Book Quotes

 

 

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

-Dr. Seuss

 

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The Alchemist , Paulo Coelho

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

The secret to happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.

Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and it will one day return there.

When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.

I can always go back being a shepherd, the boy thought. I learned how to care for sheep, and I haven’t forgotten how that’s done. But maybe I’ll never have another chance to get to the Pyramids of Egypt.

There is only one way to learn…it’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey. You need to learn only one more thing…

I have to separate out the sulfur. To do that successfully, I must have no fear of failure. It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the Master Work. Now, I’m beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I’m happy at least that I didn’t wait twenty years.

You must not let up, even after having come so far. You must love the desert, but never trust it completely."

 
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The Promise of a Pencil , Adam Braun

“In moments of uncertainty, when you must choose between two paths, allowing yourself to be overcome by either the fear of failure or the dimly lit light of possibility, immerse yourself in the life you would be most proud to live.

If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.

Bliss does not come from materials or possessions, it comes from fulfilling one’s purpose in this existence.

As the African proverb states, [If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together]. It’s the presence of others who are smarter, kinder, wiser, and different from you that enables you to evolve. Those are the people to surround yourself with at all times.

The key is to think big and then take small, incremental steps forward day by day.

Purpose is found when you stop thinking about how you exist in the world and start trying to figure out why you are here. Once you solve that question, everything else will fall into place.

Regardless of age or status, if you’re not satisfied with the path you’re on, it’s time to rewrite your future. Your life should be a story you are excited to tell…within every single person there lies an extraordinary story waiting to unfold.

 

 
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Shoe Dog , Phil Knight

“Sometimes you have to give up. Sometimes knowing when to give up, when to try something else, is genius. Giving up doesn’t mean stopping. Don’t ever stop.

I’d tell men and women in their midtwenties not to settle for a job or a profession or even a career. Seek a calling. Even if you don’t know what that means, seek it. If you’re following your calling, the fatigue will be easier to bear, the disappointments will be fuel, the highs will be like nothing you’ve ever felt.

I think constantly of the poverty I saw while traveling the world in the 1960s. I knew then that the only answer to such poverty is entry-level jobs. Lots of them.

Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.

There were many ways down Mount Fuji, according to my guidebook, but only one way up. Life lesson in that, I thought. Signs.

The single easiest way to find out how you feel about someone. Say goodbye.

How can I leave my mark on the world, I thought, unless I get out there first and see it?"

 
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 The Blue Sweater , Jacqueline Novogratz

“John Gardner [Mentor] told me that when you are young, sometimes the most important thing you can do is find the best leaders and follow them.

But if you move through the world with both intellect and compassion, then you have wisdom. - Maha Ghosananda

The most important skill needed is listening. If philanthropists don’t first listen, they will never be able to address issues fully because they will not understand them. Second, philanthropists should focus on supporting others to do what they already do well rather than running programs themselves…philanthropists should find innovations that release the energies of people. - John Gardner

But if you move through the world with both intellect and compassion, then you have wisdom. - Maha Ghosananda (Cambodian Monk)

There is a strong correlation between investing in healthcare for people and enhancing their ability to earn income, and with higher incomes come increased investment in their children’s education and lower population rates.

Our work should remind us all that the poor the world over are our brothers and sister…But empathy is only our starting point. It must be combined with focus and conviction, the toughness to know what needs to get done and the courage to follow through…We will succeed only if we fuse a very hardheaded analysis with an equally soft heart.

 
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Looptail , Bruce Poon Tip

“We built our programs around not just having great tours but also creating local benefits for local people.

To me, that quote [I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy] means that your purpose is to find sustained happiness. And you can’t only do that during your non-working hours.

If it’s the right thing to do, you can’t focus only on the short-term benefit. You have to pay it forward. It’s the only way to transcend being a travel company, or whatever product or service you provide.

The secret to happiness is freedom, and the secret to freedom is courage.

Next to illness and injury, they say, entrepreneurial activity and the ability to have jobs is the most important factor in determining the fate of the poor. Tourism could provide the vehicle for those jobs and have more of an impact on poverty than any single force ever has.

You need to recognize people who are not just the best, but people are who are unique and would be difficult, if not impossible, to replace. If you’ve ever had a chance to manage people, you know the kind of talent I mean.

