Quote-unquote #6

Photo by Alessio Lin / Unsplash

Hello, again! It’s been a while since the last quote-unquote post, and here’s another list of quotes that resonated with me lately.

“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life” — Jerzy Gregorek.

The four-time weightlifting champion said it for building consistency. For building and maintaining consistency, every person should strive to make hard choices so that they can reap the benefits in the long run. If you’re young, make hard choices today, which will make your life easy. If you make easy choices, your life might be challenging.

“If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.” — Mark Twain

This quote from Mark Twain is used as a metaphor in the productivity world frequently to emphasize the importance of finishing the most challenging task of the day first. If you complete the most difficult thing first, you have already seen the worse, and the rest of your day will only get smoother. Prioritization is the key.

“Impatience with actions; patience with results.” — Naval Ravikant.

In the context of entrepreneurship, Naval explains that “successful people have action bias. They do things, and the best way to figure out if something is viable is by doing it. You need to have an action bias towards getting what you want, and you should always work with rational optimists.”

“Intuition cannot be trusted in the absence of stable regularities in an environment” — Daniel Kahneman.

In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman explains human behavior in two systems. Our brains have two systems in them. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. He explains that our intuitions might not be very trustworthy in making rational decisions in new situations. Intuition by itself is dependent on many stable factors, and if those factors are absent in a situation, our intuition might not be reliable. So, in unfamiliar situations, it’s always better to think and act than go by intuition, i.e., let System 2 kick in and do its job.

“Practice grace and restraint. Just because you can react, doesn't mean you should. Getting provoked and showing dominance is easy. Being restrained is difficult.” — The Knowledge Project.

I heard this quote from someone from the military (I don’t remember who it was) in one of the “best of this month” episodes. One part of the episode focused on military disciplines, and one of the main points was to practice grace and restraint. The quote speaks for itself, and I found it invaluable.

“In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.” — Viktor Frankl.

I’ll probably never stop quoting Viktor Frankl and his gems from Man’s Search for Meaning. In his psychotherapy technique called Logotherapy, Viktor Frankl explains that suffering is an inevitable part of life. If one can somehow find meaning in their sufferings, their mind will not see it as suffering. A sacrifice is an excellent example of such a meaning. Most people who sacrifice things find meaning in their actions, and once they do, they are convinced that their sacrifice served someone or some purpose.

“What is the meaning of life? If there was a single answer, we wouldn't be free. We will all be tied to that answer and live in the exact same way like robots. So, there's no single answer. The lack of a single answer is the basis for all existential angst. You don't know why you are in here in this world” — Naval Ravikant.

This was a simple answer that I came across for one of the biggest questions pondered by many doctrines and philosophies of the world. It is existential but realistic and makes a lot of sense.

“It's hard to read the label if you're inside the bottle” — Bookworm Episode.

I listened to this in an episode of the Bookworm podcast while the hosts discussed perspectives. When inside the problem, it isn’t easy to see the reality. This is where your trusted circle of friends, family, or mentors comes into the picture. Having an outside perspective will help us make better decisions.

“If you wake up and meet an asshole in the morning, you met an asshole. If you wake up and meet assholes all day, you are the asshole.” — Rob Dial.

In the Mindset Mentor podcast, the host Rob Dial, explains that how we should up to our day matters a lot, and the world responds to us with the same energy we give. So, if you are a good person to everyone, more people will be good to you. If more people are being assholes to us, we must stop and evaluate if the problem might be with us.

“Road to identity — it's not that I know who I am; it's about I know who I'm not. Process of elimination.” — Matthew McConaughey.

Who doesn’t love Matthew McConaughey as an actor and as a person? Most of us know that he has a chilled-out and breezy personality. In his memoir Greenlights, he opens up about his childhood, teenage, and early stages, which formed the core of his character, and he says that the road to identity is to know who you’re not. It’s a lifelong process, and instead of trying to find who you are, you should try to keep shedding who you are not. The remaining part must be you.

That’s all I have for this week. What are your favorites on this list? And what are some quotes that you heard recently? I’d love to know. Thanks for reading. Adios!

Vivek Arvind

Vivek Arvind

Santa Clara, CA