minds at home, in the streets, and at the workplace - not just in legislatures and in the courts. Each and every one of us has and important role to play in completing that task.
Joan Biskupic
have begun a Catalogue in which I intend to record the Position, Size and Subject of each Statue, and any other points of interest. So far I have completed the First and Second South-Western Halls and am engaged on the Third. The enormity of this task sometimes makes me feel a little dizzy, but as a scientist and an explorer I have a duty to bear witness to the Splendours of the World.
Susanna Clarke (Piranesi)
Some alters are what Dr Ross describes in Multiple Personality Disorder as 'fragments', which are 'relatively limited psychic states that express only one feeling, hold one memory or carry out a limited task in the person's life. A fragment might be a frightened child who holds the memory of one particular abuse incident.' In complex multiples, Dr Ross continues, the `personalities are relatively full-bodied, complete states capable of a rang of emotions and behaviours.' The alters will have `executive control some substantial amount of time over the person life'. He stresses, and I repeat his emphasis, 'Complex MPD with over 15 alter personalities and complicated amnesic barriers are associated with 100 percent frequency of childhood physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
Thinking that is not rooted in awareness becomes self-serving and dysfunctional. Cleverness devoid of wisdom is extremely dangerous and destructive. That is the current state of most of humanity. The amplification of thought as science and technology, although intrinsically neither good nor bad, has also become destructive because so often the thinking out of which it comes has no roots in awareness. The next step in human evolution is to transcend thought. This is now our urgent task. It doesn't mean not to think anymore, but simply not to be completely identified with thought, possessed by thought.
Eckhart Tolle (Stillness Speaks)
Though we are addicted to instant gratification, we are seldom gratified because, although we are making everything possible now, we are seldom present to enjoy it now. The moment we attain our desire, our attention jumps out of the present and into planning our next acquisition. This creates a world that’s comfortable with living in debt, on borrowed time, and on somebody else’s energy. We no longer own our houses, cars, and clothes – the bank does. We have robbed ourselves of the satisfaction of organic accomplishment. There’s no more “rite of passage,” only the fast lane. Young children want to be teenagers, teenagers want to be adults, and adults want to accomplish a lifetime’s work before turning thirty. We spend each moment running ahead of ourselves, believing there’s a destination we are supposed to arrive at that’s saturated with endless happiness, acknowledgement, ease, and luxury. We are forever running away from something and toward something – and because everyone is behaving in this manner, we accept it as normal. We mentally leapfrog over the eternal present moment in everything we do, ignoring the flow of life. The Presence Process – including the consequences inherent in completing it – moves at a different pace. This journey isn’t about getting something done “as quickly as possible.” It’s about process, not instant gratification. The consequences we activate by completing this journey are made possible because of its gently unfolding integrative approach. By following the instructions carefully, taking one step at a time, being consistent and committed to completing the task at hand no matter what, we experience a rite of passage that reminds us of what “process” means. Realizing what “process” involves isn’t just a mental realization, but requires an integrated emotional, mental, and physical experience. Awakening to the value of process work is rare in a world of instant gratification. It powerfully impacts the quality of our experience because life in the present is an ongoing organic process. Realizing the power within the rhythm of process work may not necessarily impact our ability to earn a living, but it enhances our ability to open ourselves to the heartbeat of life.
Michael L. Brown (The Presence Process - A Journey Into Present Moment Awareness)
Observe her when she has some knitting, or some other woman's work in hand, and sits the image of peace, calmly intent on her needles and her silk, some discussion meantime going on around her, in the course of which peculiarities of character are being developed, or important interests canvassed; she takes no part in int; her humble, feminine mind is wholl with her knitting; none of her features move; she neither presumes to smile approval, nor frown disapprobation; her little hands assiduously ply their unpretending task; if she can only get this purse finished, or this bonnet-grec completed, it is enough for her.
Charlotte Brontë (The Professor)
I think I can, I think I can!” Another word for that mind-set is “self-efficacy,” a central concept within the field of human psychology developed in the 1970s by eminent psychologist Albert Bandura. Self-efficacy means having the belief in your abilities to complete a task, reach goals, and manage a situation.2 It means believing in your abilities—not in your parents’ abilities to help you do those things or to do them for you.
Julie Lythcott-Haims (How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success)
Cultivate your curiosity. Keep it sharp and always working. Consider curiosity your life preserver, your willingness to try something new. Second, enlarge your enthusiasm to include the pursuit to excellence, following every task through to completion. Third, make the law of averages work for you. By budgeting your time more carefully than most people you can make more time available. Does the combination of curiosity, enthusiasm, and the law of averages guarantee success Indeed it does not ... Success in the final analysis always involves luck or the element of chance. Louis Pasteur grasped this well when he said that chance favors the prepared mind.
John Hanley Jr.
How often have you heard people brag about what great multi-taskers they are? Perhaps you’ve made the same boast yourself. You might even have heard that members of “Gen Y” are natural multi-taskers, having lived their whole lives constantly switching their attention from texting to IMing to Facebooking to watching TV— all supposedly without missing a beat. We even see training classes designed to teach managers how best to multi-task their Gen Y staff, the implication being that asking someone to focus on a single task through to completion has now become ridiculously old-fashioned for, if not downright heretical to, the new world order. Don’t believe it.
Michael Hannan
the phenomenology of enjoyment has eight major components. When people reflect on how it feels when their experience is most positive, they mention at least one, and often all, of the following. First, the experience usually occurs when we confront tasks we have a chance of completing. Second, we must be able to concentrate on what we are doing. Third and fourth, the concentration is usually possible because the task undertaken has clear goals and provides immediate feedback. Fifth, one acts with a deep but effortless involvement that removes from awareness the worries and frustrations of everyday life. Sixth, enjoyable experiences allow people to exercise a sense of control over their actions. Seventh, concern for the self disappears, yet paradoxically the sense of self emerges stronger after the flow experience is over. Finally, the sense of the duration of time is altered; hours pass by in minutes, and minutes can stretch out to seem like hours. The combination of all these elements causes a sense of deep enjoyment that is so rewarding people feel that expending a great deal of energy is worthwhile simply to be able to feel it.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
Anyone who has ever tried to write a novel knows what an arduous task it is, undoubtedly one of the worst ways of occupying oneself. You have to remain within yourself all the time, in solitary confinement. It’s a controlled psychosis, an obsessive paranoia manacled to work, completely lacking in the feather pens and bustles and Venetian masks we would ordinarily associate with it, clothed instead in a butcher’s apron and rubber boots, eviscerating knife in hand.
Olga Tokarczuk (Flights)
No newspapers, magazines, audiobooks, or nonmusic radio. Music is permitted at all times. No news websites whatsoever (cnn.com, drudgereport.com, msn.com,10 etc.). No television at all, except for one hour of pleasure viewing each evening. No reading books, except for this book and one hour of fiction11 pleasure reading prior to bed. No web surfing at the desk unless it is necessary to complete a work task for that day. Necessary means necessary, not nice to have.
