Posts tagged with #quote

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

We have a paradox about progress: many people complain about how stuck in the past their organizations are, yet point to the lack of adoption of remote work as an indicator of it’s uselessnesses, rather than a reflection of their organization’s fearful grip on the status quo.

— Scott Berkun in his article Why Isn’t Remote Work More Popular?

Part of my testiness is that I feel I make 50 compromises a day. When people come to me and say, ‘Why can’t you compromise?’ I’m like: ‘What are you talking about? The fact that we’re having this conversation means that we’ve compromised.’

— David Fincher on dealing with movie executives in an interview with NY Times

Previously: “I guarantee I’m going to make a good movie out of this…”

  • Paul: Between friends…
  • C.J.: Yeah.
  • Paul: Is the water over your head?
  • C.J.: No. The water’s exactly at my head.

— From an episode of The West Wing

Errands are so effective at killing great projects that a lot of people use them for that purpose. Someone who has decided to write a novel, for example, will suddenly find that the house needs cleaning. People who fail to write novels don’t do it by sitting in front of a blank page for days without writing anything. They do it by feeding the cat, going out to buy something they need for their apartment, meeting a friend for coffee, checking email. “I don’t have time to work,” they say. And they don’t; they’ve made sure of that.

— Paul Graham in his essay, Procrastination

What’s urgent are emails, texts, tweets, calls, and news.

What’s important is spending a thousand hours to learn a new skill that will really help you in your life or work. What’s important is giving your full undistracted attention to the important people in your life. What’s important is taking time to get exercise, or to collect and share what you’ve learned.

But none of these things will ever be urgent.

So you have to ignore the tempting cries of the urgent, and deliberately choose what you know is important.

— Derek Sivers on the meaning of life

Making films is all about — as soon as you’re finished — continually regretting what you’ve done. When we look at films we’ve made, all we can see are the flaws; we can’t even watch them in a normal way. I never feel like watching my own films again. So unless I start working on a new one, I’ll never be free from the curse of the last one.

— Hayao Miyazaki in his book Turning Point: 1997–2008

I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit. I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.

— Ernest Hemingway in a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald

Previously: “Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time…”

If you didn’t get hugged enough as a kid, you won’t find what you’re looking for from me. That’s not my gig and I’m not attuned to it. On Zodiac I had a conversation with Jake, and I said, “I guarantee I’m going to make a good movie out of this. You can decide if you want to be the weakest thing in it, or you can decide if you want to show up.”

— David Fincher talking about how he directs actors in an interview with Playboy

Previously: “My idea of professionalism…”

It isn’t that they can’t see the solution. It is that they can’t see the problem.

— G. K. Chesterton

  • Mallory: Don’t play dumb with me.
  • Sam: No, honestly, I am dumb. Most of the time, I’m playing smart.

— From an episode of The West Wing

It’s not difficult, as a young writer, to feel anxious, moody, and paranoid. Lawyers, dentists, and car salesmen do not directly compete with all of the people who have ever practiced law, dentistry, and car salesmanship. But anyone who decides to write joins a bruising free-for-all in which a dwindling number of attention spans are being fought over by the many dead writers whose books are still brilliant, and the multitude of the living who aspire to achieve that status.

— Ben Tarnoff (Mark Twain, Writing Coach and Role Model)

[...] balanced people don’t usually change the world. If you want to be balanced, go and work at the bank and live for happy hour.

— Chris Guillebeau in an an interview with 99U

I’m most superstitious about hubris. I am terrified about having things taken away from me because I finally relax. When I wrote the pilot of Mad Men, I was saying, I’m already successful, why am I not happy? Now it’s become, You didn’t even know what success was. What if your dreams came true?

—Matthew Weiner, creator of Mad Men in an interview with The Paris Review

If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being “discovered” by some big shot, your plan will probably fail. Nobody suddenly discovers anything. Things are made slowly and in pain.

— Hugh MacLeod in an article that inspired his book, Ignore Everybody