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‘The most effective way to do it – is to do it’

The most effective way to do it – is to do it.

Amelia Earhart

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‘If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.’

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“If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.”

Jim Rohn

‘There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil’

There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.

Kurt VonnegutThe Sirens Of Titan

Accept advice

A prompt card from Brian Eno’s 1979 Oblique Strategies

It’s one of my theories that when people give you advice, they’re really just talking to themselves in the past. 

Steve Garguilo 

My advice is to be wary of any advice. You can also take this advice and throw it away

What holds attention determines distraction

Even checked distractions will lead you to distraction. What holds attention determines distraction

This very day I have been repeating over and over to myself a verbal jingle whose mawkish silliness was the secret of its haunting power. I loathed yet could not banish it. 

What holds attention determines action.

William James, The Principles of Psychology

Was it a rhyme or a sick joke that got in the thinker’s way? What do you think James was referring to?

Fast forward to modern day distraction

Abraham Lincoln on writing

“Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind, through the eye— is the great invention of the world.”

— Abraham Lincoln

‘To write is to forget. Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.’

To write is to forget. Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life. Music soothes, the visual arts exhilarate, and the performing arts (such as acting and dance) entertain. Literature, however, retreats from life by turning it into a slumber. The other arts make no such retreat — some because they use visible and hence vital formulas, others because they live from human life itself.

This isn’t the case with literature. Literature simulates life. A novel is a story of what never was, and a play is a novel without narration. A poem is the expression of ideas or feelings in a languages that no one uses, because no one talks in verse.

Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

Down to Earth 🌎

Once it passed, they fell back to earth, and were crushed by the “triviality of everydayness.”

Gary Lachman, Beyond the Robot

‘A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.’

“A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”

John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley in Search of America

Thinking aloud in chemical synchronicity

When you can think aloud your own thoughts, you will strip the mind of its own disfluency.

The brain’s pen will be mighter than the sword.

“Protect yourself from your own thoughts.” — Rumi

At which point it’s too late.

‘It takes a real man to tell a lie’

An animal may be ferocious and cunning enough, but it takes a real man to tell a lie.

H.G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau

‘Don’t shy away from discomfort’

book cover Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius

“Don’t shy away from discomfort. Enter it, especially if it’s a potential door to progress. When I picked up those paint supplies as a suddenly jobless thirty-year-old with three young kids and without enough savings to coast, it was a very uncomfortable move. The left side of my brain was screaming at me to go find a job, any job, before I ran out of money. It was screaming at me to stop screwing around with some ridiculous art form at which I had no experience. But my right brain was telling me otherwise. I knew it was right regardless of the logic that told me it was flippant and dangerous. The truth was that I cared deeply about what I was doing and that the greatest danger lay in going down another wrong path and finding myself stuck in another rut at forty.

Erik Wahl, Unthink: Rediscover Your Creative Genius

‘If I don’t try to tell it, it risks not being told’

“What has prompted me to write over the years is the hunch that something needs to be told and that, if I don’t try to tell it, it risks not being told. I picture myself not so much a consequential, professional writer, as a stop-gap man.”

John Berger, Confabulations

‘History cannot be interpreted without the aid of imagination and intuition’

Why Don't We Learn from History? book cover

History cannot be interpreted without the aid of imagination and intuition. The sheer quantity of evidence is so overwhelming that selection is inevitable. Where there is selection there is art.

B. H. Liddell Hart, Why Don’t We Learn from History?

History remains incomplete, minus some themes.