Task Done Quotes

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The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say "I." And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say "I." They don't think "I." They think "we"; they think "team." They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but "we" gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.
Peter F. Drucker
Why did she do it? Nobody dared to ask. Because - what courage! Who had the courage to burn herself? Twenty aspirin, a little slit alongside the veins of the arm, maybe even a bad half hour standing on a roof: We've all had those. And somewhat more dangerous things, like putting a gun in your mouth. But you put it there, you taste it, it's cold and greasy, your finger is on the trigger, and you find that a whole world lies between this moment and the moment you've been planning, when you'll pull the trigger. That world defeats you. You put the gun back in the drawer. You'll have to find another way. What was that moment like for her? The moment she lit the match. Had she already tried roofs and guns and aspirins? Or was it just an inspiration? I had an inspiration once. I woke up one morning and I knew that today I had to swallow fifty aspirin. It was my task: my job for the day. I lined them up on my desk and took them one by one, counting. But it's not the same as what she did. I could have stopped, at ten, or at thirty. And I could have done what I did do, which was go onto the street and faint. Fifty aspirin is a lot of aspirin, but going onto the street and fainting is like putting the gun back in the drawer. She lit the match.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
He knew now, and the knowledge was hard, that his task had never been to undo what he had done, but to finish what he had begun.
Ursula K. Le Guin (A Wizard of Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #1))
Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say 'We have done this ourselves.
Lao Tzu
If you focus on the risks, they'll multiply in your mind and eventually paralyze you. You want to focus on the task, instead, on doing what needs to be done.
Barry Eisler
Yes, suddenly I saw it clearly: most people deceive themselves with a pair of faiths: they believe in eternal memory (of people, things, deeds, nations) and in redressibility (of deeds, mistakes, sins, wrongs). Both are false faiths. In reality the opposite is true: everything will be forgotten and nothing will be redressed. The task of obtaining redress (by vengeance or by forgiveness) will be taken over by forgetting. No one will redress the wrongs that have been done, but all wrongs will be forgotten.
Milan Kundera (The Joke)
that if you need something urgently done, give the task to the busiest (or second busiest) person in the office.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder)
And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been, full of work that has never been done, full of tasks, claims, and demands; and let us see that we learn to take it without letting fall too much of what it has to bestow upon those who demand of it necessary, serious, and great things.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters of Rainer Maria Rilke, 1892-1910)
If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first." This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first.
Brian Tracy (Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time)
The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you seem to be naturally motivated to continue.
Brian Tracy (Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time)
That is the injustice of a woman's lot. A woman has to bring up her children; and that means to restrain them, to deny them things they want, to set them tasks, to punish them when they do wrong, to do all the unpleasant things. And then the father, who has nothing to do but pet them and spoil them, comes in when all her work is done and steals their affection from her.
George Bernard Shaw
Nothing about my birth - or yours - was random or accidental. I was born for this time - and so were you. We were each chosen for a particular, cosmically important task that can be done by no one else.
Christine Caine (Undaunted: Daring to do what God calls you to do)
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small, manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. —Mark Twain
David Allen (Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity)
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
Fear no more the heat o' the sun, Nor the furious winter's rages; Thou thy worldly task hast done, Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages; Golden lads and girls all must, As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. Fear no more the frown o' the great; Thou art past the tyrant's stroke: Care no more to clothe and eat; To thee the reed is as the oak: The sceptre, learning, physic, must All follow this, and come to dust. Fear no more the lightning-flash, Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone; Fear not slander, censure rash; Thou hast finished joy and moan; All lovers young, all lovers must Consign to thee, and come to dust. No exorciser harm thee! Nor no witchcraft charm thee! Ghost unlaid forbear thee! Nothing ill come near thee! Quiet consummation have; And renownéd be thy grave!
William Shakespeare (Cymbeline)
The basic project of art is always to make the world whole and comprehensible, to restore it to us in all its glory and its occasional nastiness, not through argument but through feeling, and then to close the gap between you and everything that is not you, and in this way pass from feeling to meaning. It's not something that committees can do. It's not a task achieved by groups or by movements. It's done by individuals, each person mediating in some way between a sense of history and an experience of the world.
Robert Hughes (The Shock of the New)
I hate the indifferent. I believe that living means taking sides. Those who really live cannot help being a citizen and a partisan. Indifference and apathy are parasitism, perversion, not life. That is why I hate the indifferent. The indifference is the deadweight of history. The indifference operates with great power on history. The indifference operates passively, but it operates. It is fate, that which cannot be counted on. It twists programs and ruins the best-conceived plans. It is the raw material that ruins intelligence. That what happens, the evil that weighs upon all, happens because the human mass abdicates to their will; allows laws to be promulgated that only the revolt could nullify, and leaves men that only a mutiny will be able to overthrow to achieve the power. The mass ignores because it is careless and then it seems like it is the product of fate that runs over everything and everyone: the one who consents as well as the one who dissents; the one who knew as well as the one who didn’t know; the active as well as the indifferent. Some whimper piously, others curse obscenely, but nobody, or very few ask themselves: If I had tried to impose my will, would this have happened? I also hate the indifferent because of that: because their whimpering of eternally innocent ones annoys me. I make each one liable: how they have tackled with the task that life has given and gives them every day, what have they done, and especially, what they have not done. And I feel I have the right to be inexorable and not squander my compassion, of not sharing my tears with them. I am a partisan, I am alive, I feel the pulse of the activity of the future city that those on my side are building is alive in their conscience. And in it, the social chain does not rest on a few; nothing of what happens in it is a matter of luck, nor the product of fate, but the intelligent work of the citizens. Nobody in it is looking from the window of the sacrifice and the drain of a few. Alive, I am a partisan. That is why I hate the ones that don’t take sides, I hate the indifferent.
Antonio Gramsci
They grabbed for me, but he bared his teeth in a smile that was anything but friendly - and they halted. "No more household chores, no more tasks," he said, his voice an erotic caress. Their yellow eyes went glazed and dull, their sharp teeth gleaming as their mouths slackened. "Tell the others, too. Stay out of her cell, and don't touch her. If you do, you're to take your own daggers and gut yourselves. Understood?" Dazed, numb nods, then they blinked and straightened. I hid my trembling. Glamour, mind control - whatever it was he had done, it worked. They beckoned - but didn't dare touch me. Rhysand smiled. "You're welcome," he purred as I walked out.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
I love this world," he added. "That is what rules my life. When I die, I want to have done all in my power to leave it in a better state than it was when I found it. At the same time I know that this can never be. The world has grown so complex that one voice can do little to alter it any longer. That doesn't stop me from doing what I can, but it makes the task hard. The successes are so small, the failures so large and many. It's like trying to stem a storm with one's bare hands.
Charles de Lint (The Little Country)
The stars are brilliant at this time of night and I wander these streets like a ritual I don’t dare to break for darling, the times are quite glorious. I left him by the water’s edge, still waving long after the ship was gone and if someone would have screamed my name I wouldn’t have heard for I’ve said goodbye so many times in my short life that farewells are a muscular task and I’ve taught them well. There’s a place by the side of the railway near the lake where I grew up and I used to go there to burry things and start anew. I used to go there to say goodbye. I was young and did not know many people but I had hidden things inside that I never dared to show and in silence I tried to kill them, one way or the other, leaving sin on my body scrubbing tears off with salt and I built my rituals in farewells. Endings I still cling to. So I go to the ocean to say goodbye. He left that morning, the last words still echoing in my head and though he said he’d come back one day I know a broken promise from a right one for I have used them myself and there is no coming back. Minds like ours are can’t be tamed and the price for freedom is the price we pay. I turned away from the ocean as not to fall for its plea for it used to seduce and consume me and there was this one night a few years back and I was not yet accustomed to farewells and just like now I stood waving long after the ship was gone. But I was younger then and easily fooled and the ocean was deep and dark and blue and I took my shoes off to let the water freeze my bones. I waded until I could no longer walk and it was too cold to swim but still I kept on walking at the bottom of the sea for I could not tell the difference between the ocean and the lack of someone I loved and I had not yet learned how the task of moving on is as necessary as survival. Then days passed by and I spent them with my work and now I’m writing letters I will never dare to send. But there is this one day every year or so when the burden gets too heavy and I collect my belongings I no longer need and make my way to the ocean to burn and drown and start anew and it is quite wonderful, setting fire to my chains and flames on written words and I stand there, starring deep into the heat until they’re all gone. Nothing left to hold me back. You kissed me that morning as if you’d never done it before and never would again and now I write another letter that I will never dare to send, collecting memories of loss like chains wrapped around my veins, and if you see a fire from the shore tonight it’s my chains going up in flames. The time of moon i quite glorious. We could have been so glorious.
Charlotte Eriksson (You're Doing Just Fine)
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)
From the moment I start a new novel, life’s just one endless torture. The first few chapters may go fairly well and I may feel there’s still a chance to prove my worth, but that feeling soon disappears and every day I feel less and less satisfied. I begin to say the book’s no good, far inferior to my earlier ones, until I’ve wrung torture out of every page, every sentence, every word, and the very commas begin to look excruciatingly ugly. Then, when it’s finished, what a relief! Not the blissful delight of the gentleman who goes into ecstasies over his own production, but the resentful relief of a porter dropping a burden that’s nearly broken his back . . . Then it starts all over again, and it’ll go on starting all over again till it grinds the life out of me, and I shall end my days furious with myself for lacking talent, for not leaving behind a more finished work, a bigger pile of books, and lie on my death-bed filled with awful doubts about the task I’ve done, wondering whether it was as it ought to have been, whether I ought not to have done this or that, expressing my last dying breath the wish that I might do it all over again!
Émile Zola (The Masterpiece)
With good reason, love's messengers, Eros and Kama, are armed with bows and long-distance arrows. No being, god or mortal, can choose love. Love comes despite ourselves; and then, if we have not already done so, we have the task of becoming our selves so we may welcome love.
Diane Wolkstein (First Love Stories: From Isis and Osiris to Tristan and Iseult)
From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change. That’s why the task of putting your house in order should be done quickly. It allows you to confront the issues that are really important. Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing)
If one has failed to develop curiosity and interest in the early years, it is a good idea to acquire them now, before it is too late to improve the quality of life. To do so is fairly easy in principle, but more difficult in practice. Yet it is sure worth trying. The first step is to develop the habit of doing whatever needs to be done with concentrated attention, with skill rather than inertia. Even the most routine tasks, like washing dishes, dressing, or mowing the lawn become more rewarding if we approach them with the care it would take to make a work of art. The next step is to transfer some psychic energy each day from tasks that we don’t like doing, or from passive leisure, into something we never did before, or something we enjoy doing but don’t do often enough because it seems too much trouble. There are literally millions of potentially interesting things in the world to see, to do, to learn about. But they don’t become actually interesting until we devote attention to them.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life)
Learn from the people Plan with the people Begin with what they have Build on what they know Of the best leaders When the task is accomplished The people will remark We have done it ourselves.
Lao Tzu
One must see in every human being only that which is worthy of praise. When this is done, one can be a friend to the whole human race. If, however, we look at people from the standpoint of their faults, then being a friend to them is a formidable task............ .....Thus is it incumbent upon us, when we direct our gaze toward other people, to see where they excel, not where they fail.
Abdu'l-Bahá
Attention is like energy in that without it no work can be done, and in doing work is dissipated. We create ourselves by how we use this energy. Memories, thoughts and feelings are all shaped by how use it. And it is an energy under control, to do with as we please; hence attention is our most important tool in the task of improving the quality of experience.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
High technology has done us one great service: It has retaught us the delight of performing simple and primordial tasks - chopping wood, building a fire, drawing water from a spring
Edward Abbey
The task of the artist at any time is uncompromisingly simple — to discover what has not yet been done, and to do it.
Craig Raine
They knew our names and they knew our parents. But they did not know us, because not knowing was essential to their power. To sell a child right from under his mother, you must know that mother only in the thinnest way possible. To strip a man down, condemn him to be beaten, flayed alive, then anointed with salt water, you cannot feel him the way you feel your own. You cannot see yourself in him, lest your hand be stayed, and your hand must never be stayed, because the moment it is, the Tasked will see that you see them, and thus see yourself. In that moment of profound understanding, you are all done, because you cannot rule as is needed.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer)
Royce understood then why she had come: she had come to finish the task her relatives had begun; to do to him what he had done to her brother. Unmoving, he watched her, noting that tears were pouring down her beautiful face as she slowly bent down. But instead of reaching for his lance or her dagger, she took his hand between both of hers and pressed her lips to it. Through his daze of pain and confusion, Royce finally understood that she was kneeling to him, and a groan tore from his chest: "Darling," he said brokenly, tightening his hand, trying to make her stand, "don't do this…" But his wife wouldn't listen. In front of seven thousand onlookers, Jennifer Merrick Westmoreland, countess of Rockbourn, knelt before her husband in a public act of humble obeisance, her face pressed to his hand, her shoulders wrenched with violent sobs. By the time she finally arose, there could not have been many among the spectators who had not seen what she had done. Standing up, she stepped back, lifted her tear-streaked face to his, and squared her shoulders. Pride exploded in Royce's battered being—because, somehow, she was managing to stand as proudly—as defiantly—as if she had just been knighted by a king.
