Barbara Ehrenreich on Slavery

What you don’t necessarily realize when you start selling your time by the hour is that what you’re really selling is your life.

~ Barbara Ehrenreich

Janan Ganesh on Happiness

It takes minimal life experience to know that happiness comes from a small number of disproportionately important things. Perhaps as few as two. One is a fulfilling job. The other is a vital private life, which could mean, according to taste, devotion to one person or what George Michael hailed as “fast love”.

~ Janan Ganesh / FT, February 7 2020

Edward Lucas on Flow

But saving my mental energies helps me achieve the day’s greatest pleasure: periods of intense, unbroken concentration.

~ Edward Lucas / Times, February 03, 2020

Brian Cox on the Long Haul

‘…It’s the long haul for you. You’ve got to understand that. You will have moderate success in your career. But it is the long haul that counts.’ And he was absolutely right.

~ Brian Cox / Financial Times, 17th January 2020

Albert Camus on Poverty

“What could a man want that is better than poverty? I do not say misery, any more than I mean the work without hope of the modern proletarian. But I do not see that one could desire more than poverty with an active leisure.”

~ Albert Camus

Seneca on Bustle

“For love of bustle is not industry, – it is only the restlessness of a hunted mind”

~ Seneca

Robert Harris on Writing

“It’s a profession, a job,” he says. “There’s a terrible preciousness about writing. I think that if you write, you’ve just got to get on and write.”

~ Robert Harris / Financial Times, 20th December 2019

Seneca on Work

“Nothing is so certain as that the evils of idleness can be shaken off by hard work.”

~ Seneca

Paul Theroux on Being a Writer

And what was it that I most liked about my work? That I had no boss, no employees, no rivals, no competitors—the freedom of being a writer? That it was a way of dealing with my life, transforming my experiences, finding ways to understand it—recording life’s joys, making its tribulations bearable, and also, in writing, easing the passage of time? Making a living this way, my own way, self-employed—that was something to like.

Paul Theroux / On the Plain of Snakes

Antonio Pierro on Routines

Three meals a day. Work hard. Keep yourself clean. Get enough sleep. What else is there?

~ Antonio Pierro

Tsunetomo Yamamoto on the Shortness of Life

“Human life is truly a short affair. It is better to live doing the things that you like. It is foolish to live within this dream of a world seeing unpleasantness and doing only things that you do not like.”

~ Tsunetomo Yamamoto / Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

Aaron Copland on Art

“The main thing is to be satisfied with your work yourself. It’s useless to have an audience happy if you are not happy.”

~ Aaron Copland

Gore Vidal on Boredom

“I have thrown away a number of successful careers out of boredom.”

~ Gore Vidal

Simon Kuper on Ageing

“But ideally, after ambition has faded, you love your trade for its own sake.”

~ Simon Kuper / Financial Times, 10th October, 2019

Jim Harrison on Work

“Eventually everyone knows if you did the job or not.”

~ Jim Harrison

Ernest Hemingway on Juice

“As long as you can start, you are all right. The juice will come.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

Gary Snyder on Work

“The goal of living is not to consider work work, but to consider it your life and your play.”

~ Gary Snyder

David Brooks on Work

Furthermore, living a great life is more important than producing great work. A life devoted to one thing is a stunted life, while a pluralistic life is an abundant one.

~ David Brooks / New York Times, 29 July 2019

Tim Kreider on Vocations

“Anyone who makes the mistake of turning their passion into a vocation gets to watch it turn, like gold transmuting into lead, into a job.”

~ Tim Kreider

Andrei Tarkovsky on Work

“The great thing is to be free in your work. Of course it’s important to print or exhibit, but if that’s not possible you are still left with the most important thing of all—being able to work without asking anybody’s permission.”

~ Andrei Tarkovsky

Doris Lessing on Work

“What’s terrible is to pretend that second-rate is first-rate. To pretend that you don’t need love when you do; or you like your work when you know quite well you’re capable of better.”

~ Doris Lessing

Stephen Hawking on Work

“Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it.”

~ Stephen Hawking

Seamus Heaney on Work

“Book learning is the thing.
You’re a lucky man.
No stock to feed, no milking times, no tillage
Nor blisters on your hand nor weather-worries”

~ Seamus Heaney

Philip Larkin on Work

“Why should I let the toad work squat on my life?”

~ Philip Larkin

Geoffrey Chaucer on Time

“The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.”

~ Geoffrey Chaucer