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3 ideas, 2 quotes, 1 question (September 24, 2020)

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Happy 3-2-1 Thursday,

Here are 3 short ideas from me, 2 quotes from others, and 1 question for the week.

3 IDEAS FROM ME

I.

“Feel compliments as deeply as you feel insults.”

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II.

“Working on a problem reduces the fear of it.

It’s hard to fear a problem when you are making progress on it—even if progress is imperfect and slow.

Action relieves anxiety.”

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III.

“Success is largely the failures you avoid.

Health is the injuries you don’t sustain.

Wealth is the purchases you don’t make.

Happiness is the objects you don’t desire.

Peace of mind is the arguments you don’t engage.

Avoid the bad to protect the good.”

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Hat tip to Morgan Housel for sparking this idea.

2 QUOTES FROM OTHERS

I.

Anne Frank on how challenge reveals our true character:

“I’ve learned one thing: you only really get to know a person after a fight. Only then can you judge their true character!”

Source: The Diary of a Young Girl



II.

Architect Christopher Alexander on the importance of high standards:

“In my life as an architect, I find that the single thing which inhibits young professionals, new students most severely, is their acceptance of standards that are too low. If I ask a student whether her design is as good as Chartres, she often smiles tolerantly at me as if to say, “Of course not, that isn’t what I am trying to do. … I could never do that.”

Then, I express my disagreement, and tell her: “That standard must be our standard. If you are going to be a builder, no other standard is worthwhile. That is what I expect of myself in my own buildings, and it is what I expect of my students.”

Gradually, I show the students that they have a right to ask this of themselves, and must ask this of themselves. Once that level of standard is in their minds, they will be able to figure out, for themselves, how to do better, how to make something that is as profound as that.

Two things emanate from this changed standard. First, the work becomes more fun. It is deeper, it never gets tiresome or boring, because one can never really attain this standard. One’s work becomes a lifelong work, and one keeps trying and trying. So it becomes very fulfilling, to live in the light of a goal like this.

But secondly, it does change what people are trying to do. It takes away from them the everyday, lower-level aspiration that is purely technical in nature, (and which we have come to accept) and replaces it with something deep, which will make a real difference to all of us that inhabit the earth.”

Source: Foreword to Patterns of Software by Richard P. Gabriel

1 QUESTION FOR YOU

Who brings out your best qualities? Can you take five minutes right now to schedule time with them?

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Until next week,

James Clear
Author of the million-copy bestseller, Atomic Habits
Creator of the Habit Journal