You need to create a story or narrative about how your company came about, and why it exists, in order to engage anyone who touches your brand.”

 

Art of Happiness , Dalai Lama

“Live in the moment. This could be the single most important piece of advice you ever heed. Do not forget nor dwell on the past, but do forgive it. Be aware of the future but do no fear or worry about it. Focus on the present moment, and that moment alone.

Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. Not everything that you desire will be necessarily good for you in the long run. If something just seems to not work out continually, in such a way that it seems almost like fate intervened, consider letting it go or coming back to it at another time. The Universe works in mysterious ways and should be trusted. Just be sure you are not mistaking your own failure as the Universe telling you something.

Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it. Success is not truly success if you had to compromise yourself or your loved ones in order to achieve it. Decide what you want. Design your ideal life and go for it. Do not let any part of that dream slip away in or you will live in regret.

If you develop a pure and sincere motivation, if you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness, compassion, and respect, then you can carry on any kind of work, in any field, and function more effectively with less fear or worry, not being afraid of what others think or whether you ultimately will be successful in reaching your goal. Even if you fail to achieve your goal, you can feel good about having made the effort.”

 
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 The Art of Power , Thich Nhat Hanh

"Whatever form you take, whatever path you take, if you are attached to the form, you cannot get the happiness you want…

Our ideas about what power is and what will bring us happiness can be quite dangerous for us. Happiness can come to you in a thousand ways if you only allow it to. But if you’re committed to only one idea of happiness, you’re stuck.

Even if you’re the most talented person, you won’t be successful. So you just do your best, and if conditions are sufficient, you’ll have success.

Those of us who want to experience great happiness, to awaken the mind of great understanding and love, should not base our mind on any external thing, including form, sound, touch, and ideas.

Forget about the conditions of happiness that you have been running after for such a long time - money, power, wealth, sex - because you know that once you get them, you will still be unhappy. You want true life, true happiness, true power.

When we live in the present moment and walk, breathe, and take care of ourselves and our loved ones, our mindfulness and concentration increase each day.”

 

 

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World , John Wood

“If you are thinking about making some adjustments in your life to allow you to help change the world, my heartfelt recommendation is not to spend too much time thinking about it. Just Dive InThe biggest risk is that a lot of people will try to talk you out of pursuing your dream.

It is far better to underpromise and overdeliver than vice versa.

To succeed in business, you must learn to be a good listener. And then you should learn to bounce every idea you have off numerous people before finally saying that, [We’ll give this one a miss or Let’s do it].

One of my favorite sayings is [90% of life is just showing up] because finding the courage to pursue your vision and start a new business often hinges on just that first step.

Most of all, never forget that overcoming adversity is the mark of a true entrepreneur.

Success in business is best measured by whether or not you have created something you can be truly proud of -and whether or not you’ve made a real difference for others.

This brings me to a secret to lasting success: securing your customers’ trust, which should be part and parcel of your differentiation and marketing.”

 

Let My People Go Surfing , Yvon Chouinard

“I had no business experience so I started asking people for free advice, I just called up presidents of banks and said, “I’ve been given these companies to run and I’ve no idea what I’m doing. I think someone should help me…And they did. If you just ask people for help - if you just admit that you don’t know something - they will fall all over themselves trying to help.  - Kris McDivitt (GM and CEO of Patagonia)

A company needs someone to go out and get the temperature of the world, so for years I would come home excited about ideas for products, new markets, or new materials.

Looking back now, I see that we made all the classic mistakes of a growing company. We failed to provide the proper training for the new company leaders, and the strain of managing a company with eight autonomous product divisions and three channels of distribution exceeded management’s skills.

Like the Zen approach to archery or anything else, you identify the goal and then forget about it and concentrate on the process.

A sale to a loyal customer is worth six to eight times more to our bottom line than a sale to another customer.

Hiring people with diverse backgrounds brings in a flexibility of thought and openness to new ways of doing things, as opposed to hiring clones from business schools who have been taught a codified way of doing business.”

 

Search Inside Yourself , Chade-Meng Tan

“Neuroplasticity is the idea that what we think, do, and pay attention to changes the structure and functions of our brains…we can intentionally change our brains with training.