Judith McNaught (A Kingdom of Dreams (Westmoreland, #1))
You carry on. That's what he'd always done. That's the task that comes with surviving, whether you deserve to live or not. You remember the dead as best you can. You say some words for them. Then you carry on, and you hope for better.
Joe Abercrombie (The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1))
Six Wisemen came to Jhaampe-town Climbed a hill, and never came down Found their flesh and lost their skins Flew away on stony wings. Five Wisemen came to Jhaampe-town Walked a road not up nor down Were torn to many and turned to one, In the end, left a task half-done Four Wisemen came to Jhaampe-town They spoke in words without a sound They begged their Queen to let them go And what became of them, no one can know. Three Wisemen came to Jhaampe-town They’d helped a king to keep his crown. But when they tried to climb the hill Down they came in a terrible spill. Two Wisemen came to Jhaampe-town Gentle women there they found. Forgot their quest and lived in love Perhaps were wiser than ones above. One Wiseman came to Jhaampe-town. He set aside both Queen and Crown Did his task and fell asleep Gave his bones to the stones to keep. No wise men go to Jhaampe-town, To climb the hill and never come down. ‘Tis wiser far and much more brave To stay at home and face the grave.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3))
Making my bed correctly was not going to be an opportunity for praise. It was expected of me. It was my first task of the day, and doing it right was important. It demonstrated my discipline. It showed my attention to detail, and at the end of the day it would be a reminder that I had done something well, something to be proud of, no matter how small the task.
William H. McRaven (Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World)
Full moon is falling through the sky. Cranes fly through clouds. Wolves howl. I cannot find rest Because I am powerless To amend a broken world. Sima Zian added, "I love the man who wrote that, I told you before, but there is so much burden in Chan Du. Duty, assuming all tasks, can betray arrogance. The idea we can know what must be done, and do it properly. We cannot know the future, my friend. It claims so much to imagine we can. And the world is not broken any more than it always, always is.
Guy Gavriel Kay (Under Heaven (Under Heaven, #1))
Much of life, fatherhood included, is the story of knowledge acquired too late: if only I’d known then what I know now, how much smarter, abler, stronger, I would have been. But nothing really prepares you for kids, for the swells of emotion that roll through your chest like the rumble of boulders tumbling downhill, nor for the all-enveloping labor of it, the sheer mulish endurance you need for the six or seven hundred discrete tasks that have to be done each and every day. Such a small person! Not much bigger than a loaf of bread at first, yet it takes so much to keep the whole enterprise going. Logistics, skills, materiel; the only way we really learn is by figuring it out as we go along, and even then it changes on us every day, so we’re always improvising, which is a fancy way of saying that we’re doing things we technically don’t know how to do.
Ben Fountain
Entrepreneurship rests on a theory of economy and society. The theory sees change as normal and indeed as healthy. And it sees the major task in society - and especially in the economy - as doing something different rather than doing better what is already being done. That is basically what Say, two hundred years ago, meant when he coined the term entrepreneur. It was intended as a manifesto and as a declaration of dissent: the entrepreneur upsets and disorganizes. As Joseph Schumpeter formulated it, his task is "creative destruction.
Peter F. Drucker (Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles)
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
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
It is worse than useless to do things halfway Bee, for then you think the work is done, but someone must come behind you later to do it all over again. Even if you must work much harder and get less done, it is better to do the whole task the first time.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Fate (The Fitz and the Fool, #3))
my great weakness: if a task was even mildly challenging, any sense of injustice drained away and I simply worked quietly until I was done.
Robin Sloan (Sourdough)
There is an insidious tendency to neglect important tasks that do not have to be done today—or even this week.
Charles E. Hummel (Tyranny of the Urgent (IVP Booklets))
Is this still worth doing?” And if it isn’t, he gets rid of it so as to be able to concentrate on the few tasks that, if done with excellence, will really make a difference in the results of his own job and in the performance of his organization.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive)
Be thankful for the people who have stood by you and cheered you on, but don't forget to be thankful for the ones that said it could not be done. Writing a book is no small task and even the skeptics can help you get where you want to be!
C.K. Webb (Suspense Magazine January 2011)
Each morning sees some task begun, each evening sees it close; Something attempted, something done, has earned a night's repose.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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)
The people who get nothing done often work a great deal harder. In the first place, they underestimate the time for any one task. They always expect that everything will go right. Yet, as every executive knows, nothing ever goes right. The unexpected always happens—the unexpected is indeed the only thing one can confidently expect.
Peter F. Drucker (The Effective Executive)
when you have few possessions, there are fewer things that need to be done each day. You can take care of each task as it arises, so you don’t end up with a long list of things to do,
Fumio Sasaki (Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism)
The annoying thing about reading is that you can never get the job done. The other day I was in a bookstore flicking through a book called something like 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (and, without naming names, you should be aware that the task set by the title is by definition impossible, because at least four hundred of the books suggested would kill you anyway), but reading begets reading--that's sort of the point of it, surely?--and anybody who never deviates from a set list of books is intellectually dead anyway.
Nick Hornby (Shakespeare Wrote for Money)
It is just as easy to bring death to man, and I’ve done so. It’s harder to keep hold of life, harder still to maintain a grasp on health. Those are the tasks to which we must keep our minds.
Noah Gordon (The Physician (The Cole Trilogy, 1))
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)
The most important step is the first step. All those old sayings are really true. Well begun is half done. Don’t get it perfect, get it going. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Nothing is more exhausting than the task that’s never started, and strangely, starting is often far harder than continuing.
Gretchen Rubin (Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives)
I did what you would probably have done in my place. I modestly declared myself to be quite unequal to the task imposed upon me—and I privately felt, all the time, that I was quite clever enough to perform it.
Wilkie Collins (The Moonstone)
I came up with the idea for this book on an I-10 off-ramp in early 2016, and I never imagined what it would turn out to be. I mean, at that point I couldn’t imagine what 2016 itself would turn out to be. Yikes. For months after November, I gave up on writing this book. Suddenly what was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek parallel universe needed to be escapist, trauma-soothing, alternate-but-realistic reality. Not a perfect world—one still believably fucked up, just a little better, a little more optimistic. I wasn’t sure I was up to the task. I hoped I was. What I hoped to do, and what I hope I have done with this book by the time you’ve finished it, my dear reader, is to be a spark of joy and hope you needed.
Casey McQuiston (Red, White & Royal Blue)
Ah, the world was ever so. How sad are heroes when their tasks are done...
Michael Moorcock (Corum: The Prince with the Silver Hand (Eternal Champion, #12))
There was something about facing an impossible task, breaking it down into small parts, and getting the job done that she found immensely satisfying.
Karen McQuestion (Half a Heart)
And I used to think, after all, I'll do a whole mass of things, I'll not die, no way! There's a task to be done and I'm a giant! And now the giant's only task is to die decently, although no one cares a damn about that...Still, I won't start wagging my tail.
Ivan Turgenev (Fathers and Sons)
I have no admiration for culture. I have no reserve knowledge, no provisional knowledge. And everything that I learn, I learn for a particular task, and once it’s done, I immediately forget it, so that if ten years later, I have to get involved with something close to or directly within the same subject, I would have to start again from zero, with some few exceptions.
Gilles Deleuze
Bureaucracies excel at performing tasks that must be done consistently whether the people assigned to them are brilliant performers or bumbling fools. You can’t always count on having Albert Einstein in the patent office, so you design its procedures to work even if you hire Mr. Bean by mistake.
Charles Stross (The Apocalypse Codex (Laundry Files, #4))
The assumption of spirituality is that always God is doing something before I know it. So the task is not to get God to do something I think needs to be done, but to become aware of what God is doing so that I can respond to it and participate and take delight in it. When
Eugene H. Peterson (The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction)
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))
Rise to the occasion, my daughter. Never let anyone tell you that you lack courage or conviction to see your tasks done. The only opinion that really matters is your own, and you are a creature of absolute beauty and strength, through and through. Never, ever forget that. So in the midst of the storm, stand proud against it, lift up your middle finger, and defy the fates with everything you have. If they want to fight, bring it. You have more than enough intelligence and skill to battle them until they beg you for mercy.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5))
He's convinced most human adults do not know how to play anymore and that playing is one of the best ways to think. Franky finds children, by far, much more pleasant and intelligent than most adults, but they are easily ruined by their families, schools, and society. He says one of the ways they are ruined is by being forced to think of all the tasks that need to be done as work, not as play. It takes the joy out of living.
William Wharton (Franky Furbo)
THE ONE THING YOU MUST DO There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life. It's as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human being come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don't do it, it's as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It's a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It's like a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on. You say, "But look, I'm using the dagger. It's not lying idle." Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny an iron nail could be bought to serve for that. You say, "But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and the rest." But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself. Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord. Give yourself to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don't, you will be like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You'll be wasting valuable keenness and forgetting your dignity and purpose.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
She, Laura, likes to imagine (it's one of her most closely held secrets) that she has a touch of brilliance herself, just a hint of it, though she knows most people probably walk around with similar hopeful suspicions curled up like tiny fists inside them, never divulged. She wonders, while she pushes a cart through the supermarket or has her hair done, it the other women aren't all thinking, to some degree or other, the same thing: Here is the brilliant spirit, the woman of sorrows, the woman of transcendent joys, who would rather be elsewhere, who has consented to perform simple and essentially foolish tasks, to examine tomatoes, to sit under a hair dryer, because it is her art and her duty.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
By pairing essential activities with enjoyable ones, we can make tackling even the most tedious and overwhelming tasks more effortless.
Greg McKeown (Effortless: Make It Easy to Get the Right Things Done)
Every emotion in the world wishes to be expressed, every task desires to be done. Coincidence is the perfect texture.
Patricia Geary (Strange Toys)
The people I love the best jump into work head first without dallying in the shallows and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight. They seem to become natives of that element, the black sleek heads of seals bouncing like half submerged balls. I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart, who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience, who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward, who do what has to be done, again and again. I want to be with people who submerge in the task, who go into the fields to harvest and work in a row and pass the bags along, who stand in the line and haul in their places, who are not parlor generals and field deserters but move in a common rhythm when the food must come in or the fire be put out. The work of the world is common as mud. Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust. But the thing worth doing well done has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident. Greek amphoras for wine or oil, Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums but you know they were made to be used. The pitcher cries for water to carry and a person for work that is real.
Marge Piercy (To Be of Use: Poems)
Matthias,” she murmured in Fjerdan, giving his arm what she hoped was a friendly, siblinglike nudge, “must you glower at everything?” “I’m not glowering.” “We’re Fjerdans in the Ravkan sector. We already stand out. Let’s not give everyone another reason to think you’re about to lay siege to the market. We need to get this task done without drawing unwanted attention. Think of yourself as a spy.” His frown deepened. “Such work is beneath an honest soldier.” “Then pretend to be an actor.” He made a disgusted sound. “Have you ever even been to the theater?” “There are plays every season in Djerholm.” “Let me guess, sober affairs that last several hours and tell epic tales of the heroes of yore.” “They’re actually very entertaining. But I’ve never seen an actor who knows how to properly hold his sword.
Leigh Bardugo (Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2))
The Church has been trying to preach morality and ethics without the Gospel as a basis; it has been preaching morality without godliness; and it simply does not work. It never has done, and it never will. And the result is that the Church, having abandoned her real task, has left humanity more or less to its own devices.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Preaching and Preachers)
I learned, as the raft moved and I slid through the day, as the day slid through me, to let the task be master: which is only not to choose to do anything but what has chosen me to be done.
John Crowley (Engine Summer)
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)
The only way to bear the overwhelming pain of oppression is by telling, in all its detail, in the presence of witnesses and in a context of resistance, how unbearable it is. If we attempt to craft resistance without understanding this task, we are collectively vulnerable to all the errors of judgement that unresolved trauma generates in individuals. It is part of our task as revolutionary people, people who want deep-rooted, radical change, to be as whole as it is possible for us to be. This can only be done if we face the reality of what oppression really means in our lives, not as abstract systems subject to analysis, but as an avalanche of traumas leaving a wake of devastation in the lives of real people who nevertheless remain human, unquenchable, complex and full of possibility.
Aurora Levins Morales (Medicine Stories: History, Culture and the Politics of Integrity)
Determined and focused people tend to work harder and get tasks done more promptly. They stay married longer and have deeper networks of friends. They often have higher-paying jobs. But this questionnaire is not intended to test personal organization. Rather, it’s designed to measure a personality
Charles Duhigg (Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive)
Work dominates life in Eden-Olympia, and drives out everything else. The dream of a leisure society was the great twentieth-century delusion. Work is the new leisure. Talented and ambitious people work harder than they have ever done, and for longer hours. They find their only fulfillment through work. The men and women running successful companies need to focus their energies on the task in front of them, and for every minute of the day. The last thing they want is recreation.
