The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.
The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
Education is what people do to you. Learning is what you do to yourself… what you need to learn, is how to learn.
It is a good morning exercise for a research scientist to discard a pet hypothesis every day before breakfast.
As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.
Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.
The great body of physical science, a great deal of the essential fact of financial science, and endless social and political problems are only accessible and only thinkable to those who have had a sound training in mathematical analysis, and the time may not be very remote when it will be understood that for complete initiation as an efficient citizen of one of the new great complex worldwide States that are now developing, it is as necessary to be able to compute, to think in averages and maxima and minima, as it is now to be able to read and write.
You have to give to receive; surrender to outside forces to gain strength within yourself; conquer your desire to get what you crave; success leads to greatest failure which is pride, and failure leads to greatest success which is humility and learning; in order to fulfill yourself you have to forget yourself; in order to find yourself you have to lose yourself… this is how we grow.
One of the reasons people pay for brands is not because they are objectively better, but because they are less likely to be terrible… they are really, really good at not being bad.
The most accurate metric for your love of somebody is how you feel about their flaws. If you accept them and even adore some of their shortcomings — her obsessive cleanliness, his awkward social ticks — and they can accept and even adore some of your shortcomings, well, then that’s a sign of true intimacy.
When we think of elegant solutions, what we often have in mind is a general one: a small bit of logic that still correctly covers a large space of use cases. Finding that is a bit like pattern matching or solving a puzzle. It takes effort to see through the scattering of example use cases to find the hidden order underlying them all. It’s a great feeling when you pull it off.
Confidence is not a requirement before taking action. Confidence is a result of taking action.
Excellence is mundane. Excellence is accomplished through the doing of actions, ordinary in themselves, performed consistently and carefully, habitualized, compounded together, added up over time.
I asked Kahan how he tries to guard against identity protection in his everyday life. The answer, he said, is to try to find disagreement that doesn’t threaten you and your social group — and one way to do that is to consciously seek it out in your group. “I try to find people who I actually think are like me — people I’d like to hang out with — but they don’t believe the things that everyone else like me believes,” he says. “If I find some people I identify with, I don’t find them as threatening when they disagree with me.” It’s good advice, but it requires, as a prerequisite, a desire to expose yourself to uncomfortable evidence — and a confidence that the knowledge won’t hurt you.
A wise person knows when and how to make the exception to every rule… A wise person knows how to improvise… Real-world problems are often ambiguous and ill-defined and the context is always changing. A wise person is like a jazz musician — using the notes on the page, but dancing around them, inventing combinations that are appropriate for the situation and the people at hand. A wise person knows how to use these moral skills in the service of the right aims. To serve other people, not to manipulate other people. And finally, perhaps most important, a wise person is made, not born. Wisdom depends on experience, and not just any experience. You need the time to get to know the people that you’re serving. You need permission to be allowed to improvise, try new things, occasionally to fail and to learn from your failures. And you need to be mentored by wise teachers.