25 almost completely (in my opinion) empty quotes from Self Habit. What I took away from this post and put on my Wall of Wisdom was "Question all quotes", i.e. always think hard about what a quote really means and implies, what its consequences would be. It is all too easy to be enchanted by the elegant wording or by the disguised or camouflaged charlatan* being quoted.
Here is, however, a thought provoking interview with Ludvig Sunström, posted at the same Self Habit (which also is a blog worth reading, especially if your particular aim is to become productive). Ludvig Sunström himself also runs an excellent self improvement/development blog called Start Gaining Momentum.
Unlike me, Mr Sunström is actually good at writing, so write he does... Most of his blog posts are very long, albeit still easy to read if you have the time. I don't agree with everything he says but any young person, striving to get ahead in this world, could do worse than heed Ludvig's advice.
Compared to me (lazy, ad-hoc, chaotic), Ludvig comes through as a perfectly efficient automáta. Here are a few examples where we are almost exact opposites:
- He describes himself as "focused" (I'm everything but; lazy and ad-hoc)
- His favourite quote is something about how much effort people are prepared to exercise to avoid having to think (I don't have a favourite quote**)
- He starts his days going through the most urgent stuff on his to-do list (I just do important stuff when I feel like it)
- He describes his "scientific" and elaborate decision process, including one with listing pros and cons. (I make decisions intuitively, trusting my subconscious knows way more than I do, both about the problem at hand and my deepest preferences)
- He thinks Napoleon Bonaparte would give good advice (I know of no historic person whose advice I would take***)
On the other hand, we share these similarities:
- He goes to the gym (However, he does it to de-stress. I don't really know why I go)
In addition, I'm inspired by his upcoming project of compiling rules of thumb from a number of experts. That goes hand in hand with my 20 skills in a year project, or 1/50 rule of efficiency (1% effort for 50% of the results)
*camouflaged charlatan - anybody successful in one area, behaving as if an expert in another area. E.g., a football coach giving stock market advice, or a hedge fund manager winning an Hedge Fund of The Decade award (yes, me), professing to be an expert on pumping iron or philosophy ;)
**quotes: Sometimes even I stumble upon quotes that inspire me. I wouldn't call them favourites, and I'm not sure they will stand the test of time, but here are a few I like right now.
When you come to a fork in the road, take it - Yogi berra
May you live in interesting times - ancient curse (however, not Chinese, it seems)
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading - Lao-Tzu
Know yourself - Delphic maxim (possibly by Chilon, Thales, Phemonoe or Socrates or 10 others)
Don't be a hater
***advice: I had never thought about whose advice I would take, but the interview made me think about a couple of candidates: