How I use the wise words of others to build on the internet
Words have transformed my life, here are some of my favourites.
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” ― Robert Frost
If there was one quote, to sum up, all quotes, it would be that. So unbelievably, frustratingly, surprisingly true. Everything in life is a moment in time. A flash in the pan.
That meeting you’re worrying about, that conversation where you said too much, your constant desire to be more. It’s all fleeting. Here today, gone tomorrow. That’s life you see. It’s kind and cruel.
The cold truth of it is, the world doesn’t care about your wants, needs desires. It can’t care. It doesn’t have the capacity to. It just keeps on moving.
Read also: 16 short unwritten rules of life
“Everything you can imagine is real.”― Pablo Picasso
I’ve thought about life a lot. I’ve always been a thinker. I remember at 12 years old lying on the garden table, staring up at the sky thinking, what’s going on out there, what does it all mean?
In some ways, I’ve been doing that my whole life.
My conclusion, loosely, is that it means nothing and everything. It doesn’t matter so it matters enormously. This life is yours for the taking.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ― George Bernard Shaw
I probably wasted 2 years of my life not understanding this quote. For a long time, I thought passion was found, not created.
I spent 2, maybe 3 years of my life looking for something that could not be found. It still annoys me to write that. What you’ve been told about passion and life, is a lie.
You won’t find a passion or yourself, you create it. You are a sculptor, not a detective.
“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” ― Mark Twain
It’s a funny thing death. Not funny ‘haha’, funny as in weird. I think about death almost every day. I’m not quite sure why. Thoughts can misbehave.
My mind rushes with all the incidents of death I’ve witnessed. Throughout my life, I’ve brushed past death in many corners. The girl at university, the boy at school, the 4 pm call, the lunchtime news.
We brush past death all the time. Even with more exposure, it never feels real.
“For the great doesn’t happen through impulse alone, and is a succession of little things that are brought together.” — Vincent Van Gogh
Somewhere along the way, we’re told that life is a set of milestones. New car, new house, dog, kids, promotion. All of it is about the moments those big things happen. Social media encouraged us to share the moments we think are sharable. And then, in turn, we thought that’s all we should focus on.
Life is actually all the little moments. Me tapping away. You reading. The pots, the washing, the dog walks, today. It’s the succession of little things.
“Three things in life — your health, your mission, and the people you love. That’s it.” — Naval Ravikant
It’s funny how disjointed priorities can get. For a long time, I thought my aim in life was to be a director. It became clear to me that that wasn’t my path and then I idolised being a New York Times bestseller.
Now I’m older and a little wiser, I realise it’s none of that. That’s just ‘stuff’. In many ways, where I am right now will, things will never be better.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” — Robert F. Kennedy
Mostly I think it’s about daring. And daring comes from stomaching fear. And you do that by realising that this thing you’re scared of, it’s not something to be feared at all.
“Be the flame, not the moth.” ― Giacomo Casanova
Moths chase flames. You want to create your own flame. Don’t go from fire to fire, be the fire. Create your own light.
Read also: 5 steps to be the best at everything
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” — Steve Jobs
It’s self-belief. You know when it really comes down to it. It’s self-belief. It’s the guts to say that actually, you think you can. That you are good enough. That this thing you hold in your mind is worthy. That’s all it is.
“If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.” ― Mercedes Lackey
When you lack self-belief, you might end up saying the two saddest words in the world.
Every week I break down timeless insights to build and grow in the creator economy. Actionable ideas, systems and frameworks that will save you hundreds of hours so you can build, part-time. Read by 6k+ creators.
Contributed by Eve Arnold
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