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I’m sorry this is working so poorly — I will one day figure this thing out, I swear.
“I just want you to remember one thing: that this is your life, right now. As you sit in front of your computer, as the world spins on its axis, as Unix time gets increasingly closer to calamity. What do you do day in, day out, is it. You are ineluctably using up the finite number of days in that fleeting flicker that will be your life.”
“Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do. But I will also be doing my job, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. You’re not allowed to suggest detours. You’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
—Elizabeth Gilbert in ‘Big Magic’
“Your home is whatever in this world you love more than you love yourself. So that might be creativity, it might be family, it might be invention, adventure, faith, service, it might be raising corgis, I don’t know, your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential.”
“I don’t give a shit about your “amazing culture”.
Everyone has great culture and you’re all best friends, I get it. This is so common in startup land that it’s meaningless. I’ve worked at these places, and I promise you what is an amazing culture for one person can be horrible for another. I want you to prove it. I want to meet members from every team, I want to chat with them and get to know what they’re like. It’s important for me to know that these are people I’m going to work well and grow with, and that they want to do those things with me.”
“In the year 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would have advanced sufficiently by century’s end that countries like Great Britain or the United States would achieve a 15-hour work week. There’s every reason to believe he was right. In technological terms, we are quite capable of this. And yet it didn’t happen. Instead, technology has been marshaled, if anything, to figure out ways to make us all work more
Why did Keynes’ promised utopia – still being eagerly awaited in the ‘60s – never materialise? The standard line today is that he didn’t figure in the massive increase in consumerism. Given the choice between less hours and more toys and pleasures, we’ve collectively chosen the latter.”
“When did you give up?
The bureaucracy is no longer your enemy. The bureaucracy is you.
And it’s easy to blame your boss, or the dolt who set up all these systems, or the one who depersonalizes everything. The policies and the oversight and the structure almost force you to merely show up. And to leave as early as you can.
But the thing is, the next job, like the last one, is going to be like this. If this is the job you’re seeking, if this is the level of responsibility you take, perhaps it’s not just your boss.
How long ago did you decide to settle for this? How long ago did you start building the cocoon that insulates you from the work you do all day?
Years ago, the spark was still there. The dreams. And most of all, the willingness to take it personally.
You can take it personally again.”
“In order to be credible, you must be authentic and true. Twenty years ago, something might be written about you in a newspaper. Then this newspaper would be scrapped, and that would be it. But now your statement stays [online] for the next 20 to 50 years — who knows how long for. To be credible, you must be consistent in the way you behave. Someone can say to you, “Listen, two years ago, you said something different.” In a split second, they know. That’s where lies that wonderful future for mankind.”
“Once you become a creative director, you realize that authority is an illusion. You’re a negotiator between the client’s taste, the designer’s ego, and the user’s need. You succeed when all three are satisfied.”
“Begin with the smallest possible project in which someone will pay you money to solve a problem they know they have. Charge less than it’s worth and more than it costs you.
You don’t have to wait for perfect or large or revered or amazing. You can start.”