Some ‘interesting’ quotes from the books I read

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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More than anything else, men and women seek happiness. - Aristotle

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Don’t aim at success - the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue...as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself - Viktor Frankl, Australian Psychologist.

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No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible, until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought - J. S. Mill

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The self represents the hierarchy of goals that we have built up, bit by bit, over the years - MC

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There are two main strategies we can adopt to improve the quality of life. The first is to try making external conditions match our goals. The second is to change how we experience external conditions to make them fit our goals better – MC

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Every person, no matter how unfit he or she is, can rise a little higher, go a little faster, and grow to be a little stronger. The joy of surpassing the limits of the body is open to all – MC

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Wonder – which is the seed of knowledge – is the reflection of the purest form of pleasure – Sir Francis Bacon

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Life without memory is no life at all. ...our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing – Bunuel

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Cheerfulness or Confidence, is a mind devoid of fear, the highest good. – Democritus

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Great thinkers have always been motivated by the enjoyment of thinking rather than by the material rewards that could be gained by it. – MC

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“Il lavoro nobilita l’uomo, e lo rende simile alle bestie” or, “work gives man nobility, and turns him into an animal”. – Old Italian saying

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The future will belong to not only to the educated man, but to the man who is educated to use his leisure wisely – C. K. Brightbill

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Whosoever is delighted in solitude, is either a wild beast or a god – Sir Francis Bacon

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To be completely free one must become a slave to a set of laws. In other words, accepting limitations is liberating – Cicero

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The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship – Sir Francis Bacon

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For without friends no one would chose to live, though he had all other goods – Aristotle

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The meaning of life is meaning: whatever it is, wherever it comes from, a unified purpose is what gives meaning to life – MC

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Let my people go surfing by Yvon Chouinard

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If you just ask people for help - if you just admit that you don’t know something - they will fall all over themselves trying to help!

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If you want to understand the entrepreneur, study the juvenile delinquent. The delinquent is saying with his actions, “this sucks. I’m going to do my own thing”. - YC

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Management By Absence [MBA]

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A grass roots effort could make a difference, and degraded habitat could, with effort, be restored - Mark Capelli #conservation

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Never exceed your limits. You push the envelope, and you live for those moments when you’re right on the edge, but you don’t go over. You have to be true to yourself; you have to know your strengths and limitations and live within your means. - YC

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If you focus on the process of climbing, you’ll end up on the summit. –YC

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Simplify, simplify – H D Thoreau

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There are two types of creativity: the creativity of making zero to one, and the creativity of making one to 1000. – Kazuhiko Nishi (the ‘steve jobs’ of Japan)

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If everyone thinks you have a good idea, you’re too late. – Paul Hawken

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You identify the goal and then forget about it and concentrate on the process. – Zen

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A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.  – Francois Auguste Rene Chateaubriand

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A gate keeper may be the most important person in the company – Doug Tompkins

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He not busy being born is busy dying – Bob Dylan

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Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or a politician – Miklos S Dora

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The cure for depression is Action – YC

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We do know that nature has already been disrupted, on a grand scale world-wide, in the form of global warming and climate change. However ingeniously adaptive and self-healing nature may be, human industry, especially during the past century, wreaks change far more quickly than nature can deal with it. Where we tip the balance, we yield desert, and at some point we may tip the balance plant-wide. At that point all mitigating human effort becomes, in keyne’s memorable phrase, “like pushing on a string.” - YC

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Wilderness: Human beings are not paramount, Earth is not for Homo sapiens alone, human life is but one life form on the planet and has no right to take exclusive possession. Yes, wilderness for its own sake, without any need to justify it for human benefit. Wilderness for wilderness. For bears and whales and titmice and rattlesnakes and stink bugs. And...wilderness for human beings...Because it is home. - Dave Foreman, Confessions of an Eco-Warrior

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I don’t really believe that humans are evil; it’s just that we are not very intelligent animals. No animal is so stupid and greedy as to foul its own nest - except humans. - YC

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Uncurious people do not lead examined lives; they believe in blind faith, and the most frightening thing about blind faith is that it in turn leads to an inability, even an unwillingness, to accept facts. -YC

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We are the people we have been waiting for. - Navajo Medicine Man

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The thought is, I’m not the problem; therefore, I’m not the solution. - YC (on Americans being ignorant on the environment)

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Focus on the causes, not the symptoms - YC

