Notes and Quotes – 1/10-1/16

These are my notes and quotes from this past week. Note that there are some links to books that, if you make a purchase, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.

“Serenity and stability are results of your choices and judgment, not your environment.” – Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic

“Many people live in height and glory, but the mysteries of this world can be revealed only to those who are humble.” – Apocrypha

“Some of your friends praise you, and others blame and criticize you; be closer to those who blame you and further from those who praise you.” – The Talmud

“When an arrow does not hit its target, the marksman blames himself, not another person. A wise man behaves in the same way.” – Confucius via Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom

“Do something that makes you feel at the peak of your being today.” – Robert Greene, The Daily Laws

“Whenever any one is against his will, that is to him a prison.” – Epictetus, Discourses 1.12

“The best is the enemy of the good.” – Voltaire via James Clear, Atomic Habits

“When preparation becomes a form of procrastination you to change something.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits

Hebb’s Law – Neurons that fire together wire together.

“Context explains any sex differences that exist in the workplace.” – Catherine H. Tinsley and Robin J. Ely, What Most People Get Wrong About Men and Women, Harvard Business Review, May-June 2018

Meta-analysis – a statistical technique used to combine the results of many studies, providing a more reliable basis for drawing conclusions.

“A man should use that spiritual heritage which he has received from the wise and holy people of the past, but he should test everything with his intellect, accepting certain things and rejecting others.” – Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom

“Decision makers need to factor into their present decisions the ‘future that has already happened’.” – Peter F. Drucker, The Daily Drucker

“Confront one of your limitations – one of the obstructions in your path – today. Break beyond it, climb over it, think your way around it. Don’t run from it. It was created for you.” – Robert Greene, The Daily Laws

“Wipe down the toilet before showering.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits

“During 30 years in business I’ve never seen an HR initiative that improved morale. HR departments might throw parties and hand out T-shirts, but if the stock price is falling or the company’s products aren’t successful, the people at those parties will quietly complain – and they’ll use the the T-shirts to wash their cars.” – Patty McCord, How Netflix Reinvented HR, Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 2014

“A wise person knows what is inside their circle of control and what isn’t.” – Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic

“Who is a good man? Only a man who has faith is good. What is faith? This is when your will is in consent with the world’s conscience and the world’s wisdom.” – Chinese Proverb via Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom

“What is your plan to develop yourself in the humanities and social sciences? Develop such a plan today.” – Peter F. Drucker, The Daily Drucker

“When in doubt, focus on the things you know you do well. Expand outward from the center.” – Robert Greene, The Daily Laws

“Philosophy is simply asking us to pay careful attention and to strive to be more than a pawn.” – Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic

“Man is pushed by drives but pulled by values.” – Viktor Frankl, The Will to Meaning

“What actions can you take now to impart a sense of managerial responsibility into your workforce?” – Peter F. Drucker, The Daily Drucker

Expanding on the previous quote, the “individual sees their job, their work, their product the way a manager sees.”

“At the center of your being you have the answers; you know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tzu via Robert Greene, The Daily Laws

“If you’re on the false path, get off. Find energy in rebellion.” – Robert Greene, The Daily Laws

“No great thing is created suddenly; any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you, that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen. Since then, the fruit of a fig tree is not brought to perfection suddenly, or in one hour; do you think to possess instantaneously and easily of the human mind? I warn you, expect it not.” – Epictetus, Discourses 1:15

“Civilization advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them.” – Alfred North Whitehead via James Clear, Atomic Habits

“Nothing can replace the unfolding experience of now.” – Headspace

“Tranquility and peace are found in identifying our path and in sticking to it: staying the course – making adjustments here and there, naturally – but ignoring the distracting sirens who beckon us toward the rocks.” – Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic

“There are two ways of understanding God: either intellectually or spiritually, based on faith and morality. The intellectual understanding of God is not resolute enough and can be subjected to dangerous mistakes; spiritual understanding of God requires moral actions. This faith is both natural and supernatural.” – Immanuel Kant via Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom

