More Great Quotes: Sources Varying from Marcus Aurelius to Don Delillo

In no particular order, some great quotes I’ve come across recently:

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing

  • Marcus Aurelius

Multitasking, in short, is not only not thinking, it impairs your ability to think. Thinking means concentrating on one thing long enough to develop an idea about it. Not learning other people’s ideas, or memorizing a body of information, however much those may sometimes be useful. Developing your own ideas. In short, thinking for yourself. You simply cannot do that in bursts of 20 seconds at a time, constantly interrupted by Facebook messages or Twitter tweets, or fiddling with your iPod, or watching something on YouTube.

  • William Deresiewicz (part of a lecture at West Point)

All of human unhappiness comes from one single thing: not knowing how to remain at rest in a room

  • Blaise Pascal

I ask him what attracted him to writing, whether he studied literature or was stirred by certain authors or books. “No, no,” he says, “I didn’t do anything. I don’t have an explanation, I don’t know why I wanted to write. I did some short stories at that time, but very infrequently. I quit my job just to quit. I didn’t quit my job to write fiction. I just didn’t want to work anymore

  • Don DeLillo (interview in the New York Times)

The other way to tell an adult is by how they react to a challenge. Someone who’s not yet an adult will tend to respond to a challenge from an adult in a way that acknowledges their dominance. If an adult says “that’s a stupid idea,” a kid will either crawl away with his tail between his legs, or rebel. But rebelling presumes inferiority as much as submission. The adult response to “that’s a stupid idea,” is simply to look the other person in the eye and say “Really? Why do you think so?”

  • Paul Graham