Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.
To be nobody-but-yourself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else-means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
Things to worry about:
Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Things not to worry about:
Don’t worry about popular opinion
Don’t worry about dolls
Don’t worry about the past
Don’t worry about the future
Don’t worry about growing up
Don’t worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Don’t worry about triumph
Don’t worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Don’t worry about mosquitoes
Don’t worry about flies
Don’t worry about insects in general
Don’t worry about parents
Don’t worry about boys
Don’t worry about disappointments
Don’t worry about pleasures
Don’t worry about satisfactions
Things to think about:
What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?
In a 1933 letter to his 11-year-old daughter Scottie, F. Scott Fitzgerald produced this poignant and wise list of things to worry, not worry, and think about – the best father’s advice since John Steinbeck’s letter to his son on falling in love and this beautiful letter to 16-year-old Jackson Pollock by his dad.
It turns out that the light fixtures a builder used in my kitchen a few years ago have all begun to fail. One by one, each one stops working.
My guess is that he has no idea, and continues to confidently install these fixtures, his go-to choice for kitchen lighting. And why not? He doesn’t know that they only have a relatively short life. He doesn’t know because he didn’t ask.
Doctors and consultants and builders are often hesitant to ask about how something worked long after the work is done. It feels like nothing but a chance to hear a complaint.
It’s not. It’s a chance to show that you care. And a chance to learn how to get even better at what you do.
From Henry Miller on Writing, his 11 commandments:
1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
5. When you can’t create you can work.
6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
9. Discard the Program when you feel like it — but go back to it the next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
This is a pretty great list by Dan Frommer. You could apply this to just about anything related to content creation.
Anthony Bourdain (via emotional-algebra)