J.G. Ballard
Performance is done for the sight and approval of others. Service is done knowing that God is watching and approving whether or not anyone else is. Performance causes us to be enslaved to others’ opinions, unable to say no, and prone to being overworked. Service frees us to do what God wants, thereby saying no as needed. Performance presses us toward perfectionism, where we seek to do everything just right so others will praise us. Service allows us to do our best, knowing that God’s appreciation of us is secure regardless of our performance. Performance causes us to focus on the “big” things and only do what is highly visible or significant. Service allows us to do simple, humble, and menial tasks—the “little things”—knowing that the peasant Jewish carpenter we worship equally appreciates them both.
Mark Driscoll (Who Do You Think You Are?: Finding Your True Identity in Christ)
THE ONE THING YOU MUST DO There is one thing in this world you must never forget to do. If you forget everything else and not this, there's nothing to worry about, but if you remember everything else and forget this, then you will have done nothing in your life. It's as if a king has sent you to some country to do a task, and you perform a hundred other services, but not the one he sent you to do. So human being come to this world to do particular work. That work is the purpose, and each is specific to the person. If you don't do it, it's as though a priceless Indian sword were used to slice rotten meat. It's a golden bowl being used to cook turnips, when one filing from the bowl could buy a hundred suitable pots. It's like a knife of the finest tempering nailed into a wall to hang things on. You say, "But look, I'm using the dagger. It's not lying idle." Do you hear how ludicrous that sounds? For a penny an iron nail could be bought to serve for that. You say, "But I spend my energies on lofty enterprises. I study jurisprudence and philosophy and logic and astronomy and medicine and the rest." But consider why you do those things. They are all branches of yourself. Remember the deep root of your being, the presence of your lord. Give yourself to the one who already owns your breath and your moments. If you don't, you will be like the man who takes a precious dagger and hammers it into his kitchen wall for a peg to hold his dipper gourd. You'll be wasting valuable keenness and forgetting your dignity and purpose.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable)
It would be as if a king sent you to a village on a specific mission. If you went and performed a hundred other tasks, but neglected to accomplish the task for which you were sent, it would be as though you had done nothing.
Rumi (The Rumi Collection)
Everyday should be a working day on those difficult tasks. A little bit per day is the only way to make it through. Never feel it can't be done; it can be done with persistent actions, repeated input and consistent attendance!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
Meditation is not an act that has to be done separately or to be achieved in isolation of the forests. It is a quality, which continuously gets enhanced with the habit of doing even the smallest of the tasks with full concentration.
Deep Trivedi (The Pulse of Wisdom)
I agree. The best defense is a good offense. I say we take Blake to task on some of the allegations of a cover-up and challenge him to reveal his sources or admit he has no evidence of church involvement,” a member recommended. “I concur.” “So do I.” “One word of warning, of course.” “What’s that?” “We’re lying,” a member warned. “Gerry has done this before, we did know about it, and we did cover it up after we botched the transfer. If Blake finds out and can prove it, we’ll have only made a terrible situation disastrous.
Mark M. Bello (Betrayal of Faith (Zachary Blake Legal Thriller, #1))
All of us, whether vivisector or vegan, have been subject to mechanisms undercutting sympathy for animals. How long and to what extent we submit to these mechanisms is not a matter of rationality: to cut off our feelings and support animal exploitation is rational, given societal expectations and sanctions; but to assert our feelings and oppose animal exploitation is also rational, given the pain involved in losing our natural bonds with animals. So our task is not to pass judgment on others' rationality, but to speak honestly of the loneliness and isolation of anthropocentric society, and of the damage done to every person expected to hurt animals.
Brian Luke
Multi-tasking is NOT an option
Mani S. Sivasubramanian (How To Focus - Stop Procrastinating, Improve Your Concentration & Get Things Done - Easily!)
You could have thrown her into the fire, that’s what you could have done. Then it would save me the task of killing her myself! -Ben Deverill
Alexandra May (Elemental: The First (Primord, #1))
Before you begin work, always ask yourself, "Is this task in the top 20 percent of my activities or in the bottom 80 percent?
Brian Tracy (Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time)
The real individuals of our time are the martyrs who have gone through infernos of suffering and degradation in their resistance to conquest and oppression, not the inflated personalities of popular culture, the conventional dignitaries. These unsung heroes consciously exposed their existence as individuals to the terroristic annihilation that others undergo unconsciously through the social process. The anonymous martyrs of the concentration camps are the symbols of the humanity that is striving to be born. The task of philosophy is to translate what they have done into language that will be heard, even though their finite voices have been silenced by tyranny.
Max Horkheimer
You must decide whether you want a DO-CONFIRM checklist or a READ-DO checklist. With a DO-CONFIRM checklist, he said, team members perform their jobs from memory and experience, often separately. But then they stop. They pause to run the checklist and confirm that everything that was supposed to be done was done. With a READ-DO checklist, on the other hand, people carry out the tasks as they check them off—it’s more like a recipe. So for any new checklist created from scratch, you have to pick the type that makes the most sense for the situation.
Atul Gawande (The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right)
The most important thing to determine is what to do right now. Instead of scanning the horizon of your life, looking for things that need to be done, concentrate on the task before you
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
The Gathering According to the Kabbalah, in the beginning everything was God. When God contracted to make room for creation, spiritual energy filled the void. The energy poured into vessels which strained to hold the great power. The vessels shattered, sending countless shards, bits of the glowing matter, into the vastness of the universe. These scattered bits of divine light must be collected. When the task is done the forces of the dark will be vanquished and the world will be healed.
Leonard Nimoy (Shekhina)
When something real has to be done, like making the bed or paying a bill, I feel like it is going to kill me. Like, I feel that a cruel and oppressive mother is coming for me and the world is comprised of nothing but Sisyphean tasks, wherein you infinitely push a boulder up a hill and are infinitely crushed.
Melissa Broder (So Sad Today: Personal Essays)
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)
The way I see it, there’s work and then there’s work. And there’s a big difference between your work and your job. A job is a task done for an agreed-upon price, and work is the effort directed toward accomplishing a goal. See what I mean? A job is something you do for money. Your life’s work is done for a bigger purpose, to fulfill a calling or a dream. And when you manage to find that work—that’s when it starts feeling like play. I want that for you and for me too. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck grinding away on the job piece and lose sight of the work piece, the one that truly matters. There’s nothing admirable or respectable about laying yourself down, day in and day out, for a job you hate—not if you have a choice. Maybe you can’t up and quit the job you hate. I understand that there are extenuating circumstances that can prevent you from being able to take that leap. But if you are sticking it out because of fear or passivity, there’s nothing heroic about that. Do work that matters . . . to you.
Chip Gaines (Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff)
The truth of the matter is, these mundane tasks must be done. There is no getting around them. Almost everyone has to do a task on a daily basis that is less than fun. The key is to find pleasure in the task and to not wish you were doing something else while doing it.
Jennifer L. Scott (Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris)
Weedon Scott had set himself the task of redeeming White Fang - or rather, of redeeming mankind from the wrong it had done White Fang. It was a matter of principle and conscience. He felt that the ill done White Fang was a debt incurred by man and that it must be paid.
Jack London (The Call of the Wild / White Fang)
V.S. Pritchett's definition of a short story is 'something glimpsed from the corner of the eye, in passing.' Notice the 'glimpse' part of this. First the glimpse. Then the glimpse gives life, turned into something that illuminates the moment and may, if we're lucky -- that word again -- have even further ranging consequences and meaning. The short story writer's task is to invest the glimpse with all that is in his power. He'll bring his intelligence and literary skill to bear (his talent), his sense of proportion and sense of the fitness of things: of how things out there really are and how he sees those things -- like no one else sees them. And this is done through the use of clear and specific language, language used so as to bring to life the details that will light up the story for the reader. For the details to be concrete and convey meaning, the language must be accurate and precisely given. The words can be so precise they may even sound flat, but they can still carry; if used right they can hit all the notes.
Raymond Carver (Call If You Need Me: The Uncollected Fiction and Other Prose)
Courageous leaders face unpleasant and even devastating situations with equanimity, then act firmly to bring good from trouble, even if their action is unpopular. Leadership always faces natural human inertia and opposition. But courage follows through with a task until it is done.
J. Oswald Sanders (Spiritual Leadership)
No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it.
Alexander MacLaren
You can write and visualize goals all you want, but if you do not take action, your goals will never become a reality. To obtain a goal you have never before achieved will require tasks you have never before done.
Cameron C. Taylor (8 Attributes of Great Achievers)
The more arid and affectless life became in the high-rise, the greater the possibilities it offered. By its very efficiency, the high-rise took over the task of maintaining the social structure that supported them all. For the first time, it removed the need to suppress every kind of anti-social behavior and left them free to explore any deviant or wayward impulses. It was precisely in these areas where the most important and interesting aspects of their lives would take place. Secure within the shell of the high-rise, like passengers on board an automatically-piloted airliner, they were free to behave in any way they wished, explore the darkest corners they could find. In many ways, the high-rise was a model of all that technology had done to make possible the expression of a truly free psychopathology.
J.G. Ballard (High-Rise)
Yes, we call it recursive, the act of reading, of looping the loop, of continually returning to an earlier group of words, behaving like Penelope by moving our mind back and forth, forth and back, reweaving what’s unwoven, undoing what’s been done; and language, which regularly returns us to its origin, which starts us off again on the same journey, older, altered, Columbus one more time, but better prepared each later voyage, knowing a bit more, ready for more, equal to a greater range of tasks, calmer, confident—after all, we’ve come this way before, have habits that help, and a favoring wind—language like that is the language which takes us inside, inside the sentence—inside—inside the mind—inside—inside, where meanings meet and are modified, reviewed and revised, where no perception, no need, no feeling or thought need be scanted or shunted aside.
William H. Gass (A Temple of Texts)
Easy is a word that’s used to describe other people’s jobs. “That should be easy for you to do, right?” But notice how rarely people describe their own tasks as easy. For you, it’s “Let me look into it”—but for others, it’s “Get it done.
Jason Fried (ReWork)
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)
Dig Deep! When the task at hand seems to be very difficult. Dig Deep! Whenever you feel you're drifting away from your intended course. Dig Deep! When others doubt you and say it can't be done. Dig Deep! Whenever you feel like giving up. Dig Deep! When life throws you a curve ball. If you quit, you'll never hit that homerun
Amaka Imani Nkosazana (Sweet Destiny)
Whatever the tasks, do them slowly and with ease, in mindfulness. Don’t do any task in order to get it over with. Resolve to do each job in a relaxed way, with all your attention. Enjoy and be one with your work. Without this, the day of mindfulness will be of no value at all. The feeling that any task is a nuisance will soon disappear if it is done in mindfulness. Take the example of the Zen Masters. No matter what task or motion they undertake, they do it slowly and evenly, without reluctance.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation)
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)
He sighed and grabbed my left arm, examining the tattoo. “What were you thinking? Didn’t you know I’d come as soon as I could?” I yanked my arm from him. “I was dying! I had a fever—I was barely able to keep conscious! How was I supposed to know you’d come? That you even understood how quickly humans can die of that sort of thing? You told me you hesitated that time with the naga.” “I swore an oath to Tamlin—” “I had no other choice! You think I’m going to trust you after everything you said to me at the manor?” “I risked my neck for you during your task. Was that not enough?” His metal eye whirred softly. “You offered up your name for me—after all that I said to you, all I did, you still offered up your name. Didn’t you realize I would help you after that? Oath or no oath?” I hadn’t realized it would mean anything to him at all. “I had no other choice,” I said again, breathing hard. “Don’t you understand what Rhys is?” “I do!” I barked, then sighed. “I do,” I repeated, and glared at the eye in my palm. “It’s done with. So you needn’t hold to whatever oath you swore to Tamlin to protect me—or feel like you owe me anything for saving you from Amarantha. I would have done it just to wipe the smirk off your brothers’ faces.” Lucien clicked his tongue, but his remaining russet eye shone. “I’m glad to see you didn’t sell your lively human spirit or stubbornness to Rhys.
Sarah J. Maas (A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1))
I'd reached the age where you ask yourself what you've done with your life, what you would have liked to have done with it. I had the impression of not having lived my life, of having always observed it at a distance, of having developed only one side of myself and being poor as a person. You were, and always had been, richer than I was. You'd blossomed and grown in every dimension. You were at one with your life; whereas I'd always been in a hurry to move on to the next task, as though our life would only really begin later.
André Gorz (Letter to D: A Love Story)
Once a task has just begun, never leave it till it's done. Be the labor great or small, do it well or not at all.
Quincy Jones
At all times, for any task, you have not got enough done today.
Grinnell's Law of Labor Laxity
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)
I started to apply the “one-minute rule”; I didn’t postpone any task that could be done in less than one minute.
Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project)
Don’t mistake activity for achievement. To produce results, tasks must be well organized and properly executed; otherwise, it’s no different from children running around the playground—everybody is doing something, but nothing is being done; lots of activity, no achievement.
