If you’re reading this on your phone, on social media, whilst I share life hacks from a book subtitled ‘Short Life Advice From the Best In The World’ – then shame on you. Sit down. Turn off your phone. Pour a cup of coffee. Then read the book yourself.
But failing that, here are some of my favourite curiosity-inducing, potentially life-changing quotes to disrupt your 2018:
1. Kyle Maynard – first quadruple amputee to reach summits of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Aconcuagua without prosthetics, champion wrestler and CrossFit instructor. Phew.
If happiness is just above the status quo, bliss is what makes you feel most alive. Expect it will take courage to follow your bliss, and expect it will suck at times. Expect you’re going to have to take risks for it. Expect others won’t necessarily understand.
2. Debbie Millman – the ‘Queen of Branding’, founder and host of Design Matters podcast (excellent – a must-listen), editorial and creative director of Print magazine, and co-founder of world’s first masters in branding at NYC School of Visual Arts. She also has an incredible life story – check it out here.
Busy is a decision…If we use busy as an excuse for not doing something what we are really, really saying is that it’s not a priority…
One piece of advice I think [a smart, driven college student] should ignore is the value of being a “people person.” No one cares if you are a people person. Have a point of view, and share it meaningfully, thoughtfully, and with conviction.
3. Naval Ravikant – angel investor, CEO of [lots of sexy-sounding Silicon Valley-esque companies I’ve never heard of]. Smart enough to have cashed in on Twitter and Uber. And smart enough to say,
Suffering is a moment of clarity, when you can no longer deny the truth of a situation and are forced into uncomfortable change. Inside suffering is the seed of change…
Ignore: The news. Complainers, angry people, high-conflict people. Anyone trying to scare you about a danger that isn’t clear and present…
Self-esteem is just the reputation you have with yourself. You’ll always know.
4. Lewis Cantley – professor of cell biology and chief of Harvard’s Division of Signal Transduction. He discovered the cell signalling pathway phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), a significant advance in cancer research. He has also been involved in significant treatments for diabetes and autoimmune diseases.
Choose a profession that is really easy for you to do and that also allows you to be creative…One should not pursue a profession just because it is viewed, at the time you begin college, as the one that will have the most jobs of where you will make the most money. If you are uncertain of your talent, get a broad education that does not narrow your options. The best skill is to be able to communicate efficiently both in writing and speaking…
The worst recommendation [in my area of expertise] is to keep your ideas and data a secret until you have a paper describing these results accepted into a journal. Anytime I have a crazy idea or see an unexpected result, I talk about it with my colleagues to see if they have seen anything similar and whether they think my idea is crazy. This is the fun of science. Multiple scientists with different experiences and expertise can collaborate and get to the right answer much faster than a single scientist.
5. Jerzy Gregorek – born in Poland, emigrated to the US in 1986, and subsequently won four World Weightlifting Championships. In 1998 he earned a Masters in Fine Arts in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. His poems and translations have appeared in multiple places, including The American Poetry Review.
I bought a bracelet for $19.95 with the first letters of each word of a sentence: IARFCDP…They are the key to my personal proverb, a line that brings awareness and helps me see through my own emotional storms. It means: I Am Responsible For Calming Down People. Sometimes it helps me to teach what I need to learn myself…
“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” Nothing truly meaningful or lasting has ever been created in a short period of time.
5+1 (bonus quotes, because I’m greedy): Anna Holmes – writer and editor who has worked with The Washington Post, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Creator of website Jezebel which discusses the intersection of gender, race, and culture.
“Follow your curiosity, wherever you can find it.” Embracing a curious mind and always trying to learn more – about others, about yourself, about the world and our place within it – is an important way to express yourself.
5+2: Annie Duke – one of the top poker players in the world. In 2004 she won her first World Series of Poker bracelet. She won the $2 million invitation-only World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions in 2004. Prior to becoming a professional poker player she had a National Science Foundation Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania to study cognitive psychology. She blogs at Annie’s Analysis on the science of smart decision-making.
Seek out dissenting opinions. Always try to find people who disagree with you, who can honestly and productively play devil’s advocate. Challenge yourself to truly listen to people who have differing ideas and opinions than you do…The fact is, when two extreme opinions meet, the truth lies generally somewhere in the middle. Without exposure to the other side, you will naturally drift toward the extremes and away from the truth of the matter. Don’t be afraid of being wrong. Because being wrong is just an opportunity to find more truth…
Stay flexible and open to opportunities as they come your way…Be open to what the world brings your way. Don’t be afraid to change jobs or careers, no matter how much time you have already put into something. There is no urgency to have it all figured out…
If you define failure as merely losing, then you will think failure is just an outcome. And you might try to adjust your play to avoid losing even though your decisions were great (or repeat poor strategies just because you won executing them once). This would be the equivalent of deciding it is wise to run red lights just because you made it through safely a few times…What matters is the decisions I made along the way, and every decision failure is an opportunity to learn and adjust my strategy going forward. By doing this, losing becomes a less emotional experience and more an opportunity to explore and learn.
Okay, signing out. Heading off to the bush for a few days without phone and internet. It will be all nature, books, wine, and quiet.