While this all started slowly, today every sector of the global economy is being affected by the relentless drive for efficiencies. This might have been obvious to you but it really struck home last week when I was trying to hang a picture. I was without a level and about to run out to get a level when Bridget said, “I’ll bet there’s a level app on the iPhone.” Sure enough there are 4 free apps... plus a slew of them that cost 99 cents. I downloaded one in a minute. My new level worked great. While I’ve always been blinded the bright light of technology and innovation I started thinking about the negative effects of my actions. My decision to download the level app meant that the retailer, the level manufacturer, the metal supplier and all of their employees lost out on revenue. While my actions benefited me, as a consumer, it had broad implications for society, as a whole.
"I've often thought that Europe is a allegory for the ages of man. You're born Italian. They're relentlessly infantile and mother-obsessed. In childhood, we're English; chronically shy, tongue-tied, cliquey, and only happy kicking balls, pulling the legs off things, or sending someone to Coventry. Teenagers are French: pretentiously philosophical, embarrassingly vain, ridiculously romantic and... insincere. Then, in middle age, we become either Swiss or Irish. Old age is German: ponderous, pompous and pedantic. What Germans have instead of sex and laughter are word games and complaining about grammar. Then finally we regress into being Belgian with no idea who we are at all."
“Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
"The new education must teach the individual how to classify and reclassify information, how to evaluate its veracity, how to change categories when necessary, how to move from the concrete to the abstract and back, how to look at problems from a new direction — how to teach himself. Tomorrow's illiterate will not be the man who can't read; he will be the man who has not learned how to learn." I
The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the way
Tight societies that choose egalitarianism, like Norway, have been good at pushing women into the corporate establishment. Loose societies that are open to change have been good at empowering women more broadly, encouraging them to join the work force and to start their own small businesses. But the one thing women around the world have failed to do is create paradigm-shifting companies. None... of the great technology start-ups — for example, Google, Apple and Facebook — were founded by a woman. Nor were any of the leading hedge funds, the innovators in the world of money, established by a women. Women are not just underrepresented in this space of transformative entrepreneurs — they are entirely absent.
Howard Hughes was when of the greatest American geniuses. He was like the Steve Jobs of the 1930s through the 1950s. Just like Jobs transformed multiple industries, so did Howard Hughes: Aviation, Oil drilling, movies, electronics, and even lingerie. In most cases, he personally invented or designed the machines and tools that transformed those industries. He did this out of his passion, his eagerness to learn and work 20 hour days, and his genius to take his visions and put them to paper and then execution.
English heart surgeon Martyn Lloyd-Jones asserted, “Most unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself.”
On the other hand, a highly effective relationship is one where both parties are able to give each other what they need in a way that adds to their own energy. For example, a marriage where it’s easy (i.e., there is a low cost of energy) for both partners to meet the needs of the other and both partners feel their needs are met is a highly successful union. The relationship “just works.” In a... business setting, you’ll find a great mutual fit when an employee feels she is getting more from her job than giving to it, and her managers feel they are getting more from her than they’re giving in total compensation. The employee is thinking, “I can’t believe they pay me to do this. I would do it for free… can you believe it?” Similarly, her managers are thinking, “She is one of our top performers. She’s passionate about what she does and delivers outstanding work.” The bottom line is that the relationship is net additive, supportive, and energizing to both parties. It just works. The key differentiator then between happy high achievers and the rest is that happy high achievers are extremely vigilant about only allowing relationships into their life that add to their energy. This includes their marriages as well as their relationships with their families, companies, boards of directors, key staff, and important clients. They make it a point to only allow relationships that are net additive. If a relationship isn’t net additive, it’s no longer one of their primary relationships. It gets shifted or it is gone.
“There are two ways of talking,” he said. “One is the easy way, where you talk lightly, and the other one is the considered way. The considered way is what I have put my name to. I wouldn’t put my name to the easy thoughts, because you can often have outrageous views, passionate views, and that’s the source of your thoughts, eventually. But when they occur, they are very rough and brutal. And so a lot of writers’ time is spent in working out or refining coarse thought.”
Americans with their democratic roots generally do not trust elite bureaucrats to the extent that the French, Germans, British, or Japanese have in years past. This distrust leads to micromanagement by Congress through proliferating rules and complex, self-contradictory legislative mandates which make poor quality governance a self-fulfilling prophecy. The US is thus caught in a low-level equilibrium trap, in which a hobbled bureaucracy validates everyone’s view that the government can’t do anything competently.
Three of the four companies that dominate the Web today: Facebook (Like patterns), Google (search patterns) and Amazon (purchase patterns), are equipped with extremely powerful cultural early-warning radars, based on massive data flows. Data flows so massive that only large institutions within the class-culture matrix will have the power to crunch them into usable intelligence.
The subcultural web looks increasingly incomprehensible (and therefore stronger and more ungovernable) to you and me as humans. It does not seem incomprehensible if you peer at it through the increasingly sophisticated instruments of digital governance. Facebook is to marketers and politicians what Google Maps is to travelers.
I have spoken of the relief afforded by visitations of severe pain. These really the vital forces, and dismiss the temptation, by substituting torture for weariness — at times a welcome change. The healthy are astonished at the good spirits of sufferers under tormenting complaints; and the most strait-laced preachers of fortitude and patience admit an occasional wonder that there is no suicide... among that class of sufferers. The truth is, however, that the influence of acute pain, when only occasional, and not extremely protracted, is vivifying and cheering on the whole. The immediate anguish causes a temporary despair: but the reaction, when the pain departs, causes a relish of life such as the healthy and the gay hardly enjoy. Though a slow death by a torturing disease is a lot unspeakably awful to meet, and even to contemplate, there can be no question to the experience, that illness in which severe pain sometimes occurs is less trying than some in which a different kind of suffering is not relieved by such a stimulus and its consequent sensations.
great leaders have often experienced crushing personal setbacks. This experience, whether it’s Lincoln’s depression or F.D.R.’s polio, not only gives them a sense of sympathy for those who are suffering, but a personal contact with frailty. They are resilient when things go wrong. They know how dependent they are on others, how prone they are to overconfidence. They are both modest, because they have felt weakness, and aggressive, because they know how hard it is to change anything.
Motivation is in the mind; follow-through is in the practice. Motivation is conceptual; follow-through is practical. In fact, the solution to a motivation problem is the exact opposite of the solution to a follow through problem. The mind is essential to motivation. But with follow through, it's the mind that gets in the way.