Life is labor. And there are different types of labor—some are exploitative and meaningless, some are good and nourishing—but the truth remains that to fully take up space in your own life you have to do difficult things for a long time.

Chop wood, carry water. This is the entirety of my spiritual practice. When you avoid difficulty, you avoid your own gifts.


You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly… Accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well. - Why We Write

People who experience being right early in their careers tend to go broke in the long run because they think that being right is easy. - Charlie Munger

The mediocre regret their words more than their silence; finer men regret their silence more than their words; the magnificent has nothing to regret.


Confidence rises faster than ability, especially in young men. via

“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day,” the science fiction writer Orson Scott Card said. “The good [artists] are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” via

Good taste is knowing what your audience will like just before they do. - Seth Godin

Email is a wonderful thing for people whose role in life is to be on top of things. But not for me; my role is to be on the bottom of things. What I do takes long hours of studying and uninterruptible concentration. - Donald Knuth

取法于上,仅得为中;取法于中,故为其下。 - 李世民

If possible, there should be no telephone in your writing room, certainly no TV or videogames for you to fool around with. If there’s a window, draw the curtains or pull down the shades unless it looks out at a blank wall. For any writer, but for the beginning writer in particular, it’s wise to eliminate every possible distraction. - Stephen King

Really, “marketing” just means being considerate. Marketing means making it easy for people to notice you, relate to you, remember you, and tell their friends about you. Marketing means listening for what people need, and creating something surprisingly tailored for them. Marketing means getting to know people, making a deeper connection, and keeping in touch. - Derek Sivers


读书以过目成诵为能,最是不济事。 - 郑燮

Back in the day, famed Broadway director Gower Champion was directing a musical. With time pressure mounting, he entered the theatre during a rehearsal and was alarmed to see the cast just standing around on stage. The choreographer was just sitting there, in the second row of the audience, his head in his hands.

The director asked, "What's going on?"

"I just don't know what to do next," the choreographer lamented.

The director blinked. "Well, do something, so we can change it!"


There is an art to replying and commenting, and probably like 60-70% of people I’ve seen on the internet seem to fail at it. The important thing is not to speak your mind, but to “support” the person you’re replying to.

via Visakan Veerasamy

Competence is how good you are when there is something to gain. Character is how good you are when there is nothing to gain.

People will reward you for competence. But people will only love you for your character.

via Mark Manson

High Agency Information Diets via

• High agency information diets are guided top-down by intentional design and goals.

• It has specific information borders because attention is the scarcest asset in the age of information abundance.

• High agency information diets proactively seek sources with a proven track record. It has firewalls against passive consumption of the world’s worst events or social media drama.

• Feedback loops are used to monitor the reliability and impact of the information diet. It ruthlessly mutes low signal sources.

• Admitting “I don’t know” is a virtue.

• High agency information diets appear selfish, but in the pursuit of directed focus, they can actually have an impact on a cause.

I don’t write for children.

I write.

And somebody says, “That’s for children.”

— Maurice Sendak, 2012

Once you have many people doing something, you have lots of competition and little differentiation. You, generally, never want to be part of a popular trend… So I think trends are often things to avoid. What I prefer over trends is a sense of mission. That you are working on a unique problem that people are not solving elsewhere. - Peter Thiel