Man is characterized by a number of things – one of ’em is he is the only animal that knows he’s going to die someday. And knowing that he also has an obligation to make the most of whatever time he has. And making the most of it is enormously assisted by reading, by learning about the world. Learning about the past and the present and an ability to look to the future by reading.

Man is characterized by a number of things – one of ’em is he is the only animal that knows he’s going to die someday. And knowing that he also has an obligation to make the most of whatever time he has. And making the most of it is enormously assisted by reading, by learning about the world. Learning about the past and the present and an ability to look to the future by reading.

— Shelby Foote (around minute 15 of video below)

One of the most overlooked opportunities in life is how you are positioned when circumstances hit…

One of the most overlooked opportunities in life is how you are positioned when circumstances hit…

— Farnam Street

” Good positions create options, while bad positions reduce them. You don’t have to be an expert decision-maker to get better results, you only need to put yourself in a good position. Anyone looks like a genius when all the options are good.

If you’re forced to do something because you need to and not because you choose to, things quickly spiral from bad to worse.

Good positions are expensive, but poor ones cost a fortune. Spend less time worrying about maximizing your immediate results and more time maximizing your ultimate results. Giving yourself options in the future always appears suboptimal in the moment. Putting yourself in a good position for tomorrow means paying today. This might mean a lower return, living below your means, or sitting on the sidelines when everyone else is having fun.

Poor positioning kills more dreams than poor decisions. Decisions matter, but it’s easier to make good decisions when all your options are great. 

Good positions allow you to master your circumstances rather than be mastered by them.”

Marshall Goldsmith on self-limiting beliefs: 

Marshall Goldsmith on self-limiting beliefs: 

“I think we have a lot of self-limiting beliefs. And the self-limiting beliefs, a lot of these come from inside us. Basically, I can’t do this. I can’t do that. This is just the way I am. One of the most common problems is, this is just the way I am as if we have some “real” fixed identity that lives throughout time. And I have to really work on people to change that. Even smart people say things like this, “I can’t listen. I can’t listen. I’ve never been able to listen.” I’ll look in their ears. “Why not? You got something stuck in there? Why can’t you listen? Do you have an incurable genetic defect that is prohibiting you from listening?” As long as we tell ourselves, “That’s the way I am.” Two things happen, both bad. One, we inhibit the odds of ever getting better. Two, even if we do change our behavior we don’t seem authentic to ourselves. We feel like a phony because if the real me can’t listen and you say, “I’m a good listener. You know what I’m thinking?” Well, that’s not the real me. I’m just pretending to be a good listener because the real me is no good at that.”

— Listen and Learn or read the transcript.

One of the novel’s protagonists — a young black woman in 1930s Philadelphia — becomes an emissary of the power of music as an instrument of self-discovery and self-possession, a living testament to song as the pulse-beat of the soul 

One of the novel’s protagonists — a young black woman in 1930s Philadelphia — becomes an emissary of the power of music as an instrument of self-discovery and self-possession, a living testament to song as the pulse-beat of the soul 

— Maria Popova

Self-possession: “the state or feeling of being calm, confident, and in control of one’s feelings; composure.” — Dictionary

“What is self-possession in philosophy?

Self-possession is just that: not being possessed by someone else. It is achieved not through controlling ourselves, but through recognising how we unwittingly cede power to others, and then ceasing this ceding.” — link

Self-discovery: “

A “journey of self-discovery” refers to a travel, pilgrimage,[1] or series of events whereby a person attempts to determine how they feel, personally, about spiritual issues[2] or priorities,[3][4] rather than following the opinions of family, friends, neighborhood[5] or peer pressure. The topic of self-discovery has been associated with Zen.[6]

A related term is “finding oneself“. There are different stages of finding oneself. Cultures from around the world have developed an array of modalities in the journey to discover oneself. In modern times practitioners and scientists have come together to create a map that brings clarity to the process of self-discovery. This is referred to as the levels of consciousness

A journey of self-discovery is a popular theme in literature. It is sometimes used to drive the plot of a novel, play or film” — Wikipedia