"So I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, 'Okay, now I’m looking back on my life. I want to have minimized the number of regrets I have.' I knew that when I was 80 I was not going to regret having tried this. I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal. I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried. I knew that that would haunt me every day, and so, when I thought about it that way it was an incredibly easy decision.”
Apes, may I speak to you a moment? Chimpanzees, come hither for words. Orangoutangs, let's get into a huddle. Baboons, lemme whisper in your ears. Gorillas, do yuh hear me hollerin' to yuh? And monkeys! monkeys! get this chatter-- For a long time men have plucked letters Out of the air and shaped syllables. And out of the syllables came words And from the words came phrases, clauses. Sentences were born--and languages. (The Tower of Babel didn't work out-- it came down quicker than it went up.) Misunderstandings followed the languages, Arguments, epithets, maledictions, curses, Gossip, backbiting, the buzz of the bazoo, Chit chat, blah blah, talk just to be talking, Monologues of members telling other members How good they are now and were yesterday, Conversations missing the point, Dialogues seldom as beautiful as soliloquies, Seldom as fine as a man alone, a woman by herself Telling a clock, "I'm a plain damn fool." Read the dictionary from A to Izzard today. Get a vocabulary. Brush up on your diction. See whether wisdom is just a lot of language. -Carl Sandburg, Is Wisdom A Lot Of Language?
Ted sat in a high-backed swivel chair, often flinging his long legs on top of the desk as he stared into space. Every few minutes he would stride up and down the studio, leaning forward at full tilt as if "into a gale," his hands thrust in his rear trousers pockets. He lit one cigarette after another, pausing before the corkboard walls to scowl at his latest sketch, his glasses pushed up on his forehead, wondering if a new creature was about to emerge, who it might be and what it might say. He liked to approach a book "with a situation of a conflict and then write myself into an impossible situation so there was no [apparent] way of ending [the book] ... People who thing about endings first come up inferior products." When hit with a mental block, the threw himself on a mustard-colored sofa near the hearth to read mysteries. His "best stuff," he said, was written "on toward midnight" when he was looser, freer and "a bit tired." He preferred that late hours because the telephone was quiet and the stillness of the mountain-top enveloped him. "He has the endurance of forty buffaloes," Helen said, "and thinks he can work day and night."
-Judith & Neil Morgan, Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography
Guard your speech. Never speak of yourself, your affairs, or anything else in a discouraged or discouraging way. Never admit the possibility of failure, or speak in a way that infers failure as a possibility. Never speak of the times as being hard, or of business conditions being doubtful. Times may be hard and business doubtful for those who are on the competitive plane, but they can never be so for you; you can create what you want, and your are above fear. When others are having hard times and poor business, you will find your greatest opportunities. Train yourself to think of and to look upon the world as a something which is Becoming, which is growing; and to regard seeming evil as being only that which is undeveloped. Always speak in terms of advancement; to do otherwise is to deny your faith, and to deny your faith is to lose it. Never allow yourself to feel disappointed. You may expect a certain thing at a certain time, and not get it at that time; and this will appear to you like failure. But if you hold to your faith you will find that the failure is only apparent. Go on in the certain way, and if you do not receive that thing, you will receive something so much better that you will see that the seeming failure was really a great success.
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there.
It doesn't matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”