Here lies a man
Who knew how to enlist
In his service
Better men than himself
– Andrew Carnegie’s tombstone via Peter F. Drucker, The Daily Drucker

“Figure out what each of your employees’ or colleagues’ strengths are and develop those strengths to help people perform better.” – Peter F. Drucker, The Daily Drucker

“Just as a well-filled day brings blessed sleep, so a well-employed life brings blessed death.” – Leonardo Da Vinci via Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom

“Think back on the moments when you felt deeply and personally connected to an activity. Think about the pleasure it brought you. In such activities are signs of your true purpose.” – Robert Greene, The Daily Laws

“What is rewarded is repeated. What is punished is avoided.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits

Expanding on the previous quote, immediate-return vs. delayed-return environments.

“The way your brain evaluates rewards is inconsistent over time. This is called time inconsistency or hyperbolic discounting.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits

“It almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the later consequences are disastrous, and vice versa… Often, the sweeter the first fruit of a habit, the more bitter are its later fruits.” – Frederic Bastiat via James Clear, Atomic Habits

“Incentives can start a habit. Identity sustains a habit.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits

“When we experience troubling emotions, it’s best to sit with it instead of analyzing it. Let the passage of time do most of the hard work.” – Headspace

“The person in training must seek to rise above, so as to stop seeking out pleasure and steering away from pain; to stop clinging to living and abhorring death; and in the case of property and money, to stop valuing receiving over giving.” Musonius Rufus, Lectures, 6.25.5-11 via Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic

“Ask yourself: Is this really the best way to do it? Know why you do what you do – do it for the right reasons.” – Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic

“False faith is the major cause of most of our misfortunes.” – Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom

“We should be ready to change our views at any time, and slough off our prejudices, and live with an open and receptive mind. A sailor who sets the same sails all the time, without making changes when the wind changes, will never reach his harbor.” – Henry George via Leo Tolstoy, A Calendar of Wisdom

“Above all management is responsible for producing results.” – Peter F. Drucker, The Daily Drucker

“Is your organization delivering results it should? If not, articulate your mission.” – Peter F. Drucker, The Daily Drucker

“You will want to go as far as you can in cultivating your uniqueness and the originality that goes with it.” – Robert Greene, The Daily Laws

“No calling is superior to another. What matters is that it be tied to a personal need and inclination and that your energy moves you toward improvement and continuous learning from experience.” – Robert Greene, The Daily Laws

Epictetus makes my brain hurt. – Me

Paper-clip strategy: Place two containers on your desk. Fill one container with the number of paper clips that you want to finish a task. In James Clear’s, Atomic Habits, it was a number of sales calls. If you make a sales call, you transfer a paperclip from one container to the other until the first container is empty. – From Atomic Habits by James Clear

Habit recovery – never miss twice, James Clear, Atomic Habits

“When successful people fail, they rebound quickly.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits

One of my favorites from this week: “Too often, we fall into an all-or-nothing cycle with our habits. The problem is not slipping up; the problem is thinking that if you don’t do something perfectly, then you shouldn’t do it at all.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits

“You don’t realize how valuable it is to show up on your bad (or busy) days.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits

“The first rule of compounding: Never interrupt it unnecessarily.” – Charlie Munger via James Clear, Atomic Habits

“The human mind wants to ‘win’ whatever game is being played.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits

Goodhart’s Law – Named after Charles Goodhart
When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.

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Multi-teaming: Having people assigned to multiple projects.

Getting Your Stars to Collaborate – Harvard Business Review, Jan-Feb 2017

The Secrets of Great Teamwork – Harvard Business Review, June 2016

Blind men and an elephant

“Each team member, including the leader, explains how he or she expects to use that project to build or improve a critical skill.” – Mark Mortensen and Heidi K. Gardner, The Overcommitted Organization, Harvard Business Review, Sept-Oct 2017

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