Quotes · The World

“Consider yourself blessed if you have a passion for anything.”

At the end of an article about a decades-long archaeology effort in Southern California, the protagonist says this:

Consider yourself blessed if you have a passion for anything. Passion is a way of organizing your life; otherwise you go off in 20 different directions, and in the end, you wonder what you have.

Fred E. Budinger (LA Times | Apple News)

This dude knows what he’s talking about.

Fred E. Budinger has been pushing to prove, from the evidence in the ground in the Mojave Desert, that humans were in North American 200,000 years ago (not 11,000 years ago as previously thought) despite decades of misfortune, hostility, and even vandalism.

Good luck to you, Fred (pictured right, below). ✌️ Your passion is inspiring.

Quotes · You

“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.”

I’m going to wrap up my recent Maslow kick with one last little kick in the butt.

You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.

Abraham Maslow

You see people play it safe all the time and end up in the doldrums of easy choices, eventually stagnating and even sinking right where they are.

It’s like when your favorite band tries out a new sound. Sometimes the result is a career changer. Sometimes it’s annoying or just so very very bad. But it is almost certainly better than doing the same crap forever.

Quotes · You

“What a man can be, he must be.”

Good ol’ Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist who gave us a pyramid and a hammer, is at it again with some pretty sensible insights.

This time he’s riffing on Aristotle’s function argument about what the heck we’re even doing here. Basically, we’re here to be useful.

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization.

(Apparently he was an old-school fan of the “he/him/man” pronoun. 🤷🏻‍♂️)

It’s one thing to find your purpose — and those who do so should consider themselves fortunate. But the real trick is to actually do something about it.

It refers to man’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming.

Thank you for the reminder, Mazzy. Can I call you that? Because here’s another Mazzy who found her purpose.

Quotes · You

“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

This Abraham Maslow fellow doesn’t just have a pyramid, he also has a hammer. Here is the popular phrasing of Maslow’s Hammer.

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Maybe Maslow

I love this saying. People often “hammer away” at something the wrong way, wasting time and failing to learn a new skill.

It’s easy to make this mistake.

As a software engineer, I’ve seen this 1000 times. “Well, we have a bunch of web servers, and we need a mobile app, so… let’s make our mobile app using web tech!” At first, it seems to make sense. But you end up with a crappy app, lots of extra work, and maybe even some unhappy developers who leave because they care about their career too much. They want to use Xcode because that’s a great tool for making apps.

(But beware, Xcode could become your next hammer. 🤷🏻‍♂️)

Books · Quotes

“No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.”

I try to read A Christmas Carol this time every year 🎄 to glean its lessons anew. Ebenezer Scrooge is a nice little annual kick in the butt!

This year, Marley’s ghost and his minions especially spoke out to me. 👻

The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.

The story is not just about being a better person and having some heart, but is also about the pain of regret: failing to impact the world for the better while you have the chance.

No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused.

I definitely recommend the Patrick Stewart reading of this book. He brings out the urgency and freshness of it, even though the book is nearly 200 years old!