Timothy Ferriss (The 4 Hour Workweek, Expanded And Updated: Expanded And Updated, With Over 100 New Pages Of Cutting Edge Content)
The answer to that question is…I won’t. You belong with me. Which leads me to the discussion I wanted to have with you.” “Where I belong is for me to decide, and though I may listen to what you have to say, that doesn’t mean I will agree with you.” “Fair enough.” Ren pushed his empty plate to the side. “We have some unfinished business to take care of.” “If you mean the other tasks we have to do, I’m already aware of that.” “I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about us.” “What about us?” I put my hands under the table and wiped my clammy palms on my napkin. “I think there are a few things we’ve left unsaid, and I think it’s time we said them.” “I’m not withholding anything from you, if that’s what you mean.” “You are.” “No. I’m not.” “Are you refusing to acknowledge what has happened between us?” “I’m not refusing anything. Don’t try to put words in my mouth.” “I’m not. I’m simply trying to convince a stubborn woman to admit that she has feelings for me.” “If I did have feelings for you, you’d be the first one to know.” “Are you saying that you don’t feel anything for me?” “That’s not what I’m saying.” “Then what are you saying?” “I’m saying…nothing!” I spluttered. Ren smiled and narrowed his eyes at me. If he kept up this line of questioning, he was bound to catch me in a lie. I’m not a very good liar. He sat back in his chair. “Fine. I’ll let you off the hook for now, but we will talk about this later. Tigers are relentless once they set their minds to something. You don’t be able to evade me forever.” Casually, I replied, “Don’t get your hopes up, Mr. Wonderful. Every hero has his Kryptonite, and you don’t intimidate me.” I twisted my napkin in my lap while he tracked my every move with his probing eyes. I felt stripped down, as if he could see into the very heart of me. When the waitress came back, Ren smiled at her as she offered a smaller menu, probably featuring desserts. She leaned over him while I tapped my strappy shoe in frustration. He listened attentively to her. Then, the two of them laughed again. He spoke quietly, gesturing to me, and she looked my way, giggled, and then cleared all the plates quickly. He pulled out a wallet and handed her a credit card. She put her hand on his arm to ask him another question, and I couldn’t help myself. I kicked him under the table. He didn’t even blink or look at me. He just reached his arm across the table, took my hand in his, and rubbed the back of it absentmindedly with his thumb as he answered her question. It was like my kick was a love tap to him. It only made him happier. When she left, I narrowed my eyes at him and asked, “How did you get that card, and what were you saying to her about me?” “Mr. Kadam gave me the card, and I told her that we would be having our dessert…later.” I laughed facetiously. “You mean you will be having dessert later by yourself this evening because I am done eating with you.” He leaned across the candlelit table and said, “Who said anything about eating, Kelsey?” He must be joking! But he looked completely serious. Great! There go the nervous butterflies again. “Stop looking at me like that.” “Like what?” “Like you’re hunting me. I’m not an antelope.” He laughed. “Ah, but the chase would be exquisite, and you would be a most succulent catch.” “Stop it.” “Am I making you nervous?” “You could say that.” I stood up abruptly as he was signing the receipt and made my way toward the door. He was next to me in an instant. He leaned over. “I’m not letting you escape, remember? Now, behave like a good date and let me walk you home. It’s the least you could do since you wouldn’t talk with me.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
So, in general how good are we at predicting how long things will take? In a review of research on prospective memory published in 2010,15 Roger Buehler from Wilfrid Laurier University and his colleagues in Canada looked at research asking individuals to estimate how long particular activities would take them. They found that people were generally optimistic in their estimates, tending to discount past failures to complete things on time, and generally underestimating how long tasks actually took to complete. In other words, we seem to believe that our future selves are going to be superheroes at doing things quickly – new you excels at doing things quickly, even if old you was slow. New you is efficient, old you was lazy.
Julia Shaw (The Memory Illusion: Remembering, Forgetting, and the Science of False Memory)
On the other side of the gun debate we have those who wish to eliminate all guns. “Guns kill” is the battle cry. If that argument was true, we would have to label cars as “killers” since they take more lives in a year than guns. But the claim is false. There is no question that guns are deadly and were invented for one thing – to kill. But guns don’t think, they don’t plan, they don’t aim, and they don’t pull their own trigger. Guns are just a tool used by an owner to complete a task. Good people use guns for recreation and as insurance against evil. Bad people use guns to commit crimes. How a gun is used is not determined by the gun; it is determined by the holder of the gun. Period. There is nothing else to say on this point.
Mark Mullen (America: We Have The Country We Want)
There is nothing quite like the drama and suspense of a penalty shootout. The player tasked with taking the penalty can thunder the ball home or smash it against the crossbar, or even sky it completely over the bar. Nothing will bring housewives out of the kitchen or shush the pub into complete silence quite like the theatre of the penalty shootout, no matter who’s playing. No one can be apathetic about the penalty shootout It’s as if for just those few seconds a player’s soul is laid bare for the entire world to see. The camera pans in and we can clearly see the hesitancy and heroics, the expectation and exultation, the self-doubt or self-glorification, the uncertainty and relief ….. or disappointment. Nothing matches the thrill!
Karl Wiggins (Gunpowder Soup)
Some alters are what Dr Ross describes in Multiple Personality Disorder as 'fragments'. which are 'relatively limited psychic states that express only one feeling, hold one memory, or carry out a limited task in the person's life. A fragment might be a frightened child who holds the memory of one particular abuse incident.' In complex multiples, Dr Ross continues, the 'personalities are relatively full-bodied, complete states capable of a range of emotions and behaviours.' The alters will have 'executive control some substantial amount of time over the person's life'. He stresses, and I repeat his emphasis, 'Complex MPD with over 15 alter personalities and complicated amnesia barriers are associated with 100 percent frequency of childhood physical, sexual and emotional abuse.' Did I imagine the castle, the dungeon, the ritual orgies and violations? Did Lucy, Billy, Samuel, Eliza, Shirley and Kato make it all up? I went back to the industrial estate and found the castle. It was an old factory that had burned to the ground, but the charred ruins of the basement remained. I closed my eyes and could see the black candles, the dancing shadows, the inverted pentagram, the people chanting through hooded robes. I could see myself among other children being abused in ways that defy imagination. I have no doubt now that the cult of devil worshippers was nothing more than a ring of paedophiles, the satanic paraphernalia a cover for their true lusts: the innocent bodies of young children.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
Women are creatures that accomplishes staggering tasks. They seek perfection, accommodation, and completion in their tasks. This is why it is valid to put your faith in a woman if you need to get a job done. Vision however, is what they lack. Imagination, is where they are weak. Possibility, is what they attempt to ignore. This is when you get a boy or a man, for they have the power to truly dream. A man understands that you can turn a dream into reality, and that time is a luxury, not an obstacle.
Lionel Suggs
In all of these examples, it’s not just the change of environment or seeking of quiet that enables more depth. The dominant force is the psychology of committing so seriously to the task at hand. To put yourself in an exotic location to focus on a writing project, or to take a week off from work just to think, or to lock yourself in a hotel room until you complete an important invention: These gestures push your deep goal to a level of mental priority that helps unlock the needed mental resources. Sometimes to go deep, you must first go big.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
At the heart of God is the desire to give and to forgive. Because of this, he set into motion the entire redemptive process that culminated in the cross and was confirmed in the resurrection. The usual notion of what Jesus did on the cross was something like this: people were so bad and so mean and God was so angry with them that he could not forgive them unless somebody big enough took the rap for the whole lot of them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Love, not anger, brought Jesus to the cross. Golgotha came as a result of God’s great desire to forgive, not his reluctance. Jesus knew that by his vicarious suffering he could actually absorb all the evil of humanity and so heal it, forgive it, redeem it. This is why Jesus refused the customary painkiller when it was offered him. He wanted to be completely alert for this greatest work of redemption. In a deep and mysterious way he was preparing to take on the collective sin of the human race. Since Jesus lives in the eternal now, this work was not just for those around him, but he took in all the violence, all the fear, all the sin of all the past, all the present, and all the future. This was his highest and most holy work, the work that makes confession and the forgiveness of sins possible…Some seem to think that when Jesus shouted “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” it was a moment of weakness (Mark 15:34). Not at all. This was his moment of greatest triumph. Jesus, who had walked in constant communion with the Father, now became so totally identified with humankind that he was the actual embodiment of sin. As Paul writes, “he made him to be sin who knew no sin (2 Cor. 5:21). Jesus succeeded in taking into himself all of the dark powers of this present evil age and defeated every one of them by the light of his presence. He accomplished such a total identification with the sin of the race that he experienced the abandonment of God. Only in that way could he redeem sin. It was indeed his moment of greatest triumph. Having accomplished this greatest of all his works, Jesus then took refreshment. “It is finished,” he announced. That is, this great work of redemption was completed. He could feel the last dregs of the misery of humankind flow through him and into the care of the Father. The last twinges of evil, hostility, anger, and fear drained out of him, and he was able to turn again into the light of God’s presence. “It is finished.” The task is complete. Soon after, he was free to give up his spirit to the father. …Without the cross the Discipline of confession would be only psychologically therapeutic. But it is so much more. It involves and objective change in our relationship with God and a subjective change in us. It is a means of healing and transforming the inner spirit.
Richard J. Foster (Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth)
Imagine a day in which you feel generally fine. After waking up, you spend a few minutes in bed lightly thinking ahead about some of the people you will see and the things you will do. You hit traffic on the way to work, but you don’t fight it; you just listen to the radio and don’t let the other drivers bother you. You may not be excited about your job, but today you’re focusing on the sense of accomplishment you feel as you complete each task. On the way home, your partner calls and asks you to stop at the store; it’s not your favorite thing to do after work, but you remind yourself it’s just fifteen extra minutes. In the evening, you look forward to a TV show and you enjoy watching it. Now let’s look at the same day, but imagine approaching it in a different way. After waking up, you spend a few minutes in bed pessimistically anticipating the day ahead and thinking about how boring work will be. Today, the traffic really gets under your skin, and when a car cuts you off, you get angry and honk your horn. You’re still rankled by the incident when you start work, and to make matters worse, you have an unbelievable number of rote tasks to get through. By the time you’re driving home, you feel fried and don’t want to do a single extra thing. Your partner calls to ask you to stop at the store. You feel put upon but don’t say anything and go to the store. Then you spend much of the evening quietly seething that you do all the work around the house. Your favorite show is on, but it’s hard to enjoy watching it, you feel so tired and irritated. Over these two imaginary days, the same exact things happened. All that was different was how your brain dealt with them—the setting that it used.
