33 Things I Stole From People Smarter Than Me

  1. Read
  2. In his autobiographyGeneral James Mattis points out that if you haven’t read widely, you are “functionally illiterate.” As Mark Twain said, if you don’t read, you’re not any better than people who can’t read.
  3. 情侶吵架是在跳舞
  4. F. Scott Fitzgerald at the beginning of The Great Gatsby: “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”
  5. When someone tells you something is wrong, they’re almost always right. When someone tells you how to fix it, they’re almost always wrong. This applies to both writing and life.
  6.  love is best spelled T-I-M-E
  7. Seinfeld: spend garbage time
  8.  It’s possible to be there for a friend even while letting them know you think they’re in the wrong.
  9. Years ago, in a high school English class, I shared something with my discussion group. Later, people used what I had said in their essays and presentations and got credit for it. I brought this up to the teacher, telling her that people were using my ideas. She looked at me and said, “Ryan, that’s their job.” I’m very glad she said that and that I heard it at a young age. 幹這看不懂
  10. The more professional you become, the less you care about results — you still get results, but that’s because you know you can rely on the systems and the process.
  11. Steven Pressfield:There are professional habits and amateur ones. Which are you practicing? Is this a pro or an amateur move? Ask yourself that. Constantly.
  12. Peter Thiel said, “Competition is for losers.” I loved this the second I heard it. When people compete, somebody loses. So go where you’re the only one. Do what only you can do. Run a race with yourself.
  13.  “I Don’t Know How to Explain to You That You Should Care About Other People.” It sums up our times, and it reminds me it’s futile trying to convince those who can’t look beyond themselves.
  14.  What would this look like if it were easy? How will you know if you don’t experiment? What would less be like?
  15. typing up passages by your favorite authors so that you can feel great writing go through your fingers
  16. Wyatt Earp: What makes a man like Ringo, Doc? What makes him do the things he does?
    Doc Holliday: A man like Ringo has got a great big hole, right in the middle of himself. And he can never kill enough, or steal enough, or inflict enough pain to ever fill it.
    Wyatt Earp: What does he want?
    Doc Holliday: Revenge.
    Wyatt Earp: For what?
    Doc Holliday: Bein’ born.
    Production and peace are two totally separate pursuits. The former will not create the later.
  17. best and most polite excuse is just to say you have a rule. “I have a rule that I don’t decide on the phone.” “I have a rule that I don’t accept gifts.” “I have a rule that I don’t speak for free anymore.” “I have a rule that I am home for bath time with the kids every night.” People respect rules, and they accept that it’s not you rejecting the offer, request, demand, or opportunity, but the rule allows you no choice.
  18. Go to what will teach you the most, not what will pay the most. It’s about choosing opportunities that you’ll learn the most from.
  19. You have to put your precepts up for display. You have to make them inescapable or else the idea will escape you when it counts.
  20. Amelia Earhart said, “Always think with your stick forward.” You have to keep moving. You can’t slow down.
  21. How much you make a year, divided by how many hours you realistically work. “Basically,” he said, “don’t do anything you can pay someone to do for you more cheaply.”
  22. “No man steps in the same river twice.” The second time around, both man and river are different than they were before. This is why I’m a fan of rereading books (and watching movies, walking on my old college campus, and so many of the things we do once and assume we’ve “got”). The books are the same, but we change between reads. The world changes, too.
  23. “Well begun is half done”
  24. “Your last book won’t write your next one.”
  25. “Human beings need forgiveness like we need oxygen — a nation devoid of grace will make its people miserable.”
  26. “Run rates always start at zero.” The point there was: Don’t be discouraged at the outset. It takes time to build up from nothing.
  27. work, family, health, friends, and spirit… and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls — family, health, friends, and spirit — are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same.”
  28.  There is no party line on what you should or shouldn’t do.
  29. Entrepreneur and author James Altucher once pointed out that you don’t have to make your money grow. You can just have it. It can just sit there. You can spend it. Whatever. You don’t have to whip yourself for not investing and carefully managing every penny. The reward for success should not be constantly stressing that you’re not doing enough to “capitalize” on that success.
  30. The less expensive stuff you have, the less there is to worry about.
  31. How do you practice whatever it is that you do? What’s your version of playing scales or running through drills? For me, it’s the notecards. That’s how I get better at my job.
  32. Selective ignoring is the key to productivity, I’m afraid. 
  33. You Could Have Today. Instead You Choose Tomorrow.

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