Photo: Lindsey Snow
I get paid to publish online stories. I love my job. But the harsh reality is my contributions cease to exist in the absence of power. Save for only a few printed artifacts, I don’t keep hardcopies of the hundreds of feature stories and thousands of blog posts I’ve written over the last decade.
I was humbled by that realization earlier this spring. The first two publications that ever paid me to write—Engadget’s gaming blog (Joystiq) and GigaOM—both shuttered within 30 days of each other. Their closures reminded me how impermanent life (and work) is. For now, my archives live on (here and here), but there’s no guarantee they’ll remain. They’ll be totally wiped out in a post-apocalyptic world like Mad Max: Fury Road (which you should run, not walk, to see right now).
Admittedly, I don’t sell life-altering work. I mostly help tech companies and media publications sell more widgets (i.e. products, services, or advertising) with believable stories that interest wide audiences. In any case, grasping your own insignificance is never easy. Big wheel keep on turning…
Quotes are a curious thing. They’re presented entirely out of context, so most of them go unnoticed. In the right state of mind, however, they can have a reaffirming or insightful impact on the reader.
Here are five quotes that connected and resonated with me most this year:
- “It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement. Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs, therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity or undue depression in adversity.”?Isocrates
- “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”—Old British proverb
- “If you see someone on a high mountain, you can bet they didn’t fall there.”—Anonymous (Very similar to another one of my favorites from last year: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”)
- “If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you wont give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy…. Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”—Bob Marley
- “Everything happens for a reason. And some of those reasons are because you are stupid and make dumb mistakes.”—Anonymous
I stumbled upon this clever commentary by Louis C.K. after it was published to the internet ages ago (aka two weeks ago). Thanks, Josh.