Rick Hanson (Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence)
Search the most weird thing on Google. You will find some people somewhere doing that thing. Your mind is even more advanced than Google. Whatever you want to believe, it can churn out logic to support that. Look at human history, most brilliant minds have died debating over their beliefs and no common conclusion has been reached so far. And it will never be reached. Mind is tricky machine that can complete any task that you assign it Give it the task of dissolving itself and it will dissolve itself with its own logic. Then you can experience the oneness - the Paramatma.
Shunya
If I now consider man in his isolated capacity, I find that dogmatic belief is no less indispensable to him in order to live alone than it is to enable him to co-operate with his fellows. If man were forced to demonstrate for himself all the truths of which he makes daily use, his task would never end. He would exhaust his strength in preparatory demonstrations without ever advancing beyond them. As, from the shortness of his life, he has not the time, nor, from the limits of his intelligence, the capacity, to act in this way, he is reduced to take on trust a host of facts and opinions which he has not had either the time or the power to verify for himself, but which men of greater ability have found out, or which the crowd adopts. On this groundwork he raises for himself the structure of his own thoughts; he is not led to proceed in this manner by choice, but is constrained by the inflexible law of his condition. There is no philosopher in the world so great but that he believes a million things on the faith of other people and accepts a great many more truths than he demonstrates. (Tocqueville 1945 2:9-10; Oeuvres Completes (M) 1(2):16-17, (B) 3:15-16).
Alexis de Tocqueville (Tocqueville : Oeuvres complètes, tome 2)
Here’s why an allowance is good for kids: Having a little of their own money, and deciding how to save or spend it, offers a measure of autonomy and teaches them to be responsible with cash. Here’s why household chores are good for kids: Chores show kids that families are built on mutual obligations and that family members need to help each other. Here’s why combining allowances with chores is not good for kids. By linking money to the completion of chores, parents turn an allowance into an “if-then” reward. This sends kids a clear (and clearly wrongheaded) message: In the absence of a payment, no self-respecting child would willingly set the table, empty the garbage, or make her own bed. It converts a moral and familial obligation into just another commercial transaction—and teaches that the only reason to do a less-than-desirable task for your family is in exchange for payment.
Daniel H. Pink (Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us)
We are committed to involving as many people as possible, as young as possible, as soon as possible. Sometimes too young and too soon! But we intentionally err on the side of too fast rather than too slow. We don’t wait until people feel “prepared” or “fully equipped.” Seriously, when is anyone ever completely prepared for ministry? Ministry makes people’s faith bigger. If you want to increase someone’s confidence in God, put him in a ministry position before he feels fully equipped. The messages your environments communicate have the potential to trump your primary message. If you don’t see a mess, if you aren’t bothered by clutter, you need to make sure there is someone around you who does see it and is bothered by it. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. The sermon begins in the parking lot. Assign responsibility, not tasks. At the end of the day, it’s application that makes all the difference. Truth isn’t helpful if no one understands or remembers it. If you want a church full of biblically educated believers, just teach what the Bible says. If you want to make a difference in your community and possibly the world, give people handles, next steps, and specific applications. Challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how you grow people. Your current template is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently getting. We must remove every possible obstacle from the path of the disinterested, suspicious, here-against-my-will, would-rather-be-somewhere-else, unchurched guests. The parking lot, hallways, auditorium, and stage must be obstacle-free zones. As a preacher, it’s my responsibility to offend people with the gospel. That’s one reason we work so hard not to offend them in the parking lot, the hallway, at check-in, or in the early portions of our service. We want people to come back the following week for another round of offending! Present the gospel in uncompromising terms, preach hard against sin, and tackle the most emotionally charged topics in culture, while providing an environment where unchurched people feel comfortable. The approach a church chooses trumps its purpose every time. Nothing says hypocrite faster than Christians expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians when half the Christians don’t act like it half the time. When you give non-Christians an out, they respond by leaning in. Especially if you invite them rather than expect them. There’s a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something. There is an inexorable link between an organization’s vision and its appetite for improvement. Vision exposes what has yet to be accomplished. In this way, vision has the power to create a healthy sense of organizational discontent. A leader who continually keeps the vision out in front of his or her staff creates a thirst for improvement. Vision-centric churches expect change. Change is a means to an end. Change is critical to making what could and should be a reality. Write your vision in ink; everything else should be penciled in. Plans change. Vision remains the same. It is natural to assume that what worked in the past will always work. But, of course, that way of thinking is lethal. And the longer it goes unchallenged, the more difficult it is to identify and eradicate. Every innovation has an expiration date. The primary reason churches cling to outdated models and programs is that they lack leadership.
Andy Stanley (Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend)
He closed the distance between them, slipped an arm around her waist beneath the blanket. His fingers traced her jaw, slid into the hair at her nape. “You are a fascinating woman, Paige. No wonder Russell chose you for this task. Or did you volunteer?” With a tug, she was flush against him. The blanket fell away as she let it go to press her hands against his chest. Paige closed her eyes. His naked chest. His skin was hot beneath her hands, silky and hard, and she wanted to pet him like a cat. How could she possibly find him sexy at a time like this? “Let me go,” she breathed. “Before you’ve done what you came to do?” “I didn’t come here to do anything.” “What did Russell offer you?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” “Were you supposed to seduce me? Supposed to leave me sated and exhausted in bed while you went through my papers?” His head dipped toward her. “Because I have to say, Paige, that I am very disappointed in your technique thus far. But I find I am quite willing to allow you to complete your mission. She knew she should pull away when his lips touched hers, but it was physically impossible. Not because he held her too tightly, but because her body was zinging with sparks that she didn’t want to end…
Lynn Raye Harris (Prince Voronov's Virgin)
G. K. Chesterton wrote in Charles Dickens, that The Pickwick Papers was neither a good novel nor a bad novel but in fact ‘not a novel at all.’ He believed it was “something nobler than a novel”. Certainly it was never conceived as a novel but merely as the letterpress to accompany the “cockney sporting plates”. Unfortunately Robert Seymour committed suicide after the first two instalments so the third one was undertaken by Robert Buss whose work Dickens did not like and consequently the task fell to Hablot Knight Browne, who took the name “Phiz” and continued an artistic relationship with Dickens, illustrating many of his novels.
Charles Dickens (The Complete Works of Charles Dickens)
When we broke apart, I leaned against Amar’s chest and I listened. I listened to his heart, to the world outside folding away the shadows. I listened to the absence of my mother’s necklace from my throat, wondering whether the sapphire was now cool against Gauri’s neck. I listened as the seams of the earth absorbed its wounds, to the light falling thickly over the ruined Night Bazaar. I knew there were a thousand tasks left to complete. Markets to rebuild, a tapestry in need of tending…but for a moment, I concentrated on the sound of Amar’s heart and the feel of our fingers entwined. I was free. I was whole. I was Queen of Naraka.
Roshani Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1))
7. Character is built in the course of your inner confrontation. Character is a set of dispositions, desires, and habits that are slowly engraved during the struggle against your own weakness. You become more disciplined, considerate, and loving through a thousand small acts of self-control, sharing, service, friendship, and refined enjoyment. If you make disciplined, caring choices, you are slowly engraving certain tendencies into your mind. You are making it more likely that you will desire the right things and execute the right actions. If you make selfish, cruel, or disorganized choices, then you are slowly turning this core thing inside yourself into something that is degraded, inconstant, or fragmented. You can do harm to this core thing with nothing more than ignoble thoughts, even if you are not harming anyone else. You can elevate this core thing with an act of restraint nobody sees. If you don’t develop a coherent character in this way, life will fall to pieces sooner or later. You will become a slave to your passions. But if you do behave with habitual self-discipline, you will become constant and dependable. 8. The things that lead us astray are short term—lust, fear, vanity, gluttony. The things we call character endure over the long term—courage, honesty, humility. People with character are capable of a long obedience in the same direction, of staying attached to people and causes and callings consistently through thick and thin. People with character also have scope. They are not infinitely flexible, free-floating, and solitary. They are anchored by permanent attachments to important things. In the realm of the intellect, they have a set of permanent convictions about fundamental truths. In the realm of emotion, they are enmeshed in a web of unconditional loves. In the realm of action, they have a permanent commitment to tasks that cannot be completed in a single lifetime.
