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Ask HN: which is the most influencing quote you ever came across?
19 points by justplay 1727 days ago | hide | past | web | 40 comments | favorite
"Your mind is software. Program it. Your body is a shell. Change it. Death is a disease. Cure it. Extinction is approaching. Fight it." source : http://blakemasters.com/

My favourite from Hacker News, not the most influencing but a fun one that I rather enjoy bringing up in the work place.

CFO asks "what if we spend our money training our staff and they leave?", CTO replies "what if we don't and they stay?" - JAVagueArgument

it is actually very interesting .

Yep, for me it implies that a company has a sweet spot about the value of its employees. If it's too high they leave, if it's too low they are useless.

I keep these 3 printed out, near my desk:


Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - The Coda (Dune Series)


1. Learn From Everyone. 2. Follow No One. 3. Watch For Patterns. 4. Work Like Hell. - Scott McCloud (Comic Book Artist, TED 2005)


The old ways are dead. And you need people around you who concur. That means hanging out more with the creative people, the freaks, the real visionaries, than you're already doing. Thinking more about what their needs are, and responding accordingly. Avoid the dullards; avoid the folk who play it safe. They can't help you any more. Their stability model no longer offers that much stability. They are extinct, they are extinction. - Hugh MacLeod - http://changethis.com/manifesto/6.HowToBeCreative/pdf/6.HowT...

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Ah, Teddy. Definitely a favorite of mine as well.

"There are many people, particularly in sports who think that success and excellence is the same thing and they are not the same thing. Excellence is something that is lasting and dependable and largely within a person's control. In contrast, success is perishable and is often outside our control… If you strive for excellence, you will probably be successful eventually… people who put excellence in first place have the patience to end up with success… An additional burden for the victim of the success mentality is that he is threatened by the success of others and resents real excellence. In contrast, the person fascinated by quality is excited when he sees it in others." — Joe Paterno

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." - Steve Jobs

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” - Theodore Roosevelt

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." --Margaret Mead


"The hope to change the world is a childish illusion. You have to change yourself."


"Nothing is more fatal to the progress of the human mind than to presume that our views of science are ultimate. That our triumphs are complete. That there are no mysteries in Nature and that there are no new worlds to conquer." Sir Humphry Davy

"Tough and Competent" - Gene Kranz, Monday following Apollo 1 to other flight controllers.

I actually just wrote about this yesterday: http://jimkeener.com/posts/tough-and-competent

EDIT: Attribution

If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

One should need to remind oneself of this every single day.

Not a quote, but a poem:

You are the man who used to boast

That you’d achieve the uttermost,

Some day.

You merely wished to show,

To demonstrate how much you know

And prove the distance you can go.

Another year we’ve just passed through.

What new ideas came to you?

How many big things did you do?

Time left twelve fresh months in your care.

How many of them did you share

With opportunity and dare

Again where you so often missed?

We do not find you on the list of Makers Good.

Explain the fact!

Ah no, ‘twas not the chance you lacked!

As usual – you failed to act!

I've got a few that I like. These two are for those moments, when you look back at yourself and you feel like a complete ass.

"How often it is that the angry man rages denial of what his inner self is telling him."

"We tend to become like the worst in those we oppose."

I do not remember the authors and exact words, but here it goes:

1. If you do something that is not moving you towards your goal then it's moving you away from your goal.

2. What you DO NOT include in your product is as important as what you DO include.

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

"Never Explain, Never Complain" -- Cole Porter "If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged." -- Cardinal Richelieu

"Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here involuntarily and uninvited, for a short stay, without knowing why. For me it is enough to wonder at the secrets."

-- Albert Einstein

"The proper thing for a parent to say is, 'I did badly at mathematics, but I had a very bad teacher. I wish I had had a good one.'" W. W. Sawyer, Vision in Elementary Mathematics (1964), page 5.

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger." -Friedrich Nietzsche

"There's no profit in Peace" - Oscar Harrison, drummer from Ocean Colour Scene


If we follow this thought, certainly everyone in this world is unhappy. People are bonded.

"Just complete what you have started." Wrote it here - http://www.vusal.me/essays/just-complete/

"You'll always have plenty of time to spend it." My Dad, to me, when I was a teenager and contemplating whether to do overtime, get an extra Summer job.


You'll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar


Always marry a woman with small hands.

"Fail we may, sail we must" - A random fisherman talking to a dj/producer called Andrew Weatherall. He made out a song with this title then.

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." - Originated from a quote by Einstein.

"If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

"Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

"Success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don't quit when you're tired -- you quit when the gorilla is tired."


"The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple." - Oscar Wilde

"$X0,000 a week" - patio11

Words to live by.

"If I don't do it, somebody else will" -- Dr John (Such a Night)

"You are confined only by the wall you build yourself"

A fish stinks from the head down (Obama White House )

1) Do it NOW 2) Feel the fear and do it anyway

Learn from the masters.

Martin Scorcese.

"Study the masters, and not the pupils."


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