I wanted to go on offense. I wanted to have the time to focus, to learn the things I wanted to learn, to build what I wanted to build, and to really invest in relationships that I wanted to grow, rather than just doing a day of coffee after coffee after coffee.
Be so good they can’t ignore you.
Smart people should make things.
The standard pace is for chumps.
What is the ultimate quantification of success? For me, it’s not how much time you spend doing what you love. It’s how little time you spend doing what you hate.
There needs to be one decisive reason, and then the worthiness of the trip needs to be measured against that one reason.
So if you’re planning to do something with your life, if you have a 10-year-plan of how to get there, you should ask: Why can’t you do this in 6 months?
If you can’t come up with 10 ideas, come up with 20 ideas… You are putting too much pressure on yourself.
But if you want something extraordinary, you have two paths: 1) Become the best at one specific thing. 2) Become very good (top 25%) at two or more things.
What interesting thing are you working on? Why is that interesting to you? What’s surprising about that? Is anybody else thinking about this?
Don’t force it.
Law 2: When given a choice… take both.
Law 3: Multiple projects lead to multiple successes.
Law 6: When forced to compromise, ask for more.
Law 7: If you can’t win, change the rules.
Law 8: If you can’t change the rules, then ignore them.
Law 11: “No” simply means begin again at one level higher.
Law 13: When in doubt: THINK.
Law 16: The faster you move, the slower time passes, the longer you live.
Any time I’m telling myself, “But I’m making so much money,” that’s a warning sign that I’m doing the wrong thing.
The season writing process for The Office began with the Blue Sky Period, which was B.J.’s favorite part of every year.
For 2 to 4 weeks, the writers’ room banter was each person asking, “What if…?” over and over again. Crazy scenarios were encouraged, not penalized.
So take as long as you want if you’re talented. You’ll get their attention again if you have a reason to.
In the midst of overwhelm, is life not showing me exactly what I should subtract?
He is only earnest to secure the kernels of time, and does not exaggerate the value of the husk.
She travels with a weighted jump rope.
The second you start doing it for an audience, you’ve lost the long game because creating something that is rewarding and sustainable over the long run requires, most of all, keeping yourself excited about it.
You never want to solve a research problem with language.
What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.
On the best ordinary days of my life, I write in the morning, go for a long bike ride and run errands in the afternoon, and see friends, read, or watch a movie in the evening. The very best days of my life are given over to uninterrupted debauchery, but these are, alas, undependable and increasingly difficult to arrange. This, it seems to me, is a sane and pleasant pace for a day. And if you call me up and ask whether I won’t maybe blow off work and check out the new American Wing at the Met or ogle girls in Central Park or just drink chilled pink minty cocktails all day long, I will say, “What time?”
Don’t panic. Let the silence do the work.
Don’t try to describe things.
Drop into something.
In any situation in life, you only have three options. You always have three options. You can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it. What is not a good option is to sit around wishing you would change it but not changing it, wishing you would leave it but not leaving it, and not accepting it.
Choose your five chimps carefully.
Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.
If you can’t see yourself working with someone for life, don’t work with them for a day.
All the real benefits in life come from compound interest.
Warren Buffett spends a year deciding and a day acting.
My one repeated learning in life: “There are no adults.” Everyone’s making it up as they go along. Figure it out yourself, and do it.
If you’re studying my game, you’re entering my game.
How you do anything is how you do everything.
Be clear that your ladder is leaning against the right building.
What if I did the opposite for 48 hours?
What’s the least crowded channel?
Do I need to make it back the way I lost it?
What if I could only subtract to solve problems?
Am I hunting antelope or field mice?
What would this look like if it were easy?
Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.
No hurry, no pause.
Everything was one take, even if it didn’t work.
There were three reasons why we survived: We had no money, we had no technology, and we had no plan.
There was too much competition over there. If everyone’s trying to get through that one little door, you’re in the wrong place.
Remember that the things they fire you for when you are young are the same things that they give lifetime achievement awards for when you’re old.
You get in your own way–thinking that you needed to know something, a trick or a process, before it would flow. If you got out of the way, it would just flow.
“I did it once, but I don’t know if I can do it again.” It was never you. The best you can do is just to get out of the way so it comes through.
“Oh, I don’t know if I’m doing it right. These other guys seem to know.” No, they don’t know. None of them know. That’s the beauty of it. You don’t have to know.
When people say: “You do so many things. You’re a musician, you’re a painter, you’re a composer, you’re a cinematographer, you’re the editor. You do so many different things.” I go, “No, I only do one thing. I live a creative life.”
Oh, mission got cancelled? Good. We can focus on another one.
Didn’t get the new high-speed gear we wanted? Good. We can keep it simple.
Didn’t get promoted? Good. More time to get better.
Didn’t get funded? Good. We own more of the company.
Didn’t get the job you wanted? Good. Go out, gain more experience, and build a better résumé.
Got injured? Good. Needed a break from training.
Got tapped out? Good. It’s better to tap out in training than to tap out on the street.
Got beat? Good. We learned.
Unexpected problems? Good. We have the opportunity to figure out a solution.