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
Johnson's later life, from 1763, is among the best documented of all literary lives. James Boswell gave himself the enormous task, after Johnson's death in 1784, of producing what is now held to be a model of biography; rich in detail and anecdote, a complete picture of the man and his times, traced over a period of more than twenty years. Boswell's Life of Johnson, published in 1791, carries on Johnson's own contribution to the growing art of biography, and consolidates Johnson's position as a major literary figure, who, although a poet and a novelist, is remembered more for his academic and critical achievement than for his creative writings.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
In one study, elite violinists had separated themselves from all others by each accumulating more than 10,000 hours of practice by age 20. Thus the rule. Many elite performers complete their journey in about ten years, which, if you do the math, is an average of about three hours of deliberate practice a day, every day, 365 days a year. Now, if your ONE Thing relates to work and you put in 250 workdays a year (five days a week for 50 weeks), to keep pace on your mastery journey you’ll need to average four hours a day. Sound familiar? It’s not a random number. That’s the amount of time you need to time block every day for your ONE Thing. More than anything else, expertise tracks with hours invested. Michelangelo once said, “If the people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all.” His point is obvious. Time on a task, over time, eventually beats talent every time. I’d say you can “book that,” but actually you should “block it.
Gary Keller (The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results)
He done his level best. Was he a mining on the flat.. He done it with a zest.. Was he a leading of the choir.. He done his level best. If he'd a reg'lar task to do, He never took no rest.. Or if 'twas off and on the same.. He done his level best. If he was preachin' on his beat, He'd tramp from east to west, And north to south ..in cold and heat.. He done his level best. He'd Yank a sinner outen (Hades), And land him with the blest; Then snatch a prayer'n waltz in again, And do his level best. He'd cuss and sing and howl and pray, And dance and drink and jest, He done his level best. Whate'er this man was sot to do He done it with a zest; No matter what his contract was, He'd do his level best...
Mark Twain (The Complete Humorous Sketches and Tales of Mark Twain)
If I now consider man in his isolated capacity, I find that dogmatic belief is no less indispensable to him in order to live alone than it is to enable him to co-operate with his fellows. If man were forced to demonstrate for himself all the truths of which he makes daily use, his task would never end. He would exhaust his strength in preparatory demonstrations without ever advancing beyond them. As, from the shortness of his life, he has not the time, nor, from the limits of his intelligence, the capacity, to act in this way, he is reduced to take on trust a host of facts and opinions which he has not had either the time or the power to verify for himself, but which men of greater ability have found out, or which the crowd adopts. On this groundwork he raises for himself the structure of his own thoughts; he is not led to proceed in this manner by choice, but is constrained by the inflexible law of his condition. There is no philosopher in the world so great but that he believes a million things on the faith of other people and accepts a great many more truths than he demonstrates. (Tocqueville 1945 2:9-10; Oeuvres Completes (M) 1(2):16-17, (B) 3:15-16).
Alexis de Tocqueville (Tocqueville : Oeuvres complètes, tome 2)
Because no one of us lives for himself and no one dies for himself. For if we live, then we live for the Lord; and if we die, then we die for the Lord. Therefore whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.' Pastor Jón Prímus to himself: That's rather good. With that he thrust the manual into his cassock pocket, turned towards the coffin, and said: That was the formula, Mundi. I was trying to get you to understand it, but it didn't work out; actually it did not matter. We cannot get round this formula anyway. It's easy to prove that the formula is wrong, but it is at least so right that the world came into existence. But it is a waste of words to try to impute to the Creator democratic ideas or social virtues; or to think that one can move Him with weeping and wailing, and persuade Him with logic and legal quibbles. Nothing is so pointless as words. The late pastor Jens of Setberg knew all this and more besides. But he also knew that the formula is kept in a locker. The rest comes by itself. The Creation, which includes you and me, we are in the formula, this very formula I have just been reading; and there is no way out of it. Because no one lives for himself and so on; and whether we live or die, we and so on. You are annoyed that demons should govern the world and that consequently there is only one virtue that is taken seriously by the newspapers: killings. You said they had discovered a machine to destroy everything that draws breath on earth; they were now trying to agree on a method of accomplishing this task quickly and cleanly; preferably while having a cocktail. They are trying to break out of the formula, poor wretches. Who can blame them for that? Who has never wanted to do that? Many consider the human being to be the most useless animal on earth or even the lowest stage of evolution in all the universe put together, and that it is more than high time to wipe this creature out, like the mammoth in the tundras. We once knew a war maiden, you and I. There was only one word ever found for her: Úa. So wonderful was this creation that it's no exaggeration to say that she was completely unbearable; indeed I think that we two helped one another to destroy her, and yet perhaps she is still alive. There was never anything like her. ... In conclusion I, as the local pastor, thank you for having participated in carrying the Creation on your shoulders alongside me.
Halldór Laxness (Under the Glacier)
Lucifer snapped his fingers and froze them. He didn’t really care what they did to each other, but he’d spent several months in the wild capturing the beast he’d turned into a desk. “Children, children,” he said tucking his hands behind his back and adopting his father figure mode. It usually made his daughter, Muriel, laugh. “Must I remind you that I tasked you with a mission. One that I might add, Ysabel, you should be most eager to complete. What I do not need, is for you to FUCK IT UP!” He let his voice increase in treble until it boomed. “I’ve been more than tolerant, but enough is enough. You will cease bringing me your petty squabbles. You will do the job I assigned. And if you don’t want his tongue in your mouth, Ysabel, then bite it off. Although, really, if you enjoyed it so much, I don’t see what the problem is. Maybe he can help you remove the stick up your ass if you let him kiss the other end. Now, if we’re done here, and since I’m boss, and I say we are, leave and don’t come back until you’re done, because if you do, I’m duct taping the pair of you together and throwing you in a dark room until you learn to get along. Or fuck. I don’t really care which, but I prefer the latter so I can watch.
Eve Langlais (A Demon and His Witch (Welcome to Hell, #1))
To deny the truth of our own experience in the scientific study of ourselves is not only unsatisfactory; it is to render the scientific study of ourselves without a subject matter. But to suppose that science cannot contribute to an understanding of our experience may be to abandon, within the modern context, the task of self-understanding. Experience and scientific understanding are like two legs without which we cannot walk. We can phrase this very same idea in positive terms: it is only by having a sense of common ground between cognitive science and human experience that our understanding of cognition can be more complete and reach a satisfying level. We thus propose a constructive task: to enlarge the horizon of cognitive science to include the broader panorama of human, lived experience in a disciplined, transformative analysis.
Evan Thompson (The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience)
We are often told, that in the critical periods of history it is the national soul which counts: that "where there is no vision, the people perish." No nation is truly defeated which retains its spiritual self-possession. No nation is truly victorious which does not emerge with soul unstained. If this be so, it becomes a part of true patriotism to keep the spiritual life, both of the individual citizen and of the social group, active and vigorous; its vision of realities unsullied by the entangled interests and passions of the time. This is a task in which all may do their part. The spiritual life is not a special career, involving abstraction from the world of things. It is a part of every man's life; and until he has realised it he is not a complete human being, has not entered into possession of all his powers. It is therefore the function of a practical mysticism to increase, not diminish, the total efficiency, the wisdom and steadfastness, of those who try to practise it. It will help them to enter, more completely than ever before, into the life of the group to which they belong. It will teach them to see the world in a truer proportion, discerning eternal beauty beyond and beneath apparent ruthlessness. It will educate them in a charity free from all taint of sentimentalism; it will confer on them an unconquerable hope; and assure them that still, even in the hour of greatest desolation, "There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.
Evelyn Underhill (Practical Mysticism)
There is no freedom, but everything in the world takes place entirely according to nature....Transcendental freedom is therefore opposed to the law of causality, and represents such a connection of successive states of effective causes, that no unity of experience is possible with it. It is therefore an empty fiction of the mind, and not to be met with in any experience. We have, therefore, nothing but nature, in which we must try to find the connection and order of cosmical events. Freedom (independence) from the laws of nature is no doubt a deliverance from restraint, but also from the guidance of all rules. For we cannot say that, instead of the laws of nature, laws of freedom may enter into the causality of the course of the world, because, if determined by laws, it would not be freedom, but nothing else but nature. Nature, therefore, and transcendental freedom differ from each other like legality and lawlessness. The former, no doubt, imposes upon the understanding the difficult task of looking higher and higher for the origin of events in the series of causes, because their causality is always conditioned. In return for this, however, it promises a complete and well-ordered unity of experience; while, on the other side, the fiction of freedom promises, no doubt, to the enquiring mind, rest in the chain of causes, leading him up to an unconditioned causality, which begins to act by itself, but which, as it is blind itself, tears the thread of rules by which alone a complete and coherent experience is possible.