Self-awareness depends on being able to see ourselves objectively, and that requires the ability to examine our thoughts and emotions from a 3rd person perspective…this requires a stable and clear, non-judging attention.

Put most simply, mindfulness is the mind of just being. All you really need to do is pay attention moment-to-moment without judging.

Mindfulness helps improve everything from attention and brain function to immunity and skin disease.

A beautiful way to practice mindfulness is to apply mindfulness toward others for the benefit of others…give your full moment to moment attention to another person with a nonjudgmental mind.

If we know what we value most and what is most meaningful to us, then we know what we can work on that serves our higher purpose. When that happens, our work can become a source of sustainable happiness.

Emotional intelligence has two important features. First, beyond helping you succeed, the greatest side effect of EI is increased inner happiness, empathy, and compassion for people…second, a very good way to truly develop EI is with contemplative practices starting with mindfulness meditation."

 

Pour Your Heart into It , Howard Schultz

“I’d encourage everyone to dream big, lay your foundations well, absorb information like a sponge, and not be afraid to defy conventional wisdom.

There is no more precious commodity than the relationship of trust and confidence a company has with its employees.

This is my moment, I thought. If I don’t seize the opportunity, if I don’t step out of my comfort zone and risk it all, if I let too much time tick on, my moment will pass.

It’s those who follow the road less traveled who create new industries, invent new products, build long-lasting enterprises, and inspire those around them to push their abilities to the highest levels of achievement.

Every step of the way, I made it a point to underpromise and overdeliver. In the long run, that’s the only way to ensure security in any job.

To any entrepreneur, I would offer this advice: Once you’ve figured out what you want to do, find someone who has done it before. Find not just talented executives but even more experienced entrepreneurs and businesspeople who can guide you.

Whatever you do, don’t play it safe. Don’t do things the way they’ve always been done. Don’t try to fit the system. If you do what’s expected of you, you’ll never accomplish more than others expect.

“It’s not about money, it’s about pursuing a dream others think you can’t achieve and finding a way to give something back, to the employees, to the customers, to the community."

 

Man's Searching for Meaning , Viktor Frankl

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

It was this spiritual freedom - which cannot be taken away - that makes life meaningful and purposeful.

Everywhere man is confronted with fate, with the chance of achieving something through his own suffering.

Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.

Man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life and not a secondary rationalization of instinctual drives. This meaning is unique and specific in that it must and can be fulfilled by him alone.

We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.”

 

 

Start with Why , Simon Sinek

"The reason gut decisions feel right is because the part of the brain that controls them also controls our feelings.

Ask the most successful entrepreneurs and leaders what their secret is and invariably they all say the same thing: “I trust my gut.” The times things went wrong, they will tell you, “I listened to what others were telling me, even though it didn’t feel right. I should have trusted my gut.

You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.

Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not.

People who come to work with a clear sense of WHY are less prone to giving up after a few failures because they understand the higher cause.

Passion comes from feeling like you are a part of something that you believe in, something bigger than yourself. If people do not trust that a company is organized to advance the WHY, then the passion is diluted.

For passion to survive, it needs structure. A WHY without the HOW, passion without structure, has a very high probability of failure."

 
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7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey

1. Be Proactive

2. Begin with the End in Mind

3. Put First Things First

4. Think Win-Win

5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood

6. Synergize

7. Sharpen the Saw

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.

The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it instantly, correct and learn from it."

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

The more aware we are of our basic paradigms, maps, or assumptions, and the extent to which we have been influenced by our experience, the more we can take responsibility for those paradigms, examine them, test them against reality, listen to others and be open to their perceptions."

 
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I Am MalalaMalala Yousafzai

"One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.

When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.

Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow. Education is neither Eastern nor Western, it is human

He believed that lack of education was the root of all of Pakistan’s problems. Ignorance allowed politicians to fool people and bad administrators to be re-elected.

I think everyone makes a mistake at least once in their life. The important thing is what you learn from it.

Peace in every home, every street, every village, every country – this is my dream. Education for every boy and every girl in the world. To sit down on a chair and read my books with all my friends at school is my right. 

