Man is the result of slow growth … The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion. That intellectuality is more vigorous that has attained its strength gradually. It is the man who carefully advances step by step, with his mind becoming wider and wider, and progressively better able to grasp any theme or situation, persevering in what he knows to be practical, and concentrating his thought upon it, who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree.
Computer science is not about machines, in the same way that astronomy is not about telescopes. There is an essential unity of mathematics and computer science.
From what I can tell, for today’s designers and developers it is more important to demonstrate being an independent learner rather than to have degree credentials.
Of my father’s many skills, this willingness to play the fool—and to let me think he could be outfoxed by my clever thinking—was the one that shaped my childhood more than any other. This is also the key, in my mind, to his success as a teacher. Never condescending, he had a knack for breaking problems down to a seemingly simplistic level and then allowing his students to be the geniuses who figured out the solutions.
When you can’t create you can work.
It’s all borrowed time. You shouldn’t take anything for granted, not even tomorrow. I offer you the “hit by a bus” rule. Would I regret spending my life this way if I were to get hit by a bus next week or next year?
Productivity is less about time management than it is about mind management.
How you approach your work and conduct yourself on a minute-to-minute basis are completely under your control and are the building blocks for a successful career and life.
Love or leave. This one is a semi-corollary of the first rule, but powerful enough to stand on its own. Basically, if I don’t instantly fall in love with an article/book/blog, I stop reading and move on. In a time of infinite resources but finite attention, first impressions matter more than ever
Give up on yourself. Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be, and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die. Don’t worry about getting motivated.
As James Hill, a contemporary practitioner of Morita Therapy, points out, many of our most significant achievements get done despite the absence of enthusiasm: “Is it accurate to assume that we must ‘overcome’ fear to jump off the high dive at the pool, or increase our confidence before we ask someone out for a date?” he asks. “If it was, most of us would still be waiting to do these things.
Your ambition has very little to do with your work ethic. You can still sit down and get everything done in the day without having a panic attack.
As any microeconomist will tell you, there is no surer path to bad outcomes than incorporating retrospective expenses that cannot be recovered into your decision making.
Much is made of genius and talent, but the foundation of any life where you get to realize your ambitions is simply being able to out-last everyone through the tough, crappy times — whether through sheer determination, a strong support network, or simply a lack of options.
But one of the points Feldman made with his usual breathtaking eloquence is that art is one of those areas of human life in which efficiency is not an asset. As author John Ralston Saul has argued, efficiency is not a good thing in itself, but something we should apply only to aspects of life we don’t care about. It’s the opposite of love.