"What did I know of life, I who had lived so carefully? Who had neither won nor lost, but just let life happen tohim? Who had the usual ambitions and settled all too quickly for them not being realised?"
-Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

"We were essentially taking the piss, except when we were serious. He was essentially serious, except when he was taking the piss. It took us a while to work this out."
-Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

"A system is responsible in proportion to the degree that the people who make the decisions bear the consequences."
-Sam Kyle, The Decision Checklist

"Eat to live, and not live to eat."
-Ben Franklin

"Search others for their virtues, thy self for thy vices."
-Ben Franklin

"Most of us see our lives as a series of chores to be completed, not moments to be cherished."
-John Horgan, A Buddhism Critic Goes on a Silent Buddhist Retreat, Scientific American

"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a creative adventure to embark on."
-Netta Wang

"The tricky is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness"
-David Foster Wallace, This is Water

"Recently, someone asked me if I believed in astrology. He seemed somewhat puzzled when I explained that the reason I don't is because I'm a Gemini."
― Raymond M. Smullyan

Hallmark of a good relationship: a good flirt to roast ratio.

We are what we repeatedly do.
- Aristotle

A schooling in suffering teaches you to comfort those who suffer too.
- Virgil (Latin author, the Aenid)

Will gives us the strength to endure, contextualize, and derive meaning from the obstacles we simply cannot overcome.
- Ryan Holiday, The Obstacle Is The Way

Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.
- Caterina Fake

I’ve never felt relationship anxiety... I never think about the future of relationships. When I’m in a relationship, I’m in it to enjoy life, to share my life with someone, to fall in love, to have my heart broken, to feel alive.
- Anna Yelizarova

All cultures have a lot of knowledge -- the bigger influences are contextual and epistemological (i.e. "points of view" and "stance", and "what is valued", etc.). Self-awareness of what we are is the essential step, and it's what real education needs to be about.
- Alan Kay

Discipline equals freedom.
– Jocko Willink

I don’t teach physics; I teach my pupils how to learn physics.
- Charles Chew

There are expectations that if you achieve some given thing, you're going to be happy. But it turns out that's not true... The one thing that has really helped me is a concept that I call "the dispassionate pursuit of passion" in the book, and basically the concept boils down to not tethering your happiness to the achievement of outcomes.
- Raj Raghunathan, "If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?"

Anyone we could marry would, of course, be a little wrong for us. It is wise to be appropriately pessimistic here. Perfection is not on the cards. Unhappiness is a constant.
- Alain de Botton, the School of Life

Love is an involuntary response to virtue
- Stefan Molyneux, founder of Freedomain Radio

"Don't you find it odd," she continued, "that when you're a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you're older, somehow they act offended if you even try."
- Ethan Hawke

Operate from a place of needing nothing. Needing nothing attracts everything.
- Russell Simmons

Talent is practice in disguise.
- Jonathan Harnum, "The Practice of Practice"

There is no such thing as maintenance. If you're not trying to get better, you're getting worse.
- Rex Martin, master tuba player

Give a man a mask and he will show you his true self.
- Oscar Wilde

Years of love have been forgot, in the hatred of a minute
- Edgar Allan Poe

I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
- Invictus by William Ernest Henley, poet

If you're explaining, you're losing.
- Ronald Reagan

It's hard to do a really good job on anything you don't think about in the shower.
- Paul Graham

Most people can learn a lot more than they think they can.
- Elon Musk

Life for busy men is very short.
- Seneca

People in their 20s have no idea how to make friends. Making new groups is how it's done in the real world.
- Amir Nathoo, founder of Outschool

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly."
- Sam Keen, author

A little bit of slope makes up for a lot of y-intercept.
- John Ousterhout, Stanford CS Professor

The best advice I have for getting ideas down on paper is to resist the urge to tell people your ideas. It satisfies your need for an audience and saps your will to write.
- Andy Weir, author

Rules for Happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.
- Immanuel Kant

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.
‐ Antoine De Saint‐Exupery

Remember how far you’ve come, not just how far you have to go. You are not where you want to be, but neither are you where you used to be.
- Rick Warren

Pain, in all its forms, results from unmet expectations.
- /u/SherlockFuckinHolms

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, "What am I doing for others?"
- MLK, Jr.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
- George Bernard Shaw

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them... But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.
- Matthew 6:1-4.

Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.
- Fred Rogers

But the thing that got me through that moment, and any other time that I’ve felt stuck, is to remind myself that it’s about the work. Because if you’re worrying about yourself — if you’re thinking: ‘Am I succeeding? Am I in the right position? Am I being appreciated?’ — then you’re going to end up feeling frustrated and stuck. But if you can keep it about the work, you’ll always have a path. There’s always something to be done.
- Barack Obama

Life — the only one you get — consists of what you pay attention to. There is literally nothing else.
- Dave Foster Wallace, This is Water

The things that are meant to make you feel more connected today often turn out to be insubstantial time sinks – empty, programmatic encouragements to groom and refine your personality while sitting alone at a screen.
- Dave Foster Wallace, This is Water

It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.
- Bruce Lee

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials.
- Lin Yutang

I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.
- Jack London's Credo

When you're setting goals, don't set out to build the biggest, baddest wall there ever was. Just focus on laying one brick perfectly today.
- Will Smith

There’s a habit of mind that the masters have, which is this: they are scanning their social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They are building this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully. Disasters are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.
- Julie Gottman (marital stability psychologist)


Never let a good crisis go to waste.
- Rahm Emanuel

I don't ever give up, I mean, I'd have to be dead or completely incapacitated.
- Elon Musk

On starting a company:
* Happiness at first is high. Then you run into all sorts of issues. And happiness will start to decline. And then you will go through a whole world of hurt. And eventually if you succeed - and most will not - then after a long time you will get back to happiness.
* It has to be a great product or service. Your product or service has to be much better than theirs. You're always going to buy the trusted brand unless there's a big difference.
* Constantly seek criticism. A well thought-out critique of what you're doing is as valuable as gold. You should seek that from everyone you can, but particularly your friends. Usually your friends know what's wrong, but they don't want to tell you because they don't want to hurt you... You should take the approach that you, the entrepreneur, are wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong.
- Elon Musk

Reason from first principles instead of by analogy. Boil things down to fundamental truths, and reason up from there. It takes a lot more mental energy.
- Elon Musk

Being focused on somethign that you're confident will have high value to someone else, and being really rigorous in making that assessment. Natural human tendency is wishful thinking, so a challenge for entrepreneurs is what's the difference between really believing in your ideals and sticking to them, vs. pursuing some unrealistic dream that doens't actually have merit. Can you tell the difference between those two things? You need to be rigorous in your self-analysis.
- Elon Musk

Love - the measure of your life.
- Dave Grohl (I Am A River)

So what's really key, in what keeps SpaceX as a kind of a vibrant company. For those of you who haven't been there to visit it: It's got a really great buzz to it, people are really excited about what they're doing and what they're working on. And I think if you stop innovating, and if you stop working on visionary things, that's when you kind of contract. You probably get really good at doing what you're doing. But I think you become probably a little bit lethargic. It's the new entrants that come and really shake things up. And I think it is important for Elon to continue laying out really audacious goals.
- Gwynne Shotwell

Concentrate every minute on doing what's in front of you with precise and genuine seriousness, tenderly, willingly, with justice. And on freeing yourself from all other distractions. Yes, you can, if you do everything as if it were the last thing you were doing in your life, and stop being aimless, stop letting your emotions override what your mind tells you, stop being hypocritical, self-centered, irritable. You see how few things you have to do to live a satisfying and reverent life? If you can manage this, that's all even the gods can ask of you.
- Marcus Aurelius

Water, barley-meal and crusts of bread are not a cheerful diet, yet it is the highest kind of pleasure to be able to derive pleasure from this sort of food.
- Seneca

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
- Epicurus

Friday afternoons for years - great thoughts only - means that I committed 10% of my time trying to understand the bigger problems in the field, i.e. what was and what was not important... If I really believe the action is over there, why do I march in this direction? I either had to change my goal or change what I did. So I changed something I did and I marched in the direction I thought was important. It's that easy.

Another trait, it took me a while to notice. I noticed the following facts about people who work with the door open or the door closed. I notice that if you have the door to your office closed, you get more work done today and tomorrow, and you are more productive than most. But 10 years later somehow you don't know quite know what problems are worth working on; all the hard work you do is sort of tangential in importance... I can say there is a pretty good correlation between those who work with the doors open and those who ultimately do important things, although people who work with doors closed often work harder. Somehow they seem to work on slightly the wrong thing - not much, but enough that they miss fame.
-Richard Hamming, "You and Your Research"

If you do not work on an important problem, it's unlikely you'll do important work. It's perfectly obvious. Great scientists have thought through, in a careful way, a number of important problems in their field, and they keep an eye on wondering how to attack them. Let me warn you, `important problem' must be phrased carefully. The three outstanding problems in physics, in a certain sense, were never worked on while I was at Bell Labs. By important I mean guaranteed a Nobel Prize and any sum of money you want to mention. We didn't work on (1) time travel, (2) teleportation, and (3) antigravity. They are not important problems because we do not have an attack. It's not the consequence that makes a problem important, it is that you have a reasonable attack. That is what makes a problem important. When I say that most scientists don't work on important problems, I mean it in that sense. The average scientist, so far as I can make out, spends almost all his time working on problems which he believes will not be important and he also doesn't believe that they will lead to important problems.
-Richard Hamming, "You and Your Research"

You have to work on the right problem, at the right time, in the right way.
-Richard Hamming, "You and Your Research"

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
- Maya Angelou

"We are happy when we have family, we are happy when we have friends, and almost all the other things we think make us happy actually are just ways of getting more family and friends."
- Daniel Gilbert

The power of your yes is defined by how often you say no

As external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other.