Immanuel Kant (Critique of Pure Reason)
Can I ask you something very personal while you try things on?” “Yes, of course, what do you want to know?” “…well, it’s just that… I don’t want to offend you,” she said uncertainly. “Oh come on, Akane, out with it!” Mitsuko prompted her, “I want to know the answer too!” “Very well,” agreed the little auburn pixie and cut to the chase: “Where are your wings?” The question was so unexpected that I burst out laughing. “I had to part with them when I came down to Earth. “It’s something every angel has to deal with if they’re planning to spend any length of time down here.” “And what’s your life like, up there?” Akane asked. “In the Kingdom of Heaven, we live as beings of pure light.” “Up there, there’s no such thing as fear, pain, hot or cold. We don’t know hunger, suffering, ageing or death. We have no need of food and we don’t sleep. We are the messengers of God and we watch over the lives of mortals. We come to Earth often, but only as spirits, and once we’ve completed our task down here, we always go back to the White Woods.
A.O. Esther (Elveszett lelkek (Összetört glóriák, #1))
He saw tears rimming her blue eyes, tears that washed away Drizzt's anger, that told him that what had happened between himself and Catti-brie had apparently not been so deeply buried. The last time they had met, on this very spot, they had hidden the questions they both wanted to ask behind the energy of a sparring match. Catti-brie's concentration had to be complete on that occasion, and in the days before it, as she had fought to master her sword, but now that task was completed. Now, like Drizzt, she had time to think, and in that time, Catti-brie had remembered. "Ye're knowing it was the sword?" she asked, almost pleaded. Drizzt smiled, trying to comfort her. Of course it had been the sentient sword that had inspired her to throw herself at him. Fully the sword, only the sword. But a large part of Drizzt - and possibly of Catti-brie, he thought in looking at her - wished differently. There had been an undeniable tension between them for some time, a complicated situation, and even more so now, after the possession incident with Khazid'hea.
R.A. Salvatore (Siege of Darkness (Forgotten Realms: Legacy of the Drow, #3; Legend of Drizzt, #9))
I have followed the procedure of the ancient painter Zeuxis, who worked in a material temple as I propose to work in a spiritual one. As Cicero tells the story, the people of Croton asked Zeuxis to decorate a temple they held in high esteem with the finest paintings he could devise. He approached the task with care, selecting five of the town’s most beautiful women to sit beside him as he worked and model their beauty for his painting. There were several good reasons for this. Zeuxis, we know, was a master in portraying women’s beauty, which by nature is more elegant and delicate than men’s. But as Cicero makes it a point to explain, he chose several women because he did not think he could find one who was uniformly lovely in all her parts. Nature, he thought, had never conferred such beauty on a single woman that all her parts should have an equal share: nothing composed by nature is complete in all respects, as if, in bestowing all her bounties in one place, nature would have none left to bestow elsewhere. Similarly, in my depiction of the beauty of the soul
Pierre Abélard (The Letters of Abélard and Héloïse)
Acceptance leads to the direct experience of true love. It confronts us with the awareness that love has nothing to do with what is advertised in consensus reality, that there is a deeper love shunned by the outer world. This love becomes our task to explore, even if this means doing so alone. A most significant experience on the way to acceptance is to acknowledge aloneness. Aloneness (all-oneness) is our authentic nature. We are always alone. We came into this planet alone and we will leave alone. And also during our whole staying in this world, no matter how we engage in relationships, we continue to be alone, although we may forget about it or pretend it is not the case. True love have nothing to do with the idea that someone is the other half of my soul and that I need him or her in order to be whole and feel complete. Love is not being half of an entirety with another, love is being both a whole, is accepting to be alone, and only when you can be alone with someone there is true love regardless of whether this aloneness is accepted by the other or not.
Franco Santoro
1. Recruit the smallest group of people who can accomplish what must be done quickly and with high quality. Comparative Advantage means that some people will be better than others at accomplishing certain tasks, so it pays to invest time and resources in recruiting the best team for the job. Don’t make that team too large, however—Communication Overhead makes each additional team member beyond a core of three to eight people a drag on performance. Small, elite teams are best. 2. Clearly communicate the desired End Result, who is responsible for what, and the current status. Everyone on the team must know the Commander’s Intent of the project, the Reason Why it’s important, and must clearly know the specific parts of the project they’re individually responsible for completing—otherwise, you’re risking Bystander Apathy. 3. Treat people with respect. Consistently using the Golden Trifecta—appreciation, courtesy, and respect—is the best way to make the individuals on your team feel Important and is also the best way to ensure that they respect you as a leader and manager. The more your team works together under mutually supportive conditions, the more Clanning will naturally occur, and the more cohesive the team will become. 4. Create an Environment where everyone can be as productive as possible, then let people do their work. The best working Environment takes full advantage of Guiding Structure—provide the best equipment and tools possible and ensure that the Environment reinforces the work the team is doing. To avoid having energy sapped by the Cognitive Switching Penalty, shield your team from as many distractions as possible, which includes nonessential bureaucracy and meetings. 5. Refrain from having unrealistic expectations regarding certainty and prediction. Create an aggressive plan to complete the project, but be aware in advance that Uncertainty and the Planning Fallacy mean your initial plan will almost certainly be incomplete or inaccurate in a few important respects. Update your plan as you go along, using what you learn along the way, and continually reapply Parkinson’s Law to find the shortest feasible path to completion that works, given the necessary Trade-offs required by the work. 6. Measure to see if what you’re doing is working—if not, try another approach. One of the primary fallacies of effective Management is that it makes learning unnecessary. This mind-set assumes your initial plan should be 100 percent perfect and followed to the letter. The exact opposite is true: effective Management means planning for learning, which requires constant adjustments along the way. Constantly Measure your performance across a small set of Key Performance Indicators (discussed later)—if what you’re doing doesn’t appear to be working, Experiment with another approach.
Josh Kaufman (The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business)
Feeling the slight tremor of his fingers against her skin, Daisy was emboldened to remark, “I’ve never been attracted to tall men before. But you make me feel—” “If you don’t keep quiet,” he interrupted curtly, “I’m going to strangle you.” Daisy felt silent, listening to the rhythm of his breath as it turned deeper, less controlled. By contrast his fingers became more certain in their task, working along the row of pearls until her dress gaped open and the sleeves slipped from her shoulders. “Where is it?” he asked. “The key?” His tone was deadly. “Yes, Daisy. The key.” “It fell inside my corset. Which means… I’ll have to take that off too.” There was no reaction to the statement, no sound or movement. Daisy twisted to glance at Matthew. He seemed dazed. His eyes looked unnaturally blue against the flush on his face. She realized he was occupied with a savage inner battle to keep from touching her. Feeling hot and prickly with embarrassment, Daisy pulled her arms completely out of her sleeves. She worked the dress over her hips, wriggling out of the filmy white layers, letting them slide to the floor in a heap. Matthew stared at the discarded dress as if it were some kind of exotic fauna he had never seen before. Slowly his eyes returned to Daisy, and an incoherent protest came from his throat as she began to unhook her corset. She felt shy and wicked, undressing in front of him. But she was encouraged by the way he seemed unable to tear his gaze from each newly revealed inch of pale skin. When the last metal hook came apart, she tossed the web of lace and stays to the floor. All that remained over her breasts was a crumpled chemise. The key had dropped into her lap. Closing her fingers around the metal object, she risked a cautious glance at Matthew. His eyes were closed, his forehead scored with furrows of pained concentration. “This isn’t going to happen,” he said, more to himself than to her. Daisy leaned forward to tuck the key into his coat pocket. Gripping the hem of her chemise, she stripped it over her head. A tingling shock chased over her naked upper body. She was so nervous that her teeth had begun to chatter. “I just took my chemise off,” she said. “Don’t you want to look?” “No.” But his eyes had opened, and his gaze found her small, pink-tipped breasts, and the breath hissed through his clenched teeth. He sat without moving, staring at her as she untied his cravat and unbuttoned the layers of his waistcoat and shirt. She blushed everywhere but continued doggedly, rising to her knees to tug the coat from his shoulders. He moved like a dreamer, slowly pulling his arms from the coat sleeves and waistcoat. Daisy pushed his shirt open with awkward determination, her gaze drinking in the sight of his chest and torso. His skin gleamed like heavy satin, stretched taut over broad expanses of muscle. She touched the powerful vault of his ribs, trailing her fingertips to the rippled tautness of his midriff. Suddenly Matthew caught her hand, seemingly undecided whether to push it away or press it closer. Her fingers curled over his. She stared into his dilated blue eyes. “Matthew,” she whispered. “I’m here. I’m yours. I want to do everything you’ve ever imagined doing with me.” He stopped breathing. His will foundered and collapsed, and suddenly nothing mattered except the demands of a desire that had been denied too long. With a rough groan of surrender, he lifted her onto his lap.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
The work of God requires stamina. Nehemiah sustained his stamina even through staggering difficulties. He persisted through both ridicule and discouragement, and he remained faithful when tempted to compromise. This tenacity is required of leaders who will make a difference. Will you crumble under the pressures, or will you face the trials with God’s strength? Many today question the possibility of revival. These naysayers see only the decaying moral condition of society and the disappointing lukewarm condition of churches. Revival, however, is not dependent on or the result of a flourishing spiritual condition. Some of the greatest revivals in Scripture came during the darkest times. Let us not look at the rubbish, but at Christ, the Rock, who can rebuild our country through revival. Let us be leaders God can use to bring revival. Nehemiah was not a man to sit idly by when there was tremendous need. Neither was he a man to attempt meeting such need in his own strength. God used Nehemiah to bring revival because Nehemiah began with supplication for God’s forgiveness and power. The task of rebuilding the walls could never have been completed by one man alone; it needed a leader who understood the power of synergy. Nehemiah’s willingness to be personally involved in the work, as well as his ability to convey the need to others, resulted in a task force that completed this enormous building project in a mere fifty-two days—to the glory of God. Like any godly leader, Nehemiah did not go unchallenged. Yet, he sustained his stamina in the face of every opposition. Nehemiah’s life proves that revival is possible, even when it appears the most unlikely. God sends revival through leaders willing to make a difference.
