I made a boo-boo at work yesterday. The client I was working with was very understanding, forgiving, and even accepted some of the blame. But I felt pretty rotten about the oversight.
Now, I’m not a perfectionist because done is better than perfect. But I couldn’t shake my disappointment of letting them down. So much so that I continued to worry about my mistake into the night.
Then I awoke to the above new sign on display in our kitchen today, which was ironically crafted by my eight year old daughter. It immediately cheered me up. Partly because I learned some things from my mistake and instituted two immediate changes that will make me a better writer. But also because the sign reminded me that it’s okay to make mistakes sometimes.
Showing up really is half the battle. As my friend David says, “You gotta play some sour notes in order to make your sound sweeter.” I’m grateful of those simple truths that make moving on, closure, and even improvement possible.
“Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.
“But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.
“A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said.”
“We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.”—Ira Byrock
If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you like money. What does money have to do with offline balance, though?
In my research, everything. Next to fame and sex—which by no coincidence are often facilitated by money—the latter is arguably the most sought after thing in life, particularly (but not exclusively) for male species.
For purposes of this newsletter, however, I won’t preach to you on the ill-guided focus of money or bottomless cup that is greed. Instead, I’ll let smarter people do it for me: Continue reading…
With two games remaining, my daughter’s soccer team is in second place. They’ve won nine games and lost one to the third place side which—while not as talented—understands that successful passing leads to more goals than successful dribbling or individuality. In other words, they play as a team more than my daughter’s side.
That same team has likely dropped more games than the three and a half players that impressively carry my daughter’s club because playing as a team for every game is difficult to achieve. It’s easier for great players to show up to every game than a reliable team.
In any case, my daughter’s “club” will square off against the first place team this weekend, and I suspect they’ll lose unless they listen to Michael Jordan: “Talent wins games, teamwork wins championships.”
To inspire more passing, teamwork, and selflessness, I hope they’ll consider my favorite quotes on teamwork as much as you might. They are as follows: Continue reading…
- “It is remarkable how much long term advantage is gained by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent.” — Charlie Munger
- “Read every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, not many will.” — Warren Buffett
- “To better avoid errors, you should talk to people who disagree with you and you should talk to people who are not in the same emotional situation you are.” — Daniel Kahneman (more of his thoughts here)
- “A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguishable from the truth.” — Daniel Kahneman
- “Acknowledging what you don’t know is the dawning of wisdom.” — Charlie Munger
Via Motley Fool
With age, I’ve started a habit of condensing my thoughts, ideas, and beliefs into short “quotables.” Here are some of my more Confucius-quality ones, formatted and ready to share—how conceited of me!
- “In life, everybody is legally blind. Some are completely blind. Never follow the latter.”–Blake Snow
- “If you depend on someone else to make you happy, you’re gonna have a bad time.”–Blake Snow
- “Sometimes the best move in life (and chess) is to do nothing.”–Blake Snow (Aka Never let a threat, intimidation, or external pressure force you to do anything against your will. Make your own choices and dictate your own strategy.) Continue reading…
“I’d rather be provocative and well read than politically correct and ignored.”—Blake Snow, Feb. 5, 2013, in response to readers taking issue with his loudmouth style while referring to himself in the third-person
Words to sell by.
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
Photo: Edmund Hillary
Take it away, fellas:
“Why make a fuss over something that’s done anyway? I was never one to obsess about the past. Too much to do in the future!”—Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to summit Mount Everest
“It has been a long road … From a mountain slave, a bearer of loads, to a wearer of a coat with rows of medals who is carried about in planes and worries about income tax.”—Tenzing Norgay, the Buzz Aldrin of Mount Everest (aka the second man to step foot on the summit, immediately following Hillary)
These words are loaded with so much more meaning given what each man accomplished.
Put differently, talk is cheap. Experience is everything.
“The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none.”—Thomas Carlyle
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!”—Rocky Balboa
“You sometimes lose what you go after. You always lose what you don’t go after.”—Sounder
ESPN this week interviewed Jonathan Goldstein, the man behind The Most Interesting Man in the World. My favorite quote:
“It’s every guy’s fantasy to be like him — including mine,” he said. “I hope our viewers can get a chuckle, but also get good advice. Be interesting, don’t be boring.”
“My own experience has given me the conviction that, quite apart from any such terrors or imaginings, the religious sentiment tends to develop as we grow older; to develop because, as the passions grow calm, as the fancy and sensibilities are less excited and less excitable, our reason becomes less troubled in its working, less obscured by the images, desires and distractions, in which it used to be absorbed; whereupon God emerges as from behind a cloud; our soul feels, sees, turns towards the source of all light; turns naturally and inevitably; for now that all that gave to the world of sensations its life and charm has begun to leak away from us, now that phenomenal existence is no more bolstered up by impressions from within or from without, we feel the need to lean on something that abides, something that will never play us false—a reality, an absolute and everlasting truth. Yes, we inevitably turn to God; for this religious sentiment is of its nature so pure, so delightful to the soul that experiences it, that it makes up to us for all our other losses.”—My favorite passage from Brave New World
“The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you, and they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying, and they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”—William Bernbach, famed American copywriter
In sum, to be interesting you have to say things in ways other people don’t—but can still relate to. To be heard, you have to say interesting things as often and in as many places as possible. To be understood, you have to communicate clearly. And to tell the truth, you have to tell the truth, which can be found in everything. For example, Satan is undeniably “the most evil man in the world,” so if you are ever hired by the devil to sell more immorality, brand him as such in a creatively loud way and you’re gold.
Reducing the most memorable video game quotes to just five is a tough task. From classic “Duke Nukem” one-liners to the inadvertent hilarity of poor Japanese-to-English translations, the options are virtually endless.
And while a mention of “All your base are belong to us” is perhaps more than deserving (the phrase spawned a major Internet meme at the turn of the decade, after all), the following extracts are the ones that truly define the medium – the most choice video game quotes of all time.
Continue reading at MSNBC…