character formation

I have a very specific memory. I was loading the dishwasher, and Olive just arrived,” Strout told me. “She was standing by the picnic table at her son’s wedding, and I could peer into her head.” She heard Olive thinking, It’s high time everyone went home. “So I wrote that down immediately. And that was it—there was Olive.”

– Ariel Levy “Elizabeth Strout’s long homecoming” The New Yorker

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estimate

To improve your accuracy, work up at least three estimates—low, medium, and high—instead of just stating a range. People give wider ranges when they think about their low and high estimates separately, and coming up with three numbers prompts you to do that.

-“Outsmart Your Own BiasesHarvard Business Review

up

I think I’m back in the dream,
I think I’m back on the ceiling,
It’s such a beautiful feeling.

Going up,
She lights me up,
She breaks me up,
She lifts me up.

– Up Sing Street

so badly

You must build him into a person who can overcome extreme discomfort and privation. You must make him actually want to be such a person so badly that he will risk his life for it. And while you may want him to risk his life, you do not want him to die.

-Michael Zacchea, Ted Kemp The Ragged Edge

character

What career and life advice do you give to new college grads?

You have to be willing to embrace the struggle. If you want anything great in life, you have to be willing to go through the very dark and painful moments of building something. Nothing great has ever come out of a lot of easy days. We’re in a world where so many things are available at the touch of a button. We forget that only through struggle is our character really tested.

-‘Leila Janah on knowing when to let go‘ The New York Times