“Few people ever have an abundance of choice of occupation. But what matters is that we have some choice, that we are not absolutely tied to a job which has been chosen for us, and that if one position becomes intolerable, or if we set our heart on another, there is always a way for the able, at some sacrifice, to achieve his goal. Nothing makes conditions more unbearable than the knowledge that no effort of ours can change them; and even if we should never have the strength of mind to make the necessary sacrifice, the knowledge that we could escape if we only strove hard enough makes many otherwise intolerable positions bearable.”
Friedrich Hayek (1899 – 1992), The Road to Serfdom
Image: National Portrait Gallery
Consider every question with a friend; but first, consider the friend. After you make a friend, you should trust him – but before you make a friend, you should make a judgement.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (1.3)
If you lay hands on today, you will find you are less dependent on tomorrow. While you delay, life speeds on by.
Every thing we have belongs to others, Lucilius; time alone is ours. Nature has put us in possession of this one thing, this fleeting, slippery thing – and anyone who wants to can dispossess us.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (1.1)
I want you not to go traipsing about from place to place, and this for two reasons. First, such frequent travel is a sign of disquiet. The mind cannot find strength in its leisure unless it stops looking around and wandering around. To keep you mind within bounds, you must first stop your body from running away. Second, it is the protracted cure that does the most good. You should rest without interruption and forget your former life. Let your eyes unlearn what they have seen; let your ears grow accustomed to more healthful words.
Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (69.1)
The primary indication, to my thinking, of a well-ordered mind is a man’s ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company.
Seneca (c. 4 BC – AD 65), Moral Letters to Lucilius (Letter 2, paragraph 1)
A great quote from Duke Ellington, courtesy of The Execupundit:
I don’t need time. I need a deadline.
That’s so horribly true for me. Without a deadline time drags and tasks bloat to fill the day.
I understand Douglas Adam’s delicious quote …
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
…but I can never quite subscribe. Deadlines will be met, but sometimes you need a hit of adrenaline,cortisol and caffeine to get you there.
The gentleman understands what is moral. The small man understands what is profitable.
Confucius (551-479 BC), The Analects, Book IV, para 16