Quotes, June 2012

Quotes I found interesting or compelling, from something I read in June 2012:

Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I can be dense at times, such as when I haven’t gotten enough sleep or when I’m being fiercely clever in the wrong direction.
Anne Herbert

It is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior’s life.

Don “Why do we do this?”
Roger “Sex. But it’s always disappointing.”
Mad Men

Most people reading this will already be fairly tolerant. But there is a step beyond thinking of yourself as x but tolerating y: not even to consider yourself an x. The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you.
Paul Graham

I’m creating an ugly pearl. I build layers of self-righteousness around some tiny good thing I’ve done or some miniscule bad thing I haven’t done.
Anne Herbert

When you find yourself hating someone (who did not directly hurt you) with blinding rage, know for certain that it is not the person you hate at all, but rather something about them that threatens your identity. Find that thing. This single piece of advice can turn your life around, Iguarantee it.
The Last Psychiatrist

According to a widely accepted model, intimacy begins when one person expresses revealing feelings, builds when the listener responds with support and empathy and is achieved when the discloser hears these things and feels understood, validated and cared for.
Elizabeth Weil

May I oversimplify you for my own convenience? I have got this story of the world going, and you don’t fit. It seems simpler to grind you flatter than to rethink my story for the sake of mere accuracy.
Anne Herbert

The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it.
Marcus Aurelius

No one can give you better advice than yourself.

People are only as powerful as the coalitions around them.
Jake Selinger

Low culture, as some insisted on calling it, is more flexible, accommodating, and creative. It gives us a grammar instead of a language. It gives us form that gives freedom, not a form we must conform to.
Grant McCracken

Genius is actually the eventual public recognition of dozens (or hundreds) of failed attempts at solving a problem. Sometimes we fail in public, often we fail in private, but people who are doing creative work are constantly failing.
Seth Godin

If Your Actions Inspire People to Dream More, Learn More, Do More and Become More, Then You Are A Leader.
John Quincy Adams

Take away my people, but leave my factories and soon grass will grow on the factory floors……Take away my factories, but leave my people and soon we will have a new and better factory.
Andrew Carnegie

I wonder if real art comes when you build the thing that they don’t have a prize for yet.
Seth Godin

The best part of college is that you could become whatever you wanted to become, but most people just do what they think they must.
Seth Godin

When you say ‘design,’ everybody has their definition which doesn’t correspond to yours. There are many good definitions. One is the synthesis of form and content. In other words, without content there’s no form. And without form, there’s no content. A work of art is realized when form and content are indistinguishable. When form predominates, meaning is blunted. But when content predominates, interest lags. But the genius comes in when both of these things fuse.
Paul Rand

This is the problem with omnivores of contemporary media, the people who are constantly reading every magazine that comes out or every new book on X. Even the best stuff still suffers from its immersion in 2012. If you want to see things differently, you have to approach them from radically different contexts.

Jimmy’s an American success story. I saw him driving down Santa Monica in his Rolls-Royce the other day… Does anybody even need one of these vehicles? Performance can be eclipsed by automobiles costing so much less, but nothing makes the same statement. And Jimmy wants to make a statement. But Jimmy is also the character in What Makes Sammy Run? Ultimately it’s all about him, he needs to win to fill a hole inside. And now he’s changed his look from a baseball hat to a knit cap. Does Lloyd Blankfein worry that he’s follically challenged? If Jimmy owned his baldness he’d lose not an iota of power or respect, but the fact that he refuses to do so illustrates his insecurity. No matter how rich or powerful we are, we’re all human.
Bob Lefsetz

“Without the aesthetic” means that it’s not done with love, but is done for some ulterior motive: because it sells, because it’s popular, because it’s crazy – you know, all this stuff.
Paul Rand

“Graphic design” is one of those phrases that doesn’t mean anything, because anything that’s “graphic” is graphic. Painting, dancing, if you see it, writing – if you see it, it’s graphic. The genre of art, of graphic design, of painting, is art. That’s the genre. It’s all art.
Paul Rand

Don’t try to be original. Just try to be good. That sounds sort of naïve, but it’s true.
Paul Rand

Without aesthetic, you can’t find the truth to do things with quality. I think this is, in a big sense, what aesthetics means.
Paul Rand

When you see something that’s taking advantage of new technology to give people something they want that they couldn’t have before, you’re probably looking at a winner. And when you see something that’s merely reacting to new technology in an attempt to preserve some existing source of revenue, you’re probably looking at a loser.
Paul Graham