1. Did you know that for pretty much the entire history of the human species, the average life span was less than thirty years? You could count on ten years or so of real adulthood, right? There was no planning for retirement, There was no planning for a career. There was no planning. No time for plannning. No time for a future. But then the life spans started getting longer, and people started having more and more future. And now life has become the future. Every moment of your life is lived for the future--you go to high school so you can go to college so you can get a good job so you can get a nice house so you can afford to send your kids to college so they can get a good job so they can get a nice house so they can afford to send their kids to college.
- John Green
2. Choose a life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers... Choose DSY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit crushing game shows, stucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away in the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself, choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?
- Irvine Welsh
3. I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
- Douglas Adams
4. I've learned that making a 'living' is not the same thing as 'making a life'.
- Maya Angelou
5. Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career
it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you
to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
- Max Ehrmann, Desiderata of Happiness
6. I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
- Michael Jordan
7. Mr. Franz, I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one. You don’t need to worry about me; I have a college education. I’m not destitute. I'm living like this by choice.
- Jon Krakauer
8. I shall die here. Every inch of me shall perish. Every inch, but one. An Inch, it is small and it is fragile, but it is the only thing the world worth having. We must never lose it or give it away. We must never let them take it from us. I hope that whoever you are, you escape this place. I hope that the world turns and that things get better. But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you. -Valerie
- Alan Moore
9. We start off with high hopes, then we bottle it. We realise that we’re all going to die, without really finding out the big answers. We develop all those long-winded ideas which just interpret the reality of our lives in different ways, without really extending our body of worthwhile knowledge, about the big things, the real things. Basically, we live a short disappointing life; and then we die. We fill up our lives with shite, things like careers and relationships to delude ourselves that it isn’t all totally pointless.
- Irvine Welsh
10. Of course, it is very important to be sober when you take an exam. Many worthwhile careers in the street-cleansing, fruit-picking and subway-guitar-playing industries have been founded on a lack of understanding of this simple fact.
- Terry Pratchett
11. Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail, frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return, or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.
- Charles Warnke
12. How can it be a large career to tell other people's children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one's own children about the universe?
How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No. A woman's function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness.
- G.K. Chesterton
13. When they asked me what I wanted to be I said I didn't know.
- Sylvia Plath
14. We often marvel at how introverted, geeky, kid 'blossom' into secure and happy adults. We liken it to a metamorphosis. However, maybe it's not the children who change but their environments. As adults they get to select the careers, spouses, and social circles that suit them. They don't have to live in whatever culture they'er plunked into.
- Susan Cain
15. Career is different. Career is the stringing together of opportunities and jobs. Mix in public opinion and past regrets. Add a dash of future panic and a whole lot of financial uncertainty. Career is something that fools you into thinking you are in control and then takes pleasure in reminding you that you aren’t. Career is the thing that will not fill you up and never make you truly whole. Depending on your career is like eating cake for breakfast and wondering why you start crying an hour later.
- Amy Poehler
16. Doing what you love isn't a priviledge; it's an obligation.
- Barbara Sher
17. No, scratch the word career. Careers are for people who wish to advance. I only want to survive, draw a paycheck.
- Emily Giffin
18. We’ve bought into the idea that education is about training and success, defined monetarily, rather than learning to think critically and to challenge. We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers. A culture that does not grasp the vital interplay between morality and power, which mistakes management techniques for wisdom, which fails to understand that the measure of a civilization is its compassion, not its speed or ability to consume, condemns itself to death.
- Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
19. Babies need not to be taught a trade, but to be introduced to a world.
- GK Chesterton
20. The source to low self-esteem is the lack of control you feel you have in your life. If you spend your life competing with others, trying to make right the wrongs done to you, or waste your time trying to look right, you will never achieve contentment and emotional balance. People you encounter in life can’t be controlled by you. You only have control of yourself. Build your life around a relationship with a higher power and achieving what you’re passionate about. When you let go of what you can’t control, true peace can then enter your life. This is the path to achieving emotional balance.