Are you the person who the person you’re looking for is looking for?

All the world’s wisdom is contained in books.

Just be PROUD of yourself; don’t feel like you have to prove anything to anyone; relax; don’t be afraid of being rejected for who you are because that just means she wasn’t right for you.

It seems that as time goes on, the less inhibited I become, the more open and forthright I become, the less things bother me, and the more people (men and women) seem to gravitate towards me.

For instance, making yourself vulnerable doesn’t just mean being willing to share your fears or insecurities. It can mean putting yourself in a position where you can be rejected, saying a joke that may not be funny, asserting an opinion that may offend others, joining a table of people you don’t know, telling a woman that you like her and want to date her. All of these things require you to stick your neck out on the line emotionally in some way… In this way, vulnerability represents a form of power, a deep and subtle form of power. A man who’s able to make himself vulnerable is saying to the world, "I don’t care what you think of me; this is who I am, and I refuse to be anyone else."

There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living; there is nothing harder to learn."
-Seneca

The best way to flirt is to ask provocative questions. And provocative is anything people aren’t expecting to be asked. It doesn’t have to be sexual. — Ryan Holiday http://thoughtcatalog.com/2013/25-rules-for-living-from-a-semi-successful-26-year-old/

Narration conveniently ignores the day we laid around and watched TV and the week where we were sure we were going to quit but didn’t. It’s just not honest.

The best [way for the teacher to help their student] is to help the student naturally. The teacher should put himself in the student’s place, he should see the student’s case, he should try to understand what is going on in the student’s mind, and ask a question or indicate a step that could have occurred to the student himself.

We accept the love we think we deserve.
― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Pick a career for fundamental reasons - not for instrumental reasons.
- Daniel Pink

Am I living well now, or preparing to live well tomorrow?

Above all, make this your business: learn how to feel joy.
- Seneca, Letters

Allow not sleep to close your wearied eyes until you have reckoned up each daytime deed.
- Epictetus, Discourses

Although you are not yet a Socrates, you should live as someone who at least wants to be a Socrates.
- Epictetus, Enchiridion

Anger and frustration hurt us more than the things we are annoyed about hurt us.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

At daybreak, when reluctant to rise, have this thought ready in your mind: ‘I am getting up to do a human being’s work.'
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Carry out each act as if it were the last of your life, freed from all randomness and passionate deviation from the rule of reason and from pretence and self-love and dissatisfaction with what has been allotted to you.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Does the captain of a ship manage it better by not attending?
- Epictetus, Discourses

Don’t wait for Plato’s Republic! Rather, be content if one tiny thing makes some progress, and reflect on the fact that what results from this tiny thing is no tiny thing at all!
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Every day I plead the case against myself as judge.
- Seneca, On Anger

Every hour focus your mind attentively on the performance of the task in hand, with dignity, human sympathy, benevolence and freedom, and leave aside all other thoughts. You will achieve this, if you perform each action as if it were your last.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Fate permitting.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

For why should I be afraid of any of my mistakes, when I can say: beware of doing that again, and this time I pardon you.
- Seneca, On Anger

From first to last review your acts and then reprove yourself for wretched [or cowardly] acts, but rejoice in those done well.
- Epictetus, Discourses

Happy the man who improves other people not merely when he is in their presence but even when he is in their thoughts.
- Seneca, Letters

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.
- Epictectus, Enchiridion

He who receives a benefit with gratitude repays the first installment on his debt.
- Seneca, On Benefits

Here and now. (Hic et nunc)
- Anonymous, common Roman saying

I am not eternal, but a human being; a part of the whole, as an hour is of the day. Like an hour I must come and, like an hour, pass away.
- Epictetus, Discourses

If you wish to be loved, love.
- Seneca, Letters

In general, therefore, if you want to do something make a habit of it; if you want not to do something, refrain from doing it, and accustom yourself to something else instead.
- Epictetus, Discourses

It is in times of security that the spirit should be preparing itself to deal with difficult times.
- Seneca, Letters

It is my good luck that, although this has happened to me, I can bear it without getting upset, neither crushed by the present nor afraid of the future.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

