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Here are some quotes that struck a chord with me. Some I feel very strongly about, others I like because they make you think. When I find a good one, I’ll add it here.

In no particular order.

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic. “

Carl Sagan

“I don’t need time. What I need is a deadline.”

Duke Ellington

“Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.”

“Problem solving, however necessary, does not produce results. It prevents damage. Exploiting opportunities produces results.”

Peter F. Drucker

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

Sun Tzu

“Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will, through work, bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea’.”

Chuck Close

The biggest mistake, in general, that I’ve made and I’m trying to correct for that is to put too much of a weighting on somebody’s talent and not enough on their personality… It actually matters whether someone has a good heart, it really does. I’ve made the mistake of thinking sometimes it’s just about the brain.

Elon Musk

I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“When you don’t create things, you become defined by your tastes rather than ability. Your tastes only narrow & exclude people. So create.”

Why the Lucky Stiff

“It is easier to act yourself into a new way of thinking, than it is to think yourself into a new way of acting.”

Millard Fuller

“To think is easy. To act is hard. But the hardest thing in the world is to act in accordance with your thinking.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“If you wish to improve, be content to appear clueless or stupid in extraneous matters”


“Humor is what happens when we’re told the truth quicker and more directly than we’re used to.”

George Saunders

“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”

Anaïs Nin

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”

Henry David Thoreau

“If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough.”

Mario Andretti

“This isn’t a technology job at all. It’s about moving around these roadblocks to try and do things that are pretty sensible. You’re solving these same problems over and over again that are really people problems. They have nothing to do with electrons.”

Tom West

The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.

Paul Valéry, 1895