- Shannon L. Alder
21. You should not confuse your career with your life.
- Dave Barry
22. Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career.
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
23. How little our careers express what lies in us, and yet how much time they take up. It's sad, really.
- Philip Larkin, Philip Larkin: Letters to Monica
24. Throughout my academic career, I'd given some pretty good talks. But being considered the best speaker in the computer science department is like being known as the tallest of the Seven Dwarfs.
- Randy Pausch
25. That's what so many people didn't understand about life. The real world is the one within the walls of homes; the outside world, of careers and politics and money and fame, that was the fake world, where nothing lasted, and things were real only to the extent they harmed or helped people inside their homes.
- Orson Scott Card
26. We’re so wrapped up with egotistical things, career, family, having enough money, meeting the mortgage, getting a new car, fixing the radiator when it breaks—we’re involved in trillions of little acts just to keep going. So we don’t get into the habit of standing back and looking at our lives and saying, Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing?
You will not remember much from school.
School is designed to teach you how to respond and listen to authority figures in the event of an emergency. Like if there's a bomb in a mall or a fire in an office. It can, apparently, take you more than a decade to learn this. These are not the best days of your life. They are still ahead of you. You will fall in love and have your heart broken in many different, new and interesting ways in college or university (if you go) and you will actually learn things, as at this point, people will believe you have a good chance of obeying authority and surviving, in the event of an emergency. If, in your chosen career path, there are award shows that give out more than ten awards in one night or you have to pay someone to actually take the award home to put on your mantlepiece, then those awards are more than likely designed to make young people in their 20's work very late, for free, for other people. Those people will do their best to convince you that they have value. They don't. Only the things you do have real, lasting value, not the things you get for the things you do. You will, at some point, realise that no trophy loves you as much as you love it, that it cannot pay your bills (even if it increases your salary slightly) and that it won't hold your hand tightly as you say your last words on your deathbed. Only people who love you can do that. If you make art to feel better, make sure it eventually makes you feel better. If it doesn't, stop making it. You will love someone differently, as time passes. If you always expect to feel the same kind of love you felt when you first met someone, you will always be looking for new people to love. Love doesn't fade. It just changes as it grows. It would be boring if it didn't. There is no truly right way of writing, painting, being or thinking, only things which have happened before. People who tell you differently are assholes, petrified of change, who should be violently ignored. No philosophy, mantra or piece of advice will hold true for every conceivable situation. The early bird catches the worm does not apply to minefields. Perfection only exists in poetry and movies, everyone fights occasionally and no sane person is ever completely sure of anything. Nothing is wrong with any of this. Wisdom does not come from age, wisdom comes from doing things. Be very, very careful of people who call themselves wise, artists, poets or gurus. If you eat well, exercise often and drink enough water, you have a good chance of living a long and happy life. The only time you can really be happy, is right now. There is no other moment that exists that is more important than this one. Do not sacrifice this moment in the hopes of a better one. It is easy to remember all these things when they are being said, it is much harder to remember them when you are stuck in traffic or lying in bed worrying about the next day. If you want to move people, simply tell them the truth. Today, it is rarer than it's ever been.
(People will write things like this on posters (some of the words will be bigger than others) or speak them softly over music as art (pause for effect). The reason this happens is because as a society, we need to self-medicate against apathy and the slow, gradual death that can happen to anyone, should they confuse life with actually living.)
27. Early in my career...I had to choose between an honest arrogance and a hypercritical humility... I deliberately choose an honest arrogance, and I've never been sorry.
- Frank Lloyd Wright
28. I'm either going to be a writer or a bum.
- Carl Sandburg
29. Don’t worry, for now, about how you’ll make money or a career off it. Forget about being an expert or a professional, and wear your amateurism (your heart, your love) on your sleeve. Share what you love, and the people who love the same things will find you.
- Austin Kleon
30. It’s very rarely a good career move to have a conscience.
- Anthony Bourdain
31. What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? A beast, no more
32. Only three routes of upward mobility were available to socially ambitious upstarts such as Columbus: war, the Church, and the sea. Columbus probably contemplated all three: he wanted a clerical career for one of his brothers, and fancied himself as a captain of cavaliers and conquests. But seafaring was a natural choice, especially for a boy from a maritime community as single-minded as that of Genoa. Opportunities for employment and profit abounded.