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There’s no business to be done on a dead planet - David Brower

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If you want to die the richest man, then just stay sharp. Keep investing, Don’t spend anything. Don’t eat any of the capital. Don’t have a good time. Don’t get to know yourself. Don’t give anything away. Keep it all. Die as rich as you can. But you know what? I heard an expression that puts it well: There’s no pocket on that last shirt. - Susie Tompkins Buell

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Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality. - John F. Kennedy

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If you want to change government, you have to aim at changing corporations, and if you want to change corporations, you first have to change the consumers. Whoa, wait a minute! The consumer? That’s me. You mean I’m the one who has to change. - Zen

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Only those businesses operating with a sense of urgency, dancing on the fringe, constantly evolving, open to diversity and new ways of doing things, are going to be here one hundred years from now. - YC

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In pleasant peace and security how suddenly the soul in a man begins to die - Robinson Jeffers

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Looking for somewhere to start? Go plant a tree. Only an optimist would do that. -Amy Kumler

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Fortune at the bottom of the pyramid by C K Prahalad

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If we stop thinking of the poor as victims or as a burden and start recognizing them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs and value-conscious consumers, a whole new world of opportunity will open up - CKP

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It is possible to “do well by doing good”. - CKP

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Games Indians Play by V Raghunathan

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A glorious past can only be a consolation for a sorry present - VR

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Game theory is nothing but the economist’s term for what psychologists call the theory of social situations. - VR

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Poke the Box by Seth Godin

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The job isn’t to catch up to the status quo; the job is to invent the status quo. - SG

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The simple thing that separates successful individuals from those who languish is the very thing that separates exciting and growing organizations from those that stagnate and die. - SG

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If I do this, that happens! - SG

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Soon is not as good as now! - SG

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Art is hard. Selling is hard. Writing is hard. Making a difference is hard. - SG

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Its okay. Let your ego push you to be the initiator. -SG

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Formula: When the cost of poking the box is less than the cost of doing nothing, then you should poke! - SG

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We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them! - SG

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I don’t know what’s the matter with people: they don’t learn by understanding, they learn by some other way - by rote or something. Their knowledge is so fragile! - Richard Feynman

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Do or do not, there is no try. Yes, there is a try. Try is the opposite of hiding. - SG

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Society isn’t kind to those who don’t fit in. - SG

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You can’t snooze your way to greatness. You can’t optimize your way to surprising growth. You can’t organize your way into blamelessness. - SG

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Keep starting until you finish - SG

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There is no ‘just’ in ‘just do it’ - SG

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If you can’t fail, it doesn’t count - SG

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If you’re not making the impact you are capable of, perhaps it’s time to think harder about how you use the buzzer. - SG

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We’re trained to fit in, not stand out, and the easiest way in the world to fit in is to never initiate. - SG

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There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth. Not going all the way, and not starting - Siddhartha Gautama.

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The Failing Logic of Money by Duane Mullin

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Failure is an opportunity to begin again more intellegently - Henry Ford

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Once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption. - Thomas Jefferson

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A dictatorship would be a heck of a lot easier, there’s no doubt about it. - G.W Bush

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Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws. - Mayer Amschel Rothschild, European Central Banker (1744-1812)

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The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life. - John F Kennedy

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A house divided against itself cannot stand. - Abraham Lincoln

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At least I don’t have to deal with the robots union. - Henry Ford

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Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those that are dumber. - Plato

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As long as there is plenty, poverty is evil. - Robert F Kennedy

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To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. - Nelson Mandela

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Almost always the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. - Dr Martin Luther King Jr

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No man is good enough to govern another an without others consent - Abraham Lincoln

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New ideas pass through three periods: 1) It can’t be done. 2) It probably can be done, but it’s not worth doing. 3) I knew it was a good idea all along. - Arthur C Clark

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Every civilization that has ever existed has ultimately collapsed - Henry Kissenger

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The following poem was written by Martin Niemoller (1892-1984) to describe the impact of apathy during the troubled years of 20th century Germany:

When the Nazis came for the communists,

I remained silent;

I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,

I remained silent;

I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,

I did not speak out;

I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the jews,

I remained silent;

I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,

There was no one left to speak out.

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Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. - Barack Obama

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He who controls television controls the masses and he who controls the masses controls the nation - Manuel Valenzuela

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What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy? - Mahatma Gandhi