I told myself, Malala, you have already faced death. This is your second life. Don't be afraid — if you are afraid, you can't move forward.

My mother always told me," hide your face people are looking at you." I would reply," it does not matter; I am also looking at them.

If one man can destroy everything, why can't one girl change it?"

 

Tuesdays with Morrie , Mitch Albom

"So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

Yes. But there's a better approach. To know you're going to die, and to be prepared for it at any time. That's better. That way you can actually be more involved in your life while you're living.

Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.

Invest in the human family. Invest in people. Build a little community of those you love and who love you.

Be compassionate...And take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be a much better place.

There is no such thing as "too late" in life."

 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up , Marie Kondo

"The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in ones hand and ask: does this spark joy? If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.

Sort by category, not location.

Effective tidying involves only two essential actions: discarding and deciding where to store things. Of the two, discarding must come first.

The best sequence is this: clothes first, then books, papers, miscellaneous, and lastly, mementos.

To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.

It's paradoxical, but I believe that precisely because we hang onto such materials, we fail to put what we learn in practice.

By handling each sentimental item and deciding what to discard, you process your past.

In essence, tidying ought to be the act of restoring balance among people, their possessions, and the house they live in."

 

Steal Like an ArtistAustin Kleon

"In my experience, it's the act of making things and doing our work that we figure out who we are.

Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy you will find yourself. - Yohji Yamamoto

Keep a swipe file. It's just what it sounds like - a file to keep track of the stuff you've swiped from others.

Whenever you're at a loss for what move to make next, just ask yourself : What would make a better story?

One thing I've learned in my brief career: It's the side projects that really take off.

Take time to mess around. Get lost. Wander. You never know where it's going to lead you.

If you have two or three real passions, don't feel like you have to pick and choose between them." Don't discard. Keep all your passions in your life.

The secret: Do good work and share it with people.

Your brain gets too comfortable in everyday surroundings...You have to find a place that feeds you - creatively, socially, spiritually, and literally."

 
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LIVING WITH A SEALJessie Itzler

"If you don't challenge yourself, you don't know yourself.

The simplicity that SEAL has is one of the most important things in life. He gets to do what he loves every day. He lives stress-free.

SEAL taught me that you only get one shot at life and you should find out what's in your reserve tank.

When you think you're done, you're only at 40% of what your body is capable of doing.

Any success I have ever had in life usually occurred when I was not chasing the money but was doing things out of passion.

Failure is just life's way of nudging you and letting you know you're off course.

Nah, I just like to go to sleep hungry...so I wake up hungry. Life is all about staying out of your comfort zone.

If you want to be pushed to your limits, you have to train to your limits.

If you can see yourself doing something, you can do it. If you can't see yourself doing something, usually you can't achieve it.

I've never had a real resume. I've always believed in a life resume."

 
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Predictably IrrationalDan Ariely

"When you meet someone in a different country or city and it seems that you have a magical connection, realize that the enchantment might be limited to the surrounding circumstance.

Price tags become anchors when we contemplate buying a product or service at that particular price. That’s when the imprint is set.

Free! gives us such an emotional charge that we perceive what is being offered as immensely more valuable than it really is.

If you want to demonstrate affection, or strengthen your relationship, then giving a gift - even at the risk that it won’t be appreciated as much as you hoped - is the only way to go.

In essence, when prices are zero and social norms are part of the equation, people look at the world as a communal good.

When we believe beforehand that something will be good, therefore, it generally will be good - and when we think it will be bad, it will be bad.

Positive expectations allow us to enjoy more things and improve our perception of the world around us.”

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Big MagicElizabeth Gilbert

"Perfectionism stops people from completing their work, yes - but even worse, it often stops people from beginning their work.

Nobody’s thinking about you..people are mostly just thinking about themselves. 

You try and try and try, and nothing works. But you keep trying, and you keep seeking, and then sometimes, in the least expected place and time, it finally happens.

See where curiosity will lead you next. Then follow the next clue, and the next, and the next. Following that scavenger hunt of curiosity can lead you to amazing, unexpected places.

Don’t rush through the experiences and circumstances that have the most capacity to transform you. 

Whatever else happens, stay busy. Make something. Do something. Do anything.

Failure has a function. It asks you whether you really want to go on making things.