- Felipe Fernández-Armesto
33. For almost a generation, psychologists around the world have been engaged in a spirited debate over a question that most of us would consider to have been settled years ago. The question is this: is there such a thing as innate talent? The obvious answer is yes. Not every hockey player born in January ends up playing at the professional level. Only some do – the innately talented ones. Achievement is talent plus preparation. The problem with this view is that the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger role preparation seems to play.
- Malcolm Gladwell
34. No one owes you a great career, it argues; you need to earn it—and the process won’t be easy.
- Cal Newport
35. Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire.
- Johnny Carson
36. I became a student of my own depressed experience, trying to unthread its causes. What was the root of all this despair? Was it psychological? (Was it Mom and Dad's fault?( Was it just temporal, a 'bad time' in my life? (When the divorce ends will the depression end with it?) Was it genetic? (Melancholy, called by many names, has run through my family for generations, along with its sad bride, Alcoholism.) Was it cultural? (Is this just the fallout of postfeminist American career girl trying to find balance in an increasingly stressful alienting urban world?) Was it astrological? (Am I so sad because I'm a thin-skinned Cancer whose major signs are all ruled by unstable Gemini?) Was it artistic? (Don't creative people always suffer from depression because we're so supersensitive and special?) Was it evolutionary? (Do I carry in me the residual panic that comes after millennia of my species' attempting to survive a brutal world?) Was it karmic? (Are all these spasms of grief just the consequences of bad behavior in previous lifetimes, the last obstacles before liberation?) Was it hormonal? Dietary? Philosophical? Seasonal? Environmental? Was I tapping into a universal yearning for God? Did I have a chemical imbalance? Or did I just need to get laid?
- Elizabeth Gilbert
37. So who the hell, exactly, are these guys, the boys and girls in the trenches? You might get the impression from the specifics of my less than stellar career that all line cooks are wacked-out moral degenerates, dope fiends, refugees, a thuggish assortment of drunks, sneak thieves, sluts and psychopaths. You wouldn't be too far off base. The business, as respected three-star chef Scott Bryan explains it, attracts 'fringe elements', people for whom something in their lives has gone terribly wrong. Maybe they didn't make it through high school, maybe they're running away from something-be it an ex-wife, a rotten family history, trouble with the law, a squalid Third World backwater with no opportunity for advancement. Or maybe, like me, they just like it here.
- Anthony Bourdain
38. Most of these students are so conditioned to success that they become afraid to take risks. They have been taught from a young age by zealous parents, schools, and institutional authorities what constitutes failure and success. They are socialized to obey. They obsess over grades and seek to please professors, even if what professors teach is fatuous. The point is to get ahead, and getting ahead means deference to authority. Challenging authority is never a career advancer.
- Chris Hedges
39. You do not become a ''dissident'' just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society.
- Václav Havel
40. When does a job feel meaningful? Whenever it allows us to generate delight or reduce suffering in others. Though we are often taught to think of ourselves as inherently selfish, the longing to act meaningfully in our work seems just as stubborn a part of our make-up as our appetite for status or money. It is because we are meaning-focused animals rather than simply materialistic ones that we can reasonably contemplate surrendering security for a career helping to bring drinking water to rural Malawi or might quit a job in consumer goods for one in cardiac nursing, aware that when it comes to improving the human condition a well-controlled defibrillator has the edge over even the finest biscuit.
But we should be wary of restricting the idea of meaningful work too tightly, of focusing only on the doctors, the nuns of Kolkata or the Old Masters. There can be less exalted ways to contribute to the furtherance of the collective good....
....An endeavor endowed with meaning may appear meaningful only when it proceeds briskly in the hands of a restricted number of actors and therefore where particular workers can make an imaginative connection between what they have done with their working days and their impact upon others.
