Below there is an unordered collection of quotes I like and for an unexplained reason have been collecting for some time. I find quotes very intriguing as a notion of compressed thoughts, advice, or just fun. Most of the quotes below can be attributed to someone. Nevertheless, I like them because of what they say, not who said them.
Nothing begets creativity like constraints. —Christopher Mims
Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to remove. —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years. —Bill Gates
Dealing with failure is easy: Work hard to improve. Success is also easy to handle: You’ve solved the wrong problem. Work hard to improve. —Alan Perlis
You develop a good taste for the [research] problems you tackle by having a consistent long-term view of the world to guide your choices.
Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute. —Abelson & Sussman, SICP, preface to the first edition
You may ignore the theory, but you cannot escape it.
He who angers you, controls you.
Partially-knowing is worse than not knowing at all. Η ημιμάθεια είναι χειρότερη από την αμάθεια. – Greek proverb
Know how to solve every problem that has been solved. —Richard Feynman
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.
Uncertainty is a signpost of possibility.
Lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.
A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor
We shall never have more time. We have, and always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until tomorrow. Keep going. Concentrate on something useful. —Arnold Bennett
Once is chance, twice is coincidence, third time is a pattern.
Failure is inevitable, and it’s one of the ways we get better and learn. Every time we take on a project that’s guaranteed to succeed, we’re not creating that challenge that makes us better at whatever we’re practicing
The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts, while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
In a negotiation you have to care, but not too much.
Τhe difference between just-in-case and just-in-time is like the difference between training and trying.
If you have a problem, what are you doing to solve it?
Make it a routine to test the impossible: Push limits. Try new things. Get outside your comfort zone.
Critique should focus not so much on actions we took [because rarely 2 situations are the same] as on why we took those actions and why they brought the results they did.
And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know that it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you finish one piece. It’s only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You just gotta fight your way through.
When we make our own misery, we sometimes cling to it even when we want so bad to change because the misery is something we know. The misery is comfortable.
Reduce everything you want to do to an action you can do right now.
It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
Leaders are people who go their own way without looking to see if anyone is following.
Πρέπει να είσαι διατεθιμένος να χάσεις, για να κερδίσεις. To win, you should be ready to lose.
Αν δεν ρισκάρεις, δεν κερδίζεις. If you don’t risk, you cannot win.
When you win a battle, you win the trophy, when you lose a battle, you gain experience, when you don’t fight you win nothing.
Tools and teams are multipliers.
Complaining is stupid. Either act or forget.
We know the past but cannot control it. We control the future but cannot know it. — Claude Shannon
Give yourself permission to screw-up
You are assuming too much and testing too little.
Without change, you cannot have progress. —R. Hamming
Those who cannot change their mind cannot change anything. — George Bernard Shaw
Criticism is caring. Silence accompanies indifference.
In God we trust, all others bring data.
If you can influence the outcome, do the work. If you can’t influence the outcome, ignore the possibility. It’s merely a distraction. —Seth Godin
Change is not a bolt of lightning that arrives with a zap. It is a bridge built brick by brick, every day, with sweat and humility and slips. It is hard work, and slow work, but it can be thrilling to watch it take shape. —Sarah Hepola
A good (software) architecture maximizes the number of decisions NOT made.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.
Be stubbort on vision. Be flexible on details. [via]
The code that is the hardest to debug is the code that you know cannot possibly be wrong.
Everyone wants better. No one wants change.
What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?
If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
Things get more complex before they get simple. [via]
I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code.
Όσο καλύτερο είναι κάτι πρέπει να προσπαθήσεις και περισσότερο για να το αποκτήσεις. The better something is, the more you need to try to get it.
If you don’t have a plan, how do you know if you’re making progress?
Ideas are worth nothing unless executed.
Think of problems in terms of challenges and opportunities not as failures…
When you fail, try to fail loudly.
You will never be prepared for the things you are capable of doing. You will achieve your greatest accomplishments not by building up a grand framework of skill and then deftly creating something glorious, but by starting small and persevering in making it better and better. It is never an easy road and you will gain a grand framework of skill, but you have to push your boundaries to grow.
Πρέπει να ελπίζεις για το καλύτερο και να είσαι προετοιμασμένος για το χειρότερο. You should hope for the best and be prepared for the worst.
Ποτέ μην λες ποτέ.
If you’re not failing some of the time, you’re not trying hard enough.
Ανάμεσα σ’αυτό που σκέφτομαι, σ’αυτό που θέλω να σας πω, σ’αυτό που πιστεύω ότι σας λέω, σ’αυτό που σας λέω, σ’αυτό που θέλετε να ακούσετε, σ’αυτό που ακούτε, σ’αυτό που πιστεύετε ότι καταλαβαίνετε, σ’αυτό που θέλετε να καταλάβετε και σ’αυτό που καταλαβαίνετε υπάρχουν τουλάχιστον 9 πιθανότητες να μην συννενοηθούμε.
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool. To place our ideas, our dreams, before a crowd is to risk their loss. To live is to risk dying. To hope is to risk dispair. To try is to risk to fail. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing. Only a person who risks is free.
I told my psychiatrist that everyone hated me. He told me I was being ridiculous. Everyone hadn’t met me yet…
A mistake is not something to be determined after the fact, but in the light of information until that point. – Nassim Taleb
Great archery masters often teach that “everything is aiming.” Where you place your feet, how you hold the bow, the way you breathe during the release of the arrow—it all determines the end result. via
Do not cling on a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.
We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.
Within the small sphere of our life, we can stare into the past, but only our future is in our control. —Numb3rs
Difficulties strengthen the mind as labour does the body. –Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Avoid taking advice from someone who gives advice for a living, unless there is a penalty for their advice. – Nassim Taleb
“Those who talk should do and only those who do should talk” (because) “We are much better at doing than understanding.”
How you do anything is how you do everything. [link]
No matter how correct you are, you won’t get anywhere by making the other person feel stupid.
Admitting one’s failures is a sign of confidence and strength. It reassures others that failing is okay.
You will recognize the skilled captain during a storm. Ο καλός ο καπετάνιος στη φουτούνα φαίνεται. (Greek proverb)
Madness is rare in individuals, but in groups, states, and societies, it’s the norm. — Friedrich Neitzche