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

 

 A story about a boy and his quest to find his Personal Legend. A classic story about one's journey. My favorite of all time.

A story about a boy and his quest to find his Personal Legend. A classic story about one's journey. My favorite of all time.

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."

 
 A story about chasing your dreams, taking risks, and making an impact in the world.

A story about chasing your dreams, taking risks, and making an impact in the world.

The Promise of a PencilAdam 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.

 

 
 The story of Nike but more than anything, it's a story of never giving up and persevering at all costs to achieve your dreams.

The story of Nike but more than anything, it's a story of never giving up and persevering at all costs to achieve your dreams.

Shoe DogPhil 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?"

 
 A story about a woman who left a lucrative banking career to further understand global poverty and drive change in the developing world.

A story about a woman who left a lucrative banking career to further understand global poverty and drive change in the developing world.

 The Blue SweaterJacqueline 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.

 
 A story about a man, his adventures around the world, and the principles in building a world-class company culture dedicated to sustainability and social impact.

A story about a man, his adventures around the world, and the principles in building a world-class company culture dedicated to sustainability and social impact.

LooptailBruce 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.”

 
 A story about simplicity and being present—something we could all use a little more of.

A story about simplicity and being present—something we could all use a little more of.

Art of HappinessDalai 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.”

 
 A monk's tale about how to achieve happiness through mindfulness.

A monk's tale about how to achieve happiness through mindfulness.

 The Art of PowerThich 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.”

 

 
 A story about a Microsoft executive who left everything behind to fulfill his personal mission—to spread global education by building schools around the world.

A story about a Microsoft executive who left everything behind to fulfill his personal mission—to spread global education by building schools around the world.

Leaving Microsoft to Change the WorldJohn 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.”

 
 A story about the founding of Patagonia and the importance of placing your people, your customers, and your environment at the top of the priority list.

A story about the founding of Patagonia and the importance of placing your people, your customers, and your environment at the top of the priority list.

Let My People Go SurfingYvon 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.”

 
 Story of how an ex-Googler transformed Google's culture through emotional intelligence. Also...it pays to be nice.

Story of how an ex-Googler transformed Google's culture through emotional intelligence. Also...it pays to be nice.

Search Inside YourselfChade-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."

 
 The incredible story of Starbuck's origins and how one man's passion for coffee and customer service helped build a billion dollar brand.

The incredible story of Starbuck's origins and how one man's passion for coffee and customer service helped build a billion dollar brand.

Pour Your Heart into ItHoward 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."

 
 Classic story of one man's journey through a concentration camp and how he was able to survive. Incredible.

Classic story of one man's journey through a concentration camp and how he was able to survive. Incredible.

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.”

 

 
 The importance of understanding your "Why." The passion question has been beaten dead but it could very well boil down to a simple, introspective question of "Why."

The importance of understanding your "Why." The passion question has been beaten dead but it could very well boil down to a simple, introspective question of "Why."

Start with WhySimon 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."

 
 Classic story of how to be amazing. This is relevant not only in the workplace but in the household as well. 

Classic story of how to be amazing. This is relevant not only in the workplace but in the household as well. 

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."

 
 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Amazing story of one girl's dream of spreading equal education for all.

2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner. Amazing story of one girl's dream of spreading equal education for all.

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?"

 
 Story of how to live one's life from a dying man. Bring the tissues.

Story of how to live one's life from a dying man. Bring the tissues.

Tuesdays with MorrieMitch 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 mere act of cleaning your room and produce wonders in your life. Try it for yourself. The Kondo way.

The mere act of cleaning your room and produce wonders in your life. Try it for yourself. The Kondo way.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying UpMarie 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."

 
 Austin tells us it's OK to steal. Even Picasso did so. Steal something, add your own flavor, and make it your own.

Austin tells us it's OK to steal. Even Picasso did so. Steal something, add your own flavor, and make it your own.

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."

 
 One man story of inviting a NAVY Seal to his house and how he changed as a result of challenging oneself beyond one's potential.

One man story of inviting a NAVY Seal to his house and how he changed as a result of challenging oneself beyond one's potential.

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."