- Alain de Botton
41. There are now three million researchers in America. It’s no longer a calling, it’s a career. Science is as corruptible a human activity as any other. Its practitioners aren’t saints, they’re human beings, and they do what human beings do – lie, cheat, steal from one another, sue, hide data, fake data, overstate their own importance and denigrate opposing views unfairly. That’s human nature. It isn’t going to change
- Michael Crichton
42. And uh, forget the money. Because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life wasting your time. You will be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is, in order to do things you don’t like doing, which is stupid. Better to have a short life that is full of things you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.
- Allan Watts
43. You must love your work, and not be always looking over the edge of it, wanting your play to begin. And the other is, you must not be ashamed of your work, and think it would be more honorable to you to be doing something else. You must have a pride in your own work and in learning to do it well, and not be always saying, There’s this and there’s that—if I had this or that to do, I might make something of it. No matter what a man is—I wouldn’t give twopence for him’— here Caleb’s mouth looked bitter, and he snapped his fingers— ‘whether he was the prime minister or the rick-thatcher, if he didn’t do well what he undertook to do.
- George Eliot
44. [I]n a place with absolutely no private or personal life, with the incessant worship of a mediocre career-sadist as the only culture, where all citizens are the permanent property of the state, the highest form of pointlessness has been achieved.
- Christopher Hitchens
45. At schools, the children who are too stupid or lazy to learn languages, mathematics and elementary science can be set to doing the things that children used to do in their spare time. Let them, for example, make mud pies and call it modelling. But all the time there must be no faintest hint that they are inferior to the children who are at work. Whatever nonsense they are engaged in must have—I believe the English already use the phrase—parity of esteem. An even more drastic scheme is not impossible. Children who are fit to proceed to a higher class may be artificially kept back, because the others would get a trauma—Beelzebub, what a useful word!—by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his school career, and a boy who would be capable of tackling Aeschylus or Dante sits listening to his coeval's attempts to spell out 'A Cat Sat On A Mat'.
- C.S. Lewis
46. Compelling careers often have complex origins that reject the simple idea that all you have to do is follow your passion.
- Cal Newport
47. Crash diets don't work.
They don't work for losing weight, they don't work for making sales quota and they don't work for getting and keeping a job.
The reason they don't work has nothing to do with what's on the list of things to be done (or consumed). No, the reason they don't work is that they don't change habits, and habits are where our lives and careers and bodies are made.
- Seth Godin
48. When you're really cute that's all you have to be, you make a career out of it. someone asks you what you do, you say, 'nothing. i'm cute.
- Elmore Leonard
49. Forget physics, forget organic chem, forget reading James Joyce's Ulysses- organizing your time is one of the biggest challenges you'll face in your academic career.
- Stefanie Weisman
50. After college I got a job and started working. This new career had absolutely nothing to do with my degree.
- Jason Najum
51. Honesty Compounds. It compounds exponentially. No matter what happens in your bank account, in your career, in your promotions, in your startups. Honesty compounds exponentially, not over days or weeks, but years and decades. More people trust your word and spread the news that you are a person to be sought out, sought after, given opportunity, given help, or given money. This is what will build your empire.
- James Altucher
52. Is the prison that Mr. Scoundrel lives in at the end of his career a more uncomfortable place than the workhouse that Mr. Honesty lives in at the end of his career?
- Wilkie Collins
53. It may be that you will be happiest in the rat race; perhaps, like me, you are basically a rat.
- Richard Koch
54. A former student sent me an essay he wrote, a few years after college, called The Paradox of Potential. Yale students, he said, are like stem cells. They can be anything in the world, so they try to delay for as long as possible the moment when they have to become just one thing in particular. Possibility, paradoxically, becomes limitation.
- William Deresiewicz
55. The moment I used my adversity to my advantage, my career exploded.
56. If you don't toot your own horn, don't complain that there's no music.
- Guy Kawasaki
57. What I have to face is that 'Barb,' the name on my ID tag, is not exactly the same person as Barbara. 'Barb' is what I was called as a child, and still am by my siblings, and I sense that at some level I'm regressing. Take away the career and the higher education, and maybe what you're left with is this original Barb, the one who might have ended up working at Wal-Mart for real if her father hadn't managed to climb out of the mines. So it's interesting, and more than a little disturbing, to see how Barb turned out — that she's meaner and slyer than I am, more cherishing of grudges, and not quite as smart as I'd hoped.