John Wooden (Coach Wooden's Leadership Game Plan for Success: 12 Lessons for Extraordinary Performance and Personal Excellence)
When I was a boy of seven or eight I read a novel untitled "Abafi" — The Son of Aba — a Servian translation from the Hungarian of Josika, a writer of renown. The lessons it teaches are much like those of "Ben Hur," and in this respect it might be viewed as anticipatory of the work of Wallace. The possibilities of will-power and self-control appealed tremendously to my vivid imagination, and I began to discipline myself. Had I a sweet cake or a juicy apple which I was dying to eat I would give it to another boy and go through the tortures of Tantalus, pained but satisfied. Had I some difficult task before me which was exhausting I would attack it again and again until it was done. So I practiced day by day from morning till night. At first it called for a vigorous mental effort directed against disposition and desire, but as years went by the conflict lessened and finally my will and wish became identical.
Nikola Tesla
This is what the bourgeois political economists have done: they have treated value as a fact of nature, not a social construction arising out of a particular mode of production. What Marx is interested in is a revolutionary transformation of society, and that means an overthrow of the capitalist value-form, the construction of an alternative value-structure, an alternative value-system that does not have the specific character of that achieved under capitalism. I cannot overemphasize this point, because the value theory in Marx is frequently interpreted as a universal norm with which we should comply. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard people complain that the problem with Marx is that he believes the only valid notion of value derives from labor inputs. It is not that at all; it is a historical social product. The problem, therefore, for socialist, communist, revolutionary, anarchist or whatever, is to find an alternative value-form that will work in terms of the social reproduction of society in a different image. By introducing the concept of fetishism, Marx shows how the naturalized value of classical political economy dictates a norm; we foreclose on revolutionary possibilities if we blindly follow that norm and replicate commodity fetishism. Our task is to question it.
David Harvey (A Companion to Marx's Capital)
But I'm afraid it can't be done." "Certainly not; it can't be done," repeated the Humbug. "Why not?" asked Milo. "Why not indeed?" exclaimed the bug, who seemed equally at home on either side of an argument. "Much too difficult," replied the king. "Of course," emphasized the bug, "much too difficult." "You could if you really wanted to," insisted Milo. "By all means, if you really wanted to, you could," the Humbug agreed. "How?" asked Azaz, glaring at the bug. "How?" inquired Milo, looking the same way. "A simple task," began the Humbug, suddenly wishing he were somewhere else, "for a brave lad with a stout heart, a steadfast dog, and a serviceable small automobile.
Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth)
Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die. I have sent up my gladness on wings, to be lost in the blue of the sky. I have run and leaped with the rain, I have taken the wind to my breast. My cheek like a drowsy child to the face of the earth I have pressed. Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die. I have kissed young love on the lips, I have heard his song to the end. I have struck my hand like a seal in the loyal hand of a friend. I have known the peace of heaven, the comfort of work done well. I have longed for death in the darkness and risen alive out of hell. Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die. I give a share of my soul to the world where my course is run. I know that another shall finish the task I must leave undone. I know that no flower, nor flint was in vain on the path I trod. As one looks on a face through a window, through life I have looked on God. Because I have loved life, I shall have no sorrow to die.
Amelia Josephine Burr
As for reading, I doubt whether she did much better by the sea-side than she had done in the town. Men and women say that they will read, and think so—those, I mean, who have acquired no habit of reading—believing the work to be, of all works, the easiest. It may be work, they think, but of all works it must be the easiest of achievement. Given the absolute faculty of reading, the task of going through the pages of a book must be, of all tasks, the most certainly within the grasp of the man or woman who attempts it. Alas! no; if the habit be not there, of all tasks it is the most difficult.
Anthony Trollope (The Claverings)
There is no such thing as liberalism — or progressivism, etc. There is only conservatism. No other political philosophy actually exists; by the political analogue of Gresham’s Law, conservatism has driven every other idea out of circulation. There might be, and should be, anti-conservatism; but it does not yet exist. What would it be? In order to answer that question, it is necessary and sufficient to characterize conservatism. Fortunately, this can be done very concisely. Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protectes but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect. There is nothing more or else to it, and there never has been, in any place or time. For millenia, conservatism had no name, because no other model of polity had ever been proposed. “The king can do no wrong.” In practice, this immunity was always extended to the king’s friends, however fungible a group they might have been. Today, we still have the king’s friends even where there is no king (dictator, etc.). Another way to look at this is that the king is a faction, rather than an individual. As the core proposition of conservatism is indefensible if stated baldly, it has always been surrounded by an elaborate backwash of pseudophilosophy, amounting over time to millions of pages. All such is axiomatically dishonest and undeserving of serious scrutiny. Today, the accelerating de-education of humanity has reached a point where the market for pseudophilosophy is vanishing; it is, as The Kids Say These Days, tl;dr . All that is left is the core proposition itself — backed up, no longer by misdirection and sophistry, but by violence. So this tells us what anti-conservatism must be: the proposition that the law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone, and cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone. Then the appearance arises that the task is to map “liberalism”, or “progressivism”, or “socialism”, or whateverthefuckkindofstupidnoise-ism, onto the core proposition of anti-conservatism. No, it a’n’t. The task is to throw all those things on the exact same burn pile as the collected works of all the apologists for conservatism, and start fresh. The core proposition of anti-conservatism requires no supplementation and no exegesis. It is as sufficient as it is necessary. What you see is what you get: The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone.
Frank Wilhoit
If your boss asks you to do a task... You'll stay late for work to make sure it's done. You'll be confident that your boss wouldn't have asked you if he/she didn't trust that you could do it. You wouldn't allow anyone or anything to distract you. No matter how hard it is, it's not an option, you'll find a way to make it happen. You'll not only find time, you'll try to get it done before the deadline. So, why when God gives you a task... you allow fear to consume you, find excuses, allow distractions, care about what people think and assume it's impossible? If He gave it to you, He trusts you CAN get it done. Yes, they'll be distractions. And no it's not going to be easy, but know that it is POSSIBLE!!! Answer the call!
Yvonne Pierre (The Day My Soul Cried: A Memoir)
Although my body and I have reached if not peace, at least a state of détente, “fat” remains how I experience anger, dissatisfaction, disappointment. I feel “fat” if I can’t master a task at work. I feel “fat” if I can’t please those I love. “Fat” is how I blame myself for my failures. “Fat” is how I express my anxieties. A psychologist once told me, “Fat is not a feeling.” If only it were that simple. As for so many women, the pathology of self-loathing is permanently ingrained in me. I can give in to it, I can modify it, I can react against it with practiced self-acceptance, but I cannot eradicate it. It frustrates me to consider what else I might have done with the years of mental energy I have wasted on this single, senseless issue.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
[Clayton] Christensen had seen dozens of companies falter by going for immediate payoffs rather than long-term growth, and he saw people do the same thing. In three hours at work, you could get something substantial accomplished, and if you failed to accomplish it you felt the pain right away. If you spent three hours at home with your family, it felt like you hadn't done a thing, and if you skipped it nothing happened. So you spent more and more time at the office, on high-margin, quick-yield tasks, and you even believed that you were staying away from home for the sake of your family. He had seen many people tell themselves that they could divide their lives into stages, spending the first part pushing forward their careers, and imagining that at some future point they would spend time with their families--only to find that by then their families were gone.
Larissa MacFarquhar
As he lay abed on Sunday, 21 September, Morse was beset by the nagging feeling that there was so much to be done if only he could summon up the mental resolve to begin. It was like deferring a long-promised letter; the intention lay on the mind so heavily that the simple task seemed progressively to assume almost gigantic proportions.
Colin Dexter (Last Seen Wearing (Inspector Morse, #2))
An entrepreneur is someone with faith in their ability to make something where there was nothing before. To them, the idea that no one has ever done this or that is a good thing. When given an unfair task, some rightly see it as a chance to test what they’re made of—to give it all they’ve got, knowing full well how difficult it will be to win. They see it as an opportunity because it is often in that desperate nothing-to-lose state that we are our most creative.
Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Adversity to Advantage)
We believe that the body hath its rights — to move in a reasonable ambit — to raise, to lower its limbs — but across the face of this earth, there are every day those who suffer unforgivable torments, strapped or chained, confined in boxes or in the holds of ships. May the Lord remind me of this always as I walk free upon paths, and may I thus always give thanks unto Him for the strange, small gifts of gesture, of simple tasks done with requisite care and sphere of action.
M.T. Anderson (The Pox Party (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, #1))
Today nothing is more modern than the onslaught against the political. American financiers, industrial technicians, Marxist socialists, and anarchic-syndicalist revolutionaries unite in demanding that the biased rule of politics over unbiased economic management be done away with. There must no longer be political problems, only organizational-technical and economic-sociological tasks. The kind of economic-technical thinking that prevails today is no longer capable of perceiving a political idea. The modern state seems to have actually become what Max Weber envisioned: a huge industrial plant.
Carl Schmitt (Political Theology: Four Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty)
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)
Caterpillars chew their way through ecosystems leaving a path of destruction as they get fatter and fatter. When they finally fall asleep and a chrysalis forms around them, tiny new imaginal cells, as biologists call them, begin to take form within their bodies. The caterpillar’s immune system fights these new cells as though they were foreign intruders, and only when they crop up in greater numbers and link themselves together are they strong enough to survive. Then the caterpillar’s immune system fails and its body dissolves into a nutritive soup which the new cells recycle into their developing butterfly. The caterpillar is a necessary stage but becomes unsustainable once its job is done. There is no point in being angry with it and there is no need to worry about defeating it. The task is to focus on building the butterfly, the success of which depends on powerful positive and creative efforts in all aspects of society and alliances built among those engaged in them.
Elisabet Sahtouris
All it takes is six cuts,” he said near her ear. She nodded, relaxing against him as he guided her hands with precision. One deep stroke of the blade neatly removed an angled section of wood. They rotated the pencil and made another cut, and then a third, creating a precise triangular prism. “Now trim the sharp edges.” They concentrated on the task with his hands still bracketed over hers, using the blade to chamfer each corner of wood until they had created a clean, satisfying point. Done.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
To confine soldiers to purely military functions while urgent and vital tasks have to be done, and nobody else is available to undertake them, would be senseless. The soldier must then be prepared to become a propagandist, a social worker, a civil engineer, a schoolteacher, a nurse, a boy scout. But only for as long as he cannot be replaced, for it is better to entrust civilian tasks to civilians.
David Galula (Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice)
Tenways showed his rotten teeth. ‘Fucking make me.’ ‘I’ll give it a try.’ A man came strolling out of the dark, just his sharp jaw showing in the shadows of his hood, boots crunching heedless through the corner of the fire and sending a flurry of sparks up around his legs. Very tall, very lean and he looked like he was carved out of wood. He was chewing meat from a chicken bone in one greasy hand and in the other, held loose under the crosspiece, he had the biggest sword Beck had ever seen, shoulder-high maybe from point to pommel, its sheath scuffed as a beggar’s boot but the wire on its hilt glinting with the colours of the fire-pit. He sucked the last shred of meat off his bone with a noisy slurp, and he poked at all the drawn steel with the pommel of his sword, long grip clattering against all those blades. ‘Tell me you lot weren’t working up to a fight without me. You know how much I love killing folk. I shouldn’t, but a man has to stick to what he’s good at. So how’s this for a recipe…’ He worked the bone around between finger and thumb, then flicked it at Tenways so it bounced off his chain mail coat. ‘You go back to fucking sheep and I’ll fill the graves.’ Tenways licked his bloody top lip. ‘My fight ain’t with you, Whirrun.’ And it all came together. Beck had heard songs enough about Whirrun of Bligh, and even hummed a few himself as he fought his way through the logpile. Cracknut Whirrun. How he’d been given the Father of Swords. How he’d killed his five brothers. How he’d hunted the Shimbul Wolf in the endless winter of the utmost North, held a pass against the countless Shanka with only two boys and a woman for company, bested the sorcerer Daroum-ap-Yaught in a battle of wits and bound him to a rock for the eagles. How he’d done all the tasks worthy of a hero in the valleys, and so come south to seek his destiny on the battlefield. Songs to make the blood run hot, and cold too. Might be his was the hardest name in the whole North these days, and standing right there in front of Beck, close enough to lay a hand on. Though that probably weren’t a good idea. ‘Your fight ain’t with me?’ Whirrun glanced about like he was looking for who it might be with. ‘You sure? Fights are twisty little bastards, you draw steel it’s always hard to say where they’ll lead you. You drew on Calder, but when you drew on Calder you drew on Curnden Craw, and when you drew on Craw you drew on me, and Jolly Yon Cumber, and Wonderful there, and Flood – though he’s gone for a wee, I think, and also this lad here whose name I’ve forgotten.’ Sticking his thumb over his shoulder at Beck. ‘You should’ve seen it coming. No excuse for it, a proper War Chief fumbling about in the dark like you’ve nothing in your head but shit. So my fight ain’t with you either, Brodd Tenways, but I’ll still kill you if it’s called for, and add your name to my songs, and I’ll still laugh afterwards. So?’ ‘So what?’ ‘So shall I draw?
Joe Abercrombie (The Heroes (First Law World, #5))
he should accept with patience the tribulation which has actually been dealt out to him—the present anxiety and suspense. It is about this that he is to say ‘Thy will be done’, and for the daily task of bearing this that the daily bread will be provided. It is your business to see that the patient never thinks of the present fear as his appointed cross, but only of the things he is afraid of. Let him regard them as his crosses: let him forget that, since they are incompatible, they cannot all happen to him, and let him try to practise fortitude and patience to them all in advance. For real resignation, at the same moment, to a dozen different and hypothetical fates, is almost impossible,
C.S. Lewis (The Screwtape Letters)
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)
Carlyle had no option but to sit down and recompose the book as best he could—a task made all the more challenging by the fact that he no longer had notes to call on, for it had been his bizarre and patently misguided practice to burn his notes as he finished each chapter, as a kind of celebration of work done.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
He worked with that aggrieved persistence, as though calling on heaven to witness the injustice done him, which the sullen everywhere bring to their trivial tasks; and as he worked, his lips moved in unison with his hands to shape his petulant thoughts for his pleasure, for his mind rehearsed eternally the inequities that had been forced upon him—inequities which he must endure in silence, since he was one of the underprivileged ones of the world, the unfortunate son of an unfortunate sharecropper, the pathetic victim of an oppressive system, as everyone who knew anything at all admitted, and had admitted for a long time.
William March (The Bad Seed)
The President of the York society (whose name was Dr Foxcastle) turned to John Segundus and explained that the question was a wrong one. “It presupposes that magicians have some sort of duty to do magic – which is clearly nonsense. You would not, I imagine, suggest that it is the task of botanists to devise more flowers? Or that astronomers should labour to rearrange the stars? Magicians, Mr Segundus, study magic which was done long ago. Why should any one expect more?
Susanna Clarke (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)
But now that so much is changing, isn't it time for us to change? Couldn't we try to gradually develop and slowly take upon ourselves, little by little, our part in the great task of love? We have been spared all its trouble, and that is why it has slipped in among our distractions, as a piece of real lace will sometimes fall into a child's toy-box and please him and no longer please him, and finally it lies there among the broken and dismembered toys, more wretched than any of them. We have been spoiled by superficial pleasures like dilettantes, and are looked upon as masters. But what if we despised our successes? What if we started from the very outset to learn the task of love, which has always been done for us? What if we went ahead and became beginners, now that much is changing?
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge)
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)
In research presented by the American Psychological Association, they found that not only is productivity limited when you do two or more things at the same time, it is severely limited. They discovered that switching back and forth between two tasks can lessen your productivity time by as much as 40%. When you do something,
George Ilian (Getting Things Done with 100+ Instant Productivity Hacks! Includes Over 100 Productivity Tips to Help You Get Things Done, Improve Time Management & Beat Procrastination With Highly Effective Habits)
Generally certain symptoms appear, among them a peculiar use of language: one wants to speak forcefully in order to impress one's opponent, so one employs a special, "bombastic" style full of neologisms which might be described as "power-words." This symptom is observable not only in the psychiatric clinic but also among certain modern philosophers, and, above all, whenever anything unworthy of belief has to be insisted on in the teeth of inner resistance: the language swells up, overreaches itself, sprouts grotesque words distinguished only by their needless complexity. The word is charged with the task of achieving what cannot be done by honest means.
C.G. Jung (Alchemical Studies (Collected Works 13))
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))
We dedicate this book to the 239 people who lost their lives on MH370 on March 8, 2014, on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. One of our purposes in writing the book was, in some small way to convey the human stories from the tragedy. We hope we have done this without adding upset to the terrible toll relatives and friends are already facing. Our other, more important task was to pursue the truth about what exactly happened. That is one small contribution we feel we can make to this whole terrible affair.
Ewan Wilson (Goodnight Malaysian 370: The truth behind the loss of flight 370)
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
They knew our names and they knew our parents. But they did not know us, because not knowing was essential to their power. To sell a child right from under his mother, you must know that mother only in the thinnest way possible. To strip a man down, condemn him to be beaten, flayed alive, then anointed with salt water, you cannot feel him the way you feel your own. You cannot see yourself in him, lest your hand be stayed, and your hand must never be stayed, because the moment it is, the Tasked will see that you see them, and thus see yourself. In that moment of profound understanding, you are all done, because you cannot rule as is needed. You can no longer ensure that the tobacco hillocks are raised
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer)
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)
The pain of regret is far worse than the pain of discipline. We will never have the anointing, the ministry or the revivals of our heroes if we don’t become as disciplined as they were. They went to bed early to get up early to pray, and they fasted for days on end. We shouldn’t just pray to mark it off of our lists or read a few chapters of our Bible each day to keep up with the church Bible reading chart. We must have a deeper purpose for doing these tasks. Discipline without direction is drudgery. In other words, discipline has to have a purpose to drive it each and every day. The price for spiritual change is expensive, but the rewards are far greater. The world’s ways, ideologies, and influence cannot be present in a life dedicated to Jesus because consecration’s purpose is for us to be different from the world. And, for that matter, if we are separate from the world, then sin must not be a part of our lives either. Sin ruins a life of consecration. It would be a shame to believe that holiness is nothing more than rules or guidelines we are to live by. Holiness and consecration flow from a life given to the spiritual disciplines, a life we can only maintain by continuing to seek for Him daily. Your pursuit will never be greater than your disciplines. No man is greater than his prayer life. Even though Jesus requires us to pray, praying is not to be done out of duty, but it is to be done out of delight. A person’s appetite reveals much about their physical health. Our physical appetite can reveal just as much about our spiritual health. Prayer is the dominant discipline in a godly life and it takes a backseat to no other task. Prayer is the guiding force to a life of consecration and spiritual discipline. Self-denial is tough, but self-indulgence is dangerous.
Nathan Whitley (The Lost Art Of Spiritual Disciplines)
How easy it is for me to live with you, Lord! How easy it is for me to believe in You! When my mind is distraught and my reason fails, when the cleverest people do not see further than this evening and do not know what must be done tomorrow - You grant me the clear confidence, that You exist, and that You will take care that not all the ways of goodness are stopped. At the height of earthly fame I gaze with wonder at that path through hopelessness - to this point, from which even I have been able to convey to men some reflection of the light which comes from You. And you will enable me to go on doing as much as needs to be done. And in so far as I do not manage it - that means that You have allotted the task to others.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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)
The decadence which did occur in the Islamic world belongs to a much later period of Islamic history than is usually claimed. This fact would be fully substantiated if the integral history of Islamic science and civilization were to be written one day. Unfortunately to this day such a detailed history does not exist and moreover much of the scholarly work that has been done in this field has been carried out by Western scholars who have been naturally primarily interested in those aspects of the Islamic sciences that have influenced the West. It remains the task of Muslims scholars and scientists to look upon the whole of this scientific tradition from the point of view of Islam and the inner dynamics of Islamic history itself.
Seyyed Hossein Nasr (A Young Muslim's Guide to the Modern World)
A writer is someone who spends years patiently trying to discover the second being inside him, and the world that makes him who he is: when I speak of writing, what comes first to my mind is not a novel, a poem, or literary tradition, it is a person who shuts himself up in a room, sits down at a table, and alone, turns inward; amid its shadows, he builds a new world with words. This man – or this woman – may use a typewriter, profit from the ease of a computer, or write with a pen on paper, as I have done for 30 years. As he writes, he can drink tea or coffee, or smoke cigarettes. From time to time he may rise from his table to look out through the window at the children playing in the street, and, if he is lucky, at trees and a view, or he can gaze out at a black wall. He can write poems, plays, or novels, as I do. All these differences come after the crucial task of sitting down at the table and patiently turning inwards. To write is to turn this inward gaze into words, to study the world into which that person passes when he retires into himself, and to do so with patience, obstinacy, and joy. As I sit at my table, for days, months, years, slowly adding new words to the empty page, I feel as if I am creating a new world, as if I am bringing into being that other person inside me, in the same way someone might build a bridge or a dome, stone by stone. The stones we writers use are words. As we hold them in our hands, sensing the ways in which each of them is connected to the others, looking at them sometimes from afar, sometimes almost caressing them with our fingers and the tips of our pens, weighing them, moving them around, year in and year out, patiently and hopefully, we create new worlds.
Orhan Pamuk
Men tend to focus on the present and the future, and they like to present possibilities wether they're realistic or not. They are often fast moving and risk takers. Contrast that with women, who tend to focus on the present and the past due to their relational abilities, and since they use both sides of their brain, they tend to think more realistically and in detail about tasks that need to be done. As a result, they are usually more cautious and less risk taking. Put the two together and it's easy to see why you and your son will sometimes disagree or even clash. (22)
Kevin Leman
Perhaps the attitude for us to take towards our many failures is the one adopted by Gopal Krishna Gokhale towards those of the Moderate nationalists: Let us not forget that we are at a stage of the country’s progress when our achievements are bound to be small, and our disappointments frequent and trying. That is the place which it has pleased Providence to assign to us in this struggle, and our responsibility is ended when we have done the work which belongs to that place. It will, no doubt, be given to our countrymen of future generations to serve India by their successes; we, of the present generation, must be content to serve her mainly by our failures. For, hard though it be, out of those failures the strength will come which in the end will accomplish great tasks.9
Bipan Chandra (India Since Independence)
Welcome to the real-life experience of “knowledge work,” and a profound operational principle: you have to think about your stuff more than you realize but not as much as you’re afraid you might. As Peter Drucker wrote: “In knowledge work . . . the task is not given; it has to be determined. ‘What are the expected results from this work?’ is . . . the key question in making knowledge workers productive. And it is a question that demands risky decisions. There is usually no right answer; there are choices instead. And results have to be clearly specified, if productivity is to be achieved.”*
David Allen (Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity)
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)
We have our faith. We have our work. Our work is to bring God into this world. Look what has been done to this world and its people in this Godless century. It is a horror. Our task is to redeem this horror. We cannot redeem it by offering people ambiguity.” “I try to redeem it through my art.” “An artist redeems through his art?” He seemed astonished by that idea. “Acts redeem, Asher. Acts.” “Art is also acts.
Chaim Potok (The Gift of Asher Lev)
Most anyone who has endeavored to maintain the habit of prayer, or making art, or regular exercise...knows the syndrome well. When I sit down to pray or write, a host of thoughts arise. I should call to find out how so-and-so is doing. I should dust and organize my desk, because I will get more work done in a neater space. While I'm at it, I might as well load and start the washing machine. I may truly desire to write, but as I am pulled to one task after another I lose the ability to concentrate on the work at hand. Any activity, even scrubbing the toilet, seems more compelling than sitting down to face the blank page.
Kathleen Norris (Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life)
It facilitates labor and thought so much that there is always the temptation in large schools to omit the endless task of meeting the wants of each single mind, and to govern by steam. But it is at frightful cost. Our modes of Education aim to expedite, to save labor; to do for masses what cannot be done for masses, what must be done reverently, one by one: say rather, the whole world is needed for the tuition of each pupil.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Jews have a saying worth remembering: "Whoever doesn't teach his son some trade or business, teaches him to be a thief." As soon as ever I can, I will make my children apprehensive of the main end for which they are to live; that so they may as soon as may be, begin to live; and their youth not be nothing but vanity. I will show them, that their main end must be, to, acknowledge the great God, and His glorious Christ; and bring others to acknowledge Him: and that they are never wise nor well, but when they are doing so. I will make them able to answer the grand question of why they live; and what is the end of the actions that fill their lives? I will teach them that their Creator and Redeemer is to be obeyed in everything, and everything is to be done in obedience to Him. I will teach them how even their diversions, and their ornaments, and the tasks of their education, must all be to fit them for the further service of Him to whom I have devoted them; and how in these also, His commandments must be the rule of all they do. I will sometimes therefore surprise them with an inquiry, "Child, what is this for? Give me a good account of why you do it?" How comfortably shall I see them walking in the light, if I may bring them wisely to answer this inquiry. -A Father's Resolutions, www.spurgeon.org/~phil/mather/resolvd...
Cotton Mather
There is another reason ever-single women fare even better than previously married women in later life. They mastered the single life long ago. From structuring social events in a culture that caters to couples, to figuring out how to work and get all the tasks of everyday life accomplished when there may or may not be others readily available to do their unfair share, always-single women have been there, done that. It is not a new or daunting challenge.