Paul Chappell (Leaders Who Make a Difference: Leadership Lessons from Three Great Bible Leaders)
Man’s Chief End “Man’s chief end,” says the Shorter Catechism, magnificently, “is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.” End, note, not ends; for the two activities are one. God’s chief end, purposed in all that he does, is his glory (and what higher end could he have?), and he has so made us that we find our own deepest fulfillment and highest joy in hallowing his name by praise, submission, and service. God is no sadist, and the principle of our creation is that, believe it or not (and or course many don’t, just as Satan doesn’t), our duty, interest and delight completely coincide. Christians get so hung up with the pagan idea (very dishonoring to God, incidentally) that God’s will is always unpleasant, so that one is rather a martyr to be doing it, that they hardly at first notice how their experience verifies the truth that in Christian living duty and delight go together. But they do!—and it will be even clearer in the life to come. To give oneself to hallowing God’s name as one’s life-task means that living, though never a joy ride, will become increasingly a joy road. Can you believe that? Well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating! Try it, and you will see.
J.I. Packer (Growing in Christ)
I am nothing--nothing--nothing. She was clinging to that, she found, as to a sort of anchor, because it kept her from having to face the terrible possibility that God Himself was not, and the realization of God's nothingness would be the final horror that could not be borne. Yet as time passed she knew that that possibility, too, must be faced. She must let go of the very last thing left her, the knowledge of her own nothingness, and face it. And she let go, and looked around for God and did not find Him; and then there was nothing, except the dark night. But there was the dark night. Very slowly she became conscious of it, and then she found that she was hugging it to her, wrapping herself in it as though it were a cloak to hide her in this hour of her humiliation. For a long while the night was all that she had, and then suddenly, like a sword stabbing the darkness, came a trill of music. It was a bird welcoming the dawn. That, too, was added. She drew back one of the curtains of her bed and saw a patch of grey light where the window was. That also. During the hours of the night she had been completely stripped, and now one by one a few things were being handed to her for the clothing of her naked, shivering, humiliated soul. For a few things one must have to make one decent if one was to step forth again upon the highway. For that, obviously, impossible though the task seemed to her at this moment, was what she had to do as soon as the full day came, because there wasn't anything else that she could do. She had to go on living and serving, with the living and serving stripped of all pleasure...But there would be something. There would be darkness and light, night and day, both sweet things, and music linking them together. The full glory of the dawn chorus seemed all about her...it was full day by the time she pulled back the muslin curtains that covered her window and flung it wide and leaned out, the scent of the spring earth rushing up to meet her. That also was given back...By whom?
Elizabeth Goudge (Green Dolphin Street)
Most of us do not like not being able to see what others see or make sense of something new. We do not like it when things do not come together and fit nicely for us. That is why most popular movies have Hollywood endings. The public prefers a tidy finale. And we especially do not like it when things are contradictory, because then it is much harder to reconcile them (this is particularly true for Westerners). This sense of confusion triggers in a us a feeling of noxious anxiety. It generates tension. So we feel compelled to reduce it, solve it, complete it, reconcile it, make it make sense. And when we do solve these puzzles, there's relief. It feels good. We REALLY like it when things come together. What I am describing is a very basic human psychological process, captured by the second Gestalt principle. It is what we call the 'press for coherence.' It has been called many different things in psychology: consonance, need for closure, congruity, harmony, need for meaning, the consistency principle. At its core it is the drive to reduce the tension, disorientation, and dissonance that come from complexity, incoherence, and contradiction. In the 1930s, Bluma Zeigarnik, a student of Lewin's in Berlin, designed a famous study to test the impact of this idea of tension and coherence. Lewin had noticed that waiters in his local cafe seemed to have better recollections of unpaid orders than of those already settled. A lab study was run to examine this phenomenon, and it showed that people tend to remember uncompleted tasks, like half-finished math or word problems, better than completed tasks. This is because the unfinished task triggers a feeling of tension, which gets associated with the task and keeps it lingering in our minds. The completed problems are, well, complete, so we forget them and move on. They later called this the 'Zeigarnik effect,' and it has influenced the study of many things, from advertising campaigns to coping with the suicide of loved ones to dysphoric rumination of past conflicts.
Peter T. Coleman (The Five Percent: Finding Solutions to Seemingly Impossible Conflicts)
For once in her life, the thought of being on the back of a magnificent horse did not command Rycca's attention. She was far too busy looking at her magnicifent husband as he removed his sword belt and blithely shucked off his trousers. Naked, he walked straight into the pool, submerged completely, and came up a few minutes later, tossing streams of water from the thick mane of his hair. "Hand me the soap,would you?" Such a simple task, yet to fulfill it he would have to come closer.Or she would. "That's a lovely gown," he said, smiling. "All my gowns are lovely thanks to the Lady Krysta and your own generosity." "It would be a shame to get it wet." She looked at him in alarm, wondering if he would actually do such a thing. His answer was a look of pure innocence, which immediately confirmed her suspicions. "Do you have any idea how any women must have labored so long to make this gown?" "No,do you?" "Well,no,not actually because I never had a gown like this before, but even so, surely you wouldn't do anything to damage it?" "Just to be safe,why don't you take it off?" Oh,yes,that would certainly be safe. Indeed,never was she any safer than when was she naked and in his arms. Except, of course, from the danger of her own emotions. "I bathed when I awoke." "The day is warm." "The pool looks deep.Recall, I cannot swim." "Recall I mean to teach you.
Josie Litton (Come Back to Me (Viking & Saxon, #3))
He twirled her around a few more times before he said offhandedly, "Aren't you tired of fighting yet? I'm beginning to find it quite tedious m'self. I've even given you the benefit of the doubt-" "Don't do me any favor." He cocked his head to the side because she'd turned away to mumble that. "Are you challenging me to make you sweet and lovable again? I believe you are!" Her eyes flew back to his, but she could't do anything more than sputter over the absurdity. His pale eyes were twinkling, holding back laughter no doubt. What the devil as he doing! Je couldn't be serious.Yet he rubbed his cheek against hers right there on the dance floor! "What-" She should never have turned in toward that unexpected caress. Was she destined to bump lips with him by accident? She drew back instantly while she had the presence of mine to do so. But he didn't.In fact, he moved closer, his mouth actually persuing hers until there was nothing accidental about it! She stumbled as her sensed whirled. That just encouraged him to hold her closer and kiss her more deeply. She was fast approaching the point of not caring! Desperately, she tore her mouth away to gasp out, "You're going to cause a scandal!" "I do believe it would be worth it," he said softly by her ear. "But it's only a minor infraction and quite overlooked, since everyone here knows we're married." "No,they don't.I didn't have it announced." He stopped abruptly. Several other couples even bumped into them. "Why not?" She looked away from his frown, which make her feel distinctly uneasy. How to explain her earlier hesitancy without him seeing it for what it was, a full-blown panic? But he didn't wait for her answer. Suddenly he was leading her off the dance floor. He began a social circuit around the room, missing no one who wasn't currently dancing. From group to group he stopped to introduce Rebecca as his wife,the Marchioness of Rochwood. He did it curtly,as if here completing a task assigned to him, which gave her the odd feeling he was punishing her.She was mortified. Most of those people thought he was joking! They knew him.They knew his reputation. And he wasn't behaving the least bit normally.