- Barbara Ehrenreich
58. Then I should have chosen a career for myself, I should have been a sluggard and a glutton, not a simple one, but for instance, one with sympathies for everything sublime and beautiful.
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
59. During his long career as an agitator, Hitler had studied the effects of herd-poison and had learned how to exploit them for his own purposes. He had discovered that the orator can appeal to those hidden forces which motivate men's actions, much more effectively than can the writer. Reading is a private, not a collective activity. The writer speaks only to individuals, sitting by themselves in a state of normal sobriety. The orator speaks to masses of individuals, already well primed with herd-poison. They are at his mercy and, if he knows his business, he can do what he likes with them.
- Aldous Huxley
60. However, not only are fortunes equal in America, equality extends to some degree to intelligence itself. I do not think that there is a single country in the world where, in proportion to the population, there are so few ignorant and, at the same time, so few educated individuals as in America. Primary education is available to all; secondary is within reach of no one, which can be explained quite easily as the inevitable result, so to speak, of my argument above. Almost all Americans enjoy a life of comfort and can, therefore, obtain the first elements of human knowledge. In America there are few rich people; therefore, all Americans have to learn the skills of a profession which demands a period of apprenticeship. Thus America can devote to general learning only the early years of life. At fifteen, they begin a career; their education ends most often when ours begins. If education is pursued beyond that point, it is directed only towards specialist subjects with a profitable return in mind. Science is studied as if it were a job and only those branches are taken up which have a recognized and immediate usefulness.
- Alexis de Tocqueville
61. [Clayton] Christensen had seen dozens of companies falter by going for immediate payoffs rather than long-term growth, and he saw people do the same thing. In three hours at work, you could get something substantial accomplished, and if you failed to accomplish it you felt the pain right away. If you spent three hours at home with your family, it felt like you hadn't done a thing, and if you skipped it nothing happened. So you spent more and more time at the office, on high-margin, quick-yield tasks, and you even believed that you were staying away from home for the sake of your family. He had seen many people tell themselves that they could divide their lives into stages, spending the first part pushing forward their careers, and imagining that at some future point they would spend time with their families--only to find that by then their families were gone.
- Larissa MacFarquhar
62. The career of a movie star consists of helping everyone else forget their troubles. Using charm and beauty and good cheer to make life look easy.
- Chuck Palahniuk
63. Too often we make a separation in our lives—there is work and there is life outside work, where we find real pleasure and fulfillment. Work is often seen as a means for making money so we can enjoy that second life that we lead. Even if we derive some satisfaction from our careers we still tend to compartmentalize our lives in this way. This is a depressing attitude, because in the end we spend a substantial part of our waking life at work. If we experience this time as something to get through on the way to real pleasure, then our hours at work represent a tragic waste of the short time we have to live.
- Robert Greene
64. I shall not vote for Sen. Obama and it will not be because he—like me and like all of us—carries African genes. And I shall not be voting for Mrs. Clinton, who has the gall to inform me after a career of overweening entitlement that there is 'a double standard' at work for women in politics; and I assure you now that this decision of mine has only to do with the content of her character. We will know that we have put this behind us when [...] we have outgrown and forgotten the original prejudice.
- Christopher Hitchens
65. This, according to the fellows who saw me as fit for a Service career, put me ahead of the curve, to understand this truth at an age when most guys are starting only to suspect the basics of adulthood--that life owes you nothing; that suffering takes many forms; that no one will ever care for you as your mother did; that the human heart is a chump.
- David Foster Wallace
66. The professional arms himself with patience, not only to give the stars time to align in his career, but to keep himself from flaming out in each individual work.