Bella DePaulo (Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After)
[T]he old stories of human relationships with animals can't be discounted. They are not primitive; they are primal. They reflect insights that came from considerable and elaborate systems of knowledge, intellectual traditions and ways of living that were tried, tested, and found true over many thousands of years and on all continents. But perhaps the truest story is with the animals themselves because we have found our exemplary ways through them, both in the older world and in the present time, both physically and spiritually. According to the traditions of the Seneca animal society, there were medicine animals in ancient times that entered into relationships with people. The animals themselves taught ceremonies that were to be performed in their names, saying they would provide help for humans if this relationship was kept. We have followed them, not only in the way the early European voyagers and prenavigators did, by following the migrations of whales in order to know their location, or by releasing birds from cages on their sailing vessels and following them towards land, but in ways more subtle and even more sustaining. In a discussion of the Wolf Dance of the Northwest, artists Bill Holm and William Reid said that 'It is often done by a woman or a group of women. The dance is supposed to come from the wolves. There are different versions of its origin and different songs, but the words say something like, 'Your name is widely known among the wolves. You are honored by the wolves.' In another recent account, a Northern Cheyenne ceremonialist said that after years spent recovering from removals and genocide, indigenous peoples are learning their lost songs back from the wolves who retained them during the grief-filled times, as thought the wolves, even though threatened in their own numbers, have had compassion for the people.... It seems we have always found our way across unknown lands, physical and spiritual, with the assistance of the animals. Our cultures are shaped around them and we are judged by the ways in which we treat them. For us, the animals are understood to be our equals. They are still our teachers. They are our helpers and healers. They have been our guardians and we have been theirs. We have asked for, and sometimes been given, if we've lived well enough, carefully enough, their extraordinary powers of endurance and vision, which we have added to our own knowledge, powers and gifts when we are not strong enough for the tasks required of us. We have deep obligations to them. Without other animals, we are made less. (from her essay "First People")
Linda Hogan (Intimate Nature: The Bond Between Women and Animals)
Mr. Langton one day asked him [Samuel Johnson] how he had acquired so accurate a knowledge of Latin, in which, I believe, he was exceeded by no man of his time; he said, 'My master whipt me very well. Without that, Sir, I should have done nothing.' He told Mr. Langton, that while Hunter was flogging his boys unmercifully, he used to say, 'And this I do to save you from the gallows.' Johnson, upon all occasions, expressed his approbation of enforcing instruction by means of the rod. 'I would rather (said he) have the rod to be the general terrour to all, to make them learn, than tell a child, if you do thus, or thus, you will be more esteemed than your brothers or sisters. The rod produces an effect which terminates in itself. A child is afraid of being whipped, and gets his task, and there's an end on't; whereas, by exciting emulation and comparisons of superiority, you lay the foundation of lasting mischief; you make brothers and sisters hate each other.
James Boswell (The Life of Samuel Johnson)
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))
The Quality, for instance, did not inquire on the inner workings of their “people.” They knew our names and they knew our parents. But they did not know us, because not knowing was essential to their power. To sell a child right from under his mother, you must know that mother only in the thinnest way possible. To strip a man down, condemn him to be beaten, flayed alive, then anointed with salt water, you cannot feel him the way you feel your own. You cannot see yourself in him, lest your hand be stayed, and your hand must never be stayed, because the moment it is, the Tasked will see that you see them, and thus see yourself. In that moment of profound understanding, you are all done, because you cannot rule as is needed.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer)
It was the task of industrial society to destroy all of that. All that "community" implies -- self-sufficiency, mutual aid, morality in the marketplace, stubborn tradition, regulation by custom, organic knowledge instead of mechanistic science -- had to be steadily and systematically disrupted and displaced. All of the practices that kept the individual from being a consumer had to be done away with so that the cogs and wheels of an unfettered machine called "the economy" could operate without interference, influenced merely by invisible hands and inevitable balances and all the rest of that benevolent free-market system guided by what Cobbett called, his lip curled toward Hume and James Steuart and Adam Smith, "Scotch Feelosophy.
Kirkpatrick Sale (Rebels Against the Future: The Luddites and Their War on the Industrial Revolution: Lessons for the Computer Age)
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
I came across a contemporary version of the twenty-third Psalm entitled “Psalm 23 Revisited.” In it, the author captures perfectly where many of us are today: The clock is my dictator, I shall not rest. It makes me lie down only when exhausted. It leads me into deep depression, it hounds my soul. It leads me in circles of frenzy for activities’ sake. Even though I run frantically from task to task, I will never get it all done, for my “ideal” is with me. Deadlines and my need for approval, they drive me. They demand performance from me, beyond the limits of my schedule. They anoint my head with migraines, my in-basket overflows. Surely fatigue and time pressure shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the bonds of frustration forever.1
Wayne Cordeiro (Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion)
Procrastinators often follow exactly the wrong tack. They try to minimize their commitments, assuming that if they have only a few things to do, they will quit procrastinating and get them done. But this goes contrary to the basic nature of the procrastinator and destroys his most important source of motivation. The few tasks on his list will be, by definition, the most important, and the only way to avoid doing them will be to do nothing. This is a way to become a couch potato, not an effective human being.
John R. Perry (The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing)
Repetition and memorization of imposed lessons are indeed tedious work for children, whose instincts urge them constantly to play and think freely, raise their own questions, and explore the world in their own ways. Children did not adapt well to forced schooling, and in many cases they rebelled. This was no surprise to the adults. By this point in history, the idea that children’s own preferences had any value had been pretty well forgotten. Brute force, long used to keep children on task in fields and factories, was transported into the classroom to make children learn. Some of the underpaid, ill-prepared schoolmasters were quite sadistic. One master in Germany kept records of the punishments he meted out in fifty-one years of teaching, a partial list of which included: “911,527 blows with a rod, 124,010 blows with a cane, 20,989 taps with a ruler, 136,715 blows with the hand, 10,235 blows to the mouth, 7,905 boxes on the ear, and 1,118,800 blows on the head.”25 Clearly he was proud of all the educating he had done.
Peter O. Gray (Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life)
The great issue with us males is our frailty," he went on. "When our awareness begins to grow, it grows like a column, right on the midpoint of our luminous being, from the ground up. That column has to reach a considerable height before we can rely on it. At this time in your life, as a sorcerer, you easily lose your grip on your new awareness. When you do that, you forget everything you have done and seen on the warrior-travelers' path because your consciousness shifts back to the awareness of your everyday life. I have explained to you that the task of every male sorcerer is to reclaim everything he has done and seen on the warrior-travelers' path while he was on new levels of awareness. The problem of every male sorcerer is that he easily forgets because his awareness loses its new level and falls to the ground at the drop of a hat.
Carlos Castaneda (The Active Side of Infinity)
When I look at all the forces aligned to roll back and block democratic change--the concentration of wealth, the structures of minority rule, the market imperative of endless growth, the seemingly irrepressible appeal of racism, and the rapidity of climate change--I feel my will weaken. Given the magnitude of the task at hand, how can people like me possibly make a dent? The established order is so big and powerful, and a single individual so vulnerable and small. But when I engage my intellect, something approaching optimism is possible. The past is proof that it can be done,
Astra Taylor (Democracy May Not Exist, But We'll Miss It When It's Gone)
It occurs to me, furthermore, that bantering is hardly an unreasonable duty for an employer to expect a professional to perform. I have of course already devoted much time to developing my bantering skills, but it is possible I have never previously approached the task with the commitment I might have done. Perhaps, then, when I return to Darlington Hall tomorrow – Mr Farraday will not himself be back for a further week – I will begin practising with renewed effort. I should hope, then, that by the time of my employer’s return, I shall be in a position to pleasantly surprise him.
Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day)
I had, by then, done my share of reading on Philadelphia, so I knew that, in another time, when the Task was here in Philadelphia, the city had fallen victim to a fever. And among the men who combatted this fever was Benjamin Rush, a famous doctor, which is hard to countenance given the theory he put forth in defense of the city. Colored people were immune to the fever, he told Philadelphia, and more than immune, their very presence could alter the air itself, sucking up the scourge and holding it captive in our fetid black bodies. And so tasking men were brought in by the hundreds on the alleged black magic of our bodies. They all died. And when the city began to fill with their corpses, its masters searched for a space far from the whites who were felled by the disease. And they chose a patch of land where no one lived, and tossed us into pits. Years later, after the fever had been forgotten, after the war had birthed this new country, they built rows and rows of well-appointed houses right on top of those people, and and named a square for their liberating general. It struck me that even here, in the free North, the luxuries of this world were built right on top of us.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Water Dancer)
Have you ever known there was something you needed to do, but found yourself dreading it with everything you were?" "Once or twice," he said. "What did you do?" Runach looked at her steadily. "I did what needed to be done." "Was the price steep?" "Very." Aisling clutched her own bow, wishing her task was nothing more than learning to place an arrow where she wanted it to land. "Did you ever want to run?" She whispered. He smiled, but it was a pained smile. "I'm not sure I want to answer that." "Do you think Heroes ever want to run...?" "Only if they come from Neroche." She blinked, then smiled.
Lynn Kurland (Dreamspinner (Nine Kingdoms #7))
It is hard to understand how a compassionate world order can include so many people afflicted by acute misery, persistent hunger and deprived and desperate lives, and why millions of innocent children have to die each year from lack of food or medical attention or social care. This issue, of course, is not new, and it has been a subject of some discussion among theologians. The argument that God has reasons to want us to deal with these matters ourselves has had considerable intellectual support. As a nonreligious person, I am not in a position to assess the theological merits of this argument. But I can appreciate the force of the claim that people themselves must have responsibility for the development and change of the world in which they live. One does not have to be either devout or non devout to accept this basic connection. As people who live-in a broad sense-together, we cannot escape the thought that the terrible occurrences that we see around us are quintessentially our problems. They are our responsibility-whether or not they are also anyone else's. As competent human beings, we cannot shirk the task of judging how things are and what needs to be done. As reflective creatures, we have the ability to contemplate the lives of others. Our sense of behavior may have caused (though that can be very important as well), but can also relate more generally to the miseries that we see around us and that lie within our power to help remedy. That responsibility is not, of course, the only consideration that can claim our attention, but to deny the relevance of that general claim would be to miss something central about our social existence. It is not so much a matter of having the exact rules about how precisely we ought to behave, as of recognizing the relevance of our shared humanity in making the choices we face.
Amartya Sen (Development as Freedom)
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)
Because just as in more confused times, like today, we don’t just need experts. We also need people who will think more radically to arrive at the real root of problems. So the first thing to fight for, I think, is simply to make people, the experts in certain domains, be aware of not just accepting that there are problems, but of thinking more deeply. It is an attempt to make them see more. I think it can be done. I believe this may be the main task for today: to prevent the narrow production of experts. This tendency, as I see it, is just horrible. We need, more than ever, those who, in a general way of thinking, see the problems from a global perspective and even from a philosophical perspective.
Slavoj Žižek (Demanding the Impossible)
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)
Playing and fun are not the same thing, though when we grow up we may forget that and find ourselves mixing up playing with happiness. There can be a kind of amnesia about the seriousness of playing, especially when we played by ourselves or looked like we were playing by ourselves. I believe a kid who is playing is not alone. There is something brought alive during play, and this something, when played, seems to play back. If playing isn't happiness or fun, if it is something which may lead to those things or to something else entirely, not being able to play is a misery. No one stopped me from playing when I was alone, but there were times when I wasn't able to, though I wanted to--there were times when nothing played back. Writers call it 'writer's block'. For kids there are other names for that feeling, though kids don't usually know them. Fairy tales and myths are often about this very thing. They begin sometimes with this very situation: a dead kingdom. Its residents all turned to stone. It's a good way to say it, that something alive is gone. The television eased the problem by presenting channels to an ever-lively world I could watch, though it couldn't watch me back, not that it would see much if it could. A girl made of stone facing a flickering light, 45 years later a woman made of stone doing the same thing. In a myth or a fairy tale one doesn't restore the kingdom by passivity, nor can it be done by force. It can't be done by logic or thought. It can't be done by logic or thought. So how can it be done? Monsters and dangerous tasks seem to be part of it. Courage and terror and failure or what seems like failure, and then hopelessness and the approach of death convincingly. The happy ending is hardly important, though we may be glad it's there. The real joy is knowing that if you felt the trouble in the story, your kingdom isn't dead.
Lynda Barry (What It Is)
So I shall make my tribute a plea for Keepers of the Springs, who will be faithful to their tasks. There never has been a time when there was a greater need for Keepers of the Springs, or when there were more polluted springs to be cleansed. If the home fails, the country is doomed. The breakdown of home life and influence will mark the breakdown of the nation. If the Keepers of the Springs desert their posts or are unfaithful to their responsibilities the future outlook of this country is black indeed. This generation needs Keepers of the Springs who will be courageous enough to cleanse the springs that have been polluted. It is not an easy task—nor is it a popular one, but it must be done for the sake of the children, and the young women of today must do it.