Johanna Lindsey (A Rogue of My Own (Reid Family, #3))
In their writing on education, Deci and Ryan proceed from the principle that humans are natural learners and children are born creative and curious, “intrinsically motivated for the types of behaviors that foster learning and development.” This idea is complicated, however, by the fact that part of learning anything, be it painting or programming or eighth-grade algebra, involves a lot of repetitive practice, and repetitive practice is usually pretty boring. Deci and Ryan acknowledge that many of the tasks that teachers ask students to complete each day are not inherently fun or satisfying; it is the rare student who feels a deep sense of intrinsic motivation when memorizing her multiplication tables. It is at these moments that extrinsic motivation becomes important: when behaviors must be performed not for the inherent satisfaction of completing them, but for some separate outcome. Deci and Ryan say that when students can be encouraged to internalize those extrinsic motivations, the motivations become increasingly powerful. This is where the psychologists return to their three basic human needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. When teachers are able to create an environment that promotes those three feelings, they say, students exhibit much higher levels of motivation. And how does a teacher create that kind of environment? Students experience autonomy in the classroom, Deci and Ryan explain, when their teachers “maximize a sense of choice and volitional engagement” while minimizing students’ feelings of coercion and control. Students feel competent, they say, when their teachers give them tasks that they can succeed at but that aren’t too easy — challenges just a bit beyond their current abilities. And they feel a sense of relatedness when they perceive that their teachers like and value and respect them.
Paul Tough (Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why)
It had been obvious to me from a young age that my parents didn’t like one another. Couples in films and on television performed household tasks together and talked fondly about their shared memories. I couldn’t remember seeing my mother and father in the same room unless they were eating. My father had “moods.” Sometimes during his moods my mother would take me to stay with her sister Bernie in Clontarf, and they would sit in the kitchen talking and shaking their heads while I watched my cousin Alan play Ocarina of Time. I was aware that alcohol played a role in these incidents, but its precise workings remained mysterious to me. I enjoyed our visits to Bernie’s house. While we were there I was allowed to eat as many digestive biscuits as I wanted, and when we returned, my father was either gone out or else feeling very contrite. I liked it when he was gone out. During his periods of contrition he tried to make conversation with me about school and I had to choose between humoring and ignoring him. Humoring him made me feel dishonest and weak, a soft target. Ignoring him made my heart beat very hard and afterward I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. Also it made my mother cry. It was hard to be specific about what my father’s moods consisted of. Sometimes he would go out for a couple of days and when he came back in we’d find him taking money out of my Bank of Ireland savings jar, or our television would be gone. Other times he would bump into a piece of furniture and then lose his temper. He hurled one of my school shoes right at my face once after he tripped on it. It missed and went in the fireplace and I watched it smoldering like it was my own face smoldering. I learned not to display fear, it only provoked him. I was cold like a fish. Afterward my mother said: why didn’t you lift it out of the fire? Can’t you at least make an effort? I shrugged. I would have let my real face burn in the fire too. When he came home from work in the evening I used to freeze entirely still, and after a few seconds I would know with complete certainty if he was in one of the moods or not. Something about the way he closed the door or handled his keys would let me know, as clearly as if he yelled the house down. I’d say to my mother: he’s in a mood now. And she’d say: stop that. But she knew as well as I did. One day, when I was twelve, he turned up unexpectedly after school to pick me up. Instead of going home, we drove away from town, toward Blackrock. The DART went past on our left and I could see the Poolbeg towers out the car window. Your mother wants to break up our family, my father said. Instantly I replied: please let me out of the car. This remark later became evidence in my father’s theory that my mother had poisoned me against him.
Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends)
Our overview of lagging skills is now complete. Of course, that was just a sampling. Here’s a more complete, though hardly exhaustive, list, including those we just reviewed: > Difficulty handling transitions, shifting from one mind-set or task to another > Difficulty doing things in a logical sequence or prescribed order > Difficulty persisting on challenging or tedious tasks > Poor sense of time > Difficulty maintaining focus > Difficulty considering the likely outcomes or consequences of actions (impulsive) > Difficulty considering a range of solutions to a problem > Difficulty expressing concerns, needs, or thoughts in words > Difficulty understanding what is being said > Difficulty managing emotional response to frustration so as to think rationally > Chronic irritability and/or anxiety significantly impede capacity for problem-solving or heighten frustration > Difficulty seeing the “grays”/concrete, literal, black-and-white thinking > Difficulty deviating from rules, routine > Difficulty handling unpredictability, ambiguity, uncertainty, novelty > Difficulty shifting from original idea, plan, or solution > Difficulty taking into account situational factors that would suggest the need to adjust a plan of action > Inflexible, inaccurate interpretations/cognitive distortions or biases (e.g., “Everyone’s out to get me,” “Nobody likes me,” “You always blame me,” “It’s not fair,” “I’m stupid”) > Difficulty attending to or accurately interpreting social cues/poor perception of social nuances > Difficulty starting conversations, entering groups, connecting with people/lacking basic social skills > Difficulty seeking attention in appropriate ways > Difficulty appreciating how his/her behavior is affecting other people > Difficulty empathizing with others, appreciating another person’s perspective or point of view > Difficulty appreciating how s/he is coming across or being perceived by others > Sensory/motor difficulties
Ross W. Greene (The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children)
The concept of happiness is not one which man abstracts more or less from his instincts and so derives from his animal nature. It is, on the contrary, a mere idea of a state, and one to which he seeks to make his actual state of being adequate under purely empirical conditions--an impossible task. He projects this idea himself, and, thanks to his intellect, and its complicated relations with imagination and sense, projects it in such different ways, and even alters his concept so often, that were nature a complete slave to his elective will, it would nevertheless be utterly unable to adopt any definite, universal and fixed law by which to accommodate itself to this fluctuating concept and so bring itself into accord with the end that each individual arbitrarily sets before himself. But even if we sought to reduce this concept to the level of the true wants of nature in which our species is in complete and fundamental accord, or, trying the other alternative, sought to increase to the highest level man's skill in reaching his imagined ends, nevertheless what man means by happiness, and what in fact constitutes his peculiar ultimate physical end, as opposed to the end of freedom, would never be attained by him. For his own nature is not so constituted as to rest or be satisfied in any possession or enjoyment whatever. Also external nature is far from having made a particular favorite of man or from having preferred him to all other animals as the object of its beneficence. For we see that in its destructive operations--plague, famine, flood, cold, attacks from animals great and small, and all such things--it has as little spared him as any other animal. But, besides all this, the discord of inner natural tendencies betrays man into further misfortunes of his own invention, and reduces other members of his species, through the oppression of lordly power, the barbarism of wars, and the like, to such misery, while he himself does all he can to work ruin to his race, that, even with the utmost goodwill on the part of external nature, its end, supposing it were directed to the happiness of our species, would never be attained in a system of terrestrial nature, because our own nature is not capable of it. Man, therefore, is ever but a link in the chain of nature's ends.
Immanuel Kant (Critique of Judgment)
Parnet: I want you to talk about desire. What is desire, exactly? Let's consider the question as simply as possible. When Anti-Oedipus... Deleuze: It's not what they thought it was, in any case, not what they thought it was, even back then. Even, I mean, the most charming people who were... It was a big ambiguity, it was a big misunderstanding, or rather a little one, a little misunderstanding. I believe that we wanted to say something very simple. In fact, we had an enormous ambition, notably when one writes a book, we thought that we would say something new, specifically that one way or another, people who wrote before us didn't understand what desire meant. That is, in undertaking our task as philosophers, we were hoping to propose a new concept of desire. But, regarding concepts, people who don't do philosophy mustn't think that they are so abstract... On the contrary, they refer to things that are extremely simple, extremely concrete, we'll see this later... There are no philosophical concepts that do not refer to non-philosophical coordinates. It's very simple, very concrete. What we wanted to express was the simplest thing in the world. We wanted to say: up until now, you speak abstractly about desire because you extract an object that's presumed to be the object of your desire. So, one could say, I desire a woman, I desire to leave on a trip, I desire this, that. And we were saying something really very simple, simple, simple: You never desire someone or something, you always desire an aggregate. It's not complicated. Our question was: what is the nature of relations between elements in order for there to be desire, for these elements to become desirable? I mean, I don't desire a woman - I'm ashamed to say things like that since Proust already said it, and it's beautiful in Proust: I don't desire a woman, I also desire a landscape that is enveloped in this woman, a landscape that, if needs be - I don't know - but that I can feel. As long as I haven't yet unfolded the landscape that envelops her, I will not be happy, that is, my desire will not have been attained, my desire will remain unsatisfied. I believe in an aggregate with two terms: woman/landscape, and it's something completely different. If a woman says, "I desire a dress," or "I desire (some) thing" or "(some) blouse," it's obvious that she does not desire this dress or that blouse in the abstract. She desires it in an entire context, a context of her own life that she is going to organize, the desire in relation not only with a landscape, but with people who are her friends, with people who are not her friends, with her profession, etc. I never desire some thing all by itself, I don't desire an aggregate either, I desire from within an aggregate.
