What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#105)

Quote I enjoyed:

The most treasured gifts in the world are kind words spontaneously tendered.

Jim Collins

Book excerpt that I was thinking about:

“To the European, it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to “be happy.” But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to “be happy.” Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically.” (Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning)

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#104)

A quote from the week:

A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.

John Le Carré

Did John live through lockdown? 😉

Make your own art:

“Recognising that people’s reactions don’t belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you’ve created, terrific. If people ignore what you’ve created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you’ve created, don’t sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest – as politely as you possibly can – that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.”

Elizabeth Gilbert

Book excerpt I enjoyed:

“Martin Luther King was asked how, as a pacifist, he could be an admirer of Air Force General Daniel “Chappie” James, then the nation’s highest-ranking black officer. Dr. King replied, “I judge people by their own principles—not by my own.”” (Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People)

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#103)

What I’m grateful for this week:

The sunsets in the winter have been pretty spectacular.

Another thing I’m grateful for:

The kids panting projects we did together last week.

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#102)

Book excerpt I enjoyed:

“The writer is an infantryman. He knows that progress is measured in yards of dirt extracted from the enemy one day, one hour, one minute at a time and paid for in blood. The artist wears combat boots. He looks in the mirror and sees GI Joe.” (Steven Pressfield, The War of Art)

Keep doing the work.

How to write an essay well:

I’m still digging into this but am finding it a great resource to reference. There is so much here that I don’t know or pay attention to, or know instinctively but don’t practice diligently.

The goal of your first draft isn’t to say things well. Save that for rewriting. Your first draft is for generating ideas:

-Brainstorm talking points.
-Connect the dots between those points to learn what you’re really trying to say.

This works best when you’re exploring ideas that most interest you. The more self-indulgent you are, the better your article.

What I learned last week

What I learned last week (#101)

Quote I was thinking about:

It is not a bad thing in a tale that you understand only half of it.

Isak Dinesen

Book excerpt that made me think:

“So it came as a surprise relatively late in life, in fact only in the past year, that if you want to change the world, you have to enroll others in your plans and vision. Not only that, but the immense pleasures and satisfactions that can be derived from focusing on others, and the surprising discovery that the more I gave to others—which I’d always done—the more the universe gave me back in return.” (Adam Robinson in Tribe of Mentors)