Anyhow, what else are you going to do with your time here on earth—not make things? Not do interesting stuff? Not follow your love and your curiosity?”

 

 
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Rejection ProofJia Jiang

"I was starting to care a bit less about what other people thought of me. And it felt liberating.

When I was confident, friendly, and open, people seemed more inclined to go along with my request.

When you are not afraid of rejection and it feels like you have nothing to lose, amazing things can happen.

By not giving up after the initial rejection, and instead retreating to a lesser request, one has a much higher chance of landing a yes.

By making it clear that he had the freedom to say no, I got to the yes we were looking for.

Never argue with the rejector. Instead, try to collaborate with the person to make the request happen.

When I gave people a reason for my request, however far-fetched, I was far more likely to get a yes.

Rejection really is like chicken. It is yummy or yucky, depending on how you cook it."

 
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Grit, Angela Duckworth

"With effort, talent becomes skill and, at the very same time, effort makes skill productive.

First, research shows that people are enormously more satisfied with their jobs when they do something that fits their personal interests. Second, people perform better at work when what they do interests them.

Passion for your work is a little bit of discovery, followed by a lot of development, and then a lifetime of deepening.

Culture has the power to shape our identity. Over time and under the right circumstances, the norms and values of the group to which we belong become our own.

So, while interest is crucial to sustaining passion over the long-term, so, too, is the desire to connect with and help others.

Like a muscle that gets stronger with use, the brain changes itself when you struggle to master a new challenge.

To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise eight."

 

 
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Creativity, Inc., Ed Catmull

"But a movie is not one idea, it’s a multitude of them. And behind these ideas are people.

A good team is made up of people who complement each other.

Getting the right people and the right chemistry is more important than getting the right idea.

This is key: when experimentation is seen as necessary and productive, not as a frustrating waste of time, people will enjoy their work—even when it is confounding them.

In a healthy, creative culture, the people in the trenches feel free to speak up and bring to light differing views that can help give us clarity.

Instead, there was something about an apprentice lighting technician sitting alongside an experienced animator, who in turn was sitting next to someone who worked in legal or accounting or security—that proved immensely valuable.

We had learned long ago that while everyone appreciates cash bonuses, they value something else almost as much: being looked in the eye by someone they respect and told, “Thank you.”

The most creative people are willing to work in the shadow of uncertainty."

 

 
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Give and Take, Adam Grant

“Success doesn’t measure a human being, effort does.

Psychologists call this the pratfall effect. Spilling a cup of coffee hurt the image of the average candidate: it was just another reason for the audience to dislike him. But the same blunder helped the expert appear human and approachable – instead of superior and distant.

By asking people questions about their plans and intentions, we increase the likelihood that they actually act on these plans and intentions.

Research shows that if people start volunteering two hours a week, their happiness, satisfaction, and self-esteem go up a year later.

Rifkin is governed by a simple rule: the five-minute favor. “You should be willing to do something that will take you five minutes or less for anybody.

New research shows that advice seeking is a surprisingly effective strategy for exercising influence when we lack authority.

Regardless of their reciprocity styles, people love to be asked for advice.

Chip Conley, the renowned entrepreneur who founded Joie de Vivre Hotels, explains, “Being a giver is not good for a 100-yard dash, but it’s valuable in a marathon” 

 
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Made in America, Sam Walton

"You may have trouble believing it, but every time we’ve tested the old saying, it has paid off for us in spades: the more you give, the more you get.

Another way we tried hard to make up for our lack of experience and sophistication was to spend as much time as we could checking out the competition.

I’ve played to my strengths and relied on others to make up for my weaknesses.

I always carry a little tape recorder on trips, to record ideas that come up in my conversations with the associates. I usually have my yellow legal pad with me, with a list of ten or fifteen things we need to be working on as a company.

Because the way management treats the associates is exactly how the associates will then treat the customers. And if the associates treat the customers well, the customers will return again and again...

Today, though, we have almost adopted the position that if some community, for whatever reason, doesn’t want us in there, we aren’t interested in going in and creating a fuss.

All of us like praise. So what we try to practice in our company is to look for things to praise. Look for things that are going right.

Sharing information and responsibility is a key to any partnership."