Peter Marshall (Mr. Jones, Meet the Master: Sermons And Prayers Of Peter Marshall)
Let’s imagine a cluttered room. It does not get messy all by itself. You, the person who lives in it, makes the mess. There is a saying that “a messy room equals a messy mind.” I look at it this way. When a room becomes cluttered, the cause is more than just physical. Visible mess helps distract us from the true source of the disorder. The act of cluttering is really an instinctive reflex that draws our attention away from the heart of an issue. If you can’t feel relaxed in a clean and tidy room, try confronting your feeling of anxiety. It may shed light on what is really bothering you. When your room is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to examine your inner state. You can see any issues you have been avoiding and are forced to deal with them. From the moment you start tidying, you will be compelled to reset your life. As a result, your life will start to change. That’s why the task of putting your house in order should be done quickly. It allows you to confront the issues that are really important. Tidying is just a tool, not the final destination. The true goal should be to establish the lifestyle you want most once your house has been put in order. Storage
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
Casabianca" The boy stood on the burning deck Whence all but he had fled; The flame that lit the battle's wreck Shone round him o'er the dead. Yet beautiful and bright he stood, As born to rule the storm; A creature of heroic blood, A proud, though child-like form. The flames rolled on–he would not go Without his Father's word; That father, faint in death below, His voice no longer heard. He called aloud–'say, Father, say If yet my task is done?' He knew not that the chieftain lay Unconscious of his son. 'Speak, father!' once again he cried, 'If I may yet be gone!' And but the booming shots replied, And fast the flames rolled on. Upon his brow he felt their breath, And in his waving hair, And looked from that lone post of death In still yet brave despair. And shouted but once more aloud, 'My father! must I stay?' While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud, The wreathing fires made way. They wrapt the ship in splendour wild, They caught the flag on high, And streamed above the gallant child, Like banners in the sky. There came a burst of thunder sound– The boy–oh! where was he? Ask of the winds that far around With fragments strewed the sea!– With mast, and helm, and pennon fair, That well had borne their part– But the noblest thing which perished there Was that young faithful heart. Notes: Young Casabianca, a boy about thirteen years old, son of the admiral of the Orient, remained at his post (in the Battle of the Nile), after the ship had taken fire, and all the guns had been abandoned; and perished in the explosion of the vessel, when the flames had reached the powder.
Felicia Hemans
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))
Imagine All the Possibilities Think of all the possibilities for your life—for love, for work, for growth. Think of all the possibilities for adventure, for fun, and for service. This day, this week, this month, this year abounds with possibilities. Each task you have to do, each problem you encounter and need to solve abounds with possibilities. Your life abounds with possibilities. For a long time, we only saw some of the possibilities life held. We’d look at a situation and see the possibilities for guilt, victimization, sadness, and despair. We’d tell ourselves there was only one choice, or no choice, or that something had to be done in a particular way—the hardest and dreariest way possible. We’d neglect to envision the other options—the choices for joy, for making any event more fun, more pleasant, more enjoyable.
Melody Beattie (Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul)
What never fails to astonish at Skara Brae is the sophistication. These were the dwellings of Neolithic people, but the houses had locking doors, a system of drainage and even, it seems, elemental plumbing with slots in the walls to sluice away wastes. The interiors were capacious. The walls, still standing, were up to ten feet high, so they afforded plenty of headroom, and the floors were paved. Each house has built-in stone dressers, storage alcoves, boxed enclosures presumed to be beds, water tanks, and damp courses that would have kept the interiors snug and dry. The houses are all of one size and built to the same plan, suggesting a kind of genial commune rather than a conventional tribal hierarchy. Covered passageways ran between the houses and led to a paved open area—dubbed “the marketplace” by early archaeologists—where tasks could be done in a social setting.
Bill Bryson (At Home: A Short History of Private Life)
An extreme representative of this view is Ted Kaczynski, infamously known as the Unabomber. Kaczynski was a child prodigy who enrolled at Harvard at 16. He went on to get a PhD in math and become a professor at UC Berkeley. But you’ve only ever heard of him because of the 17-year terror campaign he waged with pipe bombs against professors, technologists, and businesspeople. In late 1995, the authorities didn’t know who or where the Unabomber was. The biggest clue was a 35,000-word manifesto that Kaczynski had written and anonymously mailed to the press. The FBI asked some prominent newspapers to publish it, hoping for a break in the case. It worked: Kaczynski’s brother recognized his writing style and turned him in. You might expect that writing style to have shown obvious signs of insanity, but the manifesto is eerily cogent. Kaczynski claimed that in order to be happy, every individual “needs to have goals whose attainment requires effort, and needs to succeed in attaining at least some of his goals.” He divided human goals into three groups: 1. Goals that can be satisfied with minimal effort; 2. Goals that can be satisfied with serious effort; and 3. Goals that cannot be satisfied, no matter how much effort one makes. This is the classic trichotomy of the easy, the hard, and the impossible. Kaczynski argued that modern people are depressed because all the world’s hard problems have already been solved. What’s left to do is either easy or impossible, and pursuing those tasks is deeply unsatisfying. What you can do, even a child can do; what you can’t do, even Einstein couldn’t have done. So Kaczynski’s idea was to destroy existing institutions, get rid of all technology, and let people start over and work on hard problems anew. Kaczynski’s methods were crazy, but his loss of faith in the technological frontier is all around us. Consider the trivial but revealing hallmarks of urban hipsterdom: faux vintage photography, the handlebar mustache, and vinyl record players all hark back to an earlier time when people were still optimistic about the future. If everything worth doing has already been done, you may as well feign an allergy to achievement and become a barista.
Peter Thiel
The alternative to soul-acceptance is soul-fatigue. There is a kind of fatigue that attacks the body. When we stay up too late and rise too early; when we try to fuel ourselves for the day with coffee and a donut in the morning and Red Bull in the afternoon; when we refuse to take the time to exercise and we eat foods that clog our brains and arteries; when we constantly try to guess which line at the grocery store will move faster and which car in which lane at the stoplight will move faster and which parking space is closest to the mall, our bodies grow weary. There is a kind of fatigue that attacks the mind. When we are bombarded by information all day at work . . . When multiple screens are always clamoring for our attention . . . When we carry around mental lists of errands not yet done and bills not yet paid and emails not yet replied to . . . When we try to push unpleasant emotions under the surface like holding beach balls under the water at a swimming pool . . . our minds grow weary. There is a kind of fatigue that attacks the will. We have so many decisions to make. When we are trying to decide what clothes will create the best possible impression, which foods will bring us the most pleasure, which tasks at work will bring us the most success, which entertainment options will make us the most happy, which people we dare to disappoint, which events we must attend, even what vacation destination will be most enjoyable, the need to make decisions overwhelms us. The sheer length of the menu at Cheesecake Factory oppresses us. Sometimes college students choose double majors, not because they want to study two fields, but simply because they cannot make the decision to say “no” to either one. Our wills grow weary with so many choices.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
TO MY SISTER IT is the first mild day of March: Each minute sweeter than before The redbreast sings from the tall larch That stands beside our door. There is a blessing in the air, Which seems a sense of joy to yield To the bare trees, and mountains bare, And grass in the green field. My sister! ('tis a wish of mine) Now that our morning meal is done, 10 Make haste, your morning task resign; Come forth and feel the sun. Edward will come with you;--and, pray, Put on with speed your woodland dress; And bring no book: for this one day We'll give to idleness. No joyless forms shall regulate Our living calendar: We from to-day, my Friend, will date The opening of the year. 20 Love, now a universal birth, From heart to heart is stealing, From earth to man, from man to earth: --It is the hour of feeling. One moment now may give us more Than years of toiling reason: Our minds shall drink at every pore The spirit of the season. Some silent laws our hearts will make, Which they shall long obey: 30 We for the year to come may take Our temper from to-day. And from the blessed power that rolls About, below, above, We'll frame the measure of our souls: They shall be tuned to love. Then come, my Sister! come, I pray, With speed put on your woodland dress; And bring no book: for this one day We'll give to idleness.
William Wordsworth
An important contributory factor to the loss of mental morale in the church has been a misguided conception of Christian charity. It has been assumed that the charitable man suppresses his views in the same way that he subordinates his personal interests. A wild fantasy has taken hold of many Christians. They have come to imagine that just as an unselfish man restrains himself from snatching another piece of cake, so too, he restrains himself from putting forward his point of view. And just as it is bad form to boast about your private possessions or loudly recapitulate your personal achievements, so too it is bad form announce what your convictions are. By analogy with that charity of the spirit which never asks or claims but always gives and gives again, we have manufactured a false "charity" of the mind, which never takes a stand, but continually yields ground. It is proper to give way to other people's interests: therefore it is proper to give way to other people's ideas. The damage done by this false deduction has been enormous. It is urgently necessary to clear the air on this matter. A man's religious convictions and understanding of the truth are not private possessions, in the sense that his suit and the contents of his brief case are private possessions. Your beliefs as a Christian are not yours in the sense that you have rights over them, either to tamper with them or to throw them away. Of course, the very fact that we view convictions as personal possessions is a symptom of the disappearance of the Christian mind. One of the crucial tasks in reconstituting the Christian mind will be to reestablish the status of objective truth as distinct from personal opinions. The sphere of the intellectual, the sphere of knowledge and understanding, is not a sphere in which the Christian gives ground, or even tolerates vagueness and confusion. There is no charity without clarity and firmness.
Harry Blamires (The Christian Mind: How Should a Christian Think?)
Roman Centurion's Song" LEGATE, I had the news last night - my cohort ordered home By ships to Portus Itius and thence by road to Rome. I've marched the companies aboard, the arms are stowed below: Now let another take my sword. Command me not to go! I've served in Britain forty years, from Vectis to the Wall, I have none other home than this, nor any life at all. Last night I did not understand, but, now the hour draws near That calls me to my native land, I feel that land is here. Here where men say my name was made, here where my work was done; Here where my dearest dead are laid - my wife - my wife and son; Here where time, custom, grief and toil, age, memory, service, love, Have rooted me in British soil. Ah, how can I remove? For me this land, that sea, these airs, those folk and fields suffice. What purple Southern pomp can match our changeful Northern skies, Black with December snows unshed or pearled with August haze - The clanging arch of steel-grey March, or June's long-lighted days? You'll follow widening Rhodanus till vine and olive lean Aslant before the sunny breeze that sweeps Nemausus clean To Arelate's triple gate; but let me linger on, Here where our stiff-necked British oaks confront Euroclydon! You'll take the old Aurelian Road through shore-descending pines Where, blue as any peacock's neck, the Tyrrhene Ocean shines. You'll go where laurel crowns are won, but -will you e'er forget The scent of hawthorn in the sun, or bracken in the wet? Let me work here for Britain's sake - at any task you will - A marsh to drain, a road to make or native troops to drill. Some Western camp (I know the Pict) or granite Border keep, Mid seas of heather derelict, where our old messmates sleep. Legate, I come to you in tears - My cohort ordered home! I've served in Britain forty years. What should I do in Rome? Here is my heart, my soul, my mind - the only life I know. I cannot leave it all behind. Command me not to go!
Rudyard Kipling
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)
How does it feel to be a part of this beautifully ingenious design. I have faith that there is a chosen moment in which my soul will expand infinitely free from time and space. Some may find that foolish but I have reasons for my beliefs that are uniquely my own. There are hundreds of billions of galaxies making up the universe. Earth is only one planet of billions orbiting inside just one of these 500,000 billion or more galaxies. And I myself am one person. One of over seven billion people living on our dynamic little planet. Instead of being diluted by this infinitesimal proportion I accept it as a challenge and I use science to strengthen my spirituality. It provokes curiosity and redefines my view of logical thinking. I believe that existence is based on the exchange of energy and functionality. Energy is expended to carry out varying tasks ensuring the function of an organism. This is evident in every life form and has been the founding principle supporting lifetimes of discoveries. Energy is spent with purpose. I can't help but draw the conclusion that the energy required to create the universe itself was done so for a purpose. You and I were created with a purpose. -Tavia Rahki Smith
Tavia Rahki Smith
It wasn’t until I got to the law firm that things started hitting me. First, the people around me seemed pretty unhappy. You can go to any corporate law firm and see dozens of people whose satisfaction with their jobs is below average. The work was entirely uninspiring. We were for the most part grease on a wheel, helping shepherd transactions along; it was detail-intensive and often quite dull. Only years later did I realize what our economic purpose was: if a transaction was large enough, you had to pay a team of people to pore over documents into the wee hours to make sure nothing went wrong. I had zero attachment to my clients—not unusual, given that I was the last rung down on the ladder, and most of the time I only had a faint idea of who my clients were. Someone above me at the firm would give me a task, and I’d do it. I also kind of thought that being a corporate lawyer would help me with the ladies. Not so much, just so you know. It was true that I was getting paid a lot for a twenty-four-year-old with almost no experience. I made more than my father, who has a PhD in physics and had generated dozens of patents for IBM over the years. It seemed kind of ridiculous to me; what the heck had I done to deserve that kind of money? As you can tell, not a whole lot. That didn’t keep my colleagues from pitching a fit if the lawyers across the street were making one dollar more than we were. Most worrisome of all, my brain started to rewire itself after only the first few months. I was adapting. I started spotting issues in offering memoranda. My ten-thousand-yard unblinking document review stare got better and better. Holy cow, I thought—if I don’t leave soon, I’m going to become good at this and wind up doing it for a long time. My experience is a tiny data point in a much bigger problem.