- Steven Pressfield
67. I’ve come to believe that connecting is one of the most important business—and life—skill sets you’ll ever learn. Why? Because, flat out, people do business with people they know and like. Careers—in every imaginable field—work the same
- Keith Ferrazzi
68. Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do. Remember one rule of thumb: the more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it.
- Steven Pressfield
69. When it comes to your career, you must always try and allow the positive aspects of your character to dictate what happens to you. Be led by your talent, not by your self-loathing; those other things you just have to manage.
- Russell Brand
70. Inventors and geniuses have almost always been looked on as no better than fools at the beginning of their career, and very frequently at the end of it also.
- Fyodor Dostoyevsky
71. Apple's approach to career development is yet another way it runs contrary to the norms at other companies. The prevalent attitude for workers in the corporate world is to consider their growth trajectory. What's my path up? How do I get to the next level? Companies, in turn, spend an inordinate amount of time and money grooming their people for new responsibilities. They labor to find just the right place for people. But what if it turns out all that thinking is wrong? What if companies encouraged employees to be satisfied where they are because they're good at what they do, not to mention because that might be what's best for shareholders?
Instead of employees fretting that they were stuck in terminal jobs, what if they exalted in having found their perfect jobs? A certain amount of office politics might evaporate in a corporate culture where career growth is not considered tantamount to professional fulfilment. Shareholders, after all, don't care about fiefdoms and egos. There are many professionals who would find it liberating to work at what they are good at, receive competitive killer compensation, and not have to worry about supervising others or jockeying for higher rungs on an org chart.
- Adam Lashinsky
72. All human beings are entrepreneurs.
- Reid Hoffman / Ben Casnocha
73. In 1857, Bizet departed for Rome and spent three years there. He studied the landscape, the culture, Italian literature and art. Musically he studied the scores of the great masters. At the end of the first year he was asked to submit a religious work as his required composition. As a self-described atheist, Bizet felt uneasy and hypocritical writing a religious piece. Instead, he submitted a comic opera. Publicly, the committee accepted, acknowledging his musical talent. Privately, the committee conveyed their displeasure. Thus, early in his career, Bizet displayed an independent spirit that would be reflected in innovative ideas in his opera composition.
- Georges Bizet
74. So the challenge, as you contemplate your next opportunity to be boring or remarkable, is to answer these two questions: (1) If I get criticized for this, will I suffer any measurable impact? Will I lose my job, get hit upside the head with a softball bat, or lose important friendships? If the only side effect of the criticism is that you will feel bad about the criticism, then you have to compare that bad feeling with the benefits you'll get from actually doing something worth doing. Being remarkable is exciting, fun, profitable, and great for your career. Feeling bad wears off.
And then, once you've compared the bad feeling and the benefits, and you've sold yourself on taking the remarkable path, answer this one: (2) How can I create something that critics will criticize?
The job is what you do when you are told what to do. The job is showing up at the factory, following instructions, meeting spec, and being managed.
Someone can always do your job a little better or faster or cheaper than you can.
The job might be difficult, it might require skill, but it's a job.
Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.
I call the process of doing your art 'the work.' It's possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that's how you become a linchpin.
- Seth Godin
75. …What is my life for and what am I going to do with it? I don't know and I’m afraid. I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And what do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited. Yet I am not a cretin: lame, blind, and stupid.
- Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
76. The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.
77. The job is not the work.
- Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?
78. Excellence is not a gift, but a skill that takes practice.
We do not act rightly because we are excellent,
in fact we achieve excellence by acting rightly.
79. Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
- Rob Siltanen
80. Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery- celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: It’s not where you take things from- it’s where you take them to.
[MovieMaker Magazine #53- Winter, January 22, 2004 ]
- Jim Jarmusch
81. Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.
- Pablo Picasso
82. We do not need to teach students to embrace the status quo.
- Seth Godin
83. If he’d believed at any point along this journey that he had to follow a straight path in his career, he never would have found his true calling.
- Ken Robinson
84. Hide not your talents, they for use were made; what’s a sundial in the shade?
– Benjamin Franklin
P.S.: This list of useful career quotes can be made better with proper categorization. Apologies.
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