Aung San Suu Kyi on Books

Aung San Suu Kyi 1
“If you’ve read enough books almost nothing surprises you.”
– Aung San Suu Kyi at the Irrawaddy Literary Festival

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Admirable Lives

Wish I could claim these beautiful words as my own, but they belong to EM Forster

The people I admire most are those who are sensitive and want to create something, or discover something, and do not see life in terms of power… They found religions, great or small, they produce literature or art… or they may be what is called ‘ordinary people’, who are creative in their private lives, bring up their children decently, for instance, or help their neighbours.

All Kindness is Productive

An excellent thought for a Friday.

All enmity, jealousy, opposition, and secrecy are wholly, and in all circumstances, destructive in their nature – not productive; and all kindness, fellowship, and communicativeness are invariably productive in their operation – not destructive.
John Ruskin

Happy (to be an) Amatuer

Terrific post about writing from Molly Flatt, and it applies to any creative field. In a nutshell: do what you love, do it for the right reasons and don’t sweat the rest. Wisdom I’ll be taking to Creative Writing Ibiza with me in just a few hours!

Focus on the work itself, create goals you can control, and make sure the journey is as satisfying as the end game. Become a happy amateur, and you might just have a chance of becoming a happy professional after all.

Be Yourself


A GENIUS IS THE ONE MOST LIKE HIMSELF.

-Thelonious Monk (via Lists of Note)


“The voyage of the best ship is a zigzag line of a hundred tasks. See the line from a sufficient distance, and it straightens itself to the average tendency. Your genuine action will explain itself, and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Choose Your Success Carefully

If people are highly successful in the professions they lose their senses. Sight goes. They have no time to look at pictures. Sound goes. They have no time to listen to music. Speech goes. They have no time for conversation. They lose their sense of proportion – the relations between one thing and another. Humanity goes. Money making becomes so important that they must work by night as well as by day. Health goes.
— Virginia Woolf

Further reading

Secrets of Success
Life is What Happens When You’re Making Other Plans

Happy Birthday Henry David Thoreau


Today would be the great Henry David Thoreau’s 195th birthday. Luckily, he is immortal. Sitting at my desk in a basement, I read this and want to laugh and cry at once:

I am reminded that the mechanics and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them—as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon—I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago. … I confess that I am astonished at the power of endurance, to say nothing of the moral insensibility, of my neighbors who confine themselves to shops and offices the whole day for weeks and months, aye, and years almost together.

Related:
The Book
Creativity
Freedom