It is not death that a man should fear. But he should fear never beginning to live.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

It seemed so to him.
- Epictetus, Enchiridion

Keep before your eyes day by day death and exile, and everything that seems catastrophic, but most of all death; and then you will never have any abject thought, nor will you crave anything excessively.
- Epictetus, Enchiridion

Kindness is an irresistible force, so long as it is genuine.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.
- Seneca, On the Shortness of Life

Make a decision to quit thinking of things as insulting, and you anger immediately disappears.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Men have come into being for one another; so either educate them or put up with them.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

No good thing is pleasant to possess, without friends to share it.
- Seneca, Letters

No one can stop you from undertaking action with justice, self discipline, and practical wisdom.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

No tree becomes rooted and sturdy unless many a wind assails it.
- Seneca, On Providence

Seek not for events to happen as you wish but wish events to happen as they do and your life will go smoothly and serenely.
- Epictetus, Enchiridion

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The marks of a proficient are, that he censures no one, praises no one, blames no one, accuses no one, says nothing concerning himself as being anybody, or knowing anything.
- Epictetus, Enchiridion

The thing that matters the most is not what you bear but how you bear it.
- Seneca, On Providence

There is a need for someone as a standard against which our characters can measure themselves. Without a ruler to do it against you will not make the crooked straight.
- Seneca, Letters

There is usually a lot to learn before any sure-footed moral judgments can be made about other people's actions.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be - be one.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

What bad habit have you put right today? Which fault did you take a stand against? In what respect are you better?
- Seneca, On Anger

Whatever has been long anticipated comes as a lighter blow.
- Seneca, Letters

When you rise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive; to breathe, think, to enjoy, to love.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Whenever, as the sun rises, you feel unwilling to get up, have this thought ready to hand: I rise to do the work of a human being.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Where did I go wrong? What did I do? And what duty is left undone?
- Epictetus, Discourses

While fate allows, live happily.
- Seneca, Hercules Furens

Will your fate.
- Epictetus, Enchiridion

Yes, indeed, I shall use the old road, but if I find a shorter and easier one I shall open it up. The men who pioneered the old routes are leaders, not our masters. Truth lies open to every one. There has yet to be a monopoly of truth. And there is plenty of it left for future generations too.
- Seneca, Letters

You see how few are the things that a person needs to master if he is to live a tranquil and divine life.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

I endured incredible trials because I could not endure myself.
- Seneca, Letters

Let us take in with our mind the worst thing that can possibly happen, if we don’t want to be mastered by it.
- Seneca, Letters

If someone is able to convince me and show me that what I do or think is not right, I will gladly change; for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever injured. But those who abide in their error and ignorance are injured.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

No one can live happily who has regard to himself alone and transforms everything into a question of his own utility; you must live for your neighbour, if you would live for yourself.
- Seneca, Letters

No one is a laughing-stock who laughs first at himself.
- Seneca, On Firmness

Being attached to many things, we are weighed down and dragged along with them.
- Epictectus, Discourses

What should we have ready at hand in a situation like this? The knowledge of what is mine and what is not mine, what I can and cannot do.
- Epictectus, Discourses

Education has no goal more important than bringing our preconception of what is reasonable and unreasonable in alignment with nature.
- Epictectus, Discourses

Consider at what price you sell your integrity; but please, for God’s sake, don’t sell it cheap.
- Epictectus, Discourses

What is the goal of virtue, after all, except a life that flows smoothly?
- Epictectus, Discourses

If from the moment they get up in the morning they adhere to their ideals, eating and bathing like a person of integrity, putting their principles into practice in every situation they face – the way a runner does when he applies the principles of running, or a singer those of musicianship – that is where you will see true progress embodied, and find someone who has not wasted their time making the journey here from home.
- Epictectus, Discourses

Don’t confuse qualities that are found in the same writer only incidentally. If Plato had been strong and handsome, should I also try to become strong and handsome, as if this were essential to philosophy, since there was one particular philosopher who combined philosophy with good looks?
- Epictectus, Discourses

Ask me what the real good in man’s case is, and I can only say that it is the right kind of moral character.
- Epictectus, Discourses

Doctors keep their scalpels and other instruments handy, for emergencies. Keep your philosophy ready too — ready to understand heaven and earth.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

However much you possess there's someone else who has more, and you'll be fancying yourself to be short of things you need to the exact extent to which you lag behind him.
- Seneca, Letters

Associate with people who are likely to improve you. Welcome those who are capable of improving. The process is a mutual one: men learn as they teach.
- Seneca, Letters

Let us therefore go all out to make the most of friends, since no one can tell how long we shall have the opportunity.
- Seneca, Letters



h/t to Ryan Holiday.