 
 Humans are irrational creatures. We don't do what we say, and Dan gives us plenty of examples of how irrational we are. A blend of real life psychology, sociology, and economics. Highly recommend.

Humans are irrational creatures. We don't do what we say, and Dan gives us plenty of examples of how irrational we are. A blend of real life psychology, sociology, and economics. Highly recommend.

 

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.”

 A story about the power of being yourself and how showing up and making things makes you who you are.

A story about the power of being yourself and how showing up and making things makes you who you are.

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?”

 

 
 Cal puts the passion question to rest. It takes time to get good at something, and passion develops from being so good they can't ignore you. Check it out.

Cal puts the passion question to rest. It takes time to get good at something, and passion develops from being so good they can't ignore you. Check it out.

So Good They Can't Ignore YouCal newport

“Passion comes after you put in the hard work to become excellent at something valuable, not before. In other words, what you do for a living is much less important than how you do it.

Giving people more control over what they do and how they do it increases their happiness, engagement, and sense of fulfillment.

The happiest, most passionate employees are not those who followed their passion into a position, but instead those who have been around long enough to become good at what they do.

The important thing about little bets is that they’re bite-sized. You try one. It takes a few months at most. It either succeeds or fails, but either way you get important feedback to guide your next steps.

First, when you focus only on what your work offers you, it makes you hyperaware of what you don’t like about it, leading to chronic unhappiness.

Decades of scientific research have identified this trait (control) as one of the most important you can pursue in the quest for a happier, more successful, and more meaningful life.

Working right trumps finding the right work."

 

 
 A story of how rejection and failure led to success. A story about getting out of your comfort zone. A story about changing who you are...by just trying stuff.

A story of how rejection and failure led to success. A story about getting out of your comfort zone. A story about changing who you are...by just trying stuff.

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."

 
 A story about the importance of perseverance, discovery, and growth. How to find and do great work (interest > helping others > deliberate practice)

A story about the importance of perseverance, discovery, and growth. How to find and do great work (interest > helping others > deliberate practice)

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."

 

 
 A story about Pixar but more importantly, a story of company culture and the power of a great team enabled Pixar's success.

A story about Pixar but more importantly, a story of company culture and the power of a great team enabled Pixar's success.

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."

 

 
 A story about the power of giving (and taking). It's great to give and OK to ask for help (most people genuinely enjoying helping). 

A story about the power of giving (and taking). It's great to give and OK to ask for help (most people genuinely enjoying helping). 

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” 

 
 A story about getting things done through shifting your mindset. To sum it up, think big and start working.

A story about getting things done through shifting your mindset. To sum it up, think big and start working.

The Magic of Thinking BigDavid Schwartz

“The thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you may have.

Practice doing what your conscience tells you is right.

When you believe something is impossible, your mind goes to work for you to prove why. But when you believe, really believe, something can be done, your mind goes to work for you and helps you find the ways to do it.

If you want it done, give it to a busy man. I refuse to work on important projects with persons who have lots of free time.

But how you will change depends on your future environment, the mind food you feed yourself.

The person who does most of the talking and the person who is most successful are rarely the same person.

Use action to cure fear and gain confidence. Action feeds and strengthens confidence; inaction in all forms feeds fear. To fight fear, act. To increase fear—wait, put off, postpone.

Trading minds with the audience helps the speaker design a more interesting, harder-hitting talk. Trading minds with employees helps the supervisor provide more effective, better received instructions.”

 
 A story of how Walmart came to be. The frugality of Sam Walton. And more importantly, business and life lessons that come from focusing entirely on people—your customers and your employees.

A story of how Walmart came to be. The frugality of Sam Walton. And more importantly, business and life lessons that come from focusing entirely on people—your customers and your employees.

Made in AmericaSam 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."

 
 A story about becoming who you are and doing the work that's necessary to succeed. Do the damn work at all costs.

A story about becoming who you are and doing the work that's necessary to succeed. Do the damn work at all costs.

The War of Art, Steven Pressfield

"If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), "Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?" chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.

"Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.

We must do our work for its own sake, not for fortune or attention or applause.

The professional has learned that success, like happiness, comes as a by-product of work. The professional concentrates on the work and allows rewards to come or not come, whatever they like.

