Oliver Burkeman on Life

I think virtually everyone, except perhaps the very Zen or very old, goes through life haunted to some degree by the feeling that this isn’t quite the real thing, not just yet – that soon enough, we’ll get everything in working order, get organised, get our personal issues resolved, but that till then we’re living what the great Swiss psychologist Marie-Louise von Franz called the “provisional life.”

~ Oliver Burkeman

Seneca on Rehearsing

Seneca for instance advises “to envisage every possibility and to strengthen the spirit to deal with the things which may conceivably come about. Rehearse them in your mind: exile, torture, war, shipwreck.”

~ Seneca / Courtesy Philosophersmag

Jim Harrison on Ruts

The interesting thing about being in a rut is that the only thing you see are the sides of the rut. You don’t see out.

~ Conversations with Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison on Infirmities

Our cures are interesting. Our infirmities aren’t. Everyone knows about infirmities.

~ Conversations with Jim Harrison

Jim Harrison on Salvation

For my purposes, I believe what Kierkegaard said, that you have to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling before you can get on with anyone else’s program.

~ Jim Harrison / Paris Review

Catherine Wilson on Cars

Some people need to own a car, but for others it’s just a convention to have one, and those who have disburdened themselves of a car are no longer bothered by having to negotiate to buy them, or by maintaining, repairing, inspecting, licensing, refuelling and reselling them.

~ Wilson, Catherine. The Pleasure Principle: Epicureanism: A Philosophy for Modern Living (p. 88). HarperCollins Publishers. Kindle Edition.

Marcus Aurelius on Attention

“The value of attentiveness varies in proportion to its object. You’re better off not giving the small things more time than they deserve.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Aristotle on Greatness

…even in adversity goodness shines through, when someone endures repeated and severe misfortune with patience; this is not owing to insensibility but from generosity and greatness of soul.

~ Aristotle

Charlie Munger on Pain

Pain-Avoiding Psychological Denial: one should recognize reality even when one doesn’t like it.

~ Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger on Difficult Things

We have three baskets: in, out, and too tough. … We have to have a special insight, or we’ll put it in the “too tough” basket.

~ Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger on IQ and Temperament

A lot of people with high IQs are terrible investors because they’ve got terrible temperaments. And that is why we say that having a certain kind of temperament is more important than brains. You need to keep raw irrational emotion under control. You need patience and discipline and an ability to take losses and adversity without going crazy. You need an ability to not be driven crazy by extreme success.

~ Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger on Difficulties

If something is too hard, we move on to something else. What could be simpler than that?

~ Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger on Problem Avoidance

“A lot of success in life and business comes from knowing what you want to avoid: early death, a bad marriage, etc.”

~ Charlie Munger

Rudyard Kipling on Miseries

“Small miseries, like small debts, hit us in so many places, and meet us at so many turns and corners, that what they want in weight, they make up in number, and render it less hazardous to stand the fire of one cannon ball, than a volley composed of such a shower of bullets.”

~ Rudyard Kipling

Hunter Thompson on Writing

“One of the few ways I can almost be certain I’ll understand something is by sitting down and writing about it. Because by forcing yourself to write about it and putting it down in words, you can’t avoid having your say on the subject.”

~ Hunter Thompson

H. G. Wells on Troubles

“Some people bear three kinds of trouble – the ones they’ve had, the ones they have, and the ones they expect to have.”

~ H. G. Wells