Andrew Yang (Smart People Should Build Things: How to Restore Our Culture of Achievement, Build a Path for Entrepreneurs, and Create New Jobs in America)
Mental toughness is the ability to focus on and execute solutions, especially in the face of adversity. Greatness rarely happens on accident. If you want to achieve excellence, you will have to act like you really want it. How? Quite simply: by dedicating time and energy into consistently doing what needs to be done. Excuses are the antithesis of accountability. Important decisions aren’t supposed to be easy, but don’t let that stop you from making them. When it comes to decisions, decide to always decide. The second we stop growing, we start dying. Stagnation easily morphs into laziness, and once a person stops trying to grow and improve, he or she is nothing more than mediocre. Develop the no-excuse mentality. Do not let anything interrupt those tasks that are most critical for growth in the important areas of your life. Find a way, no matter what, to prioritize your daily process goals, even when you have a viable excuse to justify not doing it. “If you don’t evaluate yourself, how in the heck are you ever going to know what you are doing well and what you need to improve? Those who are most successful evaluate themselves daily. Daily evaluation is the key to daily success, and daily success is the key to success in life. If you want to achieve greatness, push yourself to the limits of your potential by continuously looking for improvements. Within 60 seconds, replace all problem-focused thought with solution-focused thinking. When people focus on problems, their problems actually grow and reproduce. When you train your mind to focus on solutions, guess what expands? Talking about your problems will lead to more problems, not to solutions. If you want solutions, start thinking and talking about your solutions. Believe that every problem, no matter how large, has at the very least a +1 solution, you will find it easier to stay on the solution side of the chalkboard. When you set your mind to do something, find a way to get it done…no matter what! If you come up short on your discipline, keep fighting, kicking, and scratching to improve. Find the nearest mirror and look yourself in the eye while you tell yourself, “There is no excuse, and this will not happen again.” Get outside help if needed, but never, ever give up on being disciplined. Greatness will not magically appear in your life without significant accountability, focus, and optimism on your part. Are you ready to commit fully to turning your potential into a leadership performance that will propel you to greatness. Mental toughness is understanding that the only true obstacles in life are self-imposed. You always have the choice to stay down or rise above. In truth, the only real obstacles to your ultimate success will come from within yourself and fall into one of the following three categories: apathy, laziness and fear. Laziness breeds more laziness. When you start the day by sleeping past the alarm or cutting corners in the morning, you’re more likely to continue that slothful attitude later in the day.
Jason Selk (Executive Toughness: The Mental-Training Program to Increase Your Leadership Performance)
The relationship between the Sophotechs and the men as depicted in that tale made no sense. How could they be hostile to each other?” Diomedes said, “Aren’t men right to fear machines which can perform all tasks men can do, artistic, intellectual, technical, a thousand or a million times better than they can do? Men become redundant.” Phaethon shook his head, a look of distant distaste on his features, as if he were once again confronted with a falsehood that would not die no matter how often it was denounced. In a voice of painstaking patience, he said: “Efficiency does not harm the inefficient. Quite the opposite. That is simply not the way it works. Take me, for example. Look around: I employed partials to do the thought-box junction spotting when I built this ship. My employees were not as skilled as I was in junction spotting. It took them three hours to do the robopsychology checks and hierarchy links I could have done in one hour. But they were in no danger of competition from me. My time is too valuable. In that same hour it would have taken me to spot their thought-box junction, I can earn far more than their three-hour wages by writing supervision architecture thought flows. And it’s the same with me and the Sophotechs. “Any midlevel Sophotech could have written in one second the architecture it takes me, even with my implants, an hour to compose. But if, in that same one second of time, that Sophotech can produce something more valuable—exploring the depth of abstract mathematics, or inventing a new scientific miracle, anything at all (provided that it will earn more in that second than I earn in an hour)—then the competition is not making me redundant. The Sophotech still needs me and receives the benefit of my labor. Since I am going to get the benefit of every new invention and new miracle put out on the market, I want to free up as many of those seconds of Sophotech time as my humble labor can do. “And I get the lion’s share of the benefit from the swap. I only save him a second of time; he creates wonder upon wonder for me. No matter what my fear of or distaste for Sophotechs, the forces in the marketplace, our need for each other, draw us together. “So you see why I say that not a thing the Silent One said about Sophotechs made sense. I do not understand how they could have afforded to hate each other. Machines don’t make us redundant; they increase our efficiency in every way. And the bids of workers eager to compete for Sophotech time creates a market for merely human work, which it would not be efficient for Sophotechs to underbid.
John C. Wright (The Golden Transcendence (Golden Age, #3))
The politics of identity is nothing new, certainly on the American right. What was astonishing during the Reagan Dispensation was the development of a left-wing version of it that became the de facto creed of two generations of liberal politicians, professors, schoolteachers, journalists, movement activists, and officials of the Democratic Party. This was not a historical accident. For the fascination, and then obsession, with identity did not challenge the fundamental principle of Reaganism. It reinforced that principle: individualism. Identity politics on the left was at first about large classes of people -- African-Americans, women -- seeking to redress major historical wrongs by mobilizing and then working through our political institutions to secure their rights. But by the 1980s it had given way to a pseudo-politics of self-regard and increasingly narrow and exclusionary self-definition that is now cultivated in our colleges and universities. The main result has been to turn young people back onto themselves, rather than turning them toward the wider world. It has left them unprepared to think about the common good and what must be done practically to secure it -- especially the hard and unglamorous task of persuading people very different from themselves to join a common effort. Every advance of liberal identity consciousness has marked a retreat of liberal political consciousness. Without which no vision of America's future can be imagined.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
At this point, I must describe an important study carried out by Clare W. Graves of Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. on deterioration of work standards. Professor Graves starts from the Maslow-McGregor assumption that work standards deteriorate when people react against workcontrol systems with boredom, inertia, cynicism... A fourteen-year study led to the conclusion that, for practical purposes, we may divide people up into seven groups, seven personality levels, ranging from totally selfpreoccupied and selfish to what Nietzsche called ‘a selfrolling wheel’-a thoroughly self-determined person, absorbed in an objective task. This important study might be regarded as an expansion of Shotover’s remark that our interest in the world is an overflow of our interest in ourselves—and that therefore nobody can be genuinely ‘objective’ until they have fully satiated the subjective cravings. What is interesting—and surprising—is that it should not only be possible to distinguish seven clear personality-ypes, but that these can be recognised by any competent industrial psychologist. When Professor Graves’s theories were applied in a large manufacturing organisation—and people were slotted into their proper ‘levels’—the result was a 17% increase in production and an 87% drop in grumbles. The seven levels are labelled as follows: (1) Autistic (2) Animistic (3) Awakening and fright (4) Aggressive power seeking (5) Sociocentric (6) Aggressive individualistic (7) Pacifist individualistic. The first level can be easily understood: people belonging to it are almost babylike, perhaps psychologically run-down and discouraged; there is very little to be done with these people. The animistic level would more probably be encountered in backward countries: primitive, superstitious, preoccupied with totems and taboos, and again poor industrial material. Man at the third level is altogether more wide-awake and objective, but finds the complexity of the real world frightening; the best work is to be got out of him by giving him rules to obey and a sense of hierarchical security. Such people are firm believers in staying in the class in which they were born. They prefer an autocracy. The majority of Russian peasants under the Tsars probably belonged to this level. And a good example of level four would probably be the revolutionaries who threw bombs at the Tsars and preached destruction. In industry, they are likely to be trouble makers, aggressive, angry, and not necessarily intelligent. Management needs a high level of tact to get the best out of these. Man at level five has achieved a degree of security—psychological and economic—and he becomes seriously preoccupied with making society run smoothly. He is the sort of person who joins rotary clubs and enjoys group activities. As a worker, he is inferior to levels three and four, but the best is to be got out of him by making him part of a group striving for a common purpose. Level six is a self-confident individualist who likes to do a job his own way, and does it well. Interfered with by authoritarian management, he is hopeless. He needs to be told the goal, and left to work out the best way to achieve it; obstructed, he becomes mulish. Level seven is much like level six, but without the mulishness; he is pacifistic, and does his best when left to himself. Faced with authoritarian management, he either retreats into himself, or goes on his own way while trying to present a passable front to the management. Professor Graves describes the method of applying this theory in a large plant where there was a certain amount of unrest. The basic idea was to make sure that each man was placed under the type of supervisor appropriate to his level. A certain amount of transferring brought about the desired result, mentioned above—increased production, immense decrease in grievances, and far less workers leaving the plant (7% as against 21% before the change).
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
Workaholism Our culture celebrates the idea of the workaholic. We hear about people burning the midnight oil. They pull all- nighters and sleep at the office. It’s considered a badge of honor to kill yourself over a project. No amount of work is too much work. Not only is this workaholism unnecessary, it’s stupid. Working more doesn’t mean you care more or get more done. It just means you work more. Workaholics wind up creating more problems than they solve. First off, working like that just isn’t sustainable over time. When the burnout crash comes— and it will— it’ll hit that much harder. Workaholics miss the point, too. They try to fix problems by throwing sheer hours at them. They try to make up for intellectual laziness with brute force. This results in inelegant solutions. They even create crises. They don’t look for ways to be more efficient because they actually like working overtime. They enjoy feeling like heroes. They create problems (often unwittingly) just so they can get off on working more. Workaholics make the people who don’t stay late feel inadequate for “merely” working reasonable hours. That leads to guilt and poor morale all around. Plus, it leads to an ass- in- seat mentality—people stay late out of obligation, even if they aren’t really being productive. If all you do is work, you’re unlikely to have sound judgments. Your values and decision making wind up skewed. You stop being able to decide what’s worth extra effort and what’s not. And you wind up just plain tired. No one makes sharp decisions when tired. In the end, workaholics don’t actually accomplish more than nonworkaholics. They may claim to be perfectionists, but that just means they’re wasting time fixating on inconsequential details instead of moving on to the next task. Workaholics aren’t heroes. They don’t save the day, they just use it up. The real hero is already home because she figured out a faster way to get things done.
Jason Fried
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)
Creating “Correct” Children in the Classroom One of the most popular discipline programs in American schools is called Assertive Discipline. It teaches teachers to inflict the old “obey or suffer” method of control on students. Here you disguise the threat of punishment by calling it a choice the child is making. As in, “You have a choice, you can either finish your homework or miss the outing this weekend.” Then when the child chooses to try to protect his dignity against this form of terrorism, by refusing to do his homework, you tell him he has chosen his logical, natural consequence of being excluded from the outing. Putting it this way helps the parent or teacher mitigate against the bad feelings and guilt that would otherwise arise to tell the adult that they are operating outside the principles of compassionate relating. This insidious method is even worse than outand-out punishing, where you can at least rebel against your punisher. The use of this mind game teaches the child the false, crazy-making belief that they wanted something bad or painful to happen to them. These programs also have the stated intention of getting the child to be angry with himself for making a poor choice. In this smoke and mirrors game, the children are “causing” everything to happen and the teachers are the puppets of the children’s choices. The only ones who are not taking responsibility for their actions are the adults. Another popular coercive strategy is to use “peer pressure” to create compliance. For instance, a teacher tells her class that if anyone misbehaves then they all won’t get their pizza party. What a great way to turn children against each other. All this is done to help (translation: compel) children to behave themselves. But of course they are not behaving themselves: they are being “behaved” by the adults. Well-meaning teachers and parents try to teach children to be motivated (translation: do boring or aversive stuff without questioning why), responsible (translation: thoughtless conformity to the house rules) people. When surveys are conducted in which fourth-graders are asked what being good means, over 90% answer “being quiet.” And when teachers are asked what happens in a successful classroom, the answer is, “the teacher is able to keep the students on task” (translation: in line, doing what they are told). Consulting firms measuring teacher competence consider this a major criterion of teacher effectiveness. In other words if the students are quietly doing what they were told the teacher is evaluated as good. However my understanding of ‘real learning’ with twenty to forty children is that it is quite naturally a bit noisy and messy. Otherwise children are just playing a nice game of school, based on indoctrination and little integrated retained education. Both punishments and rewards foster a preoccupation with a narrow egocentric self-interest that undermines good values. All little Johnny is thinking about is “How much will you give me if I do X? How can I avoid getting punished if I do Y? What do they want me to do and what happens to me if I don’t do it?” Instead we could teach him to ask, “What kind of person do I want to be and what kind of community do I want to help make?” And Mom is thinking “You didn’t do what I wanted, so now I’m going to make something unpleasant happen to you, for your own good to help you fit into our (dominance/submission based) society.” This contributes to a culture of coercion and prevents a community of compassion. And as we are learning on the global level with our war on terrorism, as you use your energy and resources to punish people you run out of energy and resources to protect people. And even if children look well-behaved, they are not behaving themselves They are being behaved by controlling parents and teachers. Dr. Piaget confirmed that true moral development
Kelly Bryson (Don't Be Nice, Be Real)