When we conceive an enterprise and commit to it in the face of our fears, something wonderful happens.

The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don't just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.

The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.

Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it."

 

 

 
 A story about the power of checklists from the world of surgery to construction to aviation. Our human minds are naturally forgetful and checklists have the power to save lives. 

A story about the power of checklists from the world of surgery to construction to aviation. Our human minds are naturally forgetful and checklists have the power to save lives. 

The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande

"The volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably...

What is needed, however, isn't just that people working together be nice to each other. It is discipline...We are not built for discipline. We are built for novelty and excitement, not for careful attention to detail. Discipline is something we have to work at.

Bad checklists are vague and imprecise. They are too long; they are hard to use; they are impractical...

Good checklists, on the other hand are precise. They are efficient, to the point, and easy to use even in the most difficult situations. Instead, they provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps--the ones that even the highly skilled professional using them could miss. Good checklists are, above all, practical.

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."

 

 
 A book about memory and how to learn. A journalist attempts to become the U.S. Memory Champion. Great book about the human mind and our potential to learn anything...if we try.

A book about memory and how to learn. A journalist attempts to become the U.S. Memory Champion. Great book about the human mind and our potential to learn anything...if we try.

Moonwalking with Einstein, Josh Foer

Monotony collapses time; novelty unfolds it. You can exercise daily and eat healthily and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next - and disappear. That's why it's so important to change routines regularly, and take vacations to exotic locales, and have as many new experiences as possible that can serve to anchor our memories. Creating new memories stretches out psychological time, and lengthens our perception of our lives.

Life seems to speed up as we get older because life gets less memorable as we get older.

When you want to get good at something, how you spend your time practicing is far more important than the amount of time you spend.

The general idea with most memory techniques is to change whatever boring thing is being inputted into your memory into something that is so colorful, so exciting, and so different from anything you’ve seen before that you can’t possibly forget it.

Humans are very, very good at learning spaces.

It is forgetting, not remembering, that is the essence of what makes us human."

 

 
 Don't chase the wrong thing. Devote your time and energy into relationships—no career will ever be more important than that. Through life stories, Clayton shares with us the theories that one should pay attention to in order to live a fulfilling life.

Don't chase the wrong thing. Devote your time and energy into relationships—no career will ever be more important than that. Through life stories, Clayton shares with us the theories that one should pay attention to in order to live a fulfilling life.

How Will You Measure YOur Life? - Clayton Christensen

"Intimate, loving, and enduring relationships with our family and close friends will be among the sources of the deepest joy in our lives.

If you defer investing your time and energy until you see that you need to, chances are it will already be too late.

The trap many people fall into is to allocate their time to whoever screams loudest, and their talent to whatever offers them the fastest reward.

In fact, how you allocate your own resources can make your life turn out to be exactly as you hope or very different from what you intend.

In order to really find happiness, you need to continue looking for opportunities that you believe are meaningful, in which you will be able to learn new things, to succeed, and be given more and more responsibility to shoulder.

As you go through your career, you will begin to find the areas of work you love and in which you will shine; you will, hopefully, find a field where you can maximize the motivators and satisfy the hygiene factors. 

What’s important is to get out there and try stuff until you learn where your talents, interests, and priorities begin to pay off. When you find out what really works for you, then it’s time to flip from an emergent strategy to a deliberate one."

 
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How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big, Scott Adams

"…if you know a particular path will make you feel more stressed, unhealthy, and drained, it’s probably the wrong choice. Right choices can be challenging, but they usually charge you up. When you’re on the right path, it feels right, literally.

A great strategy for success in life is to become good at something, anything, and let that feeling propel you to new and better victories. Success can be habit-forming.

The smartest system for discerning your best path to success involves trying a lot of different things—sampling, if you will.

The Success Formula: Every skill you acquire doubles your odds of success

The Knowledge Formula: The more you know, the more you can know

Of the big five factors in happiness—flexible schedule, imagination, diet, exercise, and sleep—my pick for the most important is exercise.

I’m not a fan of physical risks, but if you can’t handle the risk of embarrassment, rejection, and failure, you need to learn how, and studies suggest that is indeed a learnable skill.”