Gilles Deleuze
The aim is to get the students actively involved in seeking this evidence: their role is not simply to do tasks as decided by teachers, but to actively manage and understand their learning gains. This includes evaluating their own progress, being more responsible for their learning, and being involved with peers in learning together about gains in learning. If students are to become active evaluators of their own progress, teachers must provide the students with appropriate feedback so that they can engage in this task. Van den Bergh, Ros, and Beijaard (2010: 3) describe the task thus: Fostering active learning seems a very challenging and demanding task for teachers, requiring knowledge of students’ learning processes, skills in providing guidance and feedback and classroom management. The need is to engage students in this same challenging and demanding task. The suggestion in this chapter is to start lessons with helping students to understand the intention of the lesson and showing them what success might look like at the end. Many times, teachers look for the interesting beginning to a lesson – for the hook, and the motivating question. Dan Willingham (2009) has provided an excellent argument for not thinking in this way. He advocates starting with what the student is likely to think about. Interesting hooks, demonstrations, fascinating facts, and likewise may seem to be captivating (and often are), but he suggests that there are likely to be other parts of the lesson that are more suitable for the attention-grabber. The place for the attention-grabber is more likely to be at the end of the lesson, because this will help to consolidate what has been learnt. Most importantly,Willingham asks teachers to think long and hard about how to make the connection between the attention-grabber and the point that it is designed to make; preferably, that point will be the main idea from the lesson. Having too many open-ended activities (discovery learning, searching the Internet, preparing PowerPoint presentations) can make it difficult to direct students’ attention to that which matters – because they often love to explore the details, the irrelevancies, and the unimportant while doing these activities. One of Willingham's principles is that any teaching method is most useful when there is plenty of prompt feedback about whether the student is thinking about a problem in the right way. Similarly, he promotes the notion that assignments should be primarily about what the teacher wants the students to think about (not about demonstrating ‘what they know’). Students are very good at ignoring what you say (‘I value connections, deep ideas, your thoughts’) and seeing what you value (corrections to the grammar, comments on referencing, correctness or absence of facts). Thus teachers must develop a scoring rubric for any assignment before they complete the question or prompts, and show the rubric to the students so that they know what the teacher values. Such formative feedback can reinforce the ‘big ideas’ and the important understandings, and help to make the investment of
John Hattie (Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning)
He opened the door after letting me pound on it for almost five minutes. His truck was in the carport. I knew he was here. He pulled the door open and walked back inside without looking at me or saying a word. I followed him in, and he dropped onto a sofa I’d never seen before. His face was scruffy. I’d never seen him anything but clean-shaven. Not even in pictures. He had bags under his eyes. He’d aged ten years in three days. The apartment was a mess. The boxes were gone. It looked like he had finally unpacked. But laundry was piled up in a basket so full it spilled out onto the floor. Empty food containers littered the kitchen countertops. The coffee table was full of empty beer bottles. His bed was unmade. The place smelled stagnant and dank. A vicious urge to take care of him took hold. The velociraptor tapped its talon on the floor. Josh wasn’t okay. Nobody was okay. And that was what made me not okay. “Hey,” I said, standing in front of him. He didn’t look at me. “Oh, so you’re talking to me now,” he said bitterly, taking a long pull on a beer. “Great. What do you want?” The coldness of his tone took me aback, but I kept my face still. “You haven’t been to the hospital.” His bloodshot eyes dragged up to mine. “Why would I? He’s not there. He’s fucking gone.” I stared at him. He shook his head and looked away from me. “So what do you want? You wanted to see if I’m okay? I’m not fucking okay. My best friend is brain-dead. The woman I love won’t even fucking speak to me.” He picked up a beer cap from the coffee table and threw it hard across the room. My OCD winced. “I’m doing this for you,” I whispered. “Well, don’t,” he snapped. “None of this is for me. Not any of it. I need you, and you abandoned me. Just go. Get out.” I wanted to climb into his lap. Tell him how much I missed him and that I wouldn’t leave him again. I wanted to make love to him and never be away from him ever again in my life—and clean his fucking apartment. But instead, I just stood there. “No. I’m not leaving. We need to talk about what’s happening at the hospital.” He glared up at me. “There’s only one thing I want to talk about. I want to talk about how you and I can be in love with each other and you won’t be with me. Or how you can stand not seeing me or speaking to me for weeks. That’s what I want to talk about, Kristen.” My chin quivered. I turned and went to the kitchen and grabbed a trash bag from under the sink. I started tossing take-out containers and beer bottles. I spoke over my shoulder. “Get up. Go take a shower. Shave. Or don’t if that’s the look you’re going for. But I need you to get your shit together.” My hands were shaking. I wasn’t feeling well. I’d been light-headed and slightly overheated since I went to Josh’s fire station looking for him. But I focused on my task, shoving trash into my bag. “If Brandon is going to be able to donate his organs, he needs to come off life support within the next few days. His parents won’t do it, and Sloan doesn’t get a say. You need to go talk to them.” Hands came up under my elbows, and his touch radiated through me. “Kristen, stop.” I spun on him. “Fuck you, Josh! You need help, and I need to help you!” And then as fast as the anger surged, the sorrow took over. The chains on my mood swing snapped, and feelings broke through my walls like water breaching a crevice in a dam. I began to cry. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. The strength that drove me through my days just wasn’t available to me when it came to Josh. I dropped the trash bag at his feet and put my hands over my face and sobbed. He wrapped his arms around me, and I completely lost it.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
THE OBEDIENCE GAME DUGGAR KIDS GROW UP playing the Obedience Game. It’s sort of like Mother May I? except it has a few extra twists—and there’s no need to double-check with “Mother” because she (or Dad) is the one giving the orders. It’s one way Mom and Dad help the little kids in the family burn off extra energy some nights before we all put on our pajamas and gather for Bible time (more about that in chapter 8). To play the Obedience Game, the little kids all gather in the living room. After listening carefully to Mom’s or Dad’s instructions, they respond with “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” then run and quickly accomplish the tasks. For example, Mom might say, “Jennifer, go upstairs to the girls’ room, touch the foot of your bed, then come back downstairs and give Mom a high-five.” Jennifer answers with an energetic “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” and off she goes. Dad might say, “Johannah, run around the kitchen table three times, then touch the front doorknob and come back.” As Johannah stands up she says, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” “Jackson, go touch the front door, then touch the back door, then touch the side door, and then come back.” Jackson, who loves to play army, stands at attention, then salutes and replies, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” as he goes to complete his assignment at lightning speed. Sometimes spotters are sent along with the game player to make sure the directions are followed exactly. And of course, the faster the orders can be followed, the more applause the contestant gets when he or she slides back into the living room, out of breath and pleased with himself or herself for having complied flawlessly. All the younger Duggar kids love to play this game; it’s a way to make practicing obedience fun! THE FOUR POINTS OF OBEDIENCE THE GAME’S RULES (MADE up by our family) stem from our study of the four points of obedience, which Mom taught us when we were young. As a matter of fact, as we are writing this book she is currently teaching these points to our youngest siblings. Obedience must be: 1. Instant. We answer with an immediate, prompt “Yes ma’am!” or “Yes sir!” as we set out to obey. (This response is important to let the authority know you heard what he or she asked you to do and that you are going to get it done as soon as possible.) Delayed obedience is really disobedience. 2. Cheerful. No grumbling or complaining. Instead, we respond with a cheerful “I’d be happy to!” 3. Thorough. We do our best, complete the task as explained, and leave nothing out. No lazy shortcuts! 4. Unconditional. No excuses. No, “That’s not my job!” or “Can’t someone else do it? or “But . . .” THE HIDDEN GOAL WITH this fun, fast-paced game is that kids won’t need to be told more than once to do something. Mom would explain the deeper reason behind why she and Daddy desired for us to learn obedience. “Mom and Daddy won’t always be with you, but God will,” she says. “As we teach you to hear and obey our voice now, our prayer is that ultimately you will learn to hear and obey what God’s tells you to do through His Word.” In many families it seems that many of the goals of child training have been lost. Parents often expect their children to know what they should say and do, and then they’re shocked and react harshly when their sweet little two-year-old throws a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. This parental attitude probably stems from the belief that we are all born basically good deep down inside, but the truth is, we are all born with a sin nature. Think about it: You don’t have to teach a child to hit, scream, whine, disobey, or be selfish. It comes naturally. The Bible says that parents